Rob's Tuesday Football Notebook
By Rob Ogden
Photo by Dan Harker
Since totaling 107 yards from scrimmage against California on Sept. 14, freshman Dontre Wilson has totaled only 52 yards on six carries in the three games since.
He appeared on only a handful of offensive plays and didn't record an offensive touch in the Buckeyes' 40-30 win over Northwestern last Saturday.
On Monday, Meyer gave the reasoning behind the decreased use of the freshman.
"Dontre is a valuable guy, but he's a novelty right now as opposed to a full time player," Meyer said. "Full time players have to go block Sam linebackers and those kind of things and we are not quite ready, but we are working at it."
Because Wilson isn't ready to take on all the responsibilities on a full-time player, Meyer said they have to find other ways to get him involved.
"He deserves to play, works hard," Meyer said. "You know, this time next year, he's going to be a rocked up, 350 pound benching guy, we hope. So that's what he's not, yet."
Before ever even playing a down for the Buckeyes, Wilson was routinely compared to former Florida star Percy Harvin. What separated Harvin, Meyer said, was his ability to block.
"When he blocked you, he blocked you," Meyer said. "We worked really hard on that (with Wilson) last week and it's still in progress."
Receiver Corey Brown said he can relate to Wilson's situation. Over the past couple seasons, Brown has worked to become a more complete player, and it has paid off.
He said Wilson can do the same.
"Dontre is in the same position I was," Brown said. "He was a running back in high school just like I was so he's just gotta learn. If he just works on his routes and gets in the weight room he'll be a good player."
Buckeyes feel pressure as streak grows
A win against Iowa on Saturday would extend Ohio State's nation-leading win streak to 19 games - tied for the second longest streak in school history.
The Buckeyes last won 19 in a row from 2005-to-2006. That streak was eventually ended by Meyer's Florida Gators.
Ohio State also won 19 straight from 2002-to-2003 with the streak ending with a 17-10 loss at Wisconsin.
Twice has Meyer orchestrated streaks longer than 19 games. He had a 22-game win streak at Florida from 2008-to-2009. He also had a 20-game streak at Utah from 2003-to-2004.
As experienced as Meyer is with long winning streaks, he said it's best to ignore them.
"I can feel sometimes pressure mounting on players when you streak," he said. "You start hearing about streaks, you start hearing about that. And it's my job as a coach and our coaching staff is it's all about today. There's some teams that do an incredible job of that."
The longest winning streak in school history is 22 games, which began in 1967 and ended in 1969.
Brown said overtaking that record isn't one of the team's primary objectives.
"We don't really pay much attention to that," he said. "It's a good honor but that's not our ultimate goal so we don't spend much time on that. We're just focused on winning this next game."
Junior defensive lineman Joel Hale said he's felt some of the pressure his coach was referring to.
"It brings a little bit of pressure because you never want to play to lose, so we play to win" he said. "It's great to be part of something outstanding, but the main thing you got to do is just look at it one game at a time.
"So our main goal right now isn't to win the next four games, it's to beat Iowa right now. So that's what we're going to do."
Grant mourns loss of father
Photo by Jim Davidson
While the rest of the team has returned from visits home during the bye week, junior linebacker Curtis Grant remains home in Richmond, Va. mourning the loss of his father.
According to an obituary, Curtis Raymond Grant, 54 of Glen Allen, Va. died Oct. 8.
Meyer said he expects Grant to be back with the team soon, and added that the middle linebacker hopes to play Saturday against Iowa.
"That was an issue we were dealing with over the weekend and prayers are out to Curtis and his family," Meyer said. "Just a tough situation."
Meyer said fellow junior linebacker Ryan Shazier wanted to drive down to Virginia to be with Grant.
"He's actually doing pretty good right now," Shazier said. "I've been talking to him and just trying to let him know that we're all here for him if he needs anything and we got him."
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