COLUMBUS — Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer spoke with the media Wednesday evening following practice. He previewed Saturday’s game against No. 2 Penn State and provided updates on where his team stands three days before the biggest game of the year. Here are the highlights.
+ It’s not fair to J.T. Barrett to call this the biggest game of his career. They don’t talk about it. It’s a big game, but they focus on what they have to do to win the game.
+ J.K. Dobbins is a very good zone runner, as is Mike Weber. Dobbins was a bit of an unknown in high school because of his injury, but he has a skill set that can do a lot of different things.
+ Meyer doesn’t know if alternate uniforms is big for recruiting, but it’s appealing to recruits. Does he like them? “Don’t care.” “I love the scarlet and gray.” But it is cool to see some of the other helmets out there on the field. He knows there was some resistance from some fans.
+ The 2014 game against Penn State was the ultimate for J.T. Barrett earning his coaches’ respect and his teammates’ respect. “That will be part of his legacy.”
+ Had a good practice today but they’re not finished preparing. Still work to do.
+ They’ll worry about relieving pressure on the team later in the week. They have work to do until then.
+ Is it fun to watch games like this? “Fun?”
+ He sees differences in the best players in big games and leading into the big games. “You’re a great player if you play your best in those games.”
+ We’ll find out more who is clutch on this roster. J.T. Barrett is one of them. Tyquan Lewis is another.
+ The tight ends for both teams in this game are a mismatch for defensive backs. “It’s an obvious size advantage.” You have to have a great tight end to have a complete offense. “There’s not many of them out there though.”
+ Health-wise “we’re good to go.”
+ It has taken a lot of work to get ready for Penn State’s blitzing and pressure. They hold their blitzes and don’t show them early. They blitz 40% of the time.
+ Meyer likes the personnel on kick coverage and they have made some adjustments on what they’ll do.
+ Chris Worley is good to go.
+ Meyer sees key differences in the offense from what it was early in the season, but he keeps it in perspective in terms of who they have played. The offense is very balanced right now. These kinds of games can be methodical because big plays are tougher against great teams. Have to grind out the yards.
+ Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day “have made us better.” The communication is very good. It takes time to have systemic changes.
+ Marcus Baugh has never not been “with the program”. It just takes some players longer for it to click. He takes pride in what he is doing now.
+ There are some great storylines for this game, but they’re not worried about that right now. They are pinpointed and focused on execution. Meyer feels a lot better about the team now compared to where things were against Oklahoma.