Oct. 1, 2012

Ohio State Game Notes
Nebraska Game Notes
Ohio State Weekly Press Conference Transcript/Video

#12 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) vs. #21/20 Nebraska (4-1, 1-0)
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 – 8 p.m. ET
Ohio Stadium (102,329)
Columbus, Ohio

Television: ABC will televise the game with Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.
Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the fl agship station for the 73-station Ohio State radio network. The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the play-by-play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard live on Sirius channel 113, XM 191 and Dial Global Sports (formerly Westwood One).


The game will be the first time Ohio State and Nebraska willmeet as ranked teams. Both teams are coming off comeback wins overlast year’s Big Ten championship game teams. Nebraska came backfrom 21 points down in the second half to defeat Ohio State, 34-27,last year in Lincoln, Neb. Carlos Hyde had two touchdowns, including a career-long63-yarder, and 104 yards rushing last year against Nebraska. OhioState is 4-0 at Ohio Stadium this year. Ohio State defeatedNebraska, 34-7, to open the 1956 season before an Ohio Stadiumrecord crowd of 82,153. Ohio State is playing its 100th season inthe Big Ten Conference, having joined the league in 1912 andplaying its first season of Big Ten football in 1913. Nebraska isin its second season of Big Ten play. Nebraska is the first rankedopponent in Ohio Stadium since No. 21 Penn State was here on Nov.19 of last year. Both Ohio State and Nebraska are playing their123rd season of intercollegiate football.

Unbeaten and 12th ranked Ohio State, 5-0 and coming off its biggest win under Coach Urban Meyer, hosts No. 21/20 and 4-1 Nebraska in a huge, Leaders vs. Legends matchup in the Big Ten Conference. ABC will carry the 8 p.m. game to a national television audience.

The game will be the 11th night game in Ohio Stadium history. Ohio State is 7-3 all-time in home night games, including a 33-29 win over Wisconsin last year in a game where 31 fourth quarter points were scored.

Ohio Stadium night games:
1. Sept. 14, 1985 – 10-7 win over Pitt
2. Sept. 11, 1993 – 21-12 win over Washington
3. Aug. 28, 1997 – 24-10 win over Wyoming
4. Sept. 11, 1999 – 42-20 win over UCLA
5. Oct. 6, 2001 – 38-20 win over Northwestern
6. Aug. 30, 2003 – 28-9 win over Washington
7. Sept. 10, 2005 – 25-22 loss to Texas
8. Oct. 25, 2008 – 13-6 loss to Penn State
9. Sept. 12, 2009 – 18-15 loss to USC
10. Oct. 29, 2011 – 33-27 win over Wisconsin

Members of the 1972 Ohio State team will be recognized during the Nebraska game. The 1972 Buckeyes went 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten Conference to earn a share of the championship. It would be the first of a Big Ten-record six consecutive Big Ten titles (outright and shared). Captains were Richard Galbos and George Hasenohrl. LB Randy Gradishar and OT John Hicks were named all Americans while OG Charles Bonica and DT Hasenohrl joined them as all-Big Ten selections. This was the first year freshmen are eligible to play, signaling the start of the Archie Griffin era at Ohio State.

Ohio Stadium, celebrating its 90th season and where the Buckeyes won their 400th game two weeks ago (400-109-20) over UAB, will play host to the 91st Homecoming game in school history this week with the Cornhuskers in town. Ohio State is officially 65-19-5 in Homecoming games.

The game Saturday represents the fourth in the series between the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers and the second Big Ten contest. Ohio State, under coach Woody Hayes, won both previous meetings in Columbus: 28-20 in its 1955 season opener and 34-7 in 1956 in front of a record Ohio Stadium crowd of 82,153. Last year in Lincoln, and in the first Big Ten game at Memorial Stadium, Ohio State led 27-6 in the third quarter but gave up the final 28 points and lost, 34-27. The 21-point lead was the largest ever surrendered by a Buckeye team in a loss. A few more 2011 game notes:

BraxtonMiller had rushed for 91 yards and passed for 95 with one scorebefore a third-quarter ankle sprain ended his night. Carlos Hyde had his first 100-yard rushing game with 104 yards,including TDs of 63 and one yard. Jake Stoneburner scored on a 32-yard pass play. C.J. Barnett set a then-career best with 10 tackles. NebraskaQB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead rushed for 102 and 119yards, respectively.

In a game coach Urban Meyer referenced as “two sledgehammers going at each other,” Ohio State topped Michigan State, 17-16, in East Lansing. The go-ahead score coming with 3:05 to go in the third quarter on a Braxton Miller-to-Devin Smith 63-yard touchdown pass play. Nebraska trailed Wisconsin by 17 points, but four consecutive second-half scoring drives propelled the Huskers past the Badgers, 30-27, in Lincoln.

Nebraska is making its first visit to Ohio Stadium in 56 years, or since the Cornhuskers came to Columbus consecutively in 1955 and 1956. Way back then …

The games vs. Nebraska were the season openers in both years;Jim Parker was starring for the Buckeyes; he was named All-Americanin 1955 and 1956 and he won the 1956 Outland Trophy; Ohio Statewould set a Big Ten record in 1956 with its 17th consecutive leaguewin; and Hopalong Cassady scored three touchdowns in the 1955 gamewhen the defending national champion Buckeyes won, 28-20.

The game will be the first against each other as head coaches for Urban Meyer and Mark “Bo” Pelini, a couple of northeast Ohio natives who were raised in Ashtabula and Youngstown, respectively. Meyer is 109-23 in his 11th season as a head coach and Pelini is 43-17 in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach.

Urban Meyer, a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in psychology, has his master’s degree (sports administration) from Ohio State (’88). Pelini is a 1990 graduate of Ohio State with a degree in business marketing. He was twice named academic all-Big Ten.

BUCKEYE BO – 1987-90
Bo Pelini is a four-year Ohio State Varsity O letterwinner. His first season with Ohio State was in 1987, the final year for coach Earle Bruce, and he would start at safety in the secondary for the 1989 and 1990 Buckeye teams coached by John Cooper. He was team captain in 1990 along with Jeff Graham, Dan Beatty, Vinnie Clark and Greg Frey.

The last time Nebraska played a game in Ohio Stadium (all info gleaned off the World Wide Web):

The first portable black and white television sets were justhitting the market; The average cost of monthly rent was $88; Onegallon of gas cost 22 cents; A new car cost, on average, about $2grand; Yankee Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in WorldSeries history nine days after the Ohio State/Nebraska game; Thesepeople were born in `56: Larry Bird, Bjorn Borg, Kenny G, TomHanks, La Toya Jackson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Barry Melrose, JoeMontana and Ron White. Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivanshow for the first time, and he released the first of his 170 hitsongs: “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Ohio State and Nebraska are two of the Top 5 winningest teams in college football history. Ohio State is fifth all-time with 830 victories. Nebraska is in fourth place all-time with 845 wins.

Ohio State, behind its seven Heisman Trophy winners, has won 36 major national awards. Nebraska players have won three Heisman Trophies and 23 major awards. In terms of Consensus All-Americans, Ohio State has produced a Big Ten-best 78 such honorees while Nebraska has had 55. Here are each school’s last…

Heisman Trophy Winner

Ohio State – Troy Smith (2006)
Nebraska – Eric Crouch (2001)

Outland Trophy Winner

Ohio State – Orlando Pace (1995)
Nebraska – Ndamukong Suh (2009)

Lombardi Trophy Winner

Ohio State – Orlando Pace (1996)
Nebraska – Ndamukong Suh (2009)

Maxwell Award

Ohio State – Eddie George (1995)
Nebraska – Mike Rozier (1983)

Walter Camp Player of the Year

Ohio State – Troy Smith (2006)
Nebraska – Eric Crouch (2001)

Major Award Winner

Ohio State – James Laurinaitis (2008 Lott Trophy and Lowe’sSenior Class Award) and Malcolm Jenkins (2008 Thorpe Award)
Nebraska – Ndamukong Suh (2009 Outland Trophy and LombardiAward)

Ohio State and Nebraska are tied for first nationally in number of National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes with 20 apiece.

Senior punter Ben Buchanan is a candidate for the 2012 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award and by virtue, a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Buchanan graduated cum laude and with a 3.53 GPA in June with a degree in strategic communications. His resume is full of community service activities and accomplishments and he is a nominee for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. He was a finalist for the 2011 Weurffel Trophy which goes to the player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Ohio State’s defense held No. 20 Michigan State to 32 yards rushing and to one field goal in its last three possessions and the Buckeyes left East Lansing with a 17-16 win to remain unbeaten under Urban Meyer. Braxton Miller had 315 total yards, including a game-winning 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith late in the third quarter, that helped offset two fumbles and one interception. Corey Brown had 12 receptions for 84 yards while Miller rushed for 136. Bradley Roby blocked a punt and led the defense with nine tackles. Jordan Hall scored on a one-yard touchdown – he later would leave the game with a knee injury – and Drew Basil was good on a 26-yard field goal attempt. Andrew Maxwell threw for 269 yards and one touchdown to lead the Spartans offensively.

Le’Veon Bell came into the game averaging 152.5 yards rushing per game. Ohio State’s defense kept him from going north-south by bouncing him around early and often while limiting him to 45 yards off 17 carries with a long gain of just eight yards. Michigan State managed just 34 net rushing yards for the game and did not have a first down rushing.

A whole defensive unit was in on stopping Le’Veon Bell as 11 different defenders were credited with a tackle or assisted tackle on him. Etienne Sabino and John Simon each had two solo stops of Bell with Sabino in on two assists as well. Bradley Roby had a solo and two assists. Ryan Shazier had three assists.

The Ohio State defenders set a season high with 48 assisted tackles on defense vs. the Spartans.

Clinging to leads of 17-13 and then 17-16 in the fourth quarter, Ohio State’s defense delivered the fourth consecutive win in Spartan Stadium for the Buckeyes with these efforts on MSU’s final drives:

EtienneSabino sacked Andrew Maxwell (-7) on 3-7 from the OSU 47 on thelast play of the third quarter. Nathan Williams sacked Maxwell on 3-4 from the OSU 28, settingup a 48-yard field goal to make the score 17-16. Sabino pressuredMaxwell into an incompletion, forcing an MSU punt.

The Buckeyes turned to their power rushing game to run the final 4:10 off the clock. Six consecutive carries moved the ball from the OSU 18 to the MSU 44, drained MSU of timeouts and set up three victory formation plays to end the game. Carlos Hyde, returning to action after missing two games with a knee sprain, had two first down carries on the drive and 18 of his 49 yards on the day. The Buckeyes netted 202 yards rushing.

The starting offensive line – LT Jack Mewhort, LG Andrew Norwell, C Corey Linsley, RG Marcus Hall and RT Reid Fragel – earned champion distinction vs. MSU and was collectively named the offensive player of the week. In addition to grinding the final 4:10 off the clock, the unit paved the way for 202 rushing yards and had 15 knockdown blocks.

Fullback Zach Boren and TE Jeff Heuerman were also named offensive champions vs. the Spartans. Defensively: Etienne Sabino was the player of the week and was joined in the champions club by DL Johnathan Hankins, CB Bradley Roby, CB Travis Howard, LB Ryan Shazier and DL John Simon. Roby was named special teams player of the week.

Braxton Miller’s 315 yards of offense vs. Michigan State – 136 rushing and 179 passing – was his third such game this season and the fourth of his career, moving him into a tie for third on the school career mark. Miller now has 3,384 total offensive yards, good for 15th place on Ohio State’s all-time charts. He is averaging 302.0 yards per game this season and 191.8 for his career. School records for season and career are 270.6 by Joe Germaine in 1998 and 185.2 by Terrelle Pryor, respectively.

Nearing these career total offense totals:
13. 4,158 by Rex Kern, 1968-70
14. 3,768 by Eddie George, 1992-95
15. 3,553 by Tim Spencer, 1979-82

Corey Brown SETS 15-YEAR BEST
Corey Brown tied the fourth-best game in Ohio State history with 12 receptions vs. Michigan State. The total was the most in a game for an Ohio State receiver in 15 years, or since David Boston set the school record with 14 vs. Penn State in 1997. Four of Brown’s catches went for drive-extending first downs. Last year he tied for the team lead with 14 catches. This year he is tied for the Big Ten lead with 32 receptions and his 6.4 receptions per game rank second in the league.

Top 5 Receiving Games by a Buckeye:
14 – David Boston at Penn State, 1997
13 – David Boston at Indiana, 1996
13 – Gary Williams vs. Florida State, 1981
12 – Corey Brown at Michigan State, 2012
12 – Billy Anders vs. Washington, 1966
12 – Bob Grimes vs. Pitt, 1952

Corey Brown’s 32 receptions through the first five games of the season ties Terry Glenn’s total in 1995 as the most catches through the first five games of a season. Some notable five-game receiving runs:

Santonio Holmes had 29 through five in 2004 and Brian Robiskiehad 25 through five in 2007; David Boston, who owns school recordsfor career (191) and season (85) receptions, had 28 through fivegames in 1998 and 25 through five in 1997; Cris Carter caught 32passes in the last five regular season games in 1986 (for 538 yardsand seven touchdowns); and Boston had one five-game stretch in1997, starting with Penn State and ending with Minnesota, where hecaught 39 passes.

Devin Smith has caught yet another huge pass: this time it was a 63-yard laser from Braxton Miller that turned into the go-ahead/winning score against the Spartans. It came with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Smith’s other great grabs include:

A one-handed touchdown catch vs. Miami that was the ESPN playof the day; A game-winning, 72-yard touchdown reception with 3:26to play vs. California; and Calmly hauling in Braxton Miller’s 40-yard touchdown for the game-winner with 20seconds to play against Wisconsin last year.

Devin Smith is sixth in the Big Ten with an average of 70.2 receiving yards per game and his 351 yards are fourth-most in the league. Smith (19 receptions) and Corey Brown (32-317) have combined for 51 receptions for 668 yards already. The top four receivers on the team last year combined for 53 catches for 854 yards.

FIFTH 5-0 START FOR Urban Meyer
Ohio State’s 5-0 start represents the fifth 5-0 start for an Urban Meyer team. His others: 2002 Bowling Green, 2004 Utah, 2006 Florida and 2009 Florida.

Only two first-year Ohio State coaches have started a season better than 5-0: Carol Widdoes went 9-0 in 1944 and eventually won his first 12 games before his first loss; and Earle Bruce opened 11-0 in 1979.

Urban Meyer-coached teams, from 2001 to the present, have now blocked 54 kicks in 131 games. Three of those have come this year as Orhian Johnson and Adolphus Washington have blocked extra point attempts and Bradley Roby blocked a punt – assist to the bull rush up the middle by Steve Miller – last week vs. Michigan State. (Source for the first 51 blocks: University of Florida stats)

Urban Meyer’s six Florida teams blocked a total of 21 punts, and they were 16-0 in those games. His teams are now 17-0 when blocking a punt since the start of the 2005 season.

Despite not taking a snap from center in the past two games, and only nine total for the season, Kenny Guiton was calm and collected when he had to replace an injured Braxton Miller on the first drive of the game vs. the Spartans. On first down from the MSU 14, he got smacked but made a nice option pitch to Jordan Hall for an 11-yard pickup. Two handoffs later and Hall was in the end zone and the Buckeyes had their first score on what would be a tough day for touchdowns.

Ohio State’s kickers had a fine game vs. the Spartans. On a day when points were at a premium, Drew Basil kicked a 26-yard field goal and two extra points. He also was in on two tackles on kickoffs. Ben Buchanan answered his counterpart’s fine 55.4-yard average with a season’s-best 44.0 average. That average is fourth-best for Buchanan, after a 50.0 average in 2010 vs. Indiana, 47.2 vs. Florida in the 2012 Gator Bowl, 46.5 vs. Miami in 2011 and 44.5 vs. Michigan in 2010.

Ohio State had two scoring drives of 70 or more yards vs. Michigan State and now has 12 drives this season of 70 or more yards. Last year, Ohio State had nine drives of 70 or more yards. In 2010, the Buckeyes had 20 such drives. All 12 over-70 yard drives this season have resulted in touchdowns.

Driving 70 (or more) for scores in 2012:
Miami – 83 and 73 yards
Central Florida – 71 and 76 yards
California – 75, 75 and 75 yards
UAB – 75, 75 and 71 yards
MSU – 75 and 74 yards

Ohio State has scored on 15 consecutive trips inside the opponent’s red zone (13 TDs; 2 FGs), dating back to the fourth quarter of the Miami game. Ohio State was five-of-seven against the Redhawks, including three-of-three in red zone opportunities in the fourth quarter. Ohio State is a perfect 12-for-12 in its last four games.

In the Zone (15 consecutive scores):
Miami – Hyde 8 run, Boren 2 run, Dunn 4 run
UCF – Basil 24 FG, Miller 6 run, Stoneburner 12 pass from Miller, Miller 8 run
Cal – Stoneburner 1 pass from Miller, Stoneburner 3 pass from Miller
UAB – Smith 1 run, Miller 12 run, Boren 2 run, Miller 1 run
MSU – Hall 1 run, Basil 26 FG

Ohio State has four 100-yard rushing games this season, three by Braxton Miller (161 vs. Miami; 141 vs. UCF; and 136 vs. MSU) and one by Jordan Hall (105 vs. UAB).

Nebraska, meanwhile, leads the Big Ten with six 100-yard rushing games: two by Abdullah Ameer (167 vs. Ark.State and 119 vs. UCLA), and Taylor Martinez (112 vs. UCLA and 107 vs. Wisconsin) and one each by Rex Burkhead (119 vs. Idaho State) and Imani Cross (100 vs. Idaho State).


Three turnovers dropped Ohio State to fifth in the Big Ten witha plus two margin (9 takes and 7 gives). Ohio State is stillplus-32 on points off turnovers, though. A 20-yard gain on thefirst play from scrimmage vs. Michigan State gave Braxton Miller seven rushes of 20-or-more yards this year and18 for his career. Braxton’s top five gainers:

1. 81-yard touchdown vs. Indiana (2011)
2. 65-yard touchdown vs. Miami (2012)
3. 55-yard touchdown vs. California (2012)
4. 44-yard touchdown vs. Wisconsin (2011)
5. 35-yard gain vs. Illinois (2011)

Ohio State defenders have come up with three fourth quarterinterceptions this season. Travis Howard vs. Miami; Christian Bryant vs. Cal (with 1:09 to play); and Doran Grant’s first career interception came inside of fiveminutes to play against UAB. Urban Meyer’s teams are 66-14 when ranked. Meyer’s recordagainst ranked teams is now 22-10, including a 6-6 mark on theroad. The defense limited Michigan State to 4 of 15 on third downopportunities. Ohio State is getting close to having three playerswith 1,000 career rush yards. Braxton Miller (1,292) and Jordan Hall (1,032) are there; Carlos Hyde has 865 rushing yards. Miller is 19th on the schoolcharts with 2,092 yards passing (161-278; 7 Ints; 21 TDs). Millerranks 15th nationally in rushing (115.4 yards per game) andTravis Howard ranks T15 with .40 interceptions per game.Devin Smith has scored eight touchdowns. The Buckeyes are 7-0in games he scores. Entering the Michigan State game, DB Orhian Johnson led all players with 78 snaps on special teams.He was followed by Adam Griffin (60), Taylor Rice (49), C.J. Barnett (44) and Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown (42). Michael Bennett, projected as a starter on the defensive line,made his first appearance of the season vs. Michigan State aftermissing four with a lower body issue. C.J. Barnett missed his second consecutive game last week witha lower leg issue. Ohio State ranks third in the Big Ten in rushingoffense, rushing defense and scoring defense, and fifth in scoringoffense and total offense. Ohio State is 21st nationally in rushingoffense (224.2 ypg) and 19th against the run (100.8). The Buckeyes’12 sacks are third-most in the league. Nebraska leads with 19. Inthe red zone: Ohio State’s offense is T2nd in the Big Ten (17 of19; 89.5 pct.) and its defense is 3rd (8 of 12; 66.7 pct.).