This is 12-for-12: Ohio State’s Perfect Season. In lieu of an actual football season this year, we have put together a full 12-game schedule for the Buckeyes using one game from each of the last 12 years. The docket is complete with three non-conference opponents, nine Big Ten showdowns, and will also include a three-game postseason with a Big Ten title game and College Football Playoff matchups. We tried to use the best games from each of the 12 years to fill the slots, but some had to be left out to avoid duplicate opponents in the regular season.
We will also be keeping a running total of the regular season’s stat leaders as if all of these games were occurring over one full season. There are many different players that have come through the program during this 12-year span, so only the top three guys in each category will be listed. In the end, we’ll have an interesting concoction of who led the Buckeyes over this 12-game Frankenstein season.
Game two on the schedule: Ohio State vs. Miami (2010).
Tale of the Tape
The Jim Tressel era was now in full swing — or so we thought. Ohio State entered the 2010 season looking for a sixth-straight Big Ten Championship. The Buckeyes were in good hands to start the year, with quarterback Terrelle Pryor Sr. — the program’s highest-rated recruit of all time — returning for his third season in Columbus. The campaign was largely a successful one, but that is not how it is remembered today.
As a result of the infamous Tattoo Gate, when Ohio State players committed an NCAA violation by trading autographs and memorabilia for cash and tattoos, the school vacated all of its wins from the 2010 season, and was later banned from the 2012 postseason. Tressel, Pryor and the rest of the Buckeyes’ main core of players were now gone, and a season in which Ohio State earned a record seventh-straight win over Michigan was wiped from the record books.
Miami, on the other hand, was also unknowingly in the final year of their head coach Randy Shannon — but for different reasons. The Canes were a long way removed from the days of ‘The U’, but a 9-4 campaign in 2009 had provided hope that things were turning around. That would not be the case, as the team would finish a disappointing 7-5 in 2010, including a season-ending loss to South Florida. That would spell the end for Shannon, who finished his Miami career with a 28-22 record over four seasons.
Ohio State’s offense wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, but the defense looked good early on. After the Buckeyes punted on their opening drive, Miami got the ball for the first time at their own 11-yard line. That possession would be short-lived, as defensive end Nathan Williams dropped back into coverage and picked off Canes QB Jacory Harris on a tipped pass, setting up an OSU field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
That lead would not last long, as Miami freshman running back Lamar Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a Hurricanes touchdown, Ohio State now trailing 7-3.
Both offenses would stall out as the two teams traded punts back and forth. Miami was able to add to their lead with a field goal on their first possession of the second quarter, but Ohio State answered right back. Following a 62-yard pass to DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor lofted a ball over a defender to Brandon Raine for an 18-yard TD, the game now tied at 10 apiece.
The Buckeyes were able to seize that momentum early in the second, and a quick three-and-out by Miami gave way to another Ohio State field goal to make it 13-10, good guys. The Canes continued to struggle on offense, and Harris threw his second pick of the game on the first drive of their ensuing possession. OSU set up inside the red zone, and two plays later Dan Herron found pay dirt on a 4-yard option run to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 20-10.
Miami’s special teams played a huge role in the first half of this game. After moving the ball downfield on the next offensive series, Matt Bosher missed a 46-yard field goal that would have cut the OSU lead to seven. However, the Canes forced the Buckeyes into a quick three-and-out, and Travis Benjamin would return the punt 79 yards for a TD, with Randy Shannons squad now trailing by just three.
Ohio State responded with a field goal to extend the Scarlet and Gray lead back up to six. Harris continued to struggle for the Canes, once again throwing an interception on the first play of their next offensive series — this time to Chimdi Chekwa, his second of the day. The pick would set up another OSU field goal, with the Buckeyes taking a 26-17 lead into halftime.
The next drive for Miami? You’d never guess it — ANOTHER interception thrown by Jacory Harris. On the Hurricanes’ first drive of the second half, they were able to work the ball all the way inside Ohio State’s 10-yard line before defensive lineman Cameron Heyward picked off Harris and return it all the way back to Miami’s 15-yard line. The play set up a 13-yard rushing score by Pryor, and the Buckeyes were now firmly in the lead, up 33-17.
The Canes special teams was at it again on their next drive, but this time in the wrong direction. A long 14-play drive resulted in zero points on the scoreboard, as Bosher missed his second field goal of the day — this time from 39 yards out. Ohio State rebutted with a field goal make of their own, as Devin Barclay’s 24-yarder split the uprights to put the Buckeyes up 36-17.
Miami wasn’t fully dead just yet, as they were able to find the end zone to start the fourth quarter. Harris put together his best series of the day, leading his team down the field for a seven-play, 60-yard drive that culminated in a 9-yard TD pass to Chase Harris, cutting the OSU lead to 36-24. They had a real chance to make things interesting following a missed field goal by Ohio State on their ensuing possession, but the Canes’ next drive would sputter out near the OSU 40-yard line as they turned it over on downs.
The Buckeyes were able to run out the clock for the final 7:18 of the game on a methodical 14-play, run-only series as Pryor and Saine split carries to close things out. The OSU offense was slow at times, but was helped out immensely by a strong defense that racked up four interceptions and a pair of sacks on the day. Ohio State walked away with an impressive 36-24 victory over the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes to open up the LGHL Perfect Season 2-0.
LGHL Season Stat Leaders (OSU 2-0)
- Terrelle Pryor Sr.: 233 Yds / 1 TD / 0 INT
- Cardale Jones: 187 Yds / 2 TD / 1 INT
- J.T. Barrett: 26 Yds / 1 TD / 0 INT
- Ezekiel Elliott: 122 Yds / 11.1 Avg / 1 TD
- Terrelle Pryor Sr.: 113 Yds / 5.7 Avg / 1 TD
- Cardale Jones: 99 Yds / 7.6 Avg / 1 TD
- DeVier Posey: 4 Rec / 105 Yds / 0 TD
- Braxton Miller: 3 Rec / 79 Yds / 1 TD
- Daniel Herron: 1 Rec / 49 Yds / 0 TD
- Tyquan Lewis: 1.5
- John Simon: 1.0
- Sam Hubbard/Dexter Larimore: 1.0
- Chimdi Chekwa: 2
- Cameron Heyward: 1
- Tyvis Powell/Nathan Williams: 1
Ohio State will look to build off their 2-0 start next week when they take on No. 7 Oregon (2009) in their third and final non-conference matchup of the season.