Share “Surprisingly, building program to last at PSU”

Surprisingly, building program to last at PSU

Associated Press Published: October 24, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes ...

BUCKEYES BUZZ: C'mon, admit it: After Penn State lost its first two games you thought the Nittany Lions might not win at all.

Yet coach Bill O'Brien's first PSU team has won five in a row. The Nittany Lions, with the world watching after the sanctions that followed Jerry Sandusky's atrocities in State College, Pa., lost its opener at home to Ohio's Bobcats, 24-14.

A week later, PK Sam Ficken missed field goals of 40, 38, 20 and 42 yards and Penn State lost at Virginia, 17-16.

Most people thought the Nittany Lions were primed for an 0-12 season. Boy, were they wrong.

In short order, they've beaten Navy 34-7, Temple 24-13, Illinois 35-7, Northwestern 39-28 and Iowa 38-14.

Suddenly, the Lions are getting votes in the national polls.

Who would have thought it possible?

Now O'Brien is considered a viable candidate for national and Big Ten coach of the year.

He was asked this week if he can continue to pull the rabbit out of his hat even though Penn State faces a stiff series of bowl bans, scholarship limitations and other sanctions.

"I feel like this is a very special place to play football and go to school. It's a phenomenal education. It's a great place to play football in front of 100,000 fans on national TV," O'Brien said. "Scholarship limitations aren't going to be easy to deal with but we're going to aim to go out there every single day and compete and win games. That's what our job is to do and that's what we're going to try to do."

BRAXTON'S HEALTH: QB Braxton Miller worked out with the team in Wednesday's practice although, as is usually the case, he was not subjected to contact.

Coach Urban Meyer said Miller was sore but has not shown any signs of a concussion or a more serious injury. So, unless there's a setback, he should be available for Saturday's 5:30 p.m. kickoff in Beaver Stadium.

URBAN'S HEALTH: Urban Meyer twice stepped away from the head coaching job at Florida while citing health and family reasons.

Here's a checkup on him eight games into the season:

"I'm doing great. A lot of the stress-related issues were that I was having some health issues (at Florida) that I wasn't quite sure what they were," he said. "Once they were diagnosed and I knew how to handle it and take care of it — esophageal spasms with medicine — and also (I learned to) just take care of yourself. That part of it, that was the biggest stressor. But I'm handling it fine. I'm doing great."

So, is he working any fewer hours?

"Same hours. That had really nothing to do with it. Same hours," he said with a laugh. "Offseason is much different than it has been in the past, but in-season it is what it is."

NO LONGER A 'FAN': A Columbus sports talk-show host who was suspended after he tweeted he wished ESPN's Desmond Howard would get fired or die has been dismissed by his station.

WBNS 97.1 The Fan, an ESPN affiliate and the flagship station for Ohio State athletics, posted a message on Twitter on Wednesday that said, "Scott Torgerson is no longer employed by our company as of today. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors."

The station's general manager did not return a call seeking comment.

Torgerson tweeted 10 days ago that he wished Howard, who played for Ohio State's chief rival Michigan, would get fired or die so Torgerson could again watch ESPN's College GameDay. Torgerson was suspended last week.


Follow Associated Press sports writer Rusty Miller on Twitter: