Shortly after the University announced that redshirt freshman quarterback-turned-receiver Torrance Gibson would be suspended for Fall semester, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer took the podium ahead of the team’s first game of the season.
With less than a week until the 2016 football seasons kicks-off, there are still position battles and depth chart questions that loom over the coaching staff. As game plans begin to formulate, there are at least a few “givens” that the team can build on. J.T. Barrett is still looking like a Heisman contender, and Curtis Samuel is still expected to be the playmaker for the Buckeyes on offense.
Meyer also answered some questions about Ohio State’s first opponent -- Bowling Green -- and where some of the young guys stand less than a week out.
- Meyer was quick to point out that Torrance Gibson’s suspension did not come from the football team, but rather the University, and that he “doesn’t agree with it”. While he doesn’t agree with it, the situation is “not unique and we have dealt with it [before]”
- Captains J.T. Barrett, Raekwon McMillan, and Pat Elflein were announced just after the Fiesta Bowl win — first time Meyer has announced them so early.
- Meyer lauded Mark Pantoni and his staff who helped recruit some of the important impact players like Raekwon McMillan.
- The ideal balance for this year’s offense is 50/50 — especially compared to last year — and Meyer said fortunately, he feels they are pretty close to that. He’ll know more after Week 1, but he feels good heading into the season.
- Meyer is looking for 250 rushing/250 passing yards per game. Lofty goals.
- Tyler Durbin will start this week on kick-offs and field goals with usual starter Sean Nuernberger nursing injuries, and despite Meyer not being 100% sure of his name, said he’s doing great ahead of the season and has earned the starting role.
- Marcus Baugh and Jerome Baker returned from injuries Monday, and the unit is pretty close to game ready. Meyer noted though, that most of the starters are set, but there are a couple players who are still on the bubble.
- Joe Burrow is the No. 2 guy at QB behind J.T. Barrett.
- Meyer has to bite his tongue from being too excited for this year’s team, but it does feel like 2014 and he has high expectations despite the number of young guys on roster.
On Bowling Green
- Meyer feels a special way about his former employer, Bowling green. “I love that school,” Meyer touted before speaking on his being hired in 2001 and why he took the job.
- He went on to talk about how Bowling Green has one of the most tradition rich programs in the MAC. He doubled down with how much respect he has for the program.
- Meyer told a story about how he went to Adidas to work out a deal worth ~$2,500 for matching shoes for the team when he coached at Bowling Green. Adidas came through with blue and grey shoes -- Bowling Green’s colors are brown and orange — but the players were just excited to match.
- The head coach is looking forward to seeing how the young guys react to their first game in front of a packed house in The ‘Shoe.
- The head coach was also asked about Tim Tebow and his budding baseball career. Meyer said, “Incredible. He’s an incredible baseball player.” He went on to say that his athleticism was what stood out to him when he was recruiting the college quarterback back in high school.