Debriefing: Penn State

By Jeff Beck on October 28, 2012 at 9:00a

This team is 9-0 and you're considering naming your child Braxton. Let's do this. It's your Penn State Debriefing.

Water Cooler Prep (Everything You Need to Know…in More Than One Paragraph)

The first quarter in a nutshell: two missed home runs by both teams, and a couple missed pick-sixes by Penn State as the Nittany Lions continued their season-long streak of giving up zero points in the first quarter.

Heading into the second…PUNT PUNT PUNT before McGloin hit Allen Robinson for 37 yards. The Penn State offense then stalled in Buckeye territory and with no faith whatsoever in their kicking game, PSU went for it on 4th and 12 from the OSU 25 and came up empty.

Later, with roughly 7 minutes to play in the second quarter, Ben Buchanan had his third punt of the season blocked, which Penn State promptly recovered for a TD, putting them up 7-0.

On the ensuing drive, Braxton and company put together an impressive 75-yard drive for a score finished off by a Carlos Hyde punch in for a TD to make it 7-7. That’s where it stood heading into the locker room at the half.

Starting things off right in the beginning of the third, Ryan Shazier (wearing #48 in honor of a HS friend who passed away) bull-rushed McMoxie on a sack, then followed that play up with a pick-six to put the Buckeyes up 14-7.

Penn State followed that drive up with a Sam Ficken 27-yard FG making it 14-10.

A poorly thrown Braxton Miller interception gave the bad guys the ball at the OSU 44. But the Buckeye defense held.

IslandThe "Don't Throw It My Way" face.

Then Braxton went off. Scoring two touchdowns in less than three minutes to put the Buckeyes up 28-10.

A long drive by Penn State ended in six but a failed two-point conversion kept it at 28-16.

Braxton answered almost immediately with a 72-yard strike to Jake Stoneburner making it 35-16. Happy Valley was unhappy and you were the opposite.

Penn State scored late, but a recovered onside kick put the game away. 9-0 feels good.

Heard at the Tailgate (The talk Before the Game)

Guy One: “How is Matt McGloin a good quarterback now?”
Guy Two: “Bill O’Brien, bro. McMoxie scares me a little.”

“First sell-out in 2012 for Penn State. Gotta quiet that crowd early”

“This one could have a bowl-game atmosphere. The two best teams in the Big Ten going at it.”

“Do you think Braxton will be wearing his snakeskin undershirt?”

Heard at the Afterparty (The Deets at the End of the Game)

“This team is 9-0. God Bless America.”

“The defense stepped up tonight. Can’t believe the effort I saw out there.”

“Bradley Roby folks. See ya in the NFL, kid.”

Give That Man a Buckeye Leaf (Player of the Game)

Bradley Roby is headed towards an All-American nod and eventually will be playing on Sundays. The dude had an unbelievable game, largely shutting down PSU WR Allen Robinson in the 2nd half, particularly on an amazing pass break-up in the endzone.

Just listen to former Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins:

Weekly Snot Knocker

Devin Smith smacked himself out of the game briefly with a big hit on punt returner Jesse Della Valle in the first quarter (he was a beast on special teams all game). Urban Meyer is dancing with the devil on personnel decisions like this, but I’m down with it if these are the kinds of results we're going to see.

Did You See That?! (Play(s) of the Game)

What does this kid eat for breakfast? The game had to be stopped to collect ankle bones.




AND WE HAVE A JAKE STONEBURNER SIGHTING!!! On a 3rd and 4, Braxton Miller put the ball in the only place he could. Stoney took it untouched for a 72-yard reception, and you hand slapped your friends in ecstasy.



When You Sank into Your Chair (The Moment Buckeye Football Disgraced Your Family)

Cue Ben Buchanan one-liners:

Ben Buchanan. It took me less time to understand Inception than it did for you to get a punt off.

Ben Buchanan. My dial-up Internet had me surfing the World Wide Web faster than you got a punt off.

Ben Buchanan. I once had a slow-cooker that…..ahhh you get the point.



Jim Tressel’s Least Favorite Moment of the Game

While flipping through his “Historic Railroads and Covered Bridges of 1957” coffee table hardcover, JT looked up to see Ben Buchanan’s punt blocked for a TD. He threw on his double-twill duck hunting sweater to combat the familiar mild-chill they used to call “The Tressel’s” during the entire 2002 season.

What You Texted Your Friend at the End of Each Quarter

First Quarter: You get a punt. And you get a punt!
Second Quarter: Braxton needs to take off the snakeskin undershirt and start balling like the Braxton of old.
Third Quarter: Do you know where I can find a snakeskin undershirt? #BraxOnBraxOnBrax
Fourth Quarter: This team is really fun to watch. Can you believe this?

It Was Over When

Braxton Miller hit No. 11 for a 72-yard TD, silencing the 106k+ crowd and making 12-0 less a possibility and more a reality.

Bonus Stat

Bet you didn’t know this:

Braxton Miller became the third different Big Ten QB and the first OSU QB to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. IU’s Antwaan Randle El & UM's Denard Robinson (2x) are the other two.

This has been your Penn State Debriefing…end transmission.


Comments Show All Comments

cplunk's picture

In Ben's defense, all those punt blocks have been piss poor blocking schemes. Guys are flying through the line like they're running their 40's at the combine. Not sure even The Flash could punt fast enough.

KenK's picture

Good point. What exactly was Boren seeing to make him "block" to the outside rather than stay home and block someone coming up the middle? Ben had no chance on that one.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

jestertcf's picture

There were missed blocks yes, but I counted at least five steps.
You have to be quicker against the goal line.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

LouBuck35's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the undershirt isnt snake skin..its the tree bark, Buckeye Grove pattern from last year's pro combat uni. I'm not fashion police, but just making sure XBrax isn't misunderstood.


I want a fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium..

poop's picture

Since we're talking fashion, I actually like the black shoes better than the red/gray ones. Reminded me of Teddy Ballgame leaving vapor trails for our opponents to follow.

Northbrook's picture

It is Buckeye tree bark.

BuckeyeChris's picture

I admit when I am wrong. I was wrong. I did not have a good feeling about last night. Great win! Hats off to the D! 
Also... that might be as close as PSU comes to beating OSU for the next 6 years. 

buckeyedude's picture

I was thinking the same thing Chris. This was the first time on the road in Happy Valley against PSU for Meyer. And say what you want about PSU(scandal, douche bag fans, etc.), but they are always very loud. That is the only thing I'll give them credit for. I bet they're all hoarse today. ***Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!!***
Almost the entire first half when Braxton was changing plays at the line of scrimmage, I'm sure you noticed how he had to go to every individual lineman and scream the call to him. I'm really surprised we didn't get any delay of game flags. If we did, I dont' remember it. Came close a couple of times.
It's going to be nice to be able to relax for the next two weeks.



iball's picture

I really think OBrian is a hell of a coach. To play that well with the personnell they have speaks to that. Thank God for the sanctions or else PSU could be trouble in the near future.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

CALPOPPY's picture

Not getting delay of game calls is another benefit of the no-huddle. We were at the huddle so far ahead of time that we had the time for Miller to make those changes. I was surprised to see, after Miller had already been to the line and back, that we still had 10 secs on a couple of occasions. 

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Geraffi's picture

PSI still has a pretty good D. Ranked 22 overall before the game yesterday. Shower some good team speed on some early screens. Our hurry-up, no huddle offense is how we took control of the game. 

kevinfrenchfry's picture

out of all of the things i love about 11w, the least favorite tressel moment specifically is the greatest thing of all time

LouBuck35's picture

I, as well, love Tress' least favorite moment of the game.  Sadly, I can picture him having a coffee table boom of bridges and railroads and it doesn't seem strange at all.
Defense really stepped up and played a lot better last night and I'm happy about that.  Still room to's hoping most who are able to come back next year will do so for a run at the MNC

I want a fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium..

Poison nuts's picture

My favorite part of the game - the sad, dejected, pathetic, defeated look on the faces of those fans after the Stoneburner TD. I'm sorry to generalize, but I hate PSU fans & took quite a bit of pleasure in their pain.

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

btalbert25's picture

That was pretty awesome.  There were a lot of great moments.  Braxton's TD run was an amazing play.  The pass to Stoney sealed was the nail in the coffin though.  Probably my favorite sequence, it's when I knew the game would go our way, was the sack then pick 6 on back to back plays by Shazier.  That kid is going to be a great one!

btalbert25's picture

That TD run was probably the best 1 yard run I've ever seen. 

Poison nuts's picture

Yeah - that was amazing. Pure instinct. Kid's a magician!

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

LouGroza's picture

Yeah BT, that's what I was thinking. Can't think of a better one, that's for sure.

Chise47's picture

Is it just me, or is anyone else P****d that at 9-0, Our Buckeyes were an after thought on College Scoreboard Final? Hell, the whole B1G was for that matter.
Can't wait to go undefeated & see what is said/wrote. Because next year.......

LouBuck35's picture

I don't blame them.  At this point, we are unranked in ESPN's eyes since they now base everything off the BCS.  Most major media types probably aren't envisioning a split national title.  We just have to ride this year out and take care of scUM.  They won't have the opportunity to put us on the back page next year.

I want a fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium..

BuckeyeFanInBoulder's picture

Rece Davis took the time to mention 9-0 with extra emphasis.  I have to believe that even with next week's opponent they will make the weekly highlight hour.  They will have no choice but to mention the only 10-0 team in the country is OSU.  The B1G is an afterthought on that show because this week there will probably be zero ranked B1G teams in the BCS top 25.

chaoscrusader's picture

In this instance, it was a blown block. In this instance, Stoneburner double teamed a man on his left. But I disagree concerning how Ben could help, he is taking too long and is too delibrate in his steps. This affects coverageas well. He has had  blocks where the opposing team can almost catch the drop. He is too easy of a target for opposing teams.

chaoscrusader's picture

Punt Block: It looks like No. 5 slid left to pick what appeared to be a missed block to the left of him. Unfortunately, that guy literally falls in to him. With Stoneburner double teaming, the unblocked guy runs by him & No 5 on their right. It looks like the line needs to choose asignments in the pre-snap to eliminate confusion. Adding to the pile of mistakes, the snap causes the ball and punter to drift right.

Scott K's picture

I agree.  This spread - zone blocking punt formation needs to go...

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

Scott K's picture

Also, for me, the best part of watching the game was listening to how quiet it got each time after we could hear a pin drop....and that was a loud stadium.

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

TheShadow's picture

If special teams is a priority of UMs than I must say after 3 blocked punts and a failed fake punt this year, all of which featured guys missing blocks or not holding them long enough, than the lack of performance by the punt team falls squarely on Meyer and the players in front of Buchanan! Ben is a very talented punter who has steadily gotten better throughout his career as a Buckeye. What I don't remember seeing during the Tressell era is this many breakdowns on punt blocking in the course of a season. Maybe some of those players are "green" but Ben sure isn't! Look at the clips of each block this year AND the failed fake punt Ben ran and barely missed (personally, I think he rolled over the player and actually made the first down or got darn close) but I also saw a defender come from the back side barely being blocked and getting to Ben for the stop. Ben is not at all at fault as much as as some of you want to make him out to be. I have to say whoever is coaching isn't getting through teaching the players up front how to handle keeping defenders out of range of the punter. Heck even in the Sugar Bowl Ben's block was due to our line going low. Petrino saw the tendency and to his credit took advantage of it. Ben isn't slow. His blocking has been inconsistant and the coaches havn't fixed it.

onetwentyeight's picture

not assigning blame to either Urban or Ben quite yet, but someone pointed out on the LiveBlog (or was it the Twitters?...) that his cadence hasn't been the same since that Sugar Bowl and I think there's something to that. But I also know like Zero Actual Facts about punting in general. SO. 

chaoscrusader's picture

Nobody is blaming Buchanan, but he is adding to the problem. All you have to do is time him from the point he receives the ball to the point he the ball leaves his foot. A half to full second of extra time just adds to the problem. If you read my post, I identified Stoneburner missing the block when double teamed to the inside.

baddogmaine's picture

Penn State scored late, but a recovered onside kick put the game away. 9-0 feels good.

True that. But our coverage was strictly Indiana-game high school quality. We nearly lost that one exactly the same way we lost the IN on-sides kick. On-side kicks can take unexpected bounces but well-prepared teams do not look as flustered as we did. As with our punt blocking if covering on-side kicks is Meyer's own turf then he is not doing an adequate job!

Poison nuts's picture

Aside from the blocked punt, which almost could have been expect considering where the ball was, I thought special teams played very well. 

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

Northbrook's picture

Love the "Don't throw my way" face.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Another great debriefing Jeff, good job!
"The game has to be stopped to collect ankle bones." So, true!

AngryWoody's picture

I'm reading this in my snakeskin undershirt and boxers.

Our Honor Defend!

Jdadams01's picture

Re: the punt team. It doesnt matter how fast Buchanan gets the punt off when a man comes unblocked up the middle.

chaoscrusader's picture

Re: I am not disagreeing and noted such in my previous posts. But look at the situation holistically, there are formation issues, blocking assignment issues, and timing issues that are contributing to the same bad result.

hail2victors9's picture

Not one reference to the ridicuolous holding call on the punt that transferred the breath from the fans in the stadium to the Buckeyes.  That turned the tide in a big way.  I'm not trying to say that's why OSU won, but it was a huge shift in the game worth mentioning.
However, that may have only been the second worst crew calling a game in the conference on Saturday.  Two questionable "leading" calls and a phantom pass interference call against Nebraska and a Late hit out of bounds call when Martinez was held up on his feet by the Michigan defenders and a phantom PI.  Nebraska was hit with 45 yards worth of penalties on one drive to put Michigan in FG Range. 
The refs are a joke.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

stantmann's picture

Dude, PSU was losing by 3 scores with a minute left in the game. PSU had 34 yards rushing. Do you really think what you say is a bad call would make PSU get more rushing yards in the game? Do you think it would make them run better routes, tackle harder, block harder and give mcgloin more time to throw? What about Braxton, would he magically turn slower, and juke less? PSU lost to a team that was vastly bigger, stronger and faster. Good luck to PSU players over the next few years, but not to the obnoxious fans...