Apr 20, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O

Bill O'Brien Press Conference Recap: Ohio State Week

Bill O’Brien returned to the Beaver Stadium media room this afternoon for the first time since the thrilling 43-40 Homecoming win over Michigan over a week ago.  He recapped the bye week and looked ahead to Ohio State this weekend, and his playing days at Brown.

  • Safety Ryan Keiser is back to a full participant after recovering from hand surgery.  That is not only good news for the PSU secondary, but also Sam Ficken, as Keiser has served as the holder on field goals and extra points this season.  Other than the known season ending injuries, there are no other serious health concerns going into Ohio State.
  • The OSU defense has come under attack, primarily from Buckeye fans, and even their coaching staff, but O’Brien calls them the most athletic group PSU will play this year.  He singled out CB Bradley Roby and LB Ryan Shazier as two players in particular PSU needs to account for.
  • On the other side of the ball, PSU’s defense must contend with QB Braxton Miller, who O’Brien said is one of the 5 best players in the nation.  He also has seen significant improvement from OSU’s junior signal caller in his 2nd year in Urban Meyer’s offense.
  • Carlos Hyde has emerged in the last 2 games, accounting for 317 yards against Northwestern and Iowa.  O’Brien says he has often been overlooked, but is getting a lot of attention from the PSU staff, and they have to be ready for the big, powerful back.
  • One of the bigger changes against Michigan was Anthony Zettel sliding into the starting line up in place of Deion Barnes.  OB was very complimentary of the former, saying Zettel works extremely hard and has improved a lot.  If he continues to practice well he’ll play.  As for the latter, O’Brien again said he has no issues with Barnes play.  It’s hard to disagree after Barnes was very disruptive versus Michigan, even if he didn’t have the big numbers to back it up.
  • Zach Zwinak OR Bill Belton is PSU’s first string running back listing on the depth chart this week.  After the costly early 2nd half fumble from Zwinak, Belton carried the load the rest of the way, and played well.  O’Brien said Zwinak has practiced well, and will play against Ohio State.  Both will play, but there was no mention of who will start.
  • Weekly Hackenberg Statement: “One of the things that’s struck me about Christian is his demeanor. He’s a calm guy. He’s got a quiet confidence about him.”
  • Much like he did before the Michigan game, O’Brien didn’t shy away from talking about how big the Ohio State match up is, saying “I love games like this, just thinking about Penn State vs. Ohio State and what that means in the history of college football.” He also went onto say that once the game starts, PSU must focus on doing their job.OB also got in the way back machine to recount his collegiate playing career at Brown: We weren’t very good. You can look it up.

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