Two-Minute Drill: Updates from Urban Meyer's Press Luncheon
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer and select players spent some time Monday afternoon talking about a few things – Michigan mostly. Here are the highlights.
Urban Meyer Updates
* Meyer said Saturday's win over Indiana made for an emotional day because of the quality of seniors and the impact that they have had on the program.
* The defensive champions of the Indiana game were Bradley Roby, Joey Bosa and Ryan Shazier and Michael Bennett were Co-Defensive Players of the Game. Meyer said Shazier had 54 production points, and even having around 30 is the most he's ever seen.
* Andrew Norwell, Taylor Decker, Jeff Heuerman, Carlos Hyde, Devin Smith and Chris Fields were offensive champions, along with Braxton Miller and Corey Linsley, who were the Offensive Players of the Game. Vonn Bell was the Special Teams Player of the Game.
* Meyer said that Braxton Miller's pass down the seam on third and 17 to Jeff Heuerman was the best pass Miller has thrown in his career. He said it was his best pure quarterback play at Ohio State.
* Meyer said that Armani Reeves and Curtis Grant should be fine this week.
* Meyer said that he grew up disliking Michigan at a very young age, and then later apologized for actually saying the word “Michigan”. “That's the way I was brought up.”
* Meyer said there is definitely an extra pep in the step around the football facilities this week. They started working on Michigan a day earlier than they normally do for an opponent.
* Meyer said he remembered his first real exposure to the rivalry when he was a grad assistant at Ohio State and saw a huge banner that said “Muck Fichigan” hanging from the Towers on campus.
* Meyer said this week “does feel different” than other weeks.
* He said that he thinks the offense is getting better and better, which is what they need to do because the defenses they will be facing in their next two games will require it.
* Meyer said that he thinks Braxton Miller is having fun at quarterback right now, and playing like it. He also added, “He has a skillset to be a pro quarterback.”
* Asked about Michigan's struggles this season, Meyer said, “In teams that care about rivalries, it doesn't matter.”
* Asked if he will spend any time talking to his team about Michigan Stadium, Meyer said he doubts it. He said that all that matters is the white lines on the field and the location of the play clocks.
* Asked if he will mention the historic Michigan upset in 1969, Meyer said, “I think it's always good to talk about the history of the rivalry.”
* Meyer said the Buckeyes have to be much better in the redzone than they were a year ago against Michigan.
* Meyer said that Doran Grant is fine and practiced yesterday.
* On the Big Ten Championship Game, Meyer said, “Our focus is on this one, but we know w hat's coming. This next two weeks are going to be brutal.” He stressed that he told his staff to rest up while they still could.
* Meyer said that Michigan's defense is very well coached. “Whatever issues the rival has, it has nothing to do with their defense.”
* Meyer said that Ryan Shazier has played as well as he's ever seen a linebacker play last week in defending the inside zone.
Jack Mewhort Updates
* Mewhort said that no matter the circumstances, this game is huge. It makes no difference what the records are. “Records don't matter in this one.”
* Mewhort, who is from Toledo, said that he has had some friends who were Michigan fans but they have changed allegiances to Ohio State at this point. As to some who may still be Michigan fans? “If I find out, we're gonna have a problem.”
* Mewhort said he doesn't pay attention to Michigan's struggles this year.
* Mewhort said he thinks Meyer “flipped his switch right after the game” in getting ready for Michigan after the win over Indiana.
* Mewhort said that Saturday is “gonna be a learning experience for the younger players.” They just need to “strap up and be ready”.
* Mewhort said Braxton Miller's confidence gives the entire team confidence. He's “excited about his future moving forward.”
* Mewhort said Michigan has a bunch of tough guys on defense.
* Mewhort said the offense is still getting better. He said when an offense stops moving forward and stops expanding, it becomes stagnant.
* On the Big Ten Championship Game, he said, “It's a one-game season for us right now.”
Ryan Shazier Updates
* Shazier talked a bit about the tremendous history of this rivalry. He said that Urban Meyer is a little bit different his week. You can't act like it's a normal week because it's not. “You can just tell walking down the hallways.”
* Shazier said it's crazy to think that Michigan's offense is struggling given the amount of talent they have.
* On the number of tackles for loss that Michigan has given up this year, Shazier said, “That sounds good to me.”
* On the 2011 game in Ann Arbor, Shazier said, “We had it and we let it get out of our hands.”
* Shazier said he doesn't take any joys in Michigan's struggles. “I wish they were undefeated.”
* Shazier said the Ohio State defensive line is playing extremely well right now and constantly disrupting opposing offenses.
* He said that he thinks Devin Gardner is kind of frustrated right now, but he's a good player with a good arm, and can get out of trouble. He expects Gardner to bring his “A” game.
* He expects Michigan's offense to change things up this week.
Corey Linsley Updates
* Linsley said that more than any other game, you have to play the Michigan game at a higher level, because Michigan will be playing at a higher level.
* Linsley said that he watches Michigan when he can.
* On the offense, Linsley said that he hopes the Buckeyes aren't peaking yet.
* On Ryan Shazier, he said, “It's a heck of a time blocking that guy.”
Michael Bennett Updates
* Bennett said that the Buckeyes may have taken Michigan lightly in 2011.
* Bennett said that Michigan fans were waving dollar bills at the team when they walked out of the tunnel at Michigan in 2011.
* Bennett said that it is obvious that Braxton Miller is confident in everybody around him right now, especially his offensive line.
* Bennett said it's a good feeling to go up to Michigan with momentum.
* Bennett said Michigan's offense has weapons, and they always have talent. “It's a matter of them coming to play, and they always come to play.”
C.J. Barnett Updates
* Barnett said that Michigan's offense is full of good athletes.
* He said that the game after this one doesn't matter right now given the exertion that is to come this weekend. “It's all about this week. We're young guys, we'll be alright.”
* Barnett said that even though he grew up in Ohio and grew up with the Michigan rivalry, there's nothing like it until you're in it. “This game is more important than anybody's record.” He said the loss in 2011 was heartbreaking.
* He said that “everything is amped up” this week.
* Barnett said it's kind of hard to gauge Devin Gardner, but he knows they're going to get his best.
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