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Ohio State’s Urban Meyer learning about life without a running quarterback

Coach Meyer has had a running quarterback for most of his time at Ohio State.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

“There’s certain times of the game I’m used to having something in my pocket that it’s not there. We had two situations Saturday that we haven’t figured that out. So those are all questions that we have.”

- Urban Meyer via Doug Lesmerises,

It’s not really a surprise that Urban Meyer has had to shift his expectations out of the quarterback position. In his time at Ohio State, Meyer has had some talented signal callers, but the main component that was featured in all of them: the ability to run and make plays after a play breaks down. Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and even Kenny Guiton, all showcased their running ability. And while Meyer has seen Cardale Jones in action, even he was prone to tuck the ball and run effectively. But Dwayne Haskins is sort of a different player than all of those quarterbacks.

Haskins is a true pro-style quarterback and it’s easy to see why people are already expecting him to jump to the NFL in a short amount of time. His accuracy is on another level, and he’s got the arm for the deep passes. But Meyer is used to having that one play up his sleeve on third and short situations, where he can rely on his quarterback to take advantage of the numbers game and create a first down. He doesn’t necessarily have that now, so he’s trying to adjust with the help of Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson.

So far, it’s working, as the Buckeyes have several key wins and are undefeated at 5-0. But it’s still a work in progress, and both Meyer and Haskins agree that Ohio State has yet to play to its full potential. And that’s a comforting thought.

“[The nine teams that still have a chance at the CFP title] 2. Ohio State Chance to make the playoff: 74.9 percent Chance to win the title: 22.9 percent”

- Heather Dinich, ESPN

After securing a huge win over a top 10 team, Ohio State positioned itself into an envious spot. The Buckeyes have what should be smooth sailing for the rest of October, and much of November in terms of their schedule all while sitting in the top three teams in the country. As for their chances of making the College Football Playoff, it looks really good with several top wins and a Heisman contender in quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

The Buckeyes might even have an edge over a lot of their competition in terms of résumé right now, considering Alabama has yet to win a big game, and Georgia and Clemson are falling behind a bit in that category as well. While that will change down the line, it’s important that Ohio State is already catching the eyes of the committee, and that could play a role when it matters most.

“Yes it is [a concern]. We haven’t made a final decision. Jahsen Wint has been playing well, Shaun Wade is the next and Brendon White. So, you have three capable [guys]. This going to be a big week in practice to determine what happens.”

- Urban Meyer via Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

Ohio State still hasn’t exactly settled on a true starter at safety alongside Jordan Fuller. It’s been a rotation of several players including Jahsen Wint, Shaun Wade, and Brendon White. Isaiah Pryor has also been a part of that mix, but due to his ejection for targeting against Penn State, Pryor will have to sit out the first half this Saturday against Indiana. Wade has shown the most upside and flashes during games, but that doesn’t always indicate that he’d be a good fit.

Regardless of who starts, the Buckeyes need that player to step up in a big way. Ohio State’s secondary was torched last week, albeit against Trace McSorley, who’s proven to be a great playmaker. Still, giving up record-breaking touchdowns and passes all over the field is never a goal when defending. There’s a certain standard that the defensive backs are held to, and they’re missing the bar right now.