I don’t know about anyone else, but I was expecting a Buckeye rout in Urban Meyer’s Ohio State debut. They were at home, versus a MAC team, beginning a New Era and an actual offense, I was expecting a lopsided game.
And it was. Ohio State ended up winning going away, by the final of 56-10.
But after one quarter of play, the Buckeyes were trailing Miami Redhawks 3-0.
Of course they were.
Now, Ohio State has had ugly games against MAC teams in the past. It wasn’t a complete surprise that they came out flat. There’s a lot of hype with Meyer taking over and a lot of pressure and expectations 1 . But what’s weird was, I felt good about that 3-0 score. It certainly could’ve been worse; if any Miami’s receivers could catch, quarterback Zac Dysert would’ve given the Redhawk a lead much larger than just three.
Things turned around in the second quarter.
Carlos Hyde (17 carries, 82 yards, 2 TDs) started the quarter off with a 16 yard run. That got everyone feeling good. Two plays later, Braxton Miller found Philly Brown for a 38 yard grab. Miller then found Devin Smith in the endzone to get the Buckeyes off the schnide. Smith’s one-handed catch was absolutely spectacular.
Everyone could breathe again. And Ohio State never looked back.
The Buckeyes went into halftime leading 21-3 (which included getting stuffed at the goal line to end the first half). Miller started the second half with a 65 yard TD scamper and Ohio State returned a blocked punt for a TD on the ensuing Redhawk possession.
The game was never competitiveness in the second half.
Some random thoughts:
- I think I like Meyer going for the TD to end the first half. Sure, he’s running up the score. But he’s also putting players in a sort-of ‘do-or-die’ situation. It didn’t work. They ‘died’. I’d imagine it’ll come up in practice.
- Also, I feel that college ranking systems (or at the very least, the TV pundits that drive me nuts) get impressed by these early blowout wins. I also like that it gives Ohio State that “ya, we’re going for it, you gonna stop us??” edge. It ain’t Tressel-ball, that’s for sure.
- Miller could be more accurate. There were certainly throws that weren’t tight. But it’s not like Miller had a terrible day, he ended up going 14-24 for 207 yards in the air and ran for another 161 on the ground.
- You do worry about his health. Miller ended the day with 17 carries, same as Carlos Hyde. While he’s a fantastic runner, Braxton Miller is not built like Carlos Hyde.
- I like the look of Hyde. He’s big. He looks punishing.
- Hard to have a real opinion on the defense. They didn’t seem to get much pressure on Dysert at all. And, again, if Miami’s receivers could catch… But Ohio State did pick Dysert off twice and they completely shut down the Redhawks’ running game (which isn’t saying much, but still. 20 attempts for -1 yards ain’t bad).
- I do like the fact that this season doesn’t ‘matter’ in terms of the Big Ten title or a bowl game. Meyer can teach his offense and Miller can grow and they’ll be able to do it without walking the “one mistake and yourseason is ruined” tightrope that is the college football season.
Ohio State faces the University of Central Florida Knights next Saturday at the Shoe. Kickoff is at noon.
(Also, much love to everyone who came out to Two Bucks for the WFNY watch party. Especially Chuck and Anthony).
- points. Lots of them [back]