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The Suburbanite
  • Ohio State report card, Heisman watch

  • Ohio State reporter Todd Porter grades Ohio State's performance against Buffalo, looks at Urban Meyer's mood and examines the race for the Heisman Trophy.

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  • OHIO STATE REPORT CARD
    OFFENSE: B-minus
    Gaining 460 yards and doing it with balance (261 rushing, 199 passing) isn’t a bad start. But there were too many times when Ohio State could have ran away with the win and the offense had hiccups. Braxton Miller’s screen pass pick-six was his fault, as well as LT Jack Mewhort’s failure to get the linebacker on the turf. But the first three possessions — the second series in particular — wow. Buffalo LB Khalil Mack, who had the pick-six, owned RT Taylor Decker. Mack could start for the Buckeyes.
    DEFENSE: C-plus
    Buffalo moved the ball at times and converted first downs, particularly early against soft coverage. But the offense gave up a TD on an pick-six and Dontre Wilson’s fumble gave the Bulls a short field on the other score. CB Armani Reeves, making his first start, was a weakness. He dropped an interception and gave up a TD pass. But this was a young defense with 10 of 11 players starting for the first time. Losing LB Ryan Shazier to cramps hurt, too.
    SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus
    The split formation PAT conversion led to consecutive two-point conversions. Dontre Wilson returning kicks is a weapon. He nearly housed one, but settled for 51 yards. Drew Basil’s 39-yard FG was spot on. Asked what he calls the swinging gate two-point formation, Meyer said, “Magic.”
    COACHING: B
    Meyer didn’t do his RBs any favors. He kept Jordan Hall in the game until the six-minute mark of the third quarter. On a hot day, it would have been better to keep ‘em fresh with a rotation like was hinted at all week. Other than that, OSU was crisper and executed the offense better than a year ago. Meyer was fiery when he needed to be, particularly after his offensive line failed to get a yard on fourth-and-1.
    URBANOMETER: WHAT KIND OF MOOD IS URBAN MEYER IN?
    Neutral: Urban Meyer had some praise for his team. He harped all week about getting off to a fast start and his team did. The Buckeye rolled to a 23-0 lead and hit bumps after that. He likes his freshmen RBs Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott, but wasn’t pleased with Wilson’s fumble. Clearly Meyer expects more from his offensive line, too. It probably won’t be a good meeting for those fellas today. Meyer rolled his eyes when he learned his QB was sacked four times. “Unacceptable,” he said. Another Meyer observation from the day, on the heat: “It was hotter than a mother out there.”
    HEISMAN WATCH
    1, Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State  Helped himself by being more aggressive as a passer, looking much better throwing the ball than a year ago. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two TDs. He would have had 100-plus yard rushing, but his linemen gave up four sacks and those come off Miller’s rushing total. He finished with 77 on the ground.
    Page 2 of 2 - 2, A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama  Had his problems against Virginia Tech, completing just 10 of 23 passes for 110 yards with an interceptions and one TD pass in the Tide’s 35-10 win.
    3, Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina  He played well in his team’s win over North Carolina on Thursday. However, analysts really criticized him for taking too many plays off.
    4, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M  After he sat out the first half of an NCAA “suspension” Saturday, he completed 6 of 8 passes for 94 yards and three TDs in Texas A&M’s win over Rice.
    TOP LOCAL CONTRIBUTOR: Devin Smith, WR, Massillon
    It is no secret that Smith is a home run hitter, making big plays when his team needs it. Miller wasted no time dialing up Smith, finding him OSU’s first series of the game for a 47-yard TD pass. The ball was supposed to be an inside post, but the defender played the inside. Miller threw it to Smith’s outside shoulder, he made a tough adjustment and displayed great hand-eye coordination to haul it in. Smith finished with three catches for 61 yards to lead all receivers.