Lions working on communication

Ohio State figured out how tough it can be to get into the right play call in front of 107,000 people in Beaver Stadium this past Saturday night.

Matt McGloin and Matt Stankiewitch met with Bill O'Brien this week to address communication issues.

Unfortunately for Penn State, the Nittany Lions' offense realized it, too.

"It's probably the only place in the country where at home you use a silent cadence," quarterback Matt McGloin said Wednesday.

Players and coaches said after the 35-23 loss to the Buckeyes that communication troubles along the offense were an issue. Part of that was the crowd noise and part of it was the emotions surging through the home team.

"I think we got a little too excited for the game, to be perfectly honest," right guard John Urschel said. "It was a very big game for us, exciting at home, a whiteout. I think we let the excitement get to us a little bit. We have to work on staying calm and collected during the game and make sure we're all together on these things."

Fixing some of those communication issues has been a key for Penn State this week as the Nittany Lions prepare for Saturday's game at Purdue.

"We've met about it. I've sat down with Stank (center Matt Stankiewitch) and Matt about it," Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said. "It starts with me. We've tried to coach it better and been more detailed about it this week."

Making sure the offensive linemen have the correct protection schemes at the line of scrimmage is crucial in O'Brien's offense.

"Any time Matt makes a call, he's making sure he comes up to the line, communicates it to Stank, communicates it to us," Urschel said. "The biggest thing is our checking system to make sure that all five linemen are on the same page and we're on the same page with the quarterback."

Saturday's environment will be much different than the one Penn State played in last week. Ross-Ade Stadium has a capacity of 62,500 but has housed an average of about 44,000 in five games this season. The Nittany Lions are using the same preparation methods as usual, though.

"We're practicing with the loud music," wide receiver Allen Robinson said. "As a team we have to be prepared for anything. Even though their crowd noise might not be ridiculously loud, I think the music (in practice) allows us to focus in."

The weather forced Penn State inside for Monday and Tuesday's practices, though O'Brien said Wednesday he hoped to have a portion of that day's workout outside on the artificial turf section of the Lasch facility.

"Purdue is probably going to be cold, rainy, one of those environments," McGloin said. "We haven't really been able to get a feel for that. We can't control that and we'll just have to adjust for that Saturday if we can get outside during the week."

Notes: O'Brien, as he did Tuesday, said tight end Kyle Carter is day-to-day with an ankle/foot injury. … The coach said kicker Sam Ficken has been dealing with a "quad issue" that could affect his range.

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