Meyer Presser Recap: Cal

By Kyle Rowland on September 10, 2012 at 1:09p
53 Comments

Ohio State is 2-0 and welcomes the California Golden Bears to Ohio Stadium this week. The record isn’t all roses, however. Head coach Urban Meyer wasn’t pleased with Saturday’s performance against Central Florida immediately following the game, and watching the film didn’t cause a 180 on his thoughts. 

OSU has to shore up the O and D.

There are still plenty of areas that need improvement. For the Buckeyes, the fix-up period began on Sunday in an hour-long practice session.

  • Meyer said Central Florida will win a lot of games this season and that they have a number of players who will play beyond college football.
  • The Buckeyes did not execute Meyer’s “Plan to Win” very well Saturday, despite the win. Meyer said the defense did not play great defense and the team did not win the turnover margin.
  • “We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals.” –Meyer on himself and his coaching staff.
  • Champions on defense from UCF game: John Simon and Johnathan Hankins (defensive player of game).
  • Champions on offense: Andrew Norwell, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith and Philly Brown (offensive player of game). Brown graded out 95 percent.
  • Meyer said Brown is clearly the No. 1 playmaker at this point.
  • Jamal Marcus was the special teams player of the game.
  • Jordan Hall will run today. Meyer doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play Saturday. His performance in practice this week will determine that.
  • "Whoever has the best Tuesday and Wednesday is going to lineup at tailback." –Meyer
  • He said Bri’onte Dunn is not the defacto starter. He has to prove it in practice. Meyer said he is not against having Zach Boren be the primary ball carrier.
  • The big plays against the defense have to stop, Meyer said. Identifying the pass rushers is a must. Meyer said that is a direct correlation to big plays.
  • The defense may start blitzing if they don’t have enough winnable 1-on-1 matchups. Simon has been battling double teams in both games. That is why Bennett’s absence is so big.
  • Meyer started a new Sunday night tradition called “Victory Dinner.” Attendance is mandatory.
  • Meyer said it was a personnel error, not a problem with the scheme on OSU's failed 4th-and-1 attempt against UCF.
  • Nathan Williams will likely by week-by-week all season. Meyer said he hopes he is available this week, but he doesn’t know.
  • There were several broken plays Saturday because players did not do the correct responsibility, Meyer said. Linemen, wide receivers and running backs all did incorrect things.
  • Confirmed by Meyer: Carlos Hyde has MCL sprain, will miss this week. Michael Bennett is questionable.
  • Meyer said the 10 minutes he spends with the special teams unit are his favorite of the day.
  • Meyer said he never lost trust in Jake Stoneburner, but he was very upset and disappointed in the senior after his arrest.
  • Bob Knight will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this week. Meyer said he had Knight speak to his team at Florida. The two are close friends and speak every so often.
  • Meyer calls Knight a master motivator and says he does it the right way, no cheating.
  • When the subject turned to Braxton Miller, Meyer absolutely raved about him. He referred to him almost a dozen times as “a hell of a football player.” Meyer said Miller is much better than the rest of the country realizes.
  • Meyer's non-conference scheduling philosophy: play one good national team, one decent team and two "other" teams. That last note was him just being politically correct. Other = bad.
  • In his talk with John Cooper this week, Meyer said he learned that Cal has several draftable players. Some are fringe first-round picks.
  • Unlike the first two opponents, Meyer says Cal will dare Ohio State to beat them with the pass.
  • Meyer also had good things to say about Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence and Tommy Schutt. He said Buckeye fans will be happy with them for the next few years.
  • Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said Travis Howard has worked hard since Day 1. He said he worked on his footwork all off-season and it has contributed to his three interceptions.
  • Coombs referred to Howard as one of the most gifted athletes he’s ever coached.
  • The big pass plays against Ohio State have been communication breakdowns, Coombs, said, not necessarily bad schemes or defensive sets.
  • Coombs said he doesn't think you ever feel good about depth, regardless of how many guys you have and how good they are.
  • The secondary has three No. 1s, according to Coombs: Howard, Bradley Roby and Doran Grant. Adam Griffin is the next guy in line with true freshmen Armani Reeves and Najee Murray next.
  • Ohio State is third in the country is intercepting passes. Coombs said that is by design, not accident.
  • The objective for the secondary is to cause offensive breakdowns based on using multiple coverages.
53 Comments

Comments

cbusbuckeye's picture

I think the team is really holding back, both offensively and defensively. Fickell knows how to dial it up, and Withers is no slouch, it seems like they are playing as vanilla as possible because they know they don't need to get fancy. 
 
I want to think that the offense is in a similar situation, as bad as last year was the team could still move the ball, although not well. I want to think that the flex plays with Stoneburner are being held back until we need them, and that he will become a factor. My only reservation is Braxton's 27 carries, maybe he is the only thing we have that consistently gets it done. 

builderofcoalitions's picture

Agreed. Vanilla all around. I suspect the coaches are holding onto some schemes for MSU. That game gets larger evrey week.

Because we couldn't go for three.

klfeck's picture

You very well may be right, but holding back until it really counts can bite you in the ass if you are too rusty or not well versed enough in game situations to pull it off successfully.

Kevin
OH!!!!!
Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah I kinda agree with you. Good teams run what they run and make the other teams beat it. Having a new system you would think the staff would take advantage of the lesser opposition and use it to work out the kinks in the new schemes. Holding back until B1G play doesnt seem ideal the boys need all the practice they can get.

rdubs's picture

Did you mean "offensive" breakdowns in the last bullet?

GABuckeye's picture

“We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals.” –Meyer on he and his coaching staff.  
I like this!!

builderofcoalitions's picture

Ditto.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Bucksfan's picture

I think this is putting way too much pressure on himself.  They get paid to win games and bring in buttloads of money from boosters.  If their goal is to score as many points as they can, that's fine....but that's not why he gets paid.  Field goals = points.  Points are our friend.

buckeyechad's picture

Exactly, can't be going for it on fourth every time. Get the points when you can, especially against the better teams we play.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

No, I think he has it right!  Tressel's philosophy was to score points and usually meant that when in range, play it safe so you can attempt a field goal.  Urban, on the other hand, dials up plays to score touchdowns, not preserve the position for the ultimate attempt at a field goal.  Big difference in philosophy and how you attack your opponent.  I, for one, was sick and tired of the ultra conservative play calling within the scoring zone just so we wouldn't blow a chance at a field goal and I relish a coach that doesn't view field goals as a success!  A field goal is something you settle for only after failing to score TDs.  I want 6 points, not 3.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

cinserious's picture

One of my favorite Meyer quotes so far

Gone ham, be back soon...

SPreston2001's picture

Man ive been waiting for a coach like this for a long time! Tres lived by the field goal!

builderofcoalitions's picture

It's been interesting how much worry there is over the lack of a pass rush. Fans seem to think the D-line was over-hyped, but the coaches (both OSU's and UCF's) seem pretty impressed with the job Hankins and Simon are doing. Maybe the other guys (particularly the freshmen) need to pick it up. Plus, it will be great to have Williams back out there full-time.

Because we couldn't go for three.

bassplayer7770's picture

Personally, I'm kinda hoping either Hall can play or Dunn or Smith proves themself at practice this week.  I'm not sure I want to see Zach Boren being a primary ball carrier.

builderofcoalitions's picture

It would be nice to see a Boren/Dunn attack. Beat them with Boren and bring in Dunn to break a big play.

Because we couldn't go for three.

bassplayer7770's picture

Right.  I don't mind Boren getting carries, but being a primary ball carrier wouldn't be ideal in my mind.  Then again, the staff knows best and the options are limited right now.

yrro's picture

Yeah, he's not good enough to be a primary ball carrier. He's an awesome fullback, and deserves a few dives and swing passes a game to keep defenses honest, but our offense is going to be much better if his general role is busting heads.

Poison nuts's picture

I gotta think that is some motivational tactic for Dunn get it together or something...I just can't see Boren as the guy who runs most of the plays where Braxton's not running...just doesn't seem right - but hey maybe Boren could be ridiculous. I guess we'll find out soon.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

3technique's picture

I think their is some holding back. I just want to keep Braxton heathy and be full strength for Sparty! Hopefully Hyde's knee gets plent of rest,ice, compression and elevation...

Dayton Buckeye's picture

Way too many carries for Braxton.  He got dinged up a lot in Highschool.  One of the backs have to carry the load.  I like Kenny, but we don't have to play with him for an extended period.  It seems our defense has always played that bend but don't break.  I hate rushing just three or four, but it does cause some turn overs.  Still I think we have to dial up a few blitzes.  We really had no sacks.  Our only sack was at the end of the game.

HSBDAWG's picture

Guys i hate the bend but do not brake DEF. but i do think the coachs are holding beack as much as they can so when they get to sparty next week the frist year QB will be looking for that to then they will slam him with press cov. and all kinds of blitzies then they will also have NEB. on there heals cause they will not know what to expect.
 

ODEEZ330's picture

i hope they are holding back some. its likely thay are but as a buckeye fan and former student i expect greatness every week lol

O'Deez330
stark county football

Maestro's picture

Rod Smith is really disappointing at this point.  Unable to take advantage of all the opportunities that he has had so far in his career.  
Really hope they don't rush Hall back.  Dunn is just going to have to carry the load this week.

vacuuming sucks

Matt's picture

Most disappointing thing to me is that we probably missed out on getting Jaylon on account of Rod being here (and unhappy with his role).  Jaylon is going to be an All-American caliber talent at ND.

Defend Youngstown's picture

Agreed. I've watched a lot of high school football, and seen a lot of great college and pro players grow up there, and Jaylon is without a doubt the finest defensive player I have ever seen in HS.

klfeck's picture

Agreed, Dunn looks promising and can get some quality reps with Hyde out. Smith seems to disappoint every time his number is called, it's a shame.

Kevin
OH!!!!!
Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Prior to the fumble Saturday, Rod Smith had 5 carries for 26 yards in mop up duty. Not bad. Too early to say if he's improved - or not - from last year. Smith should get at least a handful of more meaningful carries this week against Cal. Let's see what he does with them.

Maestro's picture

Don't put him in to ice a game please.

vacuuming sucks

buckeyechad's picture

Yeah, the fumbles are really the only thing that's bad about his performances. Seems like hes good for at least 4-5 yards when he does get the ball, nothing too exciting but solid without the fumble problem.

Ahh Saturday's picture

One of the things the D is "holding back" is Mike Bennet.  In his absence I've noticed Big Hank lining up at SSDE which is where Bennet should be.  Big Hank is quick for an interior guy, but his impact is neutralized at the 5 technique, imo.  When Bennet comes back, I expect (hope) Hank will be strictly a DT, and the pass rush should improve immediately without resorting to blitzes.

Maestro's picture

I made this point last week too.  We have DTackles trying to apply pressure from the DE spots.  They did it some last season with Hankins as well and in all honesty Simon is better suited at DTackle than DE in my opinion.  
Without a full speed Nate Williams there aren't really any upper classmen DE's with much upside that I have seen.

vacuuming sucks

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm not a coach, but my sense is that Simon would excel at 3-4 DE, as a 4-3 DE against the run, or as a 4-3 DT on likely passing downs.
Obviously, they can't always have Simon in the right spot for the given situation - in addition to injuries on Ohio State's DL, the opposing offense might not cooperate with how the Buckeyes are lining up.
But if you put a lethal speed rush guy anywhere on the line with Simon, he too automatically becomes a bigger pass rush threat, even if he's not lined up in an ideal spot (based on down & distance, etc.). That guy could be Williams/Bennet (injuries) or Spence/Washington (raw frosh).
I'm confident the DL will get rolling before long.

btalbert25's picture

I honestly just don't buy that the coaches are holding back.  The problems on D are a lot of the same problems we saw all of last year.  On offense, there have been busted plays and bad reads by Braxton.  They are still learning.  Do coaches really ever hold back anyway?  It seems to me that's something fans say to make excuses when the team doesn't play they way we expect or hope they would. I remember that philosophy before a trip to LA too, when Ohio U took the Buckeyes to the brink. I'm not buying it, I think it's a team with problems that is learning to play better, but is far from a finished product.

SPreston2001's picture

^^^This! I totally agree with you. Coaches dont usually hold back especially when the staff is implementing a new system. The players need all the live reps they can get so holding back really doesnt make sense. Urbz is clearly upset with the production on both sides of the ball so I think its more so our team still needs alot of work.

btalbert25's picture

Remember when we used to get sick of Meyer and his love affair with Tebow and really even before that all the gushing he did about Alex Smith?  Then the media raved about those QB's too and it made us even more sick?  People are going to start feeling the same way about Braxton and Urban outside of the B1G and Columbus, and I love it. 
I just talked to a guy at work from Atlanta.  He called and asked how my weekend was and he said oh I can't stand Meyer or Ohio State but I'm an SEC guy.  I laughed and said yeah most of the times you all don't like Ohio State.  He said let me tell you something though, that Braxton Miller is a beast.  That guy is amazing, what a player.  He's fun to watch.  So, the word is getting out there nationally.  If a guy in SEC country is willing to acknowledge how great he is, word is getting out.
What's funny, though, is I felt like TP was much more impressive personally, and no one nationally really appreciated how great he was, Braxton hasn't been around the long, and everyone is starting to know who he is.  It has to be the Urban Meyer effect and how much he gives props to his QB's.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I suspect there's more to it than an Urban Meyer effect.
Pryor was the #1 recruit in America - LeBron in cleats. In his first two years, when his passing game lagged well behind his run game, given the outsized expectations, naturally there was a backlash against Pryor.
Plus, I believe that at this point in their sophomore campaigns, Miller is a slightly better overall player with even more upside. Pryor is a physical specimen, but will never be able to consistently dissect opposing pass defenses (he doesn't have the field vision, tempo, feel for how routes develop, etc.) Although not as big & powerful as Pryor, Braxton is actually more slippery and has a very high ceiling as a passer.

btalbert25's picture

I guess I just don't see where Braxton the more polished passer is.  I do agree that Pryor was much more hyped so more was expected of him.  Kind of a shame his talents couldn't have been put to use by a coach like Urban Meyer.  Just thought it was interesting that everyone things Man Braxton is SICK, but Pryor was never viewed that way by people on the outside, hell a lot of people on the inside never thought Pryor was that good, and I just never understood it.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

While I haven't seen their ACT scores, I suspect the Brax is just plain smarter than TP, and that makes him better at reading defenses, knowing the plays, etc. I seem to recall that TP had one of the lowest NFL test scores on their version of the "ACT" - can't remember what it's called....

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Pryor's QB rating for the entire soph season was 128.9. He had a 56 percent completion percentage and an 18/11 TD/INT ratio throwing to Posey, Sanzenbacher, Jake Ballard, and (a still eligible) Duron Carter.
So far this season, Miller has a 146.5 rating, with a 66.7 completion percentage, 3/1 ratio, throwing to a group of developing receivers in a new offense.
And don't think it's because Miller was asked to throw a lot of bubble screens and outlet throws against UCF. A). Miller's YPA is 7.54 so far this year compared to Pryor's 7.1 for the 2009 season; B). that Pryor couldn't seem to throw a catchable, well-timed bubble screen was always one of his major issues. Heck, if he could have done that, Pryor would have been even more dangerous than already was.
Yes, Miller has only played two games this year so far against middling opposition, whereas Pryor's 2009 campaign included games against USC, Wisc, Iowa, PSU, and Oregon. At the same time, though, we might also expect Braxton to get better as the season progresses, especially as the young receivers continue to improve as well.

Maestro's picture

I certainly expect Miller and the offense to improve throughout the season.
Pryor was/is a better athlete.  Miller is a better football player.

vacuuming sucks

Crimson's picture

I didn't like the stats you gave out, but they are hard to find and they're pretty close anyway.  In the first three games (4th was conference), Pryor was 56.8%, 8.3 YPA (Toledo was high), 4/4 TD/INT.  I can't do ratings myself, but it's less than 128.9 by eyeball inspection.
I think it's too early to make good comparisons.  However, I think Miller is better with mechanics and reads; he just needs the footwork.  I think he had the potential to be a great passer, and while I kept waiting to see signs of it from Pryor, it was never really there.  Time will tell.

Kyle Rowland's picture

Good stuff. Using it in a story. 

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Urban Meyer Effect =  knowing how to deal with the media better than nearly any other big time coach out there. This is no small thing, and Meyer is making the media work for him (see the All Access show, lots of recent ESPN love) to build his and OSU's brand. I still can't get over how freely he shares information and doesn't try to bull-shit with his answers. He really sees the big picture. He'd make a damn good CEO of just about any company. And to think I thought he was satan incarnate after that ass kicking in Glendale...........

SilverBulletInCincy's picture

I love Zach Boren as much as anybody, but I am telling you right now that guy cannot carry the ball more than 2-3 times a game.  He is tough as nails but would not be an actual tailback in any offense in the nation.  The lack of pass rush as mentioned above is probably due to little to no blitzing at all, paired with us putting 3 d tackles in on obvious passing situations.  That means that we literally have Noah Spence as the only guy that is a speed rusher on the field.  All of this equates to no pressure/no sacks.  I agree with the idea that they are holding back.  Even the offensive playcalling has been pretty bland.  No worries from me though, we have an awfully good football team and they will be unleashing the furry for Sparty! 

JJB's picture

Why can't he carry the ball more than 2-3 times? He may not be Beanie, but he sure as heck isn't Lydell (sp?) "Breathe on me and I fall down" Ross.

BuckinBama's picture

TP was a GREAT football player, of course he had his flaws, but he was good, no VERY GOOD none the less. He was handcuffed to an offense that wasn't tailor made to his strengths, yet some how he won, and won alot. TP's biggest issue was probably his lack of humbleness, and the fact he didn't always say the right things. Where Brax is the complete opposite, so people that don't like OSU will still root for the guy.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. Pryor was an amazing football player, who excelled in part because he was a freak of nature - a fast locomotive with a nasty stiff arm - i.e. Lebron in cleats. He probably would have done amazing things in a Meyer offense, a la Tim Tebow.
But Pryor never had, and never will, great "field vision" as a passer. I'm not qualified to speak on his throwing mechanics, but he also was not fluid, consistently accurate, etc.
Braxton is not there yet, either, but he shows signs of having the physical and perceptional tools to be a natural passer. I don't think it's about I.Q., either, although "football smarts" definitely comes into play. Braxton has it; Pryor did not.
Even without "it," Pryor was an amazing, gifted cfb player who did great things for Ohio State. But Braxton has the potential to be a guy who makes all the other players on offense better, too. 

Baroclinicity's picture

I don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but I get the impression Nathan Williams might be done.  Not done as in he will never play again, but if he's week to week all year, it sounds like we're going to have to plan around him on defense.  Doesn't bode well for a pro career either.  Hope I'm wrong, and that I'm coming up with conclusions too soon here.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Maestro's picture

For his last season at OSU I don't expect much.  As far as his future, he could probably make a team with another offseason to fully heal and rehab more.

vacuuming sucks

OSUBias's picture

Yeah I'm a little disappointed by the coaching staff not walking the talk about taking his recovery slow and not rushing him back. Having that be the party line before the season is one thing, and then after game 1 saying "yeah he was out there more than i expected, not sure how many snaps" doesn't seem like they were managing it at all. I think they let emotions get involved and he pleaded his way into the game, and looked fine. Now he's possibly going to be gimpy for the rest of the season. Who's to say that would have been the case had he ACTUALLY been forced to take it slow.

Slider...you stink

JJB's picture

The staff can only go on what Williams is telling them. So if he downplays the soreness/pain because he wants to play so bad, the staff is going to think they can run him more. Just an optional scenario to think about.