"Let me watch the film and I'll tell you all about it on Tuesday," O'Brien said, referring to his weekly news conference. "I'll give you all the mostly bad and some good that we did. Again, I take full responsibility for this. We didn't have them prepared good enough as a coaching staff, me as a head coach, therefore we didn't play good enough."
The bad news from Saturday didn't all come from the defense.
O'Brien said freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg suffered an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder in the first quarter when he was tackled on a play that had been blown dead by a false-start penalty. Hackenberg was lifted in the third quarter but there is no update expected on his condition until Tuesday.
In the last three games, the Lions defense has allowed 40 or more points and yielded an average of 529.3 yards in total offense. Against the Buckeyes, they were gouged for 408 yards on the ground and covered so poorly in the secondary that Braxton Miller had his choice of open targets.
The unit's performance reflects negatively on first-year defensive coordinator John Butler. The La Salle High grad is hamstrung by the reduced number of scholarship players, and less depth, resulting from last year's NCAA sanctions. But the Lions' starting 11, considered a pretty talented group at the start of the season, did not work well together in Columbus.
With the defense ineffective, the thought was that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer wanted to run up the score to impress the pollsters and climb into BCS championship consideration with Alabama, Oregon and Florida State. That point had support when Meyer called a timeout in the third quarter - with the score 56-7 - to challenge the spot of the football after an apparent first down by Penn State.
The call was corrected, giving the Buckeyes the ball on downs. Still, Meyer said piling on the points "wasn't in our mind-set" and talked of having lifted Miller, running back Carlos Hyde and Cardinal O'Hara product Corey Brown in the third quarter.
O'Brien said he had "no thoughts" on Meyer's challenge. Asked whether he felt Ohio State ran it up, he replied, "I don't think so, no. I saw them running the ball."
Penn State's defense has struggled the last three weeks against Big Ten competition after playing well in three of four of its nonconference games last month:
Indiana: 486 total yards allowed (150 rush, 336 pass), 44 points.
Michigan: 389 total yards allowed (149 rush, 240 pass), 40 points*.
Ohio State: 686 total yards allowed (408 rush, 278 pass), 63 points.
Four nonconference game averages: 285.0 total yards allowed (101.8 rush, 183.2 pass), 14.5 points.
*-Michigan scored a defensive TD on a fumble return.