Ohio State went into Texas on Sept. 9, 2006 ranked number one in the nation, and there was a ton of hype surrounding this night game. In this particular instance, it was the first time the number one team had faced off against the number two team, and the primetime atmosphere only added to the drama.
The Buckeyes had lost to Texas at home early in the previous season as Texas marched toward an eventual National Championship victory. At that time, Ohio State was ranked 4th in the nation, and Mack Brown's Longhorns were second in the polls. It was a close one in the ‘Shoe, and Texas trailed by 3 at the half, but nine unanswered points in the fourth quarter gave them a 25-22 edge over the Buckeyes as time expired.
So the Buckeyes went to Austin with two things on their minds — revenge for the previous season's loss, and performing the way the top-ranked team in the country should. They did both.
The Longhorns had lost Vince Young, who declared for the draft following the previous season, and starter Colt McCoy went 19/32 for just 154 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Troy Smith, on the other hand, went 17/26 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Gonzalez had a monster day, with 142 receiving yards and one touchdown, and Ted Ginn, Jr. added 97 more receiving yards and a touchdown.
The Buckeyes went into the half with a seven-point lead, after a personal foul on the Buckeyes helped put McCoy and the Longhorns in position to score in the second quarter. Ten unanswered points in the second half put the Buckeyes on top at the end of the game with a final score of 24-7.
It was a dominant win in a hostile road environment, and the Buckeyes were elated. Players rushed to the pocket of Buckeyes fans nestled in among thousands of Longhorns fans and celebrated with them, flashing their index fingers to signify number one, and sometimes doing the "Hook 'Em" Longhorns hand signal upside down.
It was a tough loss for Texas, a team that had certainly hoped to repeat the success of the previous season. Texas had a 21-game winning streak going prior to this game, which was, at the time, the longest streak in the nation. Texas also said goodbye to a nine-game winning streak versus ranked opponents with this loss to the top-ranked Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes, of course, would go on to face Urban Meyer's Gators in the National Championship game following the 2006 season, and we all remember the outcome of that game, but this victory definitely helped solidify Ohio State's national championship bid.