Buckeyes End SEC Bowl Misery
Ohio State was sweeter than sugar last night in the Superdome, defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. With the win, the Buckeyes earned their first ever bowl win over an SEC opponent. It looked like it may come easy, but after building a 28-7 lead, Arkansas came back and threatened
to keep the Buckeyes SEC bowl misery alive. In the end, Ohio State needed their five suspended players (next season, but eliglble for Sugar Bowl) to top the Razorbacks.
Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes, helping the No. 6 Buckeyes build a big lead, and Solomon Thomas made an interception with 58 seconds remaining that sealed a 31-26 victory over eighth-ranked Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night.
Pryor and Thomas were among five Ohio State players found to have violated NCAA rules by selling memorabilia and getting discounted tattoos just before the Buckeyes (12-1) headed for the Big Easy. They were all suspended for the first five games of next season -- but permitted to play in the Sugar Bowl.
Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said all five pledged to return to school next season to serve the punishment.
In the end, Ohio State needed them all to beat a Southeastern Conference team in a bowl for the first time. The Buckeyes had lost their previous nine postseason meetings against the SEC.
The group also included Dan Herron and DeVier Posey, who each scored a touchdown. But Thomas, the only backup among them, made the biggest play of all.
Arkansas (10-3) had a chance to complete an improbable comeback when Colton Miles-Nash leaped over two linemen to block a punt, putting the Razorbacks at the Ohio State 18 with 1:09 remaining.
But Thomas surprised Ryan Mallett by dropping into coverage from his defensive end position. Mallett never saw him and Thomas held on to the pick to seal the win.
Arkansas' late surge kept the Sugar Bowl interesting. When Ohio State went up 28-7, many casual fans worried they were about to watch another lopsided bowl game. While it wasn't as captivating as the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl turned out to be entertaining in the end.