Buckeye Watch - Penn State
By Tony Gerdeman
As Ohio State's head coach, Urban Meyer is now undefeated in night games (2-0), undefeated in road games (3-0), undefeated in Big Ten games (5-0), undefeated against ranked opponents (2-0), and undefeated in every other way as well (9-0).
Not bad for a rebuilding year.
The Buckeyes went into Beaver Stadium and withstood the Penn State emotional first quarter rush. The Ohio State defense controlled the game in the first half as they patiently waited for the Ohio State offense to get their stuff unpacked and finally arrive at the game.
The offense then certainly arrived, scoring a late second-quarter touchdown, and from there on the Buckeyes were never not in control in all aspects.
Ohio State would score 28 points in less than 15 minutes of game time and they did it by playing power football on both sides of the ball.
This was a banged up, depleted defense that traveled to Penn State, and they gave all they had to give. Offensively, one week ago Braxton Miller left the game in an ambulance, but this week he is carrying the ball 25 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Just like last week, this was a complete team effort by the Buckeyes.
It's starting to become a habit.
4:44 It looks like rain is going to be hitting Happy Valley any minute now. I heard reports earlier in the day that it would hold off until 9:00 pm. Only missed it by four hours. No biggie.
4:52 Rain will make pass defense more difficult, but I think the Buckeye defense has a larger margin for error, though they'll be going against a more accurate quarterback.
5:28 Sean McDonough's head is very distracting. It's very oblong at the top, not unlike those of 'Alien' fame. Watch out for his little mouth inside of his regular mouth!
5:29 The White Out has certainly accomplished their stated hue-istic goal. Looks like Mile High Stadium eight hours prior to kickoff after a blizzard.
5:30 The rain is now about an hour away per people who aren't weathermen.
5:31 PSU has won the toss and deferred. That's a win for the Buckeyes. Get the offense as many possessions in good weather as possible. Penn State kicks off.
5:33 Ohio State goes three and out, just as the script said to. The punting unit comes out. There's an overload on left side. Timeout OSU. More special teams mistakes, but at least this time they got a timeout called before the punt got blocked.
5:35 Penn State opens up at their own 26-yard line. Buckeyes have to get some pressure on Matt McGloin or else he'll just dink and dunk all day. The Nittany Lion offense is very patient and they don't mind small gains.
5:36 Third and four. McGloin is going deep and Travis Howard gets beaten by Allen Robinson, but he drops the ball as he goes to the ground. Not a good throw by McGloin. Bullet dodged by the Buckeyes because Howard was beaten badly. Penn State's punt goes out of bounds at the Ohio State 43-yard line.
5:38 Tresselball is alive and well as Ohio State is now blowing Penn State out in the field position game. You thought it was dead, but it has risen from the grave a gruesome, disfigured mess. Now it must go find some amorous teenagers to kill.
5:40 False start on Jack Mewhort. Has the Penn State crowd finally had a positive effect on something for once in their lives?
5:42 Braxton Miller is changing up the play. Drops back. Whoa. It's incomplete to Jeff Heuerman, but that should have been a pick six by Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. So that's two touchdowns blown by Penn State so far. Good start. As long as they keep making their own mistakes, the Nittany Lion fans can't talk about how the refs stole this game from them and how they should leave the Big Ten.
5:44 Miller rolls out and throws another near pick, this time to Stephon Morris intended for Chris Fields. He had Heuerman open in the flats, but Miller was locked on Fields. Miller seems just a bit too keyed up right now. Needs to get this first quarter over and just get into the flow of the game.
5:44 Third and seven. Empty set. Four guys to the right. Drops back. Down the seam to a wide open Philly Brown, and it is overthrown. Wow. Busted coverage. Brown was running free. Turns out the Buckeyes aren't the only team on this field that can dodge bullets. You've got to make plays while the weather still allows it. Buckeyes punt.
5:48 Bill Belton picks up five yards to the left. There won't be much available on the ground today. Penn State just doesn't have the talent at running back. Last year, Belton was a receiver who carried the ball a few times out of the wildcat, and Zach Zwinak rushed for seven yards as a fullback. There are no Silas Redds on this team.
5:49 Play-action bootleg to Garry Gilliam for 15 yards. Zach Boren rode him for about six yards before Gilliam was like, “Okay, that's enough. Get a bike or something.”
5:50 McGloin finds Kyle Carter for five yards and Orhian Johnson rides him out of bounds, and then gives him a little bit of a shove and they flag him for it. Silly foul. But why is everybody hopping on these Penn State tight ends? Is this a new sport?
5:51 John Simon just sacked McGloin. He's got his own game. It's called “Manhunt”, the most dangerous game. He gives McGloin a one-second head start and then he comes after him. That will lead to a third and long.
5:52 Third and 18. Shotgun. It's a draw to Zwinak and Boren collides with him because there can be only one former fullback who now plays a different position! Draw to Zwinak? Really? Why not just punt? Or run the draw with Belton, who actually has speed. That's ridiculous. Anyway, Penn State will now punt.
5:53 The punt rolls out of bounds at the three-yard line. So much for Tresselball going on a murderous rampage with field position. I picture it fishing off of the dock right now at the camp that was supposed to house his victims. A teenager walks up behind Tresselball, taps it on the shoulder and says, “Um, aren't you supposed to be killing us in a variety of grisly ways?” Tresselball responds through its misshapen and snaggled mouth, “Shhh! You're gonna scare the fish.”
5:54 That draw play tells me that Penn State has very little fear of Ohio State's offense.
5:58 Third and five. Miller drops back and way overthrows an open Devin Smith on an out route. Open receivers all over the field, but he just can't hit them right now. Just about every pass is four feet too tall. Maybe when the rain comes it will knock the ball down a bit.
5:59 Ben Buchanan punts. It's a rugby kick to the Nittany 38-yard line. Devin Smith is on the tackle and he has hurt his right shoulder. Oh man. That's a blow. He gets up and walks off. Looks okay-ish.
6:01 Zwinak for three yards up the middle. The Buckeyes will take him getting the ball all day long. If there is any way they can keep enticing Penn State to do this, they should. Like if any of the Buckeye defenders are ever congregated near Bill O'Brien after a play, they should talk loud enough to be heard and say, “Oh man, I HOPE THEY DON'T KEEP GIVING THE BALL TO ZWINAK.” And then O'Brien will be like, “Keep giving it to Zwinak!” Reverse psychology, baby.
6:02 Fourth and three from their own 45-yard line. Penn State is going for it. Now they call timeout. I assume he's not going to rethink it here. He'll stick with the same short pass to the tight end that was going to work originally.
6:04 Nope, he has changed his mind and is now punting. Ha! I knew O'Brien would back down. Told you – reverse psychology.
6:06 Third and three. Miller overthrows Smith again on the out comeback. Miller had a wide range to run, but chose to throw the ball. Urban Meyer was pretty upset. There's a flag down. Personal foul on Adrian Amos for something. Hitting a defenseless player? That's a terrible call.
6:07 Miller avoids the first rusher, steps into the pocket and finds Nick Vannett for 22 yards. It's a battle of tight ends now. Is that the most Big Ten thing ever?
6:08 Miller is nearly sacked, he throws it to Heuerman but it bounces off of his shoulder pads. McDonough is saying OSU is holding all over the place. His spotter must be a PSU guy.
6:09 Third and four. Miller drops back and gets sacked for a six yard loss to end the first quarter. They weren't going to hold this defense forever. The Buckeyes will punt to open the second quarter. Ohio State leads it 0-0 after one quarter.
6:10 This game is moving pretty quickly. ESPN is intent on getting this game over in time to show SEC football at 8:30. Probably just trying to avoid an outbreak of television shootings.
6:11 The Buckeyes have all of the pieces for a good offensive evening, they just need their quarterback to put them all together. So far he's not doing that yet.
6:14 McGloin hits Matt Lehman for 19 yards down the middle. And here comes their hurry up.
6:15 False start on Lehman. The NASCAR package gets flagged for going too fast. Gonna have to take a penalty and pit here.
6:16 Third and seven from the OSU 43-yard line. Shazier comes on the blitz, McGloin gets hit and throws the ball out of bounds. Penn State will punt. This battle for field position is unlike any other.
6:17 The punt is fair caught at the six-yard line. Tresselball just slaughtered a group of teens who were playing Twister, but it was the wrong group. These were good kids, fully clothed. Oh no, Tresselball is out for revenge on the people who abandoned him when he needed them most. Revenge!!!
6:23 Third and one from the OSU 39-yard line. They go to the wildcat. It's a high snap and Hyde loses ten yards. I don't like that call, but the bad snap made it moot. Nobody is going to do anything with that snap. Still, the play call didn't ruin that drive, the snap did. That being said, was Linsley's snap affected because he knew it wasn't Miller back there to catch it? Buckeyes punt.
6:28 Bradley Roby comes on the blitz, McGloin sees it and throws it down the sideline to Allen Robinson with Christian Bryant in coverage. Robinson catches it. He ran several yards out of bounds. They call pass interference. They decline the penalty and keep the result. Well, I just saw the replay and it didn't look like he was out of bounds at all. Mark this in your notes because it doesn't happen often – I just admitted to being wrong.
6:30 Third and seven from the Buckeyes' 20-yard line. Stop them here and they'll have fourth down and long. They won't kick. Shotgun. Time for a pick soon? Whoa, it's nearly picked by Bryant, who read it but somehow didn't catch it. How?
6:31 Fourth and seven. False start. This crowd noise is treacherous for at least one offense. Now fourth and twelve from the 25-yard line. The crowd is chanting “Ficken”, but I think it might be the Buckeye fans. McGloin throws a screen to Brandon Moseby-Felder and Boren stops him four yards short. Nice job by the lifelong linebacker-ish type guy.
6:32 Hey, no punt for the first time all night! That's something, right?
6:37 Ohio State goes three and out again. Sixth punt coming for Buchanan, and this one is coming out of the endzone. They're playing with fire with this many punts. And the kick gets blocked and recovered for a touchdown. I think they reached the limit of consecutive punts allowed without getting it blocked. Penn State leads it 7-0 with 6:15 to play. Mike Hull ran free and was unblocked. Funny how that always ends up in a blocked punt.
6:41 Third and five. Miller gets sacked again. Nobody could get open. Time to punt.
6:42 Buchanan punts. Flag thrown on the play. Another tackle for Devin Smith on the return at the 31-yard line. Oh my! Holding before the kick by Penn State, so it's a first down Buckeyes. Wow. The poor fans didn't get to hear it because they were chanting about them being Penn State and all. Like we didn't know. Yes, we know, You Are... Penn State. That's why Buckeye fans brought umbrellas – they didn't want any “surprises” hurled at them. Hey, Sparty just beat Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are in the driver's seat for The Big Ten Championship...oh wait, I forgot, Gene Smith wanted to go to the Gator Bowl last year instead.
6:45 Miller has completed just two of his last nine passes. He keeps it on the read and picks up eight yards. May just have to keep doing that. Gotta get him some action somehow.
6:46 Third and two. Carlos Hyde picks up four yards. Chris Spielman is trying hard to show that he has no loyalty to Meyer, and McDonough is just begging for a call to go Penn State's way.
6:47 Hyde and Rod Smith are together again in the triple-option look. Miller fakes to Smith, then follows him through the hole for 34 yards down to the six-yard line. Wow, great job. Looks like a triple option, but Miller follows the lead back like an iso play.
6:50 Third and goal with 38 seconds remaining. Can you afford to let Miller make the read on this play? Or do you just have to give the ball to Hyde or tell Miller to keep it? I don't think this is four-down territory. You're going to need a field goal at some point.
6:51 Hyde gets the ball and powers in for the touchdown! That's why you have a 235-pound tailback. He just kept working. This will be reviewed. Yep, here it comes, but he's in.
6:53 The ruling stands, they wouldn't even let it be confirmed. That's pretty ridiculous. Here comes the extra point. Got it. Tied up at 7-7 with 34 seconds to play in the half.
6:55 It's a squib. Penn State recovers it. They take a knee and let the clock run out. We head to the half tied at 7-7.
6:58 Urban Meyer has to like where his team is considering how poorly the offense has played to this point.
6:59 I assume we'll see more of the hurry up offense from Penn State. It was working for a bit. Have to try to wear the Buckeye defense down. Maybe Ohio State should try the same thing.
7:03 Both teams have 145 yards of total offense, if that's what you want to call it. OSU with 19:32 time of possession. That's a whole lot of Tresselball. Tresselball is slaughtering everybody right now. It's a horrific scene. Nobody can talk any sense into it. Penn State and Ohio State should have never agreed to this dual-camp outing. Nobody is safe!
7:08 Braxton Miller is now at 1,018 yards rushing on the season. He is Urban Meyer's first ever 1,000-yard rusher.
7:18 Back to football. Bill Belton muffs the kickoff, but recovers it at the eleven-yard line. No rain yet. Sports guys are not weather guys.
7:19 Second and four. No huddle. Here we go with more NASCAR packaging. Empty set. Blitz! Turns out that Ryan Shazier has his own NASCAR package and sacks McGloin down inside the ten-yard line.
7:20 Third and 13 from the Penn State eight-yard line. McGloin drops back and it's intercepted by Shazier and he takes it back for the touchdown! Pick six! There it is. Everybody set your watches. Buckeyes lead it 14-7. Ryan Shazier finally held on to that one. That must've been the Dale Jr. NASCAR package.
7:24 Very quiet here. Almost too quiet. [A twig snaps.] The defense is still moving around. Boren calling plays. Johnathan Hankins jumps offside and McGloin goes deep to Jesse James, who jumps over Christian Bryant for the catch. McGloin knew he had a freebie. There was a lot of confusion on that play. A timeout would've helped.
7:26 Play-action to a wide open Moseby-Felder, who jukes his way down inside the five-yard line. 44 yards. The play-action is working. C.J. Barnett got caught looking into the backfield something awful.
7:27 Second and goal from the three-yard line. More blitzes, but McGloin throws it away. Flags. Should be grounding. There's a hold, but where's the grounding? He didn't get out of the tackle box.
7:28 Second and goal from the 13-yard line. Draw to Zwinak for nothing. “Dang it! For a player they don't want to see carrying the ball, they sure do a good job of defending him,” O'Brien mutters under his breath.
7:29 Third and goal. McGloin dumps it to Zwinak who gets it inside the ten and then gets tackles. They won't go for it here. They need points. Here comes Sam Ficken. The 23-yard field goal is good. Ohio State leads it 14-10.
7:30 Well, that version of the NASCAR package worked. It must have been the [goes to the internet to find out who a successful NASCAR driver is] Rusty Wallace Package [decided not to go to the internet and instead just used a racer I used to know].
7:32 Rod Smith takes the kickoff out to the 20-yard line, but a block in the back will move it to the ten-yard line. This field position has been horrific. Tresselball is a killing machine with no regard for right or wrong. The only thing it knows is blood lust and punting.
7:34 Third and six. Miller drops back, gets blitzed by Hull and throws it downfield...it's intercepted by Amos. That was severely underthrown. Terrible throw, no mustard on it. He got away from the sack, looked downfield, but there are times when he just doesn't have the arm strength to get the ball where he wants it to go.
7:35 Zach Zwinak picks up a yard on first down. Luke Fickell is telling his guys, “Remember, don't tackle Zwinak in the backfield. Let him get a yard or two. We don't want them to stop running the ball.”
7:36 McGloin has fullback Mike Zordich behind him, and Zwinak behind Zordich. Hey, it's a Whiteout in the backfield! C.J. Barnett blitzes, and Nathan Williams picks up the sack. Barnett lost his helmet, he has to come out on a passing down. That's not really good, but at least they'll have to go 17 yards to pick up the first down. As an aside, isn't it amazing what blitzing can do to a guy?
7:36 Third and 17. Corey Brown comes in for Barnett. McGloin dumps it to Zwinak or about eight yards. PSU will punt. Nice job by the defense. Good answer after that last drive.
7:37 This is going to lead to more terrible field position Fake! And the pass attempt is dropped by Derek Day. Adam Griffin on the defense, and how is that not a pass interference? That's usually called because refs just never know any better.
7:38 The Buckeyes have good field position. Does this mean that Tresselball has finally come to its senses and is only trying to destroy Penn State?
7:40 Second and ten from the Penn State 42-yard line. Miller runs the speed option, he picks up the first down and slides down at the 27-yard line. Miller is the type of guy who can hit a three-run homerun with nobody on base. A defense is never safe.
7:42 Third and four. The crowd rises in unison. Turns their collective blind eye to the field and watches Miller find Evan Spencer on a slant down to the nine-yard line. He stood in and fired that ball with confidence.
7:43 Third and goal from the one. Miller keeps it and … he is simply amazing. First he was here, then he was there, then he went back over here, then he was like, 'Well, let me check it out back over there', and then he went up and over the goal line for the touchdown. I've only ever seen one-yard runs like that from Barry Sanders. Holy cow. Buckeyes lead it 21-10.
7:47 And they come back from break to show what they are calling a Reid Fragel hold. Sean McDonough may openly weep before this game is over.
7:51 Third and ten. Noah Spence nearly gets to McGloin, but he throws it downfield and it's incomplete. Great coverage by Roby. Incomplete. Crowd wants a flag because they're not used to seeing blanket coverage.
7:52 Penn State's punt bounces down at the 15-yard line. Of course it does.
7:53 Hyde busts through for six yards. Miller is holding that read for a long time. Been lucky that Hyde hasn't fumbled that tonight. There's a flag. It's a facemask even as McDonough is calling for a hold.
7:54 Rod Smith breaks loose down to the 25-yard line for a 28-yard gain. The threat of Miller keeping the ball opens up everything for these running backs. Smith gains confidence by the week.
7:55 Miller keeps it, goes outside and picks and chooses his way to the six-yard line. PSU is getting destroyed up front. Another holding call is missed per Spielman. Show me any random snap in any random football game and I'll show you a hold.
7:57 Second and goal from the one-yard line. Miller keeps it on the read and dives over the goal line for the touchdown. Buckeyes lead it 28-10. This is punishment.
7:59 We have reached the end of what was a very tough third quarter for Sean McDonough. The Buckeyes outscore Penn State 21-3 that quarter and lead it 28-10.
8:01 And now it's time for Tresselball to return to its murderous roots against Ohio State's opponent, and stop trying to attack the Buckeyes' new coach. Sheesh, hold a grudge much?
8:06 Belton picks up three yards on a carry over the right side. Keep running, I don't think OSU minds. One Buckeye to another over near the Penn State sideline: “Gosh, I SURE HOPE THEY DON'T KEEP RUNNING THE BALL. WE CAN'T STOP THEM BECAUSE WE ARE SOOOOO TIRED.” O'Brien: “OMG! Did you guys just hear that? Run the ball! Run the stinkin' ball!”
8:07 Whoa. John Simon has to come out of the game. You know he must be hurt. That guy would walk off under his own power even if he was unconscious.
8:13 Play-action. McGloin is going for the endzone, and it's dropped by Kyle Carter with Roby in coverage. It was in his hands, but Roby slapped it out. That's three PBUs tonight for Roby.
8:16 Third and eight. Simon is back in there. Another break up by Roby who was initially beaten by Robinson in the endzone. Even when he gets beaten, he still wins.
8:19 Third and goal from the two-yard line. Penn State has four tight ends. This is the most obvious play-action in the world. Yep, McGloin fakes the handoff, but there's nobody open. McGloin running around and he finally finds tight end Matt Lehman in the front of the endzone for the touchdown. Turns out that this game is far from over.
8:20 Penn State is going for two. I don't agree with this. Kick the extra point and make it an eleven-point game. If you fail here then you need two touchdowns. Shotgun. Draw to Belton for a loss of one. Simon got him, and the senior is hurting pretty badly right now. The defense should thank Bill O'Brien for that call, by the way. Ohio State leads it 28-16 with 9:49 remaining.
8:24 Hey, the Buckeyes get to start this drive at their own eight-yard line because of a penalty. But don't worry, because this is where Tresselball goes for the kill. Actually, you know what, Tresselball isn't an ax murderer, it's a lion. Just watch as it stalks its prey, the clock. The clock timidly walks down to the watering hole, looking around to make sure it is safe to drink. What will happen next?!?
8:25 Third and three with 8:25 to play. Penn State is showing blitzes. Miller keeps it and picks up seven yards for the first down. Jordan Hill is talking trash to Marcus Hill for some reason.
8:28 Third and five from the 28-yard line. Miller drops back and finds Stoneburner down the seam and he takes it to the house for 72 yards! Wow. Great grab and he breaks the tackle and takes it all the way home. Buckeyes lead it 35-16 with 6:11 to play. Can't wipe that smile off of Miller's face.
8:29 I thought I was watching Tresselball, but during the hunt, a giant Urbannosaurus Rex came out of the jungle and ate Tresselball in one bite, then kicked the clock in the junk for good measure.
8:34 Kyle Carter beats Boren down the seam for 20 yards. Shazier nearly hurt everybody on that tackle. Let's not do that again. I'm afraid of what Shazier might do next.
8:34 Another false start for Penn State. This crowd is really having an impact. The offensive line can't hear the signal over the crickets.
8:35 Draw to Zwinak for a yard, which is the official white flag in this white out.
8:38 Second and goal from the 20-yard line. McGloin fires it down to Carter at the goal line for the touchdown with 1:41 to play. He was wide open and there was no reason for him to be. I guess this game isn't over again. I've seen crazier finishes. Why is Penn State kicking an extra point here? They need to go for two to try and make it an eleven-point game. Somebody get Bret Bielema's two-point chart for Bill O'Brien. Buckeyes lead it 35-23.
8:41 Onside kick coming. Ha ha, Roby isn't fooled this time on the tip back. Buckeyes get the ball and will run the clock out.
8:44 Miller keeps it and slides down after a ten-yard gain. Not a good looking slide, but what else would you expect from a guy who only hits homeruns?. PSU calls their last timeout with 1:26 to play.
8:45 Third and one. Hyde gets two yards and that's the ball game. Two kneel downs make it official. Buckeyes win it 35-23. Ohio State is the only 9-0 team in the country.
8:51 Becoming increasingly clear that at times the Buckeyes play to the level of their competition before finally having enough and just showing their true selves. That won't be good for next week against Illinois, but should be great for the two games after that.
8:52 This was a nice win and all, but it's time to get serious. Next week is the battle for the Illibuck. Nobody takes that wooden turtle lightly, except for all of the players who have ever played in this series, of course.
8:53 Anyway, as goes the new saying that I just invented, “Keep the Turtle Home (Because we lost the key to the glass case that it sits in, and we don't want to have to break all of this glass)!”
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