The 2002 season was filled with many close games that came down to the wire but only one of them ended due to a play so spectacular that it earned its own nickname. On November 9th, 2002, the second ranked Ohio State Buckeyes rolled into West Lafayette to face the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue entered the game with a 4-5 (2-3 conference) record and nobody expected the epic game that was about to unfold.
Purdue got off to a good start, moving the ball well and getting deep into Ohio State territory before Dustin Fox intercepted a Kyle Orton pass to end the scoring threat. Neither team did anything with the ball for the next few possessions until Craig Krenzel was intercepted, giving the Boilermakers the ball deep in Buckeye territory; fortunately the OSU defense held strong and limited Purdue to a field goal to go up 3-0 late in the first quarter. The Buckeye offense finally showed signs of life in the second quarter and with the clock running down and no timeouts left, Mike Nugent and the special teams unit hurried onto the field to kick a field goal as time expired in the first half.
The BBC, while confessing to be pro-Ohio State all the time, must admit that Dustin Fox was not favorite, unless the contest was “which player would you like to see benched?” During the 2002 National Championship season, Fox always seemed to be the player that our opponent would throw towards whenever they had 3rd-and-long. And way too many times, it worked out for them. Dustin Fox, for all his speed, was often found without a WR anywhere near him (see above picture).
That scary Illinois game that ended up in OT? Fox gave up three long pass plays, one of which helped set up the Illini for their game-tying FG. But Fox also shoved a player out of bounds in the end zone that saved the game in OT.
And he’s also got a big ass ring on his hand that says he went 14-0 while I was sitting in front of my TV. So props go out to him today.
37 Days until kickoff!