Two Minute Drill

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Last updated: 10/17/2013 1:41 PM
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Football
Two-Minute Drill: Updates From the Urban Meyer Call-In Show
by Tony Gerdeman

It's Thursday, so that means it was time yet again for Urban Meyer's weekly call-in show via the Ohio State IMG Sports Network. This week Meyer talked about the bye week, as well as his team's preparation for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Here are the highlights.

Urban Meyer Updates

* Meyer said he liked the practices that they had this week. It's good to get Tommy Schutt back this week. He said he was slated to be a part-time starter at the beginning of the season. Jordan Hall will play a little on Saturday as well. Other than the loss of Christian Bryant, Meyer said that the Buckeyes were overall pretty healthy heading into the Iowa game.

* Meyer said Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown did an admirable job, but didn't grade out as a champion, and they need to play better at that position.

* Meyer said that C.J. Barnett is an outstanding leader, but they need more leadership on defense. He said Ryan Shazier has really stepped up in Christian Bryant's absence.

* Meyer said they had high expectations coming into the season, and right now their strength is the way the offensive line is performing. “We're very good at rushing the ball.” The tailbacks have played well also. The quarterbacks have played well all season long. The rush defense is very solid, per Meyer. The pass defense needs work and he's also disappointed in the return game at this point.

* He said that he still believes the 2013 class is going to be a “great” class and not a “good” one. He said Dontre Wilson and Joey Bosa are ahead of schedule, and said you could never envision that Bosa would already be starting.

* Meyer said the punt coverage unit a year ago was terrible, with punt protection and coverage. Meyer isn't happy that Ohio State is listed as giving up three return yards when he looked at it very closely and it should only be two.

* He said the team has a renewed excitement to get back onto the field and they are well rested.

* Meyer said the academic support at Ohio State is as good as he's ever been around. He said there are still some guys who need to be more serious, and they are the ones who aren't playing.

* Meyer said that Carlos Hyde gets stronger as the game goes on. Sometimes he may need a breather or two, however.

* Meyer said that offensive linemen Darryl Baldwin, Pat Elflein and Jacoby Boren have all performed well in practice and wanted to mention their names specifically.

* Meyer said they'd like to be better throwing the ball in the “mid-range”, and not just deep and short stuff. They won't change much of what they do, but they'd like to improve what they're already doing.

* He said he likes the way Braxton Miller practices and takes care of his body. He said he doesn't get to see J.T. Barrett do much because the reps aren't there for him yet. He said Cardale Jones has been doing well.

* Meyer said Iowa's strength is stopping the run, but they can also defend the pass. He said he's not sure he's ever heard of a team not giving up a touchdown run this late in the season. He thinks Iowa might come in and try to throw the ball around on them. He said Iowa has a very solid kicking game as well. He said they need to get Iowa punt returner Kevonte Martin-Manley “down on the ground”.

* He said Iowa tailback Mark Weisman is one of the top backs the Buckeyes will face all year.

* Meyer said they want to do some more up-tempo stuff this week, and especially early on in order to get out to another fast start.

* He said that Iowa develops players about as well as anywhere in the country. They recruit to their scheme, and build the players in the right way.

* Meyer said the Buckeyes are doing better against the run than he thought they would given how many new starters they have on the defense. They need to get better against the pass, but he likes the attention to detail that his coaches have. “We're pushing as hard as we can.” He said Michael Bennett is playing at an All-Big Ten level. “The future's bright, especially the defensive line.” He said the linebackers aren't at an Ohio State level right now. They need more from the young players.

* Meyer said their perfect target on kickoffs is on the one-yard line or goal line. Sometimes he will ask Drew Basil to kick it in to the endzone instead, however. He said that decision depends on coverage personnel, as well as situation or returner. He said Venric Mark was the first player in two years to break a return outside of their contain.

* He said Cameron Johnston is the best practice punter he's ever seen, but he still isn't seeing the hang time that he needs during the games.

* Meyer said they flew Curtis Grant home via some NCAA funds so that Grant could be with his family after his father's passing. He's back now and is as good to go as can be expected.

* Meyer said they have a rule in the football facility that if a former player walks in the door, they “stop what they're doing”, implying that concerted attention is given to any former players who stop by.

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