COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Second-ranked Ohio State got off to a quick start. After that, it was a bit scary.
Braxton Miller threw two touchdown passes before fighting leg cramps and Jordan Hall ran for two more scores to lead the Buckeyes to a 40-20 victory over Buffalo on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Buckeyes, striving for a crisper start from coach Urban Meyer’s debut in 2012, led 23-0 after the first quarter before the Bulls made things interesting. Joe Licata threw two TD passes and linebacker Kahlil Mack returned a Miller interception 45 yards to make it 30-20 in the third quarter.
Miller was sidelined a second time with cramps and sub Kenny Guiton promptly tossed a 21-yard TD pass to Chris Fields.
Hall had a career-high 159 yards rushing, scoring on runs of 37 and 49 yards.
Miller was 15 of 22 passing for 178 yards with TDs of 47 yards to Devin Smith and 7 yards to Chris Fields. He also ran for 77 yards on 17 attempts, although he twice went to the sideline with cramps.
Licata completed 19 of 32 passes for 185 yards and two scores with one interception, with Branden Oliver gaining 73 yards on 26 carries for the Bulls, who were playing Ohio State for the first time ever.
Meyer had stressed all week that he wanted his team to get off to a better start than they did a year ago when they trailed 7-0 in the first quarter against Miami (Ohio).
Continue Reading: Buckeyes roll early, hang on to beat Bulls, 40-20