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Bowl Ban Bowl: Ohio State, UCF face off

Associated Press Modified: September 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm •  Published: September 2, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Call it the Bowl Ban Bowl.

No. 18 Ohio State hosts Central Florida on Saturday in a game pitting schools who have felt the wrath of the NCAA in the past 12 months.

The Buckeyes know they won't be going to the postseason this year, part of the penalties for a memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal. The Knights are also scheduled to sit out the bowl season after UCF was linked to runners for sports agents and found to have given money to recruits.

UCF is appealing the bowl ban, so that could change.

Based on the meager sampling of their season openers, the Buckeyes and Knights look to be postseason-quality teams. Both rolled over Ohio opponents while scoring 56 points apiece.

The Buckeyes pounded Miami (Ohio) 56-10 in Urban Meyer's Ohio State debut, overcoming a slow start to rack up 538 total yards while forcing three turnovers.

"We all know it's difficult to win in major-college football," Meyer said. "Now we've got one and now we get ready for next week."

They'll be getting ready for a UCF team that ruined former Auburn coach Terry Bowden's Akron debut with a 56-14 victory on Thursday night.

The Knights recovered three Akron fumbles including two inside the Zips' 10-yard line.

"The players played with great effort, made some plays and we got some turnovers," coach George O'Leary said. "That was important. Overall, it was good effort. A lot of people played tonight, which was what we wanted to do. We were very productive in a lot of areas."

The scary part is that both teams believe they have plenty of room for improvement.

"It's a big confidence builder but it's the first game," said Ohio State cornerback Travis Howard, who intercepted Miami's Zac Dysert twice.

The Buckeyes came out for the noon kickoff half asleep. They mustered just 48 yards while Dysert passed for 165 yards and had several passes — including two relatively easy touchdowns — dropped by his receivers.

After weathering three impressive Miami drives in the first period, the Buckeyes defense regrouped to permit only 147 yards in the last three quarters.

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