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Ohio State coach Urban Meyer conducted his weekly press conference Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Meyer reflected on OSUís 35-23 win at Penn State and looked ahead to Saturdayís home game with Illinois (3:30 p.m., ESPN). October 29, 2012 Source: Bucknuts.com...Read more
Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel answers questions from reporters at the Monday press luncheon.
WR & Special Teams Coach Zach Smith answers questions from reporters at Monday press luncheon.
Where are they now, catching up with the 2002 team: Maurice Clarett Source: WBNS-10TV Columbus OH
Miller. A couple of weeks ago, he passed Cornelius Greene for the top rushing season by a quarterback in Ohio State history. On Saturday night at Penn State, he became just the third Big Ten quarterback to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season, joining Denard Robinson, whoís done it twice, and former Indiana star Antwaan Randle El. Millerís effort at Penn State (134 yards) was his sixth 100-yard running game of the season, and lifted him to No.?1 in the conference with a 121.4-yard per game average.
What's not hot?
At the beginning of games itís been Miller and the Ohio State passing attack. There were several opportunities to break it open in the first half at Penn State, but Miller was all over the place throwing the ball. When he settled down, he threw some beautiful strikes, like the 72-yard TD pass to Jake Stoneburner in the fourth quarter that was the stake to the heart of the Nittany Lions.
What went right?
Luke Fickell and his defensive staff didnít throw caution to the wind, but they did pressure the Nittany Lions with a minimum five-man frontal assault on almost every play, use man-to-man coverage on the back side and take their chances. It looked like a really good defense, at least until things got a little sloppy in the late going. But Ryan Shazierís pick-six of Matt McGloin on the third play of the second half changed the atmosphere of the ďwhiteoutĒ frenzy. The 32 yards rushing by Penn State were the fewest by an OSU opponent since the minus-1 by Miami University in the opener.
Back to the drawing board
Urban Meyer wanted to discuss only the positive things after the game. No doubt he and his coaches have to be discussing whatís going on in the punt or punt protection front. Thatís three blocks suffered this season, two being recovered for touchdowns. Usually that translates to three losses, but the Buckeyes have gotten away with them.
John Simon had to leave the field briefly early in the fourth quarter because of an apparent leg problem. He returned soon enough, and from the snap to the whistle, he was relentless for the those four to six seconds Meyer demands. But Simon would recharge in between, obviously bothered by something, though he wouldnít say what.
Devin Smith appeared to get the breath knocked out of him on punt coverage, but he returned. So did a couple of other Buckeyes. Meanwhile, Miller, a week after being taken to the hospital in the fourth quarter against Purdue, went the distance with no problem...
When Ohio State's first-year coach took over, he arrived with his proven "Plan To Win." It's not earth-shattering stuff, but it makes clear how Meyer prioritizes the keys to success.
1. Play great defense.
2. Take care of the football.
3. Score in the red zone.
4. Great special teams.
Eight games into an undefeated season with Penn State waiting for the Buckeyes today, Ohio State has maybe hit on two of the four.
"We just imploded that whole thing," Meyer said...
The defense, ranked 63rd in the nation, has been well at times. But certainly not at all the time...
But taking care of the ball and great special teams? Not close.
"I feel we're confident in our special teams," said Howard. "We have guys that are injured that play special teams, so we kind of have a lot of new guys playing. So we have to get those guys familiar with game speed."
And those injuries have Meyer worried.
"We're just completely blown away in our personnel right now," Meyer said. "I've never had to change so many guys. Our kickoff team isn't the same group of guys it was five weeks ago. It's completely different."
And then there's one of the strangest stats of the season for Ohio State: Opponents are just 11-of-19 on field goals against the Buckeyes, including just 3-of-8 from 40 to 49 yards.
That's a 38-percent success rate in that range. The average in major college football on 40 to 49-yarders this season is 57 percent...
Urban Meyer says Miller will be ready October 22, 2012 Source: Bucknuts
OSU coach Urban Meyer met with the media on Monday to recap the win over Purdue and look ahead to next Saturdayís game at Penn State (5:30 p.m., ESPN)...
Guiton. He was trending on Twitter late Saturday. The ďold righty from the bullpen,Ē as Meyer refers to him, didnít just save a drive this time, he gained the victory. The drive he engineered late in regulation to tie the score ó the touchdown pass to Chris Fields followed by the two-point conversion pass to Jeff Heuerman ó was reminiscent of the Joe Germaine-guided march to a Rose Bowl win after the 1996 season. Guiton was just as cool in overtime. Whether he will play this week at Penn State rests in part on how Miller bounces back from a head injury that necessitated a hospital visit. At least OSU fans now know that Guiton is capable.
What's not hot?
The Ohio State offensive line took a step back against Purdue. The thought used to be that the former coaching regime couldnít figure out what to do against the Boilermakersí twists and stunts. But the new staff had just as much trouble, and Miller paid the price. He was hit hard several times by suddenly free Purdue rushers. At least one Boilermakers player seemed to be in the OSU backfield quickly on almost every play.
What went right?
When the line needed to get it done late in the game and in overtime, it mustered just enough protection for Guiton, and just enough of a hole for Carlos Hyde to leap through for the winning touchdown. Penn State is second in the Big Ten against the run (113.0-yard average) and will provide a big challenge this week. Then again, Purdue had given up more than 700 yards rushing to its two previous opponents before holding Ohio State to 152. Go figure.
Back to the drawing board
The one thing Meyer thought for sure about his re-encouraged defense going into the Purdue game was that, through schematics, it had eliminated the big plays. So much for that. When Akeem Shavers caught a pass and went 83 yards for a TD on the gameís first play from scrimmage and Gary Bush went 31 yards for a TD on a wide screen in the third quarter, they werenít even touched. Neither was Akeem Hunt on his 100-yard kickoff return for a TD.
Purdue cornerback Josh Johnsonís tackle of Miller did not meet the definition of a horse-collar tackle, outlawed a few years ago, which is the reaching in, grabbing and pulling down by the collar of the shoulder pads. But Johnson grabbing the jersey at the name plate, and pulling Miller down had the same effect. Millerís shoulder and helmet struck the turf hard.
All ears will be keyed to Meyer and the status of Miller from the beginning of the week onward. Though he was released from the hospital on Saturday just a couple of hours after being cleared for a possible concussion, Miller was said to be very sore. Defensive back Devan Bogard is likely lost for the season because of a knee injury. Receiver Corey Brown had to leave the game after suffering a head injury. He, too, will be evaluated through the week...
Asst. Head Coach/Co-Def. Coordinator Everett Withers spoke with reporters at the weekly media luncheon Monday, October 22, 2012
Buckeyes OC Tom Herman meets with media Monday, October 22, 2012
Ohio State's spirit squad and Brutus got together to do Gangnam Style!
Braxton Miller highlights through six games
The 2012 Buckeye football team is unbeaten in the standings but the defense has taken a beating to date to the clip of nearly 25 points a game but just shy of 44 points in the last two Big Ten games.
Injuries, youth and just plain underperforming have all played roles in the issues that the defense has had but nobody who follows the team has been happy with the obvious flaws and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell would be one of the first people to tell you that the team needs to finish better.
On Monday Fickell met with the media and talked about some of the issues that have been around the defense and was direct and to the point with several of the questions. BuckeyeGrove.com was there with their cameras rolling and have this update from the Ohio State defensive coordinator.
Fickell gets a vote of confidence from Meyer October 16, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Yesterday, Meyer was asked a couple of different ways about whether he was pleased with the job the defensive coaches were doing, a tactful way of asking if defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, head coach last year in the wake of Jim Tresselís resignation, was under fire. Meyerís first answer indicated that heís not happy with anything about the defense. The second made it clear that he doesnít plan to take away the assistantsí headsets and do the job himself.
"I think my job is to support our staff, support our players," Meyer said. "The one thing, the overall theme of our team is four to six seconds, and I can coach that really well. Weíre going to demand four to six seconds of relentless pursuit and effort. If you donít, Iíll be involved in that.
"But calling defenses, Iíll give my ideas, but Ö that would be a mistake for me to come in. We have very good coaches, very good coaches."
That amounts to a vote of confidence for Fickell, co-coordinator Everett Withers and all of the defensive coaches. Thatís not surprising, given that the defense has been decimated by injuries ó "a really good, solid excuse" Meyer called it ó and the team is 7-0.
That also wonít stop Fickell from feeling the pressure. He said it comes from inside him, same as always...
John Simon, Coach Fickell & Ryan Shazier speak with the media Mon
Stoneburner says win, not style, is important
October 15, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - After Ohio State survived 52-49 at Indiana on Saturday night despite two Hoosiers touchdowns in the last two minutes, the question was whether OSU was a team scrambling to stay unbeaten or a team on the rise.
"I think any team thatís 7-0 has got to be going on the rise, right?" senior receiver Jake Stoneburner said before finding out the Buckeyes did, indeed, rise one spot in the Associated Press poll to No.?7 yesterday. "A lot of places and people would love to be in our shoes, no matter how we win.
"Having zero losses is something you can be proud about, and I think weíre definitely on the rise. There are little things weíve got to work on, but itís nothing thatís not correctable."
Another reason Stoneburner wasnít complaining was because he had four catches, his first catches since the third game of the year.
Make that 11
Urban Meyer is in his 11th season as a college head coach, and heís assured of having an 11th straight winning record. In fact, he has never had fewer that eight wins in a season. His two eight-win campaigns came in his first year at Bowling Green in 2001 (8-3) and in his last season at Florida in 2010 (8-5). He is 111-23 overall.
Make that 8 of 12
Going back to last season, quarterback Braxton Miller has rushed for 100 yards or more in eight of the past 12 games. He has run for 136 or more in five this year, including 149 at Indiana. He is third in the Big Ten in rushing (130.3-yard average) and seventh nationally.
His 211 yards passing at Indiana also gave him more than 300 yards in total offense in six games this year. He is second (311.9) in the Big Ten in that category behind Michiganís Denard Robinson (317.5).
Guiton gets another save
On his radio call-in show on WBNS-FM last week, Meyer referred to backup quarterback Kenny Guiton in relief-pitcher terms.
"We call him the old right-hander coming out of the bullpen," Meyer said.
For the third straight week, Meyer called on Guiton to finish a drive after Miller was banged up, and Guiton delivered his third straight save. Midway through the third quarter on Saturday, Guiton got in for two plays after Miller was shaken up on a late hit out of bounds. The second play was a short pass that Carlos Hyde converted into a 14-yard touchdown play, raising the OSU lead to 38-24.
An OSU spokesman said that Saturday night marked the first time two Ohio State players rushed for more than 100 yards each (running back Carlos Hydeís career-high 156 and quarterback Braxton Millerís 149) and a receiver topped 100 yards (Devin Smithís 106) in the same game. Miller also had 360 total yards (211 passing), the sixth time in seven games this year he has topped 300, as his Heisman Trophy campaign keeps building.
What's not hot?
Smith let two sure touchdown passes go through his hands, plays that would have had him pushing 200 yards receiving and four TD catches. And Miller threw an interception in the end zone on a scramble midway through the third quarter when OSU appeared ready to take full command. Each of those plays could have busted the game wide open.
What went right?
The Ohio State defense forced five three-and-outs, and there were moments when the unit appeared dominant. Travis Howard blocked a punt that fellow cornerback Bradley Roby recovered in the end zone to give OSU the lead for good at 17-14 midway through the second quarter.
Back to the drawing board
The OSU defense had two other potential three-and-outs that ended in big-play touchdowns by Indiana ó a 59-yard run and a 76-yard catch-and-run. What was troubling on those and other big plays to follow werenít the missed tackles, but the fact that no OSU defender was in position to miss. And in the last three minutes, the defense appeared to be in game-over mode while the Hoosiers and a backup quarterback kept playing. The special teams gave up a blocked punt, and Indiana recovered an onside kick.
Receiver Corey Brown did on special teams, pouncing on the Hoosiersí second onside kick with just over a minute to go. But he slipped as he made a move for the ball that was kicked to the back side. Had the ball hopped, Brown likely would not have been able to reach it, and a Hoosiers player was bearing down.
Howard (stinger) and linebacker Storm Klein (upper leg problem) were injured, but Howard returned for duty. Defensive end Nathan Williams did not make the trip because of concussion symptoms. His status for this week isnít known...
Ohio State midseason grade card October 11, 2012 Source: LimaOhio.com - Quarterback: Braxton Miller was on almost no oneís preseason list of Heisman Trophy candidates. Now try to find one without him...Grade: A
Running Backs: Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall, when healthy, are capable backs...However, neither is the kind of dynamic back you would think Ohio State would recruit, but hasnít for the last 10 or 15 years. Sophomore Rod Smith has worked his way up to getting occasional carries and true freshman Briíonte Dunn apparently has not impressed the coaches enough to get onto the field...Grade: B-
Wide Receiver: Corey Brown (35 catches) and Devin Smith (19 catches) have combined for 79 percent of the catches and yards by OSUís wide receivers in the first half of the season...Smith is a threat to appear on ESPNís highlights any game, but still needs to cut down on the number of games where he disappears...Jake Stoneburner seems to be caught in between being a tight end and a wide receiver and has gone three games without a catch...Grade: B-
Offensive Line: Lindsay Lohan would pay a public relations firm big money to repair her reputation as fast as OSUís offensive line has changed the perceptions surrounding it. Six games into the season, theyíre hearing Meyer say theyíre playing about as well as any line he has been around. Back in the spring, he referred to them as "non-functional."...Grade: B+
Defensive Line: Ohio Stateís defensive line was expected to be one of the strengths of the team but it has not turned out that way so far. Injuries have played a role in that...Grade: B
Linebackers: Ryan Shazierís sophomore season is a lot like his freshman year. Even though he is a bit undersized, he stands out by getting to the ball and making plays. Unfortunately, that makes him unique among OSUís linebackers. At least when it comes to the play making part. Etienne Sabino, who was steady but not spectacular...Storm Klein has become a starter because of Sabinoís injury and because he is outplaying recruiting service favorite Curtis Grant...Behind them, itís freshmen...Grade: C
Defensive Backs: The good news is that Ohio State leads the Big Ten with 10 interceptions and the six passing touchdowns it has allowed is fewer than all but three Big Ten defenses have given up. The bad news is that the defensive backfield has been vulnerable to big plays and has had problems with tackling at times...Grade: B-
Special Teams: Statistically, the number that stands out is that OSU has attempted only two field goals. Over the previous 10 years, Buckeyes kickers have averaged 24 field goal attempts per season...Overall, the Buckeyes have more pluses than minuses. But special teams are a point of emphasis with Meyer, so he is looking for more. Grade: B
Coaching: Any complaints about Urban Meyer? Anyone? I didnít think so...Grade: A...
2012 Big Ten midseason report October 15, 2012 Source: ESPN - Offensive MVP: Ohio State's Miller. Although many pegged him to be a natural fit in Meyer's spread offense, he exceeded all expectations in the first half of the season. Miller ranks third in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in rushing average (130.3 ypg); ranks 34th nationally in passer rating (145.3); and has accounted for 20 touchdowns (11 passing, nine rushing). Miller has had four runs of 55 or more yards and five 100-yard rushing performances in the first seven games. Ohio State certainly wouldn't be undefeated without Miller, who is very much on the Heisman Trophy radar...
Big Ten power rankings: Week 8 October 15, 2012 Source: ESPN - 1. Ohio State (7-0, 3-0, last week: 1): Urban Meyer's Buckeyes remain on top of the rankings, but there's not as big a gap separating them from the rest of the league. Ohio State's defense is far from elite, as Indiana repeatedly recorded big plays Saturday night, but the Buckeyes also make too many mistakes on special teams. Quarterback Braxton Miller continues to carry the team and is getting more help from running back Carlos Hyde, who recorded his second consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. The offense can do little wrong, but Ohio State has to fix the defense before the home stretch...
Week 8 Player Rankings October 15, 2012 Source: BTN - OFFENSE
1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State Ė Miller ran for 149 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard rushing effort, and threw for 211 yards, the third-highest total of his career, in Saturdayís shootout victory at Indiana. The sophomore also tossed a pair of touchdowns (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2) and ran for another (Watch TD run). Basically, he did what everyone expected.
Week 7 stats: 13-24, 211 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 23 car., 149 yards, 1 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 1...
5. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State Ė Check out Robyís highlights the last three weeks: Blocked punt; two-interception game, including a pick-6; and a touchdown on a blocked punt (Watch TD). Not too bad. And donít forget about the 14 tackles and six pass breakups, either.
Week 7 stats: 1 tackle, 3 pass breakups, 1 TD
Previous ranking: No. 5...
Power Rankings: October 15, 2012 Source: BTN - 1. Ohio State (7-0, 3-0). The Buckeyes marched to 7-0 with a less-than-vintage 52-49 win at Indiana. And, there doesnít appear to be any end in sight to the losing. But that defense? Well, Iím a bit concerned. Still, this is a motivated, talented and focused team that is aiming for the AP national title. I canít wait for games at Wisconsin and vs. Michigan.
Last week: 1
Up next: Purdue...
Big Ten should brace for domination by Ohio State football October 14, 2012 Source: Chicago Sun Times - Within two years, the conference will become a contest to see who finishes second to the Buckeyes.
The scandal that hit former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel might have been the best thing to happen to The Ohio State football program.
Call it the Urban Meyer Effect. Despite not having the type of athletes to fully unleash his spread offense on the Midwest, Meyer and the Buckeyes are undefeated in a season in which the record means little because OSU is handcuffed with NCAA sanctions that will keep the team out of the Big Ten title game.
While the rest of the conference continues to be on the decline, the Buckeyes are setting the stage to be an SEC-type team surrounded by overrated Big Ten talent.
And as far as how those nasty NCAA sanctions would hurt the Buckeyes and their recruiting this season? They just landed five-star cornerback Eli Woodard out of New Jersey to move them into the top five in the 2013 recruiting rankings.
Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke with the media at the weekly media luncheon, Monday October 8, 2012. Opening Statement: "I love college football, I love Ohio State and to see that (atmosphere) Saturday night was tremendous." (5:36) Source: The Ozone
Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke with the media at the weekly media luncheon, Monday October 8, 2012. Full Q&A Session: "We're not hiding it. We're a top-10 football team and the stakes are really high." (26:32) Source: The Ozone
Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke with the media at the weekly media luncheon: full Q&A session. "We're not hiding it. We're a top-10 football team and the stakes are really high." (26:32) Source: The Ozone
Tight Ends/Fullbacks Coach Tim Hinton spoke with reporters at the weekly media luncheon Monday, 10/8/12.
Cornerbacks Coach Kerry Coombs spoke with reporters at the weekly media luncheon Monday, 10/8/12.
The OSU offense led by Braxton Miller, though, as has become customary this season, it took a quarter to get warmed up. But from OSUís 28-point second quarter on, the Nebraska defense had no answer for Miller and Co. His 72-yard run set things in motion on the way to raising his own quarterback school rushing record to 186 yards. His 30-yard keeper on fourth-and-1 just before halftime gave OSU a 35-24 lead as Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith, Corey Brown and others ó including tight end Jeff Heuerman ó all started getting into the act. With 371 yards rushing against the Huskers, OSU is now 10th nationally (248.67 per game).
What's not hot?
The OSU defense. It did make plays. Bradley Robyís interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter staked the Buckeyes to a 7-0 lead. He had another interception, and so did Orhian Johnson, giving the Buckeyes three against Taylor Martinez, who had previously thrown just one this season. Ryan Shazier played despite a bruised knee, and John Simon had a personal highlight night. But it was the OSU offense that turned the thing around. The defense gave up 38 points and 437 yards.
What went right?
Brownís 76-yard punt return for a touchdown, his first as a collegian, upped the third-quarter lead to 49-31. He made a decisive initial move after the catch, picked up some blocks down the left sideline, and beat the punter to the edge. Itís the kind of big play Urban Meyer has been seeking from the junior receiver, on either offense or special teams. Brown also threw a block that eliminated two chasers on Millerís 72-yard run to set up OSUís first offensive touchdown in the second quarter.
Back to the drawing board
If the fake punt was a called play, someone should have let Storm Klein in on it. He blocked his man just long enough for what regularly would have been a punt, then let him go. That man wound up tackling the faker, Ben Buchanan, 1 yard short of a first down late in the first quarter. With the offense and defense struggling at that point, it appeared Meyer was just trying to shake the team awake. Give OSU an A for intention, an F for execution.
Carlos Hyde, on his way to a 140-yard, four-touchdown night, suffered a slight cramp at the end of a 23-yard run to the Nebraska 33 midway through the fourth quarter. He hopped off and was replaced by Rod Smith, who then delivered the robust run of the night, a 33-yard, tackle-breaking, not-to-be-denied rush to the end zone.
Senior linebacker and co-captain Etienne Sabino had to leave the game early after getting leg-whipped in the lower leg. There was no official word on his condition yesterday, but such a play often can cause a deep bruise or small fracture. Freshman Josh Perry took his place at times when the defense used three linebackers. Several players suffered dings, but none other than Sabino is expected to miss this week...
Jim Tressel made his debut with WKYC and in the segment, he touches on team spirit, the power of the Olympics and the importance of personal achievements contributing to the team:
"I was once asked 'What's the most important characteristic of a championship team?' The word that popped into my mind was 'unselfishness'. Every championship team I've been with has been unselfish. Guys weren't worried about their rushing stats or how many tackles they made. They were concerned mostly with the team." Source: Eleven Warriors
The 10 most indispensable players on Ohio Stateís roster: October 3, 2012 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - źOhio State found out what it was like to lose Braxton Miller a year ago at Nebraska...
ē 1. Quarterback Braxton Miller ź
ē 2. Defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins ź
ē 3. Left tackle Jack Mewhort ź
ē 4. Weakside linebacker Ryan Shazier ź
ē 5. Receiver Devin Smith ź
ē 6. Defensive lineman John Simon ź
ē 7. Cornerback Bradley Roby ź
ē 8. Center Corey Linsley ź
ē 9. Safety Christian Bryant ź
ē 10. Fullback Zach Boren...
Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Ed Warinner spoke with the media at the weekly media luncheon Monday
Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel spoke with the media at the weekly media luncheon Monday
"You get a group of guys led by Zach Boren, I don't want to call it legendary, but that's why we do what we do," Meyer said.
* The entire offensive line was named the offensive player of the game, as Meyer continues to praise the improvement of right tackle Reid Fragel. Senior linebacker Etienne Sabino was named the defensive player of the game after what Meyer said was his best game as a Buckeye...
Meyer: Hall Doubtful For Nebraska October 1, 2012 Source: Bucknuts - Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the media Monday morning to reflect on the 17-16 win at Michigan State and look ahead to Saturdayís prime time game against Nebraska (8 p.m., ABC).
You can watch the press conference above. Highlights from the press conference include:
* The entire offensive line was selected as the offensive player of the game as a result of helping the the team rush for 210 yards and running out the final 4-1/2 minutes of the game. LB Etienne Sabino was the defensive player of the game.
* Safety C.J. Barnett should return after missing the last two weeks due to an ankle injury.
* RB Jordan Hall is doubtful after straining a PCL in his knee. Meyer said he will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
* Meyer announced that sophomore WR Ty Williams had been dismissed from the squad for the obligatory "Violation of team rules." Meyer said there is no chance for Williams to return. He had not caught any passes so far this season. "Heís done," Meyer said.
* Meyer on OL Reid Fragel: "Reid Fragel has become an offensive lineman. He wasn't an offensive lineman before. He was a tight end. Who are we kidding?"
* Meyer said fullback Zach Boren was "legendary" with his leadership as the Buckeyes offense ran the out final 4-1/2 minutes.
* Meyer on Sabino: "It's hard for me to say he's not my favorite player on the team. I have conversations with him like I would a coach." Said he had been an underachiever previously...