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.
Kelly is presently deciding whether to start anew with the Gators or Bruins
There are a handful of conference championship games still to be determined
SportsLine's top college football expert, on a 30-18 run, locks in his top picks for a loaded...
Haynes was 14-45 in five years with the Golden Flashes
True romance isn't dead yet
The Egg bowl will be a Thanksgiving night treat for the college football world