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2006 Fiesta Bowl

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2006 Fiesta Bowl

2006 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
BCS Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Ohio State 7 14 3 10 34
Notre Dame 7 0 6 7 20
Date January 2, 2006
Season 2005
Stadium Sun Devil Stadium
Location Tempe, AZ
MVP QB Troy Smith & LB A.J. Hawk
Referee Steve Shaw
Attendance 76,196
United States TV coverage
Network ABC
Announcers: Brent Musburger, Gary Danielson, Jack Arute
Nielsen ratings 20.601 million viewers; 12.9 rating
Fiesta Bowl
 < 2005  2007

The 2006 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, played on January 2, 2006, was the 35th edition of the Fiesta Bowl, featuring Notre Dame and Ohio State. Ohio State won the game 34–20.

Ohio State's quarterback, Troy Smith, became the frontrunner of the 2006 Heisman race, after he completed 19 of his 28 passes for 342 yards, including 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Notre Dame's Brady Quinn completed 29 out of his 45 passes for 286 yards.

Notre Dame got the 1st score of the game, with a 20 yard touchdown run by Darius Walker. Then Ohio State responded on a 6 play 86 yard drive capped off with a 56 yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn, Jr. In the second quarter, off a wide-receiver reverse, Ginn rushed 68 yards to the left side for a touchdown. Then with just over 2 minutes to go in the half, Troy Smith found Santonio Holmes for an 85 yard touchdown pass, and Ohio State led 21–7 at half-time.

In the second half, Notre Dame' Darius Walker scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, to make the score 21-13. Notre Dame's defense forced 2 Ohio State field goals, and the score was 27–13. With 5 minutes left to go in the game, Darius Walker got his third rushing touchdown of the game, to make the score 27–20. On third and 5, with Ohio State eating up the clock, Ohio State iced the game with a 60 yard touchdown run by Antonio Pittman.

Selection of teams

The Fiesta Bowl this season was supposed to choose either the Big 12 Conference champion or the Pacific-10 Conference champion as part of the BCS tie-ins for this season. The Rose Bowl served as the BCS National Championship Game this season, and the Pac-10 conference tie-in moved to the Fiesta Bowl as a result. Unlike the 2001 season, the Fiesta Bowl would not be allowed to match the Big 12 and Pac-10 champions, it could choose only one of them.

However, neither the Big 12 or Pac-10 champions would be available to the Fiesta Bowl in the end, as those teams, the Texas Longhorns and the USC Trojans, would finish in the top 2 of the BCS standings and meet in the Rose Bowl.

None of the other conference champions that earned an automatic bid were available either, as those teams would go to the Orange and Sugar Bowls. The Fiesta Bowl was left to take the 2 teams that earned BCS at-large bids, Ohio State of the Big Ten Conference and independent Notre Dame, long considered a candidate for membership in the Big Ten.

Aftermath

Notre Dame extended its bowl game losing streak to 8 games, which tied an NCAA record. Ohio State finished the season ranked #4 in the Nation, behind Texas, USC, and Penn State. Ohio State would go on to win a school record 20 consecutive games, including an entire season ranked at #1 in the nation.

A number of 1st round NFL draft picks played in this game including, A.J. Hawk, Brady Quinn, Ted Ginn, Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold and Bobby Carpenter.

The 2006 Fiesta Bowl would be the last played at Sun Devil Stadium. The Fiesta Bowl now is played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The 2006 Fiesta Bowl was the last at Sun Devil Stadium. But it was a similar scene as Ohio State won for the third time in four years with a big-play offense and a ball-hawking defense to defeat Notre Dame, 34-20, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 76,196, the largest ever for a non-championship game.

The game featured two of the most storied programs in college football, playing for just the fifth time in history, making it one of the most anticipated games in Fiesta Bowl history. Both teams won national championships in past Fiesta Bowls – Notre Dame in 1989 and Ohio State in 2003 – adding even more drama to a game that featured plenty of hype.

Notre Dame grabbed an early 7-0 lead on a 20-yard run by Darius Walker, who finished with thee rushing scores. Ohio State exploded after that with three long touchdowns, the first a 56-yard pass from Troy Smith to a wide-open Ted Ginn Jr.

Ginn Jr. opened the second quarter with a zigzagging 68-yard end around and Smith hit Santonio Holmes on an 85-yard touchdown pass, the longest in Fiesta Bowl history to give the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead at halftime.

The Fighting Irish pulled within seven late in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard dive by Walker, but Smith converted two huge third-down conversions and Antonio Pittman galloped 60 yards to seal the victory with 1:46 to play.

Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk was named defensive player of the game, becoming the first player in Fiesta Bowl history to win that honor twice. Adding to the game’s hype, Hawk was dating Laura Quinn, sister of Notre Dame star quarterback Brady Quinn. Hawk sacked his girlfriend’s brother twice and ran him down on a key third-down play early in the fourth quarter.

Ginn Jr. finished with eight receptions for 167 yards and Holmes had five catches for 124 yards, making them only the third pair of teammates to eclipse 100 yards receiving in a Fiesta Bowl.

Smith earned offensive player of the game honors for completing 19 of 28 passes for a career-high 342 yards and 66 yards rushing on 13 attempts, making him a serious Heisman Trophy candidate going into next season.

The pre-game ceremonies highlighted the bowl’s founders and legendary Arizona State coach Frank Kush, who led the Sun Devils to victories in four of the first five Fiesta Bowls, during a special video tribute and field presentation.

External links

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=260020194
  • Official Stats
  • http://mobile.fiestabowl.org/tostitos-fiesta-bowl/tostitos-fiesta-bowl-game-history/game-results-recaps/2006-fiesta-bowl.php
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