Sure, it could've been better, but let's be real – it also could've gone a lot worse.
Despite some shakiness in the early going, Ohio State cruised past Buffalo to take their win streak to 13, 40-20. Braxton Miller showed off his much improved mechanics, completing 15-22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns (though with a brutal INT), and overall looked a lot more comfortable in the pocket than he did most of last year. Jordan Hall was the real story of the afternoon on offense for the Bucks, aggregating 159 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
On the UB end of things, quarterback Joe Licata completed 19 of his 32 throws for 187 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and also found Alex Neutz 9 times for 98 yards and a TD. Running back Branden Oliver led the way on the ground with 73 yards on the early afternoon.
So what about the plays of note from Saturday afternoon? In spite of what's sure to be a week of frustrations amongst OSU faithful that the Buckeyes weren't able to maintain their hot start for four quarters, there were still some exciting takeaways.
Braxton Miller's first throw of 2013 was a good one. Much like Miller's first touchdown strike of the 2012 season, on the receiving end was Devin Smith (though the degree of difficulty was significantly lessened this go around).
#TheThirst is real. Urban Meyer's first try of 2013 was a trick formation direct snap to backup quarterback (and captain) Kenny Guiton, who shuffled in for the 2-point conversion.
Ohio State's second offensive series was an awful lot like the first. Braxton Miller-to-Chris Fields. Kthnxbai.
Are you serious?! Another point after, another two-point conversion trick play, this one to redshirt senior Jordan Hall. Troll hard, Urban. Troll hard.
This one we post reluctantly as the player on the receiving end of this blindside block was particularly shaken up. A monster block from a wide receiver in Philly Brown, who usually doesn't get this sort of opportunity. Still, harder to enjoy than it would've been even a year ago given what we know about violent collisions in the sport and the recent controversies surrounding them.
Jordan Hall looked so good on this run; there was barely anyone from the UB defense in the frame. It'll be interesting to see if these sorts of plays translate when he's back at the Pivot after Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith return.
Ron Tanner, getting a little burn (and OSU's first INT of 2013).
Ugh. Khalil Mack was a monster all day Saturday, finishing with 9 tackles (7 of them solo), 2.5 sacks, 2.5 TFL, an INT and a TD. Good luck at the next level.
Though he also had a fumble, Dontre Wilson on this kick returned showed the reason why Ohio State players (and head coach Urban Meyer) were talking about him all summer.
Hall does it again. He had himself an afternoon.
When Braxton Miller was out with cramps, Kenny Guiton did what he does: went in and made it look easy. Fields was the recipient of another TD.
Though the net effect of this huge Noah Spence sack was offset by a dumb Curtis Grant penalty, it's still pretty awesome watching how effortlessly he got around the edge on the UB left tackle.
It took four quarters, but we finally got see Braxton Miller be Braxton Miller. Looking forward to much more of this in 2013.