"I was a raving lunatic about (turnovers) this week. They're pressing trying to make plays. If effort's the problem, you implode. If it's not, you just coach them really hard."
Ohio State may have not been beating opponents by as much as many were expecting coming into this season, but Urban Meyer thinks his team is getting closer to realizing those expectations. What is weighing on Meyer the most about the performance of his team so far this year are the rate at which the offense is turning the football over in combination with their red zone efficiency. So far this season, Ohio State has turned the football over 13 times, which is four more turnovers than they have been able to force their opponents into. While the turnovers this year are eating at Meyer, he knows it isn't because of lack of effort from his team.
The other big issue Meyer has seen so far this year is how much trouble his offense is having punching the ball into the end zone when they get inside the red zone. In 16 trips inside the 20 through five games this year, the Buckeyes have only been able to muster six touchdowns to go along with six field goals. Ohio State could fix some of those issues this week when they take on Maryland, who has been outscored by West Virginia and Michigan 73-6 in the past two games. Last year when Ohio State traveled to Maryland, the Buckeye offense was able to find some of their legs in the 52-24 win over the Terrapins, and Meyer is hoping a big performance this week can kickstart quarterback Cardale Jones and the rest of the offense.
"We aren't going to let this one get out of state. We should have taken the older one, but we aren't letting this one go."
- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer on 2017 commit Jerron Cage via Ari Wasserman, Northeast Ohio Media Group
It's not often you heard Urban Meyer second-guess himself, but when it comes to 2014 four-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage, Meyer knows he missed out when the Buckeyes decided to head in another direction. The high school start from Cincinnati ended up committing to Notre Dame, where he is currently starting as a sophomore for the Fighting Irish. Now Meyer is trying to make sure he doesn't make the same mistake twice, and he is off to a good start as the Buckeyes already have a commitment from 2017 four-star defensive tackle Jerron Cage, Daniel's brother.
Early in his recruitment, the Buckeyes not wanting Daniel ate at Jerron, and made him not want to come to Columbus to play for the Buckeyes. Those wounds were healed when Meyer let the younger Cage know just how much Ohio State wanted him, and how important he'd be to the Buckeye defense in the future. Even with the commitment, there is still plenty of work left to be done by Meyer, since recently Cage picked up offers from Notre Dame and Michigan State. Although it sounds like Cage is 100% Ohio State right now, there is still lots of time before he signs his LOI, and the possibility to play with his brother in South Bend has to be enticing. At least in this case, the younger Cage is seeing just how much Meyer and his recruiting staff are willing to work to keep his commitment to Ohio State rock solid.
"It's frustrating on our end. I see the tweets being thrown at Cardale. It's not pretty. I've been on the receiving end of those."
Sometimes it seems like Ohio State fans will find a way to be unhappy with anything. Despite the 34-27 win by the Buckeyes over Indiana on Saturday, a number of "fans" took to Twitter to tell Cardale Jones exactly what they thought about how Jones played against the Hoosiers. Apparently the victory along with the 245 yards passing from Jones on Saturday wasn't enough for some, as there were plenty of tweets to the redshirt junior telling him that he didn't deserve to be the starting quarterback.
RT: *haters https://t.co/H6bcaErCe5— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) October 6, 2015
Rome wasn't built in a day— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) October 6, 2015
The response from Jones to his detractors was short but said a lot. Twitter makes it easy to throw anonymous shots at people, and in this case it is especially puzzling when the person on the receiving end of the on-line abuse still hasn't lost a game as a starter for the Buckeyes. The Ohio State offensive issues this year aren't all Jones' fault, but since he is the starting quarterback of the team, he gets the majority of the ugly hate spewed on Twitter. Of course if Jones has a huge performance on Saturday against Maryland, those that criticized him following last week's game will probably be the same ones saying that he is their favorite player after this week's game.
"We'll see what we have. We just want to keep getting better. Friday is an opportunity against a very good hockey team here at home."
The Blue Jackets aren't the only hockey team opening up their season on Friday night in Columbus. After a 14-19-3 season last year, Ohio State's men's hockey team are hoping to get their season off to a strong start, but they face quite a tough task to open up the season. The Buckeyes will welcome 16th-ranked Bowling Green to the Schottenstein Center on Friday night for the 179th edition of the in-state rivalry. Following Friday night's game, Ohio State will head up to Bowling Green on Saturday for another matchup agains the Falcons.
Ohio State needs to get off to a strong start this season due to the quality of opponents they have on their schedule to start the season. Of Ohio State's first seven opponents in the first half of the season, five of those teams are currently ranked inside the top 20 according to the United States College Hockey Online poll. The Buckeyes hope some returning scoring punch can help to navigate the tough early schedule. Three of the top four scores from last season return, and they'll definitely need the offensive pop against a Bowling Green team which has 103 of their 119 goals scored from last season returning. Hopefully there will be plenty to cheer about in Columbus this weekend when it comes to hockey, both on the professional and college level.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- More bourbon being produced in Columbus is always a good thing.
- LeBron James is leaving McDonald's to become the face of a pizza company he is a part owner of.
- Probably not the best idea to call the cops to tell them you are "too high".
- When you pitch like Jake Arrieta did, you can celebrate winning the Wild Card Game however you want.
- Yet another reason to love Ronda Rousey: She doesn't like Justin Bieber.