Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20
The Buckeyes doubled up the Bulls behind a big game from senior running back Jordan Hall.
The full box score can be seen at NCAA.com.
Game Analysis for The Ohio State Buckeyes
Despite a spectacular start, Braxton Miller was unable to find his flow in the second half. The junior dealt with cramps throughout the afternoon, leading to a short stint on the sideline. Senior backup Kenny Guiton stepped up admirably in Miller’s absence, finding Chris Fields for a 21-yard touchdown.
If anything, this game showed the highs and lows of Miller’s game, as his two touchdown passes were bright spots for a day that was otherwise slightly inconsistent.
Jordan Hall was spectacular for the Buckeyes, as his two touchdowns and 159 yards led the way for Ohio State’s rushing attack. Hall was able to get free for some long ones, as he averaged 7.6 yards per rush. Miller also made his presence known with his feet, as he took off a few times in the fourth quarter when things got nervy.
Overall, today was a great performance from the Buckeyes backfield.
Ohio State's defensive line came into this game as a major question mark for the national-title contenders. However, the group stepped up as a whole, holding Buffalo to just 78 yards rushing.
Overall, this was a performance the unit can build upon.
Ohio State’s defensive backs were the weak link on the day, as Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata was able to throw for two touchdowns and 187 yards. Aside from a tipped interception, the unit wasn’t at its best.
The defense will need to step up big time if it ever hopes to stop an elite quarterback.
Not a great day from the special-teams unit, as a pair of muffed punts were definitely troubling. However, a 51-yard kick return from Dontre Wilson was a high point for a unit that will look to improve next game.
While this may not fall on coaching per se, someone on Ohio State’s sidelines needs to keep Braxton Miller hydrated. A series of cramps took its toll on the star QB, as Miller needed to exit the game a few times.
Other than Miller’s issues, the play-calling was on point, as a pair of two-point conversions set the tone.
1st-Half Analysis for the Ohio State Buckeyes
It has been a tale of two quarters on the day for superstar quarterback Braxton Miller.
The Heisman hopeful started his day with a pair of touchdown passes on the team’s two opening drives, including a 47-yard bomb to Devin Smith. However, a costly pick-six resulted in a Buffalo score, putting a slight damper on what has been an impressive day for the junior signal-caller.
Miller has been precise, while also showing great judgment when it comes to tucking the ball and taking off. Miller will need to continue to pick his spots if he is to keep Ohio State’s juggernaut of an offense moving.
Jordan Hall has led the way for the Buckeyes, as his pair of touchdown runs have opened up Buffalo’s defense. Hall has galloped for scores of 49 and 37 yards, and he has been a threat throughout the afternoon.
However, a fumble on a run from Dontre Wilson is going to knock Ohio State's grade down a little, as holding the ball will be essential if the Buckeyes are to defeat Big Ten powerhouses.
The Buckeye defense has been stout against the run, as Buffalo has failed to get anything going with the running game. Buffalo running back Branden Oliver has been stuffed all day, limiting the Bulls offense greatly.
However, the defense has allowed Buffalo to pick up a few short first downs, so there is definitely room for improvement.
Ohio State’s pass defense has been a bit of a mixed bag on the afternoon, as Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata has had his share of success against the Buckeyes. A 16-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter got the Bulls going.
However, an interception from sophomore DB Ron Tanner will be a bright spot for the group, even if it came off of a deflection.
Ohio State’s special-teams unit has been one of the weak links on the day for the Buckeyes. A first-quarter roughing-the-kicker penalty is sure to frustrate any coaching staff, but the two muffed punt returns show a lack of concentration.
However, a 53-yard kickoff return by Dontre Wilson is sure to impress the Buckeye faithful.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer hasn’t been afraid to take a few risks in his team’s opening game. A pair of two-point conversions early set the tone for what was always going to be a long day for Buffalo’s defense.
Ohio State has made the right moves at the right times, leading to the comfy first-half lead.
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