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Buckeyes rumble past sloppy 'Canes

Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward steps in front of Miami’s Damien Berry for an interception then goes 80 yards in the third quarter.

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Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward steps in front of Miami’s Damien Berry for an interception then goes 80 yards in the third quarter.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Quarterback Jacory Harris and the No. 12 Hurricanes came into the showdown with No. 2 Ohio State confident and comfortable.

Four interceptions later, they were deflated and defeated.

Terrelle Pryor ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and passed for another score Saturday as the Buckeyes took advantage of several miscues to hang a 36-24 loss on the 'Canes.

"Feeling good doesn't always end up good," Harris said.

Eight seasons after the Buckeyes and Hurricanes played a classic game for the 2002 national championship, the rematch wasn't nearly as close. In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the Buckeyes earned a dramatic and controversial 31-24 victory in double-overtime against a Miami team trying to repeat as national champs.

This one had numerous sloppy plays and bad tackling. But it kept the Buckeyes (2-0) perfect and prevented the Hurricanes (1-1) from making a case they belong among the elite.

It came down to the mistakes.

"When you can create four takeaways, you're going to have a chance," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "And when you have zero giveaways, you're going to have a real good chance."

In what was billed as a Heisman Trophy showcase, Pryor went 12-of-27 for 233 yards but kept alive drives with many of his 20 carries and scored on a 13-yard run. Harris was 22-of-39 for 232 yards and a touchdown but had the four interceptions.

"Two of them, the receivers ran the wrong route," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "But, still, if the receiver runs the wrong route, then throw the ball out of bounds."

It was the last interception that was particularly costly.

Trailing 26-17 at the half, Miami took the kickoff and drove to the Ohio State 6. But on third and goal, Harris' pass over the middle was wide and intercepted by defensive end Cameron Heyward, who had dropped back into pass coverage. He rumbled 80 yards.

"I was trying to take it to the house," said the 6-5, 288-pound Heyward, the son of former NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward. "They caught me. That shows they didn't give up and shows I'm not that fast."

It set up Pryor's touchdown run. He rolled right, looking to pass, then reversed field and scored untouched.

The Hurricanes, whose earlier touchdowns both came on kick returns, scored on Harris' 9-yard pass to Chase Ford on the first play of the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 36-24.

Miami got the ball just once more, marching down the field only to lose it on downs at the Ohio State 39 with 7½ minutes left. The Buckeyes, with Pryor picking up big yardage on runs, then played keep-a-way the rest of the game.

Devin Barclay tied an Ohio State record with five field goals.

"(Saturday) was the most calm I've ever been," Pryor said. "I was really comfortable. I feel like I made good decisions, and I was thinking about not making turnovers — and I got that done."

Harris couldn't say the same.

"I put all of them on me. I'm the quarterback of this team. I deserve to take all the blame," Harris said. "I'm a leader, so when things go wrong, I take full ownership of being the one that made the mistakes. … It was my fault."

No. 2 OSU 36

No. 12 UM 24

Buckeyes rumble past sloppy 'Canes 09/11/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 11, 2010 11:46pm]
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