Quick Hits: Ohio State 29, UAB 15
It wasn't easy for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes improved to 4-0 by beating UAB.
|Braxton Miller scores the first of his two touchdowns on Saturday. (US Presswire)|
OHIO STATE WON: As the final score indicates, this wasn't as comfortable a win as Ohio State had expected. In fact, life was quite uncomfortable for a while. With 10:27 remaining in the first half, the Buckeyes actually trailed 9-0. UAB blocked an Ohio State punt and returned it for a touchdown -- the Blazers missed the extra point -- and then added a field goal. It wasn't until 6:31 remained in the first half that the Buckeyes finally got on the board with a Rod Smith touchdown run.
The Blazers actually outgained the Buckeyes 407 yards to 347. And while Braxton Miller didn't have his best game of the season -- 207 total yards, two touchdown runs -- he made enough plays to get Ohio State in the lead and keep it there.
WHY OHIO STATE WON: Defense. The only touchdown that UAB managed was on a blocked punt. Though the Buckeyes' offense and special teams struggled, the defense held when it had to. It did give up quite a few yards, but yards aren't what counts on the scoreboard.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: When Miller scored his second touchdown with a little more than five minutes left to give Ohio State a 29-15 lead, it became hard to believe that a UAB offense that hadn't scored a touchdown all day would do so twice in the remaining time.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: The Buckeyes are 4-0, but I doubt Urban Meyer and company are all that happy with the team's performance the last two weeks. Ohio State had a lot of trouble dispatching California last week, and there's no way a UAB team that came into this game 0-2 and was blown out by South Carolina last week should have had this much success in Columbus.
WHAT UAB LOST: If anything, UAB gained respect. Coach Garrick McGee showed the kind of fearlessness that is needed to pull off an upset like this, particularly when he opened the second half with a successful onside kick. Moral victories aren't what the Blazers are looking for, but they should head back to Birmingham with their heads held high.
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