COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer met with the media on Monday to look back briefly at Saturday’s win over Illinois, but mostly to look forward to Saturday’s battle in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines. Here are the highlights.
+ Michael Jordan and Jamarco Jones were there offensive players of the game vs. Illinois. Chris Worley — starting at his third linebacker spot in the last three weeks — was the defensive player of the game. Freshman corner Jeff Okudah was the special teams player of the game.
+ Champions: Offense – Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, J.T. Barrett, K.J. Hill, Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell, Austin Mack, Terry McLaurin, J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, Antonio Williams, Billy Price, Isaiah Prince, Demetrius Knox and Marcus Baugh.
+ Defense – Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes, Jonathan Cooper, Jerome Baker, Denzel Ward, Kendall Sheffield, Damon Webb and Erick Smith.
+ The running backs are playing outstanding right now. All three of them were champions this week.
+ Jeff Okudah is playing fantastic on special teams right now. His 41 production points were the most they’ve had in a while on special teams. Justin Hilliard and Pete Werner were awesome.
+ Meyer believes the up-tempo offense is working well. J.T. Barrett really likes it.
+ Jordan Fuller is probable due to a leg injury and should play. Just wasn’t ready to play last week.
+ There are no wrinkles that you can hold back for this game because the Big Ten is too difficult.
+ Meyer expects Michigan’s offense to play their best game of the year. That’s the history of the game. Both teams play their best in this game.
+ “It’s a big week.”
+ Film study for this game has been going on for a long time. It didn’t just start this week. They have good defensive linemen. Pro prospects.
+ The biggest growth in the offensive line has been their maturity. Michael Jordan shouldn’t have had to play last year, but they had no choice. With OSU’s zone scheme running attack, they need powerful “wide ass” offensive guards. “I probably shouldn’t say that.”
+ Meyer credits Tom Herman for finding J.T. Barrett. They had Mitch Trubisky and Malik Zaire in-state, but Trubisky didn’t want to come to camp and he committed to North Carolina.
+ “This rivalry’s not a one-week deal.” Players and coaches learn that as time passes.
+ The foundation of any offense is the offensive line and they are one of the strengths of the team. This defensive line of Michigan is the real deal, but having the OSU OL up front is a good place to start.
+ The rivalry is brought up every day. Players are reminded of it throughout the facilities every day. “You’d have to have something wrong with you if you don’t get it.”
+ Terrible news on the passing of Terry Glenn. Meyer didn’t know him, but definitely knew of him.
+ Meyer is extremely focused during this week. He has great respect for this rivalry. Laser focus.
+ Meyer needed to be educated on the rivalries at his other stops, but never here. He grew up with it. He remembered watching it in Hawaii at “some ridiculous hour” while as a coach at Colorado State.
+ There is “ridiculous pressure” when it comes to trying to sign great players who are looking at Michigan.
+ It’s not so much Meyer’s job as it is the leaders on the team to teach the out-of-state freshmen how big this game is.
+ Meyer is expecting a downhill running attack from Michigan.
+ Earle Bruce was very important of Urban Meyer’s understanding of the Michigan game. It was every day there was a conversation about “that team” when Meyer was working for Bruce. “He taught me the intensity.” The 1987 win at Michigan in Bruce’s last regular season game was emotional and a great memory.