Ohio State easily dispatched Miami University in the season opener, something that should not have been a surprise or unexpected. While Miami University played well at the onset, it was only a matter of time until Ohio State was able to establish its offensive superiority and win the game going away.
It is challenging to find areas of concern for the coaching staff to focus upon after such a convincing and dominating 56-10 victory. Yes, the secondary was fortunate that Miami's receivers had a seemingly allergic reaction to catching the football, but rest assured, that will be an area of coaching focus this week. Coach Meyer addressed concern about Ohio State's pass rush in his post-game press conference, but again, that will be an area of coaching focus this week. Did Braxton Miller carry the football too many times against Miami? Probably, but that will be addressed.
The biggest concern I believe the coaching staff will have going into next week's contest versus Central Florida is complacency. How many times have Ohio State fans sat through nailbiters in Ohio Stadium in the second game of the season after Ohio State has turned in a dominant opening performance?
2003: Ohio State 16, San Diego State 13. Ohio State had dominated Washington in the season opener, 28-9.
2004: Ohio State 24, Marshall 21. Ohio State had defeated Cincinnati 27-6 in the season opener.
2008: Ohio State had to rally to defeat Ohio University, 26-14. This came after Ohio State had demolished Youngstown State in the opener, 43-0.
For those wanting a little closer perspective, remember last season's squeaker against Toledo, after such a dominant performance versus Akron?
I know - Coach Meyer has a different mindset than Coach Tressel. TresselBall is no more at Ohio State in any way, shape, or form. Coach Meyer is all about wanting to get backups such as Kenny Guiton, Jr., Bri'onte Dunn, Verlon Reed, or Rod Smith into the game for crucial development. Running the offense, as evidenced by Dunn's late touchdown versus Miami University, is of the mindset that if you cannot stop the offense, that is too bad for you. Personally, I have no problem with a team that runs the ball over and over. If a touchdown results from that, oh well. Throwing for the end zone, after a team is already beaten easily, that is a different conversation altogether.
Another key difference is Braxton Miller is the starter at the crucial quarterback position, unlike last season. Joe Bauserman is no longer on the roster (thank you, football gods). Miller's mobility at the quarterback position, as well as Miller's improvement as a passer, are a substantial upgrade from where Ohio State was a year ago. Central Florida will have its defensive hands full in adequately defending Braxton Miller on Saturday afternoon. I guess I would make a clumsy analogy as though Ohio State's quarterback situation went from dial-up Internet connectivity (Joe Bauserman) to a broadband connection (Braxton Miller). I know that is a weak analogy, but I am trying to keep it clean when talking about Joe Bauserman on an Ohio State website. I am sure there are fans out there who may use more colorful terms.
But, Central Florida had a dominating performance against Akron in its opener as well. And Central Florida has been the type of program that has done well against teams such as North Carolina State, Boston College, Brigham Young, and Georgia in recent seasons. The idea that Central Florida will be intimidated by Ohio State is not necessarily the case.
Rest assured Buckeye fans - I believe Ohio State will win this game. A few weeks back, I predicted this one to be closer than people anticipate. Ohio State needs to come out, focused on Central Florida, and not have a complacent mindset.