Big Ten: Lamar Miller

Buckeyes need a second-half rally

September, 17, 2011
They've reached halftime at Sun Life Stadium, as Ohio State is trying to claw out of a 14-0 hole.

Miami leads 17-6 at the break.

Ohio State-Miami: Despite a miserable start and a mostly anemic offense, Ohio State is still hanging around in this one. The Buckeyes have no passing attack as quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller both are struggling, but running back Jordan Hall has provided a very nice spark in his first game back from suspension. The Buckeyes defense also seems to be buckling down a bit after surrendering two touchdown drives in the first 10 minutes. Jacory Harris has been Jacory Harris -- wildly inconsistent -- but Hurricanes tailback Lamar Miller (128 rush yards, 15 carries) is really making Ohio State pay. Still, it's hard to see Ohio State rallying with at least something from its quarterbacks, who have combined to complete just 1 of 10 pass attempts.

Instant analysis: Ohio State-Miami

September, 11, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick thoughts from Ohio Stadium, where No. 2 Ohio State finished off a 36-24 win against No. 12 Miami.

How the game was won: Ohio State rode an extremely opportunistic defense and an offense that avoided major mistakes to pull away from Miami after falling behind 10-3. The Buckeyes picked off Jacory Harris four times and converted for 20 points. Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor didn't have his best game throwing the ball, but he ran the ball extremely tough and made enough big throws. Aside from two major special teams gaffes, Ohio State played a solid game overall. The defense allowed yards but made play after play in its own end of the field.

Turning point: Miami still had a chance after halftime and mounted an impressive drive to begin the third quarter. After reaching the Ohio State 9-yard line, Harris threw a pass right to Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who rumbled 80 yards the other way. Pryor scored moments later and Ohio State led 33-17 instead of possibly being up by just two points.

What it means: Ohio State remains very much a part of the national title discussion and doesn't face a ranked opponent until Oct. 16, when it visits Wisconsin. The Buckeyes showed they can overcome mistakes and still beat a good Miami team rather convincingly. Miami still can't get over the hump against the nation's truly elite teams, especially on the road. Harris likely is out of the Heisman Trophy race.

Player of the game: Buckeyes senior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa recorded two interceptions. Wide receiver DeVier Posey merits a mention with four receptions for 105 yards, and safety C.J. Barnett made his presence known.

Stat of the game: Miami's first two touchdowns came on an 88-yard Lamar Miller kickoff return and a 79-yard Travis Benjamin punt return. It marked the first time in team history that Ohio State has allowed a punt return touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown in the same game.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Fact No. 1: Lamar Miller is fast.

Fact No. 2: Ohio State's special teams are a mess.

The result was an 88-yard kickoff return to the end zone that gave Miami its first lead at 6-3. Miller sliced through the Buckeyes, who looked completely disorganized on the play.

It's amazing to write this about a Jim Tressel-coached squad, but special teams are Ohio State's biggest weakness right now. From the Iowa game to the Rose Bowl to last week's opener against Marshall, the Buckeyes have had a series of major breakdowns.

Ohio State appeared to redeem itself on the ensuing kickoff, as Jaamal Berry only had the kicker to beat before falling into teammate Nate Oliver. Berry could have been gone, so the Buckeyes are leaving too many points on the field right now.

Miami leads 7-3 with 4:34 left in the first quarter.