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Urban Meyer Rutgers week press conference: "We're a much better team than we were 2 weeks ago"

Ohio State's head coach spoke to the media about the challenge new Big Ten member Rutgers presents.

Ohio State athletics

After taking a second bye week press conference off this past week, Urban Meyer got back to business and spoke with the assembled media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday. Meyer spoke about the Buckeyes' forthcoming homecoming matchup against Rutgers. Here were the highlights:

-- Meyer led off by calling the second bye in just three weeks "unusual". Alluded to the momentum the team had coming off the win over Maryland and how they'll have to work to reestablish that.

-- "We're a young team that is getting older. You'd expect that, you'd anticipate that, but sometimes it doesn't always happen," Meyer said. Of the last five interceptions, four have been by freshmen. Meyer said the offensive line is starting to solidify itself.

-- "I enjoy coaching this team and I know our staff does, too."

-- Meyer said they'll have a team meeting to discuss where the team is at and what they need to do. Said because they didn't have a bad/divided team, he'd be able to speak to them like men.

-- "Once again, I like our team, but we're nowhere near where we're going to end up, in my opinion." He added that the team were "a much better team than we were two weeks ago"

-- Meyer name checked some of the deep depth chart players as folks he wanted to see contributing soon. Amongst them, Chris Carter, Donovan Munger, Tommy Schutt.

-- "You know, last year's offense was kind of the way we wanted it too, but you have to adapt to the personnel that you have."

-- "Is this the vision that we have?" "I'd like to have really fast players that create big plays, we're kind of developing that, but I don't mind having what we had last year either."

-- Meyer said he voted Mississippi State number one. "I think they've earned it with what they've done." MSU head coach Dan Mullens was Meyer's offensive coordinator at Florida for a time

-- "I think we could play Sam Hubbard, but it's not his decision ... He's working hard enough to play."

-- "It's not very good, no it's not [on red zone offense]. For what we expect, it's not good." "There's a couple of styles teams are starting to play us. It's not the players' fault, it's our fault ... Whether it be tempo, we've got to do a better job."

-- "This is an extremely young team that got hit in the face during training camp with some injuries ... That was a unique challenge ... The cool thing is we had a redshirt freshman quarterback grow up before your eyes." Mentioned Mike Thomas and Nick Vannett growing up as well.

-- Meyer is told 13 of his 24 starters were freshmen or sophomores. "I think '07 [Florida] was very young. You said '13 of 24'? Wow. That's a good sign for our future here."

-- Meyer says Curtis Samuel is expected back from injury this week. He'd missed the game against Maryland.

-- "We've got some big play weapons." Meyer said he feels better about not having to rely on Braxton for all of them these days.

-- Meyer said they've given up big plays to good wide receivers. "We're going to face two good receivers again this week."

-- Meyer added "Rod Smith is in a street fight right now to not let Curtis Samuel [get back in the rotation]." "I'm anxious to watch."

-- He said that Smith was a total non-factor this past spring and really struggled academically but his demeanor and work ethic have changed considerably.