(Saturday, November 14th)
Final Score: (10) Ohio State 27, (15) Iowa 24 (OT)
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Walk-on kicker Devin Barclay drilled a 39-yard field goal in the first overtime period, and 10th-ranked Ohio State clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl with a 27-24 win over 15th-ranked Iowa.
Barclay, who was playing in just his second game in collegiate football after a brief career in Major League Soccer, sent Ohio State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) to Pasadena for the first time since the 1996 season. It is also the fifth consecutive season the Buckeyes have at least shared the conference title.
The Buckeyes dominated on the ground, using the dual attack of Brandon Saine and Daniel Herron. Saine ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, while Herron garnered 97 yards and a score on 32 carries, as Ohio State pushed Iowa out of field goal range in OT after blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"We were really just having fun out there and stepping up and doing what we knew how to do," Saine said. "We weren't trying to overthink anything. We were trying to be in the moment the whole time."
Terrelle Pryor was efficient when given the opportunity, throwing for 93 yards on 14-of-17 completions. The dual-threat quarterback also ran for 29 yards in the win, Ohio State's first in overtime since 2003.
James Vandenberg, starting for the first time in place of the injured Ricky Stanzi, put in a valiant effort, completing 20-of-33 throws for 233 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for Iowa (9-2, 5-2), which has lost two straight games since starting the season with nine consecutive wins.
"Both teams played a tremendous game. We competed back and forth all game," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "We had good preparation by our coaching staff. It is a tough loss, but we are going to regroup."
Marvin McNutt caught two touchdown passes in the second half, compiling six total receptions for 78 yards, while Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had three catches for 71 yards and a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after Ohio State had gone ahead by 14. Adam Robinson added 74 yards rushing on 20 carries.
The Hawkeyes, who have eight comeback wins this season, couldn't quite pull off another shocker after scoring the game-tying touchdown with under three minutes remaining.
Iowa started overtime with the ball, and Ohio State's Austin Spitler wrapped up Robinson for a six-yard loss on second down. On the ensuing play, Vandenberg was sacked by Doug Worthington for a 10-yard loss, moving the Hawkeyes out of field goal range.
"There was no need for any inspiration (for the overtime performance)," Spitler said. "The Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl provides plenty of motivation. We knew we needed a stop."
On 4th-and-26, Vandenberg's desperation heave was intercepted in the end zone.
"For this game, we didn't execute like we needed to," McNutt said. "Ohio State's defense was good and was tough to beat. The game ended in a field goal."
Ohio State took over, and Herron slipped on first down for a two-yard loss. After Herron gained two yards on second down, Herron was given the ball again for a three-yard gain to set up a fourth down from the 22.
Barclay came in to attempt a 39-yard field goal, and his kick was right through the uprights to give the Buckeyes a share of their fifth consecutive conference championship.
Iowa tied the game, 10-10, just before the fourth quarter, but Ohio State responded and went back in front.
The Buckeyes moved quickly downfield, going 79 yards in 11 plays and 5:26. On 3rd-and-10 from the Iowa 30, Pryor avoided some would-be tacklers and ran 19 yards down to the 11, and Herron took a direct snap around the right end for a touchdown on the next play for a 17-10 lead with 13 minutes left.
On the ensuing possession, the Buckeyes' Ross Homan intercepted a Vandenberg pass on third down to give OSU the ball at the Iowa 49, and Saine went untouched down the left sideline and into the end zone on the first play of the series for a 14-point lead.
Just when it seemed like Iowa's chances began to fade, Johnson-Koulianos found a seam down the right sideline on the kickoff and ran 99 yards for the touchdown to bring the Hawkeyes back to within seven points with just under 11 minutes left.
After Iowa pushed the kickoff out-of-bounds, Ohio State had a chance to extend its lead to 10, but Barclay missed a 47-yard field goal to put the Hawkeyes in good field position.
Vandenberg faced a 3rd-and-5 from the Iowa 35, and he threw an interception that the Buckeyes returned for a score; however, OSU's Nathan Williams was called for offsides, giving the Hawkeyes a first down.
After a 13-yard reception by Colin Sandeman to the Ohio State 46, Vandenberg lofted what looked to be an interception. Tony Moeaki, though, was able to tip the ball in the air and grab it away from the defenders for a 16-yard gain.
Four plays later, Vandenberg tossed another pass high in the air for McNutt, who leaped over the defender and caught the ball in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown reception and a tie game, 24-24, with 2:42 left.
After neither team moved the ball with one more possession apiece, the game moved to overtime.
The first quarter was mostly a defensive battle, but Iowa gained the early advantage on Daniel Murray's 32-yard field goal in the final minute of the period.
Ohio State quickly answered with a lengthy 17-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal from Barclay, tying the game with seven minutes left in the first half.
The Buckeyes got the ball back just over a minute later after a punt, and Saine capped a 74-yard drive with a 22-yard run up the middle for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead heading into halftime.
Murray sent a 22-yard field goal attempt wide right early in the third quarter, but Iowa still managed to tie the game, 10-10, on McNutt's nine-yard touchdown reception just before the fourth quarter.
Johnson-Koulianos recorded his first career kickoff return for a touchdown...Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is 36-13 against ranked opponents with the Buckeyes...OSU has won 11 of the last 12 meetings with Iowa...The Hawkeyes are now 4-2 all-time in OT, while Ohio State moved to 5-1 in its history...The Buckeyes had not played an overtime game since 2004, while Iowa last played an extra session in 2007...Stanzi injured his ankle in last week's loss to Northwestern, and it is unknown if he will play for the Hawkeyes next week...Ohio State totaled 229 rushing yards, compared to just 67 for the Hawkeyes.
11/14 22:52:46 ET