OSU coaches have mixed feelings

Associated Press


Ohio State line coach Mike Vrabel let slip a swear word as he was talking about how the Buckeyes’ defense got pushed around on Saturday.

Odds are, it wasn’t the only time a coach cursed that unit over the past few days.

“Call it what it was,” Vrabel said of Iowa doing what it wanted against the Buckeyes in the first half. “[They] beat the [crap] out of us.”

Keep in mind, the fourth-ranked Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) won, 34-24.

No wonder coach Urban Meyer and his staff have mixed emotions about the team right now.

On one side, they couldn’t be more pleased for the most part with the way things are going on offense these days.

Carlos Hyde was virtually unstoppable while running for 149 yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Braxton Miller passed for two touchdowns, ran for 102 yards and made very few mistakes and Corey Brown had three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown and made several big blocks, particularly as the Buckeyes bounced back from a 17-10 deficit.

“Offensively that was one of our better games since we’ve been here,” said Meyer, who ran his record to 19-0 since coming to Ohio State. “The second half is probably our best football we’ve played in a while.”

The linemen were singled out in the locker room after the game for their excellent play.

Things weren’t perfect — after all, the Buckeyes went into the fourth quarter tied against a team they were heavily favored to beat. But they did extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 19 while remaining in the hunt for a Big Ten division title and in the conversation on the national front.

“We’re not satisfied but we are happy with the win,” wideout Devin Smith said. “We’re just going to take it and just keep getting better.”

Rest assured that no one was satisfied on a defense which had difficulty putting the clamps on the Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2) until the final quarter. It is giving up 26 points a game in conference play.

“Can it be fixed? Absolutely. We’re still a good rush defense,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to continue to work because we’ve dealt with some injuries and depth issues and we’ve got to play better. [Still, I’m] very, very concerned.”

Vrabel didn’t hold back.

In the span of one response on Monday, he used the words “easy yardage” and “soft” and said the unit wasn’t physical.

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