So much for the revenge angle. Looking to heal the wounds suffered eight seasons ago in Tempe, Miami simply didn't have the personnel stay with Ohio State as the Buckeyes rode a stifling defense and the back of Terrelle Pryor capturing a convincing 36-24 victory this afternoon in a raucous Ohio Stadium. If not for continued shoddy special teams play, the margin of victory would have been larger but 4 INTs from the defense and 346 total yards and two scores from Pryor left no doubt as to which program is currently superior.
It seemed like it might be a nailbiter early. After Devin Barclay gave OSU a 3-0 lead following a Nathan Williams interception of Jacory Harris, the Miami special teams exposed Ohio State as Lamar Miller got loose for an 88 yard TD return and a 7-3 lead. Ohio State failed to respond going 3 and out with Pryor looking shaky - nearly throwing a 3rd and 6 interception. The defense would hold but the Buckeyes again went 3 and out on a highly conservative possession that started from their own 11 yard line. Pryor was just 3/8 to that point and after a 32 yard shank from Ben Buchanan, the 'Canes were in business near midfield. Harris would complete just one pass on the mini-drive but Matt Bosher delivered a 51 yard FG pushing Miami in front 10-3.
Enter Pryor. Looking to shake off the slow start, Pryor dropped back and lobbed a perfect 62 yard teardrop to DeVier Posey putting OSU in the red zone at Miami's 18. Before I could even get concerned about red zone woes past, Pryor unleashed a back shoulder throw that Brandon Saine plucked out of the air amidst tight coverage tying the game at 10 with 12:23 left in the 2nd quarter. The two play, 80 yard drive took exactly 42 ticks and order was restored.
John Simon halted Miami's ensuring possession with a bull rush sack on 2nd and 8 putting Miami in a 3rd and long at their own 27. Realizing the D was too much, Shannon dialed up a two yard run and a punt giving OSU the ball at their own 35. Needing some separation, Pryor then led a 10 play drive featuring a lumbering 10 yard run on 3rd and 3 before confidently stepping into a 3rd and 14 completion to Dane Sanzenbacher for 18 yards. Pryor had his struggles on the drive, however, nearly tossing two picks before throwing an incompletion intended for Jake Stoneburner on 3rd down as Olivier Vernon raced in untouched. Though the drive stalled, Barclay delivered a 41 yard FG and a 13-10 OSU lead with 7:03 left in the half. The drive pushed OSU's total yardage advantage to 193-69 but Pryor was just 6/15 through the air.
After another pooch kickoff, Chimdi Chekwa picked off Harris on the first play from scrimmage setting up the Bucks at the 'Cane 18 yard line. The offense capitalized immediately as Pryor found Sanzenbacher on a 10 yard crossing route before Boom Herron hit paydirt on a 4 yard scamper putting Ohio State in front 20-10. How about Boom Herron today? The sometimes maligned 1A starter was the better alternative today as the holes weren't as gaping nor did they stay open for long. Boom attacked the line of scrimmage today whereas Saine was far too selective and dancy in the backfield. Granted he definitely didn't have much space to work with but Boom managed to average 4.7 (14/66) per carry behind the same hogs.