10 Most Memorable Moments from 2010 Season: 1-5
By Brandon Castel
There are still 10 days until Ohio State takes on Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl, but we already began our look back at the 2010 regular season with some of the Buckeyes most memorable moments .
It was another championship-caliber season for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes in 2010, but this one was not without its share of roller-coaster moments.
Although Ohio State lost just one game during the regular season, there were a number of season-altering moments and unforgettable plays that helped to change the course of history. From their big win over Miami to their loss at Wisconsin, to comeback victories over Penn State and Iowa, it was a wild ride for Buckeye fans this season.
That doesn’t include a sixth-straight win over archrival Michigan and a share of another Big Ten title. With that, the Buckeyes are headed off to their sixth straight BCS bowl game against Arkansas. While we wait for that Sugar Bowl matchup on Jan. 4, let’s take a look at the five most memorable moments from the regular season.
5. Jordan Hall’s 85-yard Kick Return for a Touchdown against Michigan.
breaks into the clear on his kickoff return for a touchdown against Michigan.
Photo by Jim Davidson
All season long it looked like return men Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry were bound to eventually break free for a touchdown on one of their returns. That moment finally came for Hall in the season-finale against Michigan.
With the Buckeyes holding a 10-lead early in the second quarter, Denard Robinson marched the Wolverines down the field on an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Michael Shaw’s 1-yard touchdown run made it a one-possession game at 10-7, and it looked like Ohio State might in for a game with the way Michigan’s offense had moved the ball between the 20s.
Only the Wolverines were without their usual kickoff guy and punter, Will Hagerup, and were forced to use walk-on Seth Broekhuizen in both roles. The completely inexperienced freshman had a couple of ugly punts (and really, ugly is an understatement here) that gave Ohio State excellent field position, but his biggest mistake of the day make have come on the ensuing kickoff.
Broekhuizen’s kickoff was fielded by Hall at the OSU 15-yard line and it took the shifty tailback less than 10 seconds to find his way into the end zone. He got great blocks from Jaamal Berry, Zach Boren, Grant Schwartz, Nate Ebner and Jamie Wood before juking Michigan defender Tony Anderson at the 30-yard line on his way for an 85-yard touchdown.
4. Dane Sanzenbacher’s Miraculous 24-yard Catch at Iowa.
Dane Sanzenbacher's left foot comes down just in bounds for an incredible and critical completion against Iowa.
Photo by Dan Harker
Even Dane wasn’t sure he had come down inbounds after making “the catch of the year” in Iowa City, but when the review came back, it was officially first-and-goal for the Buckeyes. Boom Herron would finish off the drive two plays later with a 1-yard touchdown run to give Ohio State a 20-17 comeback win over the Hawkeyes.
It was Sanzenbacher’s catch, however, that will be remembered the way Anthony Gonzalez was for his catch against Michigan in 2005. Shortly after DeVier Posey dropped a sure touchdown pass on third down, the Buckeyes had the ball 1st-and-10 at the Iowa 26-yard line. That’s when Pryor remembered a play where he had been intercepted earlier in the game.
Pryor asked Tressel to run that play again, hoping the defense would defend it the same way, leaving Sanzenbacher open near the goal line. The play worked, but Sanzenbacher was forced to go up for a leaping catch over Iowa linebacker Troy Johnson. Sanzenbacher’s left foot landed just inside the sideline, with a sliver of green showing, before his butt came down right on the line. Herron scored the game-winning touchdown two plays later with 1:47 on the clock.
3. Devon Torrence’s 34-yard Interception Return for a Touchdown against Penn State.
The OSU bench is excited as Devon Torrence
makes the interception against Penn State and begins heading up field for a touchdown.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Everything had gone wrong for the Buckeyes in their week-10 matchup with Penn State. Despite playing at home, the Buckeyes trailed 14-3 at the half and were in danger of losing to the Nittany Lions for the second-straight time at Ohio Stadium.
Terrelle Pryor and the offense had nothing going in the first half against Penn State’s defense, and former walk-on quarterback Matt McGloin was picking apart the OSU secondary like a surgeon. The Buckeyes were playing a cover-3 defense against McGloin in the first half, and he was completing the underneath route like a seasoned-veteran.
Defensive coordinators Jim Heacock and Luke Fickell got together at halftime and made some adjustments for the second half. Among them was the decision to switch to more of a cover-2 look with the cornerbacks jumping the underneath route. It didn’t take long for that coaching move to deliver monumental returns.
After the Buckeyes scored on their opening drive of the half to make it 14-10, McGloin was intercepted by OSU cornerback Devon Torrence on a pass intended for Mike Zordich in the left flat. Torrence baited McGloin by pretending to follow the deep route like he had done in the first half. Instead, he stepped in front of the pass, tipped it up in the air to himself a couple of times before racing 34 yards to the end zone.
That score gave the Buckeyes a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter. Travis Howard added another pick-6 in the fourth quarter as the Buckeyes completed the largest comeback of Tressel’s tenure in Columbus.
2. Jim Tressel’s Halftime Speech Sparks Rally against Penn State.
There were plenty of memorable moments from the comeback against Penn State that fans did get to see, but our No. 2 moment from the 2010 season was one they could only hear about. Only the players and coaches will know exactly what was said in the Ohio State locker room at halftime, but whatever it was seemed to work.
The usually cool, calm and collected Jim Tressel had seen enough from his team in the first half. The Buckeyes trailed 14-3 at home during the time of year where Tressel-coached teams usually play their best. They hadn’t done much of anything right in the first half, except for coming up with a critical fourth-down stop just before the half as the Nittany Lions were trying to go up by three scores.
Tressel latched onto that rallying cry and burst into the halftime locker room with a fire in his eyes that most of his players had never seen before. The usually busy room came to a screeching halt. Chatter stopped and anyone holding a cup of water heard it hit the floor.
The head coach was not happy. In fact, he was downright perturbed. Some players called it yelling, others called it an intense confidence. Whatever it was, Tressel told his players that all of the headline on Sunday would be written about that fourth-down stop where Hines and Orhian Johnson stood up Silas Redd shy of the marker.
He was right. With the players rallying around their coach, the Buckeyes rallied back with 35 unanswered points in the second half to keep from losing to Joe Paterno’s team for the second straight time in Columbus.
A grim and determined looking Jim Tressel leads the Buckeyes back onto the field after the half time break against Penn State.
Photo by Dan Harker
Few people actually got to witness No. 2 on our list, but even fewer will forget the time Tressel’s fiery halftime speech saved the 2010 season, and a record-tying sixth-straight Big Ten title in the process.
1.Terrelle Pryor’s Fourth-down Scramble to Beat Iowa.
Despite Tressel’s game-saving halftime speech, a share of the Big Ten title was not wrapped up following Ohio State’s 38-13 come-from-behind win over Penn State. The Buckeyes still had a big trip to Iowa City coming the following week, and once again they found themselves in trouble.
takes off on his game-saving scramble against the Hawkeyes.
Photo by Jim Davidson
After letting Iowa back into the game, which they eventually won in double-overtime the previous year, Ohio State opted to spot the Hawkeyes the early lead this time around. Iowa led 7-0 after the first quarter and Marcus Coker’s one-yard touchdown run gave them a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by a touchdown on the road in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes didn’t look like a team desperate for another conference championship. Devin Barclay booted a career-long 48-yard field goal to cut Iowa’s lead to 17-13 with 7:38 to play, but time was running out.
Facing a 3rd-and-10 at midfield, Pryor wound up and threw a perfect pass to receiver DeVier Posey in the right corner of the end zone, but the ball slipped right through Posey’s arms and fell harmlessly to the Turf.
That should have been it, but it wasn’t. Not for Terrelle Pryor. On a 4th-and-10 with the fate of the entire season hanging in the balance, Pryor made one of the biggest runs of his life. After initially rolling to his right, Pryor reversed field back to his left. He avoided one tackler and slipped through the Iowa defense like a hot knife through butter on his way to a 14-yard run and a huge first down.
It was a deflating moment for the Hawkeyes, one that might explain the course of the rest of their season. Three players later, Pryor connected with Sanzenbacher on the catch we’re calling our No. 4 most memorable moment of the season, and Herron punched it in from there.
This earns our top spot because of its importance to the season, but also because there aren’t many players in the country who make that kind of run in that type of situation with all of that hanging in the balance.
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