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Oct. 27, 2012
OHIO STATE HEAD COACH URBAN MEYER
Penn State vs. Ohio State
October 27, 2012
(This is the) first time I experienced this stadium and their crowd. This is a big-league atmosphere. The one thing about coming on the road you find out about your team because it's a gladiator-type mentality that it's us-against-the-world and our guys seem to thrive on that. It was against a very talented group. (We are) very pleased with the team win. You rush for 200 and some yards and hold them to 35 rushing yards against. Once again, who you playing a team who is hot - five in a row. I said that all week that they are a bunch of talented guys and a well-coached team.
Q: You had a 21-point third quarter started by Shazier playing in honor of his late friend. Are you aware of that storyline?
A: Yes. I can't say he played his best game this week because I haven't watched the film yet. I thought last week, you know, I love Ryan, but he's kind of an out-of-control guy and he missed tackles early in the year and he kind of over runs it. I thought last week it was just beautiful the way he runs it - shuffle, shuffle, then he accelerates. He's so quick, but I think he's playing his best football right now.
Q: He had a sack followed by an interception on two-straight plays which kind of flipped the game. Do you agree?
A: Oh, yeah. Anytime you get that loss yardage play then an interception for a touch. I think the offensive line, if you see who we are blocking, those guys are good. Tom Herman, our offensive coordinator, really did a nice job. He kept saying he wanted to try to make some calls and we felt their personnel is outstanding. The best way is to try to tire them out. We did that no-huddle, up-tempo stuff and it kind of wore them out a little bit.
Q: The first eight games it hasn't been a complete effort ...
A: I probably disagree. Let's focus on the positive. You are 9-0. It's good to be 9-0. You can help, how many teams have gone 9-0? We are going to enjoy that win. We are going to work on some things. We were exposed on some things, but those guys are some good players and they are some good coaches. We've got to get better. We ran for 250 and they ran for 35, so if you're going to have a conversation about how well our guys played, I'm in for that.
Q: Braxton started kind of slow and kind of out of sync in the beginning ...
A: I saw that, too. I think the crowd helped a little bit; I think it wasn't just Braxton. But he had that look in his eye. There's twice this year that I've seen that look - he's such a competitive guy - was the Nebraska game and this one. Our challenge is to get that out of a noon game. I saw the same thing. It wasn't because he wasn't jarred up and ready to go. I can't remember how the game started to be honest.
Q: That one-yard touchdown run was pretty spectacular.
A: We work on that. We have a drill. Make seven people miss, dive across and hold the ball. I was on field level so I couldn't see it. The conversation on the headset was, 'Oh, my Gosh.'
Q: A couple of special teams things, first the fake punt that they tried, did you have any idea that that might be coming?
A: It was nice. We saw it at the last second. Zack Smith did a nice job with that. That group blocks punts, they return punts, and we had a block on, and they showed it right at the last second. We saw it but we couldn't control it. The guy had to make a play and Griff made a great play. I think that was the turning point of the game. I want to think our average start of field position was just awful, terrible. And when you hand the ball to our offense on the 40 or 35, that was big.
Q: When you punted it and they got a defensive holding call which allowed you guys to drive down and get your first score...
A: Once again, you are talking about huge shifts of momentum and field position. In an environment like this - Lou Holtz used to preach about - I had him speak to our staff one time and he said when you go on the road your defense better play or you have no shot. You better take care of the football and you better tough it out. Those three components, we talked to our players about it and they did it in a tough environment against a talented team.
Q: Your team in general got off to that slow start then you got the momentum going in the halftime tied a seven. What do you say to your guys?
A: I don't know if it was a slow start, offensively it was, but defensively it wasn't. We gave up a touchdown on special teams. Our defense I thought played great in the first half. So slow start you might mean the offense. I think their defensive personnel had a little something to do with that. They are good players. We were a little close to the vest. We always try to manage the game and that's my job. If you are playing defense we are not going to going to do something stupid; we're just not built that way yet. I don't know if you're ever built to do something stupid. To start airing it out, we're just not built that way yet. I think we're getting a little better. Jake Stoneburner making that play, some key third downs, and I think probably we don't give Braxton enough credit for throwing the ball.
Q: You talked about the 4-6 seconds, the leverage, missed tackles. Is there anything that you guys are doing differently as far as scheme to force the issue?
A: I think that's good to ask Luke. I know we pressured more, we played more man coverage and we pressured more than any game all year against a team that throws the ball, the No. 1 throwing team in the Big Ten.
Q: The final touchdown, the throw that Penn State scored, you didn't seem very happy ...
A: That Shazier kid. I'm going to run him when we get back tonight. That's really just nonsense. On the headsets we were saying they're going to throw a bender against this Cover-2 and we didn't carry it. We'll work on it.
Q: You know that was that mid-air juke by Braxton?
A: We work on that. Only a few guys can do that though.
Q: You put a lot of pressure on McGloin and made him throw off his back foot and had some sacks and a lot of pressure. Was this an example of what a mobile quarterback can do? He made some plays at the end with his feet but nothing like Braxton.
A: I think he's a heck of a quarterback. Our defense brought five, blitzed and pressured more than we've had all year. You have a quarterback that is kind of a pocket player, you've got to get him to the ground and try to hurry some throws and I we did that.
Q: Can you talk about how the defense closed it out - a little more comfortable this week?
A: Yeah, a little bit. When they were on the onside kick, I almost tackled him, when he threw it back in. I don't know the ruling on that, but our guys are trying. We worked awful hard on that. I thought our defense closed it out. Our offense, the whole world knows you're running the ball, and to close it out running the ball, that's something else. That shows you how far our offensive line has come. They've come a long way.