Ohio State's Braxton Miller, left, scores a touchdown against Alabama-Birmingham's Jake Genus, bottom, and Lamar Johnson (6) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday.
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COLUMBUS — Braxton Miller ran for a late touchdown to clinch a surprisingly tension-filled 29-15 Ohio State victory over Alabama-Birmingham today at Ohio Stadium.
Beset by ill-time penalties, special teams miscues and a baffling malaise, No. 16 OSU found itself desperately trying to hold off a 37-point underdog midway through the fourth quarter.
But Blazers kicker Ty Long's errant 46-yard field goal attempt — his lone miss in four attempts — with 10 minutes left and OSU leading by six points reversed momentum. OSU pushed ahead 29-15 with a 10-play, 71-yard touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Miller.
It was a strong finish to a uneven day that was foreshadowed from the start as UAB took an early 9-0 lead. The Buckeyes were penalized for running into the punter to extend the Blazers’ first drive, then had their first punt blocked and returned 20 yards for a touchdown.
Ohio State answered with back-to-back-to-back scoring drives in the second quarter. Rod Smith (1 yard), Miller (12 yards) and Zach Boren (2 yards) all ran for touchdowns.
Miller completed 12 of 20 passes for 143 yards and rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries.