Sept. 17, 2011
MIAMI - Ohio State dropped its first-ever regular season game in the state of Florida Saturday to unranked Miami, 24-6. The Hurricanes powered for two quick first-quarter touchdowns to build a 14-0 lead and held firm the rest of the way as Ohio State managed just a 4-for-18 day passing for 35 yards with one interception. The Buckeyes gained 190 rushing yards with Jordan Hall a spark with 87 yards rushing in his first game of the season and Carlos Hyde ramming for 54 more yards.
Drew Basil kicked two second-quarter field goals - from 22 and 24 yards out - to trim the Miami lead to 14-6, but a late first-half field goal gave the Hurricanes its 14-point lead at halftime. Miami completed the scoring with 33 seconds left to play for the final margin. Basil's field goals were his first as a collegian.
Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell was counting on a quick start from his troops, but Miami was the team that came out hot. Sophomore tailback Lamar Miller secured the right edge and went 54 yards on the Hurricanes' first play from scrimmage to set the home team up on the Ohio State 9. Three plays later Jacory Harris found Allen Hurns for the first of two three-yard TD hookups to give the `Canes a quick 7-0 lead.
A second three-and-out by the Ohio State offense ensued and Harris followed with an 11-play drive that he and Hurns capped from three yards out again.
"The thing we wanted to do the most was start fast," Ohio State coach Luke Fickell said. "The number one thing we didn't do on defense was start fast."
His defense held serve, for the most part, for the rest of the game. After giving up 116 yards to the Hurricanes in those first two drives, the team allowed only 247 the rest of the way and kept the home team, playing in front of its second-largest crowd at Sun Life Stadium (66,279), out of the end zone until that final minute.
Sophomore C.J. Barnett and freshman Bradley Roby recorded their first career interceptions, but the Buckeyes managed just three points off the two miscues. Linebackers Andrew Sweat, Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein led the team with nine, eight and six tackles apiece.
Hall was certainly a spark. His first four rushes of the season all went for first downs and covered 13, 13, 15 and 12 yards. His 87 yards rushing was just three short of his career high (90 vs. New Mexico State in 2009) and his 14 carries - all but one in the first half as he experienced cramping in the second half - did represent a career high.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Joe Bauserman, in just his third start, was just 2 of 14 passing for 13 yards and true freshman backup Braxton Miller was 2 of 4 for 22 yards, including an interception on a tipped first attempt.
Punter Ben Buchanan had his second-best day in terms of average: 46.5 yards per kick off six punts, including three inside the 20. He averaged 50.0 yards off three punts in the win over Indiana last year.
The Buckeyes will seek to rebound with two consecutive home games: Saturday vs. Colorado (3:30 p.m. start) and the Big Ten opener Oct. 1 vs. Michigan State (time TBA).