Ohio State Football 2012
Buckeyes Escape Bear Trap
The Urban Meyer era in Columbus hasn't necessarily set the state's capitol on fire, but through three games, Meyer improved his record to 3-0 in his first season back in his home state with a 35-28 victory against the upset-minded California Golden Bears on Saturday.
For the third consecutive week, the 100,000 plus fans packed into Ohio Stadium had a moment during the game where they thought to themselves, "Are we going to pull this one out?".
That moment for the Buckeye faithful came late in the fourth quarter.
OSU quarterback Braxton Miller turned the ball over by throwing an interception directly to Cal defensive back Steve Williams.
After the turnover, the Bears methodically drove to the Ohio State 25, but the drive stalled. On fourth-and-1, Cal head coach Jeff Tedford called timeout.
The decision proved to be the wrong one as D'Amato missed wide left with 4:20 remaining.
"I had confidence," Tedford said. "Vince missed a couple to the left. Typically he gets that squared away. It just didn't happen today."
As the Horseshoe breathed a sigh of relief, Miller went out on the next OSU possession looking to make up for his mistake.
Breaking outside of the pocket, Miller lofted a pass down the his team's sideline to a wide-open Devin Smith. Smith snatched the pass and took it 72-yards for the game-winning touchdown with 3:26 remaining.
"You see somebody open like that you at least have to put some air under it so they can run under it and get position," Miller commented on the touchdown toss. "You have to be careful with those type of throws."
"Our guys found a way," said Meyer following the game. "I've been in games before I thought we were going to lose. I just kept waiting; I thought someone would make a play. I really did."
Despite the interception that nearly cost the Buckeyes the game, Miller had another stat-stuffing performance.
The sophomore signal caller passed for 249 yards including a career-high four touchdown passes and rushed for an additional 75 yards and one score.
The Buckeye defense was not as impressive, giving up an uncharacteristic 512 total yards of offense.
The biggest culprit being backup tailback Brendan Bigelow, who raced for 160 yards on just four carries and two scores.
In the end, Meyer seemed pleased his team stayed unbeaten for at least another week.
"The best thing about 3-0 is what?" he asked rhetorically. "The chance to go 4-0."
The Buckeyes chance to go 4-0 comes next Saturday as they host the UAB Blazers (0-2).
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