COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The coaches at San Diego State and Ohio State have two things in common.
First, their teams meet on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Second, neither was particularly thrilled with the way their teams played in the opener.
That’s about where the similarities end.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer repeatedly told everyone he saw that, although he was pleased to get out of the first game with a 40-20 victory over Buffalo, he still thought there was plenty of room for improvement.
”When you score 40 points and have 460 yards and you’re disappointed, that’s a good sign,” Meyer said. ”And the bad sign is we’ve got a long way to go.”
The Buckeyes breezed to a 23-0 lead early then had a couple of touch-and-go moments before picking up their nation’s-best 13th win in a row.
Despite 10 new starters, the defense forced a turnover, made a goal-line stand and held the Bulls to only 258 yards. The veteran offense piled up almost twice that many yards and scored on four plays of at least 20 yards.
But there were still some troubling aspects to the win.
”It was good we came out fast, but obviously we let them back in the game,” said defensive back Corey Brown.
Meyer was upset by four plays in a span bridging the first and second quarters. He said the Buckeyes should have blocked a punt instead of roughing the kicker. Then they came up short on a fourth-and-1 at midfield. Third, freshman phenom Dontre Wilson fumbled the ball away and Buffalo turned it into a 16-yard touchdown pass from Joe Licata to Matt Weiser.
Seconds later, Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller threw a screen pass directly to Buffalo linebacker Kahlil Mack who returned it 45 yards for a score.
”In a tight game, you’re going to lose that game,” Meyer said. ”So we’ve got to learn to fight through those momentum shifts.”
Continue Reading: Coming off a 20-point win, Buckeyes will be busy