The Buckeyes held their weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the media about the 42-14 win over Indiana, as well as "The Game" against Michigan. No assistant coaches were available, as the team has limited media availability throughout the week. Leading up to "The Game", the team is even limiting access to Meyer, as his weekly call-in show will be prerecorded and last only ten minutes.
When recalling this past weekend, Meyer called the win over Indiana a very emotional game. He pointed out that every senior, injured or not, has had a significant impact on the team. Meyer felt the team had their best all-around game of the season on defense, which was a direct correlation of co-defensive coordinators Everett Withers and Luke Fickell setting forth their best gameplan of the season.
Against the Hoosiers, the Buckeyes had 13 players grade out as champions. Quarterback Braxton Miller, running back Carlos Hyde, receivers Devin Smith and Chris Fields, tight end Jeff Heuerman, and linemen Corey Linsley, Andrew Norwell, and Taylor Decker were named offensive champions. Miller, who became the third Buckeye in program history to record 7,000 yards of total offense, and Linsley shared the offensive player of the game honor.
On defense, linebacker Ryan Shazier, linemen Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett, and cornerback Bradley Roby were named champions. Bennett and Shazier, who was named a finalist for the Butkus award and the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week, were also named the team's co-defensive players of the game.
Meyer, who was a grad assistant when former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman recorded 20 tackles, said that Shazier played an outstanding game against the Hoosiers. The biggest difference in Shazier's play is the fact that he used to overrun plays. Now, however, Meyer said Shazier falls back and will let the play develop in front of him, as former Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes used to do.
Only one player on special teams, freshman Vonn Bell, was named a champion for his effort in the win.
Since Meyer became the head coach of the Buckeyes, he has made sure to never say the word "Michigan", instead, calling them "that team up north". However, legendary head coach Woody Hayes was probably rolling over in his grave when the "m-word" slipped out of Meyer's mouth. When it was pointed out to him, Meyer quickly apologized for the slip.
"I learned to dislike Michigan at a very young age," said Meyer of that team up north.
Growing up in Ashtabula, Ohio, Meyer quickly learned that the game against Michigan is not just another game on the schedule. Meyer reiterate that today as he spoke of stories as a grad assistant under former head coach Earl Bruce.
"Driving by the stadium, you see the big twin towers with sheets hanging down that say 'Muck Fichigan'," Meyer recalling driving by Morrill and Lincoln Tower.
"He has the skill-set to be a pro quarterback. There's no doubt in my mind." - Urban Meyer on Braxton Miller