Photo: Urban Meyer / Courtesy: 97.1 The Fan
| BY: LORI SCHMIDT |
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer took to the podium today to answer questions about the team’s 55-24 loss to Iowa, as well as look forward to this upcoming Saturday’s game against Michigan State, which will feature two Big Ten teams with 5-1 conference records, and will thus provide the inside track to the league’s title game. Among the highlights of the press conference…
• Meyer stressed this team has a lot to play for, and there is a process in place to try to ensure the team doesn’t lose focus, even as their chance of playing in the College Football Playoff has seemingly slipped away.
• Acknowledging their were some “devastating” penalties, Meyer promised he’s addressed the issue of remaining disciplined with the team.
• Quarterback JT Barrett had been on a “nice roll,” Meyer said, but this week’s game was “not normal by him.” That was especially problematic, because Meyer’s game plan stresses efficiency in the passing offense.
• Meyer blanched when asked where the program is headed. He used this as an opportunity instead to talk about the need to improve defensively and in not turning the ball over. He did like the step taken in the kicking game.
• JK Dobbins is the team’s starting running back and needs more than six touches, so Meyer is having conversations with assistants Tony Alford and Kevin Wilson about that.
• Speaking of assistant coaches, Meyer admitted he’s evaluating the job being done by linebackers coach Bill Davis, currently in his first season, after struggles by the linebackers in Ohio State’s losses to Oklahoma and Iowa.
• In six of Ohio State’s last seven losses, the quarterback has had more rushes than the team’s top running back. Meyer conceded he might use the quarterback run as a “get out of jail free card.” Opposing defenses are also working to stop the ball from getting to the Buckeye tailbacks.
• Has the quest to become a better throwing team come at the cost of them being a power running team? Meyer actually likes the balance they have seen of late.
• Meyer on facing Michigan State: “Usually it’s just a prizefight. The tougher team usually wins. Great respect for them. They’re playing well.”