Another week has come and gone and Ohio State has continued their streak of wins to open the Urban Meyer era, knocking off Penn State 35-23 in Happy Valley to move to 9-0 overall and 5-5 in the B1G, all but locking up the Leaders Division crown.
After a slow first half for the Buckeyes, Braxton Miller and the crew turned it on in the third quarter and pulled away from the Nittany Lions to end their recent five-game winning street. PSU head coach Bill O’Brien has done a fantastic job with the hand he’s been dealt in State College, but his Nitts were simply over matched on Saturday night. That seems to be a theme that will carry on for some time as long as Urban Meyer is roaming the sidelines in Scarlet and Gray.
One young man in particular spurred the momentum change that took the life straight out of Beaver Stadium and, for once, he wasn’t wearing 5 on his jersey – although Brax came through in a big way as well, as he always does. On with some helmet stickers…
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Linebacker Ryan Shazier has been a stand-out for a Silver Bullets squad that has otherwise struggled through a good portion of 2012, but he was never more the centerpiece of defensive success than he was just three plays into the second half.
After kicker Drew Basil pinned the Nittany Lions on their own eleven yard line to open the second half, PSU RB Zach Zwinak opened play with a six yard run. On second and four, Shazier busted up the middle untouched and sacked Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin for a nine yard loss, but that wasn’t the end of the fireworks for #48.
One play later McGloin dropped back from his own eight yard line and threw it directly into the waiting arms of Shazier who caught it in stride and ran 17 yard into the end zone for the first pick six of his career, one that would silent the Beaver Stadium crowd and give the Buckeyes their first lead of the night 14-7 and every ounce of momentum the game had to offer.
Shazier finished the night with his pick six along with seven total tackles (3 solo) that included 2 sacks of McGloin, which doubled his season sack total coming into the game. Ryan received 10 of the 30 total votes this week from the Empire crew.
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Let’s be honest here – at some point we run out of superlatives for this young man who find himself in one of these two Helmet Stickers spots each and every week. In short, he’s the straw that stirs the drink – the gas on the fire – the best player on one of the six or seven best teams in the entire country.
On Saturday night in State College, Braxton Miller racked up 277 total yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) while posting his sixth 100-yard rushing effort in nine tries this season – but none more beautiful than this piece of work…
Urban Meyer didn’t have a clear look at that run from his spot on the sideline, completely missing the first half of it, but did see Miller dive across the goal line for six.
“All I heard in my headset was `Oh my God,’ ” Meyer said after the game.
I think all of Buckeye Nation said the exact same thing.
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Others receiving helmet stickers this week:
Jake Stoneburner (7); Bradley Roby (2); Carlos Hyde (1); John Simon (1)
2012 Season Totals:
- Braxton Miller (69)
- Kenny Guiton (26)
- Carlos Hyde (26)
- Bradley Roby (26)
- Travis Howard (17)
- Ryan Shazier (16)
- Johnathan Hankins (14)
- Devin Smith (12)
- Zach Boren (9)
- Jake Stoneburner (8)
- Etienne Sabino (7)
- Chris Fields (7)
- Philly Brown (6)
- Doran Grant (6)
- Reid Fragel (6)
- Orhian Johnson (5)
- Jordan Hall (2)
- Nathan Williams (2)
- Rod Smith (2)
- Nathan Williams (1)
- Christian Bryant (1)
- Drew Basil (1)
- Jeff Heuerman (1)
- John Simon (1)