After Ohio State knocked off the UNLV
Runnin’ Rebels 54-21, head coach Urban Meyer addressed the collected media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday to recap the game and look forward to returning to conference play against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday.
On Saturday against UNLV, the Ohio State offense found a bit of the passing game that it had been searching for. In fact, the passing game set multiple records, including a school-best 474 combined passing yards, and seven different receivers caught touchdown passes, an OSU and Big Ten record. Many have pumped the breaks on declaring the offense “fixed,” but it was no doubt a step in the right direction, especially for quarterback J.T. Barrett and the much-maligned receiving corps.
Offensive Champions: J.T. Barrett, K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Terry McLaurin, Antonio Williams, Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Billy Price
Offensive Player of the Game: Isaiah Prince
Defensive Champions: Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, Jerome Baker, Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette, Jordan Fuller
Defensive Player of the Game: Nick Bosa, Dre’Mont Jones
Special Teams Champions: Pete Werner, Parris Campbell, Malik Harrison, Isaiah Pryor, Jared Drake,
Special Teams Player of the Game: Elijaah Goins
- Coach Meyer thought that back-up quarterback Dwayne Haskins played well in his first extended action, but that he was still a little more reckless than he would like.
- The coach said that walk-on receiver C.J. Saunders has the skill set to play for the Buckeyes, but he needs to work on his physicality.
- Meyer said that while he didn’t agree with some of the pass interference calls against his DBs, he said that the problems are “technique related.”
- Meyer said that Chris Ash’s influence on Rutgers is obvious on film, and that he has made significant improvements on Rutgers’ defense.
- He added that the Rutgers’ job is a good one because of the built in recruiting base.
- The coach said that they are beginning to get to the point in the season, where upcoming opponents have amassed enough film for the OSU coaching staff to know what team-specific things to focus on.
- Meyer said that running back Mike Weber is cleared and will play, while QB Joe Burrow is cleared, but he is more hesitant to put in action.
- He added Chris Worley is probable.
- Malik Barrow tore his ACL against UNLV, and is out for the season.
- Meyer said that suspended defensive tackle Michael Hill will not play this week, and that his status is evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
- He said that he had expected the defensive secondary, especially the cornerbacks, to be further along in their development than they currently are.
- He said that kicker Sean Nuernberger is coming along well, and that he recently hit a 57-yard field goal in practice.
- The coach said that the passing game is improving, but it is not yet where he needs it to be.
- Meyer said that Isaiah Prince had the best week of practice on the team leading up to the UNLV game.
- Meyer said that OSU is an offensive-line driven program, and that in his first year in Columbus, they went 12-0 because of Braxton Miller and the offensive line.
- He added that if the line continues to show the improvement that it has, that the team should be in contention towards the end of the season.
- Meyer was asked how he tailors the program and recruiting specifically with devotly religious players. Meyer said that his faith is deeply important to him, and then from a football standpoint, the key is to make everything “user friendly” and to respect the individual player’s needs.
- In regards to the national anthem controversy taking over the NFL currently, Meyer said that he didn’t know that it had happened until Monday morning, but that it all boils down to respect.
- He added that he is talking to certain players about it, and if he thinks that it is something that needs addressed, he will discuss it with the team.
- Meyer said that the two things that he looks for in an assistant coach to determine if he will be successful as a head coach are his effort on the recruiting trail, and a “big picture” outlook.
- The coach said that Parris Campbell is very close to breaking a return for a touchdown, but the fact that he is close means that the rest of the kick-off team is more willing to put in the maximum effort.
- Following a comment from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh about the unsanitary locker room conditions at Purdue over the weekend, Meyer said, without naming a specific school, that he had seen similar things and that he had shared his concerns with athletic director Gene Smith and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney.
The Buckeyes will return to Big Ten action on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. against Rutgers at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.