'The most difficult place I've ever coached': Urban Meyer explains how no fans impacts Ohio State-Penn State
Urban Meyer played in a lot of loud, intimidating and difficult venues during his coaching career. That’s part of the territory that comes with coaching in the SEC and the B1G. But the three-time national championship coach thinks Penn State stands out among the rest.
Meyer sat down with Big Ten Network’s Gerry DiNardo to discuss some of the unique changes coming to the B1G this fall. One of the biggest will be that no fans — aside from parents and family members of players and staff — will be permitted to attend games as part of a league-wide policy. That means there will be no White Out game in Happy Valley in 2020.
Over the course of his seven seasons at Ohio State, Meyer coached in a handful of those games, and described an environment unlike any other he’s seen in the sport.
“I give credit to, and I told James Franklin this, that became the most difficult place I’ve ever coached in my career,” Meyer said on Big Ten Network. “And obviously the team got so good over the last few years, with Saquon Barkley and the talent they’ve had on that team. That was as loud as I’ve ever heard. We had street fight games with them every game.”
Remember, this comes from Meyer, who coached in opposing stadiums like Bryant-Denny (Alabama), Tiger (LSU) and Neyland (Tennessee).
Meyer believes that playing in a venue like Beaver Stadium gives a team a 10-point advantage from the opening kickoff.
“In my mind, that is a 10-point differential when you play in that kind of game. That means you have to be on point. …I don’t think Ann Arbor is like that, I don’t think Wisconsin — I think they’re both really close — but I think Penn State is a different animal.”
The matchup between Ohio State and Penn State in State College on Halloween is expected to be the game that determines the B1G East, as the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are considered to be the two best teams in the conference. In a typical year, Penn State would have a huge advantage by getting that game at home.
With no White Out crowd, though, it essentially becomes a neutral field.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 28, 2020