Despite seeing his team drop in both major Top 25 polls after winning by 5 touchdowns, Urban Meyer seemed upbeat at Monday's weekly press conference.
During the presser, Meyer addressed the team's performance against San Diego State, the health of starting quarterback Braxton Miller, the status of starting defensive end Adolphus Washington, and how he sees the team preparing for next weekend's big road trip to Berkeley to take on the University of California Golden Bears.
Here were the highlights from Meyer's weekly 20+ minutes with the press:
- Armani Reeves was Ohio State's special teams player of the week.
- Meyer called the kickoff team's performance one of the best he's ever seen.
- Praised Guiton calling him "an incredible case study".
- Jeff Heuerman is starting to play like Jeff Heuerman again.
- Philly Brown, Evan Spencer, and Kenny Guiton, "the old right hander" were the other offensive champions.
- Meyer said the defense is finally almost close to how he imagined it being at Ohio State.
- Bradley Roby (graded out 99%) in his first game back from suspension. C.J. Barnett, another defensive champion, graded out at 95%
- Michael Bennett (who Meyer calls their best practice player) was co-defensive player of the week with Ryan Shazier.
- Meyer thought the team was too soft in man coverage at times.
- "We're going out on a long trip across the country. I can't remember if I have experience doing that... Tough trip. Have to really manage it well."
- Ohio State calls quarterback Braxton Miller "a day-to-day decision". Said he was "a little stiff".
- Adolphus Washington, who's suffering from a groin injury, is also day-to-day.
- Calls Cal "Past happy, fast atmosphere". Mentioned ex-coach Jeff Tedford as a close friend.
- "If he's healthy to play and play like Braxton Miller plays, he'll certainly go."
- Meyer says you always have to have a plan B ready when asked about Miller's durability.
- "Oregon had a big win over Virginia… It doesn’t impact us an I can’t explain [the drop in the polls]. In the end…the best teams ail be up there."
- Meyer said Miller wanted back in the game and that Miller feels very strong and wants back in the game. Meyer says they'll know more tomorrow morning after the 48 hour period following the injury.
- On Cardale Jones & J.T. Barrett: "Plan C and D are real close to each other right now. We practiced them both yesterday. I just made preliminary travel plans of both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett going." Meyer says they'll know more tomorrow morning after the 48 hour period following the injury."
- "The ball comes out. It's screens, it's cook passes. You don't have the chance to get to the quarterback... I have not studied them at all on offense, but I will later in the week...Rotation of defensive linemen to keep them fresh because they'll wear you out... Other than running pursuit, sideline-to-sideline, pass rushing is the most draining thing for defensive linemen."
- "Defensively, [Cal] is a completely different story...This right now is a good staff. They shot their gun against Northwestern...They've had some injury issues at safety. I think last year's game will be no impact at all."
- Meyer says they'll watch some of the cutups from Louisiana Tech in preparing.
- "Philly was a very poor running back. You can tell him I said that." Meyer then praised Brown in earnest for being a great guy in the community and handling himself academically. "He's legitimate. He's a wide receiver and I think he has a future in playing again after this year...If you'd have said the same thing at this time last year, no chance."
- On the variety of offensive schemes being unique versus the NFL “I think the creativity in college football is real.”
- Meyer shook his head when asked about Brendan Bigelow's big run. "I just saw very poor tackling and very poor leverage...Those are two fundamentals that if they're not get, you get exposed. We got exposed. That was horrific. I can't tell you the defense, I can't tell you the play, I'll just tell you it was very poor tackling. Very poor leverage." "I think Luke and Everett have done a really good job teaching fundamental tackling."