Bill O'Brien didn't care to talk about the officiating, which was terrible, to put it mildly.

He didn't want to discuss the possible motives of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, whose challenge of a Penn State first down with a 49-point lead late in the third quarter was odd, to say the least.

All O'Brien wanted to do Saturday night after the Nittany Lions' historic 63-14 loss to Ohio State was make a few points and go home with his players and coaches.

"I take full responsibility for this loss," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and evaluate this or that. ..We didn't have them prepared well enough as a coaching staff and we didn't play well enough.

"We have great kids in the locker room. They'll put it behind them and learn from it."

So what exactly did they learn from the third-worst loss in the 127 seasons of Penn State football? What did we learn?

The Buckeyes have a huge talent advantage over the Nittany Lions, at least for the time being. The Penn State defense was no match for the Ohio State offense, which scored six touchdowns and gained 414 yards in the first half.

"Obviously there aren't too many players in the country like Braxton Miller," Lions cornerback Jordan Lucas said. "He was able to beat us with his feet and his arm. He capitalized on our mistakes."

When Miller can run or pass behind the best offensive line in the Big Ten or hand it off to a running back like Carlos Hyde, it makes the Buckeyes that much harder to stop. And when Miller is spinning like a ballet dancer, he's nearly impossible to bring down.


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He passed and ran for 320 yards and five touchdowns.

"You feel like you have the guy, but he escapes, scrambles and makes something big happen," Penn State linebacker Mike Hull said. "That's the challenge whenever you have a running quarterback."

The bigger challenge for the Lions now is righting the ship on defense. They've allowed an average of 49.0 points and 520.3 yards over their last three games against Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State.

It's the first time they've allowed 40 or more points in three consecutive games since 1899, when Yale (42-0), Penn (47-0) and the Duquesne Athletic Club (64-5) torched Penn State.

It's hard to put all the blame on the NCAA sanctions and the reduced number of scholarship players that Penn State has, even though the defense is not deep at several spots. Some front-line players who were not walk-ons are not producing.

O'Brien and John Butler, who's in his first season as a defensive coordinator, have to shoulder some of the blame, too.

Lucas and Hull said Saturday night that the defense was not always on the same page and that communication was an issue, which might explain why there were often wide-open Ohio State receivers. Similar sentiments were expressed after the UCF and Indiana losses.

"For the most part we were on the same page," Hull said. "(But) a couple plays here and there we weren't. We have to play as a unit. We have to get on the same page. We have to communicate better."

The Penn State defense simply is not as talented as last year's group, which included three players who are in the NFL: Jordan Hill, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti. That's more of an indication of a program in transition than it is of shaky coaching.

As ugly as Saturday night's loss was and as poorly the defense has played the last three games, the season is not over. The next three games against Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue are eminently winnable.

And if the Lions can split with Nebraska and Wisconsin, they could match last year's record of 8-4.

"It's probably the worst game I've experienced," Hull said about the Ohio State loss. "But they're a tough team. They have a lot of good players.

"We have to learn from it. We have to put it behind us. We have to forget about it and move on."