Memorable OSU postseason wins

By Jim Naveau -

Here are my top Ohio State playoff and bowl games. Which games are on your list?

1. Fiesta Bowl 2002 season. Ohio State 31, Miami 24, 2 OT

Miami had a 34-game winning streak and was expected to win its second consecutive national championship. The Hurricanes were No. 1 and Ohio State was No. 2 but Miami was favored by almost two touchdowns. It was a game filled with memorable plays, none more famous than the pass interference call against Miami in the first overtime.

2. Sugar Bowl 2014 season. Ohio State 42, Alabama 35.

No. 4 OSU fell behind 21-6 but got big plays, like Evan Spencer’s touchdown pass to Michael Thomas in the final seconds of the first half and Ezekiel Elliott’s 85-yard touchdown run, to get an epic win over No. 1 Alabama in this College Football Playoff semifinal.

3. BCS championship 2014. Ohio State 42, Oregon 20.

No. 2 Oregon was favored by a touchdown over No. 4 Ohio State but OSU dominated, led by Elliott’s 246 yards on 36 carries. If not for a stretch in which it had four turnovers in six possessions, Ohio State might have scored 60 points. And it happened with the Buckeyes playing their third-string quarterback, Cardale Jones.

4. Rose Bowl 1968 season. Ohio State 27, USC 16.

USC was led by Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson, the biggest name in college football in 1968. Simpson ran for 171 yards but No. 1 Ohio State ran off 17 unanswered points to start the second half and beat No. 2 USC.

5. Rose Bowl 1996 season. Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17.

Ohio State came into the game with a 1-6 record in bowls with John Cooper as coach and had been upset by Michigan three of the last four seasons. OSU needed a big win and it looked like it wouldn’t get one when Arizona State went ahead 17-13 with 1:40 to play.

But Joe Germaine led a 65-yard drive and OSU got the game-winning touchdown with 19 seconds to play.

By Jim Naveau