Central Florida came into the Shoe’ with swagger and challenged Ohio State. They hit hard, they made plays, but in the end, the Buckeyes proved to be too much. Ohio State, on the strength of Braxton Miller’s athleticism, prevailed 31-16 to remain undefeated.
Sure, it wasn’t a pleasant game to watch. The Buckeyes made many mental mistakes like committing 10 penalties and turning over the ball three times. However, they maintained their composure and made the plays when it mattered.
This is still a very young team, so games like today shouldn’t be a surprise. With that said, it’s clear they have much work to do.
The defense didn’t have a stellar game. Communication seems to be a big issue in the secondary as the unit gave up several big plays. Additionally, the front seven needs to apply more pressure on the quarterback. Central Florida’s 4.5 yards a rush also shows the defense needs to do a better job executing their assignments and tackling better. Too many times, Central Florida runners were able to make additional yards after contact due to poor tackling.
Meanwhile, the offensive line played well in parts, but still had too many breakdowns. On a fourth down and one the blocking on the right side broke down again, which led to another stalled drive. Plays like this drive coaches crazy so it’s a safe bet there will be much emphasis on improving this.
Even with the weaknesses, the Buckeyes still showed flashes of their potential.
When Braxton is in the open field, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the country. His vision and athleticism makes him such an effective runner as he has 302 rushing yards in two games. Today, he ran for 141 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He was the one player that UCF couldn’t stop.
Meanwhile, Corey “Philly” Brown is making the most of his touches. He had two rushes for 33 yards and six receptions for 48 yards. Devin Smith is also doing an excellent job as he had six receptions for 57 yards.
Defensively, Travis Howard grabbed an interception to bring his total for the season to three. He also showed some toughness by battling through a stinger to play.
It’s clear the Buckeyes have a long way to go, as the coaching staff and Urban Meyer in particular is not happy with the team’s development. It should be interesting to see how the team comes out and plays next week. With that said, every season has at least one ugly game and this may have been it for the Buckeyes.