Saturday, September 24, 2011


Jordan Hall (7) celebrates after a long kickoff return during Saturday's 37-17 win over Colorado at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Game notes from Ohio State's 37-17 victory over Colorado on Saturday at Ohio Stadium ...

First quarter

— On the second series of the afternoon, freshman starting quarterback Braxton Miller led the Buckeyes on a 7-play, 43 yard drive. It was capped by a Jordan Hall 1-yard touchdown run.

— The Buckeye defense held strong allowing Colorado to just 18 yards in the first quarter.
The defense also forced a fumble which was recovered by defensive lineman Adam Bellamy. The play set up a 28-yard field goal by kicker Drew Basil.

Second quarter

— The silver bullets defense continued their momentum to start the second quarter by forcing Colorado into a fourth three-and-out.

— The OSU offense returned the favor as Miller connected with fellow true freshman wide receiver Devin Smith on a 32-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 17-0.

— It wasn't until 6:57 left in the second quarter that the Buffaloes picked up their first first down — on a Tyler Hansen 19-yard pass play to receiver Paul Richardson. On the same drive, Colorado scored their first touchdown when on a 4th and 1 play, Hansen found receiver Toney Clemons on an 11-yard pass in the end zone.

— Ohio State tacked on another field goal by Drew Basil before heading to the half with a 20-7 lead

Third Quarter

— The start of the second half began with the OSU defense continuing the trend of forcing Colorado into another three-and-out series.

— On the Buckeyes' ensuing drive — with excellent field position starting at midfield — it was running back Jordan Hall who toted it five straight times for 33 yards that set up the eventual touchdown to Smith on a seventeen yard pass from Miller. The score would be the duo's second connection in the end zone on the day.

— The Buffaloes tried to counter but were held to a 47-yard field goal by Will Oliver.

— Hall was also doing his thing on special teams, taking a kickoff back 90 yards to the Buffs' 5-yard line. Carlos Hyde ran it off the left end for the score one play later, extending the Buckeyes lead to 34-10.

Fourth quarter
— Drew Basil kicked a 47-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter. It would be the Bucks last score of the day.

— Colorado mustered another score as Tyler Hansen hit receiver Tyler McCulloch on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Final Game Stats

— Hall led all rushers with 84 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Following Hall was Miller who added 83 on 17 totes in the win. Miller was also 5-of-13 passing for 83 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

— Devin Smith was atop the receivers with 3 catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

— The defense was led by sophomore safety Christian Bryant, who had six tackles. True freshmen linebacker Ryan Shazier added five. Linebacker Storm Klein had the lone sack of the day.

Final commentary

— If you are a glass half-empty type of person you could say the passing game still struggled. That may be true as there were at least four passes dropped in the win. The bottom line is the offense moved the chains and scored points.

— Braxton Miller adds a dynamic to this offense where a broken play can go the distance. He has a knack for making people miss. When Hall was asked about how Miller handled himself in the huddle he had this to say ... "Like i said before he was calm in the pocket. He controlled the huddle," Hall said of Miller. "And you don't usually see that with a young quarterback. I just told him this is your huddle so take over. He did a good job of that."

— I would like to see tight end Jake Stoneburner more involved in the offense. Stoneburner has been pretty quiet since his two big games against Akron and Toledo to begin the season. If Stoneburner reemerges that would open up the secondary and take a lot of pressure off the young, inexperienced receivers moving forward.

— With Hall and Hyde leading the way, the running game has really looked solid. The offensive line has been run-blocking particularly well, even in the Miami loss last Saturday night.

— On the other side of the ball it wasn't hard to improve on the 27 missed tackles the Bucks had against Miami.

"We came out really physical and we were well prepared," Junior cornerback Travis Howard said. "Last weekend we left with a bad taste in our mouth and we jumped out to a great start today."

— Ohio State looks like they have regrouped just in time to begin Big Ten play this coming Saturday against Michigan State. According to defensive lineman John Simon they are up for it.

"We have a tough schedule ahead of us, but we had some good early preparation against some good teams," Simon said. "We know we can make plays and we are ready for next Saturday."