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Last updated: 11/14/2013 1:41 PM
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Two-Minute Drill: Updates from Urban Meyer's Call-In Show
by Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer sat down for his weekly hour-long chat on the Ohio State IMG Sports Network Thursday afternoon. He provided updates on his team, as well as previewed that Illinois Fighting Illini. Here are the highlights.

* Meyer said they worked hard during the bye week. He didn't feel the need to rest them like he did on the first bye week. He said he liked the demeanor of the team this past week.

* Meyer said their travel roster is down to about 61 players right now due to injuries and lack of development of the young players. “We're just putting filler in there right now.” He said the starters are playing too much football right now. Walk-ons who have never played will be making the trip to Illinois.

* He said the offensive line is a great model for the entire team for how they “attack their business”, and that includes their work in the classroom.

* Meyer said the entire offensive playbook is in, but now it's a matter of fitting the scheme to the personnel. He said they're not saving anything, it's just a matter of fit.

* Meyer said they he pushed his team harder this past week in part because of the ease of their last two games.

* Meyer on his offensive line: “That's gonna be a painful day when those four starters walk out. We'll never forget 'em.”

* Meyer said right now that Ezekiel Elliott has closed the gap for the backup running back with Rod Smith. He's doing everything the right way. “He's ready-made.” He also said he's solid in pass protection. He shows up 90 minutes early for meetings. He gets 9s for his academic work (out of 10). He said “he's on point in everything he does.”

* Meyer said that the threat of a quarterback run eliminates some complex defensive schemes. Even without running Braxton Miller, teams still have to defend the Buckeyes as if he is going to run on every snap. He cited Jeff Heuerman's 100-yard receiving day as evidence of that.

* Meyer said going back to Iowa, they've had 12 or 13 “second and short” situations in a couple of games, and that's usually a two or three-time per game thing.

* Meyer said that Purdue used much of Buffalo's defensive game plan.

* He called Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase a dangerous player. He said they'll need to pressure him, but because of his athleticism, he can escape and make plays out of nothing. “You have to hit this quarterback, and continue to hit him.”

* Meyer said Illinois is a “blitz-happy team”, but the good thing is that Illinois hasn't had time to add too much, having just had a few days to practice for this game.

* Meyer said that Marcus Hall is acting like a sophomore right now in that he is working hard to get better every day, and it's working.

* Meyer on Evan Spencer's comment: "I've got news, I love Evan Spencer but he ain't that good, I'll tell him if he is."

* Meyer said the coverage units are all playing at a very high level. Meyer also mentioned that Warren Ball is in there now as well. Reading between the lines, perhaps we will see Ball get a few carries this week. He said the Buckeyes have the two best gunners in America in Devin Smith and Vonn Bell. He said on kickoff coverage, teams are trying to go wide on them, but the Buckeyes haven't allowed it.

* Meyer said that Cameron Johnston is very good at the rugby kicks, which might be in play this weekend with the wind.

* Meyer said that Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa and Dontre Wilson are leading the pack as freshmen, and it allows Meyer to tell the rest of them to work like these three.

* Meyer said that freshman defensive tackle Michael Hill will have shoulder surgery, and he will be redshirted. He would have played this year if he was healthy.

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