Today Ohio State fans learned a valuable lesson: you don’t give up and you never, ever leave a game early.
The Buckeyes were stumblebums for most of the game. The offense sputtered. The defense gave up an 83-yard TD on Purdue’s first play from scrimmage. Purdue returned a kickoff more than 100 yards for a touchdown. Braxton Miller was injured (no report yet on how seriously, but it didn’t look good). The Buckeyes had a field goal hit the upright and gave up a safety due to a holding call in the end zone. And, with 40-some seconds left, the Buckeyes were behind by 8, with no timeouts, trying to rally behind their second-string quarterback. By then, many fair weather fans had already left, and only the diehards remained.
Yet somehow, improbably, the Buckeyes came back to win. Kenny Guiton, the backup QB, led the Buckeyes on a drive that saw them score the crucial touchdown with 3 seconds left, and then gain the essential two-point conversion with a beautiful play that featured Guiton throwing a fine touch pass to his tight end. And so, improbably, the Buckeyes sent the game into overtime, where the Buckeyes scored on their possession and Purdue didn’t — and that was the ballgame.
I always stay at games until the end. I’m there to see the game, and the last seconds of a loss are as much a part of the game as the first few plays. I’ve also seen enough football to know that anything can happen . . . and today it did. It gives me some pleasure to know that the early departees are kicking themselves for giving up and missing the chance to witness one of the most unbelievable comebacks in Ohio Stadium history.
As far as the Buckeyes go, this is a team that still needs a lot of improvement on both sides of the ball. For now, though, I’m going to enjoy a game that showed you should never give up, whether you are a player, or a fan. Go Bucks!