Turning Points, Volume Ten: The Catch

By Jeff Beck on July 1, 2013 at 2:00p
As The Game Turns

Hey y’all due to George Washington and a number of other founding fathers doing their ending tyranny thing we’ll be running a light story schedule this Thursday. SO light in fact there wont be any room for your weekly Turning Points (collective shudder from the crowd).

But fear not loyal 11W reader, we’ve moved this week’s edition to Monday, because...we care. So let’s jump right in.

The 2005 Buckeyes were an impressive group coming into the season with a number of veteran players including A.J. Hawk, Donte Whitner, Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Ashton Youboty, Anthony Schlegel and Nate Salley.

The team also returned an impressive duo from Glenville in sophomore WR, Tedd Gin and Junior QB, Troy Smith.

The two burst onto the scene the year prior, Ginn with his impressive speed and Smith with his ability to lead the team to wins in four out of their last 5 games including an upset over #7 Michigan.

Anticipation was reaching a fever pitch in Columbus as the team would face one of their toughest tests in just the second game of the season: a matchup against Vince Young’s Texas.

The Buckeyes would go on to lose that contest in a 25-22 heavyweight bout, bringing their record to 1-1 on the season.

From there, the squad would defeat San Diego State and Iowa before dropping a second game to Joe Pa’s Nittany Lions (powered by Michael Robinson and Derrick Williams).

Five games into the season, the team sat at 3-2, hardly the start many OSU fans had hoped for.

LeadingSix games into the season, Troy got his groove back.

Fortunately for Buckeye Nation, Troy Smith decided to kick things into another gear, leading the Scarlet and Gray to five wins in their next five games while tallying 216 yards through the air on average and accounting for 15 TDs (10 passing 5 rushing).

The impressive run moved the Buckeyes up to 8-2 on the season, cueing up a game in Ann Arbor for a share of the B1G championship.

All eyes would be on Smith, whose 386 total yards (241 Passing, 145 Rushing) and 3 TDs in last year’s contest elevated him to hero status in The Game.

Setting The Stage

The Buckeyes received the ball and Smith picked up right where he left off, driving the ball 80 yards for a 4-yard TD run. Kicker Josh Huston would miss the extra point making it 6-0 Troy Smith.

Chad Henne’s Wolverines used the following drive to take it all the way to the Buckeye 28, but a failed fourth down conversion rendered the sequence all for naught.

The Scarlet and Gray would once again put together a sustained drive that ran into the second quarter, ending with a Huston 47-yard field goal to make it 9-0 Buckeyes.

On TTUN’s next drive Lloyd Carr dialed up a heavy dose of Mike Hart, handing the ball to his tailback on four of the team’s next six plays. Unfortunately for Carr, Hart did what he always did against OSU and came up short, forcing the Wolverines to punt it away.

On the Buckeye’s very next play, HB, Maurice Wells fumbled the ball at the OSU 36 and it was recovered by Michigan. The Wolverines capitalized on the miscue and punched it into the endzone via a Henne to WR, Jason Avant quick strike. Making it 9-7 Buckeyes.

On the Scarlet and Gray’s next drive they would once again rely on the leg of Josh Huston who was able to put it through from 25 yards to make it 12-7 at the half.

Coming out in the third, the two teams would trade possessions until TTUN’s Garrett Rivas was able to knock it through the uprights from 27 yards to narrow the lead at 12-10.

Once again the two teams would trade punts before Michigan’s Kevin Grady found pay-dirt from the 2-yard line to give the Maize Sun and Blue their first lead of the game at 16-12. Carr then dialed up a successful two-point conversion to make it 18-12 to end the third quarter.

On the Buckeyes next possession Josh Huston would miss a 46-yard FG, giving the ball back to the Wolverines. Henne and company then marched down to the OSU two-yard line and hit a chip-shot kick. The score made it 21-12 Michigan and palms began to sweat in Columbus.

The score must have awoken something in Troy because he came out swinging. Over the course of the next five plays he hit Anthony Gonzalez for 27 yards, rushed for 14 yards, then threw a 26-yard strike to Santonio Holmes bringing the Bucks within two at 21-19.

OSU forced a punt on TTUN’s next possession and with roughly four minutes to go, the Buckeyes got the ball at their own 12.

With time winding down, Troy took to the air connecting on six of seven throws, working the Buckeyes down to the Michigan 31. With 47 seconds left on the clock, OSU called a timeout.

Smart money says what happened next is NOT what Jimmy T. drew up in the huddle, but my, oh, my was it ever a…

Turning Point: The Catch


You can’t teach that. Just pure instinct taking over. Couple it with an unreal ladder climb by Gonzalez and you have the thing Turning Points are made of.

Just two plays later, RB, Antonio Pittman would take it in for a score making it 25-21.

With just 24 seconds remaining and 80 yards to cover, Henne ran out of time.

The win gave the Buckeyes a share of the B1G championship and propelled them to the Fiesta Bowl where they ransacked Charlie Weis’ Irish, ultimately setting the table for National Championship (and Heisman) talk heading into the 2006 season.

Until next week, Turning Points…out.


Comments Show All Comments

Hovenaut's picture

Another great moment from the Tressel era, nice revisit.

303 Buckeye also has a nice lookback in his "A Classic Game" blog post.

Can never get tired of this one, just a great win off another play for the ages. You know this one hurt 'em up there.

Unky Buck's picture

Man, will the end of August just get here already? Hearing the TBDBITL has me yearning for some college football like right now!

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Baroclinicity's picture

I was in row 96 for this game.  Yes, that is the last row, in the end zone anyways. 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Unky Buck's picture

I had "reserved seats" at the end of the bar at the Varsity Club. I met up there with one of the bar managers and her friend and just took in the whole day. Sat next to one of the most annoying fans who had to say something negative on every play. He left early because he was so annoyed and I loved that he had missed that ending.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

pjtobin's picture

What a heartbreak season. That Texas game was one of the best I can remember. Even if we didn't win. What a great game this scUM upset was. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

A couple of my TSUN fan friends had called me and left me messages talking shit when TSUN was up 9.  After the game, I called them back (of course getting answering machines) and avenged the shit-talk sevenfold.  I was so pumped, what a freaking game.

Class of 2010.

Michibuck's picture

If the 2013 team can be anywhere near as clutch as 2002, you can count me as one very happy Buckeyw.

Ken-Yon Rambo's picture

Besides the Game of the Century, this victory in Ann Arbor may have been the most satisfying Michigan win in Tressel's decade of dominance, simply because of the way we came back from 2 scores down, in the 4th quarter.  Troy Smith had multiple clutch third down plays to extend both scoring drives, and the crowd was just gutted.
Will go down as one of my favorite victories in the Tressel era.  

How firm they friendship...

Poison nuts's picture

Ahh yes. I've seen this replay many times but 2005 was one of the only times in my whole life I was unable to see The Game. I missed the 2005 edition entirely & still have never actually seen a whole replay even to this day. Thanks for the reminder of how great an OSU QB Troy Smith was.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

That was an awesome game!  I was there in person for that one.  It was back and forth and at one point looked a little bleak for the ol' scarlet and gray.  However, that amazing catch by Gonzalez really helped push us over the edge.  I also remember the run defense being lights out in that game.  Bobby Carpenter would get injured, but a future Buckeye star at the time stepped up big - James Laurinaitis.  It was a great win and one I'll never forget!!  Go Bucks!!

BuckGnome's picture

I remember this game well.  Santonio and Ginn couldn't field a punt to save their lives.  While they never turned it over, they did cost the good guys with a bunch of negative return yardage and consequently poor field position.
Thankfully, Troy and Gonzo pulled it out.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

That was one of those games where my wife left the house cuz she thought I was going to break the TV.
THE Game next year at the 'Shoe wasn't half bad either. Two back-to-back classics!!
BTW, it's too bad we've never been able to see what Gonzo could have done in The League had he not been bit by the injury bug.

thirtytrap's picture

I work away from home and when I walked into the room after returning to work the first thing a guy asked.."Did the Bucks win"???  With a big smile I said yes and began to tell the story of "The Catch". 

unholy bucknut's picture

I really miss Gonzo. He had another sweet catch the very next season that was better if I remember right. I also loved Pittmans little point to the big house what an awesome game.

buckskin's picture

Troy's elusiveness and knack for keeping his eyes down field were equally impressive as Gonzo's catch.  Both great players.  I had the luxury of watching the game at a joint with a Michigan bartender serving the house.  She was so pissed at that play.
If Braxton can develop his pocket presence and passing game like Troy's this year, look out Bama; we WILL be national champs; guaranteed. 

TheShookster's picture

I still can't believe Holmes got flagged for diving into the endzone on the TD that got them within 2 points. That was this game right? I'm pretty sure it was. 

He ain't even stretch doe!!

IBleedSandG's picture

LOL. Just look at that yardage.
Go Bucks!