- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The offense came out swinging this time.
But Ohio State has an opponent capable of throwing a few punches back in its second game under Urban Meyer.
Central Florida weathered an early surge and came back to tie the score in the second quarter before Braxton Miller’s legs put the Buckeyes on top 17-10 at halftime at Ohio Stadium.
Stat of the half: Braxton Miller carried 14 times for 108 yards in the first half, including a pair of touchdown runs with Central Florida failing to put so much as a hand on him.
Player of the half: Miller picked things up right where he left them when cramps shortened his game in the season opener, picking up big chunks of yardage on the ground and getting the Buckeyes on the board early with a 37-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. The sophomore quarterback has been by far the most reliable offensive option, as the spread offense has suffered through some growing pains.
What’s working for Ohio State: When in doubt, the Buckeyes simply call for Miller to run a draw.
His speed, the spread formation and some solid blocking have opened up enormous holes for him on the play, and it was particularly valuable with the score tied late in the half and Ohio State facing a third-and-16. All Miller did was pick up 24 yards -- then punch in the score on the next play.
What’s not working for Ohio State: Communication has apparently been an issue as the transition to the new offense and faster tempo hasn’t looked quite as smooth.
There have been substitution issues and a couple costly penalties, and Meyer hasn’t looked pleased through the first 30 minutes. But Miller’s athleticism has essentially bailed out the Buckeyes as they take a lead into the locker room.
1hBrian Bennett and Austin Ward