The Items: Buckeye Bobbleheads
Hello and welcome to what could potentially be the last Stumbler for a while here at 11W.
We had a good run covering a gamut of topics from coaching manuals penned by Woody Hayes to Buckeye Frankensteins and even Mark May. It was a long and winding road but I think we had fun and learned something about ourselves in the process.
Seeing as though this might be the last edition, I figured we’d take things out in style with these Jim Tressel and Troy Smith bobbleheads.
Man, wouldn’t those two collectibles really tie a room together? Just place them on your mantle and let them do the work. Watch your guests ogle them aggressively as you regale them with tales of Michigan wins, national championships and a Heisman Trophy.
It’s that Heisman Trophy that really symbolizes the season when those two were clicking on all cylinders, and we’ve got the videotape to prove it.
The Clips: 2006 – Troy’s Year
Following a dismantling of Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, Smith and the boys were poised to do some damage the following season. The pollsters agreed, pegging OSU at No. 1 in the country.
In the home opener against Northern Illinois, the high-flying offense did exactly what it was supposed to, putting up 35 points against the Huskies.
In that game, Smith was three yards shy of 300 yards, going 18 of 25 with 3 TDs.
Show ‘em, Troy:
Then came a matchup in Austin against the No. 2 Texas Longhorns. The game would be an early test for the Buckeyes and a public forum for Smith to announce his intention to win the Heisman Trophy.
Once again, Smith would come close to the 300-yard passing mark, going 17 of 26 for 269 yards and 2 TDs including this 29-yard strike to former Glenville teammate Teddy Ginn.
Troy would have another big game against Cincinnati the following week, tossing another pair of TDs and leading the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start.
In week four, the Scarlet and Gray opened up their B1G season against Penn State. The Nittany Lions largely shut down the Buckeye offense in the first half, helping them carry a 3-0 lead into the locker room.
The Bucks would score a TD on their second possession of the third on a 12-yard Antonio Pittman TD. Then to open up the fourth, Smith orchestrated what many believe to be his “Heisman moment”:
The score and two pick-sixes allowed the Buckeyes to survive the fighting Paternos, 28-6.
The Bucks would subdue their next five opponents handedly, scoring a combined 199 points in the process.
Here’s every single one of the TDs Smith had a hand in over the course of those games (including two misplaced Cincinnati scores):
Yes, the Buckeyes were certainly on a roll and it appeared a trip to Champaign would be a mere formality before steamrolling Northwestern and playing TTUN to punch a ticket to the national championship.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly for the Bucks against the Fighting Illini as they found themselves in a dogfight late after scoring 17 unanswered points in the first half.
The Scarlet and Gray would eventually go on to win the game, 17-10, but the close shave was a sign this team could become too complacent at times (foreshadowing).
That wouldn’t be an issue the following week against Northwestern as the Buckeyes would pummel them, 54-10, setting up an epic battle against No. 2 Michigan in the ‘Shoe.
Obviously everything was on the line, including Smith’s perfect record against the Wolverines. He would not disappoint, playing his best game of the season in his final game in Columbus.
When it was all said and done, the final score read 42-39 and Smith had thrown for 316 yards with 4 TDs.
The performance would cap off a senior season that saw Troy toss for over 2,500 yards and 30 TDs against just 5 INTs.
Ultimately that stat line was good enough to earn him one of these:
Thanks for the memories, Troy.