Columbus, Ohio - No. 14 Ohio State downed Central Florida 31-16 in front of a crowd of 104,745 Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. The game marked the first meeting between the two teams.
Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller became the first Ohio State quarterback in 34 years to rush for three touchdowns in a game and finished with 141 yards rushing. He ran for over 100 yards in the first half for the second consecutive week. Miller, who last weekend broke the single-game record for rushing yards by a Buckeye quarterback, went over 1,000 yards for his collegiate career on a run in the third quarter. He also opened up the game completing his first seven pass attempts and his 18 completions tied a career best set last season against Florida.
Miller rushed for 42 yards on the Buckeyes opening drive, including a 37-yard scamper up the middle for a touchdown. The point after by junior kicker Drew Basil put Ohio State up early, 7-0. A 28-yard field goal from UCF sophomore kicker Shawn Moffitt cut the score to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Basil hit on his first field goal attempt of the season, a 24-yard try, to put the Buckeyes back up by seven with 9:58 remaining in the first half.
The Knights pulled even with the Buckeyes with 6:54 left in the half as sophomore tight end Justin Tukes hauled in a one-yard pass from redshirt-sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles. Central Florida sophomore running back Storm Johnson broke off a 48-yard run to put Central Florida into scoring position. Johnson finished the day with 75 yards rushing.
Miller ran in from six yards out with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes a 17-10 halftime lead. Senior cornerback Travis Howard intercepted his third pass of the season to set up the scoring drive.
Ohio State opened up the second half with a 12-play, 76-yard drive, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Miller to senior Jake Stoneburner. The touchdown was the 10th of Stoneburner's career. The success on the ground continued for Miller as he put Ohio State up 31-10 on an eight-yard run with 8:08 remaining in quarter number three.
UCF scored on a two-yard pass from Bortles to senior fullback Billy Giovanetti with 46 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Ohio State freshman Adolphus Washington blocked the Knight's point after try to keep the score at 31-16.
The Buckeyes finished with 411 yards of total offense, 256 of that coming on the ground. Junior wide-out Corey "Philly" Brown had 48 yards receiving on six catches and another 33 yards on two carries. Sophomore receiver Devin Smith also had six receptions for 57 yards.
Each team had three turnovers in the game. Ohio State also got interceptions from seniors Orhian Johnson and Etienne Sabino. For Johnson it was the fifth of his career and Sabino's marked his first.
Student-athletes from the other 35 Ohio State varsity sports were recognized on the field during halftime.
The Buckeyes improve to 2-0 and will host California at noon next Saturday at Ohio Stadium.