ESPN has had to get very creative without the vast majority of live sports over the last two-plus months. That has included some serious nostalgia plays, between things like The Last Dance, the 10-part Michael Jordan and 1997-98 Chicago Bulls documentary that wrapped up earlier this month, and replays of older games.
Tonight, college football fans will get to relive one of the more notable national championship games of the last two decades. The 2003 Fiesta Bowl between No. 1 Miami and No. 2 Ohio State featured two of the most talented teams of the BCS era.
Miami was still a megapower in college football, and just a year removed from the famous 2001 season. That team was one of the most talented in history, with 17 future first-round picks and 38 total NFL Draft picks. The 2001-02 'Canes ran the table, beating Nebraska to claim the national title.
Ohio State didn't have the same flash, but featured plenty of notable names. With Craig Krenzel at quarterback, young superstar Maurice Clarett in the backfield, and other notable players like Chris Gamble, Michael Jenkins, Shane Olivea, Will Smith, Darrion Scott, and Mike Doss on the roster, they delivered a classic upset against the stacked Hurricanes.
Miami was a heavy favorite entering the Fiesta Bowl, giving 11.5 points entering the game. The 'Canes jumped out to an early lead, but with a 14-0 second quarter, Ohio State showed that it was Miami's equal.
The game went to two overtimes. Miami was dealt very tough blows with the gruesome fourth-quarter injury to star running back Willis McGahee, a Heisman finalist, and a controversial first-overtime pass interference penalty called against Miami's Glenn Sharpe, which gave Ohio State an automatic first-down from the two-yard line after what would have been a fourth down stop by the team.
The game will be replayed tonight on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.