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Ohio State Recap: Buckeyes Beat Knights, 31-16

OSU keeps rolling.
The Ohio State football team celebrating after a game.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: The Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after winning the Goodyear Cotton Bowl against the USC Trojans at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Urban Meyer's tenure as Ohio State head coach continued in winning fashion this afternoon as his No. 14 ranked Buckeyes squad beat the University of Central Florida, 31-16, at Ohio Stadium.

Coming off a big win versus Miami (OH) in their first game, the Buckeyes were lining up against the Knights for the first time in school history.

With a crowd of 104,745 behind them, the Scarlet & Gray began with a bang; quarterback Braxton Miller’s 37-yard touchdown run capping off a 7-play, 71-yard drive. On the Buckeyes next possession, though, they were stopped on 4th and 1 at their own 47.

To the Knight’s credit, they came back with a response immediately. They used the excellent field position to their advantage, gaining two first downs before ultimately being held for a field goal. Ohio State's next possession also ended with a field goal, as Braxton Miller’s attempted pass to Carlos Hyde on the UCF 7 yard line missed the mark. A Drew Basil kick gave the Buckeyes a seven-point lead again, but it was to be short lived.

Thanks in large part to Storm Johnson’s 48-yard run, the Knights drove 78 yards in less than three minutes to tie the score 10-10 on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Bortles.

On the ensuing possession for the Buckeyes, things seemed to go from bad to worse. Fullback Zach Boren lost a fumble on the UCF 43 yard line and – with only 4:18 to go in the half – the momentum seemed to be firmly with the visitors.

But an interception from Buckeye cornerback Travis Howard on the second play of the drive gave Ohio State the impetus it needed to get the game back in its grasp. Eight plays later, Braxton Miller was running in for his second touchdown of the day, and the Buckeyes went into the locker room with a 17-10 lead.

After halftime, Ohio State took control. Its 17-play drive to start the half culminated in a Jake Stoneburner touchdown catch to extend its lead, 24-10. An Etienne Sabino interception on the Knights next drive gave the Buckeyes superb field position, and the offense duly obliged. Miller rushed for his third touchdown of the day to put his team up 31-10.

To UCF’s credit, the Knights then produced a long drive that resulted in their second touchdown of the day, making it 31-16 after a missed extra point. OSU held off the Knights the rest of the way, winning by that same score.

What we learned:

Again, Ohio State is still learning how to play under Urban Meyer. Having said that, the Buckeyes did look very dangerous at times, especially with Miller in full flight. They will certainly be a tough team to beat this season, but only time will tell if they can follow in the footsteps of Meyer's former squads.