2003 Fiesta Bowl

2003 Fiesta Bowl

NCAA Football YearlyGame
NCAA Football YearlyGame

2003 Fiesta Bowl

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The 2003 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl took place on January 3,2003 in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Miami Hurricanes by a score of 31–24 in double overtime. It also served as the BCS National Championship Game for the 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season. The game was the second overtime result in either the Bowl Championship Series, or its predecessors, the Bowl Alliance or the Bowl Coalition, the first being the January 1, 2000 Orange Bowl between Alabama and Michigan.

Game summary

The Buildup

Throughout the season the defending national champion Miami Hurricanes continued a historic winning streak. The regular season ended with a perfect record extending the streak to 34 games. Their roster included future NFL players on both offense and defense including Willis McGahee, Ken Dorsey, Andre Johnson, Kellen Winslow Jr., Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, William Joseph, Jerome McDougle, Antrel Rolle, Kelly Jennings, and the late Sean Taylor. Their offensive line had also produced 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons by 3 different running backs, and were leading the nation in fewest sacks allowed. They were an overwhelming favorite to win their 2nd consecutive national title.

Ohio State had started the season ranked #13 after losing to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl the previous year. It was head coach Jim Tressel's second year with the...
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