Meyer Presser Recap: Penn State

By Kyle Rowland on October 22, 2012 at 12:52p

For one weekend the state of Ohio took a backseat to the upcoming presidential election. Instead, everyone has turned their attention to Braxton Miller. Is the Ohio State quarterback going to play Saturday? How healthy is he? Could Ohio State’s undefeated season come crumbling down because of an injury?

The season flashed before Meyer when Miller went down.

The answers to those questions vary. After seeing Miller be helped to the sideline after being slammed to the turf on his left shoulder by a Purdue defender – a borderline horse collar tackle – the injury looked serious. He then needed help being transferred to a golf cart, a slumped over Miller staggering all the way. There was relief and surprise when hours later he was released from the OSU Medical Center symptom-free of a concussion or any other head, neck or shoulder injury.

But the fact that Ohio State is still undefeated might be the bigger surprise. Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton led a comeback for the ages in the final 47 seconds, sending the game to overtime where Ohio State won, 29-22. The little-used Guiton had been a mystery since his late commitment in 2009.

Two weeks ago, with the Buckeyes preparing for Indiana after consecutive wins over ranked opponents, head coach Urban Meyer feared a letdown. After a 52-49 victory and lack of 60-minute effort, it looked like Meyer’s concerns were warranted.

Once again, Ohio State is coming off a high, and it's now traveling to a hostile environment. Beaver Stadium is one of the loudest venues in the Big Ten and has played host to some classic Penn State-Ohio State games over the years. With or without Miller, the resurgent Nittany Lions pose a serious challenge to the Buckeyes’ undefeated campaign.

Defensive champions versus Purdue: Ryan Shazier (player of the game), Travis Howard, Nate Williams, John Simon, Christian Bryant, Bradley Roby and Johnathan Hankins. 

Special Teams champions: David Perkins (player of the game), Taylor Rice and Hankins.

There were no offensive champions.

  • Miller has a very sore neck, according to Meyer, but he is expected to practice tomorrow.
  • Meyer said Miller's injury was akin to whiplash. He said Miller was "rattled."
  • There is concern over Miller’s high volume of injuries. Meyer said it’s tough to win without your best player.
  • Asked if the season passed before his eyes when Miller was injured, Meyer said, "Yeah, it did."
  • Meyer's says his Plan to Win has been efficient the past 10 years, but Ohio State hasn't followed that plan despite its 8-0 record.
  • Etienne Sabino will probably not play Saturday, according to Meyer. Zach Boren will stay on defense.
  • Meyer has never been to Beaver Stadium for a game. He said his assistants have let him know it's the loudest venue in the Big Ten.
  • Ohio State’s no-huddle offense should help Ohio State this week in dealing with crowd noise.
  • Meyer made a crack about fans leaving the game early Saturday and them coming back in the stadium. “I don’t blame them,” he said.
  • Meyer, talking about John Cooper giving him the list of Penn State's NFL caliber players, said it's going to be a good draft day for PSU.
  • There aren't more injuries this season, Meyer said. It just seems that way because of the low scholarship numbers.
  • Ohio State only has 59-60 players on the active roster that are healthy right now.
  • Devan Bogard is out for the season with a torn ACL. Meyer called him a top 5 guy. He was the first freshman to lose his black stripe. Philly Brown and Joshua Perry should play.
  • Offensive line might be getting more depth. Taylor Decker and Chase Farris have been practicing well, according to Meyer.
  • Offensive coordinator Tom Herman said he isn't a big believer in fate or luck. His daughter gave him a lucky rock before the Michigan State game and he said he rubs it every game. But he said that’s not why Ohio State beat Purdue. It’s all about competitive excellence.
  • Herman said Miller's injury won't affect Ohio State’s play-calling on Saturday at Penn State.
  • Penn State's defense will be the best Ohio State has faced all season, according to Herman.
  • Ohio State’s offensive players are fragile, Herman said. It stems from last season’s disaster on that side of the ball. Herman said their confidence must be kept in mind.
  • Herman said it's great OSU won Saturday. But the coaches made sure to tell the players they didn't play well.
  • Being in the sterile press box helped calm Herman down after the fourth-quarter touchdown. He said it was easy to call the two-point conversion play even though everyone else wanted to run the ball. Herman said he reminded everyone that they had the play-call – it had been in the playbook for five weeks.
  • Co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers is high on Matt McGloin. He called him one of the top two QBs Ohio State has faced this season.
  • After Ohio State tied the game, Withers said everyone on the team – coaches and players – felt the Buckeyes were going to win the game.
  • Withers said the key to stopping screens is pursuing.

Comments Show All Comments

Ethos's picture

Put Guiton in for the first drive! Reward him for being clutch.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

osu07asu10's picture

I think that would be a pretty classy nod by Coach Meyer. Maybe not even the first drive, but let him start the game and run a read option or two, maybe even take a deep shot and then send Braxton in the game.

I think it would work because Kenny G is such an ultimate team player and everyone clearly knows this is Braxton's team, no controversy, just a nod to a great buckeye and his dedication to this program

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

buckeyepastor's picture

I'd like to see both be used VOLUNTARILY (not on account of injury).  But Braxton is still our best offensive player.   To not use him and consider him our starter would just not make sense to me.   Guiton is more consistent with the short-range passes, but Miller is better throwing the deep ball.   Miller is way better as an athlete, but Guiton appears to make much better reads, both throwing and in the run game.   Together, they are the perfect QB.   If only we could find a way to situationally maximize the talents of each.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

buckeyedude's picture

I don't care if they start Kenny, but I would like to see Kenny play at least one series in the 1st half, and stretch the field with a couple of long balls deep to Brown or Devin Smith. Then, after the defense has been softened up, bring it back to Braxton and El Guapo.
They won't know what hit them.



JasonBuck's picture

So let me clarify to make sure I'm reading this article correctly, Braxton Miller will play Saturday?  How does everyone feel if they start Kenny G instead of Braxton?  Preparing for Braxton AND preparing for Kenny G for the PSU defense would be interesting (primarily a runner vs primarily a passer), at least based on the limited playing time Kenny has gotten.

carence's picture

I hear what you are saying but if Braxton looks good in practice, you have to go with your prized horse. Now I do believe Guiton has earned more playing time. I believe Meyer will reward him like he did Buchanan in the Neb game (saved the TD on that tackle, in return, he ran the fake punt).

JasonBuck's picture

I completely agree with going with your prized horse, do you think they'll go a formation or more where they have kenny g and braxton on the field at the same time (I know there were rumblings of this the last few weeks) or do you think they pull Braxton for a series or 2 to let Kenny play?  Can you imagine running the inside shovel pass with Braxton, haha?

chicagobuckeye's picture

Don't think we will see something where either of them are in actual danger because of how suspetible Braxton is to injury.  Maybe some hand-offs but I can't imagine a time where Urban would call a play that could put them both in danger i.e. a pass to Braxton

Shaun OSU's picture

Meyer was asked about something similar to this at the end, and he said that what he had envisoned had Miller being the runner in that set up (presumably on a sweep, etc.), and since we want to expose him to less hits rather than more, it doesn't really make a lot of sense at this point. 
Someone asked him if they would run a sweep with Kenny, and he just laughed and said that he loves Kenny, but Kenny will not ever be receiving any handoffs.

MediBuck's picture

To be fair, I think PSU will be preparing for both QBs, since everyone was stunned by Kenny G's performance.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Will in Arizona's picture

The biggest problem with Guiton is that you absolutely don't have to defend further than 15 yards down the field.  His downfield throws are horrible inaccurate and very weak.  He just doesn't have the arm strength and will only hit his man if he is WIDE OPEN (like Devin Smith was).  I do feel like he is better in the pocket and goes through reads better than Miller from the limited play I've seen of him, but it won't matter if the other team can play you as if you are in the red zone all over the field.

buckeyedude's picture

I really don't think Kenny is going to start, if Braxton is 100% healthy. But, as I said, Kenny needs to get in at some point in the first half for at least one series, and I think Meyer is going to reward him for The Comeback.
Then, when Ohio State is up by three TDs in the second half(sarc), let Kenny finish the game.



buckeye56's picture

"Ohio State’s offensive players are fragile, Herman said. It stems from last season’s disaster on that side of the ball. Herman said their confidence must be kept in mind."
Further reminders of why my contempt for Jim Bollman is so strong.


toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

The Bollman curse is still lingering out there on the offense.

lcrumley89's picture

The walrus strikes again. How long till we are finally done with his B.S.???

“There are some people addicted to alcohol, some people are addicted to gambling,” Luginbill said. “Urban Meyer is addicted to football, and he’s addicted to winning.”

buckeyedude's picture

Look. I think the Walrus deserves a lot of blame, but for Herman, a coach, to blame the previous season for this year's problems....I just think it is a little unbecoming.
Accept responsibility for your actions, or lack thereof. Walrus is gone. Thankfully.



brglr14's picture

im kinda glad this ones on the road. think there focus will be better. worst offensive game of the season hope its out of there system. hope are pass rush shows cause i think psu is going chuck it all over the place,

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


carence's picture

After hearing Braxton has a sore neck and is sympton free, I believe he was hit with a brachial stun. I won't go into a long diatribe about the brachial plexus tie in and all that but if your struck in your brachial plexus, you will drop immediately and won't be able to move. It's pressure point and is very effective.
I will tell you this, Braxton is a tough dude!

mitchjacobsen01's picture

Any martial artist would agree with that statement.  I could definitely see the training staff sending him to the hospital for precautionary reasons.  A strike to the brachial plexus could be mistaken for any number of more serious, long term conditions.  I'm thankful he'll be okay.

USMC11917's picture

This is a Brachial Plexus Origin Strike. I am sure Jai Lee calls it something different but the proof is in the pudding.

buckeyedude's picture

LOL. He just got knocked the F$%K out!



GrayDay's picture

Thanks, sounds like you're familiar with the medical aspects of this.  Can you tell us if this kind of thing can create a lasting proble?  Is this something people can get over within a few days or will his neck be feeling sore and or stiff for several weeks?

USMC11917's picture

Typically it is not very serious. If it is indeed an injury due to being struck in this nerve motor point and there was some serious damage, the doctors wouldn't have released him to be able to practice. If indeed this is what happened when Braxton went down and his shoulder pads slapped him in the side of the neck then there should be no lasting effects other than bruising. It is potentially life threatening if you strike that area with some sort of blunt object (Example: The ridge portion of your forearm) but damage would occur on the spine and the doctors have reportedly cleared him. 
Watching replays of the fall it looked like a possible AC separation. Glad it wasn't. You don't always need surgery for those (Depending on the severity) but they are painful to play with.

hodge's picture

So last week against Indiana the defense had no champions, and they turn around and allow a total of 13 points, including slamming the door shut on the Boilermakers in the second overtime.
This week, the Ohio State offense has no champions...
I'm expecting them to come out swinging.

Poison nuts's picture

Here here. I'm expecting the same.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

AllDay028's picture

Having watched Penn State all season, there is no way they have the best defense we've played all year.

Alhan's picture

Hah! I was scanning the comments to see if anyone had brought this up yet. I'd give that distinction to MSU. Maybe this was just a case of hyperbolic coach-speak?

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

timdogdad's picture

what's worse, not worrying about an easy game all week, and next thing know it's 13-7 and we're losing.  or worrying about playing a good team?  i'll take the latter because i know we have to bring the juice.  playing against mcmoxie on  the road will get us going real quick. anyone tired of having to scrape by indiana and believe it or not, uab?  i'm glad we have a fear we may lose this sat.    

theDuke's picture

i half heartedly watched the replay of the game last night. Is it just me or did Noah Spence look like a beast out there? And it seems that Adolphus is getting much better against the run. On the other hand, it looked like Hank is getting a little winded. I think he was hoping the last two weeks were going to be a little easier because he is out there for way more snaps this year.  


tennbuckeye19's picture

I agree with your assessment. 

Will in Arizona's picture

"Beast" might be too strong - but he has definitely looked better at pass rush the last couple of weeks.  Look forward to seeing him next season when he bulks up a little bit and can shed blockers a little better.  Right now, he relies entirely on quickness.

MediBuck's picture

Agreed. But Fick called a play last week where he dropped into coverage. I think that once he's able to get the mental aspect of playing in space down, he can be a brutal LEO.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

chitown buckeye's picture

Spence seems to be playing better and gaining more confidence. I saw on a few plays where he was rushing in and the qb was throwing right over him and he never got his hands up to try to bat a ball down. Its an easy thing to teach and I'm sure he will pick that up. Simply an observation I saw a few times during the game. 

"I'm having a heart attack!"

gunni070's picture

I think Hankins has an injury of some sort he's dealing with.  Haven't seen mention of it but at one point I thought he needed assistance getting off the field.

coloradobuckeye's picture

Spence was the first one to pressure the QB on the last play of the game. He is going to be an all time great.

Let your hobbies and interests supplement your life, not be the main course.

flipbuckeye's picture

Well, that escalated quickly. 

bassplayer7770's picture

Are you referring to this play?

avail31678's picture

i.e. The one where he's being held?

bassplayer7770's picture

Holding?  I don't see any holding except by tOSU players.
Danny Hope

avail31678's picture

HA!  Upvote for you.  Well done.

German Buckeye's picture

I'm thinking the game Sat (which is at 5:30 correct?) will be the first time this year were both the offense and defense come together for a complete game - envision a 32-10 type outcome in our favor.

gwalther's picture

Considering all the holes in our team that we've all seen this year, and that we are at Penn State and they've been coming together as a team, I would say that this is a pretty damn optimistic prediction. I hope it's right, but really, really, optimistic.

Class of 2008

tennbuckeye19's picture

Would love to see this type of outcome, but sadly I am not feeling the same degree of optimism. I do think OSU wins, but not by that wide a margin. I see this being another close affair. I do applaud your prediction though. 

labuck's picture

I think Spence definitely had a solid day.  He could have had a spectacular day if he had gotten off some of those blocks quicker for sacks instead of hurries.  He was being held a couple of times but that happens and you have to beat it.  Hankins is definitely getting tired.  PSU may use a little of the hurry up this weekend and it will be important to use our D-Line depth appropriately to keep our rush strong.  It would be nice to see some d-line stunts and a mix of blitzes but that is tough when your lbs are not real strong.

OldColumbusTown's picture

I'm curious to see this defense now (sans Sabino, but adding in Boren and Barnett) against a pro-style offense.  They looked good against MSU, but again, the personnel is a little bit different.
PSU likes to run it at you, and a lot of play-action.  From what I've seen of PSU, I don't know how they've had such good results on offense this year.  Their skill position guys are really nothing special.  They're solid, but not the types of player whom you gameplan against.  I really hope the defensive staff allows Roby/Howard/Grant to lock up in man coverage with support from the safeties, who can also then help in run support.
We've all seen before that McGloin can get confused and make bad decisions throwing the football when his receivers are tightly covered and he gets pressure in his face.  I'm hoping OSU has some new wrinkles to show him so he holds it that split second longer.

OldColumbusTown's picture

Also regarding Penn State's defense...
I don't think PSU has faced any offense quite like Ohio State's yet this year.  They were successful in the game against Northwestern, but NU seemed to play very predictable on offense, and they didn't use Colter much, if at all, at QB in that game.  Penn State hasn't been tested yet by an offense that spreads you out and then pounds the football.  Mauti is good and makes plays, but I'd like to see him in coverage against OSU's tight ends or running backs, and also in space against Braxton Miller.
It should be a good test for the Buckeyes, but it's really about limiting big plays defensively (something OSU struggles with, but also something PSU hasn't done much yet), and taking care of the football.  PSU isn't overwhelming as far as talent or speed.

Larryp713's picture

The game will really depend on which McGloin shows up... whether he is the McGloin in the first half of the 2009 game in the Shoe, or the rattled nervous feet guy that makes mistakes. If the latter shows up, I think the Buckeyes are in really good shape, because the Penn St defense is not as deep as it has been, and they will get tired in the second half. If PSU can keep the ball moving, it could be a long night.



M Man's picture

Re: "borderline horse collar tackle..."
It sort of looked that way to me, too.  But I was distracted by, uh, other matters on Saturday.  There is a still image -- I think it is from the play that resulted in Braxton's injury -- that shows Purdue D-back Josh Johnson with a handful of jersey, and pretty clearly not a grasp on Braxton's shoulder pads:
That is a cropped photo, but I don't think that any more is needed to show how Braxton was pulled down.  (The full uncropped photo makes you wonder how Johnson didn't pull a hamstring on the play.)  This may be a case of the (tv) video playing tricks on us.  A rare instance in which a still photo is better than video.  If, that is, this is the injury play.  I think it is.

yrro's picture

I think that defines "borderline" - it's obviously *not* a horse collar, but it had exactly the same effect on Braxton as if it *were* a horse collar tackle. I don't think there should have been a flag, but it's still the best description I can think of for what happened to him.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. The tackle did not fit the definition of a horse collar infraction; thus, no flag.
Beyond the narrow definition of the rule, though, the tackle was just as punk ass as any official "horse collar" tackle. The penalty for this non-horse-tackle horse tackle will be taken out on Purdue's hyde in coming seasons. When the Buckeyes are blowing out Purdon't, Urbz will be calling for 50-yard bombs late into the 4Q and the Silver Bullets will be looking to get some "paybacks."   

MediBuck's picture

Indeed. I hope Coach Urbs is taking notes and will be running up the score next year in revenge against Indiana, Purdue, Cal, and all the other groundlings that dared stand up to his glorious, totalitarian Golden Reign.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Martan's picture

I may be wrong on this (someone please correct me if I am), but I was always under the impression that to be a "horse collar tackle" the defender did not necessarily have to grasp the shoulder pads, but the back of the jersey in the neck area was also protected.  I couldn't quickly find the exact wording, but I have seen some writings that the player has to be tackled immediatly following the grasping of jersey or shoulder pads, which could be why there was no penalty. (I admittedly have not rewatched or seen any video of the play since Saturday)

osu07asu10's picture

Yep, no horse collar, didn't think it was when it happened and that picture confirms it M.
Tough play, Braxton really fighting for yards and when you have a haus like that hauling you down its going to create a big impact. Also, for those that think the field turf is a soft, forgiving certainly is not.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

M Man's picture

UPDATE:  On video, there is an angle (no idea how to post .gif files here) that shows Johnson getting his right hand up into Braxton's shoulder pads and then, almost like a defender who doesn't want to get flagged for a facemask, drops his hand down to Miller's jersey and hauls him down.  They went stride for stride for a couple of steps while Johnson did that.
You can see what looks like an OSU G.A. gesturing for a call in that video.
btw; as of 2008, the NCAA rule would have called for a penalty if Johnson had hooked his hand inside the collar of Braxton's jersey (without actually grasping the shoulder pads).  But not a handful of jersey material on his back.
NCAA Rule 9, Section 1, Article 15:

Horse Collar Tackle
ARTICLE 15. All players are prohibited from grabbing the inside back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling the ball carrier down. This does not apply to a ball carrier, including a potential passer, who is inside the tackle box (Rule 2-34). Note that the tackle box disintegrates when the ball leaves it.

Poison nuts's picture

I thought it was a horse collar when I saw it. According to that Gif - it looks to me like he managed to get his hand wedged in the back part of the shoulder pad to get the leverage to pull him down like he did...and your right, he initially did have him by the collar & moved the hand down quickly.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

German Buckeye's picture

How is it that a 6'2, 220 lb man gets thrown down like a rag doll - Johnson isn't some 6'6 320 behemoth...I'm only a small 5'8 dude who cannot bench his own weight, but man, I don't get getting thrown down like this.

MediBuck's picture

Because Braxton is running straight forward at full speed and the DB basically pulls his legs out from under him with his entire body weight. In terms of momentum, it's the equivalent of being hit in the face and upper body with a 180lb weight going 20MPH.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Basso Profondo's picture

That's correct.  When one is stationary it may be difficult to take down somebody who weighs 220lbs.  However whenever someone is traveling at a high rate of speed they make a lot less contact with the ground and are much easier to disrupt and push around.

BuckeyeWags's picture

Kenny Guiton is THE CHAMPION for the Purdue game!!!

RBuck's picture

Meyer also said he's talked to Braxton about getting out of bounds; but, Braxton is very competitive.
Maybe Braxton is rethinking that.

Long live the southend.

lljjgg's picture

I've thought all along that it would be nice if Guiton could get a couple series per game. Not because I think we're better w/Braxton off the field (we're absolutely not), but I think it would help alleviate at least a few of the hits Braxton takes per game, and would likely help him stay a bit healthier into the future. Pryor is a good example of a player who was clobbered through Freshman and Sophmore year, and then by Junior year he was still an amazing athlete, but it was obvious that the hits had started taking a toll on him (less acceleration, less top-speed imo).

NYC Buckeye's picture

Wow, we didnt throw Kenny an offensive champion for yesterday?? I know this is based on certain criteria, and he probably didn't play enough, but I think it warrants an exception no????

otrain2416's picture

Feel real bad for Bogard especially with all he's been through

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

DarkBeer's picture

I'm certainly not gifted at analysis, but looking at the box scores for the last two games, we had no sacks against the opponent's offense.  None.  PU sacked Miller twice, IU three times.  Suggests to me we aren't winning the line play.  It also seems to my untrained eye that it still takes too long for Miller to go through his reads, which leaves him in a number of scramble positions.  Since he is a talented runner, some of those situations wind up as big gains, but I doubt many of those are the originally called play.  Conversely, both PU and IU QBs made quick passing decisions and weren't left scrambling to improvise.

MediBuck's picture

Well, the D-line isn't doing so great, but I think the fact that opposing O-lines don't fear our LB unit in the least is hurting our ability to get pressure on opposing QBs, especially when we don't blitz. In fact, most of the sacks have come when we brought a safety or CB.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

input4u's picture

I thought Hyde played well... picked up some good blocks and ran hard....  not sure how his positiion is graded....  Not quite 100 yards and 2 scores seemed pretty darn good....

J.Mo's picture

I'd like to see a spreadsheet of this year champions for each game... Any chance we can get that up here?