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Braxton Miller POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT
Q. Braxton, congratulations. What kind of statement did this offense make tonight? 63?
Braxton Miller: You know, all our preparation, it ties into all what we're doing. That's how it should be. And guys played hard throughout the whole game and didn't miss a beat when all the second guys came in either. All preparation.
Q. What does it say about where you guys are going now?
Braxton Miller: You know, gotta keep our foot on the pedal. The team in front of you gotta take one game at a time. Can't overlook any type of opponent.
Q. When you say you need to take them one game at a time, do you guys feel -- you talked about the polls, you knew where you stood, that you needed to do something like this to impress people.
Braxton Miller: We didn't really talk about it but a little bit just watching it all day, we had all day to watch. You see it a couple times, and just can't go out there and predict whatever is going to happen. Just have preparation. It turned out real well.
Q. Talk about what's gotten into Carlos Hyde these last three games and again tonight, just talk about what you see from him.
Braxton Miller: Leadership from where he grew from last year and that little incident he had, just felt like he's got to prove himself even more. Things like that happen.
Q. How comfortable do you feel on the passing game right now?
Braxton Miller: Very comfortable. I know what I'm doing and defensive coverage and I know where the guy is going to be, out sometimes, and it's exciting to see a guy with the ball in his hand do something with it.
Q. Your offensive line, we talked about them last week, the way they moved the line of scrimmage; did they move it more tonight? Seems like if you wanted to give it to Carlos, he had 10 yards waiting on him. Were they that dominant?
Braxton Miller: They're getting aggressive throughout the week of practice, and just doing a little smoke plays on the outside. Getting guys got the ball on the outside. Frees up the inside and offensive line did a hell of a job.
Q. After the way you played in the first half to hit Philly with that touchdown pass to end the first half, how did you feel in that moment putting it all together like that?
Braxton Miller: We ran it in practice, actually ran a coverage out, that was predicted and still threw it to him and knew he would catch it.
Q. Was that the most confident, comfortable you felt in your career?
Braxton Miller: Yes. Through the year with Coach Meyer and the offense, learning, every game, I just improve myself and show what I got.
Q. How you doing?
Braxton Miller: Doing pretty good.
Q. Feels like, as a former player, you go out there with a chip on your shoulder, have this certain energy. Seems like you guys kind of had a chip on your shoulder, if you will. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Braxton Miller: You know, just coming off the last season, it was a hard-fought season last year, and just coming in this year, we were going to pull ourselves even more like we can do this again, just keep doing what we're doing, don't change who we are, keep working hard throughout the week and you expect things like this.
Q. I want to ask about the 39-yard touchdown run you had to draw, just looks like your guys completely sold out on the blocks even downfield for you to get you in the end zone, want to ask you about that and one other thing, but that touchdown, what you see there, the guys blocking for you?
Braxton Miller: Coach, he wanted to see me get a rushing touchdown. All right, coach, we're playing this game. And I gave it to him and he had that play and started off with.
Q. Other things, Dontre getting the ball to him in the swing pass and the touchdown in the second half, is that the kind of play they'll give him going making those plays on a regular basis?
Braxton Miller: A guy, like that, you always give a ball to him on the outside, around the middle, big plays like that, it's always exciting.
Q. Was this as complete a total team first half that you all had? What did it feel like to look up there, see that kind of lead against a credible opponent like that?
Braxton Miller: Good defense. Good team. The first half doing real great. Fast, fast momentum, getting the ball out. And the guys get the ball, the offensive line blocking and the game, just the game plan just worked out. Worked throughout the week, turns out like this.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
COACH MEYER POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT
COACH MEYER: Thanks for coming. I want to thank again our great crowd, night game, prime time college football. Fantastic, the crowd, the energy. Our players certainly fed off of it, came out of the chutes very fast, and I'm very pleased with arguably our best team win, offense/defense, my biggest concern, our biggest concern was pass rushing. It's a very good throwing team. I think they're going to win the Big Ten in pass offense and when you start with pass defense you start with pass rush, and that's where I saw the difference. I thought our "D" line was challenged. And we expect that out of the "D" line at Ohio State. They did a nice job. Questions?
Q. We talked earlier in the week about the best team on Saturday night. Was there any part of you at all thinking you needed something like this to impress nationally?
COACH MEYER: I think it helps. That was not certainly our mindset. Our mindset is find a way to win this game against a very talented team. A lot of respect for a team that had some momentum going into this game. And I think the players here, nonstop, that's the way we address it. What we're worried about is find a way to win the game. And things usually work out. So I think our guys, I'd be disappointed if I said that's our focus. That's not our focus.
Q. Bound to wake up some pollsters. The post points that Penn State allowed since 1989. What kind of statement do you think it makes? This is a team that beat Michigan two weeks ago.
COACH MEYER: I like where we're at right now. I like where we're at as a team. We all needed to see some pass rush and pass defense and guys stepped up and they certainly did. That was the most impressive part of the game to me. Caused turnovers, and when you hit the quarterback a little bit. We haven't been doing that. And that was a sign of good coaching and some young talented players that haven't played a lot of football are starting to come into their own a little bit. Especially Noah Spence sticks out as a guy all over the place.
Q. The pick brown interception, how huge was that?
COACH MEYER: That was a game changer. When Christian Bryant goes down, that's a lot of production and leadership. And he's a guy that's been around a long time and really deserving getting, having some success because he works awful hard at his job.
Q. Second week we were talking about Braxton having a game where he was completely in control of what you were asking him to do. Just comment on his game overall the comfort level. And then secondly you suggested maybe you wanted to see him rush one into the end zone. He in fact did it twice today.
COACH MEYER: I just love where Braxton's at right now. I love the fact that he's acting like a quarterback. I'm not disrespecting Braxton. You guys know I love that guy. But I felt like he was an athlete playing quarterback a year ago. Feel like he's a quarterback that's a really good athlete now. Tom Herman and him have a special -- they spend a lot of time together. Braxton comes in on his own and says, coach, can we spend more time together. That's a sign of a quarterback.
Q. You've shown earlier in the year that you have an awareness of when maybe the appropriate time to call the dogs off, so to speak. And that seemed to happen later tonight. Was that more Penn State's ability to stop the offensive momentum you guys had or was part of it going into making a statement, grabbing some national attention?
COACH MEYER: Was what? The question? Pulling the guys off. Number one we're trying to be sportsmen, but also I didn't want to get guys hurt. I'm not sure the question.
Q. (Question off microphone)?
COACH MEYER: I think we're in the third quarter we started pulling guys out, if I remember right. Carlos Hyde and Philly Brown and Braxton. And I'm not sure the exact time. That's the reason we do that, we pull guys, we don't want to get guys hurt.
Q. Carlos Hyde the last three games 147 yards or more, three straight games, and I think he scored seven touchdowns but also the offensive line. Talk about what you see right there that's going right.
COACH MEYER: The question, Carlos didn't play but two and a half quarters if I remember right. That's a lot of yards against a team we have a lot of respect for. Penn State defensive line. And looks like he had 147 yards. Once again, that was two and a half quarters. I see an offensive line that's one of the best in the country. I'm willing to say that. I've not seen a lot of teams play but I've been around football a long time. I'll take my offensive line anywhere. Those guys are playing very well.
Q. After the way Braxton played in the first half to finish it off with that throw to Philly like that, what does it take for a quarterback to make a throw like that in that situation?
COACH MEYER: It's confidence, I think with Philly, if I remember right, right before the half. It's a confidence level personal protection, but to step up and let that thing go, he has a lot of confidence. Philly Brown and him and Devin Smith and Evan Spencer and Chris Shields, you can tell those guys -- you can't do that in the summer. You're not allowed to be around them. Some of those guys had to work on it or they wouldn't be like that and a year ago they weren't like that at all.
Q. With where Braxton's at, did you know he would get to this some point?
COACH MEYER: I didn't know, but I have just been around a lot of good quarterbacks in the last 12 years and I saw signs of a guy that's getting to be very good understanding about our offense and where people are and a guy's work ethic is off the charts right now.
🌷🏈 Scenes From Spring Practice: March 28