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Football
The Buckeye Watch
By Tony Gerdeman

Rose Bowl Champions.

Not bad for a rebuilding year, eh? Heck, if we rebuild like this next year, we may well win the National Championship.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we’ve still got some appreciating to do.

First off, we need to appreciate Oregon’s ridiculous lack of respect for their opponent. Without it, we probably still would have won, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

Second, Buckeye Nation should probably throw out a thank you or two to the national media who had no inkling the Buckeyes could manage to keep this game close, let alone dominate it. Of course, the media was probably only parroting the Ducks themselves.

But this isn’t about just pointing and laughing. It’s also about reminding ourselves what the Rose Bowl means. There really is nothing else like it.

Jim Tressel, obviously, has never lost what the Rose Bowl means. And he passed it on to his team quite well. They went into Pasadena not only to play the Oregon Ducks, but also to play in the Granddaddy of Them All. Oregon came into Pasadena expecting a fun time running all over some slow farmers from Ahia.

How do you think they feel now?

On the grandest stage, the Buckeyes never lost sight of where they stood. They knew their surroundings. They knew their task. They understood the meaning of their opportunity.

Oregon was only concerned with Oregon. That’s all they talked about leading up to the game, and fortunately for them, that’s all they’ll need to talk about after the game.

Both teams were on the same field at the same time, but it was clear which team understood that it wasn’t just grass and dirt under their feet. The Buckeyes were honored to be a part of this game. The Ducks seemed to think the GAME should be honored to have THEM.

As a wise philosopher once said, “It’s a humbling thing being humbled.”

So yes, the season has finally come to an end. And you know what? I’m more than okay with basking in a Rose Bowl win until next season gets here.

And besides, the Spring Game is only four and a half months away.

10:20 Watching Gameday. Speed speed speed speed speed. Speed, speed speed. On the other hand, speed speed! Speed? Speed speed. Speed!!! There--now the word has lost all meaning.

11:00 And now Herbstreit is saying that this game comes down to Ohio State’s tradition versus Oregon’s speed. I guess if Ohio State loses, then their tradition just couldn’t quite get it done. Why did you let us down Archie Griffin and John Hicks? Why?!?

3:06 I can’t even get into how crazy this Outback Bowl is. It’s like watching a four-hour Rube Goldberg machine when you know the inevitable ending involves the SEC beating the Big Ten with a toaster and an anvil.

3:54 My confidence is giving way to nerves and doubt. I want my ba ba.

3:55 It’s probably not helping that Penn State is choking their bowl game away.

4:02 The refs just had to go to replay to determine what down it was in the Penn State game. Originally they thought it was fourth down. Replay showed that it was second. It’s too bad watching refs miss TWO COMPLETE DOWNS isn’t considered unbelievable. This is has been a weird day and I’m getting worried that it’s not going to get any less weird as the sun goes down.

4:37 I like the fact that the number one topic concerning the Rose Bowl is Oregon’s offense; and the number two topic is what uniform combination they are going to assault us with. In either topic, the Buckeyes are apparently defenseless.

4:38 The guy doing this pregame voice-over sounds like he should be talking about Frosty the Snowman or some such thing. “But there was one thing the Rose Bowl didn’t know…there was a little bit of magic hidden away in an electrical closet…”

4:49 This isn’t just a chance to close the season strong for the Buckeyes, it’s a chance to springboard the Buckeyes into 2010. And the same for Terrelle Pryor. Though I wonder if an offseason of superstardom would really be good for him.

4:50 Pretty interesting looking stadium. Beautiful reds giving way to ugly green and yellow. Like some type of test for color-blindness.

4:56 Ohio State is too one-dimensional according to Jesse Palmer. I hope we can be as whatever-dimensional as Stanford when they were hobnail booting the Ducks. And if we’re too one-dimensional, then Oregon is half-dimensional.

5:04 Wow. Nice of the Oregon Marching Band to dress up. They look like Dublin housewives spending the afternoon at Giant Eagle getting groceries.

5:06 The Ducks come out onto the field with proper boos. And there is some drowned-out booing of the Buckeyes, but that quickly gives way to acknowledged awesomeness.

5:08 I would really like to kickoff, because our first possession is always a waste. But if we take the ball, we can start burning clock sooner. So, safely contradicting myself, I say take the ball.

5:09 Here comes the coin toss. Come on Sully…pick us out a winner. Dang it. Oregon wins and defers. But we’ll get the ball, and I’m okay with it.

5:10 Dang. We’re going straight to the kickoff. No chance for a restroom break, Boss?

5:11 Terrelle Pryor is going to be too wired for the first drive. We’ll need a couple of first downs to settle him. Here comes the kickoff. I can’t believe it’s finally here. This is a pretty live crowd. Boom gets the ball at the five-yard line and takes it out to the 25.

5:11:24 Hmm…maybe a play-action deep ball right off the bat? Nope. Pryor dropped back and threw it right into Casey Matthews’ hippie breadbasket. And Brent completely ignores it to get to the lineup. We almost started off exactly like we did against USC this year. Awesome.

5:12 Third and six. It’s probably too muddled in the middle for a QB draw. Interesting, Anthony Gildon is starting at cornerback. He‘s not very good. Pryor drops back…and he scrambles for good yardage out to the Oregon 45-yard line. Uh oh. It looks like he was limping towards the end of his run there. He’d never survive the Cap One Bowl. This is going to be interesting.

5:13 Quick pass out to DeVier Posey for about four yards. And TP is noticeably limping. At least I think it was a catch for Posey. Nobody’s talking about it.

5:14 Shotgun with trips right. There’s a screen to Dane Sanzenbacher and he gets eight or nine yards running wide. Love the short stuff. Spread out the eight in the box and then the middle will open for the running game.

5:15 There it is! Brandon Saine goes right up the middle on the give and takes it to the 13-yard line. Power, baby. Power. Wait…sorry…SPEED! Speed, baby. Speed. Nice cut back up the middle by Brandon on that one.

5:16 OH! Great backside throw by Pryor in the endzone and Posey dropped it. That should have been six points. Hopefully that’s his one drop for the day. And night.

5:17 Third and ten. Shotgun. Pryor has all day…eventually flips it over to Brandon Saine in the flats…TOUCHDOWN! He powered through this mythical Pac 10 defense like they were paper ducks. Not even real ducks. PAPER DUCKS! Touchdown Buckeyes. Pending the review, of course. Pryor had three days to find a receiver. But he only took two. Great protection by the offensive line on that one…and really all drive long.

5:18 Wow. Talmadge Jackson got plastered right in the face by Brandon Saine’s majestic helmet of doom. Here comes the Pettrey extra point. Got it. Buckeyes lead 7-0 and America dejoices.

5:20 That’s a pretty good start by the Buckeyes. But I think we all know that Sully was responsible for turning a bad situation into a good one. (He hates birds as much as the rest of us, remember.)

5:21 And yes, Jesse…the Buckeyes were VERY one-dimensional on that drive. (Just the wrong dimension.) Now it’s time for the shootout to commence.

5:22 Here comes the kickoff. Tackle Kenjon Barner please. (Or “Bammer”, if Keith Jackson is reading.) Barclay kicking off. Barner gets it at the seven-yard line and gets tackled at the 26-yard line. Keep him in check today and we may just have a shot.

5:23 I hope you’ve chugged your Jolt, because we’re getting ready to scoot. Five wide. LaMichael James in motion (“LaMichael“ in Spanish, of course, means “The Michael“). Screen to James and he picks up ten quick yards before Cam Heyward tracks him down.

5:23:22 Fly sweep by Barner gets it out to the 49-yard line. Love the fly sweep. Wish we’d do it more than once per season.

5:23 We’re going to have to get penetration to keep Oregon from working with short yardage. There it is! Jeremiah Masoli play-actioned and got sacked by Cameron Heyward. Cam dropped him for about a seven-yard loss. Masoli had no chance. He wasn’t expecting somebody to not be fooled by the deception. Cam just drank your milkshake.

5:24 Third and 16. Chip Kelly calls a quarterback draw and Masoli nearly gets dropped right away, but he finally runs out of bounds to safety like a McGuffie with braids. Jeremiah McGuffie. Interesting that Oregon is afraid to throw downfield with their 2010 Heisman front-running quarterback.

5:25 Posey back to receive the punt. And the punt is downed at the two-yard line. That’s going to be a lot of clock-burning! I bet you can see Jim Tressel’s nipples through his vest right now.

5:26 I just hope our offense doesn’t get worn out. (Or start having LSU flashbacks.)

5:27 Boom breaks some tackles and gets out to the nine-yard line and a flag comes in. Facemask gonna help us out? Yep. Very nice. Typical Pac 10 defense--they can’t tackle via normal means, so they have to grab whatever’s available. Note to Buckeyes: Protect your…”goods”.

5:28 Time now for some face smashing? OH! Boom nearly broke it right up the little bitty gut of Oregon and got nine yards out of it. Keep blasting these mugs. Eventually they’ll have enough and make up some excuse about having to leave because they’re late for soccer practice.

5:30 Third and three. Pryor keeps it on the zone read and picks up five yards, planting Eddie Pleasant with the Varsity Club. Pryor looks like he’s already down to 80%. Eddie Pleasant looks like he’s at about 60% after getting his face shoved into sod.

5:32 Shotgun. Slant to Sanzo for ten yards. They can’t cover any of them. But Pryor has to be careful not to just lock on and let linebackers jump routes.

5:34 Third and 17. Going deep…incomplete. Pryor had Sanzo open, but couldn’t get set because of the pressure. They can’t stay with the receivers today. It will be there later.

5:35 Punt. There‘s a penalty. And Kenjon Barner‘s 20-yard return will be coming back. The lack of discipline will get you every time…provided the refs call it, of course. The Buckeyes accept a holding call and Oregon will be sent back half the distance.

5:36 Well, we were able to turn the field, but field position only takes one snap to get flipped against the Ducks. But they still have to actually make the plays.

5:38 Shotgun. Masoli gives it to James and Thaddeus Gibson drops him for a loss of four yards. This is pretty impressive. Every time a duck blinks, there’s somebody right there to remind them that pain is on its way.

5:39 Third and 13. It’s time for a pick six. Third and long is where OSU has to win. OH!! Anderson Russell drops an easy interception. Russellitis has spread to California. Alert Jack Bauer and the CRU (Counter Russellitis Unit). Okay…after review, that wasn’t too blatant. The pass was tipped by Ed Dickson and would have been a tough catch. Sorry, Russell family. (Isn’t it amazing how quickly two interceptions against Iowa can be forgotten?)

5:40 Oregon punts and Posey faircatches it at the 50-yard line. The Buckeyes can’t squander this field position.

5:41 Is anybody else’s chest tight right now?

5:42 Oregon’s players are sitting on a stool in the corner of the ring telling their trainers that they’re seeing three of ’em out there. Chip Kelly comes over to tell them to avoid the one in the middle.

5:42 Shotgun. Split backs. Pryor drops back…wheel route to Saine…he’s got it! He’s finally taken down at the five yard line! We’re actually using the backs in the passing game. What’s next, the tight end over the middle? Ha ha, just kidding. Great throw by TP , but an even better catch. Now let’s finish this drive strong.

5:43 The refs stop play to make sure he was in, because they can’t possibly believe how awesome Brandon Saine is. He’s in.

5:44 Third and goal from the four yard line. Time for Sanzo? No pick, please. Option right…Pryor keeps it and gets it to the two-yard line. Very well defended by the Ducks. Pryor kept it alive as long as possible.

5:45 Devin Barclay comes out to kick the field goal. Weird. Anyway, he got it from 19 yards out. I’ll take it, but field goals are wins for the Ducks.

5:46 Bottom line, the Ducks can’t stay with us downfield.

5:47 Here’s the kickoff. Barner catches it at the 12-yard line and takes it out to the 42-yard line, and Barclay got rolled in the process. Stay healthy, young man. Also, we may as well start squibbing it.

5:48 Fly sweep to Barner gets it down to about the 20-yard line. That’s hard to stop, which is why (again) I wish we’d do it.

5:48:37 Shotgun. Masoli keeps it and takes it down to the nine-yard line. And the Duck fans are waking up. Typical late-arriving west coast crowd can’t be bothered with paying attention right off the bat.

5:49 Masoli rolls out and has to throw it away. Keep throwing the ball. It helps us. It makes us strong like bull. And that’s the end of the quarter. Buckeyes lead 10-0.

5:50 Can’t ask for a better start. Well…we can’t EXPECT a better start, anyway. The defense has given up a few plays, but that’s going to happen. They just need to minimize them. And as long as the Ohio State offense is performing, they won’t have to minimize as many as they normally would.

5:52 Third and goal from the seven-yard line. Shotgun. Watch the play-action. There it is and the defense doesn’t buy it. There’s immediate pressure up the middle and Masoli throws an incompletion. Keep pressuring Masoli and his accuracy abandons him.

5:53 Morgan Flint comes on for the 24-yard field goal and nails it. Buckeyes lead 10-3 with 14:24 to play. Is it too soon to start watching the clock?

5:56 Time for a big return for the good guys. Saine at the 16...reverse to Anderson Russell, and he gets tackled at the 15-yard line. Makes sense.

5:57 Pryor runs the option and keeps it for two yards. Another slow-developing play. Kirk Herbstreit says the wide option “plays into Oregon’s speed”. No, the slow-developing nature of the play actually plays into Oregon’s LACK of speed, allowing them to catch up TO the play. We just need to take it at these guys.

5:58 TP said he was hoping Oregon would blitz, which they are. And it’s giving him trouble. Be careful what you wish for, young Buck. The Ducks force the Buckeyes to punt.

5:59 Come on Thoma. HOLD!! There was a hold and Barner gets it back to the 30-yard line of the Buckeyes. It’s going to be tough to win if we can’t halt these special teams disadvantages.

6:00 Well, I said in the preview that if we keep hearing Barner’s name and it wasn’t solely associated with kickoff returns, then we were going to be sad. And I’m starting to get a bit frowny over here.

6:01 We need a tall stand by the defense here. We have to establish something on the line of scrimmage somewhere.

6:02 Five yards outside for The Michael, who then quacks the quack of a cocky duck.

6:03 Masoli keeps it as Jermale Hines is held like some type of monster baby being restrained because it doesn’t know its own strength and it‘s already killed four family pets in the last year. Oh, and Masoli throws it away because of a bit of pressure.

6:04 Third and twelve. The defense does some shifting and Masoli changes the play. This is where Masoli becomes normal. Here’s the snap…Big Cam nearly sacked him again and he gets it to The Michael at the 30-yard line, who then gets thrown down by Homan. No quacking.

6:05 Fourth and nine. Oregon is going for it here from the 30-yard line. Dang. Masoli gets it out to Jeff Maehl on the sideline for about 10 yards. They call it good. Two feet. No review, quick snap.

6:07 Second and goal from the four-yard line. LeGarrette Blount comes in. (“LeGarrette”, by the way is French for “The Garrette”). Everybody mind yourself, now. He gets the ball and takes it down to the one-yard line. Wait…is that a TD? I don’t know if he was down. He’s on top of the Buckeyes there. That should be six. It’s being reviewed.

6:10 They give him a touchdown. Nice job by Blount there. Nice to see a player be given so many chances to get his eligibility back and then score a touchdown in the Rose Bowl. That’s what America’s all about. Stupid America. The extra point is good and the score is tied 10-10. And now the Buckeyes need to wake up or they can just please stop teasing all of Buckeye Nation.

6:11 Seriously.

6:12 Oregon has done a tremendous job of adjusting to what the defense is doing. Now we need to adjust to their adjustments.

6:13 Here comes the kickoff. Maybe we’ll fall down at the 12-yard line or something. Hey, Saine gets it out to the 21-yard line. Lisa Salters is talking about Blount…what a feel good story. “There’s no manual on how to handle a situation like that…” Really? There’s no manual on how to handle a player who has been repeatedly suspended and then decks a guy? Maybe Chip Kelly needs to go to Barnes and Noble and buy a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handling Idiots”.

6:17 Third and five. Pryor gets a yard on the scramble. There’s a flag…is that a hold or a facemask? Awesome. Facemask. Thank you Oregon. Please continue to help us at your leisure.

6:20 Third and 13. Pryor scrambles, rolls out and hits Boom Herron for about 20 yards! TP moved the pocket and waited for somebody to get open. Nice job. That was a bit of a dangerous throw, but it wasn’t too much back across his body.

6:22 What the heck just happened? The receivers weren’t even ready and the ball was snapped. Pryor has to do better than that. How do you even do that? Were the receivers not paying attention?

6:26 Third and seven. Pryor rolls out…and he takes off for the marker. He’s very, very close. Might be a yard short. Review that. He got there. That’s a bad spot! Jim Tressel calls a timeout to see if the reviewers would care to do their jobs. Pryor landed out of bounds on the marker. Pretty obviously JT is going for it on 4th and 1 from the 13, and it accomplishes a couple of things. First, it gets us closer to a touchdown. Second, it keeps the clock running. Don’t want to give the ball back here late and have Oregon get two straight possessions.

6:28 That sure is a classy looking crystal football with a gaudy Dr. Pepper sticker plastered on the base.

6:29 Fourth and one. Got it! Saine gets it down to the 10-yard line. There is 1:51 left in the half. Just plow over these sissies!

6:32 Third and goal from the 13-yard line. Shotgun. Whoa. Incompletion to Posey in the endzone as the ball popped up in the air and eventually fell to the ground. Oh, and nice grab of the jersey by Javes Lewis, who jumped the route.

6:33 Here comes Barclay for a 30-yard field goal. Got it. Buckeyes lead 13-10 with 1:05 to play.

6:34 And now Oregon will hopefully only get the ball at around midfield on this return.

6:35 Kickoff…pooch…Ooh! Fumble!! Buckeyes get on it, but the refs are saying he’s down. Review that one, please. Cliff Harris got drilled something fierce by Brian Rolle. Okay, he’s down. He was on his butt before he got hit.

6:38 Third and seven with 34 seconds to play. This is four-down territory. The pass is deflected and intercepted by Ross Homan who returns it to the Oregon 45-yard line with 25 seconds to play! Huge play by Doug Worthington on the deflection. Got a mitt on it going away from the play. Just another tremendous play by Homan this year. If his dad was Ric Flair, he’d have won the Butkus.

6:39 Pryor hits Sanzo down the seam for about 18 yards! Here comes the spike, and the clock stops with ten seconds remaining in the half. The Buckeyes are at the 28-yard line. They’ve got time for one more play, but they have to make it quick and they have to make it wide.

6:40 Pryor drops back…looking…looking…and throws it away with two seconds remaining. It didn’t get back to the line of scrimmage, but it was knocked down out of bounds before it could. Chip Kelly is begging for the intentional grounding.

6:41 Here comes the field goal. Aaron Pettrey comes out to kick the 45-yarder. Chip calls a timeout and is still talking to the refs about the pass not getting to the line of scrimmage.

6:42 Here’s the kick…PERFECT! Buckeyes lead 16-10 to end the half. Fantastic. Four scoring drives by the Buckeyes. But three field goals in a half is going to require another stellar defensive performance in the second half.

6:43 If you listen, you can probably hear your neighbor saying “You can’t win with field goals”…that is if you weren’t saying it so loudly yourself, of course.

6:56 Looking at some stats: Oregon is 0-5 on third down. That’s what happens when you force Jeremiah Masoli to throw the ball. Oregon came into this game thinking the Buckeyes couldn’t throw--apparently they forgot that they themselves would have to throw the ball as well. Pryor is 15-24 for 149 yards and a touchdown. Masoli…is not.

6:57 I’d usually use this time now to talk about what the Buckeyes need to do differently, but another half of football just like this would be fine. Of course, I’d rather see touchdowns instead of field goals, but points are points.

6:58 TBDBITL! Now THAT’S how a marching band is supposed to look. Not like a bunch of kids working an off-weekend at some municipal golf course.

7:01 For all of the talk about Oregon’s offense, it’s been their special teams that have dictated their success.

7:04 Dang. The game is about to start back up and I’m still trying to eat my halftime pizza.

7:05 Start strong with a good kick and coverage here. Giving up a score on this drive would almost make the first half a waste. Almost. Barner gets the ball at the six-yard line. Give me a break…he should’ve been hit at the 20 and he gets it out to about the 47-yard line.

7:06 Chip says they know what TP is going to do. If that’s the case, then you look like a complete idiot for not doing anything about it.

7:07 Third and five. Got a huge stop coming. Masoli heaves it downfield and it’s incomplete! But they’re calling pass interference on Chimdi Chekwa. You just know that’s going to lead to a touchdown. Wow, they just showed the replay--that was a terrible call. A terrible call! Herbie: “…that’s not a penalty, but you’ll get called for it every time…” Uh, what?

7:08 Play-action and Masoli is pressured by Jermale and Thaddeus, so he throws it away. It’s hilarious that he’s obviously surprised by this pressure. It’s almost like they didn’t watch any film of the Buckeyes, and instead all they watched was their own season highlights of how awesome they always are.

7:13 Fourth and three. Get some penetration here. The Michael motions out and was moving forward as the ball was being snapped. That should be a penalty! Instead, Oregon picks up a first down. Blown call by the refs there.

7:15 Third and goal from the one-yard line. The Garrette comes in. Masoli keeps it and gets in. Touchdown. Watch the Duck reactions, Buckeyes. A dominating first half and now Oregon thinks they have your momentum. Time to go take it back. The extra point is good. Oregon leads 17-16.

7:16 That was no surprise. That’s why the interception and field goal at the end of the half were huge--it kept the game at a one-point differential when Oregon would eventually score.

7:17 Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you only ever have to go 50 yards for a touchdown.

7:21 Play-action bootleg…going deep. Pryor hits Posey down at the 27-yard line!! Great toss…been waiting on that all game long. Now the momentum is back on the side of good instead of evil.

7:22 Rollout flip to Sanzo for about five yards. He took a pop, but that’s what he does. Nice helmet to helmet shot by the Ducks. Completely legal, of course. Sanzo is the only player in the country where there is no helmet-to-helmet penalty. It’s like when Pac-Man is allowed to eat the ghosts. Right before somebody hits Sanzo, they eat a power pellet.

7:24 All out blitz and Pryor zips it to Sanzo, who gets cart-wheeled and drops it. Defenseless player? And then a celebration. Come on, man! I need penalties!

7:25 Masoli and Chip are laughing it up. Ha ha…neck trauma is hilarious. Meanwhile, Pryor misses a wide open Sanzo on the post. It was behind him. Dang. But the shots are there.

7:26 Field goal time. This one from 38 yards out. I don’t feel good about it. Barclay got it! I don’t know if this is the way to win this game, but I guess if you can be leading 19-17 with 6:36 to play in the third, some portion of that cake mix is gonna rise.

7:27 We know, we know: field goals won’t win this. But at least this time you finished your mouthful of chips before letting everybody know it.

7:28 The good thing is that receivers are running open. The bad thing is that now Oregon gets the ball back…worse yet, we have to kick off to them.

7:28 Kickoff is caught at the two-yard line. Block in the back at the 18-yard line. NO CALL???? And Barner gets it out to near the 40-yard and the crowd boos because they saw the penalty. That was a 30-yard missed call by these refs.

7:30 The Michael breaks free from Kurt Coleman who was trying to strip the ball. This little dude is strong. And Anderson Russell had to track him down around the 26-yard line.

7:31 FUMBLE!! Out of the endzone. Touchback for the Buckeyes!! Good job not recovering that, Chimdi. The Garrette punched HIMSELF in the face that time. Quit hitting yourself, The Garrett…quit hitting yourself!

7:32 The hugeness of that play cannot be measured in mere words. It also requires silent knowing looks to the person sitting next to you.

7:34 TP throwing this much is more amazing than NU throwing it 75 times or whatever.

7:35 The Buckeyes are struggling right now. It’s clear that they need more tradition right now. Dig deep for that tradition. Like an archaeologist. TP takes off on second and long and picks up six or seven yards. Brent tells TP to be careful when he barks. Oregon has been barking all game long, Brent. Oh, and TP was hit out of bounds.

7:36 Third and eight. Pryor breaks free from pressure and flings it downfield…and it’s intercepted by John Boyett. Sadly, Pryor left the light on for him. Apparently Boom was open, but TP chose to go deep instead. I can’t blame him against this secondary, but if you leave it short, there’s going to be somebody there to make you pay.

7:37 Oh well, it’s the same as a kickoff--Oregon gets the ball near the 40-yard line. Of course, there was no previous score to make it hurt a little less.

7:39 The Michael is sent to LaLocker room to get LaX-Rays. LaToo bad.

7:40 Third and nine. Five wide. Masoli is changing the play, which is not his strength. He drops back, pumps and throws an incompletion to Ed Dickson in double coverage. Anderson Russell stayed with his man the entire time. Masoli will walk back to the bench and tell Chip he doesn’t understand what‘s going on--pump fakes ALWAYS work in the Pac 10.

7:41 Here’s Oregon’s punt…Posey muffs it at the 14-yard line and gets tackled. Well, at least Ray is with us in spirit.

7:42 Saine picks up five yards pounding it up the middle like an angry woman at a garage sale when the last box of 400 plastic hangers just went to her neighborhood rival, Elda.

7:43 Saine gets two more yards. And that will be the end of the quarter. Buckeyes lead 19-17 heading into the final fifteen minutes of the season.

7:44 And we’ll be opening the fourth quarter with a gigundous third and three.

7:46 Here we go. Slant to Sanzo is incomplete. Sigh. Sanzo couldn’t get free. They’ve locked him up a bit of late.

7:47 The Buckeyes will have to punt. Thoma, we need you now. The punt bounces out of bounds at the 33-yard line. Terrific punt by Jon Thoma. About 48 yards.

7:48 Well, defense. Tons of pressure on you here. All you have to do is keep Oregon from getting their one big play per drive and force the ducks into uncomfortabilities like third and long.

7:51 Uh oh. Brian Rolle is down. But he’ll be back. He won’t allow himself to stay down. Remember Michigan?

7:52 Third and four. It’s incomplete behind the receiver. The Buckeyes hold! Wow. John Simon gave the Roger Dorn “Ole’” on that pass.

7:54 Anybody reminded of Texas game last year? Or USC this year? Really? NOBODY!?!?

7:55 Okay Buckeyes, you have the lead and the ball. No need to give the lead back up.

7:56 Pryor drops back, nearly gets sacked and then breaks free and picks up a terrific first down with about a 12-yard gain. He’s just too strong for these guys.

7:57 We’re getting horrible spots, by the way. And now we‘re hurrying up?! Wow. There‘s a rollout to Sanzo for about five yards. I can‘t believe Tressel is hurrying it up at a time like this. I don‘t know whether to love it or hate it. I‘ll let you know after the game, though.

7:58 Third and five. Pryor hits Sanzo on the slant from the open slot and he takes it out to midfield. Oregon let us have it and TP saw it and took it. Great recognition by everybody but Oregon.

7:59 Kenny Rowe just sacked Terrelle Pryor and Herbie says it’s been because of his attitude. Are you sure it’s not because of the great tradition of Oregon defensive ends? Maybe Terrelle needs to call on the tradition of Rex Kern right now for a little extra boost.

8:00 Third and 13 with 9:00 to play. OMG!! Pryor rolled out and threw it up for grabs and 7’14” Jake Ballard comes down with it!! Tremendous catch by the best tight end in America! See--you don’t need to throw to your tight ends all the time--you only need to throw to them once at the exact RIGHT time. Quality over quantity EVERY time. Oregon came into this game with the supposed advantage at tight end. Well where’s Ed Dickson been? I know where Jake Ballard’s been.

8:01 And now the Buckeyes are hurrying up. What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on around here?!? Incomplete to Sanzo.

8:02 Third and six with 8:10 to play. We can’t settle for a field goal here. Pryor shoves folks aside and scrambles for a first down--but there’s a penalty and it’s likely coming back. NO!! Offsides!! The Ducks lined up in the neutral zone apparently in an effort to try and get to Pryor in order to be planted by him even sooner than normal. Good thought.

8:03 Going for six…Touchdown DeVier Posey!! Pryor threw the back shoulder pass and Posey brings it down this time! That was the touchdown pass he couldn’t hold on to earlier in the game. Tremendous backside throw and great catch by Posey. Big extra point here. And they’re gonna review the touchdown. Of course they are. Keep looking, ref.

8:04 That’s a TD, baby! And now back to the huge extra point. Got it!! The Buckeyes lead 26-17 with 7:02 to play. Don’t say anything Brent. And don’t talk to the camera, TP.

8:05 Now Oregon is going to come out with all guns blazing. Imagine if when ninjas got angry, they pulled out Uzis. Well, that’s what is about to happen. Oregon is a bunch of angry ninjas and they’re heading for the armory.

8:07 Come on kick coverage--get called for being blocked in the back for once! Short kick….reverse to Cliff Harris, and he takes it down to the 30-yard line or so. Ridiculous. If we’d quit scoring, Oregon would have no chance. It’s almost like how you can’t steal a base in little league until the ball gets to the catcher--we can’t start running down to tackle somebody until they actually catch the kickoff.

8:08 Third and ten. The Michael picks up nine yards on the dump off. Big fourth down coming here. May as well go with the QB follow because we haven‘t stopped it once all season.

8:09 What??? They’re kicking? This is a long field goal--looks like 45 yards. Wide right!!!! I don’t believe that call by Kelly. Blount and Masoli should be able to get you a yard if they’re so awesome. Guessing maybe you finally respect the defense, eh Chip?

8:11 So there’s like five minutes to play. You don’t have to give this ball back if you don’t want to. Let’s not want to, ‘kay?

8:12 Just be safe, everybody. Just be safe. Option pitch to Saine and he stays inbounds and gets about eight yards. Nice job! And nice blocking by Taurian Washington out there. Very nice.

8:13 Third and two. C’mon Dave. TP keeps it and gets out to the 40-yard line. Actually, the 41...but the ref spots him short of the 40. I don’t care. It’s a first down and that clock is moving. Time for Oregon to call some timeouts.

8:15 Pryor keeps it on the boot. Gets the first down. Actually, they mark him a yard and a half short and out of bounds. But the clock will tick anyway.

8:16 Third and one. I-Formation. Brandon Saine gets it and picks up two yards. First down Buckeyes! Oregon calls timeout with 2:32 remaining. The crowd is writhing. JT is telling everybody it’s not over. It’s Not Over.

8:18 Boom gets a yard. Oregon calls their final timeout with 2:28 to play.

8:19 Bootleg! Pryor is running for the game and he picks up another first down and stays in bounds. Ball game!! MVP. MVP!

8:20 Terrelle Pryor has outgained Oregon 338 yards to 260. Where’s your Masoli now?

8:21 Victory formation. Here comes the Gatorade. JT’s looking out for them. He’s not dumb. He saw them too late! He tried to get away. But he’s not quick enough. There’s the final snap. Ball game, baby! The Buckeyes win 26-17 and are Rose Bowl Champs! Awesome performance by TP and this defense. No worries Oregon, at least you beat USC and Purdue. You can always hang your hats on that. I’m sure that means something to you, since it meant so much to you BEFORE the game.

8:22 Wow. TP looks like a giant standing next to those Ducks.

8:23 This is awesome. The Buckeyes held the ball for 41:37. Chip says he doesn’t care about time of possession. Maybe he should start.

8:24 Awesome. Lisa Salters asks something about Oregon’s up-tempo offense and Jim Tressel replies, “Well we have an up-tempo defense.” Best answer ever. Clarett’s “Paint.” has been moved to #2.

8:26 Sweet, they’re going to show the awards ceremony. I’m assuming Channel Six in Columbus has learned their lesson since the last time the Buckeyes were in the Rose Bowl and they cut away for their own postgame show. They later had to re-air the entire broadcast just to appease folks. I wonder if they’ll do so again.

8:28 Poor John Saunders. Stuck up there on the stage with the celebrating Buckeyes and Jim Tressel. Could there be any place in the word he would NOT rather be? And of course John starts off talking about the losses. And JT totally ignores any question and just goes into his acceptance speech. LOL.

8:30 And then John talks to TP by first reminding him how bad he was last year. If this guy wrote obituaries, he’d spend the entire time talking about the horrible manner in which the person died, and then end with “Oh, and there are relatives still floating around somewhere too.”

8:33 Carmen Ohio. Props to ABC for this. This is awesome.

8:42 Now that the game is safely over…wait…let me check…yep… Now that the game is safely over, we can talk about how great Jeremiah Masoli absolutely wasn‘t. Oregon wanted to come in and force Pryor to throw the ball. They didn’t force much. The Buckeyes CHOSE to throw. And in turn, the Buckeyes forced Masoli to throw the ball, and you saw the results. All anybody wanted to talk about coming into this game was Oregon’s offense and Jeremiah Masoli’s omnipotence. And I’m sure during the game, all of the experts started looking at each other and saying, “Wait, I didn’t know Ohio State was gonna have the ball.” Of course, it still wouldn’t have mattered much to them. But that’s what makes them experts, I guess.

8:45 And now I’ve got about two hours of recaps and interviews to watch. And not to mention Tebow!

10:20 Oh, and it has now been 18,993 days of dominance over Oregon. Have a good night. I know I have.

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