Buckeyes bag Big Ten title, Fiesta invite (Big Ten Roundup)

Jim Martinho

Ohio State fans can finally relax.

After Buckeyes cornerback Will Allen intercepted John Navarre’s final pass just short of the endzone, sealing a 14-9 victory over archrival Michigan, Ohio Stadium erupted in celebration of No. 2 Ohio State’s berth in the national championship game, the Fiesta Bowl, on Jan. 3.

The win was the Buckeyes’ sixth of the season by a margin of seven points or fewer. Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who had been hindered by a shoulder injury for more than a month, returned to the starting lineup and ignited the Ohio State offense with 119 rushing yards. He also caught a 23-yard pass from quarterback Craig Krenzel that helped set up Maurice Hall’s game-winning 3-yard touchdown run.

Trailing 9-7 for most of the second half, Ohio State (13-0, 8-0 Big Ten) summoned the same magic it needed to squeak past Purdue and Illinois in recent weeks. Hall ran right on an option and went into the endzone untouched for the score.

Ohio State staved off two late drives by the Wolverines to tie No. 5 Iowa for the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes now must wait to see who they’ll play in Tempe, Ariz.

Wisconsin 49, Minnesota 31: Anthony Davis rushed for a career-high 301 yards and five touchdowns as the Badgers won back the Paul Bunyan Axe and became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2000.

Although it won only two Big Ten games, Wisconsin (7-6, 2-6) is likely in line for a berth in the Alamo Bowl. The Badgers also avoided a last-place finish in the conference.

Davis’ five scores tied a school record set in 1974. He scored Wisconsin’s final two touchdowns on runs of 2 and 71 yards. Defensive back Jim Leonhard, who is 5-foot-8, intercepted two passes, giving him a nation-best 10 for the season.

The Gophers (7-5, 3-5) will still likely play in a bowl game even though they haven’t won since October.

Penn State 61, Michigan State 7: Larry Johnson gained 279 yards to put him over the 2,000-yard mark for the season and scored four touchdowns in the first half.

The senior has made a case for the Heisman trophy in the second half of the season, in which he has averaged more than 200 yards per game. He finished with 2,015 yards for the season.

The Nittany Lions (9-3, 5-3) almost guaranteed themselves a spot in the Capital One Bowl –formerly the Citrus Bowl — after Ohio State’s victory over Michigan.

Purdue 34, Indiana 10: The Boilermakers became bowl-eligible for the sixth straight season and regained the Old Oaken Bucket after beating the Hoosiers.

Brandon Jones ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns for Purdue (6-6, 4-4). Quarterback Kyle Orton came off the bench to lead four scoring drives and help the Boilermakers pile up 539 yards of offense. Indiana receiver Courtney Roby went over the 1,000-yard mark for the year.