What a huge, huge day for the conference. I think by now in the season, all of you were tired of the B1G is down talk, weakest power 5 conference, etc. Well guess what? Yesterday was a nice slap in the face for all of those naysayers with the B1G going 3-1 in the New Years Day bowls. They may of been close, but who the hell cares, we won and they lost. Here is what went down:
Wisconsin defeats Auburn, 34-31 OT
Earlier in the week, Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne talked some smack to Gordon, saying he'd run for 2,000 yards too if he was playing B1G defenses. Well, Mr. Artis-Payne, Melvin Gordon thinks that he'd run for 2,000 anyways after posting 251 yards and 3 touchdowns on Auburn with this Heisman stance:
Missouri defeats Minnesota, 33-17
Congratulations Minnesota, Indiana is better than you. The Gophers dropped a tough game to Missouri after two late touchdown drives in the 4th quarter by Missouri sealed what was a close game through three quarters. Missouri shutdown David Cobb for the most part on the day, who rushed for a total 81 yards on 21 carries while Mizzou ran wild for 337 total rushing yards on the day. Maxx Williams did give us this though:
Credit: Yahoo Sports
MSU defeats Baylor, 42-41
MSU took down Baylor 42-41 behind a solid 4th quarter comeback win that was enabled by a blocked FG that was returned and allowed MSU to score the game winning field goal. Really though, this is how it went down:
Which led to this:
Which led us all to ask this:
Ohio State defeats Alabama, 42-35
Finally, the game of the day. Oh, the schadenfreude is so real. "Alabama will destroy OSU." "The SEC West is the best division in college football." "OSU doesn't deserve to be in the playoff." And on. And on. And on. The back tracking that will occur after this win and all of the prior SEC West losing that happened this week (Hi Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, and LSU!) is glorious.
Ohio State won the toss to start the game, deferring to the second half. Bama quickly went three and out to give OSU the ball back, but good lord they have themselves a B1G level punter. 73 yards, through the air. Somewhere, Kirk Ferentz is kicking himself for missing this guy. OSU drove themselves right down the field but settled for a field goal after stalling in the red zone. Bama scored on the next possession to make it 7-3 and OSU took back over. Rinse. Repeat. Bama 7-6 after a stall in the red zone. Then things almost got out of hand with two quick OSU turnovers that gave Alabama good field position and the game was 21-6 like that.
Not so fast! Ohio State calmed themselves down (unlike Jameis did earlier in the day) and drove back down the field aided with some timely runs and throws by Cardale Jones on third down. Jones was a monster who gave Alabama fits when he was running. Anyways, in the red zone where they had stalled twice previously, Ohio State remembered Ezekiel Elliott played for them and that he was averaging over 10 yards a carry at that point. Elliott punched it in for a 3 yard TD and made it 21-13. Another three and out by Bama, rinse and repeat. Ohio State drove down the field on solid throws by Jones, runs by Elliott and Jones, and then a trick play coming into the red zone where they threw it off of a reverse to a covered Michael Thomas who scored it anyways. A game that was almost out of hand was now 21-20 going into the half and Ohio State firmly had the momentum.
Ohio State started the second half on fire with a huge pass to Devin Smith for 47 yards who shredded his defender for a big TD to give OSU their first lead since it was 3-0. A back and forth in between and OSU was back on defense. Then it was one of those moments where the announcers called it before it happened: Alabama called what was an apparently obvious play to anyone who had watched their tape, which OSU apparently has, and OSU sat right on the route in zone defense where DE Steve Miller intercepted the ball and took it back 41 yards for a touchdown. 34-21 and Ohio State is rolling. Alabama would answer to end the half 34-28 and we had ourselves a solid ball game.
The fourth quarter was back and fourth with a superb punting dual, who quite honestly would of been the story line of this game without Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, until Elliott struck again. With 3 minutes to go, Elliott broke one for 85 yards and a touchdown along with a big two point conversion to make it a true two TD game. Game, blouses, right?? Wrong. Bama scored quickly, one score game, and OSU recovered. Now it's game, right? 2 minutes to go, and OSU has the ball. Surely it's over? No. OSU comes out throwing for incompletions and 26 seconds later, Alabama has the ball again. Luckily for OSU, the defense showed up and Alabama was down to a last second hail mary that fell to the hands of an OSU defender and game over. Whew.
Oh, and of course, the Bama fans:
And sad pizza galore:
It doesn't matter. Last second chance or not, OSU won the damn game and completed the dismantling of the SEC West while advancing to the national championship game. Oregon poses a significant challenge, but for now, bask in the glory of the B1G throwing down on the SEC and how hard they just fell.