Urban Meyer spoke with the media on Monday to talk a bit more about the Buckeyes’ performance against Army and to look forward to Saturday’s noon matchup against UNLV. Here are the highlights.
+ Ohio State’s players of the week versus Army included freshman LB Tuf Borland on defense and senior LT Jamarco Jones and junior WR Terry McLaurin on offense. Sophomore LB Keandre Jones was the special team’s player of the week.
+ Offensive champions: Jamarco Jones, Terry McLaurin, J.K. Dobbins, J.T. Barrett, Parris Campbell, Austin Mack, K.J. Hill, Billy Price, Branden Bowen, Isaiah Prince, Michael Jordan and Marcus Baugh.
+ Defensive champions: Tuf Borland, Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Dre’mont Jones, Tracy Sprinkle, Jerome Baker, Damon Arnette, Denzel Ward, Kendall Sheffield, Erick Smith, Damon Webb.
+ Special team’s player of the game: Keandre Jones
+ It was good to see Marcus Baugh play well enough to earn champion status. Terry McLaurin’s blocking was “phenomenal.”
+ Meyer smirked and said he told Kerry Coombs “Hell of a job” for having three corners earn champions status against the wishbone.
+ Chris Worley is questionable this week. As to more playing time for Tuf Borland or any potential position switches for Worley, Meyer said they’ll talk about that today as a staff.
+ The offense is always growing. They did some different things on offense than they have done previously. They have had “very serious discussions” about what happens with the offense against stronger opponents down the road.
+ They’re not at the point where they can “experiment” with different things on offense or defense. They have to fix problems before getting cute.
+ Dwayne Haskins played well against Army, but he didn’t want the offense putting another score on the board.
+ Joe Burrow is about back and they’re going to have to have some discussions about who the backup is when he returns.
+ There is much more value in game action — even at the end of the fourth quarter in a blowout — than practice reps.
+ The pass defense has to improve and the overall offense has to get better. The kick coverage must improve as well. They might give Sean Nuernberger a look at kickoffs if things don’t get better.
+ Meyer credited the Ohio State scout team for the victory on Saturday. “We won the game because of that.” The scout team gave the Buckeyes tremendous looks, and Tate Martell did a great job at quarterback. Meyer sees flashes from Martell and is very excited about his future. He has grown as a player and person just since the spring.
+ Meyer suggested people do a research project on players who transfer due to lack of playing time and see how well they don’t end up.
+ The outside noise following a bad game used to bother him, but now he ignores it and doesn’t go looking for it. This is life in the big city.
+ Demario McCall is still not at full speed and once he is, they’ll have to find out if he’s good enough to get some playing time. He has been dealing with a groin/abdomen issue.
+ Defenses are playing soft, which makes the deep shots hard to take. The Buckeyes took what Army was giving them underneath and it worked.
+ The defense spent all day yesterday finally going over the Oklahoma tape.
+ On the potential of Parris Campbell: “Everybody can see it.” He was compared to Curtis Samuel. “He has that kind of skill set.”
+ On Tuf Borland: “He’s everything you think he’d be.” Borland is instrumental in several special teams units, so he’s a favorite of Meyer’s.
+ Defenses will eventually have to be as wary of J.K. Dobbins as they were of Curtis Samuel last year. Last year, defenses made sure to point out where Samuel was on every snap.
+ J.K. Dobbins is from a small town, so he was sort of unknown. That was one reason why they wanted to see a senior year of high school football to confirm their beliefs in him, but that didn’t get to happen because he was injured on the first play of his senior season. They saw glimpses of what he could do in the spring, but during fall camp Meyer really saw it.
+ Mike Weber is not a lost soul around Ohio State. He’s still not full go, but when he is, they’ll get him involved. “He’s very critical for us.” Meyer said as a true freshman, he wouldn’t have even crossed the street for Weber. Now, however, the growth and maturity has been great. He will be rewarded once he is full speed.
+ Shaun Wade didn’t practice last week due to an injury. Jeffrey Okudah is getting close to receiving some playing time.
+ J.T. Barrett is a very intelligent player who puts more hours in than anybody else on the team. He is a great decision maker, so they want to run even more plays where they can utilize those abilities. They want to get better at the run-pass option plays and will work hard to get there.