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Urban Meyer Big Ten Championship call-in show: Standing strong behind Cardale Jones

Meyer compares Cardale Jones to his former player at Utah and current NFL starter, Alex Smith.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer joined 97.1 The Fan for his weekly call-in show to discuss Ohio State's big rivalry win and what's ahead for the Buckeyes heading into the Big Ten Championship game.

As he prepares his team to travel to Indianapolis to face a running back few have been able to stop, Coach Meyer and his players are anxious to make a run for the College Football Playoffs.

In a press conference earlier this week, injured quarterback J.T. Barrett said he has confidence in Jones, and hopes he can help him through this sudden situation.

Meyer opened the show to questions about Cardale Jones, and he was quick to discuss the good week in practice he's been having, and specifically for Jones, "yesterday was a really good day". Jones like the other members of this year's Ohio State team is a product of those around him; he may be new to starting at quarterback, but his supporting cast consists of a 1,000 yard rusher and a substantially improved offensive line. Meyer even compared Jones to his former Utah quarterback, Alex Smith, who received a lot of criticism only to shine on the national stage.

Coach Meyer talked about his decision to go for it on 4th and 1 against Michigan; while he would've gone for a punt earlier in the season, he had faith in his offensive line and in Ezekiel Elliott and it luckily worked out. He joked about not doing the show if the outcome would've been different.

There was a lot of emphasis this week on creating a culture driven by leaders; it allows players to overcome human nature to be lazy and creates an environment of accountability.

Meyer talked about Wisconsin and their impressive tailback and big time offensive line, but noted some injuries on the defensive side of the ball that they might be able to exploit. The Badgers are a really good team, and they have to devote a lot of effort to stopping the run; which is no secret to anyone who has watched a Wisconsin game. He also assured fans that playing indoors in Indianapolis wouldn't be a problem for him team.

On OSU's defense, Meyer has seen a lot of improvements but stops short of saying they are perfect. The pass defense is much better than last year, but they're still working hard to revive the old school Buckeye defense from 5-7 years ago. They remain committed to playing aggressive football.

The call-in show wrapped up with talks about Player of the Year awards and Urban Meyer made sure to give his endorsement for J.T. Barrett making the trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony; "he deserves it."