Gary Patterson: Urban Meyer Absence Has ‘Probably Helped’ Buckeyes

Urban Meyer Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Losing your head coach to a 3-game suspension is generally not the first step toward success.

When Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was suspended three games for keeping former receivers coach Zach Smith employed, there were questions as to how the Buckeye football team would respond. Nobody who follows the program, however, thought the team would crumble in Meyer’s absence.

After all, Meyer has built a program at Ohio State that can sustain itself for long periods of time due to the culture that has been grown.

Though to say that it’s self-sufficient would be a disservice to the coaching staff and players who have worked hard to keep moving forward despite being without their leader.

OSU lives on the mantra of “next man up” and acting head coach Ryan Day has followed through on that and stepped up and performed almost perfectly. Day also had plenty of help from Greg Schiano and Kevin Wilson when Meyer wasn’t around, and together the three of them were able to hold the fort until Meyer returned 10 days ago.

Watching from afar, TCU head coach Gary Patterson wasn’t surprised that Ohio State was able to withstand such an upheaval at the top.

“People ask me about [Meyer’s] absence, well you’ve got three guys that could be a head coach there,” Patterson said. “Greg Schiano, I know really well. Kevin Wilson, we played against at Northwestern and he was at Oklahoma.

“And then you also have Coach Day that is their interim. He was offered NFL jobs and college jobs and coordinator jobs, so they have enough experience within their offices even when Coach wasn’t around. But he’s there every day now working and preparing and doing those kinds of things.”

Not only were the Buckeyes able to withstand Meyer’s absence during the entirety of fall camp, but they have exploded out of the gate, winning their two games by an average score of 64-17.

Offensively, they have been clicking more than a tap dance troupe, and defensively they responded well against Rutgers last week.

When Patterson looks at how the Buckeyes have started the season, he sees a correlation between their performance and Meyer’s absence, which is actually a testament to the football program that Urban Meyer has built.

“To me, the other thing that has happened is that it probably helped them,” Patterson said of Meyer’s suspension. “It has given them, a lot of teams that have that type of player, they roll into the season and they get better as they go, but I look at them and I think they’re already in mid-season form. Probably the sense of urgency with everything that’s happened there maybe put them in that situation. So you’ve got to get ready to go.”

10 Responses

  1. Let’s see, national title, big ten championships, beat michigan every year, bowl winning record, he did not abuse his wife, his asst may have, however, he ran it up the flagpole, thats why smith got suspended also………..urban is a champion person and coach…………….

  2. I would only say this: Coach Meyer seems to tighten up a little bit in games. The body language is obvious. Bent over, hanging his head when someone false starts.
    Ryan Day and the rest of them seem to follow the E + R = O philosophy better than Meyer does himself. He’s just wired differently.
    Now, there will be games later this year that are won because of Meyer. Games where we need to be conservative and hide our cards…
    But after this three game run, and especially if we win big against TCU, he will no doubt be more comfortable letting his staff help make those in-game adjustments and play calls.
    He has said this is teaching him humility – I think he will be a better coach for it.
    Of course, his first game back is Tulsa, and that could get ugly really quickly…

  3. Barrett did not trust his reads and his ability to make the throws, therefore he held the ball way too many times. A quarterback is taught read progressions, and has to make quick decisions, and trust what he has been taught. The receivers are taught specific reads based on defense alignment, or specific dedicated routes. The difference between Barrett and Haskins is ENORMOUS. Haskins believes in his arm ,and trusts what he reads, and Barrett didn’t. JT was a great kid and a tremendous leader, and for that i will always respect him. But Haskins is a PURE passer. I believe he was ready last year, however, it was JT’s team, and Meyer was not ever going to sit a 5th year senior that has been so important to this program.That being said, it is so refreshing to see the ball out and on time to receivers, and they can make a play. Receivers have been open in previous years, ball just never came out when it was supposed to…..period.

  4. Well, agree to disagree. How do you know if Barrett wouldn’t make a come back in Michigan game if he was not hurt? He did it in Penn State game and many others! Like I said, hindsight is always 20/20. If you like the coach, support and trust him. He know the players better than us because he is there everyday. No need for us to be a armchair quarterback.

    Previous success won’t guarantee future success. I’ll hold my judgement on Haskins till he is done at OSU, THEN we can compare him with Barrett.

    1. barrett had 30 yards passing in 3 quarters at michigan last year – he wasn’t bringing the buckeyes back if he stayed in the game.

  5. Um, last I checked this is a message board. Barrett loses that game at Michigan last year. Haskins won it with his arm. Barrett almost cost us the Wisconsin game last year. Of course we have a great coach, but it doesn’t mean he is without flaws! None of us are. I’m simply pointing them out.

  6. Well, hind sight is always 20/20. How do you know Haskins was ready last year? Don’t be a armchair quarterback. Don’t judge other people’s personal affair because others will judge yours the same. Be thankful we have one of the best head coach in history.

    1. Uh, other than Woody, THE best. Sorry, folks, I’ll take Meyer over 10 Sabans or anybody else you can suggest.

  7. When you have Haskins in at QB and you see the receivers THRIVE I can’t help but feel that, yes, Urban really has some culpability here! He kept a POS coach on his staff that was toxic to the receivers. It wasn’t that “they were running the wrong routes” or “not getting open.” It was 100% aggravated loyalty! Loyalty to a sub-par QB who couldn’t get the ball to the receivers and loyalty to a train-wreck of an assistant who didn’t assist in getting good receivers even better!

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