Four interceptions later, they were deflated and defeated.
Terrelle Pryor ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and passed for another score Saturday as the Buckeyes took advantage of Miami's miscues to hang a 36-24 loss on the 'Canes.
"Feeling good doesn't always end up good," Harris said.
Eight seasons after the Buckeyes and Hurricanes played a classic game for the 2002 national championship, the rematch wasn't nearly as close.
The last time the teams had met at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, with the Buckeyes taking a dramatic and controversial 31-24 victory in double-overtime.
In what was billed as a Heisman Trophy showcase, Pryor completed just 12 of 27 passes for 233 yards but kept alive drives with many of his 20 carries and scored on a 13-yard run. Harris was 22 of 39 passing for 232 yards and a touchdown but had the four interceptions -- three of which could easily have been caught.
"Two of them, the receivers ran the wrong route," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "But, still, if the receiver runs the wrong route then throw the ball out of bounds."
Trailing 26-17 at the half, Miami took the kickoff and drove to a first down at the Ohio State 6. But on third-and-goal, Harris' pass over the middle was wide of the mark and intercepted by burly Buckeyes defensive end Cameron Heyward. He rumbled 80 yards with the ball.
"I was trying to take it to the house," said the 6-foot-5, 288-pound Heyward, the son of former Atlanta Falcons running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward. "They caught me. That shows they didn't give up, and shows I'm not that fast."
It set up Pryor's touchdown run. He rolled right, looking to pass, then reversed field and scored untouched.
The Hurricanes, whose earlier TDs both came on kick returns, scored on Harris' 9-yard pass to Chase Ford on the first play of the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 36-24.
The Buckeyes, with Pryor picking up big yardage on runs, then played keep-a-way the rest of the game.
Kicker Devin Barclay tied an Ohio State record with five field goals.