2004 Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28

2004 fiesta bowl
January 2, 2004

Attendance: 73,425

Offensive Player of the Game: Craig Krenzel, Ohio State

Defensive Player of the Game: A.J. Hawk, Ohio State

Sportsmanship Award: Darren Sproles, Kansas State

Head Coaches: Jim Tressel, Ohio State - Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Weather: Clear

Payout Per Team: $13,800,000

A year after winning the national championship in dramatic fashion, the Ohio State Buckeyes returned to Sun Devil Stadium and proved their fortitude with a 35-28 victory over Big 12 champion Kansas State in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl.

The game wasn’t decided until a desperation pass by Kansas State hit the ground, but the Buckeyes had control throughout. Ohio State built leads of 21-0 and 35-14 behind its usual strengths — a tenacious defense and a gritty quarterback.

Craig Krenzel was named offensive player of the game, joining Penn State’s Curt Warner as the only other player in Fiesta Bowl history to claim the honor on two occasions. The senior signal caller tossed four touchdown passes, two to Michael Jenkins, and had his usual poise when the Wildcats got close.

Kansas State started slow but battled throughout, as the one-two punch of Ell Roberson and Darren Sproles did its best to keep the Wildcats in the game. After falling behind 21-0, Kansas State pulled within seven shortly after halftime on a 14-yard TD run by Roberson.

But Ohio State answered with 14 points in the third quarter on touchdown passes from Krenzel to Jenkins (eight yards) and Santonio Holmes (31 yards) to give the Buckeyes a comfortable cushion.

The Wildcats again pulled within seven with two short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. After holding the Buckeyes on defense, K-State got the ball with a chance to tie the game. But after crossing midfield, Ohio State’s defense made two key plays and Roberson’s long pass to the goal line was knocked down as time expired.

It was a reunion of sorts for both teams, each of which had claimed arguably their biggest wins in school history in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

The Buckeyes had the most recent and most memorable game, a double-overtime thriller over defending national champion Miami the previous year that shocked the college football world and will long be remembered as one of the greatest games in history.

K-State defeated Syracuse, which was led by Donovan McNabb, in the 1997 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, earning the Wildcats their first 11-win season in school history and first victory in a major bowl game.

On this night, however, the magic from Ohio State’s national championship was still in the air, as the Buckeyes made all of the key plays on offense and defense to defeat one of the hottest teams in the nation.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Ohio State
14
7
14
0
35
Kansas State
0
7
7
14
28

Yardstick

OSU
KSU
15
First Downs
25
40-148
Rushes-Yards
32-84
189
Passing Yards
294
11-24-2
Passes
20-52-1
48
Return Yards
10
7-40.1
Punts
8-40.0
0-0
Fumbles-Lost
0-0
9-63
Penalties-Yards
8-51

How They Scored

OSU
KSU
7
0
John Hollins 7 yard blocked punt return (Mike Nugent kick)
14
0
Santonio Holmes 6 yard pass from Craig Krenzel (Nugent kick)
21
0
Michael Jenkins 17 yard pass from Krenzel (Nugent kick)
21
7
Darren Sproles 6 yard run (Joe Rheem kick)
21
14
Ell Roberson 14 yard run (Rheem kick)
28
14
Jenkins 8 yard pass from Krenzel (Nugent kick)
35
14
Holmes 31 yard pass from Krenzel (Nugent kick)
35
21
Ayo Saba 3 yard run (Rheem kick)
35
28
Roberson 1 yard run (Rheem kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
OSU
Lydell Ross 20-82, Branden Joe 11-46, Craig Krenzel 8-21, Santonio Holmes 1-(-1).
KSU
Darren Sproles 13-38, Ell Roberson 16-32, Jermaine Moreira 1-13, Ayo Saba 2-1.
Passing
OSU
Craig Krenzel 11-24-2-189.
KSU
Ell Roberson 20-52-1-294.
Receiving
OSU
Michael Jenkins 5-96, Bam Childress 2-44, Santonio Holmes 2-37, Lydell Ross 2-12.
KSU
Davin Dennis 7-113, James Terry 4-58, Jermaine Moriera 3-59, Darren Sproles 3-5, Antoine Polite 1-31, Thomas Hill 1-17, Brian Casey 1-11.