October 7, 2012
Breaking down Ohio State's win over Nebraska
Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A record crowd of 106,102 fans witnessed the arrival of the Urban Meyer show in Columbus on Saturday, thanks to No. 12 Ohio State's 63-38 win over No. 21 Nebraska in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes' win over the Huskers marks their second over a ranked opponent in as many games, and keeps OSU's undefeated record intact heading into the second half of its first season under Meyer.
After the game, Buckeyes players and coaches provided their thoughts on Ohio State's latest victory.
It may not have resulted in a lead- or even a score- for the Buckeyes, but quarterback Braxton Miller's 72-yard run to set up a Carlos Hyde score helped swing the momentum of the game and breathed some energy into what was largely a lifeless OSU offense for the first 18 minutes of the game.
"We wanted to really rely on Carlos Hyde a little bit, to pound him the way I felt he earned it," Meyer said after the game. "That was the plan, and the plan was not working in the first quarter. And I think Braxton obviously changed the game."
The Ohio State offense's first scoring drive was the first of six consecutive OSU possessions that resulted in a touchdown, and helped set the stage for the Buckeyes' 498-yard, 63-point night.
"I'm learning every week," Miller said. "When it's my chance to get the ball, I'm going to try to make something happen with it."
Numbers don't lie
After the game, all of the talk in the Ohio State postgame press conference centered around the 63 points that the Buckeyes scored on Saturday- a number that Miller claimed that Meyer had trouble keeping track of when addressing the team.
"No comment," Meyer said with a smile when asked about his postgame address to his team. "Just got caught up in the moment. Caught up in the moment."
To be fair, the OSU offense shouldn't get all of the credit for the Buckeyes' 63-point effort against a Nebraska defense that entered the game surrendering an average of 20.6 points per game. Seven of those points were the result of a 76-yard punt return touchdown from wide receiver Corey Brown.
"It was overall just good blocking around the corner," Brown said. "Basically they made the perfect blocks, and they made it easy for me."
Another seven of the Buckeyes' points can be credited to Bradley Roby, who actually started OSU's point parade with an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. After entering the game with no interceptions, the redshirt sophomore cornerback managed to twice step step in front of Taylor Martinez pass attempts, in what was one of his best outings of the season.
"I needed to get a pick this week. I hadn't had one all year," Roby said. "When I saw him running the route, I just jumped it."
Offensively, Hyde played his best game of the season, racking up 140 yards rushing the ball and scoring a total of four touchdowns against the Huskers. After the game, the junior running back gave praise to his offensive line for his success on Saturday.
"I have to give all the credit to the offensive line. If they didn't do their job, we wouldn't have been able to run for 300-plus yards," Hyde said. "They were great tonight."
Cause for concern
For the third time in six games, the Buckeyes' offense was held scoreless for the entire first quarter, only managing a total of 17 yards on 13 plays against the Huskers. To say that Meyer was less than pleased by another slow start from his offense would be an understatement.
"The first quarter was a trainwreck for our offense," Meyer said. "It was because they're playing very good defense."
OSU tight end Jeff Heuerman was proud of the way that the Buckeyes overcame their disastrous first quarter, and said that their final 45 minutes of the game go a long way towards showing just what this team is capable of.
"I think the biggest thing to take away from tonight is we need to put together a complete game," Heuerman said. "We struggled a little bit in the first quarter and had to make adjustments."
After his team's dominant effort in his first primetime game as Ohio State's head coach, many are branding the Buckeyes' latest victory as the true start of the Meyer Era in Columbus. The first-year OSU coach was certainly pleased by what Saturday told him about the future of this program, and not just because of what was happening on the field for the Buckeyes.
"We had a bunch of recruits in that locker room afterwards. So you would start talking about future, you know, that's the name of the game, is go out and recruit new players and continue and build and keep going," Meyer said. "I'm very pleased with where we're at."
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