The young Buckeyes broke loose the day after Thanksgiving, giving their best performance of the season against the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos. For the first time all season, Thad Matta's squad looked like a top five team, cruising past UMKC 91-45.

Deshaun Thomas led the team again, compiling 21 points and eight rebounds. Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points thanks to a 3-5 performance behind the arc, while Sam Thompson had 11 points. The Buckeyes as a whole shot over 60% from the floor and 56% from three.

The biggest story had to be the bench, though. Shannon Scott (10 points, 10 assists) played critical minutes and electrified the crowd, pushing the tempo and running the floor. LaQuinton Ross also had 11 points and 5 rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Even Trey McDonald and freshman Amedeo Della Valle looked good when they saw the floor.

Next, the Buckeyes head to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Duke on Wednesday.

You can find more coverage from the post-game press conference (via OhioStateBuckeyes.com) after the break...

 
 
The first half was brutal to get through as both teams missed opportunities, played sloppy and punted a lot. The Buckeyes managed to even the score at seven just before halftime, and came out like gangbusters in the third quarter.

Ryan Shazier opened things up with a sack and pick six of Matt McGloin, and the offense line out-muscled the Nittany Lion defense to make way for a pair of  Braxton Miller rushing touchdowns. That 21-3 third quarter would give the Buckeyes all they needed as they closed things out in the fourth quarter for a 35-23 victory and 9-0 record. Here were a few of the big notes:

  • The Buckeyes moved into sole possession of the Big Ten lead in the Leaders Division at 5-0.
  • Braxton Miller, who rushed for 134 yards in the game, became the third different Big Ten QB and the first OSU QB to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. IU's Antwaan Randle El and UMs Denard Robinson are the other two.
  • The 35 points the Buckeyes scored were the most the Nittany Lions had given up all season.
  • The Buckeye defense gave up only 32 rushing yards on the evening.
  • Neither Devin Smith or Philly Brown, the team's two leading receivers, recorded a single reception for the Buckeyes.
We have a full video of Urban Meyer's post-game comments (via GoPSUsports.com) after the break.

 
 
Here was Coach Urban Meyer's reaction following the 29-15 victory over UAB. You can read the full transcript from the press conference after the break (via OhioStateBuckeyes.com). We'll have more coverage from the game later.

 
 
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Photo via Nick Stevens (highschoolot.com)
Tyquan Lewis just announced moments ago that he will be attending Ohio State, picking the Buckeyes over LSU and North Carolina. He becomes the 17th member of the 2013 class and joins Joey Bosa, Michael Hill, Billy Price and Tracy Sprinkle on the defensive line in this class. 

The 6-4 227 pound defensive end hails from Tarboro, North Carolina, an area of the country the Buckeyes are starting to tap into more. As for Lewis himself, he had developed a relationship with Everett Withers before his hiring a Ohio State, and really seemed to hit it off with Urban Meyer on his visit. 

Lewis, rated a four star prospect by 247Sports, has been an up-and-comer this summer. After really impressing at both the Charlotte NFTC and The Opening, his stock started to rise. He is known for his active pursuit of the ball and his quick first step. A quick look at his film will provide plenty of evidence in both areas. 

While he will likely end up at defensive end for the Buckeyes, playing linebacker isn't out of the question. Much like Josh Perry, who is on the roster now, his continued growth or lack thereof, will ultimately decide where he ends up in scarlet and gray. 

This is definitely a big grab for the Buckeyes as the close out the 2013 class. As of right now the defensive line appears to be stacked for the second class in a row. Look out B1G! Announcement video after the jump.


 
 
Coach Meyer shares his thoughts about the game against, including his man-crush on John Simon. Join the club, Urban! Here's the rest of press conference (at OhioStateBuckeyes.com).
 
 
If you missed the Ohio State All Access on ESPNU, here you go. As we said yesterday, big props to shardin10 for these...

 
 
Drew Thurman (1:30 pm)

With the 2013 class winding down already and the staff shifting their focus to 2014, we thought it would be a good idea to start introducing some of the key prospects in this class. We'll start with arguably the best player in the state next year, Dante Booker...

Name: Dante Booker
School: St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, OH)
Position: Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-3/210
Offers: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State
Rankings: No. 1 Ohio 2014 Prospect (247Sports), No. 1 OLB 2014 Prospect (247Sports), No. 1 Ohio 2014 Prospect (OhioPreps.com) 

Background:

Dante Booker Jr. is the son of Dante Booker Sr., a former Auburn defensive tackle and Canadian Football player. His father still plays a huge part in his life, and has been a great role model for him. He's also inherited a ton of measurables and athleticism from his father as well. At 6-3 210 pounds, Booker already has great size for a player just entering his junior season. Last year as a sophomore at St. Vincent-St. Mary, Booker amassed 157 tackles, 14 sacks, eight pass breakups, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. He also plays tight end as well. 

 
 
Yesterday, the Buckeyes had their ninth practice under Coach Meyer, who made it clear afterwards that is was by far the team's best practice of the spring. It was also a monumental practice because it marked the first time the offense came away victorious in one of the winner-loser days.

Check out everything else Meyer had to say, as well as some good footage of practice taking place (thanks to WOSN Buckeye Insider). You aren't going to want to miss this video...
 
 
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Jay LaPrete-US PRESSWIRE (H/T FS Ohio)
Today was the first official practice for the Buckeyes under Urban Meyer. You can get some great coverage here, here, here and here. For those of you looking for a cliff notes version, here ya go (also an interview with Meyer from ESPN at bottom):

*The offensive line configuration is a little different than many would expect. The first team line looks like this: Jack Mewhort at left tackle, Andrew Norwell at left guard, Corey Linsley at center, Marcus Hall at right guard and Reid Fragel at right tackle.

*Philly Brown was running with the second team wideouts surprisingly. Devin Smith, Chris Fields and Evan Spencer comprised the first team.

*Curtis Grant was the first team middle linebacker today, which should make a lot of people happy. Joining him were Etienne Sabino and Ryan Shazier.

*Meyer had good comments to say about both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton saying that they can definitely throw the ball.

*There was lots of buzz around the tempo of the practice. It was much faster than practices during the Tressel era, and yet Meyer made it clear he wants it to still improve.

*Big quote from Meyer after the practice - "We're in a sprint (to find the playmakers). We're in a journey for the other stuff. We have to develop depth at offensive line. If you don't have it, you don't have it. You have to go recruit it. The immediacy is installation of the offense and identifying guys who can take the ball and do something with it."