Meyer Answers Questions about His Offense
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The offense only managed to put 17 points on the board over the weekend, but that was enough, just barely, for the Buckeyes to pull out a victory in East Lansing.
Ohio Sate rushed for over 200 yards against the best run defense in the Big Ten, but they also turned the ball over three times on the road against a ranked opponent.
OSU head coach Urban Meyer answered questions about that and more concerning his offense during Monday’s press luncheon in Columbus.
Q. Corey Brown, that was a tough reception game all time at Ohio State. Not like a Terry Glenn kind of breakaway guy, but talk about what he does?
MEYER: He's really improved. I heard that as well, and it couldn't happen to a guy that's more committed to excellence right now. The good thing is he's not near what he can be. So very proud of him. That's an earned, whatever it is. I think he's got 30 catches already. He's earned that. He's our guy to go to right now in certain situations, so I'm very proud of him.
Q. When you have those quick throws out, and they went 12 catches for 87 yards, it doesn't look that great. Is it an extension of the running game?
MEYER: Yeah, he's allowed to make a guy miss once in a while. Get more than 8 yards. That's going to be my coaching today that you break a tackle, but that is spread offense, spread offense. There is pro style and spread. Spread, in theory, our spread is we're going to attack you vertical and horizontal.
And our horizontal guy has to be able to shake loose of a couple of those, and he's not had a lot of experience with it. But we've got to recruit, get some more. I need three or four guys that can do that. When I say we're not built to do those things, when you watch some of those other teams hit it out there. That's one‑on‑one. You can't get tackled for six yards.
Q. How is Braxton Miller's health? How much of a concern remains with the 22 carries and all the hits he's taken?
MEYER: Well, eight times we went through that. Eight times he shouldn't have been hit. We scrambled around, throw the ball away, find a receiver or give the ball. So we're going to go try to win a game, and Braxton's our quarterback and our best player. The guy with the ball in his hands.
That's always a big concern when any time you have your quarterback involved, he's a gifted guy. He's going to help us win. Without Braxton Miller, I don't think we're 5‑0. As a matter of fact, I know we're not 5‑0. So our job is to get to 6‑0. He's good, he's sore. He got whacked a little bit. That was good defense.
Q. Braxton, the way he talked after the game, how does he grade out in a game like that where he did so much for you yet he has three turnovers? I guess, what is your message to him?
MEYER: I love you to death, take care of the football and keep going. I do. I love him. I mean, he's – I know he gets a lot of recognition. I don't follow a whole lot of it, but that is one tough football player. He's a tough guy and he's a competitor.
Is he perfect? No, he's so far from perfect, and so are we. But I like to fight for him, because the good thing is when you do turn it over, I mean, that's three times inside their area. But he makes you go hard. He's only a sophomore. He's started and won every game he's started. He's getting so much better than he's been. So very pleased with him.
Guy gets hit that many times, guy runs that hard, I'd rather him on the interception, he should have just dished it out in the flat. He had another one where he should have held on to it longer and he got rid of it too soon. The fumble where he jammed his knee was right in front of me. Jam your knee and hold on to the ball, we'll get you fixed after that. I'm just kidding, of course.
Q. Talk about Jordan Hall, what's his update?
MEYER: Jordan Hall has a PCL ligament, partial tear. It's going to be a week to week. I'm going to see more about him today. He didn't practice yesterday. I hate to see it, because he is a kid that works his tail off. So we'll evaluate that.
Q. He would not play this week?
MEYER: I would say doubtful unless something happens.
Q. Where do you go if Jordan Hall can’t play?
MEYER: Rod Smith, it's time to go and time to roll. You can only watch for so long. At some point you have to go play the game. The good thing is they've done pretty good, Rod and Bri'onte.
Q. You mentioned the offensive line. Being the player of the week this week. What have you seen from the beginning of the year through this past week?
MEYER: No question, toughness. I see a group of players that kind of get beat up a little bit because I like to go after offensive linemen and challenge them quite a bit. I see a coach and a group of guys that unfortunately we only got five. I can't say we have seven, eight. We don't. We have five guys right now.
And Reid Fragel has become an offensive linemen. He wasn't an offensive linemen at first. Who are we kidding? He was a tight end, trying to figure it out. His last two games he's now an Ohio State offensive line. When you say that around here, that's powerful stuff.
There have been some great offensive linemen throughout the year. Those five guys are locked and loaded. Together, well‑coached, and they've found a way to rush for 200 yards against a stout team that doesn't give up much rushing yardage. So that's the group right now that I'm most pleased with.
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