Buckeye fans were treated to a delightful throwback on Thursday evening when ESPN re-aired Ohio State's 2003 Fiesta Bowl win over juggernaut Miami.
But it wasn't just the fans enjoying the rewatch, the Buckeyes who played in the game took the opportunity to share some of their thoughts, insights, inside information, never-before-seen footage and stories – and we were soaking it all up.
Dustin Fox presumably has enough behind-the-scenes footage to create a 30-for-30 by himself.
Let me take you into my personal archives. @THEMikeDoss came back to OSU for one reason. To win a National Championship. This was the day before the game at walk thru before we took down The Miami Hurricanes. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/C5C7vQHWPs— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 18, 2020
Anyone who knows about Jim Tressel knows that game this wasn't just won that day or on the practice field – it was won every day, with his extremely thorough preparation and life training.
Ben Hartsock gives us a little peek at what that looks like.
Its far more than just a game. College football grows men. pic.twitter.com/tk0JsDt2ue— Ben Hartsock (@BenHartsock) May 29, 2020
As for the game itself, Craig Krenzel was the Buckeyes' workhorse on offense. Ohio State had Maurice Clarrett, but it was Krenzel who came up huge on the ground the entire day.
It was clear early in the game. They werent gonna let Clarrett get loose at all. Hard to believe Craig led the team in rushing this game.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
Craig Krenzel was fearless and stepped up when it counted— Will Allen (@WillAllenWAF) May 29, 2020
Miami didnt account for that #CFBclassics
Craig Krenzel was a warrior at @OhioStateFB. Took COUNTLESS hits that would remove him from the game in today's football.— Ben Hartsock (@BenHartsock) May 29, 2020
There are a lot of heroes from this game, but there's one in particular who probably didn't get enough credit. When the Buckeye offense wasn't getting anything going, punter Andy Groom kept them in the field position battle.
And it wasn't just him, the punting game was all-hands-on-deck.
Fun fact me and @THEMikeDoss were playing gunners on punt in this game— Will Allen (@WillAllenWAF) May 29, 2020
Our coaches pulled this last minute we didnt back down and ran out butts off to not let Roscoe Parish get loose!
All hands IN!! #CFBClassic
One of the most consistent refrains from the players who appeared in this game was that it was the hardest-hitting game they've ever played.
This was the play I talk about when I took the hardest hit of my life from a grown man in Willis McGahee. I was woozy the rest of the game. pic.twitter.com/Ewg0FMo2A1— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
When we talk about heroes from this game, it's impossible not to bring up arguably the most versatile Buckeye player of all time. According to his teammates, Chris Gamble was a man of few words – but many, many talents.
Chris Gamble is an enigma. One of the greatest athletes Ive ever played with. He would play 100 plays on offense and defense combined. And he barely said a word. It was typically whats up cuz or nah cuz. And I can still hear him saying it. And dude just balled!!— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
Chris Gamble should have been a @HeismanTrophy candidate— Will Allen (@WillAllenWAF) May 29, 2020
Possibly should have won it!!
For all the talk about Jim Tressel's conservativeness, he really rolled the dice on one particular play. And it... did not go well.
I bet Tress still regrets that fake FG call.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
Andy Groom was supposed to run that up the middle! Not outside— Mike Doss (@THEMikeDoss) May 29, 2020
Miscommunication on that fake FG. Myself and wing didn't get the call that we were running the fake. Blocked for FG, not the fake. Was furious we didn't get the call...— Ben Hartsock (@BenHartsock) May 29, 2020
The Buckeyes were loaded with talent themselves, but they were playing against one of the most talented lineups of all time, and they knew it.
Lets not forget Big Vince Wilfork. May hoist a yellow jacket in Canton one day. https://t.co/oshPROhPOF— Branden Joe (@BrandenJoe38) May 29, 2020
And Nick Mangold had to block him in short-yardage situations. As a true freshman.
Basically. Yep. https://t.co/Qp4P35vF4a— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
Miami fans love to point out that the Hurricane running game was shot when Willis McGahee left the game, but they must not have watched the first half, because it wasn't doing so hot when he was in the game, either.
But even after the strong half, everyone knew there was still work to do.
After that fumble recovery @shawnsprings and @EddieGeorge2727 gave me the biggest hug on the sidelines. Then was like You going to the league bro— Will Allen (@WillAllenWAF) May 29, 2020
I was like wait did these cats just give me hug
They gave me the validationn! I realized I have arrived #CFBClassics
There are almost too many iconic moments from this game to count, but Maurice Clarett stripping Sean Taylor probably takes the cake – it might have saved the game for the Buckeyes.
He didn't get his touchdown, and he ended up putting his body on the line a little later.
All I remember on that play where I was leg whipped was my teammates yelling get the bleep off the field so Miami doesnt get an Injury time-out! Just a grade 3 MCL tare that put me in a knee brace for 6 months! Wouldnt have it any other way! #TBT #CFBClassics— Branden Joe (@BrandenJoe38) May 29, 2020
Then, after all that, we had overtime – despite Dustin Fox's best efforts.
I thought I was gonna block it. https://t.co/eA2J59TgW2— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
The biggest play of the game came on fourth down, but it's not the one that everyone talks about.
4th and 14!!! Im still sitting here like wow... #TBT— Mike Doss (@THEMikeDoss) May 29, 2020
This is the biggest play of the game— Will Allen (@WillAllenWAF) May 29, 2020
4 & 14 Krenel to @MikeJenk84
Then, of course, there was the very good call.
How soon we forget. The game should have never gone to overtime. https://t.co/i78TxSAiqd— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 28, 2020
Its still pass interference in todays game. Period!— Branden Joe (@BrandenJoe38) May 29, 2020
Watch Tressels emotions. Never once showed a sign of worry. Not once. As players you feed off of that leadership in clutch moments.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
These hitting a little different tonight! pic.twitter.com/O0IdWDCNu5— Branden Joe (@BrandenJoe38) May 29, 2020
Good night!! pic.twitter.com/ZtpySgifUG— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) May 29, 2020
And they did it their way...