Meyer Answers Questions about His Offense
By Brandon Castel
Photo by Jim Dan Harker
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer finally got the offensive explosion he was looking for Saturday against Nebraska. It was aided by Bradley Roby’s interception return and Corey Brown’s punt return, but the Buckeyes put 63 points on the board in a win over the Cornhuskers under the lights.
Meyer took some time to answer questions about his offense on Monday during his weekly press luncheon.
Q. The offense only completed 7 passes, but had 371 yards rushing. How do you mix the two in your head? It was a pretty good night, right?
MEYER: Great night.
Q. You still feel like there's a lot left?
MEYER: Oh, yeah. The thing I did see is we went into that game and the only guy that had a run of over 12 yards was our quarterback. We left the game with a bunch of big runs. One was a punt return, which we all had to see that. The whole world, 107,000 people in that stadium right there had to see that, and that was Philly Brown.
You saw Rod Smith come out the other end of one. You saw Carlos Hyde come out the other end. So we need explosive plays in the offense. We crushed them last week in practice, and talking about it. We finally saw that. Nebraska does a good job in their coverage unit. We knew they did that. That's a pro style, very good scheme, but it's not conducive to quarterback run. So we felt going into that that we were going to run the quarterback, which obviously is our best player.
But our offensive line is the whole reason why we're where we are today and feeling good after a big win is because the offensive line played. Tell it the way it is. Our offensive line is coming on. And I saw someone asked me yesterday or today, that we called that group non functional, because they were. We're not going to lie to you. If they were non functional today, I'd tell you they're non functional.
Our back-ups are non-functional. God bless us, if a shoe string breaks or something, we're going to call timeout and get a new shoe string because we just don't have the depth there right now.
Q. Some of the players were talking Saturday about the AP National Championship and that sort of talk. Is that okay with you for them to use that as motivation?
MEYER: No, they were excited and I'm sure someone said, with all due respect, I'm sure the kid didn't walk in and say that. Someone asked him that question, and I get it. I'll chat with them about that. We've got to get I think we only completed seven passes and gave up a bunch of yardage. So we'll handle that. We're not going to talk about that stuff.
Q. As great as the second quarter was, you mentioned after the game the first quarter. You've been outscored in the first quarter. Can you put a finger on why?
MEYER: We started good against Michigan State. We came right out of the chute. I think Cal we came out of the chute pretty quick. I remember the first quarter of the first game was brutal. I'm trying. I'm trying to evaluate as well. We made a huge deal about that before the MSU game, and then we actually made a huge deal about this one. They defended us very well.
Once again, good players on that other side, but we just couldn't get it going. Once it got going, it got going. And Braxton's our I remember over the headset saying it's Braxton time, let him run the ball and get us started here. Let's get on the other side of the 50 yard line where things ease up a little bit.
Q. A couple from Zanesville had a baby girl and named her Braxtin and their last name is Miller. What's that say about his growing folk hero status or just the devotion of OSU fans?
MEYER: It's both. I think the quarterback position, a lot of young Tebows running around this world too, I imagine. So, yeah, and he's playing very well. The good thing is he's very humbled. He has virtue that not many guys have. I know a lot of you guys know him. He's a very humble guy. That is a credit to his family and high school coach who I just talked to today. But he's a very humble guy. Just got to keep our eye on the target.
Q. We're at the halfway point. You've been through this Heisman thing before. Where do you stand on promoting a kid, Braxton in this case?
MEYER: I usually don't even speak of it when I've been asked the question until after the season. I've been lucky to have four Heisman candidates, Josh Harris at Bowling Green, Alex, and the left handed kid down there for three or four years, three years.
I mean, it's an honor to be mentioned. I've been to that thing and it's incredible for these kids. At the right time I don't think Braxton's a Heisman candidate right now. I think he's certainly to watch. He's got the ability. But then again, I don't know who is. We're only halfway through the season. In about two or three games I think you can start talking about that. I'm not talking to Braxton about it. We're trying to win some games, so...
I think at the right time, he will be a candidate if he continues to play very well.
Q. Is it tough determining how much Braxton should practice? I know you extend sort of more of a leash to older players in terms of practice time. But he's just a sophomore, and he's so integral to the offense?
MEYER: Very good question. He absolutely will not miss a moment of practice. He can't and won't want to. Now we don't hit him. That is the difference between him and the three technique, and the tough ones are Goebel, Hankins, Simon, Nate Williams and my five starting linemen.
Q. Cardale Jones obviously put some comments out there. Anything you can talk about what happened with that?
MEYER: Yeah, we're getting ready to play a big time game in a great stadium and I get a bunch of text messages and phone calls about did you hear. So we suspended him immediately for the game. Very ignorant comment, but that's a 19 year old making an ignorant comment, which makes him 1 of 460 million. So we're moving on. I've moved on already.
We've had a good chat. He's very apologetic. He does go to class in case people want to check, and he's actually a hell of a kid, a heck of a kid, excuse me. It kind of surprised me.
Q. Sounds like a moment of weakness. He was a little frazzled.
MEYER: Yeah. I've been there. Have you been there? Yeah, probably be there again. Probably be there again.
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