Ohio State has confirmed that the football will wear the alternate uniforms that had been leaked on the Official Team Shop last week. Here is the official release and description of the uniforms:
For the first time since the Miami (OH) game, the Buckeyes handled an inferior opponent the way they were expected to. Illinois came limping into this game as bottom feeders in the conference, and had no hopes of pulling an upset and changing their luck after falling behind 31-6 at halftime.
The Buckeyes cruised in the second half, even allowing Braxton to take a breather in the 4th quarter. Before that he did plenty of damage, throwing for 226 yards and rushing for 73 more with three total touchdowns. Carlos Hyde amassed 137 yards and three scores himself, on an afternoon that saw the offense accumulate 570 total yards. Still, the best stat of the game had to be Illinois' total yardage. Tim Beckman's crew was only able to muster up 170 yards, something that the score doesn't indicate.
This team is quickly growing up before our eyes and learning to do things the right way. 10-0 feels great, and the Buckeyes have a bye week before facing Wisconsin and Michigan.
Meyer's post game comments can be found after the break (via OhioStateBuckeyes.com).
Dave Thurman (9:27 am) @Dkthurman7
Confession is Good for the Soul: Confession time. I picked Penn State to defeat the Buckeyes last Saturday in a close one, as I thought the injuries, poor tackling, and life on the edge would finally catch up to OSU. I admit my lack of faith in a team that has consistently found a way to win, and in that way, has somewhat mirrored the Ohio State team of a decade ago, that wasn't pretty but always came out on top. But then again, I do live by the adage, "There's no such thing as a disappointed pessimist."
In many ways I think the PSU victory was the best of the season, and was the product of good coaching, teamwork, hard-nosed effort, and help from the referees (okay I threw that last one in dripping with sarcasm due to all the crying by Penn State fans and bloggers).
Champions that were identified by Urban Meyer at his Monday press conference were three offensive linemen (you can guess which ones but I'm assuming one isn't Marcus Hall), Jake Stoneburner (who has responded to a heart-to-heart a couple weeks ago), Evan Spencer, Carlos Hyde; and, Braxton Miller who was the offensive player of the game. On defense only two guys graded out as champions, Ryan Shazier (who had a monster game) and Bradley Roby and they were co-defensive players of the week. Although he had no catches at PSU, Devin Smith took home special teams player of the game for his work as a gunner on the punt team. Meyer called Smith "the fastest player on the team", a fact Roby may wish to dispute. In addition, Adam Griffin was awarded the scarlet short for extra effort in Saturday's game.
Meyer was noticeably tired at the Monday press conference but was effusive in his praise of what he called "a special team." He gave a nice shout our to Chase Farris, who he said is "on fire", praising his development since his move from defensive line to offensive line. He also mentioned how much improvement there has been from Zach Boren since his mid-season move to linebacker, but in typical Meyer fashion moved from compliment to challenge, saying he was disappointed that Boren didn't grade out as a champion, noting he has to get better. For me that is the essence of what makes Urban great. He walks that fine line between lifting players up with positive praise, and challenging them to dig deeper and get better. And he seems to know when each is needed most.
The first half was brutal to get through as both teams missed opportunities, played sloppy and punted a lot. The Buckeyes managed to even the score at seven just before halftime, and came out like gangbusters in the third quarter.
Ryan Shazier opened things up with a sack and pick six of Matt McGloin, and the offense line out-muscled the Nittany Lion defense to make way for a pair of Braxton Miller rushing touchdowns. That 21-3 third quarter would give the Buckeyes all they needed as they closed things out in the fourth quarter for a 35-23 victory and 9-0 record. Here were a few of the big notes:
We have a full video of Urban Meyer's post-game comments (via GoPSUsports.com) after the break.
Drew Thurman (9:06 am) @osusilverbullet
Welcome to another edition of Midweek News & Notes. I apologize for this being a day late, and not actually getting posted in the middle of the week, but it has been crazy week for the TSB team.
Better late than never...right?
Right. Let's get to what's grabbing the headlines.
Injury Updates: Yesterday, via Urban Meyer we got several updates on where things stand for Buckeye players. Obviously, the most important was on Braxton Miller. According to Meyer, it appears that everything looks good.
Miller also confirmed that "he is good," and made it clear that the injury looked more severe because he had never handled anything like this. Understandably, he was a little freaked out. Here are his comments yesterday:
Please somebody, anybody tackle him!
Dave Thurman (9:55 am) @DThurman7
Final Word - Indiana: If you are like me then you would just as soon turn the page on the game Saturday night in Bloomington, and move on. Our family was actually there, and enjoyed a great afternoon tailgating under an autumn sky, in a great spot a little south of the stadium. The weather was ideal, we experienced some Hoosier Hospitality and I was pumped for a great game. What I did not expect was for Halloween to come a couple weeks early, and for a bunch of impostors to be dressed in scarlet and gray, pretending to be Silver Bullets. Nor did I anticipate a four-hour long game complete with numerous missed tackles, blown assignments, questionable calls, and the overturning of plays in spite of lack of "indisputable evidence." It was a strange night indeed!
As for post-game awards, Urban made it clear that no defensive players graded out as a champion against the Hoosiers (surprise, surprise). From my seat on the 30-yard-line I noticed a couple of positives on defense: Ryan Shazier did pretty good job in pass coverage, and Noah Spence played with energy and intelligence. Beyond that, it was pretty sad. Of course, on a night when the team scored 52 points (which should have been more like upper 60's or low 70's), there were plenty of "champions". Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, and Jack Mewhort were co-offensive players of the game, and other players who graded out champion on offense were Corey Brown, Jake Stoneburner (nice to see him reappear), Reid Fragel, Corey Linsley and Jeff Heuerman. On special teams, Meyer cited Travis Howard as the player of the week, with Jamal Marcus, Zach Domicone, Bradley Roby and Ben Buchanan also grading out as champions.
Obviously, Urban was not happy with the performance and made that clear in his post-game comments. Then at Monday's press conference he shared his displeasure with the defense, players and coaches. Some other notable comments from the head man:
Amen to all of that...and the key word is going, because we aren't a defensive school right now! Of course, as you have probably heard, Meyer also sat in on the defensive meeting on Sunday, and seems ready to be more hands-on from this point forward on that side of the ball. He also stated that the way to fix the issue is with effort, leverage and tackling. Wow! What a novel concept: tackling! Maybe we'll see some this week!
Bad "break" for Sabino
Dave Thurman (1:20 pm)
In the midst of a busy week, there are a few important items to highlight in our weekly edition of N&N:
Lots of Champions: As would be expected there were plenty of players (especially on offense) who graded out as "champions" Saturday night. The offensive player of the week was Carlos "El Guapo" Hyde, who graded out at 84%, in rushing for 140 yards with 4 touchdowns. He did fumble once, but the fact that he got 56% of his yards after contact seemed to negate that in Urban's mind. Other offensive champions: Philly Brown, Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley, and Zach Boren. Not sure about Brax, as Meyer didn't mention him as a "champion" but did say he is playing well and called him a "very humble guy."
On defense there were a few champions in spite of the 38 points surrendered: Christian Bryant, who was named defensive player of the game, John Simon (with his 5 tackles for loss) and Bradley Roby (with two interceptions including the pick six).
Special teams should not be forgotten, and Philly Brown was named the special teams player of the game off of his long punt return touchdown. Meyer also named some of the "piranhas" on the kickoff coverage team: Devan Bogard, Najee Murray, Zach Domicone, and Adam Griffin. In general he praised the youthful coverage unit, mentioning that they are too small to be called "sharks" but are aggressive like eleven piranhas going after blood in the water.
In case you didn't see it, two Buckeyes earned B1G recognition for last week's game: Carlos Hyde is the Big Ten's offensive co-player of the week (sharing the award with UM's Denard Robinson), and Corey "Philly" Brown is the special teams player of the week.
One more note from the Nebraska game: Urban confirmed that Cardele Jones was suspended for the night for a "very ignorant comment." However, he also said that Jones is a good kid who goes to class, and, like most 19-year-olds, tweeted before he thought. Case closed. Oh, and thanks ESPiN for amking a huge deal out of this, as expected!
Philly Brown on track for 77 catches
Dave Thurman (7:34 am)
Smack dab in the middle of two huge games, we pause this week to look back at the MSU victory and ahead to Saturday's date with Nebraska. We'll talk injuries, statistics, awards, and throw in a little recruiting news to boot. Here goes...
Player Recognition: There is no doubt Meyer is elated about the victory in East Lansing, and the way the team came together and gutted out an important win. It is rare for a visiting team to turn it over 3 more times than the host and still get out of Dodge with a W. Urban knows that, and I think he also realizes that a year ago this team wasn't ready to compete for 60 minutes against a defense like the one the Spartans put on the field.
The offensive player of the game was actually five players as Urban named the entire offensive line. The one that seemed to get the most mention, though, both from Meyer and Warriner, is Reid Fragel who seems to be improving each game. Too bad he wasn't moved to the line a year or two ago. If you re-watch the game, pay attention to Fragel's blocking on the last drive. It was the best by an OSU tackle I have witnessed in a few years.
The defensive player of the game was Etienne Sabino who earned it in spite of a missed tackle on MSU's touchdown, when he tried to force a fumble rather than wrap up. Outside of that, it was a fine performance, and he finished with 8 tackles, a big sack, a pass breakup, and some needed pressure on the quarterback late in the game.
Special teams player of the game was Bradley Roby who blocked a punt. It was nice to have #1 back in the lineup and he had 9 tackles and a couple of pass breakups.
Other players cited as achieving "champion" status: Zach Boren, Jeff Heuerman, Johnathan Hankins, John Simon, Ryan Shazier and Travis Howard.
Ask not for whom the Bell tolls
Dave Thurman (10:07 am)
It is the middle of the week prior to the first B1G game of the year for our Buckeyes, and it might be the toughest, and most important game of the year. So, we'll spend our time this week discussing all things Michigan State in preparation for a war at 3:30 Saturday in East Lansing.
Half Full or Empty: The young, energetic Ohio State football team is 4-0, and depending on your nature, you are either really optimistic about the season, or you think the sky is about to fall starting this Saturday. Consider the following:
-The Buckeyes offense has been explosive and they have yet to have all their weapons on the field at the same time or The offense has been inconsistent against weak competition and is about to play a really good defense.
-The coaches have been holding back, not showing all their cards, and waiting for this week to unleash the real Buckeye offensive arsenal or Herman and the rest of these guys are confused, failing to exploit obvious weaknesses in the opponents defense.
-The Silver Bullet defense is a work in progress, and is feeling the effects of some injuries along with an offense that strikes quickly, meaning they spend more time on the field than in the past or This is the worst tackling OSU defense in recent memory, made worse by poor scheming from Fickell and company.
-Special teams have veteran kickers and hungry young players on the attack squads, and should come up with a big play any day now or A blocked punt, a missed extra point, a surrendered onside kick and nothing out of the return team means this is a very unspecial OSU special team corps.
I could go on, but you get the point. The truth, as is usually the case, probably lies somewhere in between. Yes, if the team performs Saturday with the lack of execution and intensity they showed against UAB they are in trouble, but I imagine the coaches and players will bring their A game to East Lansing. Will that be enough? I'm not sure. I keep looking at the glass and can't figure out if it is half empty or half full!
On a positive note, Meyer is optimistic as the team heads into the "real" schedule, and that is certainly encouraging.
Here was Coach Urban Meyer's reaction following the 29-15 victory over UAB. You can read the full transcript from the press conference after the break (via OhioStateBuckeyes.com). We'll have more coverage from the game later.