Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Ohio State football’s Wednesday practice consisted of noise – lots and lots of noise.
After all, the Buckeyes hit the road this Saturday in their first Big Ten and away contest of the season against No. 20 Michigan State.
In anticipation of what will likely be raucous Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich., OSU coaches flooded the indoor practice field of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with simulated crowd noise.
Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller said it was so loud he had trouble hearing during practice.
“They put a whole bunch of stadium music on so it was loud,” Miller said.
Miller wasn’t the only Buckeye affected.
Redshirt senior wide receiver Jake Stoneburner said music and crowd noise was blaring inside all practice long.
His ears, he said, were still ringing from the noise afterwards.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a stadium that loud,” Stoneburner said.
But for many OSU players like Miller and Stoneburner, it will be their first trip to Spartan Stadium as the Buckeyes’ last venture there ended in 45-7 victory in 2008.
Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener
Stoneburner said first-year coach Urban Meyer showed the team a highlight reel of things they did well after their game against UAB.
“It was just our four scoring drives, just wanted to show how good our offense can be when we’re rolling downhill and everything’s clicking and he just wanted to make sure we started the Big Ten week on a good note, you know, not watching all the negatives, but watching all the positives,” he said.
“You saw what he was saying, when our offense was clicking, it was almost scary how quickly we were able to go down and score and it made good sense why he wanted to do that.”
Meyer said a number of previously banged-up players would be seeing action on Saturday against the Spartans.
Meyer said junior running back Carlos Hyde, who sprained his MCL in a Sept. 9 game against Central Florida, will see the field for the Buckeyes against MSU.
Similarly, redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby, who sat out during last Saturday’s contest against the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a sore shoulder, will be lined up in his usual spot for OSU.
There are some players, Meyer said, that are still questionable for the game against the Spartans.
While defensive lineman Michael Bennett has been medically cleared and will make the trip with the team up to East Lansing, Meyer said the sophomore isn’t “up to speed” yet and isn’t sure if he’ll be used on Saturday.
An appearance from junior safety C.J. Barnett, who didn’t suit up against UAB with an ankle sprain, is probable, Meyer said.
All Grown Up
Miller said while looking at film from last year, he noticed a distinct difference between himself then and now.
“I looked at like a few clips from last year and I just looked at my body and I was like, 190 (pounds), I was skinny,” he said. “I’m just more developed into a quarterback.”
Through four games, Miller, who is now listed as 220 pounds, is 60-98 for 754 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to rushing for 510 yards on 67 totes.
In last season’s 10-7 loss against the Spartans, Miller struggled and was just 5 of 10 for 56 yards.
“We had a couple of struggles, it was bad,” he said. “We got it together this year.”