COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Miami football team came out with several opportunities to score early in the first half, but dropped passes and a missed field goal gave The Ohio State University a chance to get comfortable.
The Buckeyes, who trailed 3-0 after the first quarter, settled in behind quarterback Braxton Miller en route to a 56-10 victory in coach Urban Meyer’s debut at Ohio Stadium in front of 105,039 fans.
RedHawks senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who completed 31 of 53 passes for 303 yards, put Miami in position to succeed in the early going. He completed a 42-yard pass to junior wide receiver Nick Harwell midway through the opening frame, setting up a 24-yard field-goal attempt, but freshman Kaleb Patterson sent the kick wide right.
Harwell finished with eight catches for 120 yards.
Dysert made another big play on Miami’s next offensive possession, completing a 58-yard pass to Dawon Scott, which placed the team at the OSU 10-yard line. But, three incompletions, including a third-down drop by Harwell in the left corner of the endzone, resulted in a 22-yard Patterson field goal with 1:23 left. The RedHawks held the lead until early in the second quarter when Ohio State’s Devin Smith made a one-handed 23-yard TD catch.
The Buckeyes followed up the score with two more in the half. Philly Brown hauled in a 5-yard pass with 11:03 remaining and Carlos Hyde made it 21-3 with a 4-yard TD run at the 5-minute mark.
The RedHawks made a key stop at the end of the half, stuffing Hyde at the 1-yard line as time ran out.
Miami favored the pass heavily throughout the game. The RedHawks threw 54 passes compared to 20 rushes. Justin Semmes ran the ball five times for 13 yards, while Robert Williams III added 10 yards on three carries. Freshman running back Jamire Westbrook had four catches out of the backfield for 19 yards and added seven yards on four carries.
On the first play of the second half, Miller broke loose for a 65-yard touchdown run to make it 28-3. Just more than two minutes later Bradley Roby recovered a botched snap on a punt attempt in the endzone to make it 35-3 with 12:41 left in the third quarter.
Miller completed 14 passes for 207 yards and rushed for 167 yards.
Miami scored its first points of the second half when Dysert hooked up with Harwell on a 44-yard TD pass with 10:24 left in the third quarter. The catch was Harwell’s 11th career grab of 40 yards or more.
Ohio State closed out the game with a Hyde rushing touchdown from eight yards out with 14:04 left in the fourth and a Zach Boren score from the 2-yard line with 9:33 to go.
The RedHawks tallied 312 yards of total offense, while the Buckeyes had 538. Andy Cruse finished with a career-high-tying eight catches for 48 yards, while Scott added five grabs for 87 yards.
On defense, a trio of RedHawks each had seven tackles.
Miami opens its 2012 home schedule next weekend when Southern Illinois visits Yager Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.