Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes kept from losing in back-to-back weeks when they hosted Northwestern Saturday, but it was far from the type of performance we saw earlier in the season. The offense still looks lost at times, and will certainly need to step up ahead of the brutal end-of-season schedule.
He was happy to start the game against Northwestern much faster than previous weeks, and finish the first drive with a touchdown. He sees “a lot of positives” with this team, noting the players are getting better and that the quality of their opponents should not be underscored.
When asked what he sees that is so positive with this young team, Meyer touted the future being very bright. Some things that stands out to the coach is his players’ work ethic and their character; highlighting that he and they understand where they are now, where things needs improved and “let’s fix it”.
Meyer was very adamant that the focus with this Ohio State team is directly focused on their next opponent. The head coach was asked whether he thought this team, as of today, could compete in the College Football Playoff; Meyer snarked back that he’d be “disappointed that would be brought up anywhere around here”.
He doesn’t want to keep comparing this team to the 2014 Buckeyes, but they did struggle a few games that season, went into double overtime against Penn State, and were still able to finish with a Championship win.
Despite the hardships, Meyer was complimentary of several offensive weapons, including Noah Brown and Marcus Baugh. “Noah played exceptionally hard,” the head coach noted, specifically recalling the last q-draw 35-yard run for Brown. Meyer also confirmed that tight end Baugh played pretty good Saturday and “he can catch”.
Injuries are becoming more and more of an issue as the Buckeyes get later into the season. Meyer discussed the additional wear and tear on bodies when you have such an early bye week, but doesn’t expect many to miss playing time. Malcolm Pridgeon is expected to miss the remainder of the year, with Meyer saying he might be back for some bowl game conditioning postseason. Parris Campbell’s ankle injury is much better than they thought, but the receiver is still questionable for Saturday’s night game against Nebraska — in his absence Benjamin Victor could see some playing time; Meyer said the freshman is so close to being ready.