Two Minute Drill

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Last updated: 10/10/2013 1:25 PM
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Football
Two-Minute Drill: Updates from Urban Meyer's Call-In Show
by Tony Gerdeman

Despite the bye week, Urban Meyer's media responsibilities never cease. He was back for his one hour call-in show on the Ohio State IMG Sports Network. He recapped the win over Northwestern, previewed the Iowa Hawkeyes a bit, and gave several injury updates. Here are the highlights.

Urban Meyer Updates

* Meyer said the bye week comes at a great time. The loss of Christian Bryant still hurts, but they have to move on and prepare to play without him. They need to find the leadership on defense in the back end. They've made a commitment to stop the run, and they've done that, but it's come at a cost to the back end of the defense, and they need to fix that.

* He said he hasn't even talked to Christian Bryant about coming back this year. He only talks to him about other things. He said Bryant's attitude is fine and he has incredible parents and he's making Glenville proud.

* Meyer said Pittsburgh Brown and Tyvis Powell played okay, but they didn't grade out as champions. He said Doran Grant's interception was a game changer. He said he's told Kerry Coombs that he thinks the coverage can be better, tighter and better fundamentally.

* He said that it's hard to defend the pass against a running quarterback, citing Kain Colter's 12-12 passing against them. “That's one of the best offenses we've gone against.”

* Meyer said his expectation level for the defensive line is greater than they've played, but the good thing is “there's not a senior in the bunch.” Meyer said Tommy Schutt will work some more today and they hope to get 15-20 plays out of him against Iowa.

* Meyer said he still expects more from Adolphus Washington. “There's not a more talented and better guy than Adolphus,” and Meyer expects him to be the best in the nation. With Washington's injuries, Meyer said that Joey Bosa is a legitimate starter right now.

* Meyer said that Ryan Shazier has stepped up as a vocal leader and as a linebacker since Bryant's injury.

* He said Northwestern's defense makes you play offense patiently, which is something that not a lot of offenses can do anymore.

* Meyer said it was a “really, really good job” by the offensive line. He said the Northwestern defensive line wasn't a very even matchup, but the game against Iowa will be a much sterner test up front.

* He said “Carlos Hyde played a terrific game,” and he said that Northwestern hit him hard in that game.

* Meyer said Braxton Miller made a couple of bad reads, but the only disappointment was the turnovers, specifically the fumble inside the five-yard line. They will work on Miller's ball security moving forward.

* Meyer was asked about the challenges that a freshman like Joey Bosa faces, and he said Ohio State is an “elite, elite institution”, and that's just in the classroom. “It's real.” They have academic meetings every Thursday. Bosa came from a good high school, which has helped him in the academic realm. He said when his daughter went to Georgia Tech the first quarter was awful. He said he was dealing with a crying daughter on the phone three times a week until she got a feel for the situation.

* Meyer said he's never seen a freshman defensive lineman like Joey Bosa make such a quick impact. He said it's clear that he comes from a football family.

* He said that Jordan Hall still has a knee issue that they are working through. “I'm hoping to get him back soon.” He said it's a joint issue that has been lingering for a while. They don't yet trust Rod Smith or Warren Ball enough to give them a large load right now.

* Meyer reiterated that he was close to putting Kenny Guiton in last week. “If it's an offensive lineman, you make that change.” But because of the nature of the position and the magnitude of the meaning, it's just not that easy to do. He said that he was close to doing it and it wasn't because of poor performance, it was because of the turnover. He also wanted to see Miller's face after the fumble and he saw “the eye of the tiger”, so he stayed with him.

* He said that Cameron Johnston should have taken the fake punt inside, but he's a freshman and Meyer needs to keep that in mind.

* Meyer said the punt block was something they felt like they could do and they used a lineup that they thought would be able to overpower Northwestern, and it worked.

*He said Cameron Johnston is fantastic at dropping the ball inside the 10-yard line. They have a plan to win at Ohio State, and it's all predicated on field position.

* Meyer said he's not worried about going undefeated or anything like that. They only worry about getting to Iowa. He said they'll be fine recruiting, so there's no worry about going undefeated and being left out and having that affect recruiting (which was the caller's question). They only worry about getting better and who's up next. “Distraction is a bad, bad word.” He said careers get messed up because of distraction.

*He said the Ohio State offensive line is the best conditioned offensive line in America, he's convinced of that.

*Meyer said he wants his punt coverage team to set a record with just two return yards given up this year.

* He said the punt coverage units have been great this year. Meyer said the blocking against Northwestern on the final punt was great, and the original punt he had called would have been blocked because the Wildcats had six to one side, so he had to change it.

* Meyer said the “drop eight” is a change up, and they did get a sack on it. He said it's part of their package, but not something they do a lot. He said they probably ran it seven or eight times, and there are times when Meyer calls for it because it's harder to throw against, but you give the quarterback a lot of time to throw. He said there are times when he just wants the play to stay in front of the defense, so he'll call for a drop eight.

* He said the coaches will all be out recruiting, specifically junior recruiting because they don't have much room left in the 2014 class. He said they'll be decked out in Buckeye gear and be watching football games on Friday night. Meyer said the program has some momentum right now, given their two wins in prime-time the past two weeks.

* Meyer said this week is also big for self scouting, which allows them to find tendencies and break them moving forward.

* Meyer said that Ohio State is unique in that they welcome former coaches back and they have offices of their own. He said that he would welcome Jim Tressel back as well. "Coach Tressel is welcome back here. I spoke to him this summer, and he's always welcome back."

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