Saturday, September 11, 2010
Ohio State leads after wild first half
By Adam Rittenberg
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Pretty entertaining first half, huh?
Ohio State leads Miami 26-17, and here are some quick thoughts at the break.
Stat of the half: Miami finished the first half with 103 offensive yards and 181 return yards. The Hurricanes had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Best player in the half: Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa has recorded two interceptions against Jacory Harris, who threw three picks in the half. Chekwa showed good concentration on the picks, both of which were deflected. He hadn't recorded an interception since 2008 against USC.
What Miami needs to do: Stop throwing interceptions! The Miami defense has done its job for the most part against Terrelle Pryor and co., but you don't win many games losing the turnover battle 3-0. Harris and his receivers both have struggled at times, but there are opportunities to make plays down the field. Miami's secondary also has to do a better job against Buckeyes wideouts DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher.
What Ohio State needs to do: Shore up the special teams play. Ohio State would be cruising right now if not for the two breakdowns in the kicking game. For a Jim Tressel-coached team, this is simply unacceptable. The Buckeyes also must protect the football and maintain their opportunistic play on defense. Pryor has made several questionable decisions and needs to be more in control after halftime.