Twelve and oh so perfect.
After suffering through one of the worst seasons in school history last year, the 2012 Buckeyes became just the sixth Ohio State team to post a perfect record.
Ohio State’s undefeated season was just as improbable as it was exciting, and from start to finish, it was jam-packed with unforgettable moments.
Going wire to wire without a loss requires a lot of moving parts to come together without imploding. You need skill, luck, good coaching, coachable players, more luck, preparation, execution and even more luck.
Ohio State had all that going for them this year, which produced a number of jaw-dropping plays, comebacks and storylines. Here are the top five moments of the Buckeyes’ 2012 football season.
5. Devin Smith’s one-handed touchdown catch vs. Miami (OH)
People are capable of doing some pretty incredible things.
Some people can take a ramp and a dirt bike and jump over a river. Some people can take a paintbrush and a blank canvas and create a whole new world. There are even some people who can listen to an entire Kesha song without hating themselves.
Despite all that, no one should be able to do what Devin Smith did in the second quarter of Ohio State’s season-opening game against Miami.
That was the first touchdown of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State.
4. Overtime victory in Madison vs. Wisconsin
Ohio State won a couple of games it had no business winning this year, and one of those games came against the Badgers.
After scoring the game’s first 14 points, Wisconsin’s defense completely shut down Braxton Miller and the Ohio State offense. The Badgers outgained the Buckeyes by 124 yards and made Ohio State play out of its comfort zone all day.
A Curt Phillips touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen with eight seconds left tied the game at 14 and forced overtime.
Wisconsin had all the momentum, and even had the good fortune of winning the toss, but Ohio State stole it away with four straight running plays and a score to gain a 21-14 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Montee Ball busted a six-yard run on first down, but that was as far as Wisconsin would advance, as the Ohio State defense stiffened.
3. Braxton Miller’s one-yard touchdown run vs. Penn State
The idea behind interpretive dancing is to translate a story, emotion or situation through the act of dancing.
Earlier this year, Miller created interpretive dance’s cousin—interpretive football.
The concept behind interpretive football is very similar, but instead of using dance to tell a story, one uses a football.
In the video below, Miller offers his own version of the popular movie Catch Me If You Can, using interpretive football:
Pairing this with Devin Smith’s touchdown grab against Miami in the people-shouldn’t-be-able-to-do-this file is probably a good idea.
2. Kenny Guiton’s brilliance in comeback victory vs. Purdue
Without backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, Ohio State would not have finished the season undefeated.
How bizarre would that have sounded at the beginning of the year?
It turned out to be true after Guiton orchestrated one of the most improbable comebacks in Ohio State football history.
After Miller suffered a whiplash injury late in the third quarter, Meyer was forced to insert Guiton into a game that the Boilermakers had dominated.
Guiton faltered early, and Purdue’s lead grew from six to eight after a holding penalty in the end zone gave the Boilermakers a safety early in the fourth quarter. Things went from bad to worse for Guiton when he threw an interception on Ohio State’s next possession, and the Buckeyes looked to be facing its first loss of the season when Purdue forfeited the ball with just 47 seconds left on the clock.
That’s when Guiton took over.
Guiton hooked up with Devin Smith for a 39-yard completion on first down, and seven plays later, he found Chris Fields from two yards out for a touchdown. Needing a two-point conversion to force overtime, Guiton calmly—and perfectly—executed a misdirection pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman to tie the game.
Much like the Wisconsin game, Ohio State scored quickly in overtime, needing just five plays to gain a 29-22 lead. Purdue faltered, again just like Wisconsin, gaining just five yards in four plays.
You can watch the entire comeback here.
1. Carlos Hyde’s game-clinching five-yard run vs. Michigan
It may not have been the most exciting play—it was just a typical running back dive that went for five yards—but that carry from Carlos Hyde sealed Ohio State’s perfect season.
After exploding in the first half for a combined 41 points, things slowed down dramatically in the second half of the Ohio State-Michigan game. The Wolverines couldn’t get a single thing going on offense, failing to advance the ball past the 50-yard line in the second half, while Ohio State blew multiple opportunities to put the game away.
C.J. Barnett intercepted a Devin Gardner pass with just under five minutes to play, and Ohio State would need, at the very least, two first downs to end the game.
The Buckeyes ran the ball five straight times—with four of those carries coming from Hyde—to successfully kill the clock. Much to the delight of Buckeyes fans everywhere, Hyde took the opportunity to give Denard Robinson a taste of his own medicine.
- Braxton Miller’s go-ahead 72-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith vs. Cal
- Braxton Miller’s go-ahead 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith vs. Michigan state
- Scoring 63 points in prime time vs. Nebraska
Was there a moment left out? Would you reorder anything that’s currently on the list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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