Columbus, OH – Braxton Miller ran for 161 yards with a touchdown and threw for a pair of scores, leading 18th-ranked Ohio State to a 56-10 victory over Miami-Ohio in Urban Meyer's first game as Buckeyes coach.
Meyer returned to coaching after a year as a college football TV analyst and is in charge of an Ohio State program that will sit out the postseason this year as part of NCAA penalties under Jim Tressel. The Ohio native previously had successful coaching stints at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, winning a pair of national championships with the Gators.
The Buckeyes (1-0) started slowly in Meyer's debut, trailing 3-0 after the first quarter, but rolled from there and won their 13th consecutive season- opener.
Carlos Hyde ran for 82 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the victory, but it was Miller that ignited the stagnant offense. He completed 14-of-24 passes for 207 yards and was not intercepted. His rushing yardage was the most ever for an Ohio State quarterback, breaking the previous mark of 146 set by Cornelius Greene against Wisconsin in 1974.
"We came out slow, but once we got on a roll we got going," Hyde said. "This game was big and we came out prepared. It was exciting once we started to put it all together."
Miami quarterback Zac Dysert threw for 303 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 31-of-53 passing. The RedHawks (0-1) fell to 0-5 all-time against Ohio State.
"It is just something we have to learn from," Dysert said. "The offensive line did a great job today and really stepped up. Hats off to Ohio State. Today they were the better team."
Miami couldn't take advantage of a sputtering Ohio State offense and a yielding Buckeye defense in the first quarter. Twice the RedHawks drove inside the Ohio State 10 and came away with only three points, as Kaleb Patterson missed a 24-yard field goal try and connected from 22 yards away.
The fifth Buckeye possession featured three plays of more than 16 yards and the 4-play set ended with a 23-yard scoring strike from Miller to Devin Smith, who made a leaping, one-handed catch in the back of the end zone for a 7-3 lead.
Miller then followed with a 5-yard TD pass to Philly Brown on the next OSU series and Hyde capped a 73-yard scoring march with a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 21-3 with 5:17 left in the half.
Ohio State nearly scored again just before the intermission, as a 44-yard heave from Miller to Evan Spencer gave the Buckeyes a first down at the Miami three with three seconds left. Meyer elected to try for the touchdown, but Hyde was stopped short of the goal line.
The Buckeyes needed just one play to find the end zone after the second-half kickoff, as Miller found an opening and ran 65 yards for a touchdown for a 28-3 cushion.
Ohio State's defense then added to the advantage when Bradley Roby fell on a botched punt snap in the end zone for a touchdown, but Miami answered right back when Dysert hit Nick Harwell with a 44-yard TD pass.
Dysert was picked off on Miami's next series and the RedHawks never threatened again.
The Buckeyes tacked on a trio of fourth-quarter scores to make it a rout. Hyde found the end zone from eight yards away on the play after Dysert's second pick in the first minute of the final period. Zach Boren then scored from two yards away and Bri'onte Dunn added a 4-yard TD run.
Ohio State improved to 22-1-1 in debuts for the school's head coaches. The only Buckeyes coach to lose his first game was Jack Ryder in 1892 ... Ohio State hasn't lost to a school from the state of Ohio since a 7-6 setback to Oberlin in 1921 ... The Buckeyes have won 34 straight home openers, last falling in 1978 against Penn State ... Ohio State's last season-opening loss came in the 1999 Kickoff Classic against Miami-Florida in New Jersey.