Ohio State Football 2012
Buckeyes Remain Undefeated Despite Sluggish Play
For a team that won just six games the previous season, the Ohio State Buckeyes are anything but pleased despite improving to 4-0 on Saturday with a 29-15 victory over the UAB Blazers.
"You've got to think about where this team was, now. This is not a finely tuned machine right now, it hasn't been for a while," Urban Meyer said. "Obviously, there's some growing pains and it's not as easy. I thought we'd be further ahead."
Meyer's players also voiced their displeasure following the game.
"We're not playing to our potential," wide receiver Corey Brown said. "Especially after a wakeup call like that, we've got to come out (this week) and practice hard."
UAB quickly grabbed a 9-0 lead, quieting a crowd of 105,019 at the Horseshoe.
Meyer, who has taken over coaching Ohio State's special teams, was particularly upset after the Blazers broke through easily and blocked a punt before it got to the toe of Ben Buchanan.
Linebacker Jesse Parrish was credited with the block, with receiver Nick Adams scooping up the loose ball and running 20 yards for the touchdown.
UAB kicker Ty Long hit on a 47-yard field goal to push the Blazer lead to 9-0.
But the Blazers came right back to make it 12-7 when Long converted a 54-yard field goal -- the longest in UAB history and the third-longest by an Ohio State opponent at Ohio Stadium.
From there, however, everything unraveled for the Blazers. It took just 2:42 for the Buckeyes to grab a 21-12 lead.
Braxton Miller completed four straight passes and then covered the last 12 yards himself -- pirouetting to leave linebacker Greg Irvin grasping at air at the 7 -- to give Ohio State its first lead of the day.
Two snaps after that, Brown tossed a quick pass in the right flat to tight end Kennard Backman, who was upended by Christian Bryant and Doran Grant -- Backman leaving the ball on the ground where Grant fell on it.
Three plays later, Zach Boren scored from two yards out as the Buckeyes took a nine-point lead into the half.
The resilient Blazers showed great confidence in a hostile environment on the road by kicking onside and recovering the ball easily to start the final half.
Long made his third field goal of the afternoon to cut the Buckeye lead to 21-15 early in the fourth quarter.
After floundering for most of the game, the Buckeyes finally put the game out of reach, going on a 71-yard drive that ended with Miller picking his spot and bulling in off left tackle on a 1-yard carry.
Miller then raced around the left end for the two-point conversion and the final 14-point margin.
Miller completed 12-of-20 passes for 143 yards and rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries. Jordan Hall gained 105 yards on 17 carries.
UAB's Austin Brown completed 21-of-35 passes for 196 yards with one interception, while Jonathan Perry hit on 7-of-11 passes for 63 yards.
UAB outgained the Buckeyes, 403-347 and had more first downs 22-20.
With four weeks behind them, OSU will have a busy week ahead of them as they prepare for their conference opener against the 21st ranked Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing.
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