TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Ohio State restored its proud tradition, and it took an epic game to do it.
Maurice Clarett scored his second touchdown on a five-yard run in the second overtime and Ohio State forced an incomplete pass by a rushed Ken Dorsey on the final play to defeat top-ranked Miami, 31-24, and claim its first national championship in 34 years.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel had a pair of touchdown runs for the Buckeyes (14-0), who ended Miami's 34-game winning streak - the sixth-longest in college football history - in a game of high drama that was prolonged by a controversial pass interference call.
"We've always had the best (darn) band in the land," coach Jim Tressel said. "Now we've got the best (darn) team in the land."
It was the first-ever overtime in a BCS title game, and Miami somehow managed to get to an extra session despite turning the ball over five times and losing star running back Willis McGahee to a knee injury in the fourth quarter.
Miami (12-1) sent the game into overtime on the final play of regulation when Todd Sievers kicked a 40-yard field goal to tie it at 17-17.
The Hurricanes had the ball first in overtime and Kellen Winslow Jr. caught a seven-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Ken Dorsey. Winslow caught 11 passes for 122 yards.
A pass interference penalty allowed Ohio State to tie the game at 24-24.
On 4th-and-goal from the 5, Glenn Sharpe batted away a pass intended for Chris Gamble. The Miami fans began their celebration and the bench began to empty, but Sharpe was flagged and Krenzel scored on a one-yard run.
"I saw the guy holding the guy prior to the ball being put in the air," field judge Terry Porter said. "He was still holding him, pulling him down while the ball was in the air. I gave the signal for holding. Then I realized that is should be pass interference because the ball was in the air."
"I was laying on the ground and their team was rushing the field," Krenzel said. "Then I heard the crowd. I thought it was the correct call."
Krenzel had kept the drive alive with a 17-yard pass to Michael Jenkins on 4th-and-14, a pass the quarterback thought would be incomplete after he was hit.
The Buckeyes had the ball first in the second overtime and scored on a five-yard touchdown run by Clarett, who carried 23 times for just 47 yards and also forced and recovered a fumble in the third quarter.
Miami had one last chance and kept its season alive on a seven-yard pass from Dorsey to Winslow on 4th-and-3. A pass interference gave the Hurricanes a first down inside the 5, but that was as far as they would get.
On fourth down, Dorsey was chased by blitzing linebacker Cie Grant and the pass was batted down by safety Donnie Nickey, starting a wild celebration from the crowd of 77,502, most of whom were rooting for the Buckeyes.
Tressel assured himself a prized place in Buckeyes lore, guiding Ohio State to its first national title since since 1968. The Buckeyes also won championships in 1942, 1954, 1957 and 1968.
"Our guys know what they are capable of and what they can accomplish," Tressel said. "Our guys had every confidence going into this football game."
Once again, Ohio State lived on the edge. And once again, it escaped with a victory. It was the seventh time this season the Buckeyes won by a touchdown or less.
On the other side of the field, Larry Coker, another second-year coach, lost for the first time in his 25-game tenure.
"It was about what I expected - very painful," Coker said. "They have a great defensive football team. They don't allow a lot of yards."
Miami's last loss was at Washington on September 9, 2000 when Coker was the offensive coordinator under Butch Davis.
The Hurricanes averaged just 2.8 yards on 52 rushing attempts.
"We hung our hat on stopping the run and we did just that," Ohio State linebacker Matt Wilhelm said.
The Hurricanes appeared to be headed for defeat late in the fourth quarter before Roscoe Parrish caught a pass over the middle for a 29-yard gain. But he was stripped by Dustin Fox deep in Ohio State territory and Will Allen recovered the fumble with 5:08 left.
Parrish redeemed himself with a 50-yard punt return to the Ohio State 26 with 2:02 remaining, setting the stage for Sievers' field goal.
The Hurricanes needed only a field goal because the normally reliable Mike Nugent had missed a 42-yard attempt with 6:35 left in regulation. Sievers had been wide right on a 54-yard try with 11:26 left.
Dorsey completed 28-of-43 passes for 296 yards but threw two interceptions and also fumbled once in his final college game. His three turnovers led to 14 points as he lost for just the second time in 40 college starts.
"It hurts losing, but it hurts more thinking I let my teammates down," a tearful Dorsey said. "That hurts more than any loss, more than you could imagine.
"We wouldn't have been in the game without our defense, but I should have made some throws when we needed to."
The loss left the Hurricanes frustrated as they failed to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Nebraska in 1994 and 1995.
"Overall, we're the better team," Miami defensive end Jerome McDougle said. "They got a lot of breaks and they took advantage of it."
Krenzel completed just 7-of-21 passes for 122 yards but ran 19 times for a career-high 81 yards and constantly kept the Hurricanes off-balance with his scrambling ability. He also scored on a one-yard sneak in the second quarter.
Miami controlled the tempo in the first quarter, but Dorsey turned over the ball on three straight possessions in the second quarter, including a pair of interceptions. The Buckeyes turned them into 14 points in a 79-second span just before halftime.
Dorsey completed 8-of-10 passes for 119 yards in the opening quarter before his troubles began on an interception by Fox.
Ohio State moved the ball to the Miami 17 before holder Andy Groom tried to run on a fake field goal and was stopped short of a first down.
The Buckeyes soon regained possession when Mike Doss intercepted a tipped pass from Dorsey and returned it 37 yards to the Miami 17. Ohio State converted when Krenzel pushed his way off tackle into the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the 1, tying the game at 7-7 with 2:28 left in the second quarter.
Tackle Kenny Peterson soon stripped the ball from Dorsey on the next possession and left end Darrion Scott fell on the ball at the Miami 14. Two plays later, Clarett burst up the middle for a seven-yard touchdown run with 1:10 left in the half.
The Hurricanes struck first on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Dorsey to Parrish, capping a five-play, 52-yard drive.
Dorsey took advantage with a 28-yard pass to Winslow to the Ohio State 23. The Buckeyes then tried a safety blitz by Donnie Nickey, but he was picked up near the line of scrimmage and Dorsey found Parrish in 1-on-1 coverage over the middle for a 7-0 lead with 4:09 left in the quarter.
Clarett, who endured a turbulent week over his desire to return home to attend the funeral of a friend, still played a key role.
In the third quarter, Krenzel connected on a 48-yard pass to Gamble to move Ohio State inside the Miami 10. Sean Taylor intercepted Krenzel on the next play and ran the ball out of the end zone, where he was stripped by Clarett, giving the Buckeyes the ball back at Miami 28.
Nugent soon followed with a 44-yard field goal, increasing the lead to 17-7.
The Miami offense regained its form late in the third quarter, marching 55 yards in seven plays with McGahee scoring on a nine-yard run with 2:11 left in the quarter.
McGahee, like Dorsey, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, carried 20 times for 76 yards before injuring his left knee midway through the fourth quarter after he was hit by Will Smith.
Miami has lost all four of its trips to the Fiesta Bowl, twice with the national title at stake. The other was to Penn State on January 2, 1987.