Head coach: Urban Meyer (1st year)
Record: 12-0 (8-0 Big Ten)
Big Ten Leaders Division Champions
Spring Game – April 21
Scarlet 20, Gray 14
Both played sparingly during the game, but it was clear during Urban Meyer’s first spring exhibition as head coach that Zach Boren (No. 44) and John Simon (No. 54) were the leaders on the team. Both won circle drill battles prior to the game, setting the tone for the Buckeyes’ undefeated 2012 season. Players wore a patch commemorating Columbus’ bicentennial.
Miami (OH) – Sept. 1
#18 Buckeyes 56, RedHawks 10
Wide receiver Devin Smith (No. 15) made a spectacular, one-handed grab in the end zone to score the first touchdown of the Urban Meyer era in Ohio State’s 56-10 win over Miami (OH). The Buckeyes wore a helmet decal all season to commemorate 100 years as an athletics department and as a member of the Big Ten.
UCF – Sept. 8
#14 Buckeyes 31, Knights 16
Braxton Miller (No. 5) became the first Ohio State quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in 34 years in leading the Buckeyes to a 31-16 victory over Central Florida. The last Ohio State quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a game was Art Schlichter in 1978.
California – Sept. 15
#12 Buckeyes 35, Golden Bears 28
Quarterback Braxton Miller (No. 5) accounted for all five of Ohio State’s scores in the Buckeyes’ 35-28 win over California. One touchdown came from 55 yards out, as Miller juked a Golden Bear defender out of his cleats before sprinting down the sideline and into the end zone.
UAB – Sept. 22
#16 Buckeyes 29, Blazers 15
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (No. 52) recorded 10 total tackles in Ohio State’s 29-15 win over UAB. His hit on Blazers quarterback Austin Brown forced a bad throw and allowed cornerback Doran Grant to seal the win with an interception.
at Michigan State – Sept. 29
#14 Buckeyes 17, #20 Spartans 16
Wide receiver Devin Smith’s (No. 15) 63-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Braxton Miller gave Ohio State a 17-16 win over Michigan State, giving Urban Meyer a victory in his first Big Ten game as head coach. Meyer joined Carol Widdoes (1944) and Earle Bruce (1979) as the only coaches to start 5-0 in their first season with the program.
Nebraska – Oct. 6
#12 Buckeyes 63, #21 Cornhuskers 38
Quarterback Braxton Miller (No. 5) broke his own school record for a quarterback by rushing for 186 — 137 of which came in the first half — in Ohio State’s 63-38 thrashing of Nebraska. Miller’s first-half output was the most in a single half by any Buckeye since Daniel “Boom” Herron rushed for 176 yards in the second half of the 2010 Michigan game.
at Indiana – Oct. 13
#8 Buckeyes 52, Hoosiers 49
Indiana’s offense went toe-to-toe with Ohio State’s, but cornerback Bradley Roby (No. 1) recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown to help the Buckeyes escape Bloomington with a 52-49 win.
Purdue – Oct. 20
#7 Buckeyes 29, Boilermakers 22 (OT)
With starting quarterback Braxton Miller out of the game after being thrown hard to the turf, backup Kenny Guiton (No. 13) led Ohio State back from certain defeat to knock off Purdue, 29-22, in overtime. Guiton’s touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion tied the game with only three seconds remaining. The Buckeyes wore a ribbon decal for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
at Penn State – Oct. 27
#9 Buckeyes 35, Nittany Lions 23
Quarterback Braxton Miller (No. 5) accounted for three touchdowns, including one in which he alluded a defender and then dove past another into the end zone, as Ohio State quieted Penn State, 35-23. Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions wore a blue ribbon helmet decal with the words “KEEP KIDS SAFE” as a show of support for child abuse victims.
Illinois – Nov. 3
#6 Buckeyes 52, Fighting Illini 22
Running back Carlos Hyde (No. 34) rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — as Ohio State ran past Illinois, 55-22. Hyde topped the century mark for the sixth time on the season.
at Wisconsin – Nov.
#6 Buckeyes 21, Badgers 14 (OT)
Ohio State clinched the Big Ten Leaders Division crown with a 21-14 overtime win over Wisconsin. Linebacker Ryan Shazier (No. 10) made the play of the game, punching the ball loose from Wisconsin running back Montee Ball as he attempted to cross the goal line for the go-ahead score late in regulation.
Michigan – Nov. 24
#4 Buckeyes 26, #20 Wolverines 21
Wearing the the first rendition of its Nike Rivalry uniforms, Ohio State capped an undefeated season with a 26-21 win over Michigan. Quarterback Braxton Miller (No. 5) completed 14 of 18 passes for 189 yards and a score to the Wolverines from winning the Big Ten Legends Division title. NCAA violations under former coach Jim Tressel kept the Buckeyes from playing for the national title.