Ohio State Buckeyes: Penn State

Big Ten lunchtime links

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
12:00
PM ET
Mario + Easter = Awesome.
  • Urban Meyer recently acknowledged that he knew, once safety Christian Bryant went down with an injury last year, that "there was a chance that we wouldn't be able to go play for a national title."

Big Ten lunchtime links

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
12:00
PM ET
Winter is coming ... but not soon enough.

Big Ten lunchtime links

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
12:00
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Nice hook, Marty.

Big Ten lunchtime links

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
12:00
PM ET
National Signing Day is just five days away, so this is now in my head. Don't judge me.

Big Ten lunchtime links

January, 17, 2014
Jan 17
12:00
PM ET
I need my football fix. Someone should consider resurrecting the XFL ...

Big Ten lunchtime links

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
12:00
PM ET
Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?

Big Ten lunchtime links

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
12:00
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Let the (B1G) games begin ...
  • Bo Pelini was all business as Nebraska arrived at its bowl site and said that "obviously, not everybody made the trip" -- although he wouldn't specify who.

Big Ten lunchtime links

December, 20, 2013
12/20/13
12:00
PM ET
One light goes out, they all go out!

Big Ten lunchtime links

December, 13, 2013
12/13/13
12:00
PM ET
The only thing scarier than Friday the 13th? Knowing there's nearly no football on Saturday the 14th ...
Recognizing the best and the brightest around the Big Ten during rivalry weekend:
  • Iowa LBs James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens: The Hawkeyes' starting linebackers have played huge roles in the team's turnaround this season, and they showed why on Black Friday against Nebraska. They combined for seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and two sacks. Morris recorded his fourth interception of the season, Kirksey led the team with 11 tackles (3 for loss), and Hitchens had his first career pick. The three seniors have combined for 10 takeaways this season.
  • Michigan State LB Denicos Allen: He led the Spartans' defensive effort with 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries. He tracked down David Cobb from behind near the goal line to keep Minnesota out of the end zone early. Hat tips also go to Trae Waynes, who had his first two career interceptions, and Tyler Hoover, who forced a key fumble deep in the Spartans' red zone in the fourth quarter.
  • Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg: This was the best game of the season for the true freshman, as Wisconsin dared the Nittany Lions to pass. Hackenberg responded in a big way and finished 21-of-30 for 339 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He played a nearly flawless first half and helped engineer a huge upset over No. 15 Wisconsin. There's no need to wait until Monday; it's pretty clear he's the Big Ten freshman of the week.
  • Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: In a tight game where Braxton Miller attempted just 15 passes, Urban Meyer leaned heavily on Hyde -- and Hyde didn't disappoint. He carried 27 times for 226 yards (8.4 ypc) and a touchdown. Although his fumble led to a Michigan score, the Buckeyes never would've found themselves in the red zone so often without him. Twenty of his carries went for at least 5 yards, and 10 went for at least 10 yards. He ran consistently hard.
  • Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian and WR Christian Jones: It's difficult to pick one over the other since they formed such a dangerous combination on Saturday. Siemian threw for 414 yards -- surpassing his previous season high by 138 yards -- and added four touchdowns. Jones was the main beneficiary as he caught a career-high 13 catches for 182 yards. That nearly doubled his previous career high of 94 yards. It was definitely a game to remember for those two, as the Wildcats finally came away with a Big Ten win.
  • Indiana QB Tre Roberson: It was a good day for Big Ten quarterbacks, and Roberson continued the trend. He didn't exactly play a tough opponent (Purdue), but his performance on the stat sheet was the most impressive. He tossed six touchdowns to two interceptions. And he added 273 passing yards to a game-high 154 rushing yards. The Hoosiers' uptempo offense went through Roberson, and he made the most of it.

Big Ten lunchtime links

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
12:00
PM ET
Take your leftover turkey home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you've got a stew going.

Big Ten lunchtime links

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
12:00
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Winter's cold is too much to handle.

With similar score, Lions must move on

October, 29, 2013
10/29/13
2:00
PM ET
Former Ohio State guard LeShun Daniels reclined on his oversized couch, next to two of his sons, while they sipped lemonade Saturday night and watched the Penn State-Ohio State game on the big-screen TV.

[+] EnlargeBill O'Brien
Trevor Ruszkowksi/USA TODAY SportsBill O'Brien and Penn State will need their leadership to help them get over the lopsided loss to Ohio State.
They'd laugh and joke during the game, and Daniels would flip on channels to the Oregon and Missouri games -- only when -- a commercial break interrupted the action.

But Daniels, who started for the Buckeyes from 1994 to 1996, couldn't take his eyes off the TV. These were his Buckeyes after all, a team still close to his native Ohioan heart. And he smiled to himself before midnight when that final score stuck. It was all too familiar.

Ohio State won, 63-14, Saturday night -- the identical score from Oct. 29, 1994, when he played Penn State. But, this time, the numbers were reversed. Daniels had stood on the Beaver Stadium grass -- and still remembers listening to the Lion roar over the loudspeaker -- when his beloved Buckeyes dropped a 63-14 contest to PSU. Now, the Buckeyes were celebrating as the victors.

"It just clicked, watching the game the other night," Daniels said with a laugh. "The Bucks did play a good game, so it was good to see that. But also seeing that score, even 19 years later, that was really good to see. I remember hearing about that game like 1,000 times while we were playing Penn State. So it was good."

Former OSU linebacker Lorenzo Styles remembers the Penn State game all too well. He can still remember watching one completion after another from Kerry Collins -- who went 19-of-23 for 265 yards and two TDs -- and chasing down a speedy Ki-Jana Carter (19 carries, 137 yards, four TDs). But, more than anything, he remembers the frustration his defense felt lining up against PSU's mammoth offensive line.

"It sticks with you, kind of even today," former defensive end Matt Finkes said. "People will still bring that up; even before this week there were people talking about that loss. They'll be like, 'Oh it was 56-7.' And I'll be like, 'No, it's 63-14.' It's etched in my memory. That's something you don't forget."

Bill O'Brien's squad of 61 scholarship players probably hopes to forget about the scarlet and gray this week -- but they could learn a lesson from those 1994 Buckeyes and that 63-14 landslide. After suffering its worst loss in nearly a half-century, the 1994 Ohio State squad rebounded with three straight wins, including a 24-3 victory over a good Wisconsin team the very next weekend.

The Buckeyes were young and inexperienced that year -- not unlike PSU this season. Finkes moped on the sideline late in the third quarter and just wanted the game to be over; a sense of relief washed over the team once the refs blew the final whistle.

"The coaching staff just sat us down and said we still have a lot of goals to accomplish -- and let's not lose this whole season just because of one game," Finkes said "And then that's the year we beat Michigan."

Added Styles: "You don't forget about it, but you understand you have to come out ready with what you're supposed to do the next week. We knew we had the rest of the season left."

They had played terribly and lost to the far-superior team, one that finished the season undefeated and boasted five offensive All-Americans. They wouldn't see another team like that one and, they vowed, they wouldn't perform like that again either.

"You get another win under your belt," former OSU DT Matt Bonhaus said, "and that feeling, that loss, goes away."

The Nittany Lions are a 10-point favorite against Illinois on Saturday. Whether they insist they've moved on or not, that loss to Ohio State will still be on their minds.

But the OSU quartet's advice for PSU was simple: Focus on the new opponent, don't lower expectations and don't dwell. Be resilient, and put more time in the film room to correct mistakes.

"They're resilient," Styles said of Penn State, explaining how the team stuck together through the sanctions. "The leadership on this team is like the leadership we had; they'll move forward."

But they won't forget. And the former Buckeyes say that’s the way it should be.


"I'm happy we went out and played that good game Saturday night," Finkes said. "But nothing's going to make that 1994 game go away -- even if we would've beaten them 100-7. No matter what, it was still me losing 63-14 back in 1994."

Big Ten lunchtime links

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
12:00
PM ET
A man should never have to give up his pet alligator.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Braxton Miller might no longer be on the short list of Heisman candidates, but Bill O'Brien said Tuesday afternoon that he's still one of the nation's five best players.

"It's a very difficult challenge playing a guy like Braxton Miller -- in my opinion one of the top five players in the country," the Penn State head coach said. "He's improved immensely since being in the system."

[+] EnlargeBraxton Miller
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsPenn State coach Bill O'Brien says Ohio State QB Braxton Miller is "a dangerous guy."
O'Brien praised the Ohio State quarterback throughout his weekly 30-minute news conference, saying it takes a special player to lead a team to a 19-game winning streak and to a No. 4 ranking in the BCS.

PSU will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for an 8 p.m. showdown against Miller and the Buckeyes on Saturday.

"I don't know Braxton Miller, but I do know that he's throwing the ball very well," O'Brien said. "He's accurate. He's making plays on third down in the passing game. He obviously understands coverage, and he's just doing a really, really good job of running that offense in all facets of that offense. It's a very difficult challenge."

O'Brien received a close look at Miller last season, when he strolled into Beaver Stadium and wreaked havoc on the Nittany Lions' defense. The dual-threat signal-caller accounted for nearly three-quarters of the offense, rushing for 134 yards and two TDs and throwing for another 143 yards and a score. (Tailback Carlos Hyde managed just 55 yards on 22 carries.)

The Buckeyes won that game, 35-23, and O'Brien knows it won't be any easier this weekend since Miller's enjoyed another year in Urban Meyer's system. And, on the flip side, O'Brien has fewer defensive players to work with this season.

"I thought they played really well offensively against Iowa. And, if he gets outside of the pocket, he's a dangerous guy," O'Brien said. "We've got to play hard and play with great effort and do the best we can to keep him in there and, when he gets out, we have to make sure that we understand our scramble rules."

Miller missed two games this season after suffering an MCL sprain in Week 2. He's completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, thrown for 831 yards and has eight touchdowns compared to two picks. On the ground, he has 335 yards and is averaging 4.5 yards a carry.

He boasts the highest quarterback rating (160.0) and completion rate (69.6) in the Big Ten.

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