The bye week brought relief to Ohio State players and coaches. After more than three months of the constant grind of football, no game is on the schedule for Saturday. But that doesn’t mean it’s a week off.
The Buckeyes have practiced in full pads this week and several coaches, including head coach Urban Meyer, have been traversing the country to see recruits.
Staying healthy and not allowing momentum to stall are the goals of the week. Riding a 10-game win streak, some believed an off week might halt the positive vibes.
Count Meyer among those that don’t believe in such talk. One look at his career record after off weeks – 12-1 – might have something to do with that. Looming for the Buckeyes is a trip to Madison, arguably the toughest game of the season. The following week is Michigan.
If Ohio State is able to finish off its dream season, it will have earned it. And if the record says 12-0, quarterback Braxton Miller will be largely responsible.
The sophomore signal-caller has produced one of the best 10-game stretches ever for an Ohio State quarterback, catapulting up the Heisman watch lists. Miller is just the third Big Ten quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and he has been responsible for 27 touchdowns.
- Meyer said Etienne Sabino has been practicing well this week and that he is working with the first-team defense. Sabino still has a slight limp, but he’s on track to play at Wisconsin.
- Fullback/linebacker Zach Boren will stay at linebacker. When Ohio State is in its base defense, Boren will be one of the three linebackers on the field, according to Meyer.
- Ryan Shazier said Sabino has been a great addition to the defense this week. He added that Sabino still needs to get back in game shape.
- Orhian Johnson has not practiced this week and Storm Klein is still limited because of a disc injury in his back.
- The Buckeyes are not looking ahead to Michigan yet. Meyer said everything is fully focused on Wisconsin.
- Thursday's practice will be a coordinators only practice. Meyer, Tom Herman, Ed Warinner, Luke Fickell and Everett Withers will conduct drills.
- All 10 Ohio State assistants have been or will be on the road recruiting this week.
- On the recruiting trail, players have been positive about Ohio State’s 10-0 record and the offensive and defensive style. Meyer said kids are also aware there are opportunities to play.
- Meyer is going to Atlanta this weekend to watch his daughter, Nicki, play volleyball at Georgia Tech on her senior day. She’s a captain and 3.8 student.
- Meyer said he is a fan of late Texas coach Darrell Royal. Meyer said he likes older coaches much better than the new ones. Meyer said Royal was a great ambassador.
- Asked how long it will take Ohio State to be an “Alabama,” Meyer said he knew the answer would be a headline and moved on.
- Miller said he’s been getting more treatment this week to make sure he’s fully healthy for the final two games.
- This weekend, Miller is going home to spend time with his family. He said he’ll eat his mom’s food and watch football.
- Even though it’s a bye week, Miller said practices haven’t changed.
- The offense has scored 50 points four times this season, but according to Miller, it hasn’t lived up to the expectations.
- Miller said by the third game of the season he was comfortable in the new offense, but he added that he learns new stuff every day.
- Shazier said the biggest focus this week was getting healthy. He said he’ll watch the rest of the top five this week to see how Ohio State stacks up.
- Jack Mewhort said Ohio State will not lose its edge. The coaches won’t allow it, he said. Practice has been just as intense as any other week.
- Mewhort will spend Saturday watching college football and the Discovery Channel.
- When he watches games, instead of just focusing on the defense, Mewhort said he’ll watch other offensive linemen to try to learn new techniques.