Once Skull Session was complete and the student section got through their first attempt at Quick Cals, with Mickey Marotti and the team leading the way, it was time to finally get football back underway in Columbus with 105,039 packed into Ohio Stadium for the 2012 opener.
Nine months of hype and hope, and an incredible build up of intensity within the Ohio State program and fanbase, led us to Urban Meyer‘s debut in the Horseshoe this afternoon, but it didn’t go as planned early on. The first quarter showed a Buckeyes offense that looked more like the 2011 version that went 6-7 than any team Meyer fielded in Gainesville, and the defense was shaky at best allowing Miami quarterback Zac Dysert to pick them apart for 200 first-half yards in the air.
If not for a missed field goal and a number of dropped passes by RedHawk receivers, the Bucks could have easily fallen into a 14-0 or 17-0 hole early on.
Instead the Buckeyes weathered the storm and came out on fire in the second quarter, setting a tone that would carry them throughout the rest of the game and a 56-10 victory in Meyer’s debut as the Buckeyes’ head coach.
Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller came out in the second quarter and threw two touchdown passes, one to Corey “Philly” Brown and the other care of an amazing grab by Devin Smith, and tacked on another 68 yards on the ground before halftime arrived. Carlos Hyde added another touchdown on the ground, and after Ohio State tried and failed to punch it in the end zone again on the final play of the half, the Buckeyes went into the locker room with plenty to evaluate but holding on to a 21-3 lead.
Braxton came out in the second half and picked up right where he left off.
After Meyer spoke on BTN before the second-half kickoff, mentioning they were looking to get Miller on the run again to open up the rest of the offense, Miller listened and took the first play from scrimmage 65 yards on the ground for his first rushing touchdown of the year, extending Ohio State’s lead to 28-3.
After a bad snap on Miami’s first punt attempt of the second half, one that was recovered in the end zone by cornerback Bradley Roby to extend the lead to 35-3, the RedHawks came right back on the strength of Dysert’s arm and put seven more on the board on a 44-yard touchdown pass to RedHawks wide receiver Nick Harwell with just over ten minutes remaining in the third quarter. That would be as close as Miami would get.
The Buckeyes closed out the game with Kenny Guiton after Miller went out twice with leg cramps and did a respectable job as the Ohio State backup quarterback, managing the offense and tempo well in Miller’s absence – finishing off the RedHawks with 538 total yards while committing zero turnovers and only being penalized three times for twenty yards.
At times this team looked exactly like the 6-7 team of a year ago. At other times they looked like the exact offense and defense Urban Meyer intends them to be – fierce, fast and efficient. Special teams looked solid all game long, something Meyer will certainly be pleased with going into week two, but the defense didn’t put very much pressure on Miami (OH) quarterback Zac Dysert, allowing him to post 304 passing yards in the opener.
While never good to see your starying quarterback go out injured, it was fantastic to see Kenny Guiton get some snaps in game speed, something that is well-deserved after very positive reports on the young man coming from Urban Meyer throughout camp.
Final Score | Ohio State 56 – Miami (OH) 10
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Key OSU Offensive Stats:
- Braxton Miller – 14/24, 205yds, 2TD
- Kenny Guiton – 5/9, 37yds
- Braxton Miller – 17 carries, 161yds, TD
- Carlos Hyde – 17 carries, 84yds, 2TD
- Philly Brown – 7rec, 87 yards, TD
- Braxton Miller sat out most of the second half with right leg cramps
- Zach Boren recorded his first rushing touchdown as a Buckeye
- Travis Howard recorded 2 interceptions, matching his total from 2011
- Multiple true freshmen saw action, including DE’s Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence, ATH Armani Reeves, RB Bri’onte Dunn
- True freshman running back Bri’onte Dunn (Canton) scored his first Ohio State touchdown.
- Seven different Buckeyes had receptions versus Miami (OH)
Home versus Central Florida – Saturday, September 8th, Noon – Ohio Stadium