Success is short-lived for overmatched Miami

Henry Palattella
Running back Maurice Thomas of Miami is tackled by cornerback Damon Arnette (3) of Ohio State during the first half. [Barbara J. Perenic/Dispatch]

For seven minutes and 25 seconds, Miami University made sure to give Ohio State its $1.3 million’s worth.

Thanks in part to the right arm of linebacker Myles Reid and the right foot of kicker Sam Sloman, the RedHawks led the Buckeyes 5-0 a little more than halfway through the first quarter Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

After that, however, they wouldn’t get much else.

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Ohio State’s size, speed and talent quickly caught up in a 76-5 win over Miami.

“I felt good about how we came out on offense,” Miami coach Chuck Martin said. “We knew we had to play at a crazy-good level to have success and I think we did that over the first couple drives, but after that we turned the ball over and didn’t really get a chance to do anything.”

Miami’s afternoon started well. After the RedHawks' first drive stalled, punter Kyle Kramer pinned Ohio State at its 2-yard line. Two plays later, Reid got to Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the end zone and forced a fumble that went out of bounds, giving Miami a 2-0 lead.

The RedHawks' ensuing possession was a 14-play, 66-yard drive that ended with Sloman’s field goal.

On its first two drives, Miami gained 77 yards. Over its next 14, it gained 53.

“(Ohio State’s) defense really exerted their will and next thing you know it got ugly in a hurry,” Martin said. “The only positive of the second half is we got to play some young guys.”

In the days leading up to the game, Martin raved about Ohio State’s speed, calling it one of the most dangerous parts of the Buckeyes' game. Martin and the RedHawks got to see that speed firsthand, as the Buckeyes totaled 601 yards on offense.

“At times we didn’t cover them very well and gave Fields his first look while at other times we covered them well, and then that’s where his size and strength took over to extend plays,” Martin said.

Fields accounted for all six touchdowns in Ohio State’s 42-point second quarter, rushing for two and passing for four.

Brett Gabbert started at quarterback for the RedHawks, hitting 5 of 15 passes for 48 yards and an interception before leaving because of an injury. Jackson Williamson went 2 of 5 for 12 yards in relief. Martin said he’ll have an update on Gabbert on Monday.

Miami opens Mid-American Conference play next week against Buffalo.

“We have a huge game next weekend and right now I don’t know if my locker room is ready to play a huge game next weekend, that’s a fact,” Martin said. “Now by tomorrow, I think we’ll be different, but there’s a lot of work to be done.”


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