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Big play bails out Ohio State

No. 6 Buckeyes get a late play from their special teams and then hang on to beat Navy, 31-27

September 06, 2009|Associated Press

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Brian Rolle intercepted a potential tying two-point conversion in the closing minutes and returned it for two points, helping No. 6-ranked Ohio State hold off pesky Navy, 31-27, on Saturday.

"It wasn't a dazzling fourth quarter for us, by any means," Coach Jim Tressel said.

A crowd of 105,092 -- the largest to see the Buckeyes open a season -- watched as the 21-point underdog Midshipmen scored twice in four minutes to cut a 29-14 deficit to two points with 2 minutes 23 seconds left.

Navy called timeout to set up for the two-point try. Ricky Dobbs took the snap and dropped back, passing over the middle. Rolle was the only player close and the junior thundered up the Navy sideline 99 yards.

After getting the onside kick, Ohio State ran out the clock.

"I'd seen it on film, but I was surprised he actually threw it," Rolle said. "I was like, 'Wow.' "

Said Dobbs: "The guy came out of nowhere. I don't know how he broke on it."

Terrelle Pryor completed 14 of 21 passes for 174 yards, and ran for a touchdown and passed for another to help Ohio State build its lead. But then the Midshipmen seemed to make every big play.

Dobbs completed nine of 13 passes for 156 yards and two scores.

"If Ohio State comes in totally focused on us, we had no chance," Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

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