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Urban Meyer Cincinnati week press conference: 'This is the test' for the secondary

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After taking last week off, Urban Meyer spoke to the gathered media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to address OSU's forthcoming in-state showdown against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Here were some of the points he addressed of note:

-- As announced earlier today, Meyer reiterates the Buckeyes' staff will be wearing Coaches for MD patches this coming Saturday to help battle Muscular Dystrophy.

-- "Very tough opponent this week. Offensively, they've been good in the past. They're exceptional now."

-- Meyer reiterates that Tommy Tuberville has pressed that this is the best group of wide receiver's he's ever coached, and knowing Tuberville the way he does, he know that really means something.

-- Urban Meyer says with a new quarterback or in general, it's tough to know whether it's good to be coming off a bye week or not. "The other thing is [Barrett] keeps playing and he did get better, but I don't know." Meyer said the team operated a lot differently in the bye week than they had in the past. "We practiced a lot of game reps."

-- "We kind of got spoiled here with Kenny Guiton the last couple years." Meyer says that having a good backup quarterback has always been a big concern, but is getting more exposure than ever in the past.

-- Meyer reiterated that the Buckeyes are still trying to finalize a starting five on the offensive line: "Jacoby Boren had a high ankle sprain, but should be full go today. Pat Elflein was dealing with some feet issues ... but he's fine, he's 100%. The guy that's improved a little bit is Chase Farris. He's the backup right tackle, but if he's one of the five best, he should be [a starter]". Pat Elflein's been getting reps at center and Joel Hale continues to battle as well. Antonio Underwood made a big jump after Chad Lindsay's retirement.

-- On how to build pipelines/recruiting relationships out of state: "How do you do it? You just recruit. We'll always recruit the footprint as hard as we can. The negative that's happened in recruiting is you're not getting the chance to watch guys develop. Everybody's committing so early over the last 5, 6, 7 years. I can't stand it." "You don't watch juniors because most of the seniors are already committing."

-- "Jersey, Georgia, Florida are all the places where we've drawn players from. You know Virginia now, Jalyn Holmes. You try to go first of all where you have the best players and second where you have connections."

-- "There are schools that offer 150 kids. We can't do that; what if they all come?"

-- "Very strong emotional [connection to Cincinnati]. My sister is an associate provost at Cincinnati, my other sister was homecoming queen there ... Just strong history at UC." Meyer describes Cincinnati's educational transformational as similar to the one Ohio State underwent a decade plus ago.

-- On recruiting Cincinnati, Meyer reemphasized that they have to continue doing that, "That's as good of football as there is"

-- "Absolutely [Cincinnati is a Power 5 caliber school]. It's the marketplace. You're talking about TV sets. There's a nice tradition there in Cincinnati. The coaching tree that has developed in the last 25 years has been pretty remarkable and the success that they have. When we're watching film, they're certainly as good of a team as the others we've gone against."

-- On what this means for the development of the secondary: "This is the test, this is one we're all kind of shooting for. And they're really good at throwing the ball. It's going to be a challenge for us."

-- Urban Meyer says Noah Spence is not going to practice now. "He's getting full time treatment." "When is zero tolerance? When addiction has set in?" "I treat these guys like they're my kid. I'm not a big fan of dismissal. It has to be a severe one, where you're hurting someone else." "Unfortunately sometimes it's not our decision."

-- On Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel: "I see one of the top quarterbacks in the country."

-- "I feel we're very systematic now... I really like our system now. I believe in it. We need to see it executed this week."

-- "Good question. I don't know why I did that [on the HBO special]." Meyer said the experience was positive overall.

-- Meyer said the lack of experience against Navy and Virginia Tech isn't an excuse. "We're not a big excuse program. We don't blame." Called J.T. Barrett a veteran player now.