- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 4, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. Ohio State stuck a dagger in the dynasty.
The Buckeyes survived the wildest game in BCS history last night, dethroning defending champion and top-ranked Miami 31-24 in double overtime to capture the school's first national title since 1968.
Like seemingly every Ohio State game this season, the Buckeyes' Fiesta Bowl triumph came down to the very last play. With Miami facing fourth-and-goal from the Ohio State 1-yard line, Ohio State linebacker Cie Grant exploded off the corner on a blitz, grabbed Miami Heisman finalist Ken Dorsey and forced a wild throw that was batted down harmlessly in the end zone to cement a perfect season for the Buckeyes (14-0).
"I'm so proud of these guys," said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel after the Buckeyes snapped the Hurricanes' 34-game winning streak.
Ohio State set up the final stop minutes earlier by scoring a touchdown on its second overtime possession. That score came courtesy of precocious freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who sent the 77,502 mostly scarlet-clad fans at Sun Devil Stadium into ecstasy on a 6-yard scoring scramble through the heart of the vaunted Miami defense.
Both teams posted touchdowns in the first overtime. Miami's was more conventional, tight end Kellen Winslow snatching a 7-yard pass over Ohio State's Will Allen to put the Hurricanes ahead 24-17 and place the pressure squarely on the boys from Columbus.
Neither team's ballyhooed tailback had much luck in the first half. Miami's Heisman Trophy finalist, Willis McGahee, finished with only 25 yards on 12 carries. And Ohio State superfrosh Clarett, the 230-pound mauler from Youngstown, managed only 7 yards on eight touches of his own.
Miami's other Heisman-caliber weapon, Dorsey, was equally ineffective. The senior slinger began the game with promise, burning the Ohio State defense for a 25-yard touchdown pass to wideout Roscoe Parrish on third-and-12 late in the first quarter.
Ohio State free safety Donnie Nickey blitzed on the play, but McGahee picked him up, allowing Dorsey to find Parrish on a post route. Parrish beat three-time All-American Mike Doss on the play and then humiliatingly dragged the Buckeyes' star safety 3 yards into the end zone to put Miami ahead 7-0 with 4:09 remaining in the quarter.
The second quarter, however, was a nightmare for Dorsey and the Hurricanes. Conjuring images of past title game flops from decorated Miami quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde (1987 Fiesta) and Gino Torretta (1993 Sugar), Dorsey committed three turnovers in the quarter.
The second was an interception by Doss on a tipped ball that probably should not have been thrown and set the Buckeyes up with a first down at the Miami 17.
Eight plays later, Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel plunged into the end zone from the 1 on fourth down to tie the game with 2:28 left in the half.
Just seconds later on Miami's first play after the kickoff, Dorsey fumbled at his own 20 after being blindsided in the pocket by Ohio State senior tackle Kenny Peterson. After a Miami penalty, Clarett finally came alive, surging in from 7 yards out to give the Buckeyes a shocking 14-7 halftime advantage.

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