Defense alarms Meyer
COLUMBUS, Ohio - His team hasn't lost and it has a quarterback who has stamped himself as one of the best in the nation. Yet as No. 16 Ohio State readies for its final non-conference game Saturday against UAB, coach Urban Meyer knows he and his staff still have a lot of items to clean up. On the top of that list is eliminating big plays on defense. "That is the most alarming thing," Meyer said Monday. "I've watched Ohio State's defense for a long time, and I can't remember a defense I've been around that's given up this many (big plays). We've got to stop or we'll lose a game." Ohio State's opponents have racked up 13 plays from scrimmage that picked up at least 20 yards. In Saturday's come-from-behind 35-28 win over California, the Buckeyes cruised to a 20-7 lead at the half then surrendered gains of 36, 81, 30, 16 and 15 yards on the Golden Bears' next five possessions to fall behind 21-20.After having no luck gaining yards or collecting first downs on their previous four possessions, quarterback Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes marched 75 yards to regain the lead. Then it took just two plays for Cal to come right back and tie it. Brendan Bigelow, who gained 160 yards on just four carries, ran for 16 yards and then raced for 59 more, with the extra-point kick tying it at 28 with 8:10 left. "That's not acceptable," Meyer said. So this week, Meyer said, the defense will be going over every detail to try to find a solution. ARKANSAS: Quarterback Tyler Wilson said he feels better after missing Saturday's loss to Alabama with a concussion, and he is optimistic of playing this weekend against Rutgers. CENTRAL FLORIDA: The school officially filed its appeal of a one-year NCAA postseason ban in football, following sanctions levied against it for major recruiting violations. A 2011 investigation found the football and men's basketball programs were involved with runners for sports agents and making cash payments to recruits. NEBRASKA: Coach Bo Pelini said he has a clean bill of health and that he left Saturday's game against Arkansas State because he and team doctors were concerned a case of heartburn and his sense of feeling disoriented might be signs of a serious medical problem. Pelini said a series of tests were negative and was told he didn't have to cut down on his workload. SOUTH CAROLINA: The Southeastern Conference suspended free safety D.J. Swearinger for Saturday's game against Missouri after his hit on a defenseless UAB receiver. TENNESSEE: Sophomore free safety Brian Randolph, who had a team-high 22 tackles this season to go along with two pass breakups, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament during Saturday's 37-20 loss to Florida and will miss the remainder of the season.