There was a lot of talk this week from the Ohio State players and coaches about the need to play four complete quarters this week against UAB. However, the Buckeyes had an extremely sluggish first quarter, being out-gained 99 to 42, and trailing 9-0 early in the second.
The second set of 15 minutes was much better for OSU, gaining 182 yards and three touchdowns to take a 21-12 lead into the break.
After starting just 1-5 for 7 yards, Braxton Miller then completed his next 6 passes for 81 yards, as the Buckeye offense came to life.
Back to back big runs from Senior Jordan Hall sparked the first scoring drive. Hall has carried 10 times for 62 yards.
Miller again was at his best when scrambling. He had a 14-yard run where he completely faked out a UAB defender, and on his 12 yard touchdown run, he spun out of the grasp of another Blazer defender. Miller has carried just three times, but has netted 45 yards and a score.
Among the wide receivers, Corey Brown has caught three passes for 45 yards.
The other touchdowns were scored on a one-yard run (Rod Smith), and from two-yards out (Zach Boren).
The play of the game to this point, occurred late in the second quarter, after the Buckeyes had just taken a 14-12 lead. After catching a pass, Kennar Backman coughed up the football, thanks to a hit from Christian Bryant. Doran Grant recovered, and OSU capitalized with its third touchdown, and the 21-12 lead.
Ohio State opens the second half with the ball as well.
UAB quarterbacks (Jonathan Perry and Austin Brown) have combined to complete 14 of 20 passes for 109 yards.
The Blazers special teams have kept them in the game, with a blocked punt and 20-yard return for a touchdown by Nick Adams for a 6-0 lead. Orhian Johnson blocked the point after attempt.
Kicker Ty Long made the score 12-7 with a 54-yard field goal, the longest in UAB history, and the third longest ever by an opponent in Ohio Stadium. It’s the fifth longest ever against the Buckeyes.
Defensively, the Buckeyes are playing without a couple starters in the secondary, as cornerback Bradley Roby and safety C.J. Barnett are out with injury. There have missed tackles and assignments once again from the Ohio State defense.
Still, OSU holds a 21-12 lead, and has out-gained the visitors 224 to 188 through the first half.