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.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien led the charge in the first home opener without Joe Paterno since 1949, his players behind him, storming the Beaver Stadium field as more than 97,000 fans kicked off a new chapter in the program’s tarnished history with a raucous and sustained ovation. But the Nittany Lions wore down in the second half, and Ohio, from the Mid-American Conference, upset Penn State, 24-14.
With quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase injured, Ashante Williams returned an interception 60 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help Illinois and new coach Tim Beckman hang on for a 24-7 win Saturday over Western Michigan in the season opener for both teams. The Illini opened up a 17-0 lead but their offense stalled when Scheelhaase left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.
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.
Ohio’s defense shut down Penn State’s aerial attack in the third quarter, holding the Nittany Lions to 27 passing yards and the Bobcats have taken the lead 17-14. Ohio threw for 124 yards during the quarter. Penn State has given up 14 straight points.
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.