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Bucks Lose to Penn State




FINAL: No. 19 Penn State ground down Ohio State’s defense in rumbling for 239 rushing yards in a 20-14 victory on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Stephfon Green carried the offensive load for Penn State (9-2), piling up 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. At one point, Ohio State (6-5) trailed by 10 points, and while the Buckeyes made a run in the game’s late stages, they couldn’t complete the comeback against the Nittany Lions. Penn State’s explosive offense used big plays to take down Ohio State. The Nittany Lions had four plays of 20 yards or more on their way to victory. Penn State added to the highlight reel when Silas Redd ran 42 yards with 12:00 left in the second quarter. Later in the drive, Green pounded in a four-yard touchdown run, which gave the Nittany Lions a 17-7 lead. Penn State’s defense was stifling as it shut down the Nittany Lions’ offensive attack. Penn State’s defensive unit stood firm against the Buckeyes’ offense, holding Ohio State to 289 total yards. The Buckeyes’ Braxton Miller passed for 83 yards, completing seven of 17 throws. He tossed one touchdown and no interceptions. Miller also ran for 105 yards and one touchdown on 18 attempts.

FOURTH QUARTER: The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow fourth quarter and Penn State kept Ohio State at bay for a 20-14 victory. The teams’ stale offenses boomed a total of three punts in the quarter. Braxton Miller clinched a 100-yard rushing game with 38 in the quarter, part of his 105-yard day for the Buckeyes.

THIRD QUARTER: The third quarter was an ugly display, as Penn State and Ohio State totaled no points and two turnovers between them and the margin is still six, as the Nittany Lions lead 20-14. The Buckeyes will start the fourth quarter with the ball on their own three-yard line.

SECOND QUARTER: Penn State ran for 112 yards in the quarter, and the Nittany Lions now lead 20-14. A 77-yard drive that ended when Braxton Miller kept it himself for a 24-yard touchdown run helped Ohio State narrow the deficit to 10-7. Penn State opened up the lead, 17-7, after Stephfon Green pounded in a four-yard touchdown run to end a five-play, 81-yard drive. The Nittany Lions’ drive was highlighted by Silas Redd’s 42-yard run. The Buckeyes put the finishing touches on a 37-yard drive when Miller found Jake Stoneburner open for a seven-yard touchdown pass to make the score 17-14. Ohio State began the drive with good field position after Orhian Johnson intercepted a Matthew McGloin pass. Penn State opened up the lead, 20-14, after marching down the field for a nine-play, 49-yard drive that ended when Anthony Fera kicked a 46-yard field goal. The Nittany Lions used Curtis Drake’s 38-yard run to fuel the drive. Penn State threw just one time on that possession. The Buckeyes will have possession to start the second half.

FIRST QUARTER: No. 19 Penn State racked up 76 rushing yards in the first, and the Nittany Lions lead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Penn State sniffed out Ohio State’s rushing attack in the quarter, holding the Buckeyes to 17 rush yards. The Nittany Lions got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a score when Stephfon Green ran 39 yards to paydirt. Penn State opened up the lead, 10-0, after marching down the field for a 15-play, 54-yard drive that ended when Anthony Fera kicked a 43-yard field goal. Ohio State will start the second quarter with possession at its own 49-yard line. Source: Big Ten Network


Ohio State Penn State Highlights Source: ESPN


10 Things We Learned from a Senior Day Loss November 17, 2011 Source: The Ozone - Brandon Castel pulls no punches this week...

1. November really is for contenders. Remember that old slogan? Turns out it is exactly right...

2. Time is running out on this coaching staff. Regardless of who you want to coach Ohio State next season, the reality is that no one in their right mind can be OK with what they have seen this season, especially from the offense...

3. Seniors set the tone. It is hard to lump everyone in this senior class together...

4. False starts are no longer joking matter. OK, they weren’t really a joking matter before, but Ohio State fans made themselves feel better about J.B. Shugarts and his obligatory false start every game by adding humor to the mix. There was nothing funny about Shugarts’ false start late in the fourth quarter...

5. DeVier Posey can make a difference. We knew Posey was the best receiver on this team, but we didn’t know exactly what type of impact he would make in his first game back...

6. It takes hands to catch. One reason Posey is such a difference-maker for the Buckeyes is the fact he can actually catch the football. Novel idea, right? It’s more than Ohio State’s other receivers have done this season...

7. Centers should not wear gloves. LeCharles Bentley Tweeted that after the game, but we didn’t need an All-American and All-Pro center to let us know. Watching Michael Brewster struggle to get the ball back to Braxton Miller was enough to let us know that centers have no business wearing a glove on their snapping hand. Especially Brewster...

8. Shazier is going to be a star. If you were watching closely, you noticed that Ryan Shazier was out of position quite often Saturday against Penn State...He wasn’t always right where he was supposed to be, but what freshman is? This was the first start of his career and he led the team with 15 tackles. Nobody on this team has had 15 tackles in a game all year...

9. Carlos Hyde should stay off Twitter for a while. Those who follow me on Twitter, or read my reports here on the-Ozone know how much I like Carlos Hyde...

10. The Buckeyes are in trouble. With this being Ohio State’s fifth loss of the season, many people are acting like the year is over. For all intents and purposes, it is. There is really nothing to play for next week except pride and of course the glory of the Ohio State-Michigan game. That’s right, the Buckeyes have to travel to Ann Arbor next weekend to play a Wolverines squad that hammered Nebraska 45-17 Saturday. They are now 9-2 on the season and 5-2 in the Big Ten. They aren’t going to the Big Ten title game, but they’ve been waiting eight long years to knock off the Buckeyes. They are going to be hungry and excited and they are capable of putting a lot of points on the board. If the Buckeyes don’t show up to play next weekend, they could be on the wrong end of a blowout. That’s not an exaggeration. This defense has had all kinds of issues tackling this season, and that’s not a good thing when facing Denard Robinson... Click to Read the rest


Ohio State Falls to Penn State In Home Season Finale, 20-14 Ohio State was led by quarterback Braxton Miller, who totaled 188 all-purpose yards November 19, 2011 Source: OSU Official Site Click to Read the rest

| Recap | Notes | Quotes | Box Score (html) | Box Score (pdf) | Game Highlights (video) |
| Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2 | Postgame Transcript | Postgame Press Conference (video) |
Source: OSU Official Site


Fickell Postgame Press Conference Source: Bucknuts.com


Sunday Observation: Penn State November 20, 2011 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Ohio State center Mike Brewster probably envisioned his Senior Day going a little differently when thinking about it four years ago. Instead, the Buckeyes lost their fifth game of the season in a close 20-14 defeat at the hands of Penn State. Get the full breakdown from the game...

...Sometimes punting makes no sense to me — Down by seven before ever having possession, Ohio State was primed to respond to Penn State's early touchdown when Miller found Posey on the big gain. However, the Buckeyes ended up facing a fourth down and long from the Nittany Lions' 35. Instead of attempting a field goal, which is in the longer portion of Drew Basil's range, the coaching staff opted to send Ben Buchanan onto the field. Though Buchanan has had a stellar year pinning opponents inside the 20, the punt was booted into the end zone and turned out to be roughly a 15-yard net. At that point, was it really worth not attempting to get points, or dare I say it, go for it? Perhaps the latter suggestion is a bit too radical, but I'd almost rather see a team try to pick up the fourth down by going for it then punting to net 15 yards of field position...

Senior offensive linemen had a rough outing — Widely regarded as one of the best centers in the nation, Brewster was far from impressive in his final game in Ohio Stadium. Having roughly four bad snaps in the game, including one that ruined Ohio State's chances at scoring on the team's first possession, Brewster's snaps were inconsistent for the majority of the game. It's strange because Brewster's struggles snapping the ball have happened in multiple games this season and it isn't something I remembered happening at all last year with Pryor at quarterback.

...And finally we get to right tackle J.B. Shugarts, who has become synonymous with committing at least one false start per game. In this game, though, Shugarts jumped before a critical fourth-and-5 late that was set to decide the game. The penalty moved Ohio State back five yards and forced Miller to come up with 10. On the play, Miller rushed for nine yards, the Buckeyes turned it over and eventually lost the game. I hate to lay it on Shugarts, but there is absolutely no excuse for making false start penalties a counted-on feature in every game. It was a joke for most of the season, but against the Lions it may have cost Ohio State a game... Click to Read the rest


Games Notes

Turning point Miller's scramble on fourth down. His 21-yard run moments earlier had given the Buckeyes reason to hope. When a false start against tackle J.B. Shugarts changed the situation from fourth-and-5 to fourth-and-10, Miller gave it a leaping effort, but he had 1 yard too many to go.

First impressions For the third straight week, Ohio State spotted an underdog a 10-0 lead. But just like the week before in an overtime loss at Purdue, the Buckeyes didn't have enough offensively to rally and win. It was not the lasting impression the team wanted to leave with home fans, and not the resume-builder that coach Luke Fickell needed. The bottom line is, Penn State came out ready to play, and Ohio State showed up a little while later.

As heard from stadium cop: "Why put the ball in anyone's hands but Miller's?"

As heard from stadium usher: "I think the headsets got switched and Bollman called Penn State's goal-line plays."

As heard from pressbox wiseguy: "When did Joe Bauserman start playing center for OSU?"

The $75 question: Fans were treated to two performances of Script Ohio, one pregame and the other during halftime, when retiring band director Jon Woods dotted the "i." You'll notice no mention of the game here. Why remind ticket buyers of a bad deal?

One-liner: Ohio State's new math: three quarters of defense plus one quarter of no defense equals a "whole" the Buckeyes could not climb out of.

Just wondering: Is there any balance or flow to this offense? Running so much wildcat is like putting an inch of icing on shortbread cookies: trying too hard to mask the bland.

Exposed Nothing new; this item ought to have sunburn by now. Ohio State's first play from scrimmage was a plunge by Herron out of the I formation for no gain. With one last shot to prove itself, the offensive staff was left a familiar situation, counting on Miller to pull a play out of thin air. He pulled out a few, but not enough.

The view

How the team sees it: Senior Day felt more like senor day with the way we sidestepped tackles. "Ole."

How the pollsters will see it: Michigan is licking its chops. And Ohio State is the barbecue sauce.

How Buckeye Nation will see it: Bring on Urban renewal

On tap You know who, but the "how" is no certainty for the first time since 2003. Source: Columbus Dispatch


It was over when... Time ran out. Ohio State tried to rally in 4th quarter.

Gameball goes to... Stephfon Green rushed for two TDs for Penn State.

Stat of the game... 0. Neither team scored in the second half.

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 12 Penn State P/K Anthony Fera: Fera played a huge role in Penn State's win against Ohio State. He kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal in the first quarter and then bested it with a 46-yarder to close the half. He also placed three of four punts inside Ohio State's 20-yard line, including one that went out of bounds at the 3-yard line.Source: ESPN


Ryan Shazier led the team with a career-high 15 tackles vs. Penn State, moving his season total to 39. His previous best was seven at Purdue Nov. 12. The 15 tackles by Shazier were a team season high.

Ohio State held Penn State to 1-of-6 on third down conversions in the second half, and no points.

The Buckeyes were 7-of-13 on third down conversions vs. the Nittany Lions.

The Buckeye defense claimed a goal-line stand with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter after holding the PSU offense to three-consecutive no-gain plays on the OSU one-yard line. Source: OSU Official Site


Ohio State visits No. 20 Michigan next Saturday (noon, ABC or ESPN). The Wolverines improved to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten play with a 45-17 win over Nebraska on Saturday. The Buckeyes will try and extend their mastery against Michigan. The Buckeyes have won seven straight games over UM, dating to a loss there in 2003.

"We know from here on out it's a one game season," Fickell said. "And Michigan has always been that way. It will never change. It’s the greatest rivalry in all of sports. And we're going to make sure those guys understand that. They obviously are down and feel bad, and the key is how do you get back up, how do you step up and realize and understand that this is something that you'll remember forever the, this next week. So that's what we've got to make sure we focus on and make sure they stay focused on." Source: Bucknuts.com


Michael Brewster said the thing he will always remember from this year is that the team stayed together. No one pointing fingers. Brewster admitted that this team has probably been drained by everything they've gone through. "We are still just college kids."

Players admitted they heard the rumors about Urban Meyer, but they don't concern themselves with that stuff.

The Michigan Game Orhian Johnson said if playing Michigan doesn't get you fired up, you probably shouldn't have signed a scholarship to OSU. Asked if he thinks OSU’s defense can stop Michigan’s offense next week, he said "we have to, there’s no excuses."

Brewster said that getting a win at Michigan could help this team earn forgiveness for a 6-5 season.

Stoneburner agreed that winning at Michigan would be a great way to salvage the season. Source: The Ozone


Ohio State Buckeyes at a loss to explain latest defeat as Penn State triumphs in Ohio Stadium on Senior Day November 20, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - To get down early, struggle to throw the ball, give up big plays on defense and find themselves 1 yard short on a fourth-quarter, fourth-down run by the freshman quarterback forced to make it up as he goes along -- the final home game, a 20-14 loss to Penn State, fit the 2011 season.

"I think you can go on and on about possible reasons, but there's no excuse for that," OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said of his defense, though his thoughts could have applied to the whole team. "I just don't think there's any excuse. You've got to go out and compete -- I don't care if you have 11 freshmen on the field. We've got to expect to play better than that. To be honest, I feel sorry for the seniors. They've put in a lot and been through a lot and withstood a lot and kept coming back. I feel sorry for them that we couldn't do a better job today."...

Johnathan Hankins...played nearly every snap with a brace on the knee he injured against Purdue, looking like the best Ohio State defender on the field, with seven tackles and a tackle for loss. He was huge on the Buckeyes' four-play goal-line stand from the 2-yard line in the third quarter, stuffing quarterback Matt McGloin nearly on his own on a third-down sneak and getting penetration on the other downs. "We just knew we had to stop them," Hankins said. "We took it upon ourselves to stop them, and that's what we did."

The Buckeyes did miss injured starting linebacker Andrew Sweat, though. And two other OSU starters with injury issues did play -- receiver Corey "Philly" Brown and right tackle J.B. Shugarts. But their most memorable plays were mistakes. Brown had a deep pass go through his arms early in the fourth quarter, and Shugarts' false start made the Buckeyes' last chance a fourth-and-10 play instead of fourth-and-5. And Braxton Miller's 9-yard run came up just short. Click to Read the rest


Jonathan Hankins Postgame Source: Bucknuts.com


DeVier Posey Postgame Source: Bucknuts.com


0spacerOhio State Buckeyes report card: A losing effort still earns a few good grades November 19, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio State safety Orhian Johnson's interception: A..., The Ohio State crowd: A- The minus is only because the energy couldn't match the enthusiasm the Buckeyes generate during their best seasons...Ohio State's use of tight end Jake Stoneburner this season: D... Click to Read the rest


The Bottom Line November 19, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Ohio State Report Card Offense (3 leaves)..., Defense (2 leaves) The third-quarter goal-line stand provided the defense a Kodak moment worth framing. Problem is, the Buckeyes were pretty much out of paper after getting shredded in the first half for 188 yards and three gut-shot runs. Ryan Shazier stuck his head in there for 15 tackles, but too few others made plays..., Special teams (2 leaves)..., Coaching (2 leaves)..., Opponent (4 leaves), Officiating (3 leaves)... Click to Read the rest


Goal-line stand lifted Buckeyes for a while November 19, 2011 Columbus Dispatch - Ohio State's goal-line stand in the third quarter will wind up as a footnote to a 20-14 loss to Penn State today, but at that moment, Buckeyes defenders said, it had ramifications — especially the fourth-down play. "In the huddle, we were like, ‘This is going to change the game right here; this is going to be the play,'" linebacker Ryan Shazier said. "We had to stop them all four downs, and we did."...

Snaps again a problem: Ohio State's recurring problem with shotgun snaps continued. Its first possession ended when quarterback Braxton Miller couldn't handle center Michael Brewster's low snap and decided to fall on the ball. There were a couple of other shaky snaps. "I wish we could have had a few of those back," Brewster said. "I've had some snap problems in the past, and it's something I'm always continuing to work on. I felt like the ball was slick, but that's not an excuse."

Brewster has owned up to his and his teammates' deficiencies this season, but he was proud of how the Buckeyes have handled adversity this season. "We weren't perfect on the field. But when I look at what this team has gone through, we were perfect in staying together. I think that says a lot about the guy up top and up front (coach Luke Fickell) keeping us together."... Click to Read the rest


Photo GalleryPhoto GalleryOSU Penn State:
The Ozone
Toldeo Blade
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Columbus Dispatch

News from the other side of the line

GoPSUsports.com takes you inside the Penn State locker room immediately following Penn State's 20-14 victory at Ohio State for interim head coach Tom Bradley's speech to the team.




Penn State
November 19, 2011

Key matchup Source: Associated Press November 18, 2011

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller vs. Penn State's defense. A week ago, Purdue crowded the line of scrimmage to shut down the run and dared Miller to pass in the Boilermakers' 26-23 overtime win. For the most part, the Buckeyes couldn't throw the ball, with Miller completing just 8-of-18 passes for 132 yards. If Bednarik Award (top defensive player) semifinalist DT Devon Still and Co. can put the clamps on Miller and Dan Herron running the ball, the Buckeyes could be in trouble.

Players to watch:

Penn State: QBs Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden, RB Silas Redd and WR Derek Moye. The Nittany Lions have scored 16 or fewer points six times this season. No one is expecting this to be a 66-63 Mid-American Conference TD fest, but Penn State must move the ball, take time off the clock and give its defense a breather against an Ohio State defense that has been gashed for lengthy drives the past few games.

Ohio State: WR DeVier Posey. He's missed the first 10 games due to two NCAA suspensions for taking improper benefits. With Ohio State having difficulty getting anything going through the air, he could provide a jolt if he can contribute a big play or two. Click to Read the rest


Ten Pressing Questions:OSU-Penn St. November 19, 2011 Source: Bucknuts.com - 1. What's next for Braxton Miller?...2. Can the Buckeyes get the ground game going again?...3. Will Ohio State find a way to get DeVier Posey involved in the offense?...4. Can Ohio State get the ball back into the hands of TE Jake Stoneburner?...5. How will the offensive line contend with PSU's steady front four?...6. Can the Buckeyes get after PSU quarterback Matt McGloin and force some mistakes?...7. Can Ohio State get a handle on 1,000-yard rusher Silas Redd?...8. How will the fans react – to Penn State as well as to OSU's previously suspended seniors?...9. What impact will special teams have?...10. Can the Buckeyes bounce back from the Purdue loss and keep pushing for a quality postseason game?... Click to Read the rest


PENN STATE AT OHIO STATE (3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN) Source: Big Ten Network

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: The Nittany Lions also control their destiny in the Leaders Division—win out, and Penn State is in the Big Ten title game. In fact, the Nittany Lions could clinch the division this Saturday with a win and loss by Wisconsin. But what will the mind-set be of the Nittany Lions, who continue to deal with fallout from revelations of a child sex abuse scandal that cost Joe Paterno his job? The Buckeyes' division hopes took a severe hit with a 26-23 overtime loss at Purdue.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Ohio State WR DeVier Posey. He's back! Finally. Posey was suspended for the first five games for his part in the memorabilia scandal and then got an additional five-game suspension for taking excessive pay for a summer job. He's a big-play maker on the edge that this offense has been missing.

KEY MATCHUP: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller vs. Penn State QB Matt McGloin. Neither signal-caller has excelled, but each will need to make a few plays—and avoid the big mistake—if their respective team hopes to win. Miller took five sacks last week. McGloin went the distance for just the second time last week, as Rob Bolden didn't get off the bench.

NUMBER'S GAME: 0, points scored by Penn State in the first half of each of its past two games.

KEY NOTE: Penn State, playing its first game without Paterno on the staff since 1949, had a seven-game winning streak broken last week.


Five key factors Source: Columbus Dispatch November 18, 2011

1. Game starts at 3:30, not 4:30: Ohio State has made a habit of starting slowly. The Buckeyes trailed 10-0 to both Indiana and Purdue the past two weeks. Penn State has a stout defense and it would not behoove the Buckeyes to fall behind early. It's probably a good thing the game starts in mid-afternoon and not at noon like the past two weeks. The Buckeyes should be fully awake and primed to play by 3:30.

2. Get Posey involved: DeVier Posey has waited 10 long games for a chance to play. Now he's back from suspension and is being counted on to provide a jolt to Ohio State's dormant passing game. Posey is clearly the best receiver OSU has, but will he have good timing with Braxton Miller? Game speed is different than practice speed. Posey also must guard against being overamped in trying to cram a season's worth of play into two games.

3. Control Silas Redd: Penn State's offense at times has made Ohio State's look potent. But Silas Redd is a dangerous running back. He ran for at least 129 yards in all five of Penn State's October games. Redd is a downhill runner with the speed to break long runs. Though he sustained a collarbone injury last week to Nebraska, the Nittany Lions expects him to play against Ohio State. If he can't, Stephfon Green is a capable replacement.

4. Pressure McGloin: After sharing the starting title with underachieving Rob Bolden all season, Matt McGloin has been named the full-fledged starter by interim coach Tom Bradley. McGloin's one of those guys who's invariably described as having moxie. But Ohio State would like to put the game in McGloin's hands, hoping he'll struggle the way he did in the second half of last year's game in Columbus.

5. Win the turnover battle: Ohio State ranks 27th in turnover margin nationally, but that's a deceiving stat. The Buckeyes have left plenty of game-changing turnovers on the field. Last week alone, they had three chances for an interception or fumble recovery. Penn State has excelled in the turnover battle all season. The Nittany Lions' rank 14th with 23 takeaways. Given the likelihood that this will be a low-scoring game, every turnover will be magnified. A Terrelle Pryor fumble in 2008 was the decisive play in Penn State's only victory in Columbus since joining the Big Ten.


Inside the Ohio State-Penn State game with Doug Lesmerises November 18, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Devon Still makes a case as the best defensive lineman in the Big Ten. He also might not be the best defensive tackle on his own team. Still, a 6-5, 310-pound senior, and Jordan Hill, a 6-1, 297-pound junior, form an intimidating interior of the Nittany Lions' defensive line... Click to Read the rest


Luke Fickell met with the media on Thurs Source: Bucknuts.com


November 11, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch
On the edge: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Cover Story: Bittersweet ending: Michael Brewster's senior season wasn't supposed to go like this, but he'll leave Ohio State with no regrets, OSU SPOTLIGHT: Luke Fickell, MEET A BUCKEYE: DL Solomon Thomas, Recruiting: Big Ten, more...


Quote of the Dayspacer"Penn State will be our only focus."
- Junior DL John Simon said there won't be any wandering off message this week, despite the damage the loss to the Boilermakers did to OSU's postseason plans.

Front four key to Penn State's stingy defense November 17, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - This week, the offense's task might seem like calculus. If the Buckeyes had trouble moving the ball consistently against Indiana and Purdue, what chance do they have to do so on Saturday against Penn State? The Hoosiers rank 107th of 120 bowl subdivision teams in total defense. The Boilermakers are 65th. Led by a stout front four featuring defensive tackle Devon Still, Penn State ranks eighth. "Their front seven will be very, very strong and sound in what they do," Ohio State coach Luke Fickell said. "They're probably not going to confuse you a ton. You're going to know what you're going to get, and that makes them that much better."... Click to Read the rest


Listen to the audioLuke Fickell, Big Ten Teleconference November 15, 2011


VideoCo-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Paul Haynes November 16, 2011 Source: The Ozone
Coach Haynes answered questions from the media following practice on Wednesday about PSU's offense, Andrew Sweat, Ryan Shazier, Johnathan Hankins and more.

VideoTight Ends Coach John Peterson November 16, 2011 Source: The Ozone
Coach Peterson answered questions from the media following practice on Wednesday about PSU's defense, slow starts, J.B. Shugarts, passing the ball more, rivalry games and more.


Buckeyes Relying on Two Key Freshmen to Plug Holes on D November 17, 2011 Source: The Ozone - With senior linebacker Andrew Sweat sidelined by a head injury and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins nursing a knee issue, the Buckeyes could find themselves with a pair of true freshmen on the field for much of the game... Click to Read the rest


Buckeyes' offense a primary concern November 16, 2011 Source: Associated Press - Everybody's got a solution for what ails the Ohio State football team. Coach Luke Fickell said he was grilled by fans at a meeting with a booster group Tuesday morning. One persistent member wanted to know why the Buckeyes only run on first and second downs and only throw on third...The No. 1 problem facing the Buckeyes is an offense — particularly a passing game — that has had great difficulty making plays. Over the last five games, they've completed 27-of-63 passes (43 percent) for 401 yards, an average of just 80 yards per game. Purdue dared the Buckeyes to throw the ball. And they couldn't. "A lot of it has to do with where they're at with the quarterback position,"Boilermakers coach Danny Hope said after the game. "Even though (Braxton Miller) is a very talented quarterback, he's a freshman, and normally a freshman quarterback can't come out there and manufacture a passing offense."As a result, the Boilermakers crowded the line with eight or nine defenders and matched up with any receivers. As a result, Ohio State was limited to 166 yards on the ground — 101 yards fewer than it had averaged over the previous four games... Click to Read the rest


OHIO STATE WILL WIN IF: Those road graders keep the chains moving. Ohio State has made no mystery of its predilection towards keeping the ball on the ground; QB Braxton Miller has more rushes than passing attempts this year, and on the whole, (quick and dirty estimates to follow) OSU has rushed on 72% of its plays. Even that stat belies how much OSU rushes with Miller in the game, though; that number jumps to 79% when Miller's the signal-caller instead of Joe Bauserman. Sure, those rushes come out of a variety of looks, including QB draws/scrambles out of passing sets, so it's not like you can just load up the box with 10 guys and have everyone go to town. But at the end of the day, OSU primarily gets the job done on the ground, while Penn State's rush defense is good but not great. That's the main vulnerability for Penn State in this matchup, and Ohio State needs to exploit it.

PENN STATE WILL WIN IF: They can turn turnovers into points. It's become increasingly obvious over the course of the season that Penn State, despite its 8-2 record, doesn't have the offensive firepower to manufacture long drives with any regularity (even if Rob Bolden has finally, mercifully, been benched for Matt McGloin full time). Against a defense like Ohio State's, which ranks 15th in yards allowed and 16th in points allowed, those long drives are likely going to be even harder to come by. So really, the Nittany Lions are going to need a superlative effort from their defense (which, for the record, they have gotten often this season). That means turnovers that either get returned for touchdowns or at the very least give the PSU offense a short enough field that it can get into the end zone against a brutish Buckeye front seven.

THE X-FACTOR: Whether Penn State can maintain its focus amidst ongoing distraction. It's one thing to react to a stressful situation by playing one inspired game. That happens more often than players or games reacting to a profoundly negative off-field event by coming out flat and laying an egg. It's the coming weeks where one might see the cumulative effects of the distraction and the stress of the upheaval that Joe Paterno's dismissal has caused. And yes, interim head coach Tom Bradley is shielding his players from some of that distraction by making them unavailable to the media, and that's certainly his right to do so. But the players still live there in State College and interact with each other and others on a daily basis. There's only so much of a bubble you can put them in, and only so much of the situation they can ignore. How the players maintain their focus and composure will be crucial in these final tough two weeks (and beyond). A division championship hangs in the balance here; let's see if the players have kept sight of that or not.
Source: CBSSports.com


Fickell Press Conference Source: Bucknuts.com


VideoCoach Fickell Press Conference November 15, 2011 Source: OSU Official Site
Q. Luke, both Boom Herron and Mike Adams started their first game back from suspension. Do we anticipate the same will be true of DeVier Posey this week? Q. Can you give us an update on Andrew Sweat, and Johnathan Hankins, what their status is? It looked like Andrew might be iffy or whatever?

Fickell Press Conference Transcript
November 15, 2011 Source: OSU Official Site


Fickell Press Conference Part II Source: Bucknuts.com


Listen to the audioLuke Fickell Presser November 15, 2011


Ohio State vs. No. 21 Penn State Game Notes Source: OSU Official Site

Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State by the slimmest of margins: 13-12. Ohio State has won six of the last eight games in the series. (Note: Ohio State's 2010 victory at Ohio Stadium was vacated. All series records, streaks, etc. in this release do not include the result of the 2010 game.)

Ohio State has won eight of the 14 games played in Columbus. Penn State won the first four games played in the series – all in Columbus – in 1912, 1956, 1963 and 1964, respectively, but has only two wins in the last 10 games in Columbus (19-0 in 1978 and 13-6 in 2008).

AND IN THOSE TWO WINS…Ohio State has started a freshman quarterback in Penn State's only two wins in Ohio Stadium in its last 10 tries. In 1978 Art Schlichter started in the first game of his freshman campaign. And in 2008 freshman Terrelle Pryor was making only the fifth start of his career. Freshman Braxton Miller will make his eighth start on Saturday.

Andrew Sweat is not on Ohio State's depth chart this week, so look for freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier to become the seventh freshman to start a game this year for the Buckeyes. He was terrific in relief of Sweat on Saturday with career highs in solo tackles (six) and total tackles (seven) plus he had a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.

SENIOR DAY: Twenty-four Ohio State seniors will be in Ohio Stadium one last time as Buckeyes Saturday. The traditional senior salute will include each of these players making a solo entrance onto the fi eld to be greeted by parents and/or family members: Mike Adams, Dionte Allen, Dan Bain, Joe Bauserman, Evan Blankenship, Mike Brewster, Bo DeLande, Garrett Dornbrook, Nate Ebner, Derek Erwin, Donnie Evege, Dan Herron, Tony Jackson, Don Matheney, Chris Maxwell, Tyler Moeller, Nate Oliver, DeVier Posey, Chris Roark, Donald Senegal, J.B. Shugarts, Spencer Smith, Andrew Sweat and Solomon Thomas.

Ohio State's three Big Ten defeats have been by a total of 13 points -- an average of 4.3 per game.

Ohio State has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the past 28 games at Ohio Stadium.

POSEY EXPECTED BACK...With sophomore Corey Brown missing the Purdue game Saturday – his fourth game missed this season because of injury – and Verlon Reed out for the season, the Buckeyes had just four scholarship receivers available against the Boilermakers. The expected return of DeVier Posey this week will add not only another receiver to the mix, but it will add one who has 25 starts behind him already... Click to Read the rest

This week's captains: Mike Brewster, Boom Herron, Andrew Sweat, Tyler Moeller

This week's honorary captain: TBA


Tale of the Tape
2011 Totals/Averages
Ohio State .................... Penn State 25.3 .................Scoring................. 21.0 200.3 .................Rush Yards................. 162.8 117.1 .................Pass Yards................. 195.7 317.3 .................Total Yards................. 358.5 122.4 .................Pass Efficiency.................107.7 317.2 .................Total Defense................. 287.2 119.3 .................Rushing Defense................. 119.5 197.9 .................Pass Defense................. 167.7 18.9 .................Scoring Defense................. 12.9 38.0 .................Net Punting................. 35.1 10.7 .................Punt Returns................. 6.9 25.7 .................KO Returns................. 24.2 +.50 .................TO Margin................. +.60 2.2 .................Sacks per game................. 2.4 5.7 .................TFL................. 7.3 3.3 ..............Sacks Allowed.............. 1.2




Injury Update
Linebacker Andrew Sweat is out for Saturday, and maybe longer, after suffering a concussion in Saturday's loss at Purdue. Head coach Luke Fickell did not sound confident his team would have the services of offensive right tackle J.B. Shugarts or defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins for Penn State either.

Update: Coach Haynes said that Hankins will be ready to play Saturday vs Penn State.


Game Data: Penn State at Ohio State November 18, 2011 Source: Bucknuts - * When Ohio State Has The Ball: On paper, this match-up does not appear to favor Ohio State. After all, Penn State comes in third in the Big Ten in total defense (287.2 yards per game) and third nationally and first in the Big Ten in scoring defense (12.9 points per game). You don't even want to know about Ohio State's offensive rankings because they are so bad. OSU is 11th in the Big Ten (and 108th nationally) in total offense (317.6 yards per game). The Buckeyes are eighth in the Big Ten in scoring offense (25.3 ppg). But this is where numbers can lie. You have to remember that the Buckeyes played half the year without RB Boom Herron and LT Mike Adams. They were also unsettled at quarterback for the longest time until Braxton Miller stepped forward. The biggest development this week is the addition of WR DeVier Posey off his 10-game suspension. The last two years, he averaged five catches for 65 yards a game and scored 13 receiving touchdowns...more... Click to Read the rest


ESPN Ohio State Penn State Game Tracker



Gameday preview: Ohio State vs. Penn State
November 19, 2011 Source: Fox Sports - KEYS TO THE GAME: -- For Penn State: Forget emotions and get back to basics. Penn State must convert third downs against a tough Ohio State defense and finish off its scoring chances. The defense needs to corral Buckeye RBs Dan Herron and Carlos Hyde and force QB Braxton Miller to beat them with his arm. -- For Ohio State: Create turnovers. The Buckeyes will have to pressure the Penn State quarterbacks and force a turnover or two to get the certain advantage there. The two teams will likely slug it out in the trenches and hope the other makes a mistake in field position or with a mistake. ... Click to Read the rest


VideoLesmerises and Juliano Preview Saturday's game. November 18, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
CineSport's Noah Coslov previews Saturday's game with the The Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises and the Philadelphia Inquirer's Joe Juliano.


Preview: Penn State at Ohio State
November 18, 2011 Source: Black Shoes Diaries - Rarities. Which team will be able to finish the job in the unlikely event they find themselves in the opponent's red zone? Ohio State, for all their offensive ineptitude, has been quite proficient inside the 20 during Big Ten play (ten touchdowns in 15 chances). Penn State, not so much (nine touchdowns, 24 chances)...Penn State 16, Ohio State 13 (OT)... Click to Read the rest


CFN Preview - Penn State at Ohio State
November 17, 2011 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - What Will Happen: The first one to score wins? Both offenses are equally anemic, and both defenses are equally strong. Penn State's defense is a bit better, but Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller will do just enough to keep the chains moving with his legs, and Dan Herron will be inspired in his final home game, running or 100 hard yards and carrying Ohio State to the win. CFN Prediction: Ohio State 16 … Penn State 13... Click to Read the rest


Jason Horowitz and Spencer Tillman Penn State vs. Ohio State Preview Source: CBSSports.com


Penn St.-Ohio St. Preview
November 15, 2011 Source: ESPN- Both teams are coming off painful losses, No. 21 Penn State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) falling 17-14 at home to Nebraska and Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) losing in overtime at Purdue, 26-23. Ohio State is still in the running for the Legends Division title. The Nittany Lions can secure at least a share of the Big Ten's Leaders Division with a win. Ohio State... Click to Read the rest


2011 Penn State Nittany Lions Game Preview
November 17, 2011 Source: Buckeye Planet - Penn State's defense ranks third nationally in points allowed (12.9 per game), trailing only Alabama and LSU. And the Nittany Lions' defense is eighth in the country in yards allowed per game (287.2). After forcing only 17 turnovers in 2010, the Nittany Lions have generated 23 takeaways in 10 games this year, and are tied for the B1G lead in that area. They have registered 24 sacks, good for third in the conference, but no individual has more than 4.5... Click to Read the rest


Previewin', 2011: Penn Shtate
November 18, 2011 Source: Our Honor Defend - The defensive line has been stellar this season. In particular, Devon Still (#71) has been a terror. The Nagurski Trophy finalist defensive tackle has 16.5 TFLs and 4 sacks on the season and will present a challenge for the interior of Ohio State's offensive line that will try to create running lanes against stacked fronts. Still has lived in the backfield this season and might be the difference in Ohio State's offensive output looking awfully similar to its effort against Michigan State. The attention Still has received from opposing offensive lines has given the other tackle, Jordan Hill (#47), one-on-one blocking. He has capitalized to the tune of 8 TFLs. The Nitts don't get as much production at the ends spot as I think it would like. Sean Stanley‘s (#90) has 6 TFLs. Jack Crawford‘s (#81) production — 4.5 TFLs/3.5 sacks — aren't really what I think Penn Shtate fans would want from him... Click to Read the rest


Preview: #22 Penn State at Ohio State
November 18, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - The thing is though, as terrific as Penn State is on the defensive line, they excel at making their opponent pay for passing the ball. The Nittany Lions boast the nation's 5th ranked pass defense, so the matchup between Nick Sukay, Chaz Powell and company (all 6 feet, 200 pounds or bigger) and OSU's 118th ranked passing offense is not one that I'm particularly looking forward to... Click to Read the rest


Ohio State vs. Penn State Preview
November 18, 2011 Source: The Ozone - Since being named the starter, McGloin has completed over 50% of his passes just once. In total, he is only completing 50% of his passes as a starter. On the season he has thrown seven touchdown passes and just three interceptions. At times he is a capable intermediate passer, but his accuracy wanes the further his passes get from the line of scrimmage. He will generally look for three receivers when he is throwing the ball. Derek Moye leads the team in receptions (34), yards receiving (592) and touchdown catches (3) despite missing two games with injury. Justin Brown and Devon Smith are the other two frequent targets, and both will need to be paid attention too... Click to Read the rest


Vegas Insider Penn State Nittany Lions @ Ohio State Buckeyes

News from the other side of the line

Listen to the audioTom Bradley, Big Ten Teleconference November 15, 2011


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