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Meyer wonders about Roby's targeting ejection

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes ...

BUCKEYES BUZZ: Ohio State fans were up in arms that star CB Bradley Roby was ejected for coming in high on the shoulder/neck areas on a tackle of Iowa receiver CJ Fiedorowicz in the first quarter of Saturday's game. The play was reviewed and the call on the field stood.

The new rule, adopted in February by the NCAA's Football Rules Committee, specifies that players are ejected for any violation.

It reads: "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 2-27-14)"

Should the foul take place in the first half of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game. If the foul occurs in the second half or overtime, he is ejected for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next contest.

Roby's penalty, in essence, was ejection for three quarters. He will be eligible to play all of Saturday's game against Penn State (8 p.m., Ohio Stadium).

The intent is to eliminate dangerous contact.

As might be expected, after the game both coaches seemed to see it differently. Some Ohio State fans blamed the ejection on the receiver, while some accepted it as the correct call.

"I thought it was below — you guys could see, was it below the shoulder?" coach Urban Meyer said of the contact dished out by Roby. "That's my question. I guess I don't know. I got fined $30,000 one time for going after an official, so I'm not going to do that."

Fiedorowicz returned to play the rest of the game.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz didn't think the call was even remotely open to question.

"The rule's in place. You live by the consequences of the rule," he said. "I did not think that was the closest call of the day, if that's what you're asking. It didn't appear that way to me. That's a tremendous crew of officials we had on the field today."

POLL DANCING: Many Ohio State fans were also outraged that the fourth-ranked Buckeyes, despite beating unranked Iowa 34-24 on Saturday, failed to move up when No. 3 Clemson lost on Saturday.

The reason, of course, is that the Tigers were bludgeoned 51-14 (at home, no less) — by No. 5 Florida State.

The Seminoles then rode that impressive road win around the Buckeyes.

The top four teams in both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches poll were the same this week: Alabama followed by Oregon, then Florida State and Ohio State.

For the Buckeyes to play in the national championship game, they must win out while two of those three teams ahead of them to lose. Then again, there's always the chance that someone back in the rankings — maybe unbeaten No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Miami and/or No. 7 Miami — could continue putting up impressive wins and slip past Ohio State.

That's why it's way too early to start speculating. By late November, if then, the picture should be clearer.

THE WEEK AHEAD: The key game this week is No. 12 UCLA at No. 2 Oregon.

Other games of note include: No. 20 South Carolina at No. 6 Missouri, No. 10 Texas Tech at No. 17 Oklahoma; No. 16 Virginia Tech hosting Duke; Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama, North Carolina State at No. 3 Florida State, No. 6 Baylor at Kansas, No. 9 Clemson at Maryland and Wake Forest at No. 7 Miami.

B1G-GAME HUNTER: In addition to Penn State at Ohio State (8 p.m., Ohio Stadium), other Big Ten conference games feature No. 25 Nebraska at Minnesota, Michigan State at Illinois and Northwestern at Iowa.

QUOTABLE: Ferentz on RB Carlos Hyde and the Buckeyes: "He's as good as you're going to find. He's a big, strong, powerful guy and he can move, too. It's a bit like playing 12 guys. They have three very good receivers. Their tight ends are more than capable. And when they have you playing the pass they've got two guys in the backfield who can really hurt you."

NOTHING NEW HERE: Meyer has won his last 20 games as a head coach, including all 19 at Ohio State and a 37-24 victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011, in his final game at Florida.

Meyer's teams have now fashioned two win streaks of at least 20 games.

He also won 22 in a row, starting with the fifth game of the 2008 season in which his Gators captured his second national title, and dating to a 32-13 loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game after the 2009 regular season.

"Someday I imagine when I'm an old guy sitting somewhere I'll say that's kind of cool," Meyer said when asked to reflect on another 20-game win streak. "But right now it means I'm blessed to have a bunch of very good players and a bunch of great coaches."

 

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