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Urban Meyer says Ohio State's ready for the Bear defense this time around

The Ohio State Buckeyes are prepared to travel to Blacksburg, VA for their season opener.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer stopped by 97.1 The Fan for his first weekly call-in show of the season to give updates on the quarterback competition and what to expect against Virginia Tech.

As he prepares his team to travel to Blacksburg to face a team that bested the Buckeyes last year, Coach Meyer and his players are anxious to defend their national championship.

Transitioning from training mode to game week mode is going well, but with a Monday night game their regular practice schedule has shifted. This will affect Week 2's game with a shorter turn around time. Meyer admits it's "not good" how quickly they will have to be ready to play again.

When asked about Cardale Jones going to the hospital with a headache Wednesday night, Meyer notes Jones is prone to migraines, he "had it in high school once or twice," and that "the pain on a scale from 1-10 was an 8." Jones is feeling better after a brief stay in the hospital and will still be able to practice.

On the topic of Jones and J.T. Barrett, both will see playing time this season. "They look good," Meyer noted, they will play "whoever helps us best to get it down the field." Meyer said Barrett and Jones are two of the greatest kids on the team. Meyer told Barrett and Jones who was ahead in the competition and that they would both play throughout the season, but has yet to name a starter.

When asked how the coaches and players prepare for a tough road game and environment, he remembered a tough stretch of away games when he was in the SEC. "One year when I was in Florida we went 0-3 on the road, I did as much research as possible, brought in Lou Holtz," Meyer reminisced. "But it comes down to recruiting well and coaching well and having really good players."

The loud environment will be an issue for the Buckeyes in Virginia Tech's stadium, and despite being used to crowd noise at The Shoe, the noise level will be different on offense than is familiar.

On some of the younger guys this year we might see, Gareon Conley (had a great camp is going to start), Chase Farris, Parris Campbell, Nick Vannett, Marcus Baugh, Curtis Samuel, and old-new guy Braxton Miller.

Elaborating on Braxton Miller, the transition to h-back has been "fantastic" for Meyer. Meyer loves Miller "to death", loves coaching him, gets along with his dad, and will definitely miss him when hes gone. He continues that Miller is a "competitor, different guy".

Moving on to the receiving corp and depth chart, Meyer talked about freshman K.J. Hill, "I love K.J., he's going to make the trip with us." He also noted Hill will play some special teams along with freshman Eric Glover-Williams this season.

One of the strongest pieces of the team is the offensive line. Ohio State is an OL driven program, and the SLOBs embrace it and know that if they have a bad day the whole team has a bad day.

On defense, Sam Hubbard is the first guy in and Jaylin Holmes, though not as consistent as Hubbard, will see playing time as well.

Meyer looked back at the Virginia Tech team they faced last year. He touts the team that bested them as being a "very good team, excellent coach, very good defensive team." He went on to note that the biggest obstacles are the returning players and having to play in one of the top 10 toughest environments in college football. "Anytime you cover the center and two guards it changes all your rules," but Meyer and team they've worked hard on that this offseason and are by far more prepared than last year.

Ed Warinner will join Urban Meyer calling the game, with Meyer noting Warinner has earned the respect that comes along with that decision.

Agreeing to do TV shows like Scarlet and Gray Days on BTN and formerly with ESPN, was based on rebuilding the team's reputation and responding to the bowl ban Meyer's first season at Ohio State. Meyer notes it was great for the national brand and reputation as well as for recruiting.

You can't control the "ridiculous expectations" that people have for this year's team, but with the team filled with good players, that's the biggest hurdle to repeat. With injuries and the "speed bump" of the suspensions, they are definitely facing an uphill battle.

Injury updates

Noah Brown out with a broken leg, a non-contact injury after coming down wrong after making a nice catch. Definitely out for the season. Meyer lauds the parent network for stepping in to help during these rough times, with some of the local moms staying with Brown during his hospital stay.

Mike Weber had a meniscus tear that was able to be fixed, but he wont be back this week, but soon.

Torrance Gibson was out with an ankle sprain and will be limited at Virginia Tech.

Other injuries are limited to bumps and bruises, but nothing significant.