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.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET Western Kentucky Illinois 12:00 PM ET McNeese State 22 Nebraska 12:00 PM ET Akron Penn State 12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Purdue 12:00 PM ET Howard Rutgers 12:00 PM ET Western Illinois 14 Wisconsin 3:30 PM ET Northern Illinois Northwestern 3:30 PM ET Middle Tennessee Minnesota 3:30 PM ET Ball State Iowa 3:30 PM ET Maryland South Florida 6:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 3 Oregon 7:30 PM ET Michigan 17 Notre Dame 8:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 5 Ohio State