The game could have easily gone the other way though. After Ohio State sophomore running back Chris Beanie Wells scored from 10 yards out to put Ohio State up 27-24 with 1:55 remaining in the game, Sam Bradford and the Sooner offense were able to march the ball into Ohio State territory.
Facing a fourth-and-seven from the Buckeye 45 and 58 seconds on the clock, Vernon Gholston pressured Bradford into scrambling far to his left and throwing across his body in attempt to reach junior wide receiver Manuel Johnson. Johnson leapt toward the ball, yet fell just short of bringing in a catch that could have kept hope alive for Oklahoma.
For the game, Wells carried the load with 32 carries, accounting for 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The output gave the All-Big Ten back 597 yards and seven scores in just three December Madness games.
Potentially the biggest play of the game came earlier, at the end of the first half. Ohio State trailed 10-6 with four minutes to go in the first half. Wells scored his first touchdown soon after that to put the Buckeyes ahead 13-10.
Then, with five seconds remaining on the second quarter clock, Todd Boeckman lofted a Hail Mary toward the left side of the endzone. Junior wideout Brian Robiskie jumped up and brought the ball down for the TD as the half expired. Obviously, that 44 yard score on a fluky play ultimately provided enough for the OSU victory.
Bradford, just a freshman, paced the OU offense with 244 yards on 22 of 34 passing. Boeckman had an eerily similar game with 300 yards on 23 of 36 passing. The Buckeyes defense was able to keep running back Chris Brown in check, but Allen Patrick exploded for 114 yards on just 17 carries.
His success as the speedier of the two backs suggests a different outcome if the ultra-fast freshman DeMarco Murray had been healthy. #1 Ohio State advances to the Championship Game to face the winner of the USC-Virginia Tech showdown.
Player of the game: Chris Wells (132 yards, 2 TDs)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Ohio State 53% - Oklahoma 47%