Meyer Looking for a W and more
By Rob Ogden
Success by a football team is usually quantified by the standings. The higher the number in the win column, the more successful a team has been that season.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer quantifies success a different way.
For Meyer, success is just as much about fundamentals as it is the scoreboard. With that in mind, Meyer will be looking for more than just a 'W' out of his players on Saturday.
"I'm hoping that we leave that field Saturday obviously with a win, but also that we feel good about the fundamentals of our football team," Meyer said. "The number one thing we want to do is win the game, and number two is we want to be fundamentally better than we were last year.
"Remember, last year the first quarter, it was 7-0 after the first quarter. Should have been worse. Could have been worse. So I just didn't think, really, up until about the third or fourth game that we acted clean."
The game Meyer was referring to is a 56-10 win over Miami (OH) in last year's season opener. Meyer remembers it worse than it was. It was actually only 3-0 after the first quarter, but either way, it wasn't good enough for the coach.
"I was embarrassed with the way we were playing," Meyer said following his first win as Ohio State's coach. "We worked so hard and we didn't play very well, in all phases."
Meyer said blocking, tackling and having great football position are all areas in which the team needs to be fundamentally sound on Saturday against Buffalo.
Senior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said the scoreboard is usually a good indicator of that success, but that internal factors also play a part in determining how successful the team was in any given outing.
"If we're moving the ball, that's the only thing from the outside that will let you know we're doing well," he said. "But there's a lot of other internal factors at work Saturday. It's more behind the scenes stuff."
Against Miami last season, the Buckeyes came out sluggish before an acrobatic touchdown catch by Devin Smith seemed to ignite the offense.
Including that drive, the Buckeyes scored touchdowns on five of their next six possessions, and the one in which they didn't score, Ohio State drove to Miami's 1-yard line and were stopped only by the end of the half.
Senior receiver Corey Brown said he doesn't want another slow start this time around.
"I want to see us come out fast," he said. "Come out fast and put up points early."
If we learned one thing last year, it's that it doesn't matter how many points the Buckeyes put up, if they' don't execute fundamentally, Meyer's not going to be happy.
"These are things that we work so hard at. I mean, we start working in January on that. That's a big part of the chase," Meyer said.
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