Having barely survived their trip to College Park, Md., the tenth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes now turn their attention to their their rivals. With both teams sitting at 10-1 overall, this Saturday’s rivalry matchup will determine which Big Ten East squad represents the division in the Big Ten Title Game on Dec. 1, and could go a long way to deciding whether the B1G is represented in this year’s College Football Playoff or not.
The 2018 edition of The Game will kick off at noon ET in Columbus, with FOX broadcasting the action. But, that is still five days away. In the meantime, OSU head coach Urban Meyer met with the media on Monday to discuss the crazy comeback against the Terps, the importance the rivalry, and a little bit about his health.
You can watch Urban Meyer’s press conference here and check out the notes below:
Champions of the Game
Offense: Isaiah Prince, Demetrius Knox, Michael Jordan, Joshua Alabi,Malcolm Pridgeon, Luke Farrell, Rashod Berry, Demario McCall, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, K.J. Hill
Player of the Game: J.K. Dobbins, Dwayne Haskins
Defense: Dre’Mont Jones, Chase Young, Malik Harrison
Player of the Game: Tuf Borland
Special Teams Player of the Game: DeMario McCall
- “Whenever you face an elite team and an elite defense,” Meyer said, “the personnel stands out and the front seven stands out. It’s a very good team.”
- Meyer said that they don’t really pay attention to what those outside of the program are saying about the team, and he likely won’t use that as motivation heading into The Game.
- “How do you show respect for this game?” Meyer said. “You work so damn hard for it.”
- About J.K. Dobbins’ performance against Maryland, Meyer said, “I just can’t say enough about that guy.”
- Meyer also praised Josh Proctor and Drue Chrisman for their special teams performances on Saturday.
- Meyer admitted that the defensive performance “was not good.” He mentioned that the eight missed tackles were one of the “alarming things” from the defensive performance.
- Since he is not normally “Mr. Positive,” Meyer ran through some incredibly impressive offensive accomplishments from the game against Maryland.
- He said that his biggest concern is the fact that the offense ran 105 plays the week before facing TTUN.
- As he did after the Maryland game, Meyer mentioned that Mike Weber is dealing with a quad contusion, which is why he didn’t play on Saturday. However, Meyer expects Weber to play on Saturday.
- According to the coach, Thayer Munford is probable, and he expects him to practice soon.
- The coach added that Baron Browning is cleared to play as well.
Importance of The Game
- Meyer said that in the past six games against TTUN, he’s never thought that the game was won on the talent differential. He said that it is more about the decisions made in the moment.
- Meyer discussed the importance of Woody Hayes in his life, and told the story about how he told his then girlfriend/fiancee Shelley that he would take her over to the ROTC where Hayes had an office, but he passed away before that visit could happen.
- The coach said that while he has tremendous respect of Hayes and Bo Schembechler, but their methods of coaching wouldn’t work today. However, he believes that Hayes would have adapted.
- Meyer admitted that the Ohio-born players on Ohio State always approach the rivalry game with an extra appreciation and intensity than out-of-state players.
- The head coach admits that there is extra pressure associated with this game. “I’ll say this: the time and effort we put into these games ... and there’s no bigger game than this ... the pressure is absolutely there.”
- Meyer said that he thinks about his two rivalry games coaching under Earle Bruce quite often.
Evaluating his Team
- Meyer said that he thinks that Haskins is continuing to show improvement in “doing the things that you have to do to win the game... Dwayne really took a step.”
- The coach acknowledged that the decision to pick up the tempo on offense was effective on Saturday, and is a specific game-management decision.
- Meyer admitted that the conversations with the coaches about the defensive performance have been uncomfortable, but direct. However, they are focused on “winning the moment.”
- Multiple times, Meyer praised Ryan Day for developing Haskins throughout the season, and adapting the offense to what the talent requires this season.
- Meyer admitted that he’s disappointed when he sees Ohio players “play their tails off” elsewhere, that they didn’t have a chance to get. He mentions the specific recruiting calendar that prevents them from seeing players in time.
- Meyer said that he believes that Prince is up for the challenge that will be in front of him on Saturday. He said that he might be the hardest working offensive lineman he’s ever been around.
The No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes will wrap up their regular season by hosting their fourth-ranked rival at The Horseshoe on Saturday, Nov. 24 at noon ET. The Game will be broadcast on FOX.