Quotebook: Northwestern

By Kyle Rowland on October 6, 2013 at 9:00a
27 Comments

EVANSTON, Ill. – Urban Meyer said last week’s game against Wisconsin would be a classic. He was off by one week. Ohio State and Northwestern played what in all likelihood could be the game of the Big Ten season on Saturday night in Evanston.

It had the feel of a heavyweight fight, with each team responding to the other’s punches until the Buckeyes delivered the knockout. The 40-30 triumph makes Ohio State bowl eligible, but more significantly, it puts them in favorable position to advance to the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. Yes, even with half a season left.

The Buckeyes’ win showed that even when they have an off night, it remains challenging to beat them. Ohio State had three turnovers, the defense was shaky most of the game and Braxton Miller was far from his best. But it didn’t matter. When it needed a stop, the defense rose up. When they needed a game-winning drive, Miller had zero problems marching the Buckeyes down the field.

“What a football game,” Urban Meyer said.

The star of the game was running back Carlos Hyde, who simply overpowered the Northwestern defense. He finished with a career-high 168 rushing yards – 206 all-purpose yards – and three touchdowns.

“This is the Carlos Hyde game,” Meyer added.

Following the game, Hyde was overcome with emotion when talking about how important it was to have such a big night and put his three-game suspension in the rearview mirror.

“That suspension, it really hurt not being out there with my brothers because I made a mistake.”

At halftime, Ohio State trailed by a touchdown. It was a sloppy half of football for the Buckeyes, who giftwrapped a touchdown for Northwestern when Miller deep in his own territory. They were also stuffed twice inside the red zone and forced to kick field goals.

“I went in the locker room and told the offense that’s unacceptable,” Hyde said. “That’s not us. We score points. We don’t kick field goals.”

On their own 30 in the first half, the Buckeyes attempted a fake punt that didn’t come close to working. It was a peculiar decision by Meyer and reeked of desperation.

“The head coach and the offense really put the defense in some bad positions,” Meyer said. “We went for a fake punt. I felt like we needed to swing the momentum at the end of the first half. I thought we were having trouble stopping them. That was an error by me.”

At the same time, though, Meyer didn’t back down. The assertiveness will remain.

“We’re going to run a fake punt again. I tell our players that all the time. We’re an aggressive team. We do what we got to do to go win games.”

Meyer was pleased with the amount of toughness Ohio State played. One thing lost in the game is how good Northwestern is. Sure, the Buckeyes had some sloppy moments and there are things to build off of. But credit to the Wildcats and the team that won a road game at night in a hostile environment against a quality opponent.

“Anytime you go on a 12-round, 15-round fight with someone and you come out the other end it just builds toughness and we're a tough team. We toughed out a win.”

The biggest play of the game – and Ohio State’s season so far – was the 4th and 1 play in the final few minutes of the game. Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter fumbled the snap and then stumbled, which gave the OSU defense an advantage.

“Obviously the center-quarterback exchange wasn't perfect,” he said. “I guess everything was hectic. I tried to pick it up and get as many yards as I could. I thought I got at least a yard or whatever it was. I didn’t see the replay and can’t really tell you that.”

Defensive lineman Tyler Scott admitted Braxton Miller may have had an off night, but the quarterback was still solid and came up big when needed.

“He was still a dynamic athlete. That’s what we saw on film. He made some big plays, he coughed it up a couple times which led to our turnovers. We just needed to make a couple more plays down the stretch on him and on Hyde and it would have been a different outcome. But they’re a good team and they’re a good offense and they came to play.”

This sums up the mood of the Ohio State locker room: 

“It was one of the best nights of my life,” said defensive lineman Joey Bosa.

27 Comments

Comments

jvd253's picture

Thanks.  Looks pretty finished to me.  

"A guy from Ohio can make it in life if he works hard enough." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

bigbill992001's picture

Lets give a little love to Johnston, too.   He had 3 punts, zero return yds., and all 3 downed inside the 20.   We've come to expect it?

cal3713's picture

+1.   He's emerging as 0ne of the key weapons this year...

niblick's picture

Joey Bosa......my god that kid is gonna be UNREAL

cal3713's picture

No doubt.  He should always be on the field at this point.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Bosa is turning into a man among boys, as a freshman...

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

741's picture

Cam Heyward came in as a true freshman and made an impact immediately, but I am thinking Bosa might end up being even better.

ChazBuckeye's picture

He's a BEAST and I'm SO glad he's a Buckeye!

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Any update on Washington? I don't think I saw him in there in the 2nd half. 

GoBucks10's picture

The sec whining about poor refs and bad spots is happening again...sigh.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

There's still time for things to shake out differently, but we saw the two best teams in the conference last night in Evanston.

My hats off to Northwestern, they came to play.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

GoBucksOrDie's picture

Agreed

Interesting signature line

unknownmusketeer's picture

B1G CG rematch with Northwestern?

bucksfan92's picture

They certainly look to be the best team in that division, but MSU and Nebraska are probably not far behind. I expect to meet one of those 3 in the CCG. If I had to bet right now I'd go with MSU

ScarletGray43157's picture

NU is an above average offense, and at best average on defense.  The O-line and Hyde cut through them like a hot knife through butter.  Any team than can't stop the run is going to have to outscore their opponent to win, and that is not usually a formula for success against a good team.  
Yes, it was a good win especially on the road in sloppy conditions.  Yes, there are way better potential opponents out there as well.  

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

Buckeye1996's picture

Anyone notice how long Bosa's arms are, and how he uses them effectively to get off blocks? He has size and burst too, but his ability to get off blocks at this stage in his career is amazing. He is going to be a great one. I hate the comparison game, but his play is similar to JJ Watt.

bucksfan92's picture

I have a hard time believing the "hostile environment" comment, unless that's a reference to the grass on that field which was at least 6 inches tall. 

MN Buckeye's picture

Bosa is playing like an experienced junior; he is standing out as one of the top freshmen, and emerging as one of the best players on the team, week after week.
I think this was Hyde's most impressive game yet. He took and gave a ton of tough hits, and the O-line performed very well.

Buckabroad's picture

We always knew Bosa was strong and quick, but the awareness and sly moves he showed (like when he shoved his arm between a double-team at just the right moment to force NU's QB to the dirt) was awe-inspiring. Absolutely incredible, and I don't think we have seen his full potential by a long shot.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Firmthyfriendship's picture

I thought we would win by no fewer than 10 points. I didn't figure I would suffer an aneurysm nor would we need an epic meltdown to get 6 of those points. Good show! The record books will never show how close that game was. Was anyone else besides me and my wife telling Kirk and Brett to shut up, when we still had to punt it away and they both were like "the 6-0 Buckeyes...etc." I know Urban would have been LOL. He took two timeouts to consider that last punt!

pjtobin's picture

I was pissed at a few plays. Worried until Bosa recovered the fumble. And overall glad we got a "ugly" win, instead of a "pretty" loss. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Well put PJTOBIN, felt the same way exactly.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

ScarletNGrey01's picture

"This is the Carlos Hyde game" sums it up pretty nicely.  He demonstrated toughness, passion, heart, explosiveness and savvy (reaching over and breaking the plane before he went down was a really heads-up and veteran move).

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Stinson's picture

"We're going to run a fake punt again."

Me likey.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

chibucks's picture

if only we'd get a couple better blocks.  cameron definitely has the speed to be able to do something - almost andy groom-isque.  :)

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Johnston and Bosa impact freshmen?!?  Who would have thought that with all of the other blue chippers?!?  Awesomeness!

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.