Jody Victor: Ohio State Heisman Trophy candidate Troy Smith completed 29 of 41 passes (career bests) for 316 yards and four touchdowns to lead the top-ranked Buckeyes to three straight victories over Michigan with a 42-39 win against the second-ranked Wolverines Saturday in front of a record crowd of 105,708 fans at Ohio Stadium. And Steve and Joe were there with me to witness it all!
The win clinched the first outright Big Ten title for the Buckeyes since 1984 and is its 31st conference title in school history. The victory extended the nation's longest win streak to 19 games. And what a game! We were on the edge of our seats or standing the entire game.
Ohio State improved to 5-1 against Michigan under sixth-year head coach Jim Tressel, who heads to his fourth BCS game. Michigan finished 11-1 overall and 7-1 in conference games to tie Wisconsin for second place in the Big Ten.
Smith is the first player to quarterback Ohio State to three straight victories against Michigan since William H. “Tippy” Dye, who led the Buckeyes to wins from 1934-36. Dye, 94, who now lives in California, was in attendance to watch Smith match his feat. In Smith's three games vs. Michigan, he has 1,051 total yards and has thrown for seven touchdowns and rushed for another. Smith has completed 69 of 101 passes for 857 yards and has 33 rushes for 194 yards.
The 6-foot-1-inch senior signal caller hit four different receivers Saturday, including Ted Ginn Jr., who finished with eight catches for 104 yards. Brian Robiskie caught seven passes for 89 yards as the Buckeyes totaled 503 yards of total offense. Antonio Pittman carried the ball 18 times for 139 yards and a touchdown as Ohio State finished with 187 rushing yards. Chris Wells had the other rushing touchdown and finished with five carries for 56 yards.
The entire game was more than exciting watching Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis lead his team with nine tackles. Antonio Smith had eight tackles and an 18-yard sack. Lawrence Wilson, Jay Richardson and Joel Penton also had sacks.
With the win, the Buckeyes will play in the title game of the Bowl Championship Series January 8, 2007, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The official announcement will be made and their opponent named on December 3.