Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer took part in his weekly one-hour call-in show on the Ohio State IMG Sports Radio Network on Thursday. He provided plenty of updates on his football team as they head into Saturday’s matchup with the UNLV Rebels, and took some calls from Buckeye fans. Here are the full highlights from Meyer.
+ Ohio State is a glorified high school program because they are developers. They teach. This is not professional football. Earle Bruce said it best when he said you’ve never coached unless you’ve coached in high school. UNLV’s head coach Tony Sanchez made the jump from Bishop Gorman High School to UNLV.
+ Meyer’s memories of playing UNLV while he was at Utah and being upsets with his director of operations for putting their hotel on the strip for the trip to Las Vegas. Meyer had beer spilled on him in an elevator. He said he was lucky he didn’t end up in a Las Vegas penitentiary.
+ Asked if he would like to see a service academy be a regular opponent in the future, Meyer said, “Uh, not my future.” After the fact, the game is great, but you spend so much time preparing for the game and you have to take away 700 reps from players in order to work on this one game. If you don’t prepare for it, you’ll get embarrassed. “It’s not just the wear and tear for the game, but those 700 reps are gone.” Meyer said that 85% of teams that play triple-option teams lose the next week because they put so much time in preparing for something they only see once.
+ Dwayne Haskins did against Army what he has shown in practice. “He looked very good.”
+ Chris Worley is still questionable. It’s a sprained foot. Non-structural. Will know more today and tomorrow. Will know more about Johnnie Dixon in the next day or so too.
+ Visits on big games is insanity. It’s hard, but it’s also a showcase. It’s risky when you play a top 5 team.
+ Asked what goes into having a black stripe removed from a freshman’s helmet, Meyer said there are a multitude of factors. Ryan Stamper is in charge of that. Players have to be selfless in order to get that stripe removed and they obviously have to work hard and contribute and be accepted by the team. Receiver Jaylen Harris “was lost in the high weeds for a while” but he has stabilized and had his stripe removed this week. “It’s deeper than you think” when it comes to getting the stripe removed. Meyer has been so mad before that he wanted to put a black stripe on a player’s helmet and make him wear it sideways during a game and let 110,000 see it.
+ The depth at linebacker is getting better. The young guys are coming along. Justin Hilliard is playing really hard. “He’s all over the place on the kicking game.” Baron Browning and Pete Werner are stars in the making if they keep growing.
+ Tuf Borland is perfectly named. “I love him. I love his family. They should be very proud of who they raised.” Army was an assignment game, and Borland is a grown man who is discliplined.
+ UNLV is a very good offensive team. They haven’t played the best competition, so they’re moving the ball at will. Their offensive personnel is better than defense. They do have two NFL-type bodies at defensive tackle. The Buckeyes want to get in space on offense because they have an athletic advantage. UNLV plays a 4-3 defense, but the Buckeyes will prepare for other fronts.
+ Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill are extreme competitors. It’s graded 0-5, with 0 being bad. Hill is close to being a 5 and Campbell is a 5.
+ The mantra this week was being an extreme competitor. They evaluate the players, but he wants the players to evaluate the coaches as well.
+ The ideal kickoff would land between the numbers and the sideline and be tackled inside the 20-yard line.
+ The first five guys on the offensive line and the three freshmen this year are all competitive guys. They need more from everyone else. “We should have more depth than we should.”
+ “I’m very biased about the Big Ten Conference…” but when you start talking about setting records in the B1G like J.T. Barrett has, that’s impressive.
+ Raekwon McMillan was a template for maturity when he arrived. J.K. Dobbins is like that. They don’t get caught up in the surroundings. They work. “He supplies energy for everybody.”
+ Demario McCall is close, but he had a little flare up yesterday in practice, which is frustrating for McCall and the coaches.
+ Mike Weber is getting better and better. His injury happened right before camp opened, so he has yet to be 100%.
+ They work all week long on hydration. It helps with concussions and soft-tissue injuries.
+ A noon kickoff impacts a Thursday practice. There’s only so many hours in a week, so there is plenty of science involved in having the players optimal. If anybody knew what went into all of this, “it’s phenomenal.” Ohio State is at the top of the science in this regard.
+ Meyer said he gave Kerry Coombs a hard time for having three cornerbacks grade champions against the wishbone.
+ The 99-yard drive was like a root canal. The eye discipline of the Buckeyes was fantastic all game long.
+ The pregame handshake with Army was pre-planned as was the postgame alma maters.
+ Going into a game against a service academy, you know you’ll have a personnel advantage, but you also know that they will be very prepared for any game. So they went through 700 reps of triple option in preparation. The defensive line doesn’t want to see another triple option team any time soon, however.