Instant analysis: OSU 56, Miami (Ohio) 10
September, 1, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Urban Meyer era is officially under way, and he delivered almost exactly what Ohio State fans wanted in his debut.
The no-huddle, spread offense delivered touchdowns in a hurry. The defense was hard-nosed and relentless in pursuit. And, naturally, the Buckeyes added a score on special teams.
In all, Ohio State made it look pretty easy after a slow start, rolling to a 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday to celebrate a fresh start.
It was over when: Braxton Miller took the first snap of the second half, kept the ball on an option moving to the left and put the game away a couple of seconds later.
The sophomore quarterback was electrifying as a runner throughout the game, but his 65-yard touchdown scamper down the sideline officially signaled the Buckeyes were opening the floodgates and ready to cruise. Miller busted loose with a subtle shake of his shoulders at the line of scrimmage, and he polished off the run with a head-turning stutter step to put Ohio State up 28-3 to start the third quarter.
Game ball goes to: Miller didn't even need three full quarters to break Ohio State's single-game rushing record for quarterbacks, and he was just as difficult to defend as a passer. The sophomore threw for 207 yards while piling up his 161 yards on the ground, more than enough to qualify as a successful debut in Meyer's spread attack.
Stat of the game: Among the worst passing teams in the country last season, the Buckeyes showed marked improvement in just the first half. Last season they averaged 127 yards per game -- and Miller had 189 through the air before intermission Saturday.
How the game was won: The spread offense was far from perfect early, but some good, old-fashioned power rushing helped get the Buckeyes moving in the second quarter. Miller was a handful operating the option, but it was a few broken tackles on inside carries by Carlos Hyde that helped the Buckeyes establish themselves physically on the way to the second touchdown and an eventual rout.
What it means: There still is work to be done for the Buckeyes, and Meyer no doubt will harp on a few missed opportunities in the passing game and the slow start as he goes back to work for next week's tougher test against Central Florida. But for starters, Ohio State appears to be on its way to building an offense that won't be easy to slow down.
Saban vs. Meyer
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State