Urban Meyer stopped by 97.1 The Fan for his weekly call-in show this week to give updates on the team's win vs. MSU and what to expect this week.
Improved players this week, according to Meyer: Doran Grant, starred against MSU's top receivers. Ezekiel Elliott was exceptional in yards after contact, turning the corner. Thinks the country's "going to hear about" Elliott soon, said Meyer.
On Dontre Wilson's injury, Meyer said Jalin Marshall will take punt returns and Curtis Samuel will take over kick returns. Jalin Marshall's role is expanding week-by-week. Meyer called Marshall the "best player in high school" and "is fun to coach." They wish they could have him touch the ball every play. Marshall is practicing great, playing great.
On J.T. Barrett's 13th Player of the Week award this week, Meyer said that's really a credit to the people around him: o-line, receivers, running backs all allow Barrett to be the general and shine on the field. Barrett's preparation is meticulous.
The offensive gameplan sounds like it's going to stay aggressive. OSU knew that MSU would score points and they'd have to match that score. In a tough, rugged game, his players impressed him with their constant effort. He predicted the Minny game would be a similarly rugged outing.
Offensive line success came up multiple times, both in allowing runners to get into space and giving Barrett time to throw. Meyer said OSU's offense was operating at "full efficiency" at MSU. Called last Saturday was a "day of days".
Meyer had some points of improvement for the d-Line, particularly in capitalizing on Joey Bosa drawing double teams, which should free up other defenders to do some damage. Sounds like that's a practice point for this week.
Meyer ducked out of the show a bit early, due to being a little under the weather, but Ed Warinner picked up where he left off.
Warinner called Minnesota a "very good football team" noted they are undefeated at home, defensively sound and running the ball well. No current OSU player has played against Minny, so have to educate them about their style, tendencies, etc. Minny has big players on the d-Line who can pressure the pocket, playing very physical football, committed to stopping the run. Warinner obviously respects this team very much. OSU has been preparing for the weather and the earlier game time this week with adjusted schedules, outside practices, etc.
Warinner said this is a very "coachable team" who's easy to work with and is just now getting confidence in the system and concepts. Jacoby Boren is "the epitome of our program" said Warinner, and a player who has advanced quickly. Warinner hopes that more consistency will occur now that several players have had breakthroughs. Said practices are starting to show results on the field, preparing OSU to "win championships in November."
One caller asks about over-confidence going into this game, and how the coaching staff is keeping the team focused. Warinner said the focus isn't a problem this week, given that no one has played against Minny before and their skills are evident on the game tape the team watched. Point out errors and mistakes helps keep the Buckeyes on task. Warinner is confident the team is keyed in on the game ahead of them. The Buckeyes are "pedaling down hill as fast as they can right now," taking each obstacle as it comes.
On Joey Bosa, Warinner praised his high motor, his ability to go hard on every play. Bosa has improved the play of the offensive line just by forcing them to practice against the best. Bosa sets the bar for effort and playmaking.
On J.T. Barrett, Warinner was effusive about his work ethic, his preparation, and his exciting abilities. No one seems to be heaping praise on Barrett like you'd expect, but everyone calls him a hard worker and a good leader. "As Barrett goes, so goes the offense," said Warinner.
Warinner said the receivers are just giving opposing defenses fits - can't double team anyone because the whole crew is talented and really getting better week to week. Every week someone else shows up to make a big play.
Warinner noted that the freshman on the team are staring to come up, give OSU some depth at positions.
The coaching staff is aware the Ezekiel Elliot is closing in on 1,000 rushing yards, which would give Meyer his first back-to-back 1,000 yard rushers, an exciting prospect for the team.
Warinner thanked the fans for traveling last week, for supporting the team, and loved the field atmosphere after the win. Ohio State is looking forward to the end of the road games, being at home again next week.
Ohio State visits Minnesota on Saturday at 11 a.m. Minneapolis time.
To catch up on what you missed in today's episode, listen below: