The quick scoring drive proved more than enough to instill energy back into OSU and propel them to what ultimately looks like an easy victory. The Buckeyes kept their momentum in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 more unanswered points on an 18 yard Ginn Jr. touchdown and 63 yard bomb to another junior wide receiver in Anthony Gonzalez.
The Tigers’ defense was actually rather stingy, holding their own for the SEC against one of the nation’s top offenses. They sacked the quarterback four times and forced an interception. But as has been the case with each of the Buckeye’s opponents this season, Auburn could not contain Troy Smith when it counted. Smith threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns on just 29 attempts.
His counterpart, senior QB Brandon Cox had about as many attempts, 28, yet could only muster 164 yards and one touchdown. It should be noted that, while the Tigers were moderately successful on defense, they could never get into rhythm offensively. Auburn only accumulated 344 yards, as compared to OSU’s 472, despite adding possessions with two Buckeye turnovers. Ohio State will move forward to play the winner of the #4 LSU vs. #5 USC contest for what will be a highly anticipated national semifinal game.
Player of the game: Troy Smith (21-29, 328 yards, 4 TDs)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Ohio State 87.1% - Auburn 12.9%