The Items: Stuff that "Doesn't Exist"
Welcome back to another edition of the Stumbler.
Remember the year 2011? The Artist won Best Picture, gas prices were basically the same and you didn’t look any different. Come to think of it, 2011 wasn’t that long ago.
That’s strange because the record books are having trouble remembering what happened down in New Orleans on Jan. 4, 2011. In fact, there is no record of it at all.
However, the record book of my life remembers things a bit differently, and so does eBay. Just look at all of this stuff commemorating things that didn’t happen.
It’s amazing really.
The official ledger might read nothing occurred for the Buckeyes in the 2011 Sugar Bowl, but that doesn’t mean OSU fans have to forget how hard the Buckeyes went during their trip to the Big Easy.
Still having trouble remembering? Let me set the stage for you.
The Buckeyes began the 2010 season at #2 in the country following a big win against the Oregon Ducks just a year prior. The offense returned a number of starters including Brandon Saine, Boom Herron, Dane Sanzenbacher, DeVier Posey and Terrelle Pryor.
The Buckeyes rolled their first six opponents including #12 Miami in their first meeting since the 2002 national championship game.
Then, an Alabama loss on Oct. 9 opened the door for a #1 ranking for OSU.
The following week, the Buckeyes carried that lofty rank into Madison to take on the #18 Wisconsin Badgers and promptly soiled the bed, losing 31-18.
Unfortunately, the lack of a strength of schedule never allowed the Scarlet and Gray to climb higher than 6th to end the season; however, the 12-1 record and share of the B1G title was good enough for a BCS berth against the #8 Arkansas Razorbacks.
The moment the matchup was set, this was the storyline: OSU is 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games.
That narrative scared a lot of Buckeye faithful, and it wasn't long before everyone in Ohio echoed reader Tom’s sentiment.
"Beat the SEC" became the rallying cry for months, and then it was finally game time.
The Clips: Oink Oink
The Buckeyes held the Razorbacks to a three-and-out and began their first drive on the 26. The Scarlet and Gray picked up two first downs, but were forced into a 3rd and 9 at the Arkansas 37.
During the play the pocket broke down and Pryor took off. This was the result:
In one of the more bizarre (and heads-up) plays of the season, Pryor fumbled the ball, it squirted past two perfectly positioned Arkansas defenders and Sanzenbacher fell on it in the end zone. TD Buckeyes.
Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett answered with a 17-yard TD pass on the very next drive to tie the game, but the Buckeyes refused to let up. On their next possession they took the ball 68 yards ending in a Boom Herron 9-yard TD run. Here’s a hole you could drive a truck through:
On the Buckeyes' first possession of the second quarter, Terrelle Pryor hit Reid Fragel for 42 yards:
Then he stood in the pocket and connected on a 15-yard toss to Sanzenbacher for a score:
On Arkansas’ next two possessions, Mallett and company were stifled by the stout Buckeye D, culminating in back-to-back sacks by Dexter Larimore and John Simon with roughly three minutes left to play in the half.
That was all the momentum the Buckeye offense would need, and one 43-yard bomb later it was 28-7, Bucks.
A 20-yard FG by Arkansas to end the half made it 28-10 heading into the locker room. At that point, it looked as though the Buckeyes would coast to their first bowl win over the SEC in nine tries.
However, the Razorbacks weren’t going to lie down that easily, notching a FG, TD and two-point conversion in the third quarter, while the Buckeyes only managed three points. Heading into the fourth, the score was 31-21 and momentum was clearly on Arkansas’ side.
On the Buckeyes’ first possession of the fourth, a beautiful punt by Arkansas’ Dylan Breeding pinned the Scarlet and Gray at their own 4-yard line. On the next play, this happened:
31-23, Buckeyes, with confidence waning rapidly. A 47-yard FG on Arkansas' next possession rang the alarm bells.
Then Ohio State fumbled on their next possession, giving the ball back to the Razorbacks at their own 37.
Luckily, OSU’s D held (as they had for most of the evening), giving the ball back to the offense with four and a half minutes to play.
Once again, a magnificent punt pinned the Buckeyes at their own 4. OSU was able to move the ball out of the shadow of their own end zone, but were forced to punt at their own 38. Then…chaos.
This is when you were ready to call it 0-10 against the SEC in bowl games, but that’s where one unlikely hero would call your bluff. Thank you, Solomon Thomas.
The pick sealed it, as OSU was finally able to toss the SEC monkey off its back.
Right, right. That game never happened. But I know I’m not alone in enjoying the alleged footage. Thanks for stumbling in. Let’s do this again sometime.