Two-Minute Drill: Updates from the Ohio State Media Press Luncheon
by Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer spoke at his weekly media luncheon on Monday, as did Tom Herman and Everett Withers. They provided updates on the team, and their upcoming opponent this week. Also making appearances were Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Kenny Guiton and Christian Bryant.
Urban Meyer Updates
* The offensive champions for the Buckeyes this week were Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort, Jeff Heuerman, Evan Spencer, Philly Brown, and Carlos Hyde and Andrew Norwell shared the offensive player of the week award.
* The defensive champions were Joey Bosa, Michael Bennett and Ryan Shazier, Noah Spence and C.J. Barnett were the defensive players of the game. Ron Tanner was the special teams player of the week, and punter Cameron Johnston also received note.
* Meyer said “This week is all about 18 seniors.”
* He said the injuries this season are thinning out the special teams, and you saw that in the punt return for a touchdown. They have five players on the punt team right now, so they're busy trying to teach them tackling and leverage.
* Meyer said that this was Camren Williams' first time at middle linebacker, and it was the most action that walk-on Joe Burger had received.
* Meyer said that Joshua Perry is probable this week and that Curtis Grant is 50/50.
* On the BCS, Meyer said, “I think it's a flawed system...but I think it was great for a while.”
* Meyer said that Carlos Hyde is a completely different player than he was last year. He was very immature in the past, per Meyer. Meyer also said that Hyde is 230 pounds now, as opposed to the 240 and change he used to be. Plus, “he's got the acceleration now.”
* Meyer said he's pretty confident that Joey Bosa will be back this week. He has a sore neck. “I don't worry about Joey Bosa.”
* On the difficulty defenses are having defending Ohio State's read option game, Meyer said, “That's a problem. It's difficult to defend. He said the receivers and tight ends are blocking the perimeter as well as he's ever seen.
* Meyer said last year Miller was “hit and miss” on his reads, but this year he's much better. He said probably 75% of the runs where Hyde is running free are reads by Miller. Meyer said the impact that Kenny Guiton has had on Miller in all aspects, including the reading, has been “profound”.
* Meyer said he may have made a tactical error in deciding to redshirt Gareon Conley, Eli Apple and Mike Mitchell this season after seeing the special teams and linebacker group thin out.
* On his offensive line, Meyer said, “I'd take that offensive line anywhere against anybody.”
* Meyer said he graded himself a “C” last week. “I was worried about too many other things.”
* Meyer was asked if he thought Braxton Miller would help himself more if he came back for his senior season, but he really had no desire to answer the question, instead just saying, “I don't know.”
Tom Herman Updates
* Herman said that after watching the film, he thinks the wind played a factor in Braxton Miller's poor passing. He said he didn't know for sure until watching film. He said it was “Probably a coaching error” to throw so much. He added that Miller didn't throw particularly well on the intermediate passes, so it can't all just be blamed on the wind. “He was just a little bit off.” It wasn't anything fundamentally wrong.
* Herman called Jack Mewhort the glue that keeps them together up front. He said he's experienced, professional, and “really, really good”.
* Herman said defenses are trying a variety of things to stop Ohio State's read option game, and they switch it up routinely against the Buckeyes. Herman said Miller is “better” at reading this year, and said that “no quarterback is going to be perfect at it.”
* Herman said he wasn't aware that Ohio State's offense was already breaking records and on pace to break even more.
* He said there's no frustration with the BCS because “we knew that this is the system that we play in.” He said he wasn't going to waste any brain cells worrying about it.
* Herman said there is still room for improvement on this offense. “I still think we can get better at throwing the football.” He wants to continue making the easy ones easy, and then make the hard ones “become a reality”. He also said they need to continue developing their killer instinct.
* Herman said that he's concerned with Miller's off outing, but not concerned that it's any type of pattern.
* On Dontre Wilson not getting many touches against Illinois, Herman said, “Sure, you can put that on me.” He said it's hard to take it out of senior playmakers' hands. Wilson deserves to play, but they're getting production from their regulars. He said that they went into this season thinking that they would need Wilson on the field to secure wins, but they've had players step up and negate Wilson's presence being a need.
Everett Withers Updates
* Withers said that he's not worried in the least about the BCS because they only worry about getting better every day. The message to the players is to be better when you leave the building than you were when you entered.
* Asked about the defense's performance on Saturday, Withers said he thought they did pretty well. The defense scored nine points and had two interceptions. He also made note that Illinois threw the ball 50 times but for less than 300 yards. Withers said “I'll take that”.
* Withers said that Indiana's offense doesn't care what a defense lines up in. “They're just running plays.” If one doesn't work, they don't really let it bother them.
* He said that the Buckeyes dropped six interceptions against Indiana last year, and that was the first thing he was thinking about when he woke up this morning.
Jack Mewhort Updates
* Mewhort said his knee is sore, but he's 100% and will play against Indiana.
* He said that he loves blocking for Carlos Hyde. Asked if he can hear a difference when Hyde runs, he said that with “five fat guys” right there, you can't hear much out of Hyde.
* Asked how many sacks he's given up this year, Mewhort said, “I'll say zero”, but then added that Ed Warinner might throw one in there just to knock him down a peg.
* Mewhort said that he's not interested in talking about how well he thinks he's played this season, he's more focused on how well they've played as a unit and an offense.
* Regarding the killer instinct, Mewhort said that once they have the foot on the pedal, they need to keep it there.
* Mewhort said he's seen a number of players in his senior class transform themselves into selfless people and leaders. Asked what Christian Bryant will be going through when he's introduced on Saturday and being unable to play in the game, he said, “I couldn't even begin to understand the feelings he'll be going through.”
Corey Linsley Updates
* Asked about the personality of his senior class, Linsley said that they have a bunch of hard workers and guys that care. Regarding the BCS, he said they can only worry about how hard they work, and then that will be reflected in the season that they have.
* On how far the team has come since 2011, he said “It's crazy, but it's not surprising given how hard we've worked.
* Linsley said the winning streak doesn't really affect him, but winning 23 in a row would certainly be an accomplishment.
* Linsley said that even though Urban Meyer praises them constantly, Ed Warinner does a nice job of keeping them in check.
* Linsley said that they missed some simple assignments on Saturday and that's one reason why they had too many three and outs. He said that he didn't play very well. He said the team never felt like the game had gotten out of control. “I don't think we were ever anxious.”
* On Carlos Hyde, Linsley said, “He's one tough, fast, big dude.” He said that Hyde ran into him hard on a Sunday recently when the team was practicing without pads. “If that man runs into me like that on a no pads day, what's it gotta feel like for a defender?”
* Linsley said that Illinois didn't fight back last year, and they sort of expected them to do the same this year. He was comparing them last year to the Indiana game, and the Hoosiers certainly fought back, so he doesn't foresee any let up from the Buckeyes this week because they know what Indiana is capable of.
* Linsley said that defenses are running all kinds of things to stop their running game. “They're starting to catch on to some of the things that we do best.” He cited an instance where the linebacker completely vacated his defense of Jeff Heuerman because he knew what was coming, and Linsley was unable to block him because he got through too quickly.
Kenny Guiton Updates
* Guiton said that he's been thinking about his final game at Ohio Stadium a lot. He talks to Chris Fields and Jordan Hall about it. “It's going to be a touchy day.” He said there could be some tears. He knows what kind of ovation he is going to receive, and he's excited because his family will be there to see it. “I can't wait for that.”
* He said his time here has been a roller coaster. They started with the Rose Bowl, then the Sugar Bowl, then the Gator Bowl. He said no offense to the Gator Bowl, but “it's not the Rose Bowl”.
* Guiton said they left that Gator Bowl with a sour feeling and they weren't sure what the future held for any of them. “I didn't know the demeanor of the head guy coming in.”
* Of Meyer, Guiton said, “He actually treats us like family.”
* Guiton said that he wants to be back at Ohio State as a grad assistant coach next year, and he has told his coaches that. He said he needs a tenth of a point on his GPA to get there. He said he'll wait to see what the NFL says, but if it's not overwhelming, then he'd prefer to be back at Ohio State. He laughed and said he'd love to be the Buckeyes' next offensive coordinator.
* Meyer said Guiton's impact on Braxton Miller has been profound, but Guiton said, “I think Braxton deserves all that credit.”
* Asked what comes to his mind first over his career and he said the Purdue game last year. “Saving a 12-0 season...that was pretty cool to do.”
* Guiton said he could have never imagined the career he had, and he never saw himself as a national player of the week award winner.
Christian Bryant Updates
* Before Bryant sat down at a table surrounded by media, he laughingly said, “I hope I was missed.”
* Bryant said he was down for about a week following his injury, but with all of the positive people surrounding him, it was impossible for him to stay down.
* He is in meetings regularly, but he's not at the practices because of his crutches. He expects to be there more once he gets a boot.
* He said there has been talk of a medical redshirt, but he doesn't know the odds on it being approved. He's not even sure if they'll make an appeal. He said playing in a bowl game is “still up in the air.” He said he would like to know if his redshirt would be granted before being cleared to play in a bowl game, because that could impact him. Overall, however, he said he hasn't given too much thought about coming back.
* He said it was a great honor to have Ryan Shazier wear his number two. “I think it pushed him a little bit.” He laughed and said that everybody knows he'd be out there making plays, so Shazier has to go out and make plays for the both of them.
* Bryant said being introduced on Saturday will be emotional, but also a great experience. He said it's been great to learn from three head coaches in his time, and he called Jim Tressel “a legend”
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