Ohio State remained unbeaten Saturday with a 29-15 victory over the Blazers from UAB, but OSU fans looking for signs of progress had little else to celebrate. Braxton Miller continued to carry the offensive load for the Buckeyes with two rushing touchdowns, but it was an otherwise lackluster performance for the Scarlet and Gray on both sides of the ball, and on special teams.
The Blazers (0-3) came into Columbus a 36-point underdog, and proceeded to out-play and out-coach the 16th-ranked and heavily favored Buckeyes for most of the afternoon. They gained more total yards than Ohio State (403-347), got more first downs (22-20), and dominated time of possession (33:55 - 26:05)
The Blazers blocked an OSU punt for a touchdown, pulled off a successful onside kick to start the second half, and shocked the assembled 105,019 by taking a 9-0 lead over the home team early in the second quarter. Urban Meyer, perhaps understating the case in his postgame comments, remarked, “It's glaringly obvious we've got to get a lot better or we won't win next week.”
Next week is the start of the Big Ten schedule with a crucial game in East Lansing against Michigan State, and at this point, only the decrepit overall state of the conference is cause for reassurance for these Buckeyes. They won unimpressively last week against Cal, and the pollsters dropped them from No. 12 to No. 16 for their trouble. There’s no telling how they might be punished for the way they looked in victory this week.