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Buckeyes Get Their Share

Smith rallies Ohio State to a 25-21 victory over Michigan and a tie for the Big Ten title.

November 20, 2005|From the Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Several Ohio State Buckeyes were smiling and sweating in a cramped interview room, sporting Big Ten championship hats and T-shirts.

They can thank Troy Smith.

Smith threw for a career-high 300 yards and a touchdown and scored once on the ground, leading No. 9 Ohio State to a 25-21 win over No. 17 Michigan on Saturday and a share of the conference title.

Antonio Pittman's three-yard run with 24 seconds left capped an 88-yard drive that included a series of spectacular plays by Smith.

Smith spun to avoid a sack and made an 11-yard pass early in the drive and eluded another loss with quick feet, buying enough time to complete a 26-yard pass to set up Pittman's winning run.

"There will be a lot of No. 10 jerseys and a lot of kids on Thanksgiving weekend trying to make those moves in a pile of leaves," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said.

Smith completed 27 of 37 passes and ran for 37 yards, getting sacked only once, a year after his spectacular performance led the Buckeyes to a win over Michigan (7-4, 5-3 in Big Ten). Smith ran for 145 yards and a TD and threw for 241 yards and two more scores in last year's 37-21 win over the Wolverines.

"Troy is probably the best we've seen," Wolverine defensive tackle Pat Massey said. "Troy was a difference maker out there."

Ohio State (9-2, 7-1) overcame a slew of mistakes just in time to clinch a piece of the Big Ten title for the first time since winning the 2002 national title.

Even though Penn State clinched the automatic bowl championship series bid because it beat Ohio State, the Buckeyes could get an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.

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