Anxiety made its season debut as Miami University registered not only the first but also the second scores to put Ohio State in a hole. Unfortunately for the RedHawks, the two solid singles left them with only a 5-0 lead, and the Buckeyes had way too many innings and big hitters in their lineup to make up the difference. Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis.
Ohio State went backward on each of its first two plays, giving up 2 yards and two points in the process. Thereafter the Buckeyes traveled almost exclusively by escalator, so smooth was their journey. Stats-stuffers were impossible to find, so evenly distributed were the carries and catches, but Justin Fields definitely is the rainmaker.
Miami produced 77 yards on its first two possessions — and its next 14 drives netted only 53 more. The foundation of the blowout was poured when OSU forced three second-quarter turnovers — a Jeff Okudah interception and two Chase Young strip sacks. That man is special the way he attacks the ball; Chase the Wrapper he is not.
Special teams (4)
The Buckeyes’ 42-point second quarter went from merry-go-round to top-fuel dragster because of four short fields — the three aforementioned takeaways and a blocked punt by Sevyn Banks that OSU cashed in for the fifth (or was it the sixth?) TD of the quarter. The only blunder was a missed PAT, but who was there to see it?
Ryan Day took responsibility for the safety, explaining that the play call was a long-developing pass when the reduced real estate didn’t allow for much ambling. At what other point did anything go sideways? The Buckeyes are the big bullies on the playground at the moment, but they seem to understand that tougher challenges dot the horizon.
College football sadism, if you’re into that sort of thing, is a regular occurrence when the Buckeyes meet a small fry from the Mid-American Conference. This game had its moments, but all in the first half — OSU’s first deficit, a Hop Cassady montage, the furious, um, comeback. The second half: a root canal, then a game-ending rain.
Bully for the RedHawks when they stormed out and landed the first couple of punches — glancing blows, as it turns out, but they were in there swinging. Then, with a snap of the fingers, the birds of prey became a collection of birds of pray-they-don’t-get-hurt. Here’s guessing the Butler County line never looked so good.
The crew did reasonably well keeping things under control, though there wasn’t much violence in those personal-foul penalties. The only real confusion was in the second quarter when referee John O’Neill announced an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on No. 27 of Ohio State. News to Eddie George, whose number is retired.