In Need of a Statement Win, Ohio State Delivers

By Kyle Rowland on October 28, 2013 at 9:15a
All Chris Fields does is scores touchdowns.

Midway through the third quarter Saturday night, Braxton Miller stood on the Ohio State sideline with a sheepish grin adorned to his face. His work was already done and fan-favorite Kenny Guiton stood in the Buckeye backfield barking out signals.

In just over 35 minutes of play, Miller guided Ohio State to a touchdown on seven of nine possessions and a 49-7 advantage over Penn State. One week after Urban Meyer gave a State of the Union speech to his team, the men in Scarlet and Gray served notice to the rest of the country that they should not be ignored.

Style points may not have been the main objective for the Buckeyes, but with one more year of an antiquated system that calls for sexy stats, they flashed their supermodel good looks.

“It helps,” said Meyer, about the impact a blowout can have on poll voters. “That was not certainly our mindset. Our mindset was to find a way to win this game against a very talented team that we have a lot of respect for that had a lot of momentum coming into this game. Things usually work out.”

On a day when the top 3 – Alabama, Oregon and Florida State – all imposed their will on overmatched opponents, the fourth-ranked Buckeyes were in lockstep, dismantling Penn State 63-14. The primetime viewing spot gave voters ample time and opportunity to see just what Ohio State can produce when clicking on all cylinders.

“We have to keep our foot on the pedal,” Miller said. “We had all day to watch ESPN, and you can’t go out there and predict what’s going to happen. But it turned out real well.”

Penn State had 11 offensive and defensive players on the field all game, but it needed 12 or 13 to match the Buckeyes’ penchant for explosive plays. And it the latter stages of the game, there was no let up. Armed with a 56-7 lead late in the third quarter, Ohio State – Meyer – challenged a spot on a Penn State first down. The Buckeyes won the challenge much to the delight of the fourth-largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history.

That series of events may have led to the terse mid-field exchange between Meyer and Bill O’Brien 15 minutes later. O’Brien was already one step toward the locker room as he extended his arm to shake hands with Meyer.

“We’ll remember some things,” O’Brien said.

So will those in the Midwest and around the nation. Head coaches and defensive coordinators from Piscataway to Lincoln must have been left trembling, realizing these are the Buckeyes they must deal with for the foreseeable future. The Big Ten championship goes through Columbus.

Many across the college football landscape, including a legion of Buckeye fans, believed that type of offensive performance would be the norm when Meyer came aboard to rescue the Ohio State football program. But time and again, the Buckeyes delivered erratic execution, albeit during a 19-game win streak.

Win No. 20 represented a watershed moment in the Meyer era.

“This was definitely a statement win. That’s the attitude we carried into this game,” cornerback Bradley Roby. “We were going to make a statement in primetime, when everyone was watching. And we did, and I’m glad we did.”

Not since the 2010 Sugar Bowl had a Meyer-coached team been so dominant over 60 minutes. In that game, it was quarterback Tim Tebow who stuffed the stat sheet full of superlatives. On Saturday, it was Miller time.

He didn’t play two and a half quarters, but Miller still completed 18 of 24 passes for a career-high 252 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores and 68 yards. It’s the first time Miller has thrown for and rushed for multiple touchdowns in a game.

“I felt like he was an athlete playing quarterback a year ago. I feel like he’s a quarterback that’s a really good athlete now.”

In the past two games, Miller has completed nearly 80 percent of his passes for 474 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and 170 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

“I just love where Braxton’s at right now,” Meyer said. “I love the fact that he’s acting like a quarterback. I’m not disrespecting Braxton, you guys know I love that guy. But I felt like he was an athlete playing quarterback a year ago. I feel like he’s a quarterback that’s a really good athlete now. Braxton comes in on his own and says, ‘Coach [Herman], can we spend more time together?’ That’s a sign of a quarterback.”

Carlos Hyde was every bit as impressive, tallying 147 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. He has 590 yards and seven touchdowns in just five games this season, gaining at least 140 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games.

The final details were gory – Ohio State tallied 686 yards of offense, the most Penn State has ever surrendered. A whopping 408 yards came on the ground. It’s the highest rushing total for the Buckeyes since they had 456 against Northwestern in 1989.

Those numbers are more likely to be seen in an Oregon, Florida State or Baylor game. Had Ohio State played with this much gusto all season, it would likely still be ranked second in the polls. But the Buckeyes are No. 4 in the BCS, though they closed the gap on the Seminoles and Ducks. 

“All our preparation ties into what we’re all doing. That’s how it should be,” Miller said. Guys played hard throughout the whole game and we didn’t miss a beat when all the second-team guys came in, either.”

Win streaks of 20 games are rare. Even more rare is a team winning 20 in a row and being ranked below No. 1 or 2. Ohio State has dealt with that and continued disparagement from the national media. For at least one night, the doubting ceased to exist.

A plethora of unanswered questions that have been asked of the oft-slighted Buckeyes dating back to last season finally got responses. Overpower teams on offense? Check. Defend the pass? Check. Every i was dotted and t’s were crossed.

Complacency has been Meyer’s biggest fear. Last week’s uneven outing against Iowa had some thinking that the dreaded “C” word had filtered into the Ohio State locker room after 19 straight wins. Those thoughts dissipated, though, after the Buckeyes’ quick-strike offense and suffocating defense dazzled under the lights.

Said Dontre Wilson: “If we play like this, nobody can beat us.”


[Photo: Kirk Irwin Photography]


Comments Show All Comments

stittracer99's picture

If we play like this, nobody can beat us

I was unsure if we could hang with an Alabama, Oregon, or FSU prior to Saturday night, mostly because we hadn't seen this type of performance. But I agree 100% with what Mr Wilson said. Keep the foot on the gas and we might just very well get a chance to prove it.

Buckeye1996's picture

“We’ll remember some things,” O’Brien said.
C'mon BOB. You got your butt kicked, and couldn't stop us even when we shut it down.
Who wouldn't challenge that spot? Whether you are up, tied, or down? As a head coach, you ask the players to give it there all whether they are starters or back ups. Why wouldn't the same be expected to the coach? Do you think Meyer should have let that go? I say heck no. 

Doc's picture

My thoughts exactly.  In the stands we were saying the same things.  He is getting paid a lot of money to coach this team.  He is paid for the entire 60 minutes, not when he chooses to.  Man up BOB and take some responsibility for your team.  We understand you are down to 61 scholarship athletes, but that is not our problem.  If you are going to be mad, be mad at Joe Poo and the rest of the guys that put you and your team in this situaion.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Lost a little respect for O'Brien when in his presser he claimed that Hackenberg was hurt on the false start where, "...he was slammed to the ground on his shoulder after the play." Hackenberg was hit by Bosa but nobody slammed him to the least not on that play. Granted that might have been a penalty but a poor excuse by a head coach who just got his a** handed to him (nice handshake Bill.) Now the last play of the 1st half is a different story. Noah Spence made sure no Hail Mary was possible by sacking him yet again. You could see him favoring his shoulder as he headed for the locker room.
Face, Bobby, you're guys got schooled by a Pennsylvania recruit and his pals all night. Block better, don't turn the ball over, quit whinning...Deal with it.
If Meyer doesn't challenge that 4th down spot, he's not doing his job for his team. Take no prisoners. Go Bucks!

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

MassiveAttack's picture

That quote was low class, indeed.  That "late hit" on the false start happened with 6:09 left in the first quarter.  Hack didn't start favoring his shoulder until their final possession before half time.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

iamcbs's picture

BOB said "We'll remember some things", like how to tackle in space, how to block  DE's, how not to leave WR's wide open in your secondary. Those are things worth remembering. Remember this also, UFM is the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University, it isn't his job to stop his offense or "let up off of the pedal". You pay a DC hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to stop offenses, hold him accountable!! Your team got it's ass whipped thoroughly and you have every right to be angry, but direct that anger in the right direction!!

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion~Alexander the Great

SomethingOriginal's picture

"Like how to tackle in space" HAHA if I could upvote a comment, I would be doing it right now. Sorry about your luck Penn State

tommrkr's picture

maybe he could charge us with bullying like the high school team that got pasted last week?

airbuckeye's picture

Now thats the way you play a game but im of the mind set and always have been  when i play any game i always play it the same way and always have no matter what game im playing.
When i win a game and i am in control of a game i don't let up one bit i keep scoring till the game is over. When i bet someone i want them to know they have been beat and beat bad and but that thought in the back of their minds every time they want to play a game with me.
And yes there have been times i have been beaten and they let me know it which is fine because thats the way a game should be played. If you lose it should make you want to come out the next game and get even and if it does not then you have no business playing the game or even coaching a game.

buckguyfan1's picture

O'Brien... Really?

Hovenaut's picture

Statement made, and also the game is likely a good indicator of PSU-OSU matchups for the next few years.

Just sayin', Nit nation.

00Buck's picture

If we play like this, nobody can beat us......... IF FROGS HAD WINGS ON THEIR ASS, THEY WOULDN'T BOUNCE IT EVERY TIME THEY HOPPED.............  I am still a doubter..... 1 kick ass game does not a season make..........  Do as Baylor does, give me 70 on more than 1 game, and my doubts will be silenced !!!!!!!   and I still think NCAA Football is heading in the wrong direction...... YOU CANNOT DISRESPECT YOUR OPPONENT  without reprisals !!

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

Scott K's picture

blah blah blah

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

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

...Pull your starters...stop throwing the ball for about the whole last quarter...take a knee to end the game. = Disrespecting your opponent...NOT! Sorry...the way to not get beat 63-14 is to PLAY BETTER. Obviously Baylor is hanging 70+ on opponents...respectfully.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

gobucks5413's picture

So we should put up 70 a game, or not disrespect our opponents? I'm confused about what you want....

MassiveAttack's picture

You never hear about Baylor or Oregon "running up the score" every week.  You just hear that Ohio State doesn't win impressively enough, and suffering in the polls.  Evidence? See weeks 1 and 2.  20 and 30 point victories, yet we fall in the polls.  Here we are with a 49 point victory, and we are lucky enough to hold our previous position.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

holtzy's picture

This is what I never understood:
Oregon wins by 50 = They are unstoppable, what a great team, move them up in the poll, etc.
OSU wins by 50 = that is just wrong to run the score up like that, etc.

buckeyepastor's picture

I agree that teams, when they are good enough to do it, will "get even" for getting annihilated.  When Meyer was at Florida, a couple of teams got good enough to exact revenge with lopsided wins over him, but it was rare.  And the truth is, if the cost of Meyer's leadership is once in a while we face a team that has the talent to pummel us and they manage to do it, so be it.  I'll take the risk of "reprisals."   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

osubigcunn's picture

After reading  this all I could think of was this quote "If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle".
Great win, go bucks.

chirobuck's picture

I think the one good point taken away from this incoherent rambling is that we do need to make sure we keep it up, one win isn't going to convince anyone if we go back to less than inspiring play again........but thats not gonna save you from the dreaded down vote 


^ best post ever ^

Jack Fu's picture

00BUCK, are you on twitter? I would seriously follow the shit out of your incoherent, faux-ellipses-filled ramblings. Think about it.

Buckeye1004's picture

I watched the entire game.  Can you give me an example of that disrespect?  I saw a team that outplayed its opponent in all facets of the game, including coaching.  
That's NOT disrespect.  Every press conference, every statement Urban Meyer made he talked about Penn State as a good football team who we respect.  He refused to be baited in the press conference to disrespect Penn State. 
I'm guessing the 00Buck stands for NOT a Buck????
Go Buckeyes!  O   H

IBleedSandG's picture

I'm fairly certain that we could have added another 7 pts. to our score if we wanted to.


theOHIOSTATE21's picture

Would it be more disrespectful taking a knee on each possession starting in the 3rd qtr and then punting hoping that the other team would catch up? Only to start running the offense when they got within 28 again? Seriously what do you want them to do?

Maestro's picture

Boom went the DY-NO-MITE!!!!

vacuuming sucks

gobucks5413's picture

Hopefully we don't see any of those "Fickell sucks" threads this week. We shut down a pretty good offense, which seems to be getting overlooked. I think these next two weeks we will start to see the dominos falling a bit...we just have to keep winning. Regardless if its 63-14 or 3-0. (Even though I certainly enjoy the 63-14 more!)

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Michigan fan: "Penn St. is really very good."
OSU fan: K.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

rekrul's picture

Out Work, Out Think, Out Play!!!

Buckeye80's picture

What was Coach Meyer supposed to do on the fourth down call?  Just let them have it?  Just tell the young Buckeyes that were in the game that they don't get rewarded for doing their job?  GET BENT BOB!

extemporary08's picture

Johnny heave and hope is trying to catch up with bitchagain's arm punter for consecutive games with an int. Miller has done a good job lately of not throwing the pick...

albinomosquito's picture

they wanted a rivalry game, and we gave them our best.. don't talk smack all week about how big of a "rivalry" this is and then be pissed about it when we kick you in the mouth..

avail31678's picture

Did we go ahead and make it more of a rivarly for ya PSU?  You didn't do much at all to keep this "rivalry" hot and alive...You'll be circling our game on the calendar next year, though.

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Careful now. Loose talk like this can welcome...{hushed voice} reprisals...

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

InHartWeTrust's picture

Ditto.  I was getting to the point of thinking "Okay we are really good team, but not great", where I was questioning how good we would look against the top 3 (I always thought we had a fighters chance to beat any of them).  Saturday night showed me what we are when we are clicking, and I like it...A LOT. 
I gotta agree with my dude Dontre, I think we would give the top 3 all they can handle and maybe more if we played like that.

avail31678's picture

RE: the challenge of the spot on 4th down....
Agreed with what has been said.  But I'll add...BOB, why don't you just tell your blockers and RB to just GET the first down next time, and not be 2ft short? 
It's the same logic as this: we've got the 2nd/3rd string offense in and we're only running the ball.  STOP US if you don't want the score to get higher. 

sharks's picture

Count me among the doubters earlier this year- thought Brax was an athlete playing qb; but having witnessed the throws he's been making lately (Wisky right before halftime, State Penn right before halftime), I'm no longer a doubter- his spirals are gorgeous...

A man got to have a code...

chirobuck's picture

you didn't just think that, you were spot on, Brax was still not a QB at the beginning of the season but he has gotten so much better as the season has gone on, plus getting healthy helps, very excited about his improvement!!


^ best post ever ^

gobucks5413's picture

"defense, great job, you stopped them...but we're up by a lot so we will just give them the first down"
Sounds like something a pee wee coach might say....
All you can do is dumb down the play book and give reserves a chance to can't EVER tell kids to not play hard. Just put them in positions where they are less likely to break big plays...i.e. running the ball almost every down...

cinserious's picture

Urban challenging the spot was him standing up for a defense that played their asses off all night and stopped PSU on 4th down. When the D does what you ask them to do and do it right, then you reward them, you stand up for them, and you praise them. The refs tried to job them on that play and Meyer called B.S.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Nutbuck1959's picture

I doubt the refs were trying to screw the defense on the 4th down spot... That said the replay people didn't take long to reverse it.

Seattle Linga's picture

And Urban did not want them scoring any more points. If the game was close he would have done the exact same thing. It's not our fault they didn't/couldn't get a first down.

pjtobin's picture

I enjoyed every last second of that game. I cannot stand psu. Their fan base hates us. Their coaches hate us. Their players hate us. After a curb stomping like we gave them they should show class like we did for them. Instead they are cheering for the top 3 teams to beat us. And they are hoping we don't get into the ncg. No respect for us. And I got no respect for them. 

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

Seattle Linga's picture

It is going to be a long time until they beat us if their hatred towards us is this deep.

CowCat's picture

I'm sorry, but PSU had to know all week that we would run Hyde and Miller at them.   If you can't stop that AND you give up two rushing TDs to the backup QB, well, you deserve to lose that badly.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

buckskin's picture

Tom Brady has nerves made of steel and his eyes show it.  Braxton had that look in his eyes on Saturday.  Confident, composed, and ready to get the job done.