COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Eight seasons later, the rematch wasn't
nearly as close.
Terrelle Pryor ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and passed for
another Saturday and No. 2 Ohio State intercepted Jacory Harris
four times in a 36-24 victory over 12th-ranked Miami on Saturday.
The last time the teams had met was in the national championship
game at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, with the Buckeyes taking a dramatic
and controversial 31-24 victory in double-overtime.
But this one was no work of art, with numerous sloppy plays and
bad tackling. But it kept the Buckeyes (2-0) perfect and prevented
the Hurricanes (1-1) from making a case they belonged back among
the nation's elite.
In what was billed as a Heisman showcase, Pryor completed just
12 of 27 passes for 233 yards but added 20 carries, scoring on a
13-yard run. Harris was 22 of 39 passing for 232 yards and a
touchdown but had the four interceptions - three of which could
easily have been caught.
It was the last interception which proved to be particularly
costly for the 'Canes.
Trailing 26-17 at the half, Miami took the second-half kickoff
and drove to a first down at the Ohio State 6. But on
third-and-goal, Harris' pass over the middle was wide of the mark
and intercepted by burly Buckeyes defensive end Cameron Heyward,
who rumbled 80 yards.
That set up Pryor's touchdown run. He rolled right, looking to
pass, then reversed field and scored untouched.
The Hurricanes, whose earlier scores both came on kick returns,
scored on Harris' 9-yard pass to Chase Ford on the first play of
the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 36-24.
Miami got the ball just once more, marching down the field only
to lose it on downs at the Ohio State 39 with 7½ minutes left. The
Buckeyes, with Pryor picking up big yardage on runs, then played
keep-a-way the rest of the game.
Devin Barclay tied an Ohio State record with five field goals.
The first half had to leave both coaches exasperated.
The Buckeyes dominated, piling up 260 yards to just 104 with
three turnovers for the Hurricanes. But Miami twice returned kicks
for long scores. The first was Lamar Miller's 88-yard kickoff
After Ohio State seemed to grab control at 20-10 on Dan Herron's
4-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, Travis
Benjamin brought a punt back 79 yards for another score. The
Buckeyes tried to pooch kick or even kick the ball out of bounds
the rest of the day to keep it away from the 'Canes.
Harris was intercepted three times in the first half, but none
was poorly thrown. The first was tipped by Ohio State's C.J.
Barnett, into the hands of Nathan Williams, setting up Barclay's
field goal. The second pick was a result of receiver Benjamin not
even looking for the ball, with Chimdi Chekwa grabbing the throw to
set up Herron's TD run. Then Harris hit Benjamin on a medium-length
pass along the right sideline, but Benjamin bobbled the ball into
Chekwa's hands to set up yet another Barclay field goal.
Three times in the half, a Pryor pass was touched first by a
Miami defender but none of them were intercepted.