Friday, January 3, 2003
The better defense will win
By Jack Arute
Special to ABC Sports Online
Face it. The BCS got things right this time. An undefeated Miami defends its title against an undefeated Ohio State.
Miami has Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson and Kevin Winslow. It's an air-and-land assault that has remained untarnished through two complete seasons. Eleven guys left last year's national championship roster and there was no drop in Hurricane production.
And head coach Larry Coker has never given a concession speech in his head coaching career.
"We don't talk about the streak," said Coker of Miami's 34-game winning streak and his perfect 24-0 record. "Instead we just focus on the next game. It would be nice to talk about the streak say 20 years from now if it breaks some kind of record, but right now it's about the next game."
1968 was the last time that the Ohio State Buckeyes went undefeated in a regular season. That was also their last national championship year.
The Buckeyes will have their hands full trying to contain the Hurricanes. That having been said, this is an OSU defense that can if the cards fall their way.
Offensively, Ohio State looks eerily reminiscent of '60s era Ohio State football. True freshman Maurice Clarett is healthy and ready for his signature North-South rushing game. Chris Gamble and Michael Jenkins are Craig Krenzel's favorite receivers, but it's Clarrett who sparks things for the Bucks.
This is a game that traditionalists will love. Why? Because whoever puts up the best defense will be the winner.