Quotebook: Michigan State

By Kyle Rowland on December 8, 2013 at 9:00a
“It’s going to haunt all of us, I would imagine, for a little while." -Urban Meyer

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been several years since Ohio State suffered a loss that left the team and fan base so disappointed. Expectations are always high in Columbus, but the 2006 and 2007 national championship defeats were the last to leave a lasting imprint. Add the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game to the mix.

As the Buckeyes trudged off the Lucas Oil Stadium turf Saturday, the agony and disappointment was present on every coach and player’s face. The closeness of a national championship contributed, as did 24 consecutive wins.

“It’s going to haunt all of us, I would imagine, for a little while," head coach Urban Meyer said following Michigan State’s 34-24 victory. “What makes the loss harder is I really wanted these guys to experience something special.”

Instead of playing for the national championship, Ohio State is more than likely headed to Miami and the Orange Bowl. It will take time for the pain to go away, but some members of the team are already preaching about the future, though not to diminish the events of Saturday.

But the overriding theme from the Buckeyes in the immediate aftermath was hurt.

“It sucks. It’s a reality check,” senior center Corey Linsley said.

One of the first areas receiving criticism is the defense. Luke Fickell’s unit has been under fire for much of the season after giving up yards and points. The pass defense in particular has been unseemly. It was once again against the Spartans.  

“There’s a lot [to fix],” Fickell said. “It is what it is. Guys have to make plays and we have to put them in situations where they can make plays. There’s no finger-pointing.”

“We have to get this fixed,” Meyer said. ”We’re going to get back to work.”

Ohio State found itself in a 17-0 hole just 21 minutes into the game, a shock probably even to Michigan State. Linsley said it had to do with the Buckeyes being too jacked up.

“They’re obviously a good team, but it was like we were playing the Bears or something,” Linsley said. “We were looking for everything and then we settled down and realized we had to do what we had been doing all year.”

Meyer and Linsley offered perspective after the loss.

“I imagine there’s a chance we’ll get invited to a great bowl game,” Meyer said. “If we do, they’re going to get a very good Buckeye football team that’s going to stick together and try to win a game. If you’re asking me to measure the levels of hurt, I’m not sure I can do that.”

“Our only option left is having a lot of fun working our butts off to win whatever game we get in,” Linsley said. “It’ll show our true character. We could sit there and blame this and blame that, but the only way you’re going to get any production out of yourself is if you look at what you did wrong and correct it.”

The team didn’t take Michigan State lightly, but others did in the week leading up to the game. The Spartans entered as a one-loss team that didn’t always garner respect from pollsters, media and college football fans.

“That probably is the best team that we’ve faced in the past two years,” junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “They beat us.”

The most controversial play of the day was Meyer’s decision to have Braxton Miller run on 4th and 2 late in the fourth quarter. Hyde had been so effective yet only carried the ball 18 times. The play also called for Miller to run outside and rely on blocks from Hyde and Jeff Heuerman, not the offensive line.

“It was my call,” Meyer said. “I wanted to put the ball in the hands of our best player, Braxton. We usually run that play a lot. We ran it to the boundary. I knew they'd pressure us. Thought he might be able to come out the other end of it. It was a chance to go try to win the game.”

“We had actually practiced that play against that blitz, and they executed better than we did,” offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. “You’re in that gray area on fourth and whatever to throw it or run it, and Braxton was obviously running with some serious authority. If you run your quarterback, you gain an extra hat. We didn’t execute."

“Big play by Denicos,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said about Denicos Allen, who made the tackle.


Comments Show All Comments

buckeyedude's picture

I wish MSU would have beaten ND and entered the game undefeated. But I guess it's a moot point. MSU was going to the Rose Bowl, win or lose. They let it hang out. OSU played tight. Especially the defense in the 1st qtr.



2002osubuck's picture

The defense played tight by giving up key penalties extending the drive. But I have to say the offense was so "F"ing tight we didn't score a point in the 1st qtr for the first time this year.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Hats off to Sparty. They outplayed us last night.
I still think we win 7 out of 10 against them...but Sparty won when it counted. No idea how those guys lost to ND?
Easy to play Sunday morning QB but I sure would have liked to see the coaches just feed Hyde once we got the lead.
Good run. Pressure is off now. Let regroup and reevaluate and get ready for Clemsux and beyond.

robcard2's picture

You folks have been the beneficiaries of several damn lucky wins the past two years.  I think everyone knows this OSU team was and has been extremely over hyped and overrated.  saturday just exposed this team for what it is - a solid team but not an elite one.  Reading in between the lines of that 24 game win streak will show you a whole lot you don't want to acknowledge or Admit.  

pcon258's picture

That's just wrong. Overhyped teams don't win 24 games in a row. Period. 

3cent's picture

overhyped? Who was overhyping us? Certaintly not the media.
overrated? How were we overrated when team after team jumped us in the polls.

robcard2's picture

I just do not believe OSU was ever a top #5 program this year.  Maybe top #10. Im not tryin to be unfair.  A hell of alot better OSU teams have taken the field in years past. This team is not on that list. 

otrain2416's picture

You clearly are here to troll and making this judgment on solely watching us play bad football in one game (Mich St) 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

robcard2's picture

No.  You are wrong. 

otrain2416's picture

Since you haven't watched all the games and are here to troll let me put some cold hard facts down instead of your subjective college football judgement

  • We are # 4 in the nation in scoring with 46 ppg even with that loss
  • We are #4 in the nation in rushing offense while competeing in the BIG 10 a conference known for stopping the run and playing smash mouth football
  • We are #7 in the nation averaging 517 yards/ game on offense
  • We have the #29 defense in the nation as far as total yards
  • We are #1 in the nation with 40 sacks on the year

So are we overrated? Absolutely not. Did Michigan State play a great football game and some bad plays, execution, and play calling on our part cost us the game? YUP 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

GoBucks10's picture

Most of us have admitted it, quite openly on 11W along with our head coach in the quotes, above.
1. Poor defense, poor tackling
2. Extremely poor secondary defense
3. Braxton's throwing performance dropping off since Illinois.
I won't argue the "elite/solid" status, but 24 wins in a row doesn't happen by accident.

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

bigbill992001's picture

What do you say about Auburn?   TWO absolutely miraculous last play wins to get them here.

Hovenaut's picture

You should go back and read among the lines of the actual game threads from the past two years, friend.

You would find plenty of Buckeye fans very much in touch with the weaknesses this team has.

The majority of the OSU fanbase I've communicated with seems to understand the game, without turning a blind eye to shortcomings over the course of the win streak.

If it was luck this team has made it....both good and bad.

No dv from me for your post, but I challenge you to take another look at things.

robcard2's picture

To put together a 24 game win streak is going to require a certain degree of luck.  No matter what team you are.  No matter what conference you are in. Mthat streak was still impressive.  

aabuckeye's picture

"A certain degree of luck," sure. But also a lot of discipline, talent, good coaching, motivation, focus, and toughness -- qualities which define a good team. Just luck won't do it. But just the other factors will. So recognizing the ever-present factor of luck does not negate the other qualities this team has shown nor does it really validate your argument.

igo43's picture

Overhyped and overrated? OK, I'm automatically convinced that you don't know what you're talking about and you just came here to stir the pot.
Are there deficiencies on this team? Yup. Sure are, and they've been covered ad infinitum on this site, well before last night's loss. Apparently, you haven't read any of it, or you've chosen to ignore it. I'm certain you'll find a lot of people here were concerned about last nights game due to the glaring deficiencies in the secondary, but that would require you to actually read the articles here, as it would "show you a whole lot you don't want to acknowledge or Admit."
24 straight wins isn't "lucky", but at some point, all winning streaks come to an end. How about your team? Has it won 24 straight in the last 2 years, or anytime in recent history? Nope. Deuces and happy trolling! :)

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

robcard2's picture

No. I came here because i follow this blog.  Ramzy and i have a mutual friend and ramzy plays Yahoo college pick'em with us. Thats why i came here.. It s a good blog and i like college football.  And i am just sharing my opinion in a diplomatic way.  

Knarcisi's picture

You picked a bad day to share that opinion. 

robcard2's picture

Clearly.  There a couple dudes in this thread that are not very cool.  Fer Christ sakes, i called OSU a top 10 team and I managed to ruffle feathers. 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Pot. Kettle. Black.

robcard2's picture

Dudes, chill. OSU is a top 10 team. Your winning streak was impressive.

otrain2416's picture

Since I'm not a dick I'll give you some advice on this board. Delete your current account and make a new one. Come back another day and if you're going to point fingers at OSU have some hard facts to back it up instead of saying you guys got lucky, I knew you weren't a top 5 team. We have a lot of other fan bases on here I enjoy hearing from but they also know not to come on the board the day after a loss  and start pointing fingers.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

aabuckeye's picture

Come on, if Michigan was 24-0 you'd be asking for a religion to be created for it. (Oh wait, there already is one! The Big House of Delusional Blues.) You wouldn't accept your own argument if the shoe was on the other foot. So let's be honest here, and don't act so naive and innocent that you're surprised at the "ruffled feathers."

ATXbucknut's picture

You're initial comments were anything but diplomatic. You have no future with the State Dept.

robcard2's picture

I think OSU was exposed as not a national championship caliber team this season.  What is so bad about that?  Its an opinion, and not off base by any stretch. And look at the totality of my comments.   

igo43's picture

Well gee...you could say the same thing about every team except for two of them. And the fact is, you had to wait until last night to truly find that out, due to the fact that OSU kept inconveniently (for you and everyone else saying the same thing) winning until the BIG10 CG. And it took 24 games for OSU to get "exposed". Great theory!
Winning exposes nothing but a winner. Now OSU gets to go to a BCS Bowl.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

robcard2's picture

I think last night just confirmed it.  The signs have been there for two years.  

aabuckeye's picture

Your logic is faulty. So the only way to disprove your argument is if we never lose. Even if we went undefeated for 5 years, then lost, you could say: "See, I knew you guys were overrated. The signs were there all along."
You can't argue that MSU was the better team for the last year, or last two years, just because we lost to them last night. Teams gel, and they taper off. It's fluid. That's why the games are played.
Michigan fans sure like to look to the past to validate the present.

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

"The signs have been there for two years." = 24 wins...what's wrong with this picture. OSU got beat. The secondary didn't perform particularly well, the offense got tight after some success and everyone obviously felt the pressure. Meh. 24 wins over two years with consecutive victories over our rival after going 6-7 in 2011. I'm all good. Buckeye Pride forever!

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

igo43's picture

LOL, they've been beating people for 2 years, yet the signs were there all along? I've got news for you. The signs are there for every team, because every team has weaknesses. Nice try though. My turn to play your game! Next up: Florida State. As soon as they lose, I'll use your argument.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

igo43's picture

I'm glad you're sharing your opinion in a diplomatic way, but if you read this blog, you should already know that the following here is well aware of the team's deficiencies, and you should also already know that the media shares your opinion. That's my opinion in diplomatic fashion.
Soooooo...congrats, now you and the media are proven correct. OSU lost to MSU last night.
I'll take solace in the fact that OSU, once again as was the case over the last 2 years, gave themselves a chance to win that game. The fact is, they just got beaten by a better team. Congrats to MSU and I hope they win the Rose Bowl.
One last thing: we make our own luck with hard work. That applies to anything in life.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

robcard2's picture

Amen.  Good luck in 2014. 

dubjayfootball90's picture

The way you decided to share your opinion is not diplomatic at all. The people whose feathers you ruffled are justified. Good thing you are not a politician. There are literally hundreds of other ways you could have gotten the point you wanted to make across, instead you chose a way that came off as attacking a team and fanbase when they are down, calling them overhyped and overrated, right after a loss, and making it seem like you were looking for a verbal fight and trolling. Ruffled feathers are justified. No where near diplomatic, don't kid yourself.

You folks have been the beneficiaries of several damn lucky wins the past two years.  I think everyone knows this OSU team was and has been extremely over hyped and overrated.  saturday just exposed this team for what it is - a solid team but not an elite one.  Reading in between the lines of that 24 game win streak will show you a whole lot you don't want to acknowledge or Admit. 

Edit: I am not attacking you, and maybe I could have been more diplomatic in my response, but you have to be able to see how you may have ticked off a few people by how you decided to address the situation. I am not saying your opinion is not warranted, because I am in no poisition to do that, I enjoy all opinions, just somethignt o think about

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

buckeyedude's picture

I've been here for years and never seen you before, ROBCARD2. But you come on here talkin shit after the first loss in almost 2 years? Get the fuck out.
You are the definition of a troll.



andretolstoy's picture

Perhaps so. But Michigan still stinks to the heavens.

Nutbuck1959's picture

 MSU/Stanford should be a great matchup in the Rose Bowl. Very physical.

CowCat's picture

It sucks to admit it, but Sparty won fair and square. 
They should match up well against Stanford.

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

penguinpower's picture

We need to fire Ray Finkle. Jim Heacock was the brain trust for several years after Dantonio left. Fickle has shown that he is not the answer. The defense does not play disciplined. If you are a DB how can you allow the receiver get behind you? Why don't the LB's stay home? Very, very disappointing because we have the athletes to get it done. Last night was further proof that defense wins championships. Myer needs to make heacock the DC and get him a recruiting body to make up for his ineptness in recruiting. Horrible loss.

lamplighter's picture

I always liked Heacock, but it appears that many are looking at his tenure through rose-colored glasses. Was he not the DC in 2006-07 NCG?  Was he not the DC when OSU lost to Texas in the shoe and when hammered in LA against USC? Also when they won the Rose in 2010 and hung on against Arkansas in 2011?  Always some good and some bad, and I remember bitching about the LB drops that allowed the underneath routes at will.  Seriously, is Fick doing anything different?  Maybe, but you would have to admit that he is from Heacock's coaching tree

DefendYoungstown's picture

He might have been but at that time we didn't have the athletes to cover the spread. We have the talent now, just can't coach them up...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

D-Day0043's picture

I'm not quite sure we have talent. Talented players don't get torched like that week in and week out. None of the players that we have recruited under Meyer's tenure have been able to help on the back end of the defense. Where was Apple, Bell, Johnson, and Mitchell? Meyer said "we don't like to redshirt, we recruit players that can come in and contribute now." So what has happened to the development of these players that can't seem to get on the field? We could barely scrape together 3 starting line backers. Yes we lost a starting safety, but the rest of the secondary was in tact and they were getting torched before the injury. 
The D-line starters are solid, but the rotation is thin so the starters get worn down.
The LB's are a mess outside of Shazier, and he is probably gone. 
Grant and Pitt Brown are 5 star busts. Roby is gone and he had a down year.
The secondary looks like it is lost. They simply can't cover anyone.
This defense has some serious issues and unless we see the light come on for some of these freshman and redshirt freshman next year, I expect to see more of the same. The Lb's will have to be replaced and 2/3 of the secondary will have to be replaced. That is a whole lot of parts that have to be changed on a already bad defense. Now with that being said, hopefully the replacements can do a better job. They certainly can't do any worse.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Buckifan4Life's picture

Exactly! Fick studied under Heacock. He is the master of staying in a zone defense with corners 8 yards off the ball constantly. No thank you. The strategy doesn't bother me as much as the defensive players not executing the basics. Tackling ineptitude is one, the other is basic coverage skills in the secondary. Both issues reared their ugly heads last night.

penguinpower's picture

Yes, but Dantonio and Heacock coached together for many years. Narduzzi is part of that same defensive family of coaches. All of them can trace their coaching roots back to Youngstown. Fickle came way later. My point is that the zone works when it is executed well. I have not seen significant progress on defense under Fickle. Maybe part of the the problem is that we are now rectruiting athletes not football players with football instincts. I don't know. Frustrating to say the least.

jamesrbrown322's picture

I honestly think we DO NOT have the athletes to get it done. I firmly believe that what ails this team can only be fixed through recruiting. That's why this class, and last year's with the young Dbs and LBs are so vital. Now let us all hope and pray that Barrett is a stud QB and Collier ends up being a diamond in the rough, or none of it will matter.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

RedStorm45's picture

Too jacked up? Wasn't that the excuse last week?

TheBadOwl's picture

We had three or four really, really dumb penalties. Two of them came on the first drive. If we get a three and out to start the game, and good field position, who knows what happens?

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

WarBuckeyes17's picture

Wait so last night really happened!? Woke up this morning (West Coast Buckeye.) Hoping last night was a nightmare. Hats off to Sparty. 

If you are the big tree, we are the small axe - Bob Marley 

salberico's picture

I love Braxton as much as everyone else but Meyer's quote about the 4th down play is very telling IMO. The ball should have gone to our BEST player, Carlos Hyde.

2morrow's picture

Couldn't agree more. Even more puzzling was Hyde was not in the game on the third down play. Should have given him the ball then and we wouldn't have needed the 4th down play. MSU had NO answer for Hyde yet we took him out of the game with poor coaching.