Ohio State vs. UCF: Positive Trends to Take from Buckeyes' Victory
With its convincing 31-16 victory over Central Florida on Saturday, Ohio State is off to a 2-0 start.
Granted, given its first opponent was Miami (Ohio), the Buckeyes haven't exactly faced the toughest competition. But there already positive trends developing just two games into Urban Meyer's Ohio State coaching career.
Let's review three of the biggest.
Braxton Miller's Development
With all of Meyer's success with quarterbacks, the expectations for returning starter Braxton Miller were elevated dramatically the second Meyer was named as coach.
While the early results are not perfect, it is clear Miller is going in the right direction.
Last season, he completed just 54.1 percent of his passes, averaging at 7.4 yards per completion. After two games, he is hitting 58.3 percent of his passes, and his 18-of-24 effort for 155 yards on Saturday is certainly a positive development. Also, with the increase in yards per completion, it's not like he is doing this with all dump-offs.
He is also doing this with an increased workload, having thrown at least 24 passes in each of his first two starts. He only had one game all last season where he had 24 or more pass attempts, and this certainly is not coming at the detriment of his rushing attack.
He set a school quarterback-rushing record with 161 rushing yards in the opener, and he followed that up with 141 rushing yards this week.
In this offense, Miller is becoming the dual threat that Buckeye fans have been hoping for.
Emergence of Corey "Philly" Brown
Last year as a sophomore, Philly Brown tied two other Buckeyes for the team lead with 14 receptions.
To develop a more potent aerial attack, Meyer and the Buckeyes needed Brown to step up, and he has, pulling in seven catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in the opener, and six catches for 48 yards in Saturday's game against UCF.
While his longest catch is just 38 yards, that number is sure to rise, as he is proving to be a consistent deep threat.
After two games last season, the Buckeyes were 2-0. However, they were coming off a less-than-inspiring 27-22 win over over Toledo.
In that game, they led 21-15 at halftime and were consequently outscored 7-6 in the second half.
In the win over UCF, they led 17-10 at halftime and promptly scored two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to open up a 31-17 lead.
This is always a sign of a coaching staff being in touch with its team. They are making the right adjustments and getting this team mentally prepared to not let their opponent hang around in the second half.
This is a mark of a quality team, and it's a trait Ohio State has already displayed.
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