Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had some interesting things to say during his final press conference before the 2018 Big Ten Championship Game.
His No. 6 Buckeyes are still alive for the College Football Playoff, and would be guaranteed no worse than a Rose Bowl berth with a win over No. 21 Northwestern.
However, the answer that might draw the most attention was a simple “no comment on that” to a report that he does not plan to coach beyond the end of the 2019 season.
Here’s a quick look at everything else Meyer had to say Friday in Indianapolis.
+ Redshirt freshman OL Wyatt Davis has earned his playing time. He will start in place of the injure Demetrius Knox, and Meyer thinks he’s ready – unlike this point in 2017. “If this was a year ago, we’d have a problem.”
+ Meyer’s former school, Bowling Green, just hired one of his former assistants, Scot Loeffler, as its new head coach. “I got a great feel for that one. I’m glad he got it.”
+ Meyer still remembers Bowling Green’s 2001 win over Northwestern fondly. He called that the breakthrough win for his Falcons program.
+ He was glad to see Dwayne Haskins win the Silver Football award as the Big Ten’s best player. He said Haskins has continued to improve: “His acceleration in the last really month has been exceptional.”
+ He has paid “zero attention” to the Heisman Trophy, and discussions that Haskins could be a finalist for that as well.
+ Baron Browning is an “exceptional talent” who Meyer anticipates will pay a lot on Saturday.
+ Meyer couldn’t say enough good things about Haskins’ parents, and said that a lot of his conversations with them has been “about how sometime this football gig is going to be over.”
+ Wyatt Davis will have to rely on veteran players around him during the game. At that point, coaches can’t help him. “The expectation level is not going to change. He’s performed very well in practice.”
+ He thinks the defense has made steady progress in every game since their off-week, except for the Maryland game. “We gave some points in the fourth quarter, but I thought against the Team Up North, they kept a very talented team in check for most of the night.”
+ Playing in the controlled environment of Lucas Oil Stadium will help his fast players, but Northwestern does a great job limiting big plays. “It’s going to be a chess match and a challenge, a way to get our guys in space against this defense.”
+ Asked about Ryan Day’s future as a head coach: “Ryan Day is elite. I’ve said that many, many times. There will be a time and a space. Certainly now is not that time, this week is not that time. But there will be a time.”
+ It’s a challenge to have to turn around and play the Big Ten Championship Game the week after Michigan. “Every time we play our rival, the players you play against, the wear and tear.”
+ Meyer loves the Big Ten Championship Game as an event: “The Big Ten and this championship game, I think it’s one of the faces of college football right now.
+ He hasn’t given much thought to whether the rules should be adjusted to help defenses slow down scoring a little. He points out that college football is “probably the most popular it’s ever been” right now.
+ He thinks this is going to be a field position game, and said the kicking game is going to be particularly important.
+ “There’s zero conversation” in the locker room about whether the Buckeyes need to win by a certain margin to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
+ “I like where we’re at” heading into Saturday’s game. He says “I think we’re there.”
+ Meyer is very impressed with what Scott Frost is doing at Nebraska, and with the Big Ten West on the whole: “The Nebraska coach, Nebraska team, you can see what’s happening there. They’re going to be very good. Obviously Purdue is outstanding. There’s some very good teams over there.”
[Header photo courtesy Big Ten Conference]