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Urban Meyer previewed the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game in his weekly press conference

The coach also reacts to the passing of Buckeye great Terry Glenn.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After a blowout 52-14 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, attention turned to Saturday’s rivalry game against the Michigan Wolverines. However, this morning, Ohio State fans were stunned by the news that Buckeye legend Terry Glenn had been killed in a car accident.

With the fandom’s focus split between “The Game” and remembering an OSU great, Urban Meyer took to the podium for his weekly press conference to set the stage for the regular season finale against That Team Up North.

While the Buckeyes currently sit at No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings with just two weeks to play, there is still a legitimate path to making the final four. The most obvious route would require OSU to win out, and for No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Miami to do the same, eliminating other one and two-loss teams from contention. However, despite the possibility, Meyer was not interested in discussing potential postseason destinations for his team.


Illinois Recap

  • Offensive Players of the Game: Michael Jordan, Jamarco Jones
  • Offensive Champions: J.T. Barrett, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, Austin Mack, Parris Campbell, J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, Antonio Williams, Billy Price, Isaiah Prince, Demetrius Knox, Marcus Baugh
  • Defensive Player of the Game: Chris Worley
  • Defensive Champions: Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes, Jonathon Cooper, Jerome Baker, Denzel Ward, Kendall Sheffield, Erick Smith, Damon Webb
  • Special Teams Player of the Game: Jeff Okudah
  • Special Teams Champions: Elijaah Goins, Justin Hilliard, Pete Werner
  • Meyer mentioned that he was pleased with the kicking game.
  • He added that he thinks that Barrett likes the up-tempo offense, and it is reliant on the play-callers to get the plays out as quickly as possible.

Michigan Preview

  • Meyer said that being in the toughest division in college football means that it is nearly impossible to “save things” for the Michigan game.
  • He added that it is no longer the big eight and the little two in the Big Ten conference.
  • Meyer mentioned that the history of the rivalry game has shown that both teams will play their best on Saturday.
  • The coach said that the staff has been doing film study for the Michigan game longer than normal.
  • Meyer said that the team’s base zone-read scheme, that you have to have impactful play from the guards. With Jordan and Knox playing well as of late, that has been an important part of this season’s success.
  • He said that this rivalry is not just a one-week thing at Ohio State. He added that he learned that from Woody Hayes, Earl Bruce, and Jim Tressel that you have to have this rivalry in your blood to fully appreciate it.
  • Meyer said, “Darn near every day you get reminded of this game. There would have to be something wrong with you not to get it.”
  • The coach added that the team is “extremely focused.”
  • Meyer said that he doesn’t think that the history of the rivalry doesn’t impact his young players, because they can pop in the tape and see how good of a team they have been this year and last year.
  • The coach said that there is “ridiculous pressure” in the recruiting battle between OSU and Michigan.
  • Meyer said that no matter who ends up playing quarterback for Michigan, they will still be a downhill running team.

Depth Chart

  • Meyer said that with time, the Buckeye offensive line has gained maturity, making them one of the most improved position groups on the team this year.
  • The running back split is something naturally developed, rather than a pre-season plan.

Miscellaneous

  • Meyer gives credit to former offensive coordinator Tom Herman for “finding” J.T. Barrett in their first recruiting class. They had been focusing on Mitch Trubisky and Malik Zaire, but they ended up going elsewhere, so he put a lot of trust in Herman.
  • Meyer said that he just heard about Terry Glenn’s death just before the press conference started. He added that he didn’t know the former receiver well, but that his loss is incredibly sad.
  • Meyer said that Earl Bruce has been very important to his understanding of the rivalry. He taught him the intensity and respect that the rivalry requires.
  • The coach added that when the OSU staff was told that Bruce’s final game would be against Michigan, he didn’t believe it, but that the team found a way to win the game.
  • He said that it was very emotional to see Bruce win his final game.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will wrap up the regular season by traveling to Ann Arbor, MI to take on the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday. The game will kick off at 12:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX. The network’s coverage will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET.