COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - What's brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes:
When the Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) take on Penn State (5-2, 3-0) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., they will be facing one of the toughest environments in not just the conference but also the country.
"The coaches have actually been asking us what it's like to play at Penn State," said TE/WR Jake Stoneburner. "There's only six or seven of us who have actually been over there. When we went, we handled them pretty well the last time (a 24-7 win in 2009). I said it can get crazy, but if you handle your business it's just like any place, it quiets down."
Head coach Urban Meyer said he's never been to the Nittany Lions' home, where the sound of a big cat screeching is a constant reminder of where you are.
"I've heard it's real tough. I've asked around and our guys have been real clear to me, the guys who have played in it, that this is the loudest stadium when it's cooking like this," Meyer said.
Ohio State practiced this week with extra loud music, booing and cheering over the loud speakers on the outdoor practice field.
The hardest part of the trip is the walk to the field.
Stoneburner joked that all the blue-and-white clad fans were wishing the Buckeyes "good luck, high-fives, sometimes kisses on the cheek."
"It's a great time, actually," he said of the vicious taunts and epithets. "A huge cluster of those people, all right there, just screaming at you -- that was pretty crazy."
JOLLY OL' ST. BRAX: Backup QB Kenny Guiton was asked if he was surprised how quickly starter Braxton Miller had rebounded from what appeared to be a severe neck or head injury in Saturday's game.
"I'm not surprised or anything. I'm just happy he recovered," he said. "I'm happy to see him out there being himself. He's been very up and jolly lately and everything and that's really good to see. I hope he keeps that going."
When it was brought to his attention that perhaps the only two people anyone has ever referred to as jolly are Santa Claus and his own description of Miller, Guiton laughed and said, "I probably used the wrong word but he's been happy lately. He's keeping it up-tempo."
NOT A TURNAROUND: Penn State lost its first two games, to Ohio and then by a point on the road at Virginia when its kicker missed four field goals.
No wonder coach Bill O'Brien doesn't think anything necessarily "changed" for his team before its current five-game winning streak.
"It wasn't like we got blown out in the first two games. I mean, we lost to an Ohio team I believe they're still undefeated. There's obviously no shame in that loss," he said, referring to the 23rd ranked Bobcats (7-0). "Then we lost to Virginia and we knew we could have played better. So there was a lot of frustration but there was a lot of resiliency. These guys, the Monday after the Virginia game, they came back and practiced hard and that was one of our better practices to that point. It's a resilient bunch of guys and a fun team to coach."
INJURY UPDATE: It appears that RB Jordan Hall's season might be over. Meyer said he had another problem with the knee injury (partially torn anterior cruciate ligament) and was no longer practicing with the team.
Meyer said he had look into requesting a medical redshirt for Hall, a senior.
"I did that to find out if it's even a possibility," he said. "And it is."
NO LUCK INVOLVED: WR Chris Fields, who caught the late TD pass from Guiton that helped Ohio State force overtime against Purdue, said he does not believe the Buckeyes are lucky to be unbeaten.
"We earn every win that we get," he said. "I feel that we're the hardest-working team in the nation right now since Urban stepped foot on this university. We deserve every win that we get."
BEFORE HIS TIME: A Columbus TV reporter asked Miller if the hit he took was similar to the one Cuba Gooding Jr. received while playing an NFL star in the movie "Jerry McGuire."
The film, by the way, came out in 1996 -- when Miller was 4.
"Nah, I wasn't even born," Miller said with a laugh. "I don't know nothing about that."
Follow Associated Press sports writer Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap
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