STATE?COLLEGE?- Urban Meyer's first stop after Ohio State's 29-22 overtime win against Purdue on Saturday was to a Columbus-area hospital.
The first-year Buckeye coach went to check on his Heisman-candidate quarterback, Braxton Miller, who earlier in the afternoon was taken from Ohio Stadium in an ambulance for concussion-related tests.
"All the test results came back. I guess the term is negative, which is positive," Meyer said Monday during his weekly press conference. "He has a very, very sore neck, and we expect him to practice [today]."
Miller is listed as the Buckeye's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart for Saturday's game at Penn State, and it seems likely he will play after getting the go-ahead from doctors.
Miller has taken a number of punishing hits this season. The hits are in part attributed to Meyer's spread offense that has the speedy Miller running all over the field.
But Meyer said he is not about to change the way his star quarterback plays the game. The coach said rather than change Miller's style, he can further coach him up on how to get out of bounds on some plays to avoid big hits.
"We don't go crazy with him running the ball," Meyer said. "At some point, though, you have to try to move the ball a little bit. We're very cognizant of that."
When Meyer was at Florida, he coached Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who was no stranger to taking and sometimes giving out punishing blows to the defense. Meyer said he is still "very concerned" when he sees his quarterback take such shots.
The coach and quarterback had a long talk after the injury, and Meyer said Miller appeared to be a bit rattled.
Miller told his coach that he had never really been injured before and was not quite sure how to react.
Offensive coordinator Tom Herman reminded reporters on Monday that Miller is just a 19-year-old sophomore, and he still hasn't mastered the learning curve of dealing with injuries and playing college football.
"He is a very fine-tuned athlete, and those guys don't like it when they get hurt," Herman said. "It takes a little adjusting."
There have been many different hypothetical names floating around the Internet for Saturday's game that will feature two of the Big Ten's best teams, who are also ineligible for any postseason play.
Meyer stressed the respect he has for both Penn State and its football program. The coach said it will even be a good NFL draft this year for the Nittany Lions.
Even though Penn State lost some of its key returning starters as a result of NCAA sanctions this summer, Meyer called the Lions a team that is loaded with talent.
"This is still Penn State," Meyer said. "I know there's going to be some tough sanctions against them, but Penn State has great football players."
The relationship between Meyer and Penn State senior linebacker Michael Mauti dates back years, to when Meyer recruited Mauti to come play for him at Florida.
"I recruited him hard at Florida," Meyer said. "I loved him as a high school athlete."
During Meyer's coaching hiatus, when he worked for ESPN, he came to Penn State to do a feature story on Mauti.
The coach called Mauti a tough guy, a leader, a family man and someone who is playing his tail off just a year removed from a serious knee injury that ended his 2011 season prematurely.
Monday, Mauti and fellow linebacker Gerald Hodges were named semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. The duo are among 12 semifinalists in the country. Penn State is the only school with two semifinalists.
Big Ten Honors
Two Lions picked up Big Ten weekly awards following the 38-14 thrashing of Iowa on Saturday night.
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week. It is the first time the senior has received the honor.
Hill's selection marks the fourth time in the past six weeks a Lion has been selected the conference's top defensive player for the week.
Redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter was named the conference's Freshman of the Week. Carter had a career-high 85 receiving yards and tied his career best with six receptions.