Urban Meyer’s explosive offense came close to imploding early in the Buckeyes game against the Miami Redhawks. They were outgained 172 yards to 48 in the first quarter.
“That darned first quarter,” Meyer said, “I don’t want to say I was embarrassed with the way we were playing. We worked so hard and we didn’t play very well, in all phases.”
Even early in the second quarter, there was a point where quarterback Braxton Miller was averaging 7.0 yards when he rushed the ball, but only .7 yards when he attempted a pass.
“We just came out there not attacking the things that we really wanted to attack,” said Miller.
Eventually, though, the coaching staff figured out the Hawks game plan, and gave Miller plays to run that he was more comfortable running.
Boom went the offense.
OSU finished their 56-10 victory with 538 yards. They were balanced (244 yards passing, 294 rushing), and they scored touchdowns in 5 of their 7 trips to the red-zone.
Miller had a career day with a personal best 368 total yards, and set a new Ohio State quarterback record with 161 yards on the ground. The previous mark had been Cornelius Greene’s 146-yard day against Wisconsin in 1974. (The complete stats on the day can be found here.)
As for the defense, they buckled down as well. “We didn’t have very many adjustments,” explained defensive lineman Nathan Williams. “It’s the first game, you’ve got to adjust to the fans, you’ve got to adjust to the new coaching staff, how things are done. Once everything settled down, we got more comfortable.”
Ohio State’s next game is this coming Saturday against Central Florida.
An ESPN Top Play
Devin Smith’s one-handed 23-yard touchdown grab was not only the first Buckeye score of the season, it was also the highlight of the game.
“Coach Meyer before that told me to make a play,” Smith shared. “And when we got lined up, Braxton looked at me, shook his head like ‘let’s go,’ and we made the play.”
Smith talks about that play, and gives his perspective on the Ohio State win here.
Nathan Williams played in a game for the first time having microfracture surgery on his knee, and considering he was being eased back into things so slowly that he was running with the Buckeye scout team on Tuesday, he played a lot more than expected.
In fact, it surprised even him.
“It was a tremendous feeling to have, and hopefully I can enjoy it eleven more times this year,” he said.
He added, however, that he also hopes to play better. “I want to feel like normal again, like I used to, so I still have a couple steps to gain.”
Williams had 2 solo tackles this weekend.
The Upcoming Opponent
Like Ohio State, Central Florida is coming off a big win against a Mid American Conference Opponent. The Knights downed Akron 56-14 Thursday night.
In that game, George O’Leary’s squad took advantage of four Akron turnovers, and running back Latavius Murray racked up 108 yards on 14 carries, including one touchdown run. Murray’s numbers might have been even more impressive, but he was limited to just over a quarter’s worth of playing time because of a sore shoulder.
Meanwhile, Knights sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles was 13-for-16 for 168 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start.
Defensively, UCF only allowed 69 yards, which should come as no surprise. They’ve been ranked in the top 20 run defenses every year since 2009.
Central Florida has already posted their game notes here.