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Ohio State CB Travis Howard  Ohio State CB Travis Howard (7) runs up the sidelines after an making an interception against Miami during the fourth quarter.
Ohio State CB Travis Howard (7) runs up the sidelines after an making an interception against Miami during the fourth quarter.
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Published: Sunday, 9/2/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Smith's great catch wakes up OSU

BY DAVID BRIGGS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

COLUMBUS -- Devin Smith moonlights as a high jumper on Ohio State's track and field team.

This is not lost on the guy throwing him passes.

"Throw it as high as you want, and he'll get it," quarterback Braxton Miller said.

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With the Buckeyes needing a jolt in their 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio), both players fulfilled their end of the bargain. Miller threw it high -- way high -- to the back corner of the end zone, and Smith got it.

His acrobatic one-handed snare on the 23-yard touchdown pass gave the slow-starting Buckeyes a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter and, if coach Urban Meyer had a say, would be named college football's catch of the week by ESPN.

"That was a wild moment, and that was a moment that ignited the stadium," Meyer said. "The stadium got quiet early.

"Our sideline got quiet, and we were waiting for a play to happen, and he went out and made the play."

The play also provided a shock of confidence for a player looking to stand out among a group of receivers who have endured their share of criticism from Meyer. Smith said during the preseason he wanted to deliver "wow" moments, and Saturday's catch would qualify.

While Smith had the game-winning touchdown catch against Wisconsin last year and caught 24 touchdown passes as a two-time all-Ohio receiver at Massillon Washington, he said none compares with his one-handed grab on Saturday.

"It was the best catch I've ever had," Smith said.

Meyer's message: Now go do it again.

"I don't know if Devin has been saving that, but I've not seen him do that," Meyer said, laughing.

"Now that I know he can, I expect him … "

SMASH MOUTH: Meyer was not amused when the Buckeyes failed to punch in a touchdown from the 1-yard line with only three seconds remaining in the first half.

Carlos Hyde was stuffed for no gain and time expired.

"Ohio State should be able to knock it in from the 1," Meyer said. "That's bad. That's absolutely non-negotiable.

"We'll hit that with a sledgehammer [today]. … The Ohio State University, with a 230-pound tailback, can smash it in from the 1-yard line, and that didn't happen. The whole world knew what we were doing, but that's part of the deal. At that moment, I wanted to see if our line would do it."

BOREN REWARDED: For three years, fullback Zach Boren was a classic bruising lead blocker who paved the way for others.

He had one career carry for two yards.

But Boren learned how the other half lives Saturday, bruising through the line for a two-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Boren was asked if he preferred the glory for himself or others.

"I'd probably rather lead block," said Boren, who finished with 10 yards on two carries and looks to assume a more prominent role in the Buckeyes' ground game this season.

"I get more excited for other guys. When other guys score, it's fun. When I scored, it was kind of surreal. You hug your big guys and run to the sidelines."

Added Meyer: "I love Zach Boren. We had to do that."

KERN DELIVERS: Miami freshman linebacker Kent Kern, a St. John's Jesuit graduate, spared little time in making his presence felt for the RedHawks.

Kern sacked Miller for a two-yard loss during the third quarter, and he finished with four tackles. Kern is currently listed as a backup at middle linebacker.

EXTRA POINTS: The 39-point victory was the 35th time one of Meyer's teams won by 30 or more points. … OSU's defense held the RedHawks to minus-one yard rushing. The last time the Buckeyes held a team to negative rushing yards was in 2008, when they held Youngstown State minus-11 yards. … Braxton Miller's two touchdown passes marked his fifth game with multiple touchdown passes. ... The Buckeyes wore a "100" decal on the back of their helmets to commemorate their 100th season as a member of the Big Ten Conference.



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