by Phil de Montmollin, allCanes Radio
Arrving in Columbus on Tuesday, allCanes Radio was the first South Florida media outlet to get into town. We were expecting a buzz around this game from the Ohio State perspective, but only found a subdued college town with no students yet in town (OSU fall semester begins next week). Looking for some animosity toward the colorful UM program, all we found were people who lived up to the kind, gentle stereotype of midwesterners. Apparently, the only opponent that any sort of fire burns through these fans is when Michigan comes to town.
The town and campus were dead all week and Miami fans actually outnumbered Buckeye fans on Friday night on High Street. A huge turnout at the allCanes “No Officials” pep party at Buffalo Wild Wings was base camp for the Hurricane fans who made the trek to Columbus from all over the country. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Ohio State faithful showed up on game day producing the sixth largest crowd in school history. A streak of 57 consecutive games with over 100,000 is impressive.
The game itself was not pretty, but did showcase the athleticism of the Hurricanes, in particular the two spectacular returns by Lamar Miller and Travis Benjamin. Mistakes killed the Hurricanes who were outdisciplened by Tressel’s squad.
Now, the Canes and their fans must put this game behind them and focus on their upcoming road game at Pitt. At least, the Canes have a week off prior to a Thursday night ESPN affair vs. the Panthers coached by former UM assistant coach Dave Wannstedt.
– Miami led 10-3 with 13:05 remaining in the second quarter. Ohio State then went on a 33-7 run to take a 36-17 lead with 1:29 left in the third.
– Mistakes (or in the case of Ohio State the lack thereof) was the difference. Miami had four turnovers and eight penalties (seven in the 2nd half). Ohio State had zero turnovers and just two penalties. The Buckeyes did not commit a penalty in the final three quarters of the game.
– Outside of the turnovers, Miami actually had better production in the second half. 2nd Half Total Yards: UM – 248; OSU – 154.
– Miami could not get its running game going until some counter plays worked during the hurry-up in the second half. At halftime, Miami had just 14 rushes for 28 yards.
– Pryor (346 yards total offense) did enough to stay in the Heisman discussion, while Harris (4 INT, 1 TD) may have to wait to his senior year.
– Tressel had good things to say about the Canes in his post-game presser alluding several times to Miami’s talent a calling UM a “top ten team”. The OSU coach talked about Hankerson in particular: “We tried to recruit Hankerson and I said, now you were supposed to be doing this for four years in this stadium, not this time.”
– Miami should not drop too far in the polls with losses by ACC brethren Virginia Tech, FSU and Georgia Tech, each of which were ranked slightly behind the Canes. The overall weak start by the ACC favorites however does not bode well for Miami’s place in the national picture.
– Miami and Ohio State will meet again next on September 17th, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium.
– ABC/ESPN couldn’t have been happy with three games (UM-Ohio State, FSU-Oklahoma, Iowa-Iowa State) on their networks during the 3:30 ET time slot all of which were out of reach midway through the third quarter.
– National media was lighter than expected for this game as evidenced by ESPN’s College Gameday chose the Penn State-Alabama game. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com (and a guest on Saturday’s allCanes Radio) however chose to come to Columbus with the rationale that if Bama lost and OSU won then the Buckeyes could be the new number one team in the nation. Other national scribes in at the Horseshoe included Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com and Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated.
– The press box at Ohio State may just be the best media facility in the country- over 200 seats for media, large broadcast booths, and a well-run media relations operation. Overall, the hospitality for both the home and visiting media was excellent.
– South Florida media in attendance included the usual beat writers (Tim Reynolds of the AP, Susan Miller-Degnan and Manny Navarro of the Herald, Steve Gorten of the Sun Sentinel, and Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post) and one columnist from each paper (Israel Gutierrez, Dave Hyde and Dave George), but no local media out of the ordinary. None of the Miami tv stations bothered to make the trip, something that would have been the case for a game of this magnitude in past years.
– Tweet of the Day: “Time for Miami’s best play, the kickoff return.” by @timreynolds in the third quarter.