Ohio State Note and Quotebook - Penn State Edition
By Tony Gerdeman
The Longest Yard: Braxton Miller rushed for 134 yards on 25 carries, but it was one particular carry for one measly yard that had the entire Buckeye sideline watching in amazement.
Photo by Jim Davidson
On a read option from the one-yard line, Miller took the football out of Carlos Hyde's belly, avoiding a disaster. He then ran to the right, got cut off, jumped back to avoid two tacklers, then ran forward and dove into the endzone for a touchdown.
It was a one-yard carry, but it was oh so much more.
"That was crazy," said tight end Jake Stoneburner.
"I've never seen a quarterback be able to do something like that. The sideline was just in awe. Everyone’s mouth was just wide open. I've never seen anything like that."
Miller simply chalked it up as instinct because he couldn't really remember what actually happened.
"I don't know," he said of the play.
"I think the guy just came in, he tried to tackle Carlos, and I pulled it. I don't know who was around me so I don't know after that. My instincts just take over."
The Buckeyes have seen those instincts in action all season long, but even this lone yard wasn't something that they hadn't seen before. Too bad the head coach didn't get to see it, however.
"I did't see it," Urban Meyer admitted. "I was having a conversation on the headsets and (the person he was talking to said) 'Oh my God!'"
Boogie Nights: It was a loud and raucous crowd in Beaver Stadium Saturday night. It was a famed Penn State "White Out" and it was the Nittany Lions' first sellout of the season.
Urban Meyer went into the game expecting the loudest crowd he had seen as a Big Ten coach, and even though he may not have been looking forward to it, his players sure were.
"I loved it," Braxton Miller said. "Their fans were all into it and I think it kept us into it too."
"That’s how I would expect it to be when its Ohio State and Penn State," Stoneburner said.
"This place was absolutely insane. I've never seen a crowd like that. I guess you could say it was a championship atmosphere, but that’s what you get in a night game here at Penn State. We’re undefeated and they’re playing well."
For Meyer, this trip to Happy Valley provided much more than a win. It also gave him some reassurance.
"When you come on the road you find out about your team," he said.
"It's a gladiator mentality, it's us against the world and our guys seem to thrive on that, so it was against a very talented group. I'm very pleased with the team win."
White Lightning: Penn State had just scored to cut Ohio State's lead to 28-16 with under ten minutes to play. As far as the Nittany Lions were concerned, they were back in the game. Now all they needed were a couple of defensive stops.
The Buckeyes had a different plan in mind.
At their own 28-yard line, Braxton Miller dropped back, looked downfield, and saw Jake Stoneburner in single coverage.
"It was just a simple slant, but they were in a no deep coverage with no high safety and man to man," Stoneburner explained.
"Once I beat my guy I had to get vertical and Braxton threw a beautiful ball and I was able to outrun the defense after that."
Photo by Jim Davidson
It was a 72-yard touchdown for Stoneburner, by far the longest play of his career. Known as a tight end with speed, he showed every bit of it as he pulled away from Penn State safety Jacob Fagnano.
"First I was thinking don’t get caught," he said.
"I turned around to make sure I wasn’t going to get caught and then it was just surreal. Ive never had that long of a touchdown in that big of a game. it was just awesome."
And the best part?
"To see my coaches faces when I came off the field, making fun of me that they didn’t think I could run like that."
"He needed that," Miller said.
"He really hasn't got many touches all throughout the season. I absolutely prayed to God that that ball got into his hands and he scored, so that's a good play."
Smokey and the Bandit: Ryan Shazier's interception return for a touchdown to start the third quarter created a massive momentum shift and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Photo by Jim Davidson
"At that point in time it was unbelievable," defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said of Shazier's theft.
"We needed momentum, just the way the second half started out, you can never account for those kinds of things. It's a game of momentum. Between that and Jake Stoneburner's long touchdown, those are things that just break the back of the other teams."
It was a long time coming for Shazier, who had seen numerous interceptions pass through his hands this season and fall to the ground. But he sure picked a good time to nab his first career interception.
"It meant a lot to me because I dropped way too many picks this year already," Shazier said.
"Coaches felt really confident in our man coverage and I just took advantage of my opportunities. I was just reading my keys. I didn’t have any work, so I worked back to the field and it opened up right there. He threw it right there to the curl and I took it to the house.
"It felt like a dream because I dropped so many picks this year. When I caught the ball, it felt like a dream."
Semi-Tough: After being injured against Purdue, and in several games before that as well, the wise advice for Braxton Miller was to stop taking so many hits. That means running out of bounds if able, and maybe even mixing in a slide or two in the middle of the field.
Miller ran out of bounds a few times without incident, but after nearly buckling his knee on a slide attempt, the sliding part will still need to be worked on.
"Oh my God yes," Miller answered when asked if he still needed to work on sliding.
"Carlos [Hyde] was like 'Are you all right after that slide' and I was like, 'I need to practice on that.' I'll be all right.
"I took unnecessary hits last week, but I learned from it. I watched film last week and and I don't know why I keep standing up, so I just slide instead of trying to get extra yards and get hit."
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.