With two Big Ten games under my belt from Thursday and Friday, I locked in on the four early Big Ten games Saturday. Here are my Snap Reactions, where I list the three things I learned from each game. What did you learn? Come tell me in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
Braxton Miller rushed for 165 yards, a record for an Ohio State quarterback, and threw for two scores including Devin Smith‘s highlight-reel, one-handed catch as the 18th-ranked Buckeyes ushered in the Urban Meyer era on Saturday with a 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio). Meyer, who won two national titles at Florida, moved to 11-0 in season-openers. The slow-starting Miller, who stutter-stepped for a 65-yard score just 17 seconds into the second half, finished 14 of 24 passing for 207 yards. He also hit Corey Brown on a 5-yard TD pass.
Ohio State ran for 91 yards in the third quarter, and the Buckeyes now lead 35-10. Ohio State held Miami (OH) to negative rushing yardage (-21 yards) in the quarter. The Buckeyes expanded their lead to 28-3 thanks to a one-play, 65-yard drive on Braxton Miller impressive touchdown run. Watch the play here. Ohio State made the score 35-3 when the Buckeyes recovered a fumble in the endzone.
Braxton Miller is still a work in progress as a passer. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with his running. Miller showcased his ground skills throughout Saturday’s season opener against Miami (OH), and at no point were they more apparent than on his 65-yard scoring scamper to open the third quarter. Miller ran past defenders, and then used a strong stutter-step to get his way past the last couple of defenders and into the end zone to give Ohio State a 28-3 lead.
Ohio State scored 21 points in the second quarter, and it has taken ta 21-3 lead into the locker room. Ohio State threw for 184 yards and ran for 105 yards in the quarter. The Buckeyes had six long plays in the quarter, including Braxton Miller’s 38-yard pass to Corey Brown. Miller’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith put Ohio State on top 7-3, capping off a four-play, 83-yard drive. Watch the incredible one-handed grab here.
Pardon the hyperbole, but there may not be a better catch all season long than the one Ohio State’s Devin Smith made in Saturday’s season opener against Miami (OH) at Ohio Stadium. Early in the second quarter, with Ohio State trailing Miami (OH), Smith gave the Buckeyes the lead with an incredible one-handed touchdown grab. Watch Smith use nothing but his right hand to bring down Braxton Miller’s 23-yard touchdown pass right now.
The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow first quarter and Miami (OH) leads 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. There were six punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. The RedHawks held No. 18 Ohio State to just five yards passing during the quarter. Miami (OH) took the game’s first lead after Kaleb Patterson kicked a 21-yard field goal on the last play of a six-play, 64-yard drive. The key play on the RedHawks’ drive was Zac Dysert’s 58-yard pass. Miami (OH) didn’t run a single time during that march downfield.
As promised, Ohio State rolled out a new tradition called “Quick Cals.” What are those? At works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the Buckeye players will do fast, upbeat pregame exercises while facing the students. And the students can participate. Watch the video to see their first one this Saturday morning.
The first of four games on BTN/BTN2Go Saturday, Ohio State opens up the much-anticipated Urban Meyer era against Miami (OH) at noon ET. Track all of Saturday’s action on the BTN.com scoreboard. Ohio State, fresh off a frustrating 6-7 season, looks to make significant strides this fall despite being ineligible for postseason play due to NCAA sanctions. Watch our preview of the Ohio State vs. Miami (OH) game now and see our interview with Michigan’s Brady Hoke in this post.
This is the first edition of a new weekly post where I will look at one key question for each team in a piece called: 12 Teams, 12 Questions. I’ll roll these out every Tuesday and look forward to hearing what you think about your team and your team’s games.