- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A glance at the Ohio State players named to preseason watch lists and how they performed in a 31-16 win over Central Florida on Saturday:
QB Braxton Miller, So. (Maxwell, O'Brien): In the long run, Miller might not be able to survive a full season if the spread offense calls for him to rush it 27 times, as he did against the Knights. But the Buckeyes needed everything the dynamic quarterback could offer as it dealt with some injuries and communication issues, and Miller responded with a hard-earned 141 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to complement 155 passing yards and another score through the air.
DE John Simon, Sr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Lott IMPACT): The Knights focused plenty of attention on the two-time captain, and that left Simon again without a sack. But he was as active as ever up front, making five tackles and assisting on his first tackle for a loss of the season.
DT Johnathan Hankins, Jr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland): Like Simon, the talented junior couldn't come up with a sack against UCF -- but he didn't need one to make his presence felt. Hankins also didn't have to supply many tackles to slow down the Knights, making just three while still grading out as Ohio State's defensive player of the game.
WR Corey "Philly" Brown, Jr. (Biletnikoff): Paced the passing game with six more receptions to run his total to 13 for the season -- just one shy of the team-leading total for all of last season. Brown was a threat on the ground as well, accounting for 33 yards on two attempts and giving coach Urban Meyer even more reason to get him involved.
TE Jake Stoneburner, Sr. (Mackey): The reliable veteran was back where he's most comfortable -- in the end zone. Stoneburner only made two catches for 20 yards, but just like he was a year ago, he offered a big target in the red zone and made his first touchdown grab of the season.
SS C.J. Barnett, Jr. (Thorpe): The safety is falling behind a couple teammates in the race to lead the Buckeyes in interceptions, especially Travis Howard after the cornerback snagged his third pick of the season on Saturday. But Barnett broke up a couple passes and made five tackles for the Buckeyes in the backend.
K Drew Basil, Jr. (Groza): There still hasn't been much work for Basil to do other than kick off, but he drilled his first and only attempt of the season with a conversion of 24 yards against the Knights. The junior also continues to place the ball exactly where Meyer wants on kickoffs.
LB Etienne Sabino, Sr. (Butkus): Made a big impact with a critical interception while also chipping in five tackles at the second level. Sabino was expected to provide invaluable leadership at a young position group, but the Buckeyes also needed production from him -- and they're getting it.
RB Jordan Hall, Sr. (Walker): On the shelf again while rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn tendon in his foot, Hall was medically cleared for practice and could potentially make his return to the backfield this week against Cal.
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