Two Minute Drill

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Last updated: 10/01/2013 3:33 PM
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Football
Two-Minute Drill: Notes from the Big Ten Coaches' Teleconference
by Tony Gerdeman

The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Tuesday, and both Urban Meyer and Pat Fitzgerald talked about their upcoming matchup Saturday night. Here are the highlights.

Urban Meyer Updates

* Meyer said that it's concerning that they've been outscored in the fourth quarter this season, and he said he takes responsibility for that. He said he's aware of it, but he loves the fact that his offense comes out fast.

* Meyer said replacing Christian Bryant will be tough, but Pittsburgh Brown is a senior who has played a lot, and he will likely be the guy. He said that Bryant was “very important to me personally”. He said injuries are the worst part of the game.

* Meyer said he hasn't even asked if Bryant would be able to return for a bowl game. He's been focused on Bryant in other facets, such as his well being and educational future.

* He said this weekend's matchup will be very different than last week's because of the different problems that Northwestern poses. He said they are very well coached on defense and you have to earn every yard you get.

* He said leadership and toughness is how you win road games, which is why losing Christian Bryant is such a shot right now. He said they will be having a team meeting today to discuss this. He said he thinks Ryan Shazier is ready to move up and take some type of leadership role. He said he's not as vocal as Bryant, however. He said they will also rely more on Michael Bennett in that regard.

* Meyer said he's much more comfortable this week with Braxton Miller than he was a week ago because he just needed to see him produce in a game before being completely comfortable.

* He said when he heard that NU running back Venric Mark will be back this week, he had to go back and take another look at what they were doing in the return game because Mark is a tremendous returner.

* Meyer said that Michael Bennett's “legend continues”, because last year he was a no-name guy. He led all summer in training camp by his actions. He said he's exceeded Meyer's expectations and is performing like an All-Big Ten player.

* He said that Bradley Roby is a pro, and he expects him to come out and practice like a pro.

* Meyer said that the problem with Northwestern's two-quarterback system is that Kain Colter is a great runner and yet a very good thrower. He said overall, however, they aren't drastically different no matter who is in at quarterback.

Pat Fitzgerald Updates

* Fitzgerald was asked what campus felt like right now, and he said he has no idea because they're in a bunker preparing for this game.

* He said Northwestern has been in this position before, ready to take the next step, and he said these challenges will always put stress on a team. They can only take it one day at a time.

* Fitzgerald said the atmosphere at home games is night and day from when he was a player.

* On the Ohio State offense, he said they have weaponry and talent and an All-Big Ten player at every position on offense. He said their base offense is great, and then they add complements to it all game long.

* Asked about fear of Buckeye fans taking over the stadium this weekend, Fitzgerald said you always have to tip your hat to the OSU fans because they always support the team on the road. He knows the Buckeyes will have fans at the game, but he's expecting them to be fewer than in the past because of a “very pro and very solid home-field advantage for us.”

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