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Coming off Urban Meyer's first victory with the team, the Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked No. 14 in SB Nation's Week 2 BlogPoll entering this week's action. They're the third-highest team in the rankings among Big Ten squads, trailing the Michigan State Spartans and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Last week, Ohio State crushed Miami (Ohio), 56-10, to give Meyer his first victory since leaving the Florida Gators nearly two years ago. Behind a strong all-around performance from quarterback Braxton Miller and nearly 300 yards rushing, the Buckeyes' offense looked much improved from a season ago.
This week, Michigan State is the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the polls, coming in at No. 9. Nebraska is just one spot ahead of the Buckeyes at No. 13, while the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers are also included in the top 20.
An impressive 56-10 victory in Urban Meyer's debut as Ohio State head coach was enough to boost the Buckeyes up the ranks of the AP Top 25 Poll this week. Ohio State moved up four spots to No. 14 this week, with one place coming at the expense of archrival Michigan, who fell to No. 19 after a 41-14 loss to Alabama.
Central Florida, the Buckeyes' next opponent, received four votes in this week's poll. The Golden Knights are coming off of a 56-14 win at Akron.
Two Big Ten rivals were also ranked this week. Michigan State rose two spots to No. 11 after an impressive victory over Boise State, while Wisconsin was at No. 13 after their opening win over Northern Iowa.
Bill Connelly is trying a new kind of Heisman Race this year in which college football's most dominant players will collect points for their performance each week.
Said Connelly, of Miller's Week 1 performance:
"Yes, the passing still needs work. Miller completed just 14 of 24 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns (for one of the two, the receiver did most of the work) and, including two sacks, averaged a healthy-but-not-Heisman 7.3 yards per pass attempt. But oh, those legs. You only have to be proficient, and not spectacular, through the air when you can rip off 177 rushing yards in 15 carries and add an absolutely gorgeous 65-yard touchdown run. He could be quite the muse for Urban Meyer."
As to be expected under a new head coach, the Ohio State Buckeyes came out of the gates slow in the debut of the Urban Meyer era, but after a quarter where the offense struggled, the Buckeyes surged to a 56-10 victory over the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.
The ensuing reaction over at SB Nation's Ohio State blog Land-Grant Holy Land was one of solid optimism, even when the Redhawks jumped on the Buckeyes 3-0 early on.
Not what I expected to see from our first effort under Meyer. But hey, it's only 3-0. Just have to wait for acclimation. Alternatively, BURN DOWN THIS FIELD, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. URBAN MEYER, MORE LIKE URBAN FIRED
Of course, that Miami lead didn't last long. The Buckeyes scored a touchdown less than two minutes into the second quarter and that seemed to be all they needed to get into a rhythm, ultimately gaining 538 total yards and forcing three Redhawk turnovers. Quarterback Braxton Miller shined in Meyer's offense, throwing for 205 yards and running for a school-record 161.
In short, the fans over at Land-Grant Holy Land were happy with the result, especially with Meyer's relentlessness and merciless attitude as the game wore on. Luke Zimmermann summed it up nicely.
Urban Meyer wanted an angry team. While they were far from perfect, if anything, they played motivated, particularly from the second quarter on. While the early struggles will give plenty of teaching moments for a staff in many ways still new to Meyer himself, it's hard to argue with the results.
Furthermore, the fact that the Buckeyes only had three penalties was a sign that Meyer's new ways didn't result in a disorganized opener. There were no OSU turnovers, either. The first quarter aside, it appears that Ohio State will be a handful for the rest of the Big Ten.
The Urban Meyer era in Columbus begins with a victory, as the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Miami (OH) RedHawks by a score of 56-10.
Typical to an Urban Meyer coached team, quarterback Braxton Miller was the star of the show for Ohio State, going 14-of-24 through the air with 205 yards and two touchdowns. Miller also rushed 17 times for 161 yards and a touchdown. He was complemented by halfback Carlos Hyde who rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. He also had Ohio State's longest run on the day, a 65-yard touchdown score to open the third quarter.
Corey Brown was the target of choice for Miller, as he notched seven receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown.
The RedHawks, on the other hand, struggled on both sides of the ball. They had a poor rushing output with a team total of -2 yards on the ground, and failed to maintain control of the ball by throwing two interceptions and fumbling once. Alhough, Miami's Zac Dawset did pass for over 300 yards and a touchdown on the day, it was not enough to keep this contest even competitive.
For more coverage of the Ohio State Buckeyes, visit SB Nation's Land Grant Holy Land and SB Nation Cleveland. For more Miami, Ohio coverage, visit SB Nation's Mid America Conference community, Hustle Belt.
New Ohio State coach Urban Meyer makes his debut for the Buckeyes as they host Miami (OH) at noon Saturday in the season opener at Columbus. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State is coming off a 6-7 season, facing a Miami (OH) team that finished 4-8 overall and 3-5 in the MAC last season. According to Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the crowd might be even more boisterous than normal for an early game:
Thanks to Ohio State’s switch to a semester schedule, there will be students under the banner and all over Ohio Stadium for Meyer’s first game. More than 14,000 students bought tickets from Ohio State, almost three times the amount compared with previous home openers, which were played before classes began.
"I think that’ll be a big difference," said senior Ohio State linebacker Etienne Sabino. "It’ll feel like a game day right away."
Ohio State is favored by 20.5 points in the game.
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Nathan Williams took part in practice for the second day in a row on Wednesdayand has been medically cleared to play in the team's opening week game against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Williams was a key reserve in 2010, amassing 12 tackles for loss and five sacks, but missed all of 2011 after major knee surgery. The coaching staff did not reveal the extent to which Williams is expected to see the field.
Running back Jordan Hall did a light workout as well on Tuesday, mostly consisting of jogging. Hall, a senior, was Ohio State's fourth leading rusher last year, running for 408 yards on 100 carries. He also added two touchdowns on the ground.
Ohio State Buckeyes' starting quarterback Braxton Miller went through his growing pains as a freshman in 2011, but he heads into the 2012 season under the tutelage of Urban Meyer and with greater confidence in his own abilities. Aside from trials and tribulations on-the-field, Miller admits to having felt apprehensive as a vocal leader of the offense.
"I was just coming in as a freshman, out of high school, and it's kind of hard to get the upperclassmen to understand where you're coming from," Miller said.
Miller, though, is beginning to beak out of his shell a bit as a sophomore, according to teammates.
"I've got to believe [being a leader] is one of the stipulations of being a quarterback," OSU center Corey Linsley said, "and I really think Braxton has been doing a great job of that since the spring. You've seen him develop a lot."
In 12 games last season, Miller completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 96.6 yards per game to go along with 13 total touchdowns and four interceptions. He also led the Buckeyes in rushing with 715 yards on 159 carries, good for 4.5 yards per rush.
The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are expected to make their way up the Midwest over the weekend, and that could threaten the idea of a sunny Saturday as college football kicks off across the country. Right in the crosshairs is Columbus, Ohio, which could find itself under a deluge of rain when the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks at noon on Saturday.
Per weather.com, there is currently a 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday in Columbus. The forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms, with a projected temperature of 86 degrees. Along with the downpour, heavy winds curling off of Isaac would certainly make for an interesting opening game in Columbus.
The game, which is the first of Urban Meyer's tenure as head coach, will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Jake Stoneburner has been listed at wide receiver on Ohio State's official depth chart.
Urban Meyer has released the depth chart for the Buckeyes' season opener with Miami (OH).