Troy Smith starts his run to the Heisman Trophy by burning Northern Illinois for 297 passing yards and three touchdowns.
2 of 12Bob Rosato/SI
Smith throws for 269 yards and two touchdowns, but the game's biggest story is the Buckeyes' defense. Ohio State, which lost nine starters on defense from 2005, holds the defending national champion Longhorns to a single score.
3 of 12Matthew Emmons/US PRESSWIRE
Leading just 13-7 at the half, Ohio State explodes for 24 second-half points. Antonio Pittman rushes 16 times for 155 yards and a touchdown.
4 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
Leading only 14-6 with just over 2 1/2 minutes remaining, the Buckeyes return two interceptions for touchdowns to put the game away.
5 of 12John Biever/SI
In what is supposed to be a big test on the road for the Buckeyes, Ohio State rolls past then-No. 12 Iowa. Anthony Gonzalez leads the offensive assault, catching five balls for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
6 of 12David Maxwell/Getty Images
Ohio State scores the game's first 21 points and never looks back. Ted Ginn Jr. catches a career-high 10 balls for 122 yards and a touchdown.
7 of 12Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Michigan State enters the contest averaging 31 points per game, but the Buckeyes' defense holds the Spartans to a single score. James Laurinaitis (33) leads the effort, recording nine stops, including two tackles for loss.
8 of 12Ron Schwane/US PRESSWIRE
Smith throws four first-half touchdown passes as Ohio State finishes with 540 total yards of offense.
9 of 12Thomas E. Witte/SI
The Buckeyes earn their only shutout of the season. Pittman rushes for 116 yards and two scores and catches two balls for 47 yards.
10 of 12John Biever/SI
Ohio State jumps out to a 17-0 lead, but lets Illinois back in the game. Troy Smith suffers his worst game of the season, throwing for just 108 yards and an interception.
11 of 12John Biever/SI
Ohio State accumulates a season-high 54 points, as Smith throws four touchdown passes.
12 of 12John Biever/SI
In the most anticipated game of the new millennium, Troy Smith burns Michigan for a third straight year. Smith basically clinches the Heisman Trophy by throwing for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
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