Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Buckeyes players recall last Miami game
Like thousands of other young college football fans living in Ohio, Dane Sanzenbacher and Tyler Moeller were glued to the TV on Jan. 3, 2003.
That night, Ohio State and Miami played for the national championship in one of the more memorable and talked-about college games of the last quarter-century.
"I was in seventh grade," said Sanzenbacher, now a senior wide receiver for Ohio State. "I was over at my friend's house, watching with his family."
Sanzenbacher watched in his hometown of Toledo. About 200 miles away in Cincinnati, Tyler Moeller also tuned in for Buckeyes-Hurricanes.
"A couple of us got together and hung out to watch it," said Moeller, now a senior safety/linebacker for the Buckeyes. "I wasn't really too big of an Ohio State fan, so I was kind of neutral on the whole thing. But it was an exciting game to watch.
"We always see clips of it, like the pass-interference play."
Also known as The Call.
No clip will be replayed more often leading up to Saturday, as Ohio State and Miami clash in Columbus (ESPN, 3:40 p.m. ET), the first time the teams have met since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
In case you forgot -- and I'm sure some Miami fans wish they had -- Ohio State appeared to lose the game in the first overtime when Craig Krenzel's fourth-down pass bounced off of Chris Gamble's hands in the end zone. Miami started to celebrate, but the field judge threw a late flag and called pass interference on Miami's Glen Sharpe. Ohio State scored and won in the second overtime.
What did the Buckeyes think of The Call?
"That was pass interference, yeah," Sanzenbacher said, smiling.
His response undoubtedly will please Buckeyes fans and wide receivers alike.
Moeller, a former linebacker now playing more in the secondary, sides with his fellow defensive backs.
"Not PI," Moeller said. "It's never pass interference."
Hmmm, we need someone to break the tie. Ohio State center Michael Brewster wasn't watching the game live, but he's seen quite a few replays of The Call.
"I think it was [pass interference]," Brewster said. "I've seen a picture. I call PI."
None of the current Buckeyes or Hurricanes were even playing high school ball the last time the two teams met, but Moeller expects the 2003 Fiesta Bowl to be rehashed throughout the week. It'll even come up among the players.
"We'll make an emphasis on it, and I think Miami's going to make an emphasis on it," he said. "We've only played them once in the past I don't know how many years, and it's already a rivalry game, kind of.
"They want payback, I'm guessing, and we just want to go out there and play."