Tag Archives: Indiana Hoosiers

Overheard at Ohio State football: Indiana Week

Cleaning out the reporter’s notebook after another week following the Buckeyes. This time, we’re looking at a trip to Indiana following a defeat of Nebraska. We start, as always, with a recounting of the press luncheon of head coach Urban Meyer. For personnel notes, see BuckeyeSports.com.

URBANISMS

Ohio State’s head coach said this is as good as he has felt about an offensive line in a long time. They are his dudes now. However, they still don’t have any depth, and that is a concern. He wants to see the next three – Taylor Decker, Chase Farris and Tony Underwood – step up and show they are ready to play.

He has made a big deal about getting fast starts for the offense, but it hasn’t always worked out. Sometimes it’s been brutal. Nebraska came out defending them well and he got on the headset and said it was Braxton time. They needed to run him to jump start the offense.

Joshua Perry did OK filling in for Etienne Sabino, the senior linebacker who broke a bone in his leg against Nebraska. Perry, a true freshman from the Columbus suburbs, needs to build his confidence. He has a lot of talent.

Meyer was asked about Miller being a Heisman candidate and said he doesn’t usually talk about that at this point in time, but Miller doesn’t qualify yet. He is great to watch, but let’s wait a few more games.

He does pay attention to the national polls, and it is something they talk about with the team. The guys are going to hear about it regardless, whether that is at home or at class or somewhere else.

They are feeling the lack of scholarship players. Doug Lesmerises of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer counted 76 current guys, and that is apparent in special teams in particular. They had starting lineman on the field goal unit on Saturday. Linebackers are young, etc.

Wide receiver Ricquan Southward left the team after losing his love for the game, and safety Jamie Wood is out for the year with a second shoulder surgery of the year on tap.

Freshman quarterback Cardale Jones was suspended for the Nebraska game after tweeting that he didn’t understand why they have to go to class because they are in college to play football. That took away from Meyer’s attention to preparing for the game Friday and made him angry. He called Jones’ comment ignorant, something he is over now and ready to move on from. Jones is a great kid who made a mistake, which makes him no different than a lot of other guys his age.

Meyer has a lot of respect for Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson, who is an offensive innovator from whom Meyer learned a lot while he was developing his own version of the spread offense.

They held a tough practice for the young guys who don’t play in the games on Sunday. The old guys were off. He realized that players who don’t play pretty much get five days off during the season because they don’t do much at practice after Wednesday and they don’t get that action on Saturday. He needs to limit hits on the starters, especially the linemen, but the backups need live reps to get better.

Braxton Miller won’t miss practice to rest, but he doesn’t get hit in practice anyway.

In hiring an offensive line coach, he wanted another Steve Addazio, who held that position for him at Florida and is now the head coach at Temple. He wanted to make sure it was a guy who is involved in game planning, not one isolated to working with the offensive linemen. He liked the past experience Ed Warinner had as an offensive coordinator at Kansas, among other places.

He knows better exactly how Johnny Simon is feeling now because he has gotten Simon to start telling him the truth when he asks if he’s hurt. They have grown-man conversations. Meyer needs to know because an injured player can hurt the team if he’s out there. He joked they have a checklist for all Simon’s bangs and boo-boos.

He is disappointed in the production so far from the freshmen linebackers. They need to come along faster, especially with Sabino sidelined now.

He sees a very good player in Indiana defensive tackle Adam Replogle, and Meyer notices every week it seems like they are facing talented guys from Ohio.

He loves seeing the success Florida is having now and called the idea he left the cupboard bare there, “one man’s opinion.”

Orhian Johnson is doing very well in place of the injured C.J. Barnett and has accepted changing roles well. He is more talented than he realizes, according to Meyer. He has also battled a hip pointer. Johnson is a smart guy and a big, tough athlete.

He is very concerned they could overlook Indiana because the Buckeyes are coming off of two very emotional wins. They are sore, too. He is not sure how the team will deal with it, but he’s glad the Hoosiers nearly beat Michigan State last week because that will make it easier for them to get the attention of the team. They have already been able to watch that film on their iPads or whatever they want to use.

Indiana is improving and will challenge you with their spread formations.

Ohio State’s tight ends are earning a bigger role in the offense and did great things against the Cornhuskers.

Assistants added:

Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs talked at length (and with great enthusiasm) about the Buckeye kickoff team, a unit now known as the piranhas because they are small and vicious. They enjoy what they are doing, and he hasn’t gotten any resistance from anyone asked to fill that role.

They hit the Nebraska return man inside the 10 three times on Saturday, a truly tremendous feat. To get ready for the job, they have races in practice and then stop the film later to point out who is hustling the most on coverage.

Someone asked if Coombs thinks the kickoff will be eliminated from football eventually because of the concern about concussions, and he said yes, but he would not be a fan of that move. Teams now take different approaches. Some, like Indiana, try to kick it out of the end zone every time, but Ohio State kicks it high and wants to force a return then make a stop inside the 15.

Cornerbacks are able to do more individual study of opponents than other people on defense because of their role. That lets them study specific routes and watch players for tendencies. That played a role in Bradley Roby’s interceptions of Taylor Martinez. He is very good at watching habits and understanding what is coming. He really wants to make plays, and Ohio State needs that very much.

Someone asked his perspective on Ohio State and Cincinnati both having great years, and he said he loves Cincinnati. That’s his town. He wants what is best for them, and he recruited 60 percent of the guys on that team. That includes his son.

Coaching at Ohio State is amazing. The atmosphere Saturday night against Nebraska was better than when Coombs was an assistant for the Bearcats in the Orange Bowl. The experience here is second to none. He told the kids, ‘Let’s not lose anymore. This is fun.” He also called it “exciting” and “phenomenal”.

Roby gets confidence from the knowledge he gets from film study. Coombs never wants to coach a cornerback who doesn’t have swagger. Everybody gets beat and gives up catches in man coverage, so they have to be able to forget it. Tell them they were lucky to get one and go back to work. Feel like it’s never a matter of the other guy being better but just getting lazy or using bad technique. Coombs said Michigan State had a pair of catches in 27 times Roby was in man to man coverage.

Roby is blessed with a lot of ability, and he is much better than he was a year ago. He is not a finished product. He has worked hard at his craft and can be a first-round draft pick if that continues.

Tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Hinton agreed with the suggestion the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium for the night game against Nebraska was great for recruiting. “If that doesn’t get your blood boiling, there’s something wrong with you.”

He got chills from the quick cals with the students before the game, and responses he has heard from recruits so far has been tremendous.

Someone asked about lack of targets for Jake Stoneburner, and he said the offense has distributed the ball very well. They did not expect the tight ends to be open on vertical routes last week, but they were so they took advantage. The offense can do a lot, so they have to hit whatever is open.

He felt they made good adjustments against the Huskers, then everything came together.

Asked about how a good record can effect recruiting, he said it must be something because his Facebook has been buzzing. It helps because you get a lot of TV time when you’re good. That helps you catch the eye of everyone. It has some power, and kids watch.

Zach Boren has provided leadership for the team. They talked about it that day when he was in there on an off day to get some extra work. He has stayed pretty healthy and understands the system and the coaching process better than he did at the beginning.

Hinton is excited for the guys he left behind at Notre Dame to be off to a good start this season. That’s the great part of being in this business – the relationships you develop with young men. He couldn’t imagine just spending his time with adults all day. He loves the kids back in South Bend but generally only gets scores from their games and a few texts from guys.

He agrees there is a feeling of constriction with the roster small. You never feel like you have enough even when you have 85 scholarship players, and they have a maximum of 82 for now and two more years.

That’s tough because coaches always like to have a pair and a spare.

Players said:

Running back Carlos Hyde said Rod Smith has come a long way, done a 180 since last spring. He is doing great now and is a contributor for the team on offense and special teams. Smith hadn’t bought into the system earlier, but now he’s changed his mind.

He’s not worried about having to stay 60 miles or so from Bloomington before the game, but he did sound surprised when told about it. “How long did you say it was?” came as his initial response to the question. They will have the same mindset anyway.

The AP national title is a goal for the team. They need to do that so people will remember them since they can’t be Big Ten champions.

Asked about his ability to gain yards after contact, he said he wants defenses to feel like they have to bring more guys when they try to tackle him.

Smith said he eventually decided to just grind in practice and try to get noticed on special teams. He wasn’t showing enough before.

The offensive line has worked like crazy to get to the level of play it has contributed recently.

He doesn’t think staying in Indy and bussing to Bloomington on Saturday will be too difficult. They still need their road focus. It will be exciting.

He is just happy to be going back to his home state. He will see some of his friends from high school, and he wants to put on a show.

Roby said this Ohio State team has more leadership than last year’s. They also have a goal and everyone has bought in. That makes the team better.

Last year taught them how embarrassing it is to be a losing team. Now they need to bring the respect back for the Buckeyes.

Fellow cornerback Travis Howard is having a good year, and Roby always tells him in warmups they are the best pair of corners in the Big Ten and they need to go out there and show it every week.

Asked about the importance of the “victory meal” the team eats together on Sunday nights, he said, “It’s not the loser meal, so it’s cool. It’s time to be thankful for another victory.”

Linebacker Storm Klein said he assumes the Buckeyes will be in nickel most of the time in Bloomington.

Joshua Perry has done well in practice. It is crunch time for all of the young linebackers, and there is a greater sense of urgency in the room now. He hasn’t thought about what kind of shape the team and his position would be in if he wasn’t here.

The young guys can’t just wait around for things to happen.

Final Thoughts: Ohio State-Indiana

So how much of that Ohio State-Indiana game do we take seriously? That is the question I keep coming back to. After watching it again, I’m still not sure.

There were some rather basic things the Hoosier offense got away with – zone reads and inverted veers and quick passes – that Ohio State is going to have fix before the end of the season. I don’t think it’s as easy as forcing more turnovers, although that would help of course. It might be too late to think this team is going to start taking the ball away at a higher rate.

I don’t think Purdue can (and I know Penn State can’t) sustain drives like Indiana did, but Michigan could be a problem.

Then again, the Buckeyes did play better as the game went on.

John Simon and Johnathan Hankins continued to excel, and Michael Bennett made himself noticed on a number of occasions. Bennett looks like the kind of guy who can really do some damage against spread teams as he comes of age because he’s got a good base and good upper body strength and quickness. Garrett Goebel struggled some early then picked it up as the game wore on. I’m not sure if I saw Hankins blocked once other than a guy cutting him a time or two, and even then he still stayed with the play.

I thought the linebackers continue to be inconsistent. They aren’t great going side to side, and they tend to get caught up in the wash at times.

The secondary gave up some easy things short and then got caught in what Fickell and Heacock both said was a bad defensive call on the long touchdown pass in the second half. They were in a cover-2 look and Indiana overloaded that side with wide receiver motion.

Offensively, I thought Andrew Norwell had the best day of the offensive linemen followed by Mike Brewster. Norwell and Jack Mewhort both had it working with their pulls on the “Dave” play. The tight ends continued to impress with their blocking, too. No news is good news when it comes to Antonio Underwood: He was solid when he went in for J.B. Shugarts, who I thought struggled in pass protection, and never stood out by making any clear mistakes or getting beaten.

Also saw Philly Brown helping out a lot in the running game with a couple of nice downfield blocks.

It’s hard to judge Braxton Miller’s day since there are times we don’t know if it is him failing to find open receivers or receiver failing to get open. He had a bad stretch in the second quarter where he seemed out of sorts and struggled with his footwork and his drops. I wonder how much alternating between not just the shotgun and under center but also the pistol (in earlier weeks) messes up his development in that area. You can see his feet definitely affect his accuracy and the consistency of his delivery at times.

He did show some flashes with his arm, of course. He made that fantastic throw down the middle on a ball Chris Fields did a good job to go up and get with a defender on him. He found Zach Boren, who had another good day blocking, on another nice pass play when he could have run but Boren had even more room around him. His interception looked like a ball he decided to throw in the huddle. He didn’t seem to do anything to hold the safety on the hash at all, but it’s hard to tell what else was going on on that play from the narrow TV replays.

Both Boom Herron and Hyde did a good job to take advantage of some gaping holes. They didn’t have to work too hard, just hit the hole and go. I liked how both of them finished runs, too.

 

Random observations:

Miller’s first big run and first big pass were really keys to the first two scoring drives that were crucial after Indiana built the early lead. As much football as I watch, I’m still constantly reminded at how much big plays really alter the outcome of games compared to how much scrutiny we give play by play and series.

Brewster often times doesn’t look like much of a drive blocker. He added weight to improve his base, but he still seems to get rooted out a lot by bigger guys inside. He competes well, to be sure, but it’s a recurring thing. Perhaps he will continue to get stronger as he matures. Bollman said earlier this year athletic guys often need the full four years to really get strong enough. I can’t recall the last time I saw him struggle with anyone in pass protection, though.

There was a third down early that could be meaningful for the future. Simon was the option man on a zone read and played it tight to the line to force the give to the running back on an inverted veer, but what is notable is he still had the quickness to jump outside to make the tackle. If he can do that consistently, the Ohio State defense can be really tough to run on from the shotgun. That’s a big difference I would think they would find without Nathan Williams in there.

Indiana was able to find holes in Ohio State’s zones quite a bit, but quarterback Tre Roberson still had to make some good throws to take advantage.

Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)

Not every game is a scintillating prime-time affair against a team you owe some serious payback. The visit from Indiana had a classic trap game feel as the Buckeyes can’t be blamed too much for being more interested in looking back at their two best wins of the year and ahead to the tougher games left on the schedule as they aim toward a Big Ten championship game berth and a shot at another big-money bowl game. In that spirit, we’re going with some AC/DC for this week’s column. 

 

What we learned last week: Young teams are unpredictable… although Ohio State’s lackluster performance in a 34-20 win over four-touchdown underdog Indiana should not have come as a complete surprise.

These Buckeyes came out smoking against Akron then snoozed through Toledo a week later.

They had a Jekyll and Hyde performance in one game against Nebraska.

They’re going to be inconsistent, and they had every reason to feel like they could relax with the now 1-9 Hoosiers in town. Most of us who follow the team as fans or reporters or whatever else felt pretty much the same way. It’s human nature.

Attitude was not the only thing lacking, though. That can be a convenient excuse, but there were some real issues that need to be ironed out in order for the magical late-season run a lot of people (myself included) expect to materialize.

Braxton Miller continued to look uncomfortable at times in the pocket. They gave him some different things to try in the passing game, spread things out a little more at times, but it was hit or miss. He had a couple of off-target throws and had a hard time picking up where blitzers were coming from. Yet he also showed his jaw-dropping ability with those brilliant touchdown runs and one particular pass down the middle of the field under duress. He will get there eventually, but let’s remember there is no guarantee the improvement will be incremental. As with Terrrelle Pryor, growth will probably happen in fits and starts.

The offensive line was superb in opening holes for Miller and his running backs but had some trouble in pass protection. The wide receivers again seemed to have trouble getting open consistently.

I think it’s a strange they went away from some of the things that worked well a week earlier, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, either.

As for the defense…

What we can expect to learn next week: If the Buckeyes can remember how to shut down the spread run game. This will be an issue not just in West Lafayette against Purdue on Saturday but also two weeks later in Ann Arbor against Michigan.

This Silver Bullet unit is not as well built for stopping the spread as some recent OSU defenses.

It has a spread-killer in Tyler Moeller, but the defensive line is more stout than it is athletic with Nathan Williams on the sideline and the other potential Leo defensive ends not ready for prime time.

Ditto Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein, the co-middle linebackers who seem more suited for linear attacks like Wisconsin’s than for playing in space.

Could they make some tweaks? Perhaps. Johnny Simon was supposed to alternate between 3- and 5-technique this season, but he has spent most of the year at Leo. He’s also become the team’s regular “viper” rush linebacker (think Bobby Carpenter in 2005 and later Thaddeus Gibson and Nathan Williams) in their dime package the past few weeks. That’s not Simon’s best role, but he’s looked solid there. With his work ethic and desire to get better, I would not rule out his continuing to improve, but they would still be better off with someone there whose skills are more suited for it. That would also let Simon go back to his more natural position and improve two spots. Perhaps the answer is senior Solomon Thomas or one of two freshmen – J.T. Moore and Steve Miller – stepping up, but there hasn’t been much indication that is going to happen at this point in the season.

Perhaps we could also see more of true freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier, but so far his role has been limited to late-game situations when teams are forced to pass and he can rush the passer or spy the quarterback.

Overall, the key to shoring things up is for the youngsters to keep calm and trust each other to be where they are supposed to be. That’s easier said than done, but it will be paramount as the days get shorter and the games get bigger.

All-Buckeye Beater Nominees: First and foremost, we have to recognize Tre Roberson. The freshman quarterback’s interception late sealed the Hoosiers’ fate, but it was his overall performance that had them in the game up to that point. He looked smooth while completing 11 of 21 passes for 174 yards and running for another 70 yards on 20 carries.

After hauling in eight passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, wide receiver Kofi Hughes also gets a nod, and defensively we’ll go with safety Alexander Webb (11 tackles and an interception), linebacker Chase Hoobler (nine tackles, two sacks) and end Bobby Richardson (four tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble).

DVR Directions: Top priority for recording this week goes to the Nebraska-Penn State game (ESPN) set for noon in Happy Valley. I will be interested to see how the Cornhuskers bounce back from their loss to Northwestern and to scout the Nittany Lions for their upcoming game at Ohio Stadium. Also keep in mind the Cornhuskers could give the Buckeyes full control of their Big Ten divisional destiny if they knock off the Nittany Lions.

Big Ten Picks: Not my best performance last week as the Iowa and Northwestern upset Michigan and Nebraska, respectively. Will the Hawkeyes keep it up when they play host to Michigan State? I am going to give this one to the Spartans, who have not looked good the past two weeks but have revenge on their side after getting shellacked in Iowa City last season. I think Michigan will bounce back at Illinois, although that one could get interesting in always-windy Champaign, and Wisconsin should have no problem retaining Paul Bunyan’s Axe with a beatdown of Minnesota even though the Gophers have shown some surprising spunk two weeks in a row.

Finally, I’m going with Nebraska to beat Penn State. Although the Huskers have not been as good as expected in their first trip through the Big Ten, they have superior athletes to the Nittany Lions, who probably aren’t going to have the best week of preparation in the world given the scandal that has hit the program. This should be a good test for the PSU linebackers against the talented Cornhusker runners.

Last week: 2-2. Season record: 18-8

Cus Words Power Poll 

  1. Nebraska
  2. Michigan State
  3. Ohio State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Michigan
  6. Penn State
  7. Illinois
  8. Iowa
  9. Northwestern
  10. Purdue
  11. Minnesota
  12. Indiana

Overheard at Ohio State Football: Indiana Week

Cleaning out my reporter’s notebook after another week on the Buckeye beat.  

FICKELLISMS

Ohio State’s head coach started by thanking the fans and students for helping create an awesome atmosphere. He said that is what Ohio State football is all about.

Asked what kind of benefits Braxton Miller can get from a game like this, Fickell identified confidence, both in himself and from the rest of the members of the offense. They are getting more comfortable with him. Boom Herron’s return has helped the offense mentally, too.

They will avoid a letdown by continuing to focus on themselves and how they need to get better. Preparation will reflect how they finish the season. He has said all along November is when the important games are played.

Asked if the players could get caught up in looking ahead with the Big Ten race now back on, he said he has always felt the toughest thing to do at Ohio State is handle the success and the praise. That is as much of a distraction as negative things that are said about them.

Even thought Miller is mostly stoic outwardly, he has an emotional side and is a competitive kid. Everyone is different in how they show that stuff. John Simon gets so jacked up sometimes he gets drained emotionally early in games.

The Buckeyes are in no place to look past anyone. The coaches will pound that into the players’ heads this week, but it comes down to what the players believe and feel themselves. Win or lose, they maintain the 17-hour rule. That’s how long they get to think about a game before moving on to the next one. They start establishing that in preseason camp. They have to focus on themselves and remember adversity they have dealt with before.

Playing essentially four defensive tackles as starters is a function of getting their best 11 players on the field.

Asked if the Wisconsin game qualifies as a signature win, he said they all count the same in the standings, but maybe it will be thought of differently with the way it was won. Maybe he’ll have a chance to reflect on it after the season.

Winning the Big Ten is their goal every year, and the players remain aware of that. They have to keep taking care of business.

The defensive breakdowns at the end of the Wisconsin game are a reminder they still have to be on guard against big plays. That’s what got them, a big draw play and then the long pass that came on a blown coverage. The players have to know the little things get a lot bigger as the competition gets better.

The defensive line did a great job Saturday night. It took the challenge presented to it. They took on double teams and made it possible for the linebackers to work. The guys up front are unselfish and know it’s not always about stats. They focus on team.

He does not have trepidations playing freshmen. It has to be done so you can see what they can do, and he expects by now they are not really freshmen anymore. It’s up to the coaches to figure out how to get guys on the field. He figures back in his playing days the coaches were disappointed they decided to redshirt Shawn Springs, an eventual All-American who left after three years anyway.

Christian Bryant is learning a lot of lessons this year, including two big ones against the Badgers (He tried to jump a route against running back Montee Ball but missed the interception and let him go for what turned out to be a touchdown, and he seemed to have gotten out of place on Wisconsin’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter), but he will learn. He knows he needs to improve. Fickell thought he might have messed up on Ball’s touchdown but then saw on film what Bryant was seeing and felt OK about him trying to make a play. They don’t want to take away his aggressiveness.

Carlos Hyde is in a tough situation with Boom Herron and Jordan Hall getting most of the touches at running back the past two games, but he believes in what they are doing and knows he is helping the team and has to wait his turn. Then Fickell used the example of the Arkansas backfield of 2007 that included Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis.

Fickell said he would not have done anything differently if he were more or less worried about his future than he is, which is not at all. The No. 1 thing to him is the wellbeing of the players, and it’s crucial they see the example he sets in terms of being unselfish and working hard for this year.

Indiana is dangerous because they can score. They are a young group with nothing but upside. They play wide open and are aggressive in everything they do. They also play the same no matter the score. That’s what you want to see when you’re trying to build something.

Differences in the Buckeyes now and the Buckeyes of a month ago starts with confidence. They believe in themselves. They knew there would be tough times and they would have to persevere. It’s Ohio State, where they expect to be great. That’s a key they have never stopped stressing. The guys are working hard and getting used to each other.

They will need to make sure the guys are up and ready for the first home noon game since Toledo on Sept. 10.

The defense still has to work on recovering when bad things happen, and they have to make plays. The last touchdown would have have happened if they had executed the coverage the way it was drawn up. There would have been a jump ball and a battle the OSU defensive back is expected to win.

PLAYERS SAYETH:  

Wide receiver Philly Brown said it does feel like a new season now that the Big Ten race is back on the table.

Former Buckeye Shawn Springs, an All-American cornerback in the mid-90s, told them before the Wisconsin game they needed to start acting like they are from Ohio State. They needed to change their attitude and realize what they represent with the program.

He felt they started to get their swagger back during the Illinois game.

He can’t wait to see what Braxton Miller looks like by the time the Michigan game rolls around. It’s going to be crazy because of the way he is improving now. He likes how Miller keeps his poise and keeps his emotions in check.

Having Boom Herron back is great because he is an emotional leader. He is highly energetic and gives them a lift like John Simon does the defense.

He wasn’t worried the team might collapse after the loss at Nebraska. They saw flashes then of what they were capable of and knew they needed to just put in more work.

Noon games are rough because they have a 7 a.m. wakeup call, but they still get their juices flowing because it’s a great opportunity to be able to play a game at Ohio Stadium.

Defensive lineman Garrett Goebel said being back in the Big Ten race is a good thing but not their focus. They aren’t going to look past anyone. They had a good practice Tuesday and were flying around.

Communication and focus will be important for dealing with the Hoosiers’ hurry-up offense.

Offensive lineman Mike Adams said the team has some more pep in their step now that they have a winning streak going.

Miller does a great job handling his emotions and avoids bad decisions. He doesn’t panic.

They know not to overlook any teams because they were overlooked for a while earlier this season and didn’t like it. He even got some texts from some coaches the night of the Wisconsin game about keeping their focus. They don’t think the media really likes them, but they don’t care much about it.

He didn’t think they would fall apart after the Nebraska loss because they have been working hard together since January.

They know this is Ohio State and they play for something bigger than themselves. Springs reminded them of the responsibility they have to keep the program rolling. He is happy with the way the team responded to adversity.

Safety C.J. Barnett said they learned again Saturday night not to worry about the score. Keep focus until the game is over. They had a mixup and lost track of a wide receiver on the last play. He was on the other side of the field.

Springs said they need to make sure they know who they are when they step on the field and what they represent.

Assistants added: 

Tight ends coach John Peterson said fullback Zach Boren is and adaptable guy who is comfortable lining up anywhere.

He said a real play was called for what became the final touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Devin Smith, but it became a scramble drill just like any other after Miller broke the pocket. It reminded him of seeing Ben Roethlisberger create outside the pocket when both of them were at Miami (Ohio).

The key to success in that situation is people keep their heads up to see what’s going on.

Indiana’s defense is very youthful, especially on the back end, but they have an experienced middle linebacker.

Asked about recruiting in this uncertain time for the coaching staff, he said Ohio State is bigger than any one person. They will get the kids who want to be at Ohio State. They haven’t heard players’ uncertainty or concerns about the situation yet because they’ve been doing mostly evaluations, not talking to a lot of kids. That comes more next month.

Jake Stoneburner is improving as a blocker, and his versatility lets them do a variety of things with some of the same personnel.

They have used the pistol a lot with Miller because of his familiarity with the shotgun in high school, plus it balances the formation compared to the traditional shotgun. It still lets the tailback run down hill.

He was excited watching the students rush the field and celebrate the win last week.

Cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson said Indiana is a talented team that is very young. They have a really good system run by his good friend Kevin Wilson. They play hard and will be excited to tee it up Saturday.

Their young quarterback is getting more confidence and like any young player getting better. He does remind him some of Braxton Miller in that he is a dual threat guy. They’ll probably keep adding more to the package for him.

Sophomore running back Stephen Houston is a powerful guy who explodes through the hole. He has good speed.

The tempo of their offense, the no-huddle stuff, is a sign Wilson is getting his things installed. IU has moved the ball on everyone they’ve played.

Playing freshmen doesn’t scare him because they only put guys out there who earn it. Most in that position have showed they have some maturity to handle it, too.

The lesson from the fourth quarter last week is they have to play the whole game. They can’t allow big plays, must maintain eye control – the same fundamentals they have always stressed. Can’t miss tackles.

The last touchdown came as a result of some communication issues and lack of focus. They might not have been aligned right and could have used a reroute at the line on one of the receivers. It was a little bit of everything and not just one guy’s fault. There are a plethora of things to correct.

Later he was asked again about what needs to be done when they are in cover 2, and he said the cornerback needs to help the safety on the hash by rerouting the receiver at the line to give him more time to react.

They do not tell Bryant it is OK to make mistakes if he makes plays. He has to eliminate mistakes, but they do like his aggressiveness.

The cornerbacks are having a good year but still learning. They have to understand they can’t make mistakes at all.

Ohio Stadium is always an unbelievable experience and he doesn’t think having the night game made a big difference for recruits.

Ohio State will always be Ohio State, and next year no matter who is the coach, the players will still be here. That is who they tell the recruits to get to know. Get to know the players and the school and the academics and the program. That is not unusual for him because he never sells himself anyway but rather all those other things.

He can see the young guys growing and understanding the defense, learning to trust each other and the system.

After the Badgers scored their last touchdown, he went to the bench and made sure he got people who had their heads down up and back into the game.
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