Preview and postgame sections for the 2009-10 season here.
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The Buckeyes evidently, at least with ABC. The win at Michigan State was telecast nationally in late afternoon, and it was announced yesterday that the Nebraska game will be the national ABC telecast in prime time on Saturday night. The Buckeyes might be on NCAA probation and dealing with a postseason ban, but apparently they still move the ratings needle.
What's not hot?
The accumulation of ill-timed, ill-thought penalties. There were several more on Saturday, including two holding calls on cornerbacks Travis Howard and Bradley Roby on third-down plays that kept Michigan State drives alive. And there was Carlos Hyde’s high tackle of the Spartans’ punt returner who fielded a bouncing ball. OSU is the 34th-most penalized team in the nation, averaging 7.4 flags and 65.0 yards per game.
What went right?
Zeroing in on Le’Veon Bell. The Michigan State tailback from Groveport is still the Big Ten’s leading rusher, but his per-game average took a big hit — dropping more than 20 yards to 131.0 — after the Buckeyes limited him to 45. A defense known for bad tackling still had one monumental lapse on the Spartans’ only touchdown play, but the Buckeyes never forgot that job one was to tackle Bell. Roby got in on the action as much as anybody, and he also had Ohio State’s first punt block of the year.
Back to the drawing board
Miller threw one interception and at least two other balls up for grabs, one of the latter in Michigan State territory, where his three turnovers (including two fumbles) took place. He had Jake Stoneburner wide open from the snap down the left seam but was late pulling the trigger, giving the beaten defender time to close and the safety time to make a move on what turned out to be a jump ball. That’s also back-to-back games in which Stoneburner has been shut out of the catch column. And he was supposed to be a fixture on offense?
Urban Meyer had a feeling Devin Smith was due for something big. After Michigan State had taken a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter, Meyer was the one who "suggested" the takeoff route to the wide receiver on OSU’s next possession that resulted in the go-ahead 63-yard touchdown. Meyer had a feeling Smith would find man-to-man coverage from Michigan State’s best cornerback, Jonny Adams, which happened. When Adams whiffed on a press-cover attempt at the line, Smith broke open down the right sideline and Miller hit him in stride.
The pressing issue is the overall health of Miller, though he is expected to play against Nebraska. He limped off the field twice, and though he returned both times, turning in a clutch run on the final clock-killing possession, he was feeling it later. Running back Jordan Hall suffered a knee injury that necessitated him to watch most of the second half. His status for this week was not known yesterday...
The Ohio State Buckeyes traditions video shown at Ohio Stadium before every football game. GO BUCKS!
“When Coach Meyer first got here, I was like, ‘Well, there’s no way (Smith) is coming back,’??” Linsley said. “But Rod luckily said he was going to put that behind him. Coach Meyer said everyone on the team was getting a second chance. And Rod was focused and disciplined enough to put the mistakes behind him, really work, and obviously that showed last week.”...
Meyer promised that he would get Smith meaningful carries last week. Smith had six for 24 yards and OSU’s first touchdown in a come-from-behind victory over Alabama-Birmingham.
Through the spring and summer, Meyer said, there still was no sense of urgency from Smith, who had been considered one of the nation’s top prospects at running back coming out of Fort Wayne, Ind., in 2010.
“Then something clicked these last few weeks,” said Meyer, who made Smith a member of his favored punt-block team two weeks ago. “I mean, he's on a mission right now. He’s a good guy. I love Rod Smith. I love guys that turn it around. Now, that’s one game.”
Smith understands. But he saw a payoff for his renewed effort when Meyer put him on the punt-block team two weeks ago.
“Just to get on special teams first before I got to play offense — you’ve got to get on special teams, that’s the No. 1 rule,” Smith said.
Then came the call for him to go in at running back with the Buckeyes losing 9-0 to a prohibitive underdog last week. That’s a sure sign of trust from a head coach.
“I felt like I did well,” Smith said. “And I feel like I’m going to be counted on more.”...
September 24, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Braxton Miller has been hogging this spot, but other than the second quarter and part of the fourth, he wasn’t all that hot. So let’s go with defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, one of the few on defense who consistently has played at a high level. He was rumbling from sideline to sideline on Saturday just to get in on the action.
What's not hot?
Maybe it’s the breakfast, maybe it’s the pregame speech, maybe it’s doing “quick cals” in front of a three-quarters-empty south stands, but something has been dragging down the Buckeyes offense at the start. So it was again vs. Alabama-Birmingham. Perhaps a trip to Michigan State and a later kickoff time after four straight noon starts at home will provide the needed wakeup call.
What went right?
Whichever chapter that coordinator Tom Herman and his offensive coaches were on in the second quarter, that was the ticket. In particular, Miller was hitting the intermediate pass routes to Corey Brown, who found wide-open spaces in the UAB defense. Those several minutes of offense were excellent, and OSU finished with three touchdowns in the quarter.
When the head coach barks, assistants jump, and Urban Meyer was barking about the timid stance of the cornerbacks. In preseason, the corners talked about the system they were being taught in which they would sit back, keep things in front of them and react. Uh, scrap that. Meyer wants his DBs up in receivers’ grills, especially after the way UAB exploited the cushion with wide screens and similar quick throws. Of course, there will be missed/slipped tackles when closing gaps are that wide.
UAB’s first-quarter touchdown went in the books as a blocked punt return, but a closer look at the replay indicated that the ball was knocked away before it touched the foot of punter Ben Buchanan. Whether it should have been credited as a fumble doesn’t matter. What does matter is that upback Zach Boren had one too many men to block. It was a crazy-looking punt formation anyway, with two gunners to the left and the inside guys split wide. But the blocking matchups always go from inside out so no rusher gets a free shot. Still, when a lineman whiffs — call this a “drawing board” item, too...
Lewis Makes Seventeen
September 20, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Tyquan Lewis of Tarboro (NC) came up to Columbus in June to make his non-committable offer a committable one and accomplished his mission with an outstanding camp performance.
A little over a month later, the 6-4/227 hybrid linebacker-defensive end made a return trip to Ohio State, this time for Friday Night Lights, bringing his mother up to show her what he loved so much about the university and football program.
After much deliberation between the two, it looks like Urban Meyer passed the test with mom, as Lewis has given a verbal pledge to Meyer and his staff, making him the seventeenth commitment overall and first linebacker in Ohio State's recruiting class of 2013.
While he excels as a defensive end for three-time state champion Tarboro, Tyquan is expected to move to linebacker and play the Viper position (linebacker who plays at the line of scrimmage).
He chose the Buckeyes over other finalists including UNC, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, and also held offers from Clemson, Duke, South Carolina, NC State, ECU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Auburn.
The pick up of Lewis is a big one for Ohio State, as he becomes the first in a linebacker class that has been up and down throughout this recruiting period. With Lewis now in the fold, the Buckeyes can move on to pursue Mike Mitchell as the second linebacker for 2013, as well as fill other positions of need and focus on closing out the remaining (and limited) spots in the class.
Tyquan Ties Himself to The Buckeyes: Justin Hite of the Rocky Mount Telegram writes: There wasn’t anything specific that drew Lewis to Ohio State. He said it was the total package, but then mentioned one man.
“Coach (Mike) Vrabel was more than a coach,” Lewis said. Vrabel is the defensive line coach at Ohio State but won three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots... September 21, 2012 Source: The Ozone
* A caller reminded Meyer of his desire to have the best coaching staff in American, and then asked him if he thought he had the best staff in America. "That still remains to be seen," Meyer answered. "I like where we're at."
* Meyer specifically cited that he likes the staff's ability to recruit. The thing that he monitors is whether or not each member of the staff provide something that makes them better. Do they bring in schematic ideas, do they conduct themselves well in the heat of the moment, are they strengthening the unit that they are coaching, etc. According to Meyer, however, it's still "to be determined."
* Asked specifically about defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, Meyer mentioned that his most immediate impact came on the recruiting trail. "Everybody knows Mike Vrabel," he said. "They know exactly who he is." He said that not everybody who has spent so much time in the NFL would then be okay making early-morning recruiting trips across state lines. Meyer said that Vrabel has a great work ; ethic, and added "He is going to be a star in this profession."
* Meyer did say that the coaching staff had a meeting about their efficiency of practice time. Felt time had been wasted preparing for things that they never ended up seeing from opponents simply because opponents would change everything they did in an effort to beat them. Said things will become much more efficient once the staff hits conference play and teams will no longer be able to scheme for weeks just against them.
* He said he's still learning about his team and his coaches, but knows more about them after the California game than before. He said the conversations with the coaches were good, and that the only guy panicking was the head coach, which is what he gets paid to do...
It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer; at least for Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman. His system, which was developed by OSU head coach Urban Meyer over the last 10 years, is predicated on having an athlete at the quarterback position...
“He’s by far the most dynamic kid I’ve ever coached at that position,” Herman said Monday after Miller led the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind victory against Cal over the weekend.
“So you get tempted, because he’s so elusive with his feet, you’re tempted to say let’s just get in empty and run him. When they pack the box, we’ll throw it.”...
Miller has the ability to make something out of nothing, to turn what looks like a tackle in the backfield into a 55-yard touchdown run the way he did against the Golden Bears on Saturday.
The key for him is going to be limiting the big hits he takes over the course of a game, especially once the Buckeyes start playing against physical Big Ten defenses in a couple weeks...
“You go into the game saying he can really help you win the game with his feet,” Herman said, “but you have to then be cautious with how often you ask him to do that.”
At some point, however, they know they will have to throw caution to the wind...
OSU Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman meets the media
OSU Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Luke Fickell meets the media
Ohio State looking to help Braxton Miller make more big plays in passing game
September 18, 2012 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - After Miller carried the ball 12 times for 75 yards in Saturday's win over Cal, as opposed to 27 times for 141 yards the week before, the conversation around the quarterback has changed heading into Saturday's game against Alabama-Birmingham. No longer is the concern whether he's running too often and absorbing too many hits. Now the idea is that his running is such a focus for the opposition, it's not what Ohio State chooses to do with Miller, but what the Buckeyes may be forced to do with him.
"It's kind of turning into that kind world for us right now," head coach Urban Meyer said, "that there's a lot of players, people, numbers, committed to stopping the run."...
One quarter through the regular season, Miller is 10th in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 126 yards per game, and 70th in passing yards, averaging 204. But as a team, the Buckeyes are right on schedule with the kind of passing offense Meyer has always put to use.
Ohio State's average passing game this season is 18 for 29 for 216 yards, which ranks the Buckeyes' passing offense 76th in the nation. In his first 10 seasons as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, Meyer's teams averaged between 17 and 20 completions per game in nine of 10 seasons, and in nine of 10 seasons ranged between 214 and 264 yards per game...
Meyer repeated again Monday that in the face of these defenses the Buckeyes have to throw the ball deep more often. He's confident there's a receiver who can make plays on those kind of passes in Devin Smith, who caught the 72-yard game-winner from Miller.
"I think we have to take shots," Meyer said. "Defenses are forcing us to do that. That's bad coaching [by us]. We've got to do more of that because they're defending the run."...
OSU Players after practice Monday. September 17, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Urban Meyer meets with the media at his weekly press conference September 17, 2012
Meyer Presser Recap: UAB
September 17, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Champions on defense: Johnathan Hankins (defensive player of the game) graded out 88 percent. Bradley Roby graded out 95 percent.
• Christian Bryant would have been a champion had he not missed a tackle on Brendan Bigelow’s second touchdown.
• Champions on offense: Jordan Hall, Zach Boren, Jeff Heuerman and Devin Smith (offensive and special teams player of the game).
• Smith is the only OSU player to be a champion in each of the first three games.
• Corey “Philly” Brown and Devin Smith have given Meyer confidence in the wide receivers. He said they've proven they're capable of making plays.
• 40 percent of Cal's total yardage came on six plays. Meyer said missed tackles have to stop or it will cost Ohio State a game.
• The offense’s lack of big plays from the running back position has upset Meyer. He said he hopes Hall’s return will change that.
• After watching film, Meyer said Hall could have had 70 more yards, but went down too quickly. He said Carlos Hyde is the body type that can bounce off tacklers.
• "It's rather obvious he's going to have to carry the ball for us." -Meyer on Braxton Miller
• Meyer said he wants highlight-reel plays from players other than Braxton Miller and Smith.
• Meyer said John Simon could not give more to OSU than he's already given.
• When a reporter said Ohio State should have won by a bigger margin on Saturday, Meyer was less than pleased and got defensive.
• The pop pass/jump pass play originated at Utah with Alex Smith, Meyer said. Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he also ran it at Rice, so he had no problem with running it Saturday.
• Herman said the pop pass is very effective when you have a quarterback with the dual-threat skills of Braxton Miller.
• Jack Mewhort is currently the best offensive lineman on the team, according to Meyer. He added that Mewhort has been a model student and model citizen. He made a stupid mistake and paid for it, Meyer said.
• Meyer says he would like non-adversity games, but he doesn't know if that's going to happen at this point.
• Because of the defenses Ohio State has faced and is going to face, Meyer said Miller has to take more shots down the field. Herman said he's seen defenses this year that he never dreamt of. Said it's all due to Braxton's skill set.
• Herman said he is most satisfied with the emergence of the receiving corps. He said the offense just needs to be more consistent.
• The third-quarter difficulties came from adjusting to Cal not running their usual D and then Cal making halftime adjustments, according to Herman.
• Meyer said Cal completely changed their defense for OSU game. Nothing they did was similar to last two years of game film.
• Carlos Hyde is not expected to play this weekend. Meyer said, "He's getting much better, though."
• Meyer has no update on Michael Bennett. He added that he has to play some time.
• On Ohio State’s 3rd-and-7 (game-winning play), Meyer said he had a lot of confidence in Miller.
• Practice is the area Miller has progressed the most, according to Meyer.
• Three weeks into the season, Meyer still isn’t endorsing Braxton for the Heisman. He said it will come if he continues to produce.
• Co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell said he lied awake in bed Saturday night thinking about all the missed tackles.
• Fickell said the defense has to make guys run east and west more. Fundamentals and leverage is where it starts.
• Storm Klein will continue to play more, Fickell said. He only played eight plays on defense Saturday.
• Fickell said blitzing early in the game led to the more defensive success later in the game because the offense had more to think about...
September 17, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Braxton Miller was hot and cold, but when he was hot he brought the heat. The quarterback’s day included a career-high four touchdown passes and a career-high 249 yards passing. Along with scoring on a 55-yard run, he rushed for 75 yards, enough to keep him at the top of the Big Ten rushing list (125.7-yard average), though he dropped to 10th nationally. Devin Smith is benefiting from Miller’s hot start throwing. Smith hauled in five passes for a career-high 145 yards, including 72 yards on the game-winner, his second TD catch of the day.
What's not hot?
Calling Jake Stoneburner a wide receiver. He did his dirty work while operating within his old realm, the tight-end area, on Saturday. He had two TD catches On the first, he went in motion, apparently to put him into position to block on an option play left, and wouind up uncovered in the end zone. The other came on what looked to be a power play at the goal line. He again slipped into the end zone wide open after lining up at tight end. Here’s the kicker: He has 12 career TD catches, two more than John Lumpkin (1996-98), OSU’s all-time leader for touchdown catches among tight ends. But Stoneburner’s past three have come since he was designated as a wide receiver this year.
What went right?
Ohio State’s back-seven pass-coverage communication, at least on California’s last offensive play. Word spread quickly from cornerback Bradley Roby to safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant, and finally to linebacker Ryan Shazier, on what was to come. Cal’s star receiver, Keenan Allen, lined up in the tight slot, which meant he probably was about to run a skinny post or bender. Shazier was told to redirect him. He did, and Zach Maynard threw the ball directly to Bryant, who grabbed his first collegiate interception.
Actually, the OSU defensive coaches, led by coordinator Luke Fickell, probably should post photos, charts and inspirational messages on the proper form, angles and attitude it takes to tackle a running back on the edge. Or, if they want to highlight what not to do, just show those two long TD runs by Cal’s Brendan Bigelow, particularly the 81-yarder in the third quarter, the longest ever by a visitor in Ohio Stadium. But the Buckeyes definitely figured out how to sack, with six different players getting one.
Roby wished he had held on to a sure pick-six interception opportunity in the first half that might have turned the game even more Ohio State’s way. After a fine afternoon that included a sack on a blitz, lamented that he didn’t have as many opportunities to cover Allen, whom the Golden Bears moved around to avoid such a matchup most of the time...
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer joined the crew of BTN’s “Football Report” to talk about his 2-0 Buckeyes. Watch the interview here. In our Associated Press game preview, Meyer likes what he’s seen so far from Braxton Miller, but the first-year Ohio State coach wants his quarterback to concentrate more on the passing game. For Miller to do that, the rest of the Buckeyes must cut down on sloppy play. Read the full preview here.
Bobby Knight, former OSU basketball player and coaching great was inducted into the Ohio State Hall of Fame Friday night. Here are his comments to those in attendance.
Urban Meyer presented with his first game-ball at Ohio State after his 56-10 victory over Miami (OH)
Ohio State football: Void to fill in backfield September 11, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Starter Carlos Hyde is out because of a knee sprain suffered last week against Central Florida. Before that, freshman Warren Ball was lost for the season to a foot injury. Freshman Bri’onte Dunn and redshirt sophomore Rod Smith filled in for Hyde, but each made errors that have caused coaches to question their reliability.
Sounds like it would be a good time for Jordan Hall to return from a torn foot tendon, and that could happen. An ideal fit for the spread offense, Hall was the projected starter until he stepped on a shard of glass outside his apartment this summer and needed surgery.
Drayton said that Hall has been medically cleared. His availability on Saturday will be determined by practice this week.
“He’s going to be rusty,” Drayton said. “It’s an offense based on timing. He has to get in with the quarterbacks and get extra work.”
It’s premature, then, to count on Hall. It also could be unwise to count on Dunn or Smith.
Drayton described their performances as “not very good” against Central Florida because of missed assignments...
Dunn has shown promise in his limited action. He gained 29 yards on five carries against UCF, including a 13-yarder. But there’s more to playing running back than being an effective ball-carrier. He must also know and execute blocking assignments. In the spread offense, he must be able to run precise routes and recognize when to adjust them...
Smith has all the physical tools sought in a quality running back. But he has not converted that into performance...“He’s Tarzan, no question about it,” Drayton said. “He looks the part. But you don’t put a player out there based upon how he looks. It’s all performance-based.”...
The emergence of a running back is crucial because the Buckeyes know they must reduce the running workload of Miller, who has carried 44 times this season.
But the Buckeyes do have options if Hall isn’t ready or coaches don’t believe they can trust Dunn or Smith. Fullback Zach Boren has an expanded role in this offense, though he also fumbled last week. Receiver Corey Brown could get some carries. Brown, a former high-school running back, gained 19 yards on a reverse on Saturday...
“It’s one thing getting your mind right to go to be a third-string tailback for a game,” Meyer said. “It’s another thing getting your mind right to be the guy that’s going to jog out there with the first offense. There’s no just ‘go play.’ Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be very critical. Whoever has the best Tuesday and Wednesday is going to line up at tailback.”...
Urban Meyer: on "helluva football player" Braxton Miller; on going on fourth down; appreciates win, says Ohio State must get better; on Braxton Miller's running; Ohio State sings Carmen Ohio after UCF win; on where Buckeyes must improve; Urban Meyer's walk to Skull Session
OSU Coaches Talk Monday September 10, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
OSU Insider September 10, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Who's hot? This might be the consistent answer all year: sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, who leads the Big Ten in rushing (151-yard average) and is fourth nationally. No Ohio State quarterback has rushed for a combined 302 yards in consecutive games. In the opener, he set a record for an OSU quarterback with 161 yards rushing. On Saturday, he became the first OSU quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a game since Art Schlichter in 1978.
What's not hot? OSU’s pass rush. That’s coming straight from coach Urban Meyer. He thought the defensive front was going to be the strength of the team, and that it was primed to be more aggressive than recent years. But the Buckeyes are eighth in the Big Ten (78th nationally) in sacks with just three, and last in the conference (119th nationally) in tackles for loss with five.
What went right? When all involved with OSU’s pass coverage get the proper coverage call — and it’s not that way every play — they make things happen. The Buckeyes are tied for third nationally with five interceptions. And with three interceptions, cornerback Travis Howard is tied for first nationally with Ed Reynolds of Stanford. OSU had just 13 interceptions last year.
Drawing board The short-yardage play list. To hear the players and coaches tell it, OSU hammered its short-yardage offense in practice last week after Miami University stopped Carlos Hyde short of the goal line from less than 1 yard out on the last play of the first half. But on fourth-and-1 at OSU’s 47 midway through the first quarter against Central Florida, Ohio State declined to hand the ball to Hyde on the play the team had practiced and practiced. Miller kept and was stuffed for no gain. The next time OSU went for it on fourth-and-1, Hyde gained 6 yards up the middle.
Catch that? When OSU went for it on third-and-1 from UCF’s 25 late in the third quarter, Miller was tackled at the sideline in front of Meyer. As the officials measured whether he made it, there was a hesitation by the referee to make the call until Meyer leaned in and pointed out the nose of the ball was just ahead of the stake. First down, the referee declared.
Up next California (1-1), which is coming off 50-31 victory over Southern Utah of the Big Sky Conference and Football Championship Subdivision. The Bears lost to Nevada 31-24 in the season opener. Cal’s balanced offense is directed by quarterback Zach Maynard, and it has a big-time wide receiver in junior Keenan Allen, who had 98 catches for 1,343 yards last season. But the Bears also are 76th nationally in total defense...
Injury Updates * Meyer said they will have to manage DE Nathan Williams all year. Might not be able to practice every day.
* CB Doran Grant is battling a hamstring injury, but they expect him to play Saturday.
* They plan to "mess around" with some two TE sets this week now that Heuerman is healthy. He's been hurt most off the offseason.
Meyer Recaps Miami * Meyer said Miami's goal was to take Hankins, Simon and Goebel out of the game and they did that for a quarter and a half.
Dueling Quarterbacks * Meyer on Braxton: "It's freakish what he can do with the ball in his hands." Said the room for improvement is incredible.
* Meyer had "zero hesitation" putting Kenny Guiton in the game. Said he has an incredible knowledge, but needs to get better at throwing.
* Meyer said Guiton was not a good leader or teammate. May not have survived January if he didn't change.
Offensive Notes * The center gives the cadence in shotgun. Clap lets him know the offense is ready so he doesn't have to look back.
* Meyer said Ohio State should have one of the best offensive lines in the country and they don't. But potential is there.
* Meyer called Zach Boren "the John Simon of the offense." Said he practices hurt.
Defensive Notes * Meyer said Chris Carter had his best week of practice. Down under 350 now, but he's still not capable of playing. Wasn't capable of running across the street in Jan.
* Meyer praises the play of Etienne Sabino. Said Shazier still plays like a young guy, but he runs around.
* Also said Curtis Grant still has a long way to go, but he's working hard. Will get a lot more opportunity this week...
Monday was an off-day for the team but not for Urban Meyer and the local media as he talked about the week that was and looks ...
Another first happened on Monday at Ohio State when head coach Urban Meyer gave his first Monday press conference on the tail end of a game after Ohio State's season opening 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio).
It was a chance for Meyer to talk about players who made their way into Ohio State's Champions Club for their Saturday performances and wrap up what went right and what went wrong in the game. On Saturday Meyer was disappointed with the way that the first quarter went against the RedHawks and while he suddenly didn't feel that things went right, now he views it as a teaching lesson as the Buckeyes get ready for the Knights of Central Florida.
Meyer and the Buckeyes will face a whole new set of challenges with the Knights, a team that will not be looking to pass first, rather this team wants run downhill with several big backs who would love nothing more than taking it between the tackles. September 3, 2012 Source: Buckeye Grove
Urban Meyer Provides Monday Updates September 3, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer was pleased with the overall performance of his new football team in their first action of the 2012 season, but he knows it’s only going to get harder from here.
“Whole different animal coming in here this week,” Meyer said Monday during his weekly press luncheon at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes plan to use more no-huddle this week to wear out Central Florida’s defense, but assistant Tim Hinton also believes in the saying that you improve the most between game one and game two.
Injury Updates * Meyer said he doesn't think Jordan Hall is available this week. Might practice, but he doesn't know yet.
* Meyer said Michael Bennett was ready to play Saturday and re-injured his grown during warmups...
Champions for a Day * Meyer said Bradley Roby graded winning performance and was the Defensive Player of the game. Had 30 chances to make a play.
* Meyer said Christian Bryant played excellent and so did Travis Howard. Both were over 90% against Miami.
* Meyer said Andrew Norwell graded a winning performance with 5 knockdowns and 2 pancakes.
* Guys who graded as champions on O: Braxton, Guiton, Hyde, Philly, Devin Smith, Norwell and Mewhort.
* Guys who graded out champions on D & ST: Roby, Howard, Christian Bryant, Adam Griffin, Jamal Marcus, Basil and Buchanan...
Offensive Updates * Meyer said the black mark on the game for him was being 5-7 in the red zone, especially the last play of first half.
* Meyer said they will do some different things on the 1-yard line in the future, but the O-line missed a block on that play to end the half...
Defensive Updates * Meyer said it wasn't great defense Saturday, but it was very good defense for the last 3 quarters.
* Meyer said they dropped 8 a lot in coverage. Said he would grade Miami's game plan an 'A.'
* Getting the ball out and rolling Dysert out allowed them to take Hankins out of the game in the first half.
* Vrabel said it's not just about sacks. Thought Tommy Schutt had a great game Saturday.
* The defense was supposed to be in cover-3 on that breakdown in the 1st quarter, but miscommunication between Howard and Barnett...
Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel and Tight Ends/Fullbacks Coach Tim Hinton answered questions from the reporters on Monday. Source: The Ozone
OSU Insider September 3, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Who?s hot? Braxton Miller. The sophomore quarterback got so hot, or at least wrung out, that he had to leave late in the third quarter because of leg cramps. Before that, in less than two quarters of quality work, he amassed 368 total yards, including 161 rushing, a school record for a QB. Big numbers could come naturally for him in the new up-tempo, spread offense. As he proved on a 65-yard option keeper for a touchdown on the first play of the second half, he has the knack.
What?s not hot? The first quarter. Maybe the Buckeyes were over-revved, maybe Miami was better focused, but fans no doubt were wondering whether Ohio State was going to pick up right where it left off last season, which it ended on a four-game losing streak. The new offense coughed and sputtered, the revitalized defense let Miami into scoring range twice, primarily because of big pass plays. The Meyer regime was running a 3-0 deficit after one quarter before a change of plans flipped the script.
What went right? The spark that ignited the offense was a 16-yard run by Carlos Hyde from the OSU 17-yard line on the Buckeyes’ first play from scrimmage in the second quarter. Three plays later, Devin Smith made the play of the game, leaping to make a one-handed pluck of a pass from Miller, good for a 23-yard touchdown. The combination to the safe had been cracked.
Drawing board Meyer challenged his offense on the last play of the first half to gain less than a yard and cap a resurgent second quarter with a touchdown instead of a field goal. After the team had racked up 297 yards in the quarter and rallied to take a 21-3 lead, Hyde was stuffed. No doubt that play will get run time and again in practice this week.
Catch that? Based on the official participation chart, 14 freshmen played on Saturday: defensive linemen Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Tommy Schutt; linebackers Jamal Marcus, David Perkins, Camren Williams and Josh Perry; defensive backs Najee Murray, Armani Reeves and Devan Bogard; offensive linemen Jacoby Boren and Taylor Decker; running back Bri’onte Dunn (touchdown); and receiver Michael Thomas.
Up next There’s no rest on Labor Day, not with Central Florida coming to town. The Golden Knights destroyed Akron 56-14 on Thursday night. Running a balanced offense, quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception, and running back Latavius Murray rushed for 108 yards despite playing less than half the game. The Knights were favored to win Conference USA before the NCAA lowered the boom on them, but they’re still dangerous and have talented athletes all over the field...