NEW ORLEANS — Ohio State defenders Darron Lee and Tyvis Powell both took away valuable souvenirs from Ohio State’s 42-35 win against Alabama last night in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl. While Lee plans to share his with the defense, Powell has personal plans for his.
Powell’s souvenir was the ball he intercepted on the last play of the game, a last-gasp alley-oop pass to the end zone from Alabama quarterback Blake Sims.
” ‘It’s time to end the game,’ ” he said of his thought as he saw the long, high pass in the air. ” ‘I need to use my 6-3 ability for something.’ “
Asked whether he thought of going down immediately once he made the catch, Powell smiled and said, “I did contradict myself, because I was going to do that. But I said ‘Why not try to score? Why not?’ I tried to take it to the crib.”
He only made it 29 yards before being tackled. So he’ll have to be satisfied with taking the ball back to his parents’ home in Bedford, Ohio. He kept it, an Alabama Nike model, just like he kept the ball he intercepted to save the win at Michigan in 2013 when the Wolverines chose to go for two, thus preserving that 42-41 win. He said the new one will go right next to the other one.
“Yes it does,” Powell said, giving the ball a spin in the locker room afterward. “These are two game-saving balls, quote, unquote.”
Lee, on the other hand, was named the game’s defensive MVP after taking part in seven tackles, including two sacks and another tackle for loss. But the redshirt freshman linebacker said there should have been at least 11 copies of the award.
“The whole defense was the MVP tonight,” Lee said. “I’m not taking that award individually. I know everybody will probably write about it, but I share this award with the entire defense.
“We played our hearts. All the guys that stepped out there, we rotated, we played our hearts out and we played a great game.”
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 2, 2015