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Gene Smith had a plan in case Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer went down again

The incident against Indiana where Meyer fell to a knee had athletic director Gene Smith concerned enough to put a plan into place if it happened again.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference-Football Championship-Northwestern vs Ohio State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

“You’re evaluated every Saturday for four hours in front of 106,000 people, and our viewership is always six million or higher across the platforms, and he went down on one knee. That’s medical. That’s bad. To the point, the following week, I had a meeting with about six people around him saying we’ve got to have a management strategy because if you go down again, I’ve got to take you out.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith via Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

In early October, Urban Meyer went down to one knee in the fourth quarter, which started to raise questions about his health. Meyer was holding his head because he was dealing with a severe headache, which was caused by an arachnoid cyst in his brain. Meyer had been dealing with the issue for a couple of decades, but it was the first time Ohio State fans saw him in such pain.

The medical issue especially worried athletic director Gene Smith, who put together a plan in case Meyer experienced such pain on the sidelines again. The Friday before the Minnesota game, Smith sat down with Meyer and five others to see what could be done to improve Meyer’s condition on the sidelines. One of the big solutions was for Meyer to keep his headset on as much as possible, because it blocked out the noise which could trigger a headache.

Meyer didn’t experience such pain on the sidelines the rest of the season which would cause him to drop to a knee like he did during the Indiana game. Now with just one game left as Ohio State’s head coach, Meyer will be able to retire on his terms, and not by being taken out of the game by Smith. With the extra time retirement will bring to Meyer, it will give him time to explore his medical options, and hopefully find a way to keep these issues from negatively affecting him the rest of his life.

“Quarterbacks. we all are the alpha males, and we all compete against each other at the camps, ad we all know about one another. Kyler coming out of high school was the best quarterback in the country. Tua was like a god. And to be able to be in the same conversation with them makes me feel like I put the work in to be considered the best quarterback in the country. I have much respect for those guys.”

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins via Mitch Stacy, Associated Press

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins might not win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, but he is certainly deserving of being included in the conversation with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. While Haskins wasn’t able to lead his team to a playoff berth like Murray and Tagovailoa, he rewrote the Ohio State and Big Ten record books.

Haskins finished the season with 4,580 and 47 touchdowns, which both were Ohio State records. Along with the Ohio State records, Haskins also set 11 Big Ten single-season records. After Ohio State fans saw J.T. Barrett do a lot of work on the ground over the last few years, Haskins aerial assault was a welcome change.

While Saturday might not see Haskins raise the stiff-arm trophy, he still has one more chance to impress before likely leaving for the NFL Draft, where he is projected to be a first round pick. Not only will the Rose Bowl on New Years’ Day Urban Meyer’s final game as Ohio State head coach, but it will likely be Haskins’ final game in the scarlet and gray. If Haskins can put together a performance like he did over the final two games of the season, it’s likely the Buckeyes will send both out on a high note.

“Wesson has been a glowing example of what Ohio State is at the moment, a team with incomplete parts that have somehow found a way to make it work well enough to vault themselves into one of the top 25 teams in the country.”

Stephen Means,

Ohio State improved to 8-1 last night with a 77-67 win over Illinois, and a big reason for the success so far this season has been the play of Kaleb Wesson. Despite struggling with some foul trouble, the sophomore center scored 13 points in the win over the Fighting Illini, making him the only starter to reach double figures. Wesson is averaging 14.3 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game, both of which are team highs.

Wesson is Ohio State’s most dominant center since Jared Sullinger, but he isn’t quite at Sullinger’s level yet. While Wesson may be similar in size to Sullinger, he doesn’t quite have the confidence that Sullinger had when he came to Ohio State. Pretty much everyone knows Wesson is the best player on the court when he is on the floor, but sometimes it feels like Wesson doesn’t know it.

There are two reasons why Wesson’s numbers this year haven’t been as big as they could be. One reason is because on numerous occasions the sophomore gets into foul trouble, which relegates him to the bench for long periods of time. Another reason is because Wesson hasn’t been as selfish with the basketball as he could be. Just twice this year has Wesson registered 10 or more shots in a game.

While expecting Wesson to have the same type of impact that Jared Sullinger had on the Buckeyes might be a little unfair, if Wesson can clean up some areas of his game, Ohio State could again defy expectations. Wesson has made considerable strides from last year, but there is still a lot of work to do. The more confident Wesson gets on the court, the farther Ohio State could go in the NCAA Tournament come March.