Two-Minute Drill: Fickell Discusses Defense Against Penn State
By Brandon Castel
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It certainly wasn’t a perfect performance against Penn State over the weekend, and Luke Fickell would like to have that last touchdown back, but Ohio State’s defense played maybe its best game of the season in Happy Valley.
The Buckeyes held the Nittany Lions to just 34 yards on the ground and they brought enough pressure to rattle PSU quarterback Matt McGloin into yet another pick-6, which really swung the momentum of Ohio State’s 35-23 victory on the road.
Here’s a rundown of what Fickell had to say about the defensive performance at Penn State.
* Fickell said the defensive line dominated the game until late in the fourth quarter. They were gassed a little bit on that final drive and this defense has to do a better job of closing out the game.
* Fickell said he thinks the Buckeyes have to be a more aggressive defense from here on out, give the guys up front more of a chance to take over the game.
* Fickell said McGloin looked really good on film and they felt they really had to pressure him. He picked defenses apart when they let him sit back there. They brought five and sometimes six guys against him on Saturday.
* Fickell said this defense has to bring pressure. Not like some defenses in the past who could just grind teams out and wear them down. The defense needs to go create plays.
* Fickell admitted Travis Howard got beat a couple times, but said they really asked their corners to do a lot. Played a lot of man and those guys really fought hard and played well.
Getting More Comfortable
* Fickell said the defensive staff is coming together, getting a lot more comfortable. They really felt like Urban challenged them as a staff.
* Said Zach Boren also looking a lot more comfortable at LB and Ryan Shazier is really coming along for a 19 year old kid, but the strength of the defense is the front four and the cornerbacks.
* Fickell said the Shazier pick-6 was the big play of the game. Gave Ohio State all the momentum and then Jake Stoneburner's touchdown broke the other team's back.
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