COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator Justin Frye and Cornerbacks/Secondary Coach Tim Walton met with the media on Wednesday to preview the Buckeyes’ matchup against Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, and cornerback Jordan Hancock also met with reporters. Here are the highlights of what was said.
WR Emeka Egbuka
+ It is good to have Kyle McCord be No. 1 so they know who will be making the calls moving forward but the No. 2 guy is ready to go as well. There has been no change from McCord.
+ The entire offense elevated their game in week two and that got him in a rhythm. “You love to make plays out there on Saturday.”
+ On how good McCord can be, Egbuka said he has an idea in his mind and with the work that McCord has put in, he wouldn’t be surprised if he comes away from the season with some impressive accolades. He cares more than anyone on the team, puts in the hours and is the last one to leave the facility, and is a student of the game and master of his craft.
+ Being more efficient on offense has been a huge emphasis for them. They are focusing on staying on schedule and taking advantage of the plays they get, especially with the new clock rules.
+ He sees BIA developing and becoming one of the best units in the country.
OL Coach Justin Frye
+ On the emphasis in week three, Frye said they have more tape and meaningful reps that can help show the players what happens when they communicate vs when they don’t. Now there’s good tape to show and he can give them more information and break it down so they can play faster and teach off of their mistakes.
+ Communication and protection has been good when they know what they are doing and are on the same page. They have learned and have seen what has hurt them.
+ On the confidence in the starters, Frye said it’s week by week but they are gelling and playing together well. There’s still competition between the 1s and 2s in practice and they are pushing each other . They have to “bear a little more fruit” and execute better in the game.
+ The word of the week is violent. They want to be more violent in their demeanor. They have too many point of attack mistakes and not as many mental mistakes, so they need to go get after it and focus on their execution and demeanor. “We’re on the right people, but we have to block them better and we have to make the right cut.”
+ His job is to schematically put the players in positions where there’s less thinking. “When they know what’s going on, they’re a wall.”
CB Coach Tim Walton
+ They have to be smart on the field and be disciplined but they want to make sure their presence is known.
+ On preparing for WKU passing the ball a lot, Walton said they have to be able to tackle as well and focus on their outside perimeter run game. They have been moving players around on scout team to get different looks. WKU spreads out and “gives you every look imaginable” and the quarterback has a good arm, they like to vertically push the ball down the field. “They do enough to keep you honest.”
+ The cornerbacks are focused on stacking the days and getting better each day.
+ Jordan Hancock is a complete player and has a high football IQ. He embraced the slot position and the light came on for him in training camp.
LB Tommy Eichenberg
+ WKU is a unique team and will have a unique game plan. They will have to play with what they see and see how they want to attack them.
+ He tries to get to the ball and not to think too much on the field.
+ Steele Chambers knows the defense and anticipates really well. He is fast and knows what the offense is doing.
+ On the defensive line not having sacks yet, Eichenberg said they are doing a great job, they haven’t had a lot of opportunities for sacks with Indiana running a triple option. They are pressuring the quarterback.
+ The confidence in the defense has improved from last year to this year. They are playing faster.
CB Jordan Hancock
+ On WKU getting the ball out faster, Hancock said they just have to stay on their Ps and Qs, they are still going to throw the deep ball.
+ There’s still room for improvement on his play but it has been fun playing at nickel. When he was getting recruited at Ohio State he was recruited to play at nickel.
+ On eliminating yards after the catch, Hancock said they have to wrap up and tackle and have everyone swarm.
+ They are excited to play WKU because they pass the ball a lot, it feels like a test but every game is a test for them. “We’re just excited to show everybody.”
+ On playing with Davison Igbinosun and Denzel Burke, Hancock said it feels “locked down.” He feels really good when they are on the field, there’s a lot of versatility.
+ The corners were well aware that they had 0 interceptions last year, they talked about it a lot.