Following one of the most monumental comebacks in the storied annals of Ohio State football history, head coach Urban Meyer met with assembled media on Monday to look back at the odds-defying victory, to discuss what it means for the Buckeyes moving forward, and to preview this Saturday’s conference tilt with Iowa.
Penn State Recap
- Offensive Player of the Game: J.T. Barrett (the quarterback also won the Big Ten’s weekly honor)
- Offensive Champions: Austin Mack, Johnnie Dixon, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, J.K. Dobbins, Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Billy Price, Demetrius Knox, Isaiah Prince, Marcus Baugh
- Defensive Player of the Game: Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Nick Bosa
- Defensive Champions: Dre’mont Jones, Robert Landers, Tracy Sprinkle, Chris Worley, Dante Booker, Jerome Baker, Jordan Fuller
- Special Teams Player of the Game: Denzel Ward
- Special Teams Champions: Zach Turnure, K.J. Hill
- Urban Meyer said that he is not micromanaging the running back’s playing time. Kevin Wilson and Tony Alford are currently determining who plays and when.
- The coach also added that they do have sets when both Dobbins and Mike Weber are in the backfield, but game situations haven’t necessitated it yet.
- Meyer admitted that transitions on the roster have begun to have a negative impact specifically on the kick-coverage team. He noted that certain players are playing out of position, and that’s hurting them currently.
- Meyer said that OSU kickers are not capable of kicking the ball out of the endzone, or that is what they would be doing. Meyer said, “It’s a joke.”
- The coach praised Wilson and QB coach Ryan Day for coming up with new plays and ideas, including on the game-winning pass play that went to Baugh. Meyer said that the coordinators are very smart and are fitting in perfectly now with what the offense and Barrett do best.
- Meyer said that he treats his team like “elite warriors.” Celebrate for 24 hours or so, and then come back in for the next task afterward. He also added that the grinding nature of the program, as well as the brotherly love of the team, led to their ability to overcome the early PSU deficit.
- He also said that last year’s team would not have been able to complete that comeback. Meyer highly praised Isaiah Prince, saying that he had his best week of practice, and that he has no concerns about Prince anymore, and that he has grown into a leader on the team.
- Meyer said that normally they wouldn’t go after a punt around midfield in a game situation, but given the time and score, he and Greg Schiano decided to go after it. And while Ward was the one to get the block, Damon Arnette was as instrumental on the block as anyone.
- Meyer said that the defensive line controlling the line of scrimmage will be the key to stopping Iowa running back Akrum Wadley, as it was in stopping PSU’s Barkley, even though the offensive schemes are very different.
- He said that he would talk to his team about the unique environment of Kinnick Stadium later in the week.
- Meyer mentioned that Iowa has always been a team that never quits. He says that every Iowa team (as well as any player from the state of Iowa) is tough, and always difficult to put away.
- Parris Campbell is currently listed as questionable for this Saturday’s Iowa game.
- Meyer talked about his respect for Johnnie Dixon, and said that he called Dixon’s high school coach right before the press conference to tell him how proud he was of the wide receiver’s determination and progress.
- Meyer said that he doesn’t worry about what skill position players are in the game at different times. He said that he trusts his coaches to know what players deserve playing time.
- Meyer said that having recruits in town for the Penn State game was huge because they saw the culture of the program in all aspects; on the field, in the locker room, and the environment in the stadium.
- While Meyer did mention “Heisman” in connection with Barrett on Saturday night, he said that it is not something that he will discuss with the quarterback anytime soon. If those conversations need to be had, it will happen later in the season. Currently, they are focusing specifically on Iowa.
- The coach said that his program does not put much into Heisman campaigns. The prominence of the program means that they don’t have to do those types of things.
- Meyer said that he doesn’t think that his complaints about the abundant road night games had any impact on Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. ET start time. However, he does believe that discussions will be had during the off-season.
- The former Florida coach declined to comment on the recent coaching change in Gainesville.
- Meyer said that if the focus is there for his team, it will be a great ending for this team, but it’s too early to make any universal proclamations.
The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes will return to action this Saturday in Iowa City, Iowa to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The game will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.