Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
MIAMI — The Miami Hurricanes won the battle of embattled football programs Saturday.
Previously suspended Hurricanes’ senior quarterback Jacory Harris threw two touchdowns to sophomore wide-receiver Allen Hurns and junior running back Mike James added a touchdown late in regulation. The Miami (1-1) defense held the No. 17-ranked Ohio State’s offense down throughout the game. OSU went on to drop its first contest of the season to Miami, 24-6.
After forcing a punt on OSU’s first drive of the game, senior running back Lamar Miller broke a 54-yard run and was finally brought down inside the Buckeyes’ 10-yard line.
Miller finished the first half with 128 yards on 15 carries.
Harris took center stage on Miami’s first drive, completing a three-yard touchdown pass to Hurns to put the Hurricanes up, 7-0.
Harris, along with senior linebacker Sean Spence, junior defensive tackle Marcus Forston, junior defensive end Adewale Ojomo and senior receiver Travis Benjamin returned to the Hurricanes’ lineup Saturday after serving a one-game suspension.
Eight Miami players were suspended for at least one game for receiving impermissible benefits from former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, who is now serving a 20-year prison sentence for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme.
Harris went back to work on Miami’s next drive, and found Hurns for a second 3-yard touchdown pass to Hurns that put the Hurricanes up, 14-0.
Freshman Braxton Miller saw his first game action in two weeks when he went under center on the Buckeyes’ third drive of the game. Miller’s first pass of the game was deflected and intercepted.
Luckily for the Buckeyes, the first pass Harris threw on Miami’s next drive was intercepted by redshirt sophomore safety C.J. Barnett.
Junior running back Jordan Hall, one of three OSU players making their 2011 debut after serving a two-game suspension, featured on the Buckeyes’ first scoring drive of the game.
Hall carried seven times on a 16-play drive, which sophomore kicker Drew Basil capped with a 22-yard field goal that cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 14-3.
Hall, along with sophomore defensive back Corey Brown and junior defensive back Travis Howard, were each suspended for the Buckeyes’ first two games for receiving white envelopes containing $200 from a university booster at a Feb. 19 charity event in Cleveland.
Redshirt freshman Bradley Roby intercepted a pass by Harris on Miami’s next drive and returned it to within 23 yards of the end zone..
Bauserman went without a completion on the drive that followed, however.
The quarterbacking duo of Bauserman and Miller finished the half 1-of-11 passing with one interception, and OSU was forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Basil to bring it within eight points at 14-6.
Miami responded with a 25-yard field goal by junior Jake Wieclaw as time expired in the first half and took a 17-6 lead into the locker room.
Both teams were slow to produce offensively after the intermission.
OSU stopped Miami on a fourth-and-2 play near midfield with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter, but Bauserman’s struggles continued on the Buckeyes’ ensuing drive.
Miami fans, called to cheer by the sound of a mock hurricane siren, cheered louder still when Bauserman overthrew freshman wide receiver Devin Smith on third down.
With more than three quarters played, OSU quarterbacks had accumulated only 13 yards on 2-of-16 passing.
Miller didn’t fare much better, and fumbled on an improvised run with 9:21 left in the game.
Despite missing safety Ray-Ray Armstrong, defensive end Olivier Vernon and tight end Dyron Dye, who remained suspended for Miami for also receiving impermissible benefits from Shapiro, the Hurricanes wouldn’t be denied.
James put the finishing touches on Miami’s 24-6 win with a 1-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Hurricanes went on to win by the same score.
The Buckeyes (2-1) finish the non-conference portion of their schedule on Saturday against Colorado at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by ABC.