COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spoke with reporters on Monday to review the Penn State game a bit and then look forward to Saturday’s game against Indiana. He also covered a number of other topics, including the selfless nature of his wide receivers and their love of blocking. Plenty more was talked about as well.
+ Meyer starts by saying the Buckeye fans in the stadium were awesome and he thanked them for making the trip.
+ Penn State was a fantastic team. Trace McSorley is a “war daddy.” Meyer doesn’t know him personally, but he is a great player.
+ Meyer went over the Champions for the Penn State game.
+ Mike Weber is still battling with his foot issue, but he should be close to 100% this week.
+ The selflessness in blocking with these receivers has a lot of similarities with the 2014 group. The receiver play on special teams is phenomenal as well.
+ Terry McLaurin was the player of the game offensively and didn’t have a catch, which is unbelievable. “He is the epitome right now.”
+ Jeff Okudah had three tackles on punt coverage and was always the first guy down on kickoffs. Drue Chrisman punted a lot and did ery well against an excellent returner. Terry McLaurin had three tackles on punt coverage and he downed a punt on the two. He and Okudah refused to ask out of the game. They just kept fighting. Justin Hilliard was in on all four units and excelled at all of them.
+ Punt coverage is elite right now and that is because of Okudah and McLaurin.
+ There was a call-to-arms meeting last week telling young players that now is the time to step up and contribute. That will be the message going forward.
+ The message to the team this week to avoid a letdown will come later in the week. “That’s real.”
+ Asked what specifically needs to be fixed on defense, Meyer said that was a good question, but you have to evaluate each play to see what the issues were. “The answer is you have to play better. You have to continue to play better. It’s week six…” you have to clean it up at this point.
+ “We’re 5-0 and we haven’t played close to our best game.”
+ Saturday night was two sledgehammers going against each other. The fourth quarter on offense was almost perfect.
+ There is a tremendous ceiling for this team and they haven’t gotten close to it yet.
+ Dre’Mont Jones is probable. He is very probable with an ankle sprain. Damon Arnette, Robert Landers are probable. Landers is not 100%.
+ It’s too early to start reflecting on Dwayne Haskins and his performance from the fourth quarter.
+ Asked why they don’t go to a QB sneak under center: “A lot of different reasons. You see teams a lot, that’s operating 99.999 out of the shotgun, and they go to center and they drop the ball, just because you don’t do it. We’ve had those conversations over and over again.” Asked then why they just don’t practice it more, Meyer replied with a smile, “Duly noted. Thank you.”
+ Brian Hartline has done a great job. This is an elite group of blocking receivers. Binjimen Victor “darn near refused to block” early in his career, but on Saturday he had one of the key blocks in the game.
+ The screens to the running backs is a progression from the amount of drop-back passing. It’s a product of that kind of offense.
+ It’s the seventh year here for this program and the offense is based on blocking and selflessness. When you score, you go hug a lineman. Yesterday they watched a punt in front of the team to show them the importance of blocking and special teams. Why aren’t young players playing and veterans and starters have to. Those are the questions posed to young players.
+ K.J. Hill “is a tough dude, man.” He can do it all.
+ Asked if it’s tough for him to no longer have a quarterback who can run, Meyer took a long time to answer through a smile and said, “We’re 5-0.” The best quarterback plays and it doesn’t always mean he’s going to be a runner.
+ Chase Young had a little bit of an ankle situation but has been fighting through it. He is showing glimpses and has unlimited potential.
+ Meyer is not surprised by Luke Fickell’s performance at Cincinnati.
+ The message to the linebackers were to play better last week and they did that.
+ Jahsen Wint will be the No. 1 safety against Indiana and Shaun Wade will be the No. 2 until Isaiah Pryor returns in the second half.
+ Defensively, Indiana plays very well. They have a bunch of new starters and they have an outstanding scheme. They have answers for everything.
+ IU quarterback Peyton Ramsey is a gutsy quarterback and a tough kid. He can run it and throw it.
+ You cannot appeal targeting calls to the Big Ten. They tried with the Isaiah Pryor call. They sent the play into the B1G office, but was told that it couldn’t be contested.
+ They have two or three two-point conversions that they practice every week.