Meyer Presser Recap: UAB

By Kyle Rowland on September 17, 2012 at 10:34a

The goal in any sport is to win. That’s what Ohio State did on Saturday, improving to 3-0. Golfers are famous for the saying, “They don’t ask how, they ask how many.” 

Meyer said Ohio State will get better. 

After an ugly loss, college football coaches often take that same attitude. A win is a win, they say.

“The best thing about 3-0 is a chance to go 4-0, and that’s about it,” Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer said following his team’s unexpectedly close 35-28 win over California on Saturday.

A win goes into the same “W” column on every team's overall record. But in a subjective sport like college football – similar to gymnastics – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For the 60 sportswriters who vote in the Associated Press Top 25, the Buckeyes were the black sheep of the family this past weekend.

With an unblemished record and win over a Pac-12 school, Ohio State fell four spots to No. 16. In a roundabout way, you can make a case that the Buckeyes really only fell one step, because Stanford, Florida and Notre Dame had to leapfrog them after three of the young season’s most impressive victories.

Regardless, Ohio State won. The Redeem Team is still on track for its undefeated season, and with the current state of the Big Ten, 12-0 becomes more realistic each passing week.

That is still the last thing on Meyer’s mind. His thinking about Alabama-Birmingham and trying to correct the countless mistakes that plagued Ohio State against Cal.

  • Champions on defense: Johnathan Hankins (defensive player of the game) graded out 88 percent. Bradley Roby graded out 95 percent.
  • Christian Bryant would have been a champion had he not missed a tackle on Brendan Bigelow’s second touchdown.
  • Champions on offense: Jordan Hall, Zach Boren, Jeff Heuerman and Devin Smith (offensive and special teams player of the game).
  • Smith is the only OSU player to be a champion in each of the first three games.
  • Corey “Philly” Brown and Devin Smith have given Meyer confidence in the wide receivers. He said they've proven they're capable of making plays.
  • 40 percent of Cal's total yardage came on six plays. Meyer said missed tackles have to stop or it will cost Ohio State a game.
  • The offense’s lack of big plays from the running back position has upset Meyer. He said he hopes Hall’s return will change that.
  • After watching film, Meyer said Hall could have had 70 more yards, but went down too quickly. He said Carlos Hyde is the body type that can bounce off tacklers.
  • "It's rather obvious he's going to have to carry the ball for us." -Meyer on Braxton Miller
  • Meyer said he wants highlight-reel plays from players other than Braxton Miller and Smith.
  • Meyer said John Simon could not give more to OSU than he's already given.
  • When a reporter said Ohio State should have won by a bigger margin on Saturday, Meyer was less than pleased and got defensive.
  • The pop pass/jump pass play originated at Utah with Alex Smith, Meyer said. Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he also ran it at Rice, so he had no problem with running it Saturday.
  • Herman said the pop pass is very effective when you have a quarterback with the dual-threat skills of Braxton Miller.
  • Jack Mewhort is currently the best offensive lineman on the team, according to Meyer. He added that Mewhort has been a model student and model citizen. He made a stupid mistake and paid for it, Meyer said.
  • Meyer says he would like non-adversity games, but he doesn't know if that's going to happen at this point.
  • Because of the defenses Ohio State has faced and is going to face, Meyer said Miller has to take more shots down the field. Herman said he's seen defenses this year that he never dreamt of. Said it's all due to Braxton's skill set.
  • Herman said he is most satisfied with the emergence of the receiving corps. He said the offense just needs to be more consistent.
  • The third-quarter difficulties came from adjusting to Cal not running their usual D and then Cal making halftime adjustments, according to Herman.
  • Meyer said Cal completely changed their defense for OSU game. Nothing they did was similar to last two years of game film.
  • Carlos Hyde is not expected to play this weekend. Meyer said, "He's getting much better, though."
  • Meyer has no update on Michael Bennett. He added that he has to play some time.
  • On Ohio State’s 3rd-and-7 (game-winning play), Meyer said he had a lot of confidence in Miller.
  • Practice is the area Miller has progressed the most, according to Meyer.
  • Three weeks into the season, Meyer still isn’t endorsing Braxton for the Heisman. He said it will come if he continues to produce.
  • Co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell said he lay awake in bed Saturday night thinking about all the missed tackles.
  • Fickell said the defense has to make guys run east and west more. Fundamentals and leverage is where it starts.
  • Storm Klein will continue to play more, Fickell said. He only played eight plays on defense Saturday.
  • Fickell said blitzing early in the game led to the more defensive success later in the game because the offense had more to think about.

Comments Show All Comments

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm guessing there will be much more tackling drills this week!

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

bassplayer7770's picture

Coach Meyer said they'd probably practice tackling twice per week now instead of once.

sathey's picture

I can't believe people still believe this team can go undefeated! Don't get me wrong! I love the Buckeyes but there are too many obvious weaknesses on this team! The defense as a whole is a major weakness, there are still no big time threats at the receiver position or at running back. I hate to say this but we will probably lose 3-4 games this year! Let my flogging begin!

onetwentyeight's picture

I think you can admit both that we have lots of major weaknesses but also that the competition is just bad enough that with a little luck we could go 12-0. Granted, it would be more in the flukely, Boise type way but 12-0 is 12-0. The B1G is at a MAC level of play right now - it's not being delusional or a homer to think this is possible while still acknowledging that we are far from being truly nationally "elite" or able to hang with the Real big boys. 

Xenia_Buckeye's picture

I kept thinking the same thing. However, everytime I look at the schedule I wonder who is going to beat them?
The B1G is chock full of ANEMIC offenses. MSU has no QB play. WISC is the same. Stack the box and make their n00b QBs beat you. If we can make them one dimensional then we have a great shot at winning.
We are going to score points. Other than Ann Arbor Community College who do you think can keep up with us?
I can see one or maybe two, but three or four and I really think you are on

hodge's picture

Here's why I think it's possible: 
Like Michigan last year, OSU has a tremendously favorable schedule this year.  Eight home games, no marquee out-of-conference matchups, a very down Big Ten, and a team absolutely oozing with passion.  So, while all of this sounds all well and good, let's gauge the remaining games and our chances of beating said opponents:
vs. UAB (~99% W), @MSU (~50% W), vs. 'Brasky (~55% W), @ IU (~95% W), vs. Purdue (~85% W), @PSU (~80% W), vs. UI (~85% W), @'Wisky (~75% W), vs. UM (~50% W).
All of these games are winnable, and I grade two as toss-ups (at Michigan State and against Michigan).  With that said, there's still varying chances that we lose any of these games, so we need to calculate the remaining percentages to figure out OSU's chance at making it undefeated: which right now grades out at a 5.6% chance of making it to 12-0, according to the above weights.  Sounds pretty steep, but running this Big Ten will allow for a solid margin of error.
In other words, our odds are 17.8 : 1.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Based on your probabilities, the Buckeyes would also project to win +/- 7 more games = 10 total wins. Although my probability guesses are a bit different than yours (e.g., I have the Purdue games as tougher, but the Michigan as easier), I agree with the +/- 7 more wins. 
As you said, Michigan was an 8-4/7-5 team last year with a 10-2 schedule. Ohio State has a similarly favorable schedule this season. This Buckeye team might get beat up if they were playing in the SEC, or get into a bunch of shoot outs in the Pac 12, but they're not in those conferences. They're in the Big MacTen.

onetwentyeight's picture

"The Big MacTen". So true. 

buck-I.8's picture

I think odds of beating Michigan will be more clear after seeing how they handle ND this weekend. I think ND is a little further along than we are, but Golson isn't the athlete that Miller is.

Maestro's picture

No reason for Hyde to play.  
It would be nice for Michael Bennett to see some game action before conference play starts, if not is it time to start thinking about a redshirt?

vacuuming sucks

timdogdad's picture

i know this defense can play better.  we basically have the same players minus sweat. look at last year with the illinois game, big chunks of the miami game, nebraska and of course before the ending, wisky.  if i was a coach, i would say, you guys dominated wisky who scores a ton with a qb a year away from starting on sundays and montee ball.  i want to see that defense again. you guys have it in you.  not the bad angle, no wrapping bad effort team.  i know this week we may still  see some bad habits, but i'm hoping for a hell bent team in e lansing.   i'm sure getting trucked my l. bell in two weeks will wake us up anyway.  

scarpenter614's picture

First time posting.  I think we have shown the potential to score very fast on offense and play pretty good defense.  But these flashes of goodness have been few and far between many flashes of blown coverages and missed tackles on defense and run up the middle and dropped pass 3-and-outs on offense.  I think we will start to see more big plays more often on both sides of the ball as the season progresses.  However, I still think we are at risk to lose 4 games (MSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and TSUN).  But I think if we win at least one of those 4 (especially TSUN) as well as our other 5 games, I would consider it a successful season.  I think a common problem with the fanbase is that we see UFM's two rings and often overlook the time and hard work it took to BUILD those championship teams.  
Again, first time posting.  Just want to say that I love LEARNING about football on here.  I never played and am slowly becoming a bigger and bigger fan of the game.

sathey's picture

First off, Thank you to all who posted for not attacking me! I fully expected a beat down of some sort! I know we can score points but our defense scares the crap out if me!

Crimson's picture

I think you're a bit pessamistic.  I think Brown and Smith are making some good plays, but I'm looking to see someone else step up at WR as well.  RB is a little murky as well, but Hall is just getting his feet wet again, and Hyde won't be back for a bit.  However, if we have both of them healthy -- or Dunn or Smith step up to Hyde's role -- then we'll have a solid running game with one power, one speed, back.  Consistency, of course, has a long way to go.
I thought we were at 9-3 team going into the season, and I have no reason to change yet.  It's not that I see them losing to three specific teams, but they're still adjusting on both sides to a new staff and new schemes.  They need time to practice fundamentals and a new scheme (cover 4 on the D is new, even though people don't seem to realize it).

BuckeyeFanInBoulder's picture

they're still adjusting on both sides to a new staff and new schemes.  They need time to practice fundamentals and a new scheme (cover 4 on the D is new, even though people don't seem to realize it).

My italics... I'm in that camp.
How new is the defensive plan?  Several different coaches, but like has been said, these are largely the same guys that stuffed Wisky last year.  The offense seems to have learned their new setup *fairly* well already.  There is still lots of room for improvement, but it seems crazy that they are further along than the D.
Perhaps I don't know how drastically the D scheme changed, but it doesn't look all that different to me except for the ability... my personal opinion is the LBs are causing major problems for the corners, star and safeties.  Last year the LBs were way more capable but this year their play is forcing the deeper guys to do more which has caused problems.

SlyRay's picture

I do disagree with your comment about no big time threats at receiver

Nothing like a new football signed by Meyer, Fickell, and Vrabel. Thank you, Susan G. Komen Foundation

dmurder's picture

interesting that a team would worry so much as to change the way they play defense. Braxton, gives defensive cordinators nightmares.
I think this team is young and learning every game. Wouldn't suprise me if this team one every game. However, i think we drop one that we shouldn't somewhere along the line.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Scuba_Steve's picture

I see that Luke Fickell was quoted at the Press Conference.  Can anybody confirm he was actually in attendance?

I only ask because - if I were Urban Meyer - I am not sure I would even let Luke into the football facility this week.  Absolutely pathetic performance by Luke and his defense this weekend.  And one that would warrant giving the headset to Withers for a week or two.

bassplayer7770's picture

Yes, Fickell was at the press conference and answered questions, and so did Coach Herman.