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Urban Meyer on NIU debacle: 'It's not the QB, it's not the o-line. It's a variety of things'

The Buckeyes are now 3-0, but after a close game against NIU improvements need to be made -- fast.

Ohio State is now 3-0 on the season, but the teams doesn't have the energy and chemistry that Buckeye Nation was expecting ahead of this year. After a much closer game against Northern Illinois, it's time for Urban Meyer and the coaching staff to take a look at where they are at and how the improve immediately.

It didn't take long for fans and analysts alike to start second-guessing the starting quarterback, blaming the offensive line and wondering why Ezekiel Elliott wasn't more efficient.

The defense is saving the Buckeyes from going under so far this season, but they can't be the sole bright spot heading into conference play.

Quarterback play
  • Cardale Jones was benched early in the matchup and Barrett came in to finish the game. Neither performed particularly well, and people were quick to point out that the back-and-forth wasn't doing enough to establish a rapport on the field.
  • Meyer had a conversation with one on Sunday and will have one today. He answered those commenting on playing with someone looking over their shoulder, saying that's how it is in the NFL so that's not an excuse.
  • Meyer hasn't decided about a starting quarterback moving forward, but notes that neither is performing that well. Jones was the one, sole starting quarterback until he didn't play well, and then Barrett came in as the backup.
Preventing turnovers
  • Turning the ball over "at an alarming rate, and have to get that fixed." Meyer isn't putting all the blame on the players, noting, "it's not performing, it's coaching."
  • "We're going to adapt and change some things," said Meyer. He's looking into have the offensive coordinator call plays from upstairs vs being on the field.
  • All three turnovers were "absolutely inexcusable", and depending on the type of fumbles or dropped balls, it can affect the players game time.
Offensive line issues -- again
  • The team wasn't able to adjust to the new defensive scheme NIU adapted right before the game.
  • Meyer isn't willing to put the blame on one position group, "it's not the quarterback, it's not the o-line. It's a variety of things."
  • Though not specific to just the line, Meyer called explosive plays "a high, high emphasis right now"
Defense strength
  • Played at an "extremely high level". Meyer would take the Buckeye secondary over most others in college football.
Players of the game
  • Offense: No champions. Meyer said this game was, "one of the worst executed performances since we got here."
  • Defense: Seven players from the defense earned game honors; all the guys on the edge and in the secondary.
  • Special teams: Jalin Marshall, Erick Smith, Vonn Bell