Bucknotes 1/11

Kenny Peterson made himself a whole bunch of money with his strong performance in the Fiesta Bowl. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle was way too quick for Miami 's guards and spent most of the night making plays in the Hurricane backfield.


What a great way for Peterson to go out. Here's a guy who came to OSU five years ago as one of the top defensive ends in the country, but hardly played his first three years (including his redshirt year). He had every reason to give up, or complain about his playing time, but he just kept plugging on and is now sure to be taken sometime during the first day of the NFL draft.


Basically, the entire defensive line played great. Will Smith had his best game of the year and showed exactly what he can do when healthy. Darrion Scott was his usual steady self and what can you say about Tim Anderson?


While Miami center Brett Romberg might be in the butt-pinching business, Anderson is in the butt-kicking business. Just ask Romberg, who was tossed around all night by the former state wrestling champion.



If someone told you before the season that Craig Krenzel's running skills would be a big key to the Bucks winning a national championship, you would have looked at them like they just said, "Don't you just love the University of Michigan ?"


Krenzel was the game's leading rusher in the Fiesta Bowl with 19 carries for 81 yards and refused to let the big hits from Miami rattle him.


I think Ramzy summed it up best when he wrote: "What a warrior – Krenzel clangs when he walks."


I mean, how many times during the game did you cringe when Krenzel got hit? Probably several. But every time he bounced right back up, showing the grit that made him a fan favorite all year.


And a lot is said about Krenzel's arm strength (or lack there of), but the deep ball to Chris Gamble was a thing of beauty, as was the pinpoint pass on 4th-and-14 in overtime.


Krenzel is never going to throw the perfect spiral, but he is accurate and his passing skills are sure to improve a great deal before next year. Remember, prior to this season, he had thrown less than 50 passes in college.



From the second quarter on, every time they showed Ken Dorsey on the sidelines, it reminded me of a bloodied boxer sitting in his corner, debating on whether or not he wanted to go back out for another round.


"Come on, you've got another one left in ya Kenny."


"Don't know about that, Coke. I've taken some pretty good ones tonight."


You could just see it in Dorsey's eyes that he was rattled by the Buckeye defense. He didn't know which way they were coming next and couldn't get rid of the ball fast enough.


But after the game, Dorsey showed a lot of class. He spoke to reporters, which is more than we can say for Romberg, and gave all the credit to Ohio State .


I think he'll be a decent backup quarterback in the NFL, but he needs to get much stronger. Smith sacked him with one arm in the first quarter – before Dorsey was even tired.



I found it interesting that Ohio State players received gifts from the university for playing in two extra games this season. They all received camcorders, an X-Box console and a football game to go with it. Not bad.



There are several reasons to be proud of the Buckeyes right now, but I'm equally as proud of the Buckeye fans. Everyone is still talking about the fact that OSU supporters basically took over the Tempe area during the Fiesta Bowl week.


At a Jan. 2 pep rally that was supposed to be for both teams, the conservative ratio was 10-1 Buckeye fans to Hurricane fans. At the game itself, there was an estimated 60,000 Buckeye fans out of 77,502.



The Buckeyes now own the Big Ten's last two consensus national championships. Michigan split the title with Nebraska in 1997.



Miami is now 0-4 all-time in the Fiesta Bowl.



Never going to happen. But I guess I'd rather talk about that than him going pro after one year.



There has been some debate on whether or not Gamble will continue playing both ways next year. My take is: why not? If it doesn't make him tired, keep doing it. He is obviously one of the top two cornerbacks on the team and is obviously one of the top two receivers on the team, so this is a no-brainer for me.


Gamble is one of those special athletes that doesn't get fatigued easily. The only time he had trouble with cramps was against Penn State , the first time he pulled double-duty for an entire ballgame. Since then, he was fine.



It's pretty safe to say that the Big Ten was the No. 1 conference in college football this year. The league was 5-2 in bowl games despite the fact that six of its teams were underdogs.



Ryan Hamby and Redgie Arden were probably the only people in Columbus who were happy to hear that Louis Irizarry decided to de-commit from Ohio State .


Hamby and Arden each have three years of eligibility remaining and are sure to get a lot more playing time than they would have if Irizarry kept his word.


As for Arden , I blasted his move from defense to tight end last year, but I was dead wrong. R.J. Coleman is strictly an offensive lineman now, so the decision to move Arden to TE was a smart one.


As for Irizarry's decision, you really can't blame him after watching Kellen Winslow's big performance in the Fiesta Bowl. But I'm just surprised that he didn't do his homework before giving a verbal commitment. Anyone around the state could have told him that OSU doesn't throw to its tight ends much.



Ohio State will be preseason No. 1 next year. Mark it down. Tell a buddy. Bring a friend. Oklahoma will be close behind, but with all 11 starters coming back on offense and six on defense, the Bucks are sure to get the nod from the national media.


Of course, OSU will be a marked team, but that's really no different than any other year. And it will be so nice to hear everyone refer to the Bucks as the "defending national champions." I don't think any of us are going to get sick of hearing that.



As for the "controversial" call in overtime, there was clearly holding on the play. The flag came late (we'd be complaining about that too), but the refs did not decide this game. In fact, prior to that play, Ohio State was getting very few calls from the refs. Numerous holding violations went unnoticed and Gamble caught that ball in bounds (after being held twice) near the end of regulation.



What a fantastic job by Jim Tressel and his staff all season. They gave the Buckeye Nation its first national title in 34 years and did it with class all along the way.


It's still a joke that Tressel wasn't the Big Ten coach of the year, but all those national coach of the year awards (I think the count is up to three) more than make up for it.


In my opinion, Coach Tressel is fast on his way to becoming a legend and Buckeye fans are fortunate that he'll be around for a long, long time.


Seeing Iowa's Kirk Ferentz interview for the Jacksonville Jaguars job just reiterates how lucky we are to have a great coach who really wants to be here.


And how about Tressel's flare for the dramatic? Now we have two memorable Tress soundbites: "310 days," and "Now we've got the best damn team in the land." 


Both of those speeches will be replayed for years by Buckeye fans.



E-mail Dave at sports@madison-press.com

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