Meyer Q and A about Wisconsin

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Last updated: 11/12/2012 7:07 PM

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Meyer Answers Questions about Wisconsin  
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer has been to Madison, but never as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

He will take his team into hostile territory on Saturday, as the Buckeyes look to improve on their 10-0 record against a Wisconsin team that is coming off possibly it’s most convincing win of the season over the weekend at Indiana.

Meyer answered questions about the challenge of facing the Badgers on the road, and about the rivalry between these two schools that has developed over the last 10-12 years.

Q. When you look at Wisconsin on video, what just jumps out at you first?

MEYER: Well, they're a much improved football team. Teams either get better or get worse. Obviously, the team we're playing this week has gotten a lot better, and they're playing probably their best on both sides of the ball right now.

Q. In terms of stopping the run, your team's done an adequate job, Michigan State, Nebraska, some of the other teams you've held to under 100 yards. You see a team that's going to be a tremendous challenge for you guys.

MEYER: What they do a nice job is just these multitude of shifts, formations, and motions that are hard to get gap control or gap security, and then that's what the good thing is we've had a bye week. A lot of time's been spent on that.

And then if they're good enough at throwing the ball, they didn't throw it much last week, didn't have to. The No. 4, I believe his name is, he's a heck of a player for them.

Q. You had a chance to see Montee Ball last year as an analyst and now studying him as a coach. What do you see that makes him so effective as a running back?

MEYER: He started slow, and I don't put that on him. I thought they had a lot of transition in the coaching staff. Their coaching staff has been together for a while, and you can tell. Probably a little more creative in the run game than they were earlier in the year.

His strengths are great vision, and he's really a fast player. He pulls away from angles, and his toughness. You can give him the ball a bunch of times, and he just keeps getting stronger. He'll be a very good NFL back.

Q. You like Boren as a fullback because you're giving him more carries. How does he rank as a linebacker playing against a smashmouth team like Wisconsin?

MEYER: Probably fits his style a little bit. He's been a stabling force for our defense after the one debacle in Bloomington, our defense is not a silver bullet yet, but they're playing much better, playing with much more confidence and leadership.

One of the most undervalued characteristics of a football team is leadership, and that's what No. 44 gives you. Like I told you, he was I really admire him. Not a very good leader whatsoever throughout spring, throughout the winter, has developed into one of my all time favorites in my coaching career as far as a selfless leader that does it all for us.

Q. Urban, obviously, when you got here, you had a good sense of the Michigan rivalry with Ohio State. What's your sense of the rivalry with Wisconsin?

MEYER: Pretty good. I'm learning about it. I think they stole a season. They were telling me that story a little bit. But it's interesting hearing our players talk about it, especially ones that I listen to, guys that have been in some of those big games. So it's real interesting.

But this is a rivalry game, and it's a rivalry game because you have to understand who you're playing and what they've done the last few years. So they're a good very good team.

Q. Do you see this as bad blood? It's a pretty rich recent history here. And is bad blood healthy?

MEYER: I think it's I don't bad blood, as far as I'm not quite sure the question. I think whenever you have two good teams that have played for a lot in the past three, four years, if that's considered bad blood, then I mean it's an intense respect for getting ready to they know what's coming. I can tell the way they practiced today.

And they're smarter than the coaches. They know what's coming. I always worry about the ones they don't have respect for, and that's when we got to rah rah and cheer them on and scream and yell and throw things and all that.

Other than teaching technique, we didn't have to teach them to go hard today, and that's an indication of the respect they have for the team they're playing.

Q. How about you personally? Are you all on the same page now?

MEYER: Same page? I have a lot of respect for his team. Other than that, we're fine. That was kind of a lot of stuff that was blown up. I've never had any issue other than they're a good team.

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