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Urban Meyer is excited by the playmakers potential for Ohio State’s offense

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J.T. Barrett, Johnnie Dixon among this week’s champions.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Following their Week One win over the Indiana Hoosiers, the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes returned to Big Ten play this past weekend when they took on former defensive coordinator Chris Ash and his Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

For the second year in a row, the Buckeyes hung half a hundred on Rutgers while also shutting out the Knights. The 56-0 victory also saw OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett break a number of records, including Ohio State’s all-time passing mark.

Next up for the Buckeyes will be the Maryland Terrapins, who are currently 3-1 on the season, including a 31-24 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers to open up their Big Ten slate.

On Monday, OSU head coach Urban Meyer met the media to discuss the Rutgers game, and to look forward to this Saturday’s contest with Maryland.

Rutgers Recap

  • Offensive Players of Game: J.T. Barrett, Johnnie Dixon
    Offensive Champions: Terry McLaurin, Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins, Demario McCall, Jamarco Jones, Billy Price, Marcus Baugh
  • Defensive Player of the Game: Dante Booker
    Defensive Champions: Nick Bosa, Jonathan Cooper, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Chase Young, Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette
  • Special Teams Players of the Game: Pete Werner
    Special Teams Champions: Zach Turnure, Austin Mack, Isaiah Pryor, Jeffrey Okudah
  • Meyer said that he sees improvement in the passing game. He said that they are optimistic, but they aren’t “walking around with blinders on.” He said that they need to continue against top-line competition.
  • Meyer continued by saying that he is very excited about the potential of the team’s playmakers.
  • He said that while Dobbins only had six carries against Rutgers, and while they hope to get him 12 touches a game, because the Rutgers’ score got out of hand, they pulled him out of the game to avoid injury.
  • In the game, McLaurin picked up two 15-yard penalties on the same play, but still graded a champion, and Meyer explained that it was a head coach’s decision, “because I like Terry.”
  • Meyer added that they don’t condone those types of things, but that he had a talk with McLaurin about it. He also mentioned that the receiver had been the victim of a pretty nasty cheap shot earlier in the game, and that stuck with him longer than it probably should have.

Maryland Preview

  • Meyer said that the resilience that Maryland has shown dealing with injuries at the quarterback position is incredibly impressive.
  • The OSU coach said that Maryland coach D.J. Durkin is one of his favorite coaches that he has ever had on his staff.
  • The coach said that with Maryland in the Big Ten and the influence of Under Armour, Maryland has been a formidable challenge when recruiting the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area.
  • With Ohio State’s defensive line coach, Larry Johnson, having deep ties to that part of the country, Meyer said that he is a great recruiting tool to have in the area.

Injury Report

  • Dre’Mont Jones will be out this week, and Meyer said that they are shooting for a return against Nebraska.
  • Meyer added that Chris Worley is probable against Maryland, and running back Antonio Williams is questionable.
  • Of Erick Smith, who missed the Rutgers game for a non-injury reason, Meyer said that “he has to handle his business.” The coach also said that he does not believe that the safety will play this week.

Depth Chart

  • Meyer announced that field goal kicker Sean Neurenberger will now handle the kick off duties as well.
  • The coach is excited to have both Weber and Dobbins in the backfield, and that since they are both currently healthy, and amongst the best 11 players, they will likely be on the field together moving forward.

Other News

  • Meyer said that he had not spoken with the players who are from the Las Vegas area yet, since the players are off on Monday. However, he plans to talk to them right after the press conference.
  • The head coach was asked how he gets his team ready to play lesser competition. Meyer said that a big part of coaching is being a cheerleader, and if there were specific motivational tricks that he’s used lately, he would not tell the media.
  • Meyer said that many of the most successful passing plays that they’ve had this season have been specifically brought to the offense by new quarterback coach Ryan Day.
  • He said that before the Rutgers game, he thought that the linebackers had only been playing “okay,” but that the unit has picked up considerable momentum due to their play on special teams and then in game action.

The Buckeyes will look to build off of their Piscataway trip on Saturday, when they return to the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium to host the Maryland Terrapins. The game will be broadcast on FOX at 4:00 p.m. ET.