Ohio State Football Notebook: Philly Brown Provides Perspective

By Kyle Rowland on December 3, 2013 at 5:00p
Philly Brown: team spokesman

Shock, awe, euphoria, sadness. All of it was felt from Tuscaloosa to Auburn, Columbus to Tallahassee, College Park to Pullman. It didn’t matter if someone’s team was in the national title hunt or not, the dramatic conclusion to the Iron Bowl captivated the entire college football stratosphere.

The frenzy on the Ohio State team buses let one know quickly that the Buckeyes were directly affected. Auburn’s win lifted Ohio State to No. 2 in the BCS standings and just one win away from playing for the national championship. 

But one player had to bring his teammates back to reality. Wide receiver Philly Brown hushed the Buckeyes amidst all the hoopla and celebrating to deliver a message of perspective.

“Some people in the back of the bus were saying, ‘We’re going to the national championship,’” senior center Corey Linsley said. “Then Philly Brown actually got up in the front of the bus, and he was like, ‘Sit down. You guys act like we don’t have a game to play this week.’

“It clicked with everybody and everybody focused in.”

Moments later, Brown went to Twitter to post his thoughts.

“We haven’t done anything yet we still have to win one more... Lets focus on the next game #OH,” he wrote.

When Auburn won, the buses were a half hour from campus. In that 30 minutes, the Buckeyes’ attention shifted from “wow” to Michigan State.

“After we settled down, we realized the gravity of the moment and how serious everything was,” sophomore linebacker Joshua Perry said. “We have to make sure we take care of business. We’ve got a one-game season right now.”

Must-win games are nothing new for Ohio State. It’s been do-or-die the entire season. One loss ends the Buckeyes’ national title hopes regardless of the opponent or month. With “The Chase” winding down and the ultimate accomplishment in plain sight, a misstep would be crushing.

“We have done everything we need to do at this point, we can’t start doing things that we haven’t done,” Linsley said. “We’ve never paid attention to the BCS. It’s never been our primary focus to jump somebody in the BCS. We can’t start changing stuff up now.”

Former Ohio State assistant knows what it takes.Dantonio has MSU On the right path.

On The Mark

The Michigan State football program has long been a sleeping giant in a state the Wolverines ruled. But Mark Dantonio combined with Rich Rodriguez and continued down years at Michigan under Brady Hoke have contributed to one of the best stretches in Spartan football history.

During Dantonio’s seven years in East Lansing, Michigan State is 62-29 overall and 38-18 in the Big Ten. The Spartans have won two division titles and one conference title. Perhaps the biggest feather in Dantonio’s cap is his 5-2 record against Michigan.

Even with all the wins, NFL players, great defenses and beyond, Dantonio and Michigan State have found respect a hard thing to come by. The former Ohio State defensive coordinator isn’t complaining, though. He takes after one of his mentors, Jim Tressel, and enjoys going undetected.

If the Spartans win Saturday, that will no longer be possible.

“It is an important game for the history of who we are right now,” Dantonio said. “We’ve pointed at things like this since coming here in 2007.”

Not only would it dash the national championship aspiration of Ohio State – and a coaching staff they’ve sparred with – Michigan State would be bound for Pasadena for the first time in 26 years.

The current crop of seniors has ushered Michigan State back into the national consciousness. After decades of success in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the Spartans went through an uneven stretch that featured conference championships as well as losing records. They’ve now won 11 games in three of the past four seasons and the seniors own a school-record 40 wins.

“Not too many football programs in the country can say those things,” Dantonio said.

Eye on the Prize

Ohio State coaches, players and fans have always talked about the emotional hangover the Michigan game creates. As conference championship games became more popular, they didn’t know if it’d even be possible to play a game seven days after beating or losing to Michigan. Now that the time has finally arrived, the Buckeyes have shunned any talk of a letdown.

When bitter rivals get together, it’s a physical and psychological showdown. Head coach Urban Meyer said Ohio State came out positive health-wise, though the status of linebacker Curtis Grant is still undetermined.

“I think they are sore,” Meyer said. “I have to be smart this week with what we do. But as far as energy and focus, and throw in the fact that it's finals week at Ohio State this week, too, we have to be really efficient with our team, with these guys.”

And it’s not like the Buckeyes have a date with Youngstown State this weekend. Instead, they must clash with Michigan State, a smash mouth team that possesses the nation’s top defense. A day off won’t come until Sunday.

Linsley is one of the Buckeyes who’s banged up and feeling the affects of a 12-game season in the rugged Big Ten. Massages and treatment from the medical staff have become commonplace during the month of November. As the Chase stretches into December, players recall all the hours of hard work that’s been put in. Letting up at this juncture is not an option.

“The chase is on, and it’s real,” Perry said. “Coming from winter conditioning and seeing the signs and banners up to now, it really shows the body of work we’ve put in. It also shows that it’s never over, and we have to keep going.”

Not only is the break that usually accompanies post-Michigan week gone, the next game is the biggest of the season and of the must-win variety. All Tyvis Powell’s interception in the final minute of last Saturday’s win did was assure the Buckeyes have a chance to play their way into the national championship game. But the celebration ended quickly and then it was on to the next one.

“We've got to move the ball against a great defense,” Meyer said. “That's my focus.”



Him1stftballl8er's picture

Love Philly getting up on the bus, and bring our Bucks back down to reality. We're not there.....yet. 

The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools. 

Hovenaut's picture

If things work out the way I hope they do, that's a big behind-the-scenes moment to look back upon.


We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

njclebuckeye5's picture

sensible advice from a senior Captain. nice goin' Philly

Lobs it to the endzone... Touchdown Devin Smith!!

TMac's picture

ONE Not Done!

penguinpower's picture

Who do you have to negatively rep the Penguins all the time?  Can you pick a directional school from the state up North or use another school in a different state like say-More Head State?  There are a lot of Buckeye-Penguin fans.  Coach Tressel always said that the Penguins should try to be the second best team in Ohio and scheduled the YSU games around the Buckeyes games so that we could watch both.   Your comments don't do well for our recruiting and we can get some of the kids that may choose Cinci. 

Jdadams01's picture

Honest question, does Youngstown State really get that level of player?

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Hey Penguin,  honestly sorry if you got offended about that.
I don't think the guy's comment above meant any specific disrespect towards Youngstown State or Jim Tressel, but just that the preparation for this game is absolutely critical.  He could just as easily have said, "This aint Wisconsin, or Iowa, or Penn State."
It is, in effect, a one game season, and with arguably the nation's best defense, Michigan State represents the potential shattering of the biggest of dreams.  Ohio State must be absolutely focused, prepared, and willing to sell out right now for that dream.  This is what the players mean when they say they "bought in."
The Auburn players believe they are the team of destiny.  They've said as much in the media.  Auburn's dream of destiny ends next Saturday...and Ohio State must be full metal jacket in Indianapolis in order to take the penultimate step of the Chase.
That final step will be in Pasadena against whoever it is they might face. 
It's time now to play what the moronic announcers like to call "big boy football."

Not a Cereal Downvoter.  But I will downvote the Serial Trolls who lurk under our bridge.

Josh P's picture

No offense, to you or to my beloved 11 warriors, but is this site really a big factor into YSU recruits decisions?  

45has2's picture

This is uncharted territory for Buckeyes but UFM has been there done that.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Doc's picture

I'm really getting nervous for this one.  I hope the Buckeyes are laser focused on the tasks at hand.  Good luck in finals week, and good luck against the Spartans.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

nm_buck's picture

Let's hope they stay focused.  Let's hope Grant is healthy enough to play.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

BeijingBucks's picture

This week it really is a question of whether MSU can slow the Ferrari of our offense. Keeping up on scoring will determine everything for them. 
i remember Iowa hadn't given up a rushing TD til the bucks arrived. Wisconsin... Etc etc. even Goblow had a solid rush D... Until being gashed for record rush yards. 
This week will test the scheme. Speed/power and constraints vs solid players and positioning. 
Inteiguing stuff. 



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

MN Buckeye's picture

Urban has said repeatedly that the biggest problem is distractions. And they increase with greater success. Great speech, Philly, and may the coaches and senior leadership keep the team focused.

Buckeye419er's picture

This may be the most excited I've ever been for a non-bowl, non-TTUN..Ohio State game. This is major and it has all the makings of historic showdown written all over it. The top offense vs the top defense. Something has to give. I pray it's them. 

Toilrt Paper's picture

This game REALLY makes me nervous, for the first time in two years. Starting next year U of M, Penn State and MSU will be played EVERY year, BEFORE the Big Ten Title game.

00Buck's picture

Guys look !  we are nervous because WE are the fanbase, this is a natural occurance, me I just hope their are no cardiac problems involved, I too have watched alot of MSU games this year, and they did NOT LOOK impressive to me, they have had the ball bounce their way pretty much just go to each recap and look at one stat  UNFORCED TURNOVERS that is why Sparty is 11-1.   The Buckeyes have had a few breaks........ BUT THEY HAVN'T BEEN HANDED THE BALL ALL YEAR EITHER.  So I am interested in how Sparty will do without the TO !.......... we don't give it to them WE WILL WIN.......  I am not saying perfection, but IF you have learned anything from the GREAT SWEATERVEST  SPARTY CAN'T PLAY CATCH-UP 

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

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

The "scare" from Mich()gan came at precisely the right time.  If a one point game was better timed, I do not know of one.  These players do refuse to lose, and I believe Buckeye Nation is going to witness that.  But they were reminded on Saturday that anything less than excellence could put them in a position to have to pull those miracles, like the gutting of Ann Arbor by one Mr. Powell, a freshman (saving a season is a pretty good start to a legacy, huh?)
And miracles are fine...they are wonderful.  When you need them. 
A fully focused, well prepared team will eliminate the need for miracles.

Not a Cereal Downvoter.  But I will downvote the Serial Trolls who lurk under our bridge.

Matt M.'s picture

I wish tomorrow could be Saturday. Carlos Hyde wants a National Championship more than anything in the world... and I intend to see him get it, starting with MSU. That fumble he had against TTUN was pure drive on his part. He wants it bad. I didn't even put the blame on him when he coughed it up, because he is a BEAST trying to drag anything and everything into the end zone on each play. It's like watching kids trying to tackle a lion.
El Guapo for presidente. 

OSUFlash's picture

Yep nice job by Philly but very disappointed to hear players putting the cart before the horse. Seriously, you would think lessons would be learned by now on premature celebration.


BoBo16's picture

All we know is it could have been anyone that said that. Hell it could have been a back up special teamer. Someone who never sees the field. I know that our 1/2's will be locked in mentally. They have worked their tails off to get this opportunity and they are not going to let it get through their grips.

Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Buckeyes

gunni070's picture

I think one of the craziest aspects of this week is that OSU could go from the National Championship with a win to something like the Capital One bowl with a loss.