COLUMBUS -- Quarterback Braxton Miller's comfort level with the new Ohio State spread offense was apparent. The sophomore quarterback accounted for 366 yards and three touchdowns individually while leading the No. 18 Buckeyes to a 56-10 romp over Miami (Ohio) Saturday.
Ohio native and first year Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer brought the offensive innovation with him after winning a pair of national championships at Florida, and Miller seemed in synch with the approach after a sluggish first quarter.
"The objective with Braxton is to take him from an athlete playing quarterback to a quarterback that manages," Meyer said. "He's got to manage so much. He's got to stay positive, his leadership. He has to be a leader. And he showed that today."
Miller, who rushed for an Ohio State single-game quarterback record 161 yards, went 14-of-24 passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He left the game in the third quarter with leg cramps and the Buckeyes enjoying a comfortable lead.
After the slow start, Miller led Ohio State on three straight second-quarter touchdown drives, good for a 21-3 advantage at the half. He added another touchdown on the first play of the second half, with a highlight reel 65-yard run.
"I was absolutely comfortable," Miller said about working with the spread offense. "In the first quarter they threw a little trick at us and we fixed it. And after that we got rolling."
Meyer saw his Buckeyes' team struggle early trying to contain Miami senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who went 31-of-53 for 304 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off twice and hurt by a number of drops.
Kicker Kaleb Patterson missed a 24-yard chip shot on Miami's second drive, but hit from 22yards out a short time later to give the RedHawks a 3-0 lead.
The Buckeyes trailed by that margin as the first period ended, but then found the jolt they needed offensively. Carlos Hyde gained 16 yards, Miller hit Corey "Philly" Brown for 38 more, and then Devin Smith made an acrobatic, fully-extended, one-handed catch for a 23-yard touchdown.
Leading 7-3 after Brown's score, the Buckeyes struck again as Miller mixed pass and run on a 57-yard drive, throwing five yards to Brown for a touchdown and a 14-3 edge.
Ohio State made it three straight scores and a 21-3 lead with about five minutes left in the first half when Hyde punched in from four yards out. The Buckeyes were stopped at the Miami one to end the half.
After Miller broke the long scoring run to start the second half, the Buckeyes added a special teams touchdown when Bradley Roby recovered a bad Miami punt snap in the end zone for a 35-3 lead.
"They're a very good team and there are a lot of good teams in the Big Ten," Miami coach Don Treadwell said about the Buckeyes. "They have a lot of depth, and that's what you're trying to build in a program. They're a very good team and you saw a lot of that out on the field today."
Dysert hit Nick Harwell with a 35-yard pass for Miami's only touchdown, that coming late in the third quarter to make it 35-10. The Buckeyes added fourth quarter scores on short runs by Hyde, Zach Boren and Bri'onte Dunn.
"I like this team. I like these guys," Meyer said after his debut. "I just wanted it to be a good day for Ohio State football. And I believe it was."
NOTES: Urban Meyer was in Columbus exactly a year ago, working the Ohio State season-opener for ESPN. ... Ohio State has not dropped a home opener in 34 years, since a 19-0 loss to Penn State in 1978. ... Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a 1992 Miami grad, spoke to the RedHawks before the game. ... Ohio State had 538 yards of offense, while limiting Miami to minus-1 rushing yard and 312 total yards. ... Miami senior quarterback Zac Dysert passed 53 times, one short of his career high.