Urban Meyer Presser Recap: Buffalo

By Kyle Rowland on August 26, 2013 at 12:10p
Urban Meyer kicked off the first of his weekly press conferences today to discuss Buffalo.

Urban Meyer walked to the podium on Monday with confidence. After all, his Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked second in the nation and feature a smorgasbord of talent. For the head coach the next five days will feature preparation and excitement.

“I just can’t wait to play football,” he said.

No depth chart was released because Meyer is still checking with trainers on the health of a few players, but he said the Buckeyes are "relatively healthy." Meyer did say that the team would vote on captains later in the day and will have an announcement following the vote.

Other items to come out of Meyer's Buffalo presser:

  • It’s no secret that the linebackers are the weakest spot on the team. Urban said they’re still trying to solidify the position. He mentioned depth issues and Curtis Grant's injury, saying Grant is rebounding, but needs more time at the Mike spot.
  • Urban rattled off all the offensive positions and said he feels good. That’s a big change from last season, especially wide receiver.
  • As for a defensive line replacing all four starters, Meyer is feeling good, saying "The defensive line is young, but Coach Vrabel has done a really great job with them."
  • Jacoby Boren and Pat Elflein will play on Saturday, Meyer said. They earned it and deserve it.
  • Freshmen who will play Saturday: Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott on offense. Joey Bosa and Michael Hill on defense. Obviously, Cameron Johnston at punter.
  • Meyer's Year 2 record is well-documented. Staff continuity and just being in a groove with the offense and defense are the main components, he said.
  • There's no doubt that the skill players are a night and day difference from last season. Urban said Braxton will not have to do it all this year.
  • Dontre Wilson will be the primary kick returner. Meyer joked that the only way Wilson won't be back on kickoffs is if he hyperventilates from being nervous.
  • Urban says he believes the O-line is deeper than he thought he would be. Mentioned Pat Elflein, Kyle Dodson and Darryl Baldwin as guys he’s comfortable with if they are called upon.
  • "Jordan Hall is the best running back on the team right now. He'll have to lose that spot." Hall, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball and Ezekiel Elliott will all have carries on Saturday, according to Meyer.
  • Meyer noted that he's excited about the Buckeyes’ two home night games and how much it helps with recruiting because of atmosphere and convenience.
  • A good game Saturday, according to Urban, would be playing well and playing clean. It took about four games for Ohio State to get into a rhythm last year.
  • Meyer on Buffalo's defense: "They play their defensive tackles inside your tackles which screws up your blocking schemes."

Updates from offensive coordinator Tom Herman:

  • Offensive coordinator Tom Herman reiterated that he does not have a set number of plays in mind for the team to run. He just wants to win.
  • Herman on Cardale Jones: "His good is really, really good. But his bad is really, really bad."
  • Herman said it's too early to make a decision on J.T. Barrett's redshirt. Added that Ohio State hopes it doesn't have to play the fourth-string QB.
  • Braxton Miller is a new quarterback this season, according to Herman, because he has confidence in himself. Was missing that part mentally last year.
  • Herman says the top 4 wide receivers are Philly Brown, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith and Chris FIelds. There’s a competition for the fifth spot.
  • Herman said Dontre Wilson will also be "sprinkled in" at wide receiver. "He will touch the ball. We'd be foolish if he didn't."
  • Herman said this week will be a period where Dontre Wilson will be told "these are things you need to be really good at."Ohio State has a number of running backs available. Herman said they'll feed whoever needs the ball, is playing well.
  • Herman said Buffalo's defense is difficult to prepare for because it's so different from what the offense went against all of camp. Buffalo will play three linemen, three linebackers and three safeties. Unique defensive formation.
  • Jalin Marshall has been set back by a concussion issue. Herman said he has some ground to make up.

Updates from defensive coordinator Luke Fickell:

  • Fickell isn't worried about linebacker Curtis Grant's injury setback. Mentioned it's his third year in the program, so he's not totally inexperienced.
  • Ohio State has not done a lot of live tackling, according to Fickell. The Buckeyes have struggled with missed tackles the last two years. It will be something to keep an eye on Saturday.
  • Fickell on the front seven: "I feel great about them." The defensive line doesn't look like much of a concern. Linebackers other than Ryan Shazier seem to have a way to go.
  • "Leadership" is a buzzword in Fickell's eyes. He said the defense is 11 guys and multiple players can step up as leaders at any given time, going on to say the true measuer of a great leader is consistency. Fickell did go on to mention Ryan Shazier, Christian Bryant, C.J. Barnett and Michael Bennett as guys who will be leaned on for leadership this season.
  • Fickell, when asked whether he voted for Mike Vrabel as a captain in 1996, deadpans, "No," before following up with, "I can't remember. I've been hit in the head too many times."
  • No change at starters for Ohio State at linebacker: Shazier, Grant and Perry.

Comments Show All Comments

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Man, his pressers are a complete 180 from Tressels. Urban is so direct and to the point.
I really liked the question regarding the freshmen playing. Eze, Dontre and Bosa are for sure. "The freshman punter" is a given but im oddly excited to see him punt. Also real curious to see Mike Mitchell get in there.
I also am pumped about Urbans comments regarding the offense this year versus last. We are gonna going to just attack from all angles. CANT WAIT!

twalsh's picture

I'd also like to see Mike Mitchell play, I'm also interested in Curtis Grant, am I reading it right that Curtis Grant is hurt? I'd like to see Curtis Grant do good, and become that player we need in the middle.
Go Bucks!!

InHartWeTrust's picture

He got a concussion during week 1 or 2 of camp, it's held him back from getting the practice reps since.  He will be playing though (starting), just at a disadvantage due to missing those reps.

fear_the_nut70's picture

I will root hard for anyone who wears S&G.  That said, I am over the Curtis Grant thing.  Great LB's either pick it up first year or sometime in their second year.  I may be forgetting someone, but I can't think of one OSU linebacker that struggled for two years then was lights out (closest that I can think of is Sabino, and while he was very good last year, I don't think he was lights out).  Hope I am wrong, but I think Grant will mostly be a non-factor this year.

Brutus' Left Nut's picture

A lot of our LBs were behind guys like Hawk and Carpenter so didn't have to prove anything as Freshman.  Had Grant been a frosh when those guys were Juniors ppl wouldn't have really talked about him until he was a junior.  Noone evaluated lil animal when was a frosh...I think it's about Junior year.

yrro's picture

I also think the hype from recruiting services has gotten out of control. Everyone gets so excited for the new guys coming in, forgets about the guys who are proven. Then gets upset if they don't get the payoff for the hype immediately.

Rjpfish2's picture

Laurinaitis played as a freshman (started the Fiesta romp of ND for Bobby Carpenter) and really starred as a soph.  He started all 13 games, was 1st team AP All-America, and won the Nagurski his 2nd year. It is definitely CG's time... We've got 'Kwon on deck!

labuck's picture

You forgot Michael Hill.  That surprises me because I haven't heard boo about him all camp.  With his injury last year, none of us really knew what to expect.  Good for him!  Continue to work hard young fella!

sb97's picture

Its nice to get direct answers but there are times where I missed Tressel toying with the media.

sloopy88's picture

"___________ is a very good team." 

741's picture

...and so forth.

awlinBrutus's picture

I'll say this, I guess Urban doesn't feel any pressure because he sure has set the bar high for himself. Yea Tressell handled pressers like he was @ a grand jury lol, compared to Urban. Attack Attack Attack. Enjoy the ride Buckeye's!!!!!


brandonbauer87's picture

I wouldn't mind waiting a week or two to see Cameron Johnston. 


You never know, the third-team offense might get bogged down ;)

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

bassplayer7770's picture

True dat, although it wouldn't be so bad for him to get a punt in against a team like Buffalo before we get into some of the stronger opponents.  Mostly just so he won't be so nervous punting in front of 105k+ fans.

CC's picture

Why?  If the game goes as expected this would be the perfect time to get him in front of 105k.

holtzy's picture

I say if he doesn't get to punt all game, he gets to be a piranha the following game just so he can put the smack down on somebody.

M1CAH4's picture

Curtis Grant I know he's injured but he needs more time and his position? How many times are we going to give him "more time?"

InHartWeTrust's picture

He is saying because of the concussion and missed practice.  Relax. 
If at any time you feel you can coach the team better than our coaches, make a trip to OSU and let Gene Smith know how you feel.  Otherwise, shut it.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Well "we" don't really have a say in it.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

RoweTrain's picture

I really wish I could just sleep until Saturday morning. This week is going to feel like it's dragging so bad.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That would mean missing "Suits", and "The Bridge". I can't do that.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BTBuckeye's picture

Wilson on KR!!!!!!!

Rjpfish2's picture

I'm pumped also! EZE by his side? Might as well get the young bucks in there.

awlinBrutus's picture

Our 2nd team should be able to beat Buffalo. I'm not going to say there wouldn't be some anxious moments with the 2nd team. I'm hoping for a nice clean game, no penalties,turnovers or injuries.


Akeem96's picture

Seems like D tackles playing inside the O tackles would be something that could mess with your blocking scheme initially, but be very easy to exploit if you were prepared for it.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Considering they're only playing a 3 man front,  I would think they would have to be inside the tackles.  Sounds like any other 3-4 defense (obviously no 4 in this case).

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I could be wrong, but I think the idea is that Buffalo's DTs play just a little "tighter" (bunched closer to the inside with the NT) than compared to typical 3-4 DTs. Whereas 3-4 DTs usually play almost head-over the OTs, or perhaps just shaded a bit to the inside of them, Buffalo's DTs will be in the gaps between the OTs and OGs. Is that right, Ross?!?

RBuck's picture

That's how I heard Spielman describe it on the Fan.

Long live the southend.

hetuck's picture

Sounds like a 46 defense. Da Bulls ain't Da Bears. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

ibuck's picture

Wouldn't Buffalo's DL line up encourage it's opponent to run it right up the gut?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

awlinBrutus's picture

Block down and go to the edge.


BSTP DeCon's picture

That's going to be a huge mistake if Buffalo's DT's constantly go inside rather than ambush Braxton... Braxton on the outside in space?? Yeah, we saw how many defenders ankles he broke last year. Not too worried about Buffalo's D-Lineman playing inside at all. 


Happy to see the OL depth has improved. Offense seems to be light years ahead of what it was last August. LBs are still a concern and that likely won't change. It takes time to build good depth at that position.
I would imagine the electricity in the Shoe is going to increase just a weeeeeee bit when Dontre fields his first kick or makes his first run/catch.
I personally can't wait to see the Buffalo OL try to deal with Diesel, Spence and our DL. Have fun guys LOL!

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

MN Buckeye's picture

I think it would be awesome for Wilson's first touch as a Buckeye to be a kickoff returned for a TD.

otrain2416's picture

My favorite part of this was hearing our O-line has depth coming from a straight shooter

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Defend Youngstown's picture

For sure that is the most encouraging thing I will hear all week. To go from him calling our O-line barely serviceable at the begging of last year to having strong backups going into this year is a testament to Ed Warriner.

BammBammRiley's picture

... AND Marotti for transforming them into athletic beasts!

BammBamm is my dog, Riley is my 4 yr old daughter, and THE Ohio state Buckeyes complete the three most sacred loves I cherish

angelique's picture

Good luck and Happy Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


oh_dad55's picture

We need Johnston to show off his speed with a fake punt going for a TD in the first game.  Then all the other teams will have to worry about it.


CrimsonReLLiK's picture

I like this line of thinking! I would rather not see a punt necessary lol, but if ya gotta, then this sounds great!

razrback16's picture

5 days people...we're ALMOST there.

Buckeye Knight's picture

“I just can’t wait to play football,” he said.
Urbz is suiting up himself?!

WOLFofOHIO's picture

URBZ!! Time to destroy..   ^toilet paper= buffalo     ohio state= cat. lol.

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

jaxbuckeye's picture

^toilet paper = buffalo    cat = ohio state.  Fixed it for you.

BuckeyeSouth's picture

I couldn't see the .gif from my work computer today.  This makes much more sense now.

Champions.  Undisputed.  

RBuck's picture

“I just can’t wait to play football,” he said.

I'm with ya on that Urban.

Urban says he believes the O-line is deeper than he thought he would be. Mentioned Pat Elflein, Kyle Dodson and Darryl Baldwin as guys he’s comfortable with if they are called upon.

Best news of the day.

Long live the southend.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Good to see some of the true freshman are going to get some snaps.

willshire58's picture

Will the media be able to watch practice this week?

Kyle Rowland's picture

No. We won't be watching until we're at the bowl game site. 

willshire58's picture

Is this different from past years, or am I just thinking about Spring practice when the media gets to watch once a week?

Boomcat's picture

I love what Urbz said about their offense this year. I watched the video and he kind of alluded that we might be throwing a lot more this year. He said he didn't want to give stuff away and that sounds interesting.

boojtastic's picture

Am I the only one really hoping that the freshman punter doesn't (have to) see the field? 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great updates Kyle!  Can't wait for the game this weekend!
Go Bucks!!

RedStorm45's picture

"Meyer did say that the team would vote on captains later in the day and will have an announcement following the vote."

captain obvious's picture

Theres one typo. It says freshman Cameron Johnston will play.
He wont be seeing the field unless Basil gets tired kicking off for the 12th time or Meyer wants to try a 70 yd field goal on 2nd down.

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

acBuckeye's picture

I wonder if Dontre will return punts too. It's crazy to think we have a guy (Philly) who returned two punts to the house last year that could lose his returning duty to a guy with even more explosiveness.

Buckeye Born's picture

I believe there are more problems with the LB position group than are being told. There are six scholarship players (including two true freshmen) and five walk-ons in the group. Two other Scholarship players transferred out of the program earlier this year. Fickell responds to questions about his LBs with platitudes and cliches but no real substance as to why this group is still struggling. Meyer needs to hold Fickell accountable for the lack of preparedness at this point.