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Ohio State – Arkansas 2011 Sugar Bowl Retro-Diary

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With all that transpired tonight in the Sugar Bowl, it’s only right to pay homage to the great Bill Simmons with a retro-diary on the Ohio State 31-26 victory.

In all honesty, this game was a lot closer than I thought it would be, which is why I didn’t bother writing it up in the first place (that and because if Ohio State would’ve lost, I doubt I would’ve published it). When Ohio State led 28-10 at Halftime I was patting myself on the back . Then it started… as it always does when it comes to Ohio teams… reality began to set in. Tressel’s offense started getting tight, Arkansas finally wiped the grease off the ball when they were on offense, and one by one, Buckeye defenders started dropping like birds from the Arkansas sky. Let’s take a look back at how things transpired, shall we?

8:30PM ET: Whoa, there’s Hootie!! … Wait a minute, where the hell are the Blowfish? Where’s the guy that looks like Woody Harrelson? Where’s the guy that wanted to drum for an 80’s Warrant cover band, but ended up as a Blowfish? Most importantly, where’s the creepy bass player who I always expected to see being confronted by Chris Hansen? Are the Blowfish dead? I need to know… nevermind, the game is about to start.

8:40PM ET: OK, the anthem was 10 minutes ago, the MLB Playoffs think this is being dragged out… I could’ve not only looked up the whereabouts of the Blowfish , but also called them individually to discuss their thoughts on global warming by now. The special teams unit is now on the field, we are ready to kick off…. False alarm, more commercials.

8:42PM ET: Wow, Mallett hits Joe Adams in stride for what could’ve easily been a touchdown. Adams forgot the key component to scoring is catching the ball and chooses to harmlessly drop it instead. Arkansas offense looks tighter than Jean Van De Velde on 18 at the British.  Oh, and if this defensive pressure keeps up, Ryan Mallett is going to have nightmares of Cam Heyward tonight. 3 and out.

8:44PM ET: Terrelle Pryor takes the field along with fellow suspended players, Dan Herron, Mike Adams, and DeVier Posey. Checking Twitter, I see that “Terrell Pryor” is a trending topic… That could only mean one of two things, either Pryor sold the “e” from the end of his first name, or Cam Newton’s dad took it… either way, I need some answers.

8:46PM ET: Pryor connects on a 3rd and long to Corey Brown. Herron with 3 runs down to Arkansas 38 setting up 3rd and 9. Tressel checks the playbook for 3rd and 9. Well, it’s not really a book, it’s a ragged post-it note that he carries in his pocket. Let’s see… “Pryor check down field for a half a second, then takes off running…

8:52PM ET: WOW, It worked! Tressel nearly faints and drops the post-it note, ESPN cameras pan in so the national audience can read it in its entirety: “Pryor check down field for a half a second, then take off running, breaks two tackles, then he is to hold the ball like a loaf of bread so it gets knocked forward towards the goal line. Two Arkansas players dive at the ball, but only manage to knock it into the end zone where Dane Sanzenbacher dives out of nowhere to cover for a touchdown.” Just like he drew it up. Arkansas fans are cheering because there’s a camera on them. Honestly, I know this is the YouTube generation, but trashtalking while your team is losing is right up there with watching dancing shows because: “the women are hot,” just don’t do it.

8:59PM ET: After a couple runs, Mallett throws down the seam to amateur gymnast DJ Williams who somersaults his way over the defender, stays up and runs to paydirt.

9:00PM ET: Or does he? After a 2 minute review/commercial break his wrist is ruled down and the touchdown is taken away.

9:03PM ET: I guess Mallett really wanted that touchdown. The very next play he throws a perfect back shoulder pass to Joe Adams who gets his foot down and hangs on. ESPN Pans to the crowd, and Arkansas represents itself as the rest of the nation sees it… with a proud fan holding a sign singing the praises of Ryan “Mallet.”

9:10PM ET: Pryor is looking like he did in the Rose Bowl last year. He hits Jake Stoneburner on a pretty 3rd down conversion, and then finds Sanzenbacher for 31 taking them back into the red zone.

9:12PM ET: Mark May wouldn’t shut up during pregame about how great the SEC defenses are, and how Arkansas is fast and aggressive and will shut down the Buckeyes running game… Herron breaks an 11 yard run down to the 9.

9:13PM ET: Wait, what’s this?? Mike Holmgren from Super Bowl XXXII is on the Arkansas sideline and gets to call the defense… Thanks to ESPN 437.5, we can hear inside the helmet of the defensive captain… “Uhh, hey, this is Mike, I want you to let Herron score here. Get as far away from the ball as possible.” Arkansas obliges as Herron literally walks into the end zone with no Razorback defender within 12 yards of him… on a 9 yard run, that’s impressive. 14-7 Buckeyes.

9:18PM ET: I thought the Razorbacks had a high powered offense? They are in the middle of an 8 play drive that nets just over 40 yards…before punting.

9:27PM ET: 3 and out for the Buckeyes. On the first play of the drive Mallett tries to hit the deep ball. It’s broken up by outstanding CB Chimdi Chekwa. Oh No… that’s not the only thing broken, Chekwa’s wrist went one way, and the rest of his arm went another.

9:28PM ET: Seriously ESPN, Stop showing his wrist break from every angle possible.

9:29PM ET: SERIOUSLY…STOP! Todd Blackledge wonders aloud if he will come back in the game… By my count ESPN has shown his wrist break on replay 7 times now… make that 8. He’s not coming back; tough loss for the Buckeyes as he is a 1st round talent. Hate to see a senior go out like that, especially given that he’s back in his hometown of New Orleans.

9:37PM ET: We are in the 2nd quarter now and Arkansas is on the move. 3 Knile Davis runs sets up 4th and 1 on the Buckeye 30. Davis has been running right at the Buckeyes and finding success so far. This is exactly how Wisconsin upset the Buckeyes. 4th and 1 here we go… gotta be a run… Ooops just kidding Mallett tries to pass, and Cam Heyward knocks it down. Ohio State Ball. Tressel is pumped… he is also rocking the signature sweater vest.

9:42PM ET: Pryor hooks up with Reid Fragel for 42 yards down to the Arkansas 28. It’s entertaining to watch Arkansas try to keep up, but get outrun by the Ohio State speed… Hear that Mark May? Herron and Pryor trade some runs over the next few plays. 3rd and 8. WOW, Pryor escapes and throws a perfect pass to a tightly covered Dane Sanzenbacher for another TD. Pryor’s fundamentals on that play would drive a high school coach insane, but it worked (accidentally)… 21-7 Buckeyes.

9:44PM ET: Tressel is fired up on the sidelines and just chest bumps Pryor as he was headed off the field. Well, Pryor is 6’6 and Tressel is 58 years old, so Tressel’s chest ends up somewhere around Pryor’s belt then grabs on for dear life to avoid getting knocked over and grass staining that Scarlet vest. Not sure what to call it…maybe a half-leaping man embrace… call it what you want, it’s awesome.

9:53PM ET: Mallett is trying to carry his team, but his receivers want no part of this game… another wide open drop by Joe Adams, who attempts to fix his own shoulder pads. What’s this? A Jets #17 jersey under his own? That can’t be good for the Razorback faithful. Arkansas stalls around midfield and is forced to punt. They pan to the crowd and the guy with the “Mallet” sign has put it down and is seemingly looking for his tin of Skoal.

9:55PM ET: Pryor and the Bucks take over and in 3 plays are again on the plus-side of the field. 3rd and 8 from the 33, Pryor heaves it in the direction of DeVier Posey, who…gives Brandon Marshall-like effort on that one and it falls to the turf. Posey could’ve made that catch if he wanted it. That was a “business decision.” He didn’t want to take the hit. Marshall on Jim Rome brought that term to the mainstream earlier this year when he said that if a QB hangs him out to dry, he makes a business decision and lets the ball drop rather than take the hit. Posey might want to dream a little bigger if he need a role model.

9:57PM ET: Devin Barclay sets up for a 50 yard field goal. Good snap, good hold, pushed left. Arkansas, through no effort of their own, holds and takes over.

9:59PM ET: The Buckeye defense is flying to the ball now. Back to back sacks sets up 4th and a quarter of the field. Hogs punt, 3:00 to go in the half.

10:02PM ET: Tressel wants this one. Most of the time with a lead, he would sit on the ball and take the lead into the locker room… not now. After completions to Posey and Stoneburner, Ohio State is again on the Razorbacks side of the field at the 43. Pryor drops back and heaves it deep… It falls from the sky… and into the arms of DeVier Posey… 28-7 Buckeyes.

10:03PM ET: Something is going on here with these commercials. Toyota and Ford are in some sort of war. Every commercial from one  is followed up with one from the other. What we have here is a real-life Rocky-Drago-like battle updated for the times. Interesting subplot building.

10:05PM ET: Arkansas with just under 2 minutes to go in the half gets to the Ohio State 45 and the drive stalls. 4th and 15, Arkansas chooses to go for it. Huge play here… Mallett hits Joe Adams for the 1st down. No way I saw Joe Adams actually catching the ball there.

10:06PM ET: There’s the Joe Adams I know! Mallett throws a perfect ball to a wide-open Adams in the end zone that he promptly drops. Mallett & Petrino look like their heads are about to explode.

10:07PM ET: 10 seconds left. Points here would be huge (so says Blackledge). One thing is for sure, Mallett can hit the back shoulder. He lays another perfect pass on Cobi Hamilton who catches it at the 3; decision time. Down 21, you almost have to go for the touchdown here, no?

10:08PM ET: Something is definitely fishy around the Razorback sidelines. First Holmgren called the play to let Herron score, now recently fired Browns coach Eric Mangini is shown on the sidelines with a headset on. Let’s see if I can still read lips: “This play always works for me, it’s called the pointless field goal, let’s run it.” Somehow he got Bobby Petrino to buy-in, and Zach Hocker boots it through. 28-10 at the half.

10:09PM ET: Ohio State is currently dominating this game, but the cheerleader battle is about as lopsided as it gets in favor of the Razorbacks. That’s not entirely fair, because ESPN is only showing the same lispy Ohio State cheerleader who has some sort of underbite, either that or a 3rd row of teeth. I can’t really tell, but she’s not doing the great looking co-eds of Ohio State proud. Thank goodness cheerleader appearance doesn’t determine the outcome as it would be 47-3 Razorbacks right about now.

10:12PM ET: I really have no idea what kind of nonsense went on at halftime. After sitting through the endless Orange Bowl halftime yesterday I decided to flip around and see what other people (read: people who I have no interest  in ever talking to) are watching during the game.  If this halftime is anything like last nights, I have a good 40 minutes to kill.

10:15PM ET: First stop: Telemundo and something called “Alguien Te Mira”. I’m fluent in slow-speaking Spanish, which is of absolutely no help here, as they are spitting out sentences faster than the Micro Machines guy. I give the station credit though, they stick to their blueprint. While I’m missing most of this dialogue, it’s being delivered by women that make the Arkansas cheerleaders look like, well, the lispy Ohio State one. This couldn’t work in America. I’m not sure which group would boycott, but there has to be an interest group focused solely on the rights of ugly less than attractive women, and boy would they be pissed while watching this.

10:18PM ET: Next stop: BBC. This one got me. I don’t generally stop when there is a woman crying about her “curse” on TV, but as I was scrolling through the channels, the name of this program: “My Big Breasts and Me” caught my attention. Whoa, turns out the AVERAGE breast size for women in England is 36D. Without getting scientific, that means roughly half of the 26 or so million women in England are 36D or bigger. A lot of back problems across the pond.

10:21PM ET: First statestide channel, Animal Planet. I am impressed at the planning of these lineups. My buddy Bob is a serial channel-changer. He hates commercials, so any time one pops on, the channel is changing. If he were to get to Animal Planet during one a commercial break, he would be hard-pressed to make it back to the game considering “When Animals Strike 2” is on. At first glance, I was impressed that not only did animals have jobs, but they had labor unions and the wherewithal to fight for their rights and hit the picket line. Evidently it’s not a new phenomenon as this is at least the 2nd strike. I digress.

10:26PM ET: FitTV is running a marathon of some show called “I’m Pregnant and…” where women discuss being pregnant during difficult situations. Right now it’s “I’m Pregnant and Have an Eating Disorder,” next on tap “…55 years old,” followed by “…Homeless”, then “…In Prison.” They will put just about anything on TV it seems. Even still, I can’t imagine this program having a whole lot of longevity. Sooner or later they will have to use ideas like: “I’m Pregnant and Lou Holtz is Reading Encyclopedia Volume S,” or “I’m Pregnant and Hope Antonio Cromartie Remembers this One’s Name.”

10:29PM ET: Seriously? Another pregnancy show? Is pregnant the new Vampire? MTV has something on called: “16 and Pregnant.” I don’t know how or why this is a show, but I don’t think there is a full set of teeth on anyone on it.

10:32PM ET: Why is there so much garbage on TV? Lifetime is showing a program called “Wife Swap” where families trade matriarchs for awhile. Here is the synopsis: “A mom with 25 pets swaps lives with a tidy wife who hates animals. Which should make one woman’s new home life very interesting.” Interesting? Really? I guess “interesting” is more subjective than I thought. Maybe ESPN should pick up this idea and swap Rex Ryan’s wife with Al Davis’ wife; that’s something I would watch.

10:35PM ET: Style network has a show called “Clean House: Search for the Messiest Home in the Country.” At this point I am thoroughly convinced that anyone alive can have a show about anything. I am making a vow to not associate with anyone who watches people search for a messy house…

10:38PM ET: Wait a minute… when did Lifetime get more than one channel? Is this a joke? Where’s Ashton Kutcher? No way is there a channel called “Lifetime Real Women.” I’ll play along, there is a show on called “How to Look Good Naked.” Is this what we’ve come to as a society? A show that tells “real women” to stop eating Twinkies and sitting on the couch…while they are sitting on the couch eating Twinkies? There are 2 ways to “look good naked,” exercise or marry someone blind. You’re welcome, I just saved you an hour.

10:40PM ET: That was an eye-opening experience. I thought I knew what kind of garbage was on TV, but now I really know. If somehow sports went away, I wouldn’t have any reason to continue on. Sounds drastic, but after what I just witnessed, it’s a little understated. I would like to apologize to Mark May. He still may speak without thinking and have little or no regard for facts, but at this point, I’d like to give him a hug. Now I know what it’s like to be a Royals fan; thinking your team is the absolute bottom of the barrel, and then catching a Pirates game. It brings a whole new level of appreciation.

10:48PM ET: …And we’re back… when a game plan works this well, you have to stick with it right? Jack Nicklaus attacked the course the same way on Sunday as he did on Thursday because he believed it was the right way to play it. Let’s see if Tressel, who has been known to play close to the…well, you know, packs it in or keeps attacking.

10:50PM ET: Uh Oh… I think it will be a wild ride Buckeye fans. Tressel opts for all runs followed by an incomplete pass and a punt. A touchdown there seals the game. An uninspired series of plays lets the Hogs right back in it.

10:52PM ET: It’s the Mallett and Davis show. They alternate plays and moderate gains until they reach the Ohio State 32. Cam Heyward is playing like a man possessed tonight. He is being double-teamed and still making nearly every play in the backfield. He gets pressure on 3 straight plays, and after a weird 3rd and 10 draw, Arkansas settles for 3.

10:56PM ET: It’s 28-13 Buckeyes, but as they pan across the crowd, you can see the hamster on the wheel in each and every Ohio State fan’s head: “still up 2 scores, no need to panic.” They know what’s coming though.

10:59PM ET: 2 more runs and another incomplete pass for the Bucks. 3 and out again. Even the lispy cheerleader is looking a little less cheery.

11:03pm ET: Have I mentioned Cameron Heyward? He is an absolute animal out there, he has some kind of arm issue going on, but he is straight wrecking people. He and Ryan Mallett are jawing back and forth. Mallett has the reach advantage, but Heyward would literally eat him like Joey Chestnut if they ever really got into it. 3 and out for the Hogs.

11:05PM ET: More commercials. Ford and Toyota still fighting to the death. Toyota is upping the ante though with Lexus commercials. Not sure if Ford has it in em to compete, but Rocky looked doomed halfway through the Drago fight. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.

11:10PM ET: Chimdi Chekwa is back on the Ohio State sidelines. Wrist fully casted; looks like he will need surgery; bad news for a great player. Pryor finds Posey for a big gainer down to the Razorback 37. If Ohio State can punch it in here, that might be all she wrote. Instead 3 straight runs… Barclay hits the 46 yarder and the bucks are back up 18 with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd.

11:14PM ET: Arkansas had better do something here. Good start as they break in to Ohio State territory. Knile Davis with a good run, but Devon Torrence comes in and rips the ball out, absolute textbook. It looks like Ohio State falls on it, but somehow Arkansas retains possession. I don’t even want to think about what was being grabbed in that pile, but I hope the Arkansas players wash their hands.

11:20PM ET: That fumble recovery was big. It only took Mallett two plays to hit Jarius Wright for a touchdown. Coverage doesn’t get any better than that. Wright was blanketed, but Mallett put the ball in literally the only place it could be completed. Outstanding pass. Hogs are going for 2.

11:21PM ET: DJ Williams was wrapped up at the goal line but managed to reach the ball across the line for the deuce. Goal line plays like that always remind me of 1) Bo Jackson running right over Brian Bosworth and 2) The movie “The Program” where Lattimer is forced to quit taking steroids. The next game he meets a running back in the hole, only to be pushed over and into the end zone.

11:22PM ET: This play was nothing like either of those, but that’s always what I think of. Now I wonder what Lattimer is doing these days (checking IMDB)… Wow, he had 2 roles in 2010: one as “Big Ed” in “Burn Notice,” and one as “Gang Member” in “Chasing 3000.” He must have really impressed in “Stiletto” with his portrayal of “Nazi Biker ‘Killer’.”  I can’t mock anyone who has been working for 20 years, but his list of roles is embarrassingly awesome, here is a quick rundown: Bar fight spectator, Butterfinger, Beef Barstow, Steve Lattimer, Rip Towers, Zangief, Knocko, Jocko, X, Gore, Crow, Beast, El Charro, Blade, Security Beast, Leatherface, Nazi Biker ‘Killer’, Count Dracula, Big Ed, Gang Member… and some guy named Mitch.

11:24PM ET: Oh look, another boring couple of plays by the Buckeyes to end the 3rd quarter.

11:25PM ET: At this point, I am actually waiting for a Lattimer to appear in one of these smarmy Toyota commercials wearing a Ford shirt and take a sledgehammer the “all-new” Toyota Camry. Things are getting heated to say the least.

11:26: Sike, you thought the 3rd quarter was over. They reviewed the play and called it an incomplete pass instead of a 2 yard loss. A 3rd and 20 incompletion really does it for the 3rd quarter. Thank goodness, after 10 real-life seconds, 3 more minutes of commercials. Bob’s head must be ready to explode.

11:30PM ET: Bad punt by Buchanon and Arkansas will take over inside Buckeye territory. With these weak drives Pryor is costing himself hundreds of dollars in potential Sugar Bowl MVP trophy sales.

11:40PM ET: Arkansas wastes a golden opportunity as Cameron Heyward continues to make Ryan Mallett’s life miserable. 4th and 13 and the Hogs are forced to punt. Great punt coverage leaves the Buckeyes backed up inside their own 5.

11:44PM ET: Umm… I’d love to tell you what just happened, but I am at a complete loss for words here.

11:44PM ET: Boom Herron took the handoff and was met at the line. Over the next 5 or so seconds, he was pushed back into the end zone and then tackled. The refs had a split-second discussion before ruling: Safety.

11:45PM ET: That is literally one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen on a football field. In the NFL the runner has to almost be carried out of the back of the end zone and into the tunnel before the refs even think of awarding a safety. Herron’s forward progress was stopped at the 4, then he was pushed back into the end zone and gang tackled. Last I checked, Herron didn’t run back into his own end zone, he was forced there. Ohhhh, I get it now, as the ref bent down to tie his shoe the waistband of his SEC boxers was in plain view.

11:46PM ET: Todd Blackledge is befuddled. He is audibly muttering and spitting out sentence fragments. I hope you are happy refs, look what you did…

11:46PM ET: The Razorbacks are enjoying some Gatorade out of cups that are part of the “G series.” For a company with such brand awareness, this G series is a huge failure. People know about G2, but G2 and regular Gatorade are both part of the G 02 series. I guess there are G 01 and G 03 series, but your guess is as good as mine as to what they do and why anyone would want them.

11:47PM ET: After the free kick, Arkansas takes over around midfield, down only one score. They quickly move inside the Bucks’ 30, but are forced to attempt another long field goal. Zach Hocker hits the 47 yarder and its 31-26. Hocker is only a freshman, but he has a big leg and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him on Sundays down the road.

11:48PM ET: The Arkansas female flute squad is fired up about the turn of events. They are feverishly fluting away. I haven’t seen intensity like that since video surfaced of Andy Katzenmoyer taking the Wonderlic test.

11:52PM ET: 31-26 Ohio State with 9 minutes on the clock. The Buckeyes have yet to be stopped by Arkansas this game, instead choosing to stop themselves in the 2nd half. Let’s see if they can get untracked here and put this game away.

11:53PM ET: Pryor rushes 3 straight times for a first down. Pryor is a long-strider. People question whether or not he is moving fast or even trying, but his blazing speed was apparent on that 3rd down rush. He was being tracked down from behind and had 2 men coming at him from the front. He outran them like they were standing still and picked up a big 1st down to keep the clock moving.

11:56PM ET: Ohio State finds itself in 3rd and 15 after a false start penalty. Pryor has killed them any time Arkansas has blitzed today, so maybe they will drop back into a zone and force him to make a read. Wow… so much for that, Arkansas sends the blitz, Pryor escapes and runs 15 yards. He looks to be just short of the marker. Yep, about 2 feet short.

11:57PM ET: That was a play where Pryor could’ve easily picked up the 1st down. He instead ran out of bounds near the marker. John Elway allowed himself to get drilled and helicoptered to get a first down in the Super Bowl, here Pryor chooses instead to run out of bounds short of the line to gain. Terrible end to a great effort on that play. EA Sports will be sure to dock him 4 awareness points in the next update.

11:59PM ET: 4th and 2 feet, and Jim Tressel elects to go for it. Great decision. You have a 6’6 quarterback who has yet to be stopped today. If anyone touches it other than Pryor, it’s a huge mistake.

12:01AM ET: Oh no… Pryor’s body language is telling me he’s handing off. Please God no, please God no, please God no…Handoff… Boom Herron attempts to dive for the first down. His body makes it, the ball doesn’t as he fumbles and Ohio State recovers way behind the line of scrimmage… Is this payback from the football Gods for the suspensions being postponed? The only suspended Buckeye that we haven’t heard from today is Solomon Thomas.

12:05AM ET: Arkansas takes over in Buckeye territory with 6 minutes to go. A huge holding penalty and blown up screen sets up 3rd and 17 at the Buckeyes’ 44. Mallett drops back and finds a wide open Lance Ray… ANOTHER DROP. Just plain WOW. That is 5 huge drops for the Razorback receivers today. Think Mallett misses Greg Childs much? He has to enter the draft after this game doesn’t he? No way he comes back and risks murder charges for killing each one of his receivers.

12:07AM ET: Another great Arkansas play downs the ball inside Ohio State’s 5 again. A few first downs, and they can put this one to bed.

12:09AM ET: Herron tries to atone for his fumble by rumbling 17 yards on the 1st play. He was one man away from going 96; the clock keeps moving.

12:11AM ET: 2 more rushes sets up 3rd and inches. Pryor sneaks for the first… see how easy that was? If the Buckeyes do any type of play-action pass here it’s going for 6. It’s not even debatable, Arkansas is calling defense like a 15 year old playing Madden: essentially running punt block every play.

12:14AM ET: 1st and 10, Arkansas runs punt block, Herron picks up 3. Timeout. Pryor is limping pretty severely. He looks like he turned an ankle on that sneak. Replay doesn’t show anything conclusive, but his foot is in a pile under some Razorbacks… They wouldn’t squeeze and twist on his ankle would they? Noooo, this is the land of the student-athlete where sportsmanship reigns supreme…

12:15AM ET: 2nd and 7, Pryor on the sidelines, Joe Bauserman in the game. Buckeye fans everywhere are swearing up a storm. If anyone can possibly screw up a handoff, or anything else for that matter, it’s Bauserman.  This one is clean… Arkansas runs punt block, Herron picks up 2. Timeout.

12:16AM ET: 3rd and 5, If Ohio State converts it’s over. Arkansas runs punt block, Herron picks up 2.

12:17AM ET: 4th and 3. When they punt this ball there will be just over a minute remaining and Arkansas is all out of timeouts.

12:18AM ET: ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? After running punt block 6 straight times, they run it a 7th, and Ohio State isn’t ready for it. Buckeye punter Ben Buchanon took the snap, paused to make a sandwich, then attempted to punt. The Razorbacks block it with relative ease.

12:18AM ET: More unbelievable than the punt block is the fact that 4 Razorbacks were around the ball, and chose to dive on it rather than scoop and score. They do know that there is no feasible way for the Buckeyes to retain possession in that situation, don’t they? I guess not. Either way, 1st and 10 on the Ohio State 18. The lispy cheerleader is bawling on the sidelines.

12:18AM ET: Also worth noting, the skeleton punt formation that college teams like to use is one of the dumbest things you can do. Ohio State has 3 men about 6 yards in front of the punter, with 4 men on the line to block 8. They essentially let Arkansas through the line and hope the blockers can do their job. I understand it for fake punts, but in this situation you have to be in tight max protect.

12:19AM ET: Stop me  if you’ve heard this before…ANOTHER DROP. This one by the sure-handed DJ Williams sets up 2nd and 10 with a minute to go.

12:20AM ET: The Buckeyes send a zone blitz, Mallett is under pressure and throws….INTERCEPTED…by…that’s right Solomon Thomas, the Pete Best of the suspended Buckeyes. A fitting way to end it. Arkansas fans are stunned. They look like someone just told them that they live in Arkansas.

Postgame: Pryor is grimacing and limping noticeably, trying to have his Kellen Winslow Sr. moment. I understand that in the heat of the moment, with the adrenaline flowing, you don’t feel injuries as much, but Pryor is acting like an alligator just appeared and bit off his foot. Blackledge throws it down to Holly Rowe where Pryor held up and flanked by 2 teammates, is interviewed. Pryor apologizes to Buckeye Nation and sounds humble and actually repentant. Rowe asks if Pryor will honor his pledge to Tressel: “Will we see you next season Terrelle?” I don’t know if he didn’t hear the question or what the deal was, but he had a chance to have a moment, and his muffled response of “All right” doesn’t exactly inspire the masses.

Rowe then interviews Cam Heyward who made himself Cliff Lee money with his performance. She throws it over to Rece Davis for the trophy presentations. Before that happens, you can hear the Sugar Bowl rep thanking Tressel for his second half play calling as to not blow out the Razorbacks and hurt the ratings.

Tressel accepts the Sugar Bowl trophy and is all-class as usual, I know he lost back to back BCS title games, but for my money he’s the best college coach in the land. Pryor is the MVP and somehow still doesn’t have crutches… He apologizes again, but this time he’s almost yelling it like he’s on stage at a rock concert.

NCAA reps are smiling and laughing with Sugar Bowl reps, while the Buckeyes are lined up singing “Carmen, Ohio.” All is right with the world. Let’s see how the Ohio State  suspension appeal goes now that the Bucks delivered the 2nd highest rated college game in ESPN history.  My guess is you won’t see Pryor for the vaunted matchups against Akron and Toledo, but after that… nothing would surprise me. In the land where the dollar sign is all that matters, the  Buckeyes are king.

Discussion

4 Responses to “Ohio State – Arkansas 2011 Sugar Bowl Retro-Diary”

  1. somehow, 3rd and 9 or 10 seemed like 3rd and 2 for the entire first half.

    Marlo, i started reading this at work-and had to stop b/c i didnt think it’d be cool to take the rest of the afternoon off to finish it. It’ll surely be finished on the ‘john’ later tonight.

    so far, love what i’ve read and will post on it and my oppinions tomorrow.

    Posted by sworan | January 5, 2011, 4:04 pm
  2. I hope that pact with the Devil was worth it, Tressel.

    OSU was the better TEAM, with better individual talent at 4 outta every 5 positions…and that half-time score was no fluke. Sure, TD 1 was unconventional…but when you have playmakers, you let them make plays.

    Arkansas, a good team in it’s ownright, did not make enough plays, despite repeatedly given the opportunities to make game changers.

    This game was all about 3 things….well, theres a ton of other contributors, but I’ll stick with the three things I saw that were monumental in this outcome.

    1. Vince Young….I mean Terrel Pryor running at will, whenever, and for how-ever many yards he needed. It was downright stupid. That is not football…execute a play for pete’s sake. If your play is executed better than the defensive play/scheme, you win that play. Football is that simple….so, I do not enjoy watching that kind of play. The first half, they executed enough, and were up 28-10….but, “Boy Howdy”, was that effective. Vince Young, 2005 Rose Bowl vs Michigan – 192yrd rushing 4TDs, 180yrds passing & 1TD…..and then what Vince Young did in 2006 Rose Bowl vs USC…I will forever have nothing but distain for Vince Young.

    2. Arkansas dropping ball. This was amazing. They dropped wide open passes…they dropped that first fumble recovery attempt that led directly to TD#1 for OSU…and of course, they dropped the potential “Scoop & Score” on that beautiful blocked punt. Sorry Arkanas, you were clearly not ready for this BS-Tuesday Night Primetime game.

    3. The Entire OSU DL-Pass Rush- led by Cam Heyward. That was just a wonderful personal performace, and very fun to watch. I still, for the love of football, can’t understand why Arkansas chose to continuously deploy a 5-WR (or 4-WR,1-TE) set, when theysimply could not block OSU’s 4, with their 5. You HAVE to make an adjustment, bring in another back to block, keep a TE in.

    That was an extremely fun game to watch, and I’m glad the Buckeyes did not blow the game, despite their best efforts to.

    Posted by Bobby Digital | January 6, 2011, 1:58 pm
  3. I loved your running commentary – I even laughed out loud a few times 🙂
    Curtis

    Posted by CP | January 6, 2011, 3:15 pm
  4. Thanks guys! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. It started out as a blowout, but ended up pretty nerve-wracking to say the least.

    Posted by Jason Marlo | January 6, 2011, 4:16 pm

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