47 Seconds, No Timeouts and a Legendary Perforance

During the first 59 minutes 13 seconds of the Ohio State vs. Purdue game, it appeared as though we were watching the collapse of the season. With Braxton Miller on his way to the hospital, the offense had bounced a field goal off the post, given up a safety and backup quarterback Kenny Guiton threw an interception. Although the defense was starting to show signs of life, things weren’t looking much better.

Then it happened.

With only 47 seconds left in the game and no timeouts to stop the clock, Guiton connected with Devin Smith for 39 yards. He immediately followed with a pass to Evan Spencer placing the Buckeyes on the 14 yard line. Carlos Hyde moved the ball another three yards but Guiton followed with a couple of incomplete passes. With time running out, Purdue committed pass interference placing the Buckeyes on the 2 yard line. A short pitch over the top to Chris Fields and the Buckeyes were in the end zone.

With only a few seconds left on the clock and two points down, you would expect the ball to go to Carlos Hyde. According to Coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeye offense sure did.

“The offensive line was screaming at me (Meyer) to run the ball. I mean, like screaming. And same with Carlos Hyde. And I almost changed that play. And I said: Tom (Herman), let’s pound it at ‘em. He said, no, let’s go with this.”

A short hesitation lob to freshman Chris Fields and the game was tied and going into overtime.

Five plays into overtime the Buckeyes were up by seven. The Ohio State defense held Purdue to five yards and the game was over. In one of the most amazing finishes since the “Holy Buckeye” pass, the Buckeyes had come from behind and salvaged their undefeated record.

Kenny Guiton, Urban Meyer and the power of confidence
Not only did we see an amazing turnaround by the Ohio State Buckeyes, in those 47 seconds we saw a change in this team that will have an impact for the rest of this season and into the future. And although I’ve been slow to accept it, much of this can be attributed to Urban Meyer’s coaching style.

Everything about this game would suggest that the Buckeyes were done. The all star quarterback was out and on his way to the hospital. Corey Brown and Johathon Hankins were injured on the sidelines. At least two players were playing out of position because there was no one left to fill the spots.

With a safety and an interception on the last two possessions, there was nothing to suggest that this team could pull it together. But instead of jumping on Guiton after throwing the interception, Meyer grabbed him and said, “…you’re going to go win us a game.”

Meyer was able to say that because he had confidence in Guiton–confidence he didn’t have in him last spring. Meyer has been very blunt about when he does or doesn’t have confidence in his players. But instead of giving up on them, this lack of confidence appears to be an important part of player development. He not only tells his kids he lacks confidence in them, he tells them what they need to do to fix the problem. When Meyer tells Guiton he can win the game, Guiton knows that Meyer truly believes he can and he responded.

Meyer continued:

He looked right at me. I think he was down. I think that moment kind of picked him up. And we have confidence in Kenny Guiton. And the one thing is we’re real honest with guys around here. If we didn’t, I would tell them: We don’t have any confidence in you. Here’s what you need to do. That’s not the case.

Every snap of practice he gets a rep. He’s done it over and over again in practice, the cross, we call it 860 cross. But after that interception, we all went back I just grabbed him and I said: You’ll be right back and we’ll win the game. And he looked right back me, said: I gotcha, Coach. And how many times has he been in that position, how many times has anybody been in that situation?

Guiton isn’t the only one where we’ve seen this type of development. In his post-game comments Meyer mentioned Fields and Jake Stoneburner. Meyer called Fields a “product of this program” saying that during the past few weeks, Fields has made a transformation “the way he works, his practice habits and his performance.”

He’s also seen a transformation in Stoneburner saying that in the past two weeks, Stoneburner has completely changed his performance.

We had a come to you know what meeting because he wasn’t playing well. He was playing okay.

But, once again, I think one of the things that I love so much about our program is direct conversation and direct honesty. And he wasn’t playing very hard in East Lansing. He did it. He played okay, but okay is not good enough for a guy like that. The last game he played lights out and today he played great.

A New Ohio State Team
From this point forward I think we will see a different Ohio State football team. With confidence in themselves and those around them playing such an important role, those 47 seconds and their overtime performance will be season changing. Now they know they can fight through adversity for they have done it. They know they have the ability and the talent because they have proven it to themselves.

Expect the Buckeyes to ride this wave right into practice this week and on to Penn State an beyond. Before those 47 seconds I thought our season was over. Instead, we have seen the dawning of a new era at Ohio State. Lackluster play has been a problem all season but this may be just the fire they need.

With big games looming on the horizon and a finale against Michigan, I now believe the Buckeyes end the season undefeated.

Comments

  1. Dave Smith says

    Being in a location without a television and only spotty radio coverage of the game, I have to rely on written descriptions. Having said that, Braxton coming out of the game may have been a good thing in the long run. We thought Kenny could do the job, and now we know it. A trial by fire.. and what Roy McAvoy would call a defining moment. With the hits Braxton takes every week, it’s a huge relief to have a backup that we know has what it takes.
    Yea.. it was Purdue… Yea.. They are not good and we should have blown them out… but 8-0 is 8-0.
    Better than 7-1 every time.

  2. says

    I think this was a defining moment for the entire team. Up until this point it was all about Braxton Miller. No matter how bad things got, they could rely on Miller to bail them out.

    Saturday, they proved to themselves and the world that their is more to this team than Miller. For the last few minutes of this game and into overtime, they all stepped up and did what they needed to do. Hopefully they can carry this momentum and new found confidence into the coming weeks ahead — with or without Braxton Miller.

    When Miller does return, he will be working with a much stronger team because of this experience.

  3. Mikie says

    Jim;

    Well done….Nice writing!! I missed the whole game, but my dad made about 10 phones call to me in those last 47 seconds and OT…

    Yes – I think we finally see the FIRST Ohio State TEAM effort, since “the vest”. Last year Luke had a bunch of individuals trying to prove their way along…NOW we finally see a Meyer Team taking shape.

    8-0 is pretty amazing all in all considering the crazy roller coaster ride over the last 20 months. Most programs have a 3-5 year re-set. NOT tOSU…

    Can’t decide weather I like the ** that will be attached to this season or not. With no title game and no bowl game, after an undefeated season, leaves a taste, but on teh same regard, I love teh controversy it creates?

    Gonna be an interesting last few weeks of the season and a situation the pundits haven’t had to worry about in the past(most teams with sanctions aren’t contenting anyway), where a punished team has a break out year in contrast…The “ifs” and “buts” and *** comments ought to be very interesting!

    Mikie

  4. says

    Oh Mikie. You missed a big one. I almost started texting you.

    The most interesting thing would be an undefeated Ohio State in the AP poll. I don’t think the pollsters will let it happen even if the Buckeyes do dominate by winning big the rest of the season. They dropped them back two spots in the poll yesterday and moved LSU past us.

    Of course when LSU struggled against Townson, it didn’t hurt their ranking.

    • Mikie says

      Text away…dad’s cell was dead, so the calls every few minutes were entertaining…Pops is in town this weekend, so I’ll be able to watch the game with him…LEt me know if you are around / want to join us. margot is having 12 – 10 year olds over for a haunted mansion sleepover saturday night – so not sure how a 530 game and 14 little girls are going to co-exist…

  5. says

    By the end of the game Sat. I was hoping that I’d get the hospital bed next to Braxton’s. Fortunately, Miller is out of the hospital, says he’s fine and the word is there are no symptoms.

    Should here more at Urban’s presser today.

  6. gulfportcarl says

    Jim, great game , great article.It was no surprise to me as I have been touting Kenny all year, to the wrath of a few. I don’t know how you can be down and out, taken to the hospital an walk out with nothing wrong. I know braxton is a tough kid, but get real, you could tell his lights were out with him on the sideline. The late hit earlier in the game when he was planted by the Purdue lineman didn’t help his situation. The kids taken a lot of hits this year maybe it’s time to give him a game off. The buckeye’s win and drop two spots in the poll go figure. Oklahoma and Oregon State move ahead of us and were 8-0. I have a thought on Oklahoma moving up, they are playing Notre Dame this weekend should Notre Dame win the would have beaten a top 10 team.
    We have SEC bias and now we have Notre Dame bias.

  7. says

    At yesterday’s press conference Meyer said that Miller suffered from whiplash. He went on to say that Miller told him he’d never really been hurt before and that in all his years, this was one of the first hits that really shook him up. I don’t think he used the word “shock” but that’s basically what he was saying.

    Not sure what to make of that but Meyer said Miller will be practicing with the team this week. There was also some discussion of Guiton getting a few more snaps. I don’t know if we’ll see him take an entire game off, especially as we head into Penn State. They are doing everything they can to get in a good season before the scholarship penalties really start to kick in and you know that place will be loud. I think we may see Miller getting some rest time though.

    That two place drop is really questionable. They did struggle against Purdue and Indiana got beat by Navy this weekend so that didn’t help. That said, I really wonder what the AP will do if Ohio State goes unbeaten. That would create some serious controversy with the BCS ban.

    • Dave Smith says

      The AP writers will never let that happen. No way the Buckeye’s get a sniff of the top ranking even if they are undefeated and everybody else has a loss.
      After all, they don’e play in the SEC.

  8. Dave Smith says

    The AP writers will never let that happen. No way the Buckeye’s get a sniff of the top ranking even if they are undefeated and everybody else has a loss.
    After all, they don’t play in the SEC.