The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 12 Miami Hurricanes 36-24 on Saturday afternoon, but OSU was not impressive.
The two teams met for the first time since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl National Championship game, with the Buckeyes taking a dramatic and controversial 31-24 victory in double-overtime.
This game was not nearly as exciting, nor dramatic. Canes' quarterback Jacory Harris threw four interceptions, but the entire blame should not be put on him. Three of the picks were bobbled by receivers who couldn’t hold onto the ball.
The Buckeyes took a 26-17 lead into the half, but they could easily been up 34-3. The special teams gave up two return touchdowns, one an 88-yard kickoff return by Lamar Miller and the other a 79-yard punt return by Travis Benjamin.
They also stalled in the red zone, settling for short field goals when a touchdown would blow the game wide open. Kicker Devin Barclay tied an Ohio State record with five field goals in the game.
Terrelle Pryor's performance
Heisman candidate Terrelle Pryor did not prove that he was worthy of the hype. He completed just 12 of 27 pass attempts for 233 yards. He also missed receivers who were open down field. He did carry the ball 20 times for 113 yards.
After a tremendous performance from Pryor in the last year’s Rose Bowl, the nation was ready to see him spread the ball out and throw down the field.
In his first true test of the 2010 season, Pryor did not live up to such lofty expectations.
The Buckeyes did what they needed to do at the Horseshoe, but they have some problems that must be fixed if they are going to contend for a national championship.
The defense carried the load in Week 2, and OSU played a solid Hurricanes team that is well coached.
Tough Road Ahead
It is extremely early in the year and the Buckeyes have time to fix the special teams blunders and Pryor will become more efficient in his passing attack.
OSU has an extremely tough schedule, traveling to Wisconsin as well as Iowa, but they have far too much talent to not be in contention at the end of the year.