Ohio State coach Urban Meyer knows a tough test lies ahead in Happy Valley this weekend. And he didn’t try to pretend otherwise Monday afternoon, calling Beaver Stadium “one of the top-5 stadiums to play in.”
“It’s just a difficult place,” Meyer said during his weekly press conference. “That’s certainly one of the top-5 stadiums to play in. Very loud, and the fans are into it. Very good environment; great environment.”
Meyer should know. This will be his fourth Penn State “White Out,” where the entire stadium dresses in white. And it’s the fourth time the annual Penn State tradition, one of the most eye-catching in all of college football, is set to kick off at night against the Buckeyes.
The start time is 7:30 p.m. on ABC, a half-hour earlier than the last three such meetings.
“Yeah, that’s one of the tops in the country,” Meyer reiterated Monday. “Very loud, and the fans are into it -- a lot like our Horseshoe. So you got to be ready for that environment.”
The White Out game has consistently been one of the season’s biggest draws. Since it began in 2004, at least 107,280 fans have attended every game.
Meyer is 2-1 in Penn State White Outs, but it’s been close. The then-unranked Nittany Lions stunned Meyer’s No. 2-ranked squad in 2016, 24-21, after a scoop-and-score field-goal block. In 2014, Ohio State triumphed in double-overtime, 31-24. And, in 2012, Ohio State won 35-21.
“This is a big game on the road,” Meyer said. “So our focus is just on the most prepared team winning this game and working real hard.”
What else Meyer said about Penn State
The head coach usually kept his comments brief and to-the-point Monday. Here’s a rundown of his comments relating to Penn State:
- On what first comes to mind with Trace McSorley: “A winner, a guy that can do it all, and a competitor.”
- On what stands out about PSU’s roster: “Offensive line’s better, and that running back (Miles Sanders) is really good.” It sounded as if Meyer also started to say that his “guys” thought he was outstanding but cut himself short and said he’d have to watch film himself on Sanders later in the week.
- Meyer said he doesn’t see much of a difference in Penn State compared to past years. “Scheme’s very similar to what they’ve done in the past,” he said.
- As far as a preview to the injury report, defensive end Nick Bosa is out after undergoing surgery for a “core muscle injury.” Running back Mike Weber, who suffered a leg injury against Tulane, is expected to play against Penn State. Fellow running back Brian Snead remains a question mark. He missed the last two games for violating team rules, and Meyer said he wasn’t yet sure if Snead would make the trip.