Quotebook: Buffalo

By Kyle Rowland on September 1, 2013 at 9:00a
More than 105,000 fans took in OSU's 40-20 win.

The expectation before head coach Urban Meyer walked into the postgame interview room was that he’d be harsh when retelling Ohio State’s 40-20 season-opening win over Buffalo. But Meyer showed satisfaction in his second-ranked Buckeyes’ victory.

The offense got off to a tremendous start, something he harped about earlier in the week. It was 23-0 before all 105,000 fans in attendance had even found their seat. The middle portions of the game left room for improvement, and that’s where Meyer left it. There was no sulking after Ohio State stretched its nation’s best win streak to 13 games.

The first order of business Saturday was coming together as a team with a toast of championship water. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Buckeyes did the same thing last season. Meyer said the toast at Michigan State was the turning point in the undefeated season.

“To honor and defend, we will fight to the end, for Ohio,” Meyer exclaimed to the crowd at Skull Session. “For our families, for this great university and more importantly, each other. The journey starts today. Let's get to be 1-0.”

It became obvious very early in the game that Ohio State would accomplish the goal for the day – becoming 1-0.

“I thought they came out of the chute fast,” Meyer said. “Pretty strong week. Two quick scores. First quarter was script. You can’t play much better than our guys did. We’re pushing the ball down the field, guys making plays.”

“The way we came out, I thought we were going to score 100,” running back Jordan Hall said.

The first three touchdown drives all took no more than eight plays. The longest time of possession was three minutes, 46 seconds. One would think the Silver Bullets would tire, especially on such a warm, humid day. Ryan Shazier, who missed time with cramps, said the short series are just fine with him.

“I don’t care how quick the offense scores,” he said. “They could score on one play every time. As long as they’re scoring, I’m all for that.”

No one was expecting the Buckeyes to use the swinging gate formation on their point-after attempts. It became clear Buffalo was included in that group, because Ohio State scored on two-point conversations after its first two touchdowns. They call it magic.

“It’s a pain in the rear end that you have to prepare for,” Meyer said. “Coach Warinner’s done a nice job with that. I think as many ways to get cheap points and make people work, it looked good today. Those guys did a nice job.”

The turning point of the game – when it went from blowout to serious game – was Khalil Mack’s interception return for a touchdown. Mack was a topic all week. Everyone knows he could be a first-round NFL draft pick. Still, Ohio State wasn’t able to neutralize him.

“They’ve got a kid that kicked our tails, that outside linebacker,” Meyer said. “He had a couple of sacks, pressures. I know he beat guys that I expect to play very well on our offensive line. So we’ve got to get that fixed. The good thing is we can. When you score 40 points and gain 460 yards or something like that and you’re disappointed, that’s a good sign. And the bad sign is we’ve got a long way to go.”

“That one I wish I could get back,” said Braxton Miller.

Miller was rolling early. At one point, it looked like he might not have an incomplete pass. He was 12 of his first 14 with two touchdown passes. The improvements were evident for all to see.

“It felt good,” Miller said. “I felt good about my fundamentals and how the guys were getting open. It’s a big improvement from last year.”

Hall had a career day. He finished with his most rushing yards in a game and tallied his longest run. All told, he rushed for 159 yards on 21 carries for two touchdowns. The scoring runs were 49 and 37 yards. The first touchdown run included a gaping hole in the defensive line that not even Hall could believe.

“I was like, ‘Wow,’” Hall said. “I didn’t know if [the Buffalo defense] messed up or the O-line did what they do. I saw [a hole], and I took it.”

Hall’s memorable performance came after a sleepless night at the Blackwell.

“I woke up every hour on the hour, and finally just stayed up at 5:30,” Hall said.

Buffalo was predicted to be one of the most improved teams in the country this season. It didn’t look like after the first quarter. But the Bulls actually won the battle on the scoreboard the last three quarters. Even in a losing effort, Buffalo left Ohio Stadium with plenty of positives to take going forward.

“I give a lot of credit to Ohio State for coming out and putting us down 23-0 early, but I was proud of the way our kids responded,” said Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn. “We were able to outscore them in the second, third and fourth quarters.”

“That’s part of leadership,” Mack said about remaining composed after the opening quarter. “You have to calm down and get your team together, especially when the other team has that kind of momentum.”

The biggest play of the game was an illegal hands to the face penalty against the Bulls. Trailing 30-20, Miller fumbled and the Bulls recovered on Ohio State’s doorstep at the 1-yard line. The penalty nullified the play, though.

“We knew we would fight until the end regardless of what happened, but I really think that would have changed the game,” Mack said. “That was a big blow, but we fought back.”

Meyer on Miller’s four sacks: “That’s unacceptable, completely unacceptable.”

Ohio State had issues with cramping. Three players – Shazier, Miller and Evan Spencer – all crumped to the field in pain. Meyer said the issue will be  addressed with the training staff. He also had his own assessment on the day.

“It was a hot mother out there,” he said.

Two things on the defense. Curtis Grant was not outstanding, but he took a step toward becoming the linebacker Ohio State wants and needs. He played by far the most snaps of his career, finishing with a team-high tying seven tackles.

“To be honest, I haven’t played a full game since my senior year in high school,” Grant said. “Right now, I’m really tired, but it felt great to get out there.”

A disappointment on the defense was Armani Reeves’ shaky performance. Filling in for Bradley Roby, Reeves was picked on by the Buffalo offense throughout the game. It didn’t help Reeves’ cause when he had several missed tackles. 

“Bradley will definitely make a difference,” defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said. “Not just with his play out there but with his confidence and that little bit of swagger he has. We’re excited to get him back. I know this was a hard day for him, and this was part of the growing process for all us.”


Comments Show All Comments

AJW_16's picture

Nice read. The biggest weakness I see on this team is how they completely take their foot off the gas (happened a lot last year) when they get a comfy lead. I know it's intangible, but in the 2nd quarter the entire team just seemed to stagnate and were flat the rest of the afternoon (sometime around Wilson's fumble). If we can keep a steady level of energy, we win that game 70-3. I wonder if the coaching staff has any thoughts on that.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

awlinBrutus's picture

that is troubling since our goal is extreme effort for 4-6 seconds. certainly did not see that yesterday.


awlinBrutus's picture

i gotta say the officials missed 2 pass interference's on reeves and grant. other than that they played pretty good. i missed the 1st qtr. momma wanted it, and i had to give it to her. with roby and barnet back this week i think we will see a improvement on D this week.


Baroclinicity's picture

momma wanted it, and i had to give it to her.

Well ok then...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

AJW_16's picture

Still laughing hysterically at this.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

awlinBrutus's picture

my point is  there are very few reasons to miss one play of buckeye football. i missed  a whole qtr for the mrs's.


gumtape's picture

Now you are just showing off. Of course that is an acceptable reason to miss part of the game. The thing is, a fifteen minute quarter takes 45 minutes. What did you do for the other forty minutes?

High and tight boo boo

BeijingBucks's picture

she wanted the garage painted most likely

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

buckeyedude's picture

 LOL. That's what i was thinking. Well, thanks to "momma," you missed the best qtr. for the Buckeyes.
We've waited about 9 months for kickoff. Couldn't she have waited until halftime? It's about 20 minutes long, so that should've given yous guys plenty of time. :D



awlinBrutus's picture

 i think she tests me to see if she is #1.  I don't have the heart to tell her she is #2 on Buckeye game day. Then again @ age 52, its never a good idea to pass up quality time with your mate,lol.if you know what i mean. especially when she says " pretend like you just got out of prison",LOL


captain obvious's picture

Did u give your extreme effort for 4-6 seconds to mama?

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Baroclinicity's picture

Solid gold, right there.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

AJW_16's picture

Hopefully you didn't cramp up like the Buckeyes yesterday either.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

Buckeye_Ryan's picture

I've been reading 11W for a while now, and this is the funniest thread of comments and replies that I can remember, lol. 

Born a Buckeye, raised a Buckeye, will die a Buckeye.

buckeyedude's picture

Right. Hopefully AWLINBRUTUS knew how to use fundamental techniques and "wrap momma up." Missed tackles in the bedroom will come back to bite you in the ass.



Earle's picture

Assuming that isn't already part of the deal...

Snarkies gonna snark. 

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

Let's hope he shot the wad for what was worth it

awlinBrutus's picture

like the song " I'm as good once as i ever was" lol


awlinBrutus's picture

i'm the "MinuteMan",lol


awlinBrutus's picture

yes i did, barely,lol


dan_isaacs's picture

Of the 18 or so first downs BUF had, reeves was directly responsible for 7 of them  (missed tackles or blown coverages)  He was the worst performer, and second place ain't close.

Dan Isaacs

THEBEAROSU's picture

You dont say.


Baroclinicity's picture

No one was expecting the Buckeyes to use the swinging gate formation

You learn something new everyday!

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Good to get the win and first game behind us.  Lots to improve on.  It will be interesting to see how much improvement there is from Buffalo to next week.  Normally there is quite a bit, so let's hope so.  Overall they played pretty good.  The D is young so it was good to see them challenged a bit.  They will need to come together and harden if this is to become a championship caliber team.  Still a long way to go, but I think they are on track and can do it!
Go Bucks!!

dubjayfootball90's picture

I am very pleased with C. Grants performance. I know he can get so much better, but it is great to see he is doing work. Also real happy for Tanner, man. First career INT is great. Also, Happy for Ball and Elliot. First career College carries ended up in positive rushes. Great way to start and awesome start to build on.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

LouGroza's picture

Thought he did well too DJ. Tied with Shazier for tackles for the game. He said it was his first full game since high school. So many first time starters. No one comes out perfect in the first game.

MusicBuck's picture

I am definitely with you on Curtis Grant. I thought he looked pretty good through out the day.

Eine kleine nacht musik.

buckeyedude's picture

When I first saw #28 take the field, I had Beanie flashbacks. Ball is built quite a bit like him.



Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Good to see Jordan Hall give credit to the O-line. Smart move by a running back

NitroBuck's picture

That's a 5th year senior for ya.

Ferio.  Tego.

KingsRite's picture

The two glaring issues appear to be weakness on the edges of the OL and the short pass game protection. I would like to see more bump and run with man to man on the receivers. It appears there is a lack of confidence from the coaches on our guys handling the short passing game. We had this exact same problem early last year as well and poor tackling from time to time. I believe they will get it figured out after some growing pains. Dontre sure looked good! He fumbled but look how he chased down Mack and gave full effort to try to push him out of bounds. I'm a little dissapointed today because I think my expectations were probably a little too high. Back down to earth now and looking forward to seeing improvement next week.

“I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” -Urban Meyer-

AJW_16's picture

The OL was in beast mode until Lindsey came out. We'll be fine if we can stay healthy, but god forbid there is an injury we need to make sure the guys behind the starters are ready.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

buckeyedude's picture

I personally would like to see more screen passes from Braxton to our wideouts, to help "spread the field."  Let the speedy guys make plays in space. I thought that was the whole goal of this offense?
Does UFM and Herman not have confidence in Braxton throwing screens?



will0327's picture

You see how Alabama looked .....everyone can improve 


Nutinpa's picture

Bama played VA TECH.   We played Buffalo and are now trying to convince ourselves that they are an "under-rated" team.   Kind of like last year when we said that Zac Dysert would be the best passing QB we would face....and that UAB was really "a lot better than peeps think", etc.
Yes, we ran the table last year and I hope we do this year too, but I now really have my doubts.
Maybe Meyer is feeling pretty good about himself and the team, but you better believe there are some pissed off players and parents over never seeing the field....kids like Dunn and Ball (only a few snaps) who are now after-thoughts with the addition of the new frosh.  These kids have been "the man" since the 9th grade.  I hope the Buckeyes empty the bench at least twice in September or there will be some grouchy feelings in the WHAC.  We'd be naive to think otherwise -- which makes me wonder if anyone had the ba**s to ask Meyer why Miller took the final snaps of the game when it was clearly in hand.  Guiton couldn't take a snap?  Cardale Jones either?  C'mon. 
Yes, a win is a win and this was a good one....but not a complete one.  Let's not get carried away with how "under-rated" Buffalo is.  I don't expect them to be anything more than a second tier MAC team, well below BG, Ohio U and Northern I.

buckeyedude's picture

Great post, NUTINPA. I wouldn't be surprised if one or maybe even two RBs transfer after this year if they don't give these other guys more touches in the next couple of games before Hyde comes back. I still can't figure why Dunn didn't get any carries.
I agree also on your comment on Kenny G. The dude came in when Braxton cramped(and the offense was struggling), and threw a TD. He should've just finished the game, IMHO, and with all due respect to our coaching staff.



ScarletGray43157's picture

Agreed on Kenny G.  He should have finished the game and definitely the series that he came in for Braxton.  OSU could win with Kenny G at QB if necessary.  Having an experienced backup QB is a huge plus.  He is starting-QB quality, and OSU is blessed that he did not transfer.  QB is the one position that true depth is hard to establish, but for this season for sure OSU is 2-deep at QB.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

cplunk's picture

Did you watch any of Va Tech last year? They were awful. They went 7-6, lost to an FCS team, and three of their wins were just barely wins in overtime. Top that off with multiple starters being injured or suspended.
Buffalo is not a great team, but don't overrate Bama based on the name they played.

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah I can see Dunn and maybe Ball transferring after the season...

The Butler's picture

Yep, I was worried before I watched 'Bama too. Not comparing VT to Buffalo, because outside of Mack at LB, there is none. My thought was that I watched parts of two Alabama games last year - Michigan & ND - and they do not appear to be near the team they were last year. I am sure that Saban will get them there, but so will Meyer. 

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.


will0327's picture

With Roby back expect that press coverage to come ...which will allow Spence & Washington to get to the QB.....they didnt trust Reeves enough to press 


ScarletGray43157's picture

Final could have easily been 40-27 or even closer if the fumble had not been reversed.  Defense needs continuous improvement.  There are some good signs though; tackling was decent but needs to get better.  I think we can score on anyone we will play; offense puts people in the seats but defense wins championships.

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

RoyWalley's picture

I give a lot of credit to Ohio State for coming out and putting us down 23-0 early, but I was proud of the way our kids responded,” said Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn. “We were able to outscore them in the second, third and fourth quarters.”
Coach:  Go back and look at the facts before talking:
BUFF          0   13  7 0     20
OSU         23   7   7  3     40
You won the 2nd Qtr and tied the 3rd

Killer nuts's picture

I think he meant they our scored us in quarters 2 through 4 combined. 20-17

Northbrook's picture

It is the kind of stat you seek when you get beat.

THEBEAROSU's picture

I  have not seen the spread the field type of offense expected. Braxton got sacked 4 times. He didn't scramble good at all. Could not run up the middle. Short pass game was not there. Missed tackles were a problem. Lack of a pass rush. I hope there is improvement with each game like last year. Go Bucks.  


cplunk's picture

Almost all the missed ttackles I saw were Armani Reeves. Didn't see anybody else miss one. Am I wrong? 

THE_JUICE's picture

No, you're not wrong.  Roby will be back and Reeves will return to his role as a back up. 
The good thing for Armani Reeves is that he can continue to learn from the (many) mistakes of today with less pressure and prepare himself better.

Buckeye06's picture

A lot of people still sipping on haterade here today.
We didn't play press coverage because we didn't have to.  We knew the only way Buffalo would score a lot of points was broken coverages.  Would you rather have 8 yard gains or 80 yard gains on blown plays? 
Grant looked good yesterday, and so did the D overall.  Reeves was overmatched by a guy who looked to be pretty good, and has good size.  Give credit to some kids playing hard for the other team too
Guiton got snaps in the middle of the game when Braxton went out.  I don't give a crap if Dunn and Ball aren't happy about how many carries they got.  You earn carries, and Hall averaged almost 8 a carry so why would you take him out?  When Wilson got a carry, he fumbled.  The only guys who will likely be carrying the ball later in the year are Smith/Hyde/Hall.  Dunn and Ball can have their chance when Hyde and Hall leave after this year.
It was a lot more dominating than people are making it seem.  OSU could have scored more points but had no need beginning in the 3rd, except to make you guys happy

SPreston2001's picture

Naw the coaching staff is very high on Wilson and he will continue to get more carries throughout the year. Dude is a true game changer...

Nutinpa's picture

Glass half full.....your post. 
Glass half-empty....not "haterade"....just another point of view:
This game...vs. Buffalo......was no more than 3 plays away from possibly being an OT game.
Think not?  Take away the "hands to the face" penalty and Buffalo recovers on the 1.  Assume they score a TD.   What if the Buffalo had kicked a FG instead of going for a TD when they did?
Tie game.  It's not so far fetched.  Yes, I know that if my aunt had ba**s, she'd be my uncle.  Still does not take away how close this game actually turned out to be.....or at the very least, could have been.   Against....Buffalo.   A win is a win, yes.  The D is the weak link on this team, but the Offense showed it's no juggernaut as of yet.   Three years ago, this website and Bucknuts would have been excoriating Tress and Bollman for not scoring 50 points against these guys.  So far, the Herman...  our "genius mensa" is getting a long leash. 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Take away the 'hands to the face' penalty and there's no fumble.
If we're going to start playing the hypothetical game let's at least be honest about it.

MN Buckeye's picture

I was glad to see so many freshmen playing, many doing well.

Nutinpa's picture

On Defense, yes.
On offense:  Tell that to Brionte Dunn, Warren Ball, and Michael Thomas. 

BuckeyeNathan4's picture

Why didnt Mitchell get any snaps at LB????