- 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 the opening win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday:
QB Braxton Miller, So. (Maxwell, O'Brien): Miller might not be as established as other candidates at quarterback, but he put up the kind of numbers that are going to draw significant attention if he can keep posting them. The marriage of his athleticism and the spread is off to an impressive start, with the honeymoon officially starting with 161 rushing yards and a touchdown to complement 207 yards passing with two more scores.
DE John Simon, Sr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Lott IMPACT): The senior didn't have the kind of statistical impact that wins trophies, but the Buckeyes won't always be facing a pass-happy spread that helps negate their edge with Simon and the defensive line rushing the passer. He was still effective supplying pressure and chipped in a couple hits on the quarterback while finishing with three tackles.
DT Johnathan Hankins, Jr. (Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland): The Miami passing game was even more effective at keeping Hankins from impacting the game since it was seemingly making a point not to run the ball at him, and the quick throws kept him from making plays in the backfield. Like Simon, Hankins will have much better outings than his two-tackle performance over the weekend.
WR Corey "Philly" Brown, Jr. (Biletnikoff): Building off a productive training camp, Brown showed good chemistry with Miller and paced what already appears to be an improving passing attack with seven receptions for 87 yards with a touchdown. The Buckeyes have made it a point under Urban Meyer to find playmakers on the perimeter, and Brown's first audition was a clear success.
TE Jake Stoneburner, Sr. (Mackey): Meyer and coordinator Tom Herman have big plans for the versatile offensive weapon, but they seemed to be keeping them under wraps against Miami. Stoneburner made two catches for 28 yards while splitting time as an attached tight end and lining up at receiver, though the Buckeyes figure to want more production than that.
SS C.J. Barnett, Jr. (Thorpe): Pretty much everybody that lined up in the Ohio State secondary had a chance to contribute something against Miami's aerial attack, and Barnett was steady in the back end. There was nothing spectacular about his two tackles and a pass breakup, and he'll need to have a bigger impact to bring home a trophy.
K Drew Basil, Jr. (Groza): Basil did his job as a kickoff man, delivering three touchbacks when called on to boom it deep and placed several balls inside the 5-yard line when Meyer wanted it kicked short. He drilled all eight extra points and didn't attempt a field goal.
LB Etienne Sabino, Sr. (Butkus): Partnered with sophomore Ryan Shazier to get the linebackers off to a productive start. Working much of the time in the nickel, Sabino was active in the second level and finished with five tackles -- four of them solo efforts.
RB Jordan Hall, Sr. (Walker): The projected starter in the backfield was on the sideline as he continues to recover from a torn tendon in his foot. He could possibly return to practice this week, but he's not expected to be available against Central Florida on Saturday.