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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. UAB Blazers: Watch Live Stream Online for Free; Preview

By Melissa Siegel - Posted: 09/21/12 11:21PM UTC
Urban Meyer

Coach Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes will face the UAB Blazers on Saturday. (Photo: REUTERS / Matt Sullivan)

The No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes and the UAB Blazers will face off for the first time ever on Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast live at 12 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, and you can also watch a live stream online for free here.

Ohio State currently stands at 3-0 on the season. The Buckeyes defeated their first two opponents pretty handily before struggling somewhat last week against University of California. Ohio State trailed the Golden Bears midway through the fourth quarter before quarterback Braxton Miller threw a touchdown pass to receiver Jake Stoneburner with 8:31 left. California came back and tied the game just 21 seconds later, but a 72-yard touchdown pass from Miller to receiver Devin Smith sealed the Buckeyes win.

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Despite the undefeated record, head coach Urban Meyer is still concerned with his team's play, particularly on defense. The Buckeyes allowed several big gains against the Golden Bears, including two long touchdown runs to backup running back Brendan Bigelow. One of those was aforementioned game-tying touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

According to the Associated Press, Ohio State has already given up 13 plays this season that gained at least 20 yards. The Buckeyes are just 66th in the nation in total defense, giving up an average of 392 yards per game.

"Poor tackling, that is the most alarming thing,'' Meyer told the Associated Press. "I can't remember a defense I've been around that has given up this many (big plays). That's got to stop, or we'll lose a game.''

The Buckeyes do still look strong on offense, especially quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller threw for four touchdowns last week and ran for another, averaging 6.3 yards per carry on the ground. The team has also scored at least 30 points in each of its first three games for only the 10th time in school history.

They should be able to continue that streak this week against a UAB defense that has allowed 44 points per game this season, worst among FBS schools. Last week, the Blazers allowed 49 points and over 500 yards to a South Carolina team whose starting quarterback was dealing with a shoulder injury.

Despite that scoring outburst from the Gamecocks, the Buckeyes have actually averaged 2.67 more points per game than South Carolina has this season. Thus, it might be a long day once again for the UAB defense.

The Ohio State defense, meanwhile, should be able to rebound on Saturday against a UAB offense that ranks just 108th in the nation in scoring. The Blazers have averaged 17.5 points per game in their first two contests. They particularly struggle on the ground, ranking 114th in the nation with an average of 80.5 rushing yards per game.

Ohio State has not really been tested yet but faces ranked squads in each of the next two weeks. The Buckeyes want to go into this tough stretch with an unblemished record, and if their defense can clean up the missed tackles, they should have no problem doing so.

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