The Buckeyes held their weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where head coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Tom Herman, and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell spoke to the media about the 42-41 win over Michigan, as well his thoughts on Ohio State's B1G Championship opponent, Michigan State.
The question on the minds of many was whether or not starting offensive lineman Marcus Hall and running back/kick returner Dontre Wilson would be suspended for their role in the fight that took place in the second quarter of the game in Ann Arbor. Meyer was very disappointed and angry that the kick return escalated into what it did.
"I'm very disappointed and angry that it happened. It's not us. It's not Ohio State. It's not (Michigan)." - Urban Meyer on the fight between Ohio State and Michigan players.
Although there hasn't been any news regarding the possible suspensions for Hall and Wilson, Meyer said he's still in conversation with the Big Ten's offices. If discipline was to be handed down to the pair, Meyer said it would be a big blow to the team. However, he was quick to point out that the team is quick to rely on the next man up, just as they did on Saturday.
Against the Wolverines, the Buckeyes did not have anybody grade out as a champion. This was not the result of a bad game from the team, but was a result of the team's immediate preparations for Michigan State. According to Meyer, the Buckeyes have quite the task on their hands when they face the Spartans, as he called their defense one of the best in the country. Meyer continued to rave on about Pat Narduzzi's defense, saying that it's likely others will mold their defensive unit after the Spartans.
Likewise, Meyer has been impressed with what he's seen of the the Spartans' offense. He said they are much improved under quarterback Connor Cook, who took over for fifth-year senior Andrew Maxwell when the Spartans struggled to move the ball early in the season.
Calling last year's game a street fight, Meyer said his team has to be ready for what the Spartans bring on both sides of the ball. Meyer was also quick to point out that if the Buckeyes play like they did this past weekend, especially on defense, they won't win the Big Ten Championship.
"It was a street fight last year. We have to be ready for that. " - Meyer said of the Buckeyes 17-16 win in East Lansing.
Seemingly the case all season, Meyer pinpointed the pass defense as the most concerning aspect of his team. In fact, Meyer said he's shocked that they aren't the championship-caliber defense Ohio State fans are accustomed to. He also said that he's slightly concerned about the team's lack of offensive balance on Saturday, but also said that he didn't expect the production they received from the run game.
One worry heading into the B1G Championship could have been the wear and tear from the rivalry game, but Meyer didn't think the team is beaten up. Other than safety Christian Bryant, the Buckeyes are relatively healthy heading to Indianapolis.
With only a week left in the season, off the field distractions are aplenty in college football. Meyer said that between finals week for his players, BCS lobbying, and issues elsewhere, the team needs to stay focused on the task at hand. He even avoided talking about Auburn's athletic director lobbying for the Tigers to jump the Buckeyes, saying that he'll comment on that, if need be, on Sunday. In regards to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Meyer said that he doesn't feel that they're a double standard between the problems at Ohio State and Florida State.
Finally, when asked about the possibility of his quarterback winning the Heisman Trophy, Meyer said that he feels Braxton Miller should be in the conversation for college football's highest honor. Meyer noted that he coached a Heisman-winning quarterback while at Florida, Tim Tebow, and said that he feels Miller is a Heisman-caliber quarterback.