Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer takes part in his weekly one-hour call-in show on the IMG Sports Radio Network. He is expected to provide updates on his football team as they head into Saturday’s gigantic matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners, and he will also take some calls from Buckeye fans. Here are the highlights from the show.
+ You’ll see both J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber on Saturday.
+ Parris Campbell’s skill set is “ridiculous” and Austin Mack has been as good as anybody else in practice. Terry McLaurin is excellent. “I’d much rather have six than one.” K.J. is very good with the ball in his hands.
+ Tate Martell did a marvelous job playing Baker Mayfield for the scout team. Joe Burrow is getting back and throwing now. “He’s just a tough nut.” He’ll be on call.
+ Ohio State gave up zero punt return yards and averaged 45 yards per punt, which is good. The OSU punt return game needs to get better, but they didn’t have any real opportunities. The kick coverage was fun to watch. Blake Haubeil only had one back kickoff.
+ They slowed tempo down a little bit because they didn’t want the OSU defense to have to keep going out there with the offense going three-and-out. Meyer also slowed it down when the Buckeyes went up. They can go faster longer, but Meyer dialed it back a bit last week.
+ Asked how the offensive line is graded, Meyer said there is a standardized grade of 80-85% that is champions-level. They also look into whether they controlled the line of scrimmage and were they competitive, and then you go with plus/minus on technique, assignments, etc. The assistant coaches grade their positions and Meyer leaves them to it.
+ The first caller asks what the day after a game is like among the coaches. The coaches come in on a Sunday and everybody grades film and Meyer does the special teams. He’ll meet with Kerry Coombs about the special teams. Then he’ll meet with the offense and go over that film. They work on correcting issues. Later in the day there is a team meeting and hand out awards, then they have a practice and then a meal and then they move on to the next opponent.
+ You almost disregard what Oklahoma did in the first game because of who they were playing (UTEP). They will practice against all different fronts in preparation.
+ They are aware of the Sooners’ pass rushers and play makers on defense. For Baker Mayfield, Meyer loves his competitiveness. He is as good as there is in the last 10 years at making something out of nothing.
+ Oklahoma is one of the best and most-talented programs in the nation. Meyer studied Oklahoma during his year off.
+ Coaches like seeing receivers block very well more than they like seeing receivers run down the field and score. The scoring happens because of the blocking.
+ You love to see players like Johnnie Dixon rewarded. There are so many great stories about late bloomers at Ohio State. “It’s never too late.” Sometimes it is maturity, sometimes it is lifestyle, sometimes it’s health.
+ The linebackers played fairly well. Chris Worley was pretty good. The rotation of Dante Booker and Malik Harrison needs to get better. But they are working hard to get there.
+ Dre’Mont Jones’ improvement over the last two years is remarkable, and he’s an even better guy.
+ The halftime adjustments by both coordinators was great. The last 20 minutes for Indiana featured around 50 yards passing for the Hoosiers.
+ The play-calling went well. You prefer to have that first game at home against an overmatched opponent in case there are issues, especially with new coaches. The offense wasn’t great in the first half, but it had nothing to do with communication.
+ The depth on the defensive line is key because rushing the quarterback is exhausting and frustrating. Indiana made a really good decision to play the game on the outside and utilize their skill.
+ Prior to the game Saturday night, they hydrate and have proper nutrition and rest. There is a lot of science involved and Mickey Marotti is heavily involved. There will be two walk-throughs on Saturday. Then they get off their feet for about three hours before the game. “If it works, go with it, but also science changes.” Ohio State’s Fridays are much different than they used to be. They want them relaxed and watch a movie or some football Friday night and then get to sleep. The mind needs to be relaxed.
+ The interesting thing is when you play a lesser opponent like Oklahoma did, you have to be prepared for anything because they hold stuff back. Ohio State wasn’t able to do that against Indiana. The opponent was too tough. Oklahoma has been working on this game for a whole year.
+ Meyer didn’t expect to run J.K. Dobbins 29 times, but that’s how the game went. He knew he would be good, especially in fall camp he really began to materialize. And he did most of his damage on the inside and kicking it outside if need be.
+ Mike Weber is good to go. They’re not sure how many carries. J.K. Dobbins will start. Antonio Williams is a very good player. You don’t always realize what you’ve got until you see what they can do in games, and Williams has had to deal with injuries so far in his career.