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Countdown To Kickoff 2022: Ohio State Defeats Miami (Fla.) In Double Overtime, 31-24

We’re counting the days until the 2022 season by the number of points the Buckeyes scored in some of their greatest victories.
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There are many ways to countdown to the upcoming college football season, though none may be more popular than naming the best player in school history by jersey number.

We've decided to do something a little different, though, and will be counting the days until Ohio State's season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 3 by the number of points the Buckeyes scored in some of their greatest victories.

For example, Ohio State scored 48 points in its win over Utah in the Rose Bowl back in January. That game was highlighted when there was 48 days remaining in the offseason.

We understand that this approach won't allow us to do a daily countdown, especially with higher point totals, but we're hopeful that looking back at some of the more notable games in school history will build anticipation for the upcoming season.

With that said, let's continue the countdown...

Ohio State 31, Miami (Fla.) 24 (2OT) - Jan. 3, 2003

Running back Maurice Clarett scored the go-ahead touchdown and Ohio State's defense kept Miami (Fla.) out of the end zone as the Buckeyes captured their first national title in 34 years with a 31-24 double-overtime victory over the top-ranked Hurricanes.

"It was just like two heavyweight fighters slugging it out," head coach Jim Tressel said after the game.

Ohio State – which entered as 11.5-point underdogs against the defending national champions, who had won 34 straight games – led 14-7 at halftime after turning two Miami turnovers into touchdowns in a span of 78 seconds.

Kicker Mike Nugent added a third-quarter field goal to extend the Buckeyes' lead to 10 points before the Hurricanes cut it to 17-14 on a nine-yard run by running back Willis McGahee, who suffered a gruesome knee injury early in the forth quarter.

After a missed defensive holding call and incorrect ruling on a completed pass that would have allowed Ohio State to run out the clock in the fourth quarter, Miami sent the game to overtime with a 40-yard field goal from kicker Todd Sievers as time expired.

The Hurricanes went ahead with a seven-yard pass from quarterback Ken Dorsey to tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., then appeared to stop the Buckeyes on a 4th-and-three from the 5-yard line when quarterback Craig Krenzel's pass to wide receiver Chris Gamble fell incomplete.

While Miami's players and fans began celebrating, field judge Terry Porter threw a late flag and called pass interference call on cornerback Glenn Sharpe. The controversial call gave Ohio State the ball at the 1-yard line, and Krenzel ran it in from there to tie the game again.

"He was holding me. He was in my facemask and my shoulder pads," Gamble said. "I was waiting for the flag, but he kind of hesitated. I didn't see him going for the flag and I thought, 'He ain't going to throw it.' Luckily, he did, and I'm like, 'Whew.'"

Five plays later, Clarett's six-yard score put the Buckeyes ahead for good. The Hurricanes had a chance to force a third overtime with a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but linebacker Cie Grant blitzed and forced Dorsey to throw up a desperation pass, which was knocked to the ground by linebacker Matt Wilhelm.

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The win marked Ohio State's sixth by seven points or less that season, including 10-6 at Purdue, 23-16 at Illinois in overtime and 14-9 against Michigan on consecutive weeks to reach the title game. It also gave the Buckeyes their seventh national championship in program history.

"We've always had the best damn band in the land, now we got the best damn team in the land," Tressel said.

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