COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s 36-31 win over Nebraska on Saturday, Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer and several players spoke with reporters about the game. Meyer talked about the good and the bad for the Buckeyes, while the players mentioned some of the changes that went into a better running game. Here are the highlights.
+ Meyer began by thanking the military and the Ohio State fans. He said the fans really helped with the noise.
+ The red zone offense was improved, as was the running game. They worked hard over the last two weeks to get it done.
+ He got the effort he wanted from his team.
+ Safety Brendon White did a hell of a job in place of Jordan Fuller.
+ The defense has improved, but it’s not where they need to be. Due to injuries, it feels like all they keep doing is “stop-gapping.”
+ Asked if the defense is close to where they need to be, Meyer said no, then said yes.
+ Brendon White earned the trust through special teams play. He proved that trust was correct today.
+ Jeff Okudah had a freak injury and tweaked his groin on Tuesday. Isaiah Pryor had a shoulder impingement. Both should play next week.
+ Both running backs ran hard this week.
+ They made schematic changes on defense, playing more zone and off coverage than normal.
+ Meyer was happy with the win but upset with the turnovers.
+ They did several different things schematically to get the running game going. (They went without the RPO this week.)
+ “Get rid of the three turnovers and that’s a pretty good game.”
+ They are still trying to put the puzzle together in the secondary.
+ Nebraska is a two-win team that nobody wants to play right now.
+ “It was great to get back to our old ways.”
+ Today showed that they can still run the ball well enough to win.
+ They will need to take this momentum into next week against Michigan State.
+ “We’re back on track I do believe.”
+ They knew they struggled running the ball in the past, but they weren’t going to allow it this week.
+ No RPOs today made the offensive line happy.
+ The offensive line was tired of hearing about how they couldn’t run the ball.
+ This is the offense they expect to be moving forward. More balanced. “Yeah, for sure. It ain’t gonna change.”
+ The running game was good, but they need to enhance it. There were still yards left out there.
+ There was a big chip on the OL’s shoulder. They all took that very personally.
+ This was a confidence builder.
+ Not having RPOs allow the offensive linemen to know what the defense is going to do as well.
+ There are still times when RPOs are great, like against TCU.
+ “Young guys have to step up and I knew I had to step up.”
+ Getting some tackles early allowed him to get more confident as the game went on.
+ Every game, you never know what’s going to happen, so you always have to be prepared.
+ He always knew if he stayed patient his time would come.
+ “My dad’s one of my idols. Hopefully today I made him proud.
+ It means everything for the offense to be dynamic both running and passing.
+ Every week is not expected to be easy. They got a win, so that’s all that matters. There were things he could have done better.
+ There were some miscommunications today that led to some incompletions.
+ There are still some things they need to work on to beat Michigan State. “We’re focused, motivated, angry.”
+ Everybody comes into games against Ohio State and gives their best shot. The Buckeyes made some mistakes and unforced errors that helped that out.