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Ohio State manhandles Penn State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Braxton Miller said he is feeling as comfortable as he ever has with Urban Meyer's offense now that he has been under the guidance of the Ohio State coach for a second season.

That could be bad news for the remainder of the Buckeyes' opponents.

The junior quarterback had 321 total yards and five touchdowns and Carlos Hyde rushed for 147 yards and two scores as No. 4 Ohio State defeated Penn State 63-14 on Saturday night.

"Through the year with Coach Meyer and the offense, learning, every game, I just improve myself and show what I got," Miller said. "I know what I'm doing and defensive coverage and I know where the guy is going to be, and it's exciting to see a guy with the ball in his hand do something with it."

The Buckeyes (8-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) have won 20 straight, all since Meyer became coach, for the second longest streak in school history. The record of 22 was set from 1967 to 1969.

Miller completed 18 of 24 passes for a career-high 252 yards and three TDs and rushed 11 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns -- all in less than three quarters.

"I take full responsibility for this loss," Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said. "They're a good football team, no question about it. They deserve their ranking. They're going to be tough to beat."

A crowd of 105,889 in Ohio Stadium saw Ohio State put the game away with a 14-0 lead after the first quarter using a multifaceted attack that would eventually outgain the Nittany Lions (4-3, 1-2) 414-158 by halftime.

The Buckeyes increased their lead to 42-7 in the third quarter, taking advantage of a fumble recovery by Curtis Grant for Miller's third touchdown pass, this time to the left flank to Dontre Wilson for 26 yards.

"All our preparation, it ties into all what we're doing," Miller said. "That's how it should be. And guys played hard throughout the whole game and didn't miss a beat when all the second guys came in either."

When Penn State got the ball for its next possession, freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg was replaced by Tyler Ferguson. Hackenberg -- who was 12 of 23 for 112 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions -- was seen on the sideline with an ice wrap on his right shoulder.

"He's a young quarterback so he gets rattled pretty quickly," Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier said. "He hasn't really been a big stadium like Ohio Stadium. He's been in other stadiums, but nothing like Ohio Stadium."

Ohio State took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards. Hyde finished it with a 2-yard touchdown run, and the Buckeyes kept rolling to take a 42-7 lead at halftime.

"It's the worst game I've ever experienced," Penn State linebacker Mike Hull said. "They have a lot of weapons."

Miller rushed for 69 yards on 11 carries, including scoring runs of 39 and 6 yards, in the first half. He also completed 15 of 18 passes for 204 yards and two TDs before intermission. His first touchdown was a 3-yarder to Chris Fields for a 28-0 lead with 9:05 left in the second quarter.

Hackenberg, who threw his two interceptions in the first half, made it 28-7 five minutes later on a 12-yard pass to Brandon Felder. But the Buckeyes responded with a 49-yard kickoff return to the Penn State 45 by Wilson. Two plays later, Hyde went 39 yards off left tackle for his second touchdown.

Miller finished the half by hitting Corey "Philly" Brown for a 25-yard touchdown pass with three seconds left.

Despite the lopsided score, Meyer thought an interception by Corey "Pitt" Brown after the Buckeyes' first touchdown was critical. Hackenberg drove the Nittany Lions to the 12 before throwing his first interception in the red zone this season.

"That was a game changer," Meyer said.

Overall, he could find little fault with his team.

"I like where we're at right now," Meyer said. "I like where we're at as a team. We all needed to see some pass rush and pass defense, and guys stepped up and they certainly did. That was the most impressive part of the game to me."

NOTES: Ohio State has outscored opponents 143-38ce in the first quarter, including 14-0 on Saturday night. ... Penn State is the third straight opponent to have an open week before playing Ohio State. The Buckeyes defeated Northwestern and Iowa. ... This was the fifth time that Ohio State and Penn State played under the lights since 2005. They split the previous four games.
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