Meyer Presser Recap: Nebraska

By Kyle Rowland on October 1, 2012 at 10:57a

Four games into the season Ohio State was an enigma. But after Saturday’s 17-16 win at Michigan State, the mystery is starting to be pulled away. The offense is a lot of Braxton Miller with some running backs and wide receivers sprinkled in, and the defense, when needed, comes through. 

Meyer wants an all-time great atmosphere Saturday.

Miller has taken his play to heights predicted when he committed to Ohio State out of Huber Heights Wayne. With a buttoned-down approach on offense a season ago, however, the then-true freshman couldn’t unveil his full skillset. Urban Meyer has since helped turn the athletic sophomore into a bona fide Heisman Trophy contender.

Perhaps the biggest story on offense, though, even with Miller’s emergence, are the wide receivers. Corey Brown and Devin Smith have combined to catch 51 passes for 668 yards and five touchdowns – numbers that make last season’s receiving stats even more laughable.

Week Six – the midway point because of a postseason ban – brings another marquee game, this time in primetime at Ohio Stadium. Nebraska enters the Horseshoe for the first time since 1956. Along come Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and a solid group of wide receivers. It could be the biggest challenge remaining for the Ohio State defense.

Win Saturday and 12-0 not only becomes realistic but probable. That is not even in Meyer’s realm of thinking – not yet anyway. Reviewing the Michigan State game film raised some red flags for Meyer and his staff. It’s back to a grinding work week for the Buckeyes.

  • The entire offensive line was named champions and players of the game for Michigan State. Other champs on offense: Zach Boren and Jeff Heuerman.
  • Zach Boren graded out 93 percent. Meyer said Boren's leadership was instrumental in the win. He called it "legendary."
  • Defensive champions: Etienne Sabino (defensive player of the game), Johnathan Hankins, Bradley Roby, Travis Howard, Ryan Shazier and John Simon.
  • Meyer said Shazier played his best game of the year, while Fickell told Meyer it was Sabino’s best game in five years as a Buckeye.
  • Roby is also the special teams player of the game.
  • Meyer said OSU improved in all areas as a team. He said he was concerned about that after the UAB game.
  • “It was the best team effort of the year – by far.” –Meyer
  • "Without Braxton Miller, I know we aren't 5-0." -Meyer.
  • Jordan Hall’s injury is a partial tear of the PCL. He is doubtful for Nebraska. Meyer said it’s time to roll for Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn.
  • Five games into the season, Meyer said it’s obvious the offense still isn’t what he wants it to be. Sometimes they have to ham and egg it, but so far it’s resulted in wins.
  • When Ohio State got the ball on the final possession against MSU, Meyer figured OSU would have to punt. The O-Line and Carlos Hyde proved him wrong.
  • Meyer says tomorrow's practice will be one of the toughest Tuesdays of the season. It’s always hard coming off of big wins.
  • Meyer and Pelini were at Ohio State together in the 1980s. They're both from NE Ohio. Meyer said they have a great relationship.
  • Keith Mumphrey’s touchdown catch and run on Saturday saw five different Buckeyes miss a tackle, some of which made poor attempts at stripping the ball.  Meyer is not a fan of stripping the football. He said if you're going to attempt it, get your nose (helmet) on the ball - not your hands.
  • With a night game and a big-time opponent, Meyer expects an electric crowd Saturday night.
  • Meyer said Reid Fragel was a tight end playing offensive line the first three games. He's proven the past two that he's now an O-Lineman.
  • Meyer said Zach Smith runs the punt-block team in addition to the wide receivers.
  • “We finally got a freaking blocked punt. Hopefully we smell blood in the water.” -Meyer
  • Meyer said it sounds corny, but the team came together over the past week.
  • "Break a tackle, Philly." -Meyer on Corey Brown's 12 receptions for 84 yards.
  • Ohio State isn’t a great team yet, according to Meyer, but he believes they are on the verge of something big.
  • “I shouldn't do that.” -Meyer on his animated reaction after Hyde's punt penalty. Meyer said it was the correct call.
  • Offensive line coach Ed Warinner said he was confident that Ohio State could pick up a first down on its final possession.
  • Warinner said the offensive line has gained confidence and when you gain confidence you get momentum.
  • Wide receivers and offensive line, two areas of concern before the season, have progressed immensely.
  • Warinner said four starting O-Linemen were in the WHAC at 6:30 a.m. today wanting to watch film. “That tells me they're all-in.”
  • The Michigan State win – and season in general – has acted as a validation for everything the staff has asked of the team, Warinner said.
  • Defensive line coach Mike Vrabel said Braxton Miller's injury at Nebraska last season had an effect on the defense.
  • Vrabel said a lot of things go on under a pile. Said it's more understandable when there's a fumble, but said poking eyes is not condoned.
  • Despite not practicing much, Vrabel said Nathan Williams has been great.
  • Vrabel said Taylor Martinez's many skills pose problems for opposing defenses. He said Martinez can read defenses and will be a huge challenge. Martinez was co-Big Ten offensive player of the week.
  • The most important thing for defenses against Martinez is patience, Vrabel said.
  • Michael Bennett was rusty on Saturday. It’s different from doing it in practice and taking it to the field on Saturdays, Vrabel said.


chitown buckeye's picture

I've been thinking the same thing in regards to Corey Brown. I know he is catching the ball well and hasnt had any drops but I have not been overly impressed by his ability to run the ball. On those quick passes, it seems like there is a lane to run with blockers in front but he hesitates, hops around, or pauses for just a second and it allows the defense to recover.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

DonkeyPunchAnnArbor's picture

I believe Corey Brown wanted to be a running back when he came to OSU.  He has not shown any great skills running after the catch.  I would expect someone who wanted to be a RB break an arm tackle by a corner every now and then.

"Michigan and "huge mistake" are synonymous"
-Mark Titus

Doc's picture

I hope the defense works on the short passing game this week.  I think Martinez is going to try to victimize us with this all day.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

bassplayer7770's picture

I totally agree.  While I thought our D played a much better game on Saturday, I did notice the middle of the field seemed to be wide open most of the time.
I also agree about Philly breaking some tackles, but he seemed to get several screen passes that mostly didn't go anywhere.

otrain2416's picture

I like his comment towards Phily. If your gonna be the guy that gets the touches make a play.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

chitown buckeye's picture

I love the comments as well. Maybe trying to light a fire under him for this week? Although D smith has established himself as a deep threat I think he may do a better job with those quick passes. Certainly thought Hall would be the best option but with his injuries I suspect he will see limited action from this point forward.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

bassplayer7770's picture

Meyer is not a fan of stripping the football. He said if you're going to attempt it, get your nose (helmet) on the ball - not your hands.

My name is bassplayer7770, and I approve of this message.

yrro's picture

Get Guiton in there to toss a couple of those screens to Miller, he'll make people miss...
More seriously - question for the more football knowledgeable on the Hyde penalty... what the heck was it for? You aren't allowed to tackle someone by pushing them over?

Doc's picture

Pussburger said the penalty was because Hyde hit the guy above the shoulders.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Nappy's picture

I still think the penalty was bs.  If you watch it, the guy had the ball held up around his chin which is exactly where Hyde hit him. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Doc's picture

I'm with ya Nappy.  The call was  crap.  This is football and if you don't want to get hit dont play.  Hyde was trying to dislodge the ball and make a play.  Give that guy a helmet sticker! 

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Tim's picture

I agreed with the "correct call, bad rule" take that a lot of people had.  If a punt returner fields the ball like that, he deserves to get destroyed.  Hyde just hit him slightly too high, and with all of the concussion awareness, that's going to be a penalty every time.

dancorona5's picture

might as well play with a balloon and have the players wear bra's and wear tin foil hats instead of helmets and we can call it sarcastiball.

Buck_Michigan's picture the Southpark ref

2012 Beat Michigan Tail gate:  UFM:  "Let’s beat the sh*t out of Michigan, have a good night."

Abe Froman's picture

Totally agree with this view.  Once the ball hit the ground, the receiving team loses its right to a fair catch and when the ball bounced high and the guy caught it, Hyde was simply tracking the ball.  I've been watching football for a few years now (I'm no spring chicken) and I have never seen that call after it bounces.  Now, I am sure that somewhere it has happened, but I don't understand it.  No comprende.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

drumsontheside's picture

When my friends and I saw the flag thrown, our initial reaction was the ref thought MSU waved for a fair catch, but then realized that he didn't so they huddled and came up with a call that fit the play. Might not have been that way, but it seemed like a way out of a mistake.


altrn8ngcurrent's picture

This is exactly what I said after the call was made.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I thought he got called for hitting a guy after he gave the 'Discount Double Check' signal!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

HA! Love it! Did you catch Meyer flashing an animated discount double check while he was screaming at the official about the flag? With the volume of fans in Buckeye Nation, maybe State Farm should consider inking Urban.

onetwentyeight's picture

I really don't want to leave Brax out there to dry as a potential defense-less receiver ... he takes enough hits as is. Maybe Brax to Kenny screen...

Triv's picture

The Guiton at QB with Miller on the field formation does exist, by the way. Braxton is lined up at running back, but I don't expect to see it often

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Nappy's picture

I'd like to see Braxton take a jet sweep

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

That one is being saved for game #12

Doc's picture

It seemed like the screen pass was a no gainer to me.  The play is slow developing and with the defenses we have been playing against they sniffed it out fairly quickly.  I would like to see the offense take more shots down field.  That would keep defenses a little more honest.  It would also open up running lanes as well.  I have been disappointed in the spread offense so far.  I haven't seen the mismatches and numbers advantages.  To me, it looks like the same plays run over and over.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happier than a pig in slop Urbz is our coach.  I'm waiting for the offense to really start clicking.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

bassplayer7770's picture

To me, the Offense is showing me why Urbz has said the things he said about the lack of playmakers.  He needs guys who can make plays in space.  In other words, he needs more guys like Braxton.  To me, that's why he's going after guys like Zeke, Jalin, and Taivon.  Regardless, there are some players who are beginning to step up, and this Offense is still a work in progress.  Braxton also has some areas in need of improvement (better reads, consistently good decisions on options, and more accurate passing downfield on a regular basis), and that will come.  Of course, it doesn't help when Hall isn't available.

d5k's picture

Win Saturday and 12-0 not only becomes realistic but probable.

Depends how define probable but I would like to put some ice on these thoughts since 6 games are a lot of chances to lose even against lesser foes.  And Wisconsin and Michigan aren't chump games.

OldColumbusTown's picture

As we all have seen, Ohio State is not a powerhouse this year.  They are grinding their way to victories.  When you do that, you are susceptible to losing games to teams that are at or close to the same level of talent.  12-0 is most certaintly not probable, but definitely possible.

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Remember 2002? Illinois, Purdue (Holy Buckeye!), Wisconsin, UC, Penn State, and Michigan were all won by less than a touchdown. Yet still went undefeated and won by less than a touchdown in the NC game.
See my point? The teams we remember most are the ones that figure out ways to grind out a win.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

OldColumbusTown's picture

Never said we won't remember this team well.  I'm just trying to pump the brakes a bit on the 12-0 talk. 
It'd be incredible if they could do it, but we all now it is extremely difficult to accomplish that, even with a "down" B1G.  12-0 really should never be considered "probable" at this point in the season with the types of games that are still left on the schedule.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. Even if we assume that the Buckeyes will probably win each of the six games (with all games falling within a range of 0.65 to 0.95 likely to be victories), the probable guess for total wins woudl roughly add up to about 5 wins (out of 6).    

Doc's picture

With that said 11-1 is not bad for a transitional year.  I'm still hoping for 12-0, but 11-1 would be ok as well.  As long as the loss isn't against AACC, that is.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Absolutely. 11-1 would be very nice. 12-0 would be better. But it's been fun watching this team so far no matter what, even with the inconsistencies and growing pains.

Doc's picture

Watching winning is a lot easier than watching losing for schizz.  It has been fun watching the Urban experiment develop.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Win Saturday and 10-0 becomes probable.  As far as the games between Nebraska and Wisconsin - maybe Penn State could be trouble?  I'm not sold, yet - their three wins came against crap competition.  They should've beat Virginia, but Virginia isn't that good, either.  How horrible is Illinois?  Indiana is Indiana and Purdue shouldn't be too much trouble.  Those last two games, though - Wisconsin showed flashes of improvement, even though they choked the game away against Nebraska much like we did last year.  Hopefully that doesn't come full circle with them beating us on a hail mary.  In all seriousness, that will be a tough game in their house.  TSUN is a crapshoot - as confident as I am that we will win, I know that just when you're ready to write them off, they'll come to the 'Shoe ready for a game.  If I've learned anything from the '90s - don't proclaim 12-0 until you get there.

Class of 2010.

GoBucks713's picture

•Ohio isn’t a great team yet, according to Meyer, but he believes they are on the verge of something big.
Are we being trolled?

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyejason's picture

What's the big obsession with talkin about 12-0 every week? Why's wrong with taking it week to week..not counting your chickens before they hatch. If we don't look good against Neraska we'll hear most of the fan base say "this is a 8-9 win team at best!!!"


btalbert25's picture

I don't think it's bad to talk about it.  It's the one thing we, and the team have to look forward to this year since there's nothing else to play for.  I certainly didn't expect them to get to 5-0, still not sure about 12-0, but instead of an 8 win team I think this is certainly a double digit win team.  Kind of fun to be excited about football this season since last year was such a mess, especially winning football. This team has won 2 or 3 games that last years team would of dropped. It's kind of fun to get excited about going undefeated. We're probably going to get disappointed along the way but what the hell, it's better than last year and all the fighting and negativity about the offense, and Bollman, and Fickell, and just about everything else with the team that was going wrong.

raki's picture

I hope Martinez dosen't burn us... Last year watching the 3rd and 4th quater was painfull. Need to keep him in pocket and he would give you couple picks and fumble.

Jdadams01's picture

It was Burkhead more than Martinez who brought them back.

lippertini's picture

Martinez was huge in regaining the lead by my viewing.  All three of him, Burkhead and Abdullah will need to be gameplanned.

timdogdad's picture

neb seems like one of those good at home but not so good on the road teams.  hopefully our pressure and crowd noise can get to martinez.    the power of red sort of took over on sat vs wisc and it happened to us last year.. or something like that.    but mich beat neb easily last year at mich.
i think the best word for nate williams is effective-he's looking good and is too quick for many o linemen to handle.  

WC Buckeye's picture

I think the Houndie should wear an electric crown from now on.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Anyone know if Urban was asked about or did he address this doctored video business today? I know when asked about it Saturday, he said he didn't know anything about it, I just wondered if it was brought up again today?

CoachGrasso's picture

Spot on, Doc. I agree that it's probably a penalty the way games are officiated today.
Since the dude didn't fair catch the ball and then fielded it, he put himself in position to get blown up. The "Gunners" have one responsibility and that's to be the first one to the returner, and Hyde did his job. I'd hope the next time he has this opportunity he does the same thing - just maybe with a little lower pad-level!
Also, that came after the got in a few cheap ones on Brax near the sidelines. I think it was a little bit of a response saying, hey, we came to play too! I'm sure it fired up the D seeing an offensive guy do that. I know it jacked me up!

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Hall's partial tear of his PCL is probably non-operative. He will need rest and plenty of physical therapy. I don't see him playing on Saturday. I have a feeling he won't play another down until next month.

Doc's picture

Can he be red shirted?  I'm figuring a partially torn PCL is going to be a long process.  IF he can redshirt do it.  I think El Guapo and the rest of the backs can fill in while he's out.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Triv's picture

He has played 2 whole games, I don't believe he is allowed to be redshirted. And he can't get a medical redshirt unless he is medically unable to play for the rest of the year (and I'm still not sure he could use it granted he has played 2 games)

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Jdadams01's picture

Amen, coach! Running through the ball carrier causes a lot more fumbles than stripping. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

Confuse T. Martinez and blitz the hell out of him on 2nd or 3rd and long...Buckeyes will win.  Neb. defense isn't like it was last year and I think OSU's offense is obviously better than last year (and you saw what happened until Brax got hurt last year to a much better Neb. defense).  I'm a firm believer that OSU wins this big if they get pressure on him all day long and score off turnovers.  Last year he beat OSU with his feet...I can't see this defense allowing that again.  They're all getting better and that's what you want to see once conference play begins.  I'm drinking the juice as I said before on another thread/article.  This team can do it...if they practice hard, then they'll play hard.  I think most have figured it out and are now All In!  Go Bucks!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

Before ever seeing this team play a game, I figured this to be an 11-1 season. The lone loss likely coming in East Lansing or Madison. Now, I'd say there is a very real probability for 12-0. This team may not dominate for 60 minutes like we would all want them to, but the offense has shown that they will answer if the other team scores, and the defense seems to play well in the red zone, and late when it really matters. If the Bucks keep that up, this should continue to be an exciting year!

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

You'll probably all hate me for saying this, but I'd rather lose a game this year and go 14-0 next year... do you know how hard (and unlikely) it is to win 26 straight...

Buckeyejason's picture

Meyer said it’s time to roll for Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn.

well let them have more than 2 carries a game against real competition to show what they can do for goodness sakes..instead of running either Hyde or Hall all game!