Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had just finished talking yesterday about the potency of Clemson’s spread offense when a reporter asked him, “Are you worried about them throwing it?” on Jan. 3 in the Orange Bowl.
Meyer replied, “Oh … yeah … you think?”
Talk about hitting a sore spot. Ohio State’s pass defense has been derided incessantly since a loss on Dec. 7 to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. It allowed more than 1,000 yards in the last three games of the regular season. But the media hadn’t had a chance to ask Meyer to address it until yesterday.
“It’s too many, (not just) one thing,” Meyer said. “It’s not man coverage, it’s not zone coverage. It’s all of the above. It’s the pass rush, the time to call the blitzes, making sure the blitzes match the coverage. It’s just you’ve got to play better.”
To fix it, “tweaks might be the appropriate word,” Meyer said. “We’re still working through that, working at changes.”
When asked if scheme or personnel changes could be in the offing, he said “There might be,” but he didn’t get into specifics.
He did say that freshman safety Vonn Bell, considered a major recruiting victory when he signed with the Buckeyes in February but who rarely saw quality playing time with the defense, could play more in the bowl. Keep in mind Ohio State’s two starting safeties, C.J. Barnett and Corey Brown, are seniors.
Redshirt for Bryant?
Senior safety Christian Bryant was lost for the rest of the regular season on the penultimate defensive play against Wisconsin in the fifth game of the season. Meyer said Bryant has sought a medical hardship redshirt from the NCAA that could gain him an extra year of eligibility.
“We applied. We have not heard back yet,” Meyer said.
There have been plenty of names mentioned in connection with the coaching job at Texas, but Meyer, in his second season at Ohio State, has not been one of them. He was asked what his take was on having any interest in Texas.
“There’s no take,” he said. “I’m here. I’m coaching Ohio State.”