A Classic Game

303 Buckeye's picture
June 29, 2013 at 4:15a

I was recently on the BTN website and noticed that they added the 2005 Mishagain game to their vault of "Football Classics".  I had not seen the game in years ("The Catch" not included) and thought "what the hell why not watch this while I have some free time?"

My first thought was WOW, that shit really was classic.  The Santonio dive into the endzone to cut it to three points, the Troy Smith led drive with time winding down, and of course Gonzo coming down with that miracle catch after a display of exclusive elusiveness on the part of Smith.  I mean, what was better than going into the Big House, being down by two scores with seven minutes left, and WINNING? Nothing, I tell you.  You can see it all on T Smith's face as he dances towards midfield after the clock hit triple zeros, a sort of child-like excitement that only an insane comeback win in a huge game can give you.  All in all, it was a very satisfying rewatch of a game that is as enjoyable the 15th time around as it was to see live.

Anyhow, I have some thoughts on the Buckeyes back in '05 and how they might differ from this year:

1) They didn't really have a stable of running backs like this year's team does, but Pittman put the burden on his shoulders and manned the load that season.  It will be like that with Hyde to an extent, but he has SO many talented back-ups behind him to step in.

2) Troy Smith is still the best QB OSU has ever had.  If Braxton wins the Heisman and/or MNC this season, he will overtake the throne.  But, just watch the beauty and touch of every pass Smith throws in that game- he was a true pocket quarterback who could scramble like a linebacker's worst nightmare come to life. 

3) I MISS TED GINN!!! Hell, I would even take Gonzo at this point.  Where is our star, our speedster, our go-to-guy in the clutch?  We may find out (Philly Brown? or Devin Smith??) but it may turn out that we have no Ted Ginns on this year's edition of the Buckeyes.  But man 'o man Ginn really could fucking FLY around a football field.  He was such a baller and made both our offense and special teams insanely lethal.  It would be way cool if we found a Teddy Ginn on this year's team.

4) 2005 Bucks were clutch as hell in big games (lI think we technically lost to Texas by less than USC but I'm more thinking about Iowa, Sparty, Michigan, Notre Dame)... can the 2013 Bucks keep it up? Will Braxton deliver like Troy did when he was needed most that year?  I tend to think that Brax has it in him, we even saw it when he was a freshman against Wisconsin.

5) We need linebackers.  They are paramount in importantance to a cohesive defense.  Hawk, Schlegel and Carpenter kept our D as one of the best in the nation.  They frickin brought it every play, especially Hawk.

6) Smith vs Henne= David vs Goliath.  Henne was the big, bad *5* coming out of high school, God on earth, blah blah blah, while Troy was this plucky and short converted kickoff coverage specialist.  The thing is, David always wins.  He finds a way.  Plus, did you SEE SMITH ON THAT LAST DRIVE? Spinning and throwing, avoiding every sack, finding all sorts of guys but still getting the ball to the big play maker Ted Ginn.  He also squeezed out of a few tight 3rd down type situations.  I think that was 'The Drive' of Troy Smith's career as a Buckeye QB.

7) Oh and one more thing- you have to understand I HATE winged helmets and the colors blue and yellow mixed together as much as the next Buckeye-but Mishagain had some sick numbers on their jerseys that year.  I dont think I have seen that style since.

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303 Buckeye's picture

Im sorry guys just one more thing:  Not only was the UM win sweet, it set us up to beat Notre Dame next!. UM and ND in succession!  That seems like a pipe dream, but it really happened.  And Pittman capped off both those games with TD runs.  God damn what an amazing year that was haha.

RBuck's picture

Speaking of the BTN, Monday, July 1 is another Buckeye day on the network.

Long live the southend.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Thanks for the info.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

303 Buckeye's picture

oh shit look who's back! No mistaken identities this time yeah??

Buckeyevstheworld's picture


"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

303 Buckeye's picture

something about 9route and adderall idk maybe it wasnt you
Also, I;m not him just to clarify lol

303 Buckeye's picture

To be quite honest I don't remember much I just remember trolling oh so very very hard.  It was embarrassing.  Study-aid blackouts baby, gotta love em

Hovenaut's picture

Nice revisit 303. The '06 game gets all the historical love, as it should, but that '05 game was pretty good too.

I sure liked the ending, I went all Gonzo.

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

I see what you did there...

gwright78's picture

Ah yes, the Santonio dive that brought a flag...one of the dumbest calls I've ever seen.

gwright78's picture

...but not as stupid as the flags for making an O with their gloves.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That's BigTen officials for you.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CALPOPPY's picture

I actually thought the dive was a much worse penalty. While I know that the glove thing wasn't personal, it could have been interpreted that way as showing off. However, the dive was when there were two defenders (I think) in close proximity and he's diving into the endzone. He didn't do a flip into the endzone, or point at the defenders...he just dove when the defense was closing in. I was so mad I could spit.
Obviously, it doesn't bother me at all now...nope. Not one bit does it bother me how stupid refs can be sometimes. Nope. Not at all.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

HighBallAce's picture

What was so bad about the glove thing was how the Meatchicken fans and team all said how classless the Buckeyes were for doing that yet in their bowl game they all did the exact same thing! Jackoffs!

buckskin's picture

  I embarrassed my wife at the restaurant by screaming at that call. 

05Buckeye's picture

That call still pisses me off. It was a horrible call. 
I was at a home in Powell during this game. The old folks were upstairs. The young folks downstairs. After us young folks finished "voicing" our displeasure, there was a dead silence from upstairs. 

luckynutz's picture

Only thing I can say is that devin smith has had some big time plays thus far. MSU last year, Cal, the big catch late against purdue...all were crucial plays that mare a difference between wins and losses. Think he will only get better. He may not have ginn speed, but he sure does have that clutch gene.

Goalscorer9's picture

And against Wisconsin 2 years ago!! Can't forget that one!

luckynutz's picture

Of course...and the one handed td against miami of ohio as well. Just saying devin is carving out quite a nice imprint in buckeye lore with some big time grabs when they need it most. And he's only going to improve going forward.

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

I remember seeing some Anthony Gonzalez interviews when he was still in high school, and for whatever reason I didn't like him... I thought he would never do much at O State. Now, like many Buckeye fans I'm sure, he's one of my all time favorite Buckeyes.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

303 Buckeye: nice blog post all around, and I agree that the 05 game was a classic, but you hit on recurring sore spot for me . . . the rose-colored nostalgia many Buckeye fans have for the somewhat underachieving 05 team.
Actually, right before the comeback in The Game - for basically 10.7 games of that season - the 05 team would have been remembered as one of the more disappointing and un-clutch teams in recent memory (Texas, PSU, and 3.5 quarters against Michigan . . . thanks, Troy Smith, for playing such a key role in changing that fate). That team was also somewhat fortunate against MSU (infamous FG block right before HT shifted the tide), avoided Wisconsin, Iowa was overrated, and ND that year had a nice offense and no defense.
No question, the 05 team was loaded with talent, but that only made the first 10.7 games of the season that much more perplexing . . . until they came alive at the end of The Game.  

303 Buckeye's picture

Yeah, but you have to know that if Troy Smith played from kickoff to final whistle against Texas, we win that game by an estimated score of 28-17.  Texas just kept improving as the year went on, which is why we reallly had a chance to knock them off in September.  I remember AJ Hawk having a big interception or something in that game as well...I know he didn't completely suck that night, but F**K Justin Zwick.

Knarcisi's picture

Actually Troy wasn't very good that game either.  Same against PSU. His suspension for the first few games really hurt him. He actually didn't play well until the Michigan St game.  From there, it was history. 

303 Buckeye's picture

I feel like he would have felt the flow of the game a little better.  And also in 2005 he was a quick elusive little chap, if you recall my good sir.

Goalscorer9's picture

I've always thought if Smith OR Zwick played that whole game we win.  I think switching both of them totally killed our flow.  

303 Buckeye's picture

'Yeah that was one of the few games where Tressell's gameplan actually hurt our chances more than helped us. 2009 USC is another that comes to mind, and I don't really have any semblance of a goddamn clue as to what the Florida "thing" was.

Jack Fu's picture

Well they went 10-2, and their two losses were both one-score games against teams that ended up going a combined 24-1. That's not bad. They also had five players drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft.
And I will always say that team was just unlucky. As has been established by numerous studies (it is even one of the "basics" on Football Outsiders's page), recovering fumbles is almost entirely random. The 2005 Bucks fumbled the ball 30 times and lost more than half of them. The defense, which I think we would all agree is one of OSU's all-time greats, was only able to force 15 fumbles, and recovered only 6. In spite of a very good pass rush and a very good secondary, they only picked off 6 passes all year. This led to the '05 Bucks only forcing 11 turnovers all season and finishing the season -9 in TO margin (103rd out of 119). That was the main reason the team "underachieved." (FWIW, Football Outsiders had OSU as the 3rd best team of that year, behind only Texas and USC, which were, you know, pretty good teams. There's really no shame in that.)

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Jack Fu: nice response - you make good points.
But two issues: 

  1. You're being a bit reductionist in trying to boil everything down to the FEI bad luck factor. There were a variety of factors that contributed to that ultra-talented Buckeye team losing to Texas and PSU and letting inferior teams like MSU and Michigan give them problems that year. Heck, in the Texas game, they had pretty good luck, +2 in TOs and still couldn't close the deal. Against PSU, the Buckeyes got shut out in the 2H. Even with okay average starting field position (OSU 30), their average end-of-series field position was only the OSU 47. Their best 2H drive was to the PSU 33 (which resulted in a 50 yd missed FG). The OL got beat up in that game and Troy was erratic - no bad luck there. 
  2. Recovering fumbles might mostly be related to luck, but causing fumbles, forcing INTs, and generally wreaking havoc on defense is less related to luck (although it's still a factor). Statistical models can be great tools, but we tend to expect reality to conform to the models, rather than vice versa. For example, a model might predict a general relationship between sacks, hurries, etc. and causing turnovers, a pattern which might reveal itself in the aggregate, but that does not mean that, in individual cases, a team with a high number of sacks/hurries had buck luck if it didn't cause TOs within an expected range, etc. E.g., not all hurries will be as potentially disruptive, yet the model will treat them as if they're all similar; moreover, a really instinctive, disruptive DB/LB will often make a play on the ball even when the QB has plenty of time to throw. "But, but, but . . . my model told me that this team should be causing a lot of turnovers!"

In short, it wouldn't surprise me that the 05 Buckeyes finished 3rd in a statistical model that year. On paper, that team was good enough to win a national championship. I never questioned whether that team had talent or potential - that team was loaded! - but why I wondered why that team is so celebrated compared to say the 2007 team which did as much, if not more, with less.

Jack Fu's picture

Recovering fumbles might mostly be related to luck, but causing fumbles, forcing INTs, and generally wreaking havoc on defense is less related to luck (although it's still a factor).

I agree with your points. But I think we can all agree that the 2005 defense, by all anecdotal accounts and using just about any statistical measure one of OSU's best of the last 30 years or so, produced turnovers at a rate incommensurate with their quality. That's just bad luck.

I never questioned whether that team had talent or potential - that team was loaded! - but why I wondered why that team is so celebrated compared to say the 2007 team which did as much, if not more, with less.

I don't know that they're "celebrated." A lot of people just think they were really really good, and believe that they were better than some OSU teams that technically accomplished more (like the 2007 squad), but had a variety of factors go against them.
As for the last statement of that paragraph, I can't get inside anyone else's head, but personally I just don't think the 2007 team was that good. Now, relative to the rest of CFB that season, they were very good. But I think they're neck-and-neck with the '08 squad for third worst team of the Tressel era (after '01 and '04).

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Definitely a great game that put me on the edge of my seat.
In relation to that go-to-guy at receiver: If you watch highlights of Braxton's from last season, Philly Brown was on the receiving end of a lot of big plays in the passing game.  I think he's that guy this season.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

303 Buckeye's picture

I agree with the sentiment.  But he is still missing that essential Ginn-ness about him; Only Ted Ginn could drop a pass one second then score on an 86-yard reverse the next play.  He made mistakes, but he just was SOOOOO damn good he always atoned for them.

Hovenaut's picture

Just miss that speed....though I believe it's coming back with some of the incoming recruits.

But Ginn, one step and

The current UserSub username fad

"he's gone."

303 Buckeye's picture

Kickoff return for TD against Minnesota in 2006 I believe- it's like Ginn had nitrous in his shoes.  Great gif for what you were saying btw.

Powers's picture

Unfortunately this buckeye team nor any in the future will have a Teddy Ginn lining up for us.
That man was one of a kind.

Goalscorer9's picture

I have to say, that Lee kid out at USC reminds me SO MUCH of Ginn.  It's like I'm watching his twin.  They both have that ridiculous long but smooth stride with blazing leg turnover rate.

303 Buckeye's picture

I see where you are coming from but there are a few huge differences.  Lee is 10x the WR Ginn was, because I can't recall Ginn having too many 350 yard and 5 td days.  However, Ginn was a better multi threat with a little more overall speed and acceleration.

Goalscorer9's picture

Yeah Lee is a much more polished WR.  I was just commenting on their running style.  Very similar in that regard

303 Buckeye's picture

Because we are on the topic and all, check this out.  It sort of resembles a race where one guy has a Maserati and everybody else is driving Ford Fusions or Pintos.  For 8 minutes straight.

Phillips.449's picture

It is not possible to avoid smiling ear to ear while watching that!

303 Buckeye's picture

Right? I think Eminem was right when he rapped that 99% of aliens prefer earth cuz Ted Ginn simply isn't human.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Everyone rightfully praises the catch but Troy's Houdini act before the pass was one his all time great moments as a Buckeye. Given the timing, pressure, location, and result I'd put it ahead of his left\right\left\bomb to Robo against PSU. He stepped up, then back into the pocket-ish and had some jerk in Maize and Blue hugging air. Gonzo made a great adjustment but that was a money throw as well. Only Gonzo was catching that ball.
It was a great game, but I agree that it saved that OSU team from being a bit of a downer. Tressel lost that Texas game, the PSU thing was a debacle from the outset-but (not surprising) a win against Michigan cures a lot.
Beating those sanctimonious pricks from South Bend wasn't so bad either.

Hovenaut's picture

Probably the best depiction of Notre Dame I can remember hearing/reading.

Well done, Brew.

UrbanCulture's picture

There was also a Houdini run on anther 3rd and long during the game winning drive. Too difficult to describe because it was so good 

BuckeyeChief's picture

The best thing ever about this game was I had just come back from a training stint in San Diego; the a$$holes got me a flight back to VA at 10PM, while my class graduated at 9AM followed by my second re-enlistment...
So, I caught the first flight to ATL, waited until 8AM and got back to Norfolk about 11AM. My wife asked what I wanted to do that day. My response was "Whatever you want after the game"...it didn't go over well, but I was forced to leave at half-time to get a birthday cake ;)

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

hodge's picture

My grandfather died the week prior to that game, and this game was on during the get together after his funeral. I was pretty despondent at the time, but I remember such a great feeling of catharsis after Gonzo's catch and OSU's subsequent touchdown. It was a long time before I'd feel normal again, but that game sure gave me a brief respite. 
2006 may have been a more epic stage, but 2005 will always be my all-time favorite Buckeye memory. Thanks for this post. 

303 Buckeye's picture

Hodge, what a bittersweet story.  Assuming your father was a Buckeye fan, it's almost like it was fate that Gonzo caught that ball, right?  I'm glad things have gotten better for you since then. Time heals better than anything.

pjtobin's picture

That was a great year. The Texas nail biter sucked. I was deeply depressed for like three days. It is fun watching rerun games. It can take you back. Just like a song. Where you were, who you were with, what you were wearing. That kinda stuff. 
I love tg2. Always will. I can honestly say, we have some incoming talent that reminds me of Ginn. Did any of you watch Mike Mitchell's highlight reel? Holy smokes he is fast. It was either a punt, or kickoff return ? Either way, he got the ball and was gone. I know he is a lb, but wow! And we got more kids just like him. (Speed wise). I do think Mike Thomas has a huge year. At least I am rooting for him to do so. So much talent. So much speed. This is going to be a ton of fun to watch the next few years. Or even life? What a great time to be a buckeye !!

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


2005 we were within one stop of Vince Young of playing USC for all the marbles...or a Ryan Hamby TD catch, however you want to look at it. That could've been the first of 3 straight BCS title game appearances. But it still was a great year. What really set that year apart was the finish. We lose to TTUN or ND and that season goes from classic to not so classic. Instead we beat both and set up great momentum into the following year.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

UrbanCulture's picture

We did lose to penn st. But I feel we win that game with an unbeaten record at stake 

Dougger's picture

Automatic upvote for "wow that shit really was classic."
As Brewster said, troy's move to get out in space and throw it to gonzo was really remarkable. Hoping Braxton doesnt need any Houdini acts but if he does, I think he's the guy who can pull it off. 

I like football

jthiel09's picture

If anyone can pull off some Houdini acts like old T. Smith used to I'd think it would be Braxton. Hopefully he doesn't need to do that anymore than he did last year but still .... thanks for the revisit to the 2005 game, been a while!
EDIT: And the best part of the article truly was your "wow that shit really was classic" line ... bravo!


303 Buckeye's picture

Hey no problem thanks for responding to my post.  That particular game has to be one of my top five favorite Buckeye games of all time.  I mean it felt like the Penn State game that had occurred that same year, but with a miraculous twist at the end.

thatlillefty's picture

One thing that made the '05 and '06 games so special was that UM was loaded with talent then... a legit top 10 team each year. The rivalry is a lot more fun that way.

303 Buckeye's picture

Oh absolutely.  Although, talent isn't always the biggest factor I mean look at the 90s with john cooper's incredibly talented teams.  Somehow they found a way to lose.  That's why I love this game though; so much at stake no matter the record.  Plus all the images like David Boston and Woodson going at it, and in 2003 Chris Gamble went at it in a similar fashion with a U of M player.  There are painful moments like the damned Heisman pose, but I think Ted Ginn's punt return in 2004 was just as cool.  Maybe it was because I was like 10 rows from the field paralell to where he burned past the punter.

buckeye1129's picture

I agree with you about Troy Smith being OSU's greatest QB of all time.  I went to a bunch of games while he was the starter, and he was ridiculously talented.  However, Braxton could blow Smith's 2006 season out of the damn water this year both statistically, and potentially by doing what Smith couldn't- beating an SEC team in the MNC game.

BED's picture

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Eddie-Eddie's picture

Loved this!  Thanks for posting Bed!!