Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spent some time on Tuesday’s weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference. He took questions on several players and also looked ahead to Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Here are the highlights.
+ Pete Werner is an elite player and person. He is very gifted and talented. Big, fast, and extremely smart. He really cares and has an incredible future.
+ Meyer doesn’t think Ohio State is as deep as people say, but the depth they do have has helped in wins over TCU and Penn State. The Buckeyes are very tough in the second half.
+ Minnesota has a Top 20 defense. They’re one of the best teams in the country in stopping big plays, and Ohio State is a big-play offense, so that will be a challenge.
+ OSU is 118th/119th in penalties/yards this season. Meyer doesn’t go crazy when there are penalties because he wants his teams to stay aggressive, but there are too many right now. Fundamentals, technique, and effort overcome penalties and they have talked about that.
+ Meyer doesn’t foresee any offensive line changes when Brady Taylor returns to full strength.
+ They have talked about using two backs in short-yardage situations, but the issue is that everyone is packed in on them, so they have to get the defense out of that. The options are throwing it or getting the ball out on the edge.
+ No update on Brian Snead’s status.
+ Chase Young has been really good as a pass rusher. Jonathon Cooper has been pretty good. Dre’Mont Jones needs to be better. Robert Landers is getting in there a bit. They need more, but that’s not unexpected when you lose Nick Bosa. The obvious answer in improving the pass defense is getting a better pass rush, but the coverage also needs to improve.
+ Brian Hartline has done a really good job. That’s one of the most unique position groups he has ever seen in terms of accountability and love for each other.
+ Meyer is not surprised by the success that Denzel Ward is having in the NFL. Sam Hubbard too.
+ Defensive tackle Malik Barrow is still rehabbing and working his tail off to get back. He is still on the roster currently.