Urban Meyer Presser Recap: Iowa

By Kyle Rowland on October 14, 2013 at 12:04p
44 Comments
“I think we’re right there. I think we’re a good team.”

Every team in the country has a good bye week, even No. 124. When three undefeateds and three top-10 teams lose, it makes that idle week even better. That’s what Ohio State experienced Oct. 12.

After six straight Saturdays of wins, including back-to-back triumphs over ranked opponents, the Buckeyes were finally off. It meant a low key week of practice, a weekend of relaxation for players and time to build for the future as coaches were on the road recruiting.

It was all deemed a success by Meyer. Now, the Chase ratchets up in earnest once again. Iowa has one loss in the Legends Division and upset would be the perfect recipe to reach Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes haven’t played since a dramatic late rally by Ohio State in Iowa City during the vacated 2010 season.

This year’s meeting doesn’t figure to be a classic like many Iowa games in past seasons. But the Utah-Stanford game didn’t figure to register on the college football radar either. Suddenly, Stanford’s national championship hopes have all but been extinguished.

When it comes to the BCS, though, consider Meyer an idle observer.

“We’re going to try the best we can to get to next Tuesday’s practice,” he said. “Those are questions we have no control over. Distraction is a bad, bad word.”

Urban Meyer

Champions vs. Northwestern:

  • Offense: Carlos Hyde (player of the week), Marcus Hall, Andrew Norwell, Jeff Heuerman, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith, Philly Brown
  • Defense: Joey Bosa (player of the week) and Michael Bennett
  • Special Teams: Bradley Roby (player of the week), Ryan Shazier, Camren Williams, Joshua Perry and Armani Reeves
  • “If someone wants to ask if we run the ball effectively over 12 years, we run the ball really well.”
  • Meyer said his offense has always adjusted to its own personnel. He admitted he likes big, powerful back. That’s exactly what he has in Hyde.
  • Meyer said the biggest issue with the pass defense was the underneath coverage. He said keying on stopping the run has opened up holes in the secondary.
  • Tommy Schutt will play Saturday, according to Meyer. Jordan Hall will practice Monday, but Meyer didn’t sound too enthusiastic about his prospects for Saturday.
  • In his 12-year career, Meyer is 34-2 after off weeks. He said he and his assistants are very good at managing byes. There’s a formula for success, and they’ve found it.
  • Meyer said he watched the Penn State-Michigan game on an iPad at his daughter Gigi’s volleyball game.
  • Dontre Wilson will play more during the second half of the season, Meyer said. He said Wilson needs to get stronger, learn to block, etc. Meyer added that Percy Harvin could bench 400 pounds.
  • “I think we’re right there. I think we’re a good team.” –Meyer on where the Buckeyes stack up against the rest of the nation.
  • Meyer said one big weakness in his team is explosiveness. He said they aren’t consistently explosive in all four quarters.
  • Meyer confirmed that Curtis Grant’s father passed away last week. Meyer said he expects Grant to play Saturday.
  • Braxton Miller’s knee is 100 percent healthy, Meyer reiterated.

Everett Withers

  • Withers said he would play press coverage the whole if he could. Obviously, though, that isn’t realistic. Withers said press coverage eliminates several routes the offense wants to run. Said Ohio State would like to be a good press team, but doing so in three deep is different than pressing in Cover 1.
  • The primary objective for the defense is to stop the run, Withers said. Teams may throw the ball, but as long as you trigger and tackle, you’re going to be OK. 
  • Withers said the biggest thing the defense worked on during the bye week was triggering and tackling.
  • Pittsburgh Brown had a decent first start at safety, Withers said. Brown would probably want a few plays back, but Withers believes the experience – Brown is in his fifth year – is a big plus.
  • Withers said he’d like to see Tyvis Powell play free safety and Vonn Bell play nickel.
  • The defense has been good, withers said, because the objective is to stop the run. So philosophically, they’re doing well. Withers said eight in the box puts stress on the defense, but he wants to continues playing man-to-man and take away short intermediate routes.
  • Withers said the defense needs to get better on first and second down. They’re one of the best teams in the country on third down. 
  • Iowa has a strong run game. Withers said stopping the zone running game will be key. Physical offensive line puts pressure on the D-line. Running back Mark Weisman is big part of run game’s success. Withers credited Kirk Ferentz with getting every ounce of production out of Weisman.

Stan Drayton

  • A veteran offensive line that is playing at a high level instills a tremendous amount of confidence in the running backs, Drayton said. He said the running backs are able to ready the second and third level of the defense because they aren’t worried about the O-line not blocking.
  • Drayton said there’s no hesitation in the linemen’s first step. Even when an opponent is good at stopping the run, there is full trust in the line's ability to block and the running back's skill to run through talent. 
  • Carlos Hyde’s stint on the scout team had many positives, according to Drayton. He said he faced contact all camp, so he was game-ready following his suspension. Drayton said it also made Hyde more hungry mentally.
  • Jordan Hall is feeling better after a bye week. Drayton expects him to practice all week. His game status remains cloudy.
  • Drayton points out that throwing effectively comes from running the ball well. Ohio State’s offense is clicking because of the line play and the running backs getting yards.
  • Drayton said there's been zero selfishness in the locker room. The team is clicking, everyone doing their job.
44 Comments

Comments

jedkat's picture

“I think we’re right there. I think we’re a good team.” –Meyer on where the Buckeyes stack up against the rest of the nation.

Sounds like Urbz is starting to politic a little bit to gear up for the inevitable BCS clusterf***!
 

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

buckskin's picture

Yea, this sounds familiar.  Glad he's doing it for the good guys now.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Heart-felt condolences to Curtis and his family. I have no doubt he will honor his dad the rest of the season by giving everything he's got.

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

dubjayfootball90's picture

I can't believe Curtis' Dad passed. That is absolutely terrible. I am feeling for the guy and I hope he has time to reflect, to mourn, and to honor his father. Prayers are with you, Curtis. You and your family!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

ibuck's picture

Condolences to the Grant family. Losing your Dad while you are young is really tough. Hopefully Curtis will be able to stay in school and endure this hardship without too much trauma. Get the counseling you need to continuing functioning as a person, as a student, and hopefully, as a player.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

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

Him1stftballl8er's picture

Very well said brother.
Just as Curtis is turning in a great season, this comes around. Whenever we're on the right path, the enemy is always going to attempt to knock you off.
Be strong Curtis Grant and rest in your faith brother. Know that very happy and proud eyes are upon you from above. Condolences and many prayers are with you and your family Curtis. 

The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools. 

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Meyer said the biggest issue with the pass defense was the underneath coverage. He said keying on stopping the run has opened up holes in the secondary.

This is what I've been saying all along about our defense.  Hopefully we're working on it and we'll start letting our DL be on their own a bit more now, allowing the defense to defend the pass better.

Read my entire screen name....

dlb72osu's picture

OB -
I know you continued reading where Coach Withers further explained the defensive philosophy that OSU is pursuing. The internet has been on overload with fans talking about what OSU should be doing, instead of showing any trust in what the defensive coaches have been doing. This team is 6-0 and we still read about how everyone thinks the team should change, how we should be dismissing coaches and other nonesuch. Simply incredible!
Three undefeated teams were dumped this last weekend. OSU is looking very good to finish with an unblemished record. Let's simply enjoy our moment

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

cinserious's picture

Its been a weird season of ebbs and flows. The second half will be an explosive one as we charge to the finish line!  I don't see any B1G teams getting in our way and the 2nd bye week could help recover from injuries and develop the defense.
Some teams ahead of us are sure to go down in the coming weeks and by the time we take our rightful place at the BCS title game table, we will be rested and in peak form.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Spider1944's picture

Some thoughts on bye week:
"Meyer said he watched the Penn State-Michigan game on an iPad at his daughter Gigi’s volleyball game." Hey is Dad violating his pink contract?
Is there anyone out there that still thinks Carlos Hyde shouldn't be the starting tail back?
Season is not even half over and I still can't help but think about next year. We are losing a boatload of great players. Then you throw in juniors Shazier and Roby ... ? Wow! Coach get the youngsters as much PT as you can without jeopardizing the W of course.
Withers mentioned 3 deep vs cover 1 yada yada. Can anyone suggest a primer 101 to read on all this stuff? Hate not really knowing what y'all are talking about. I think it would make the game more enjoyable.

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

steveoz49's picture

In cover 3, the two corners and free safety each have responsibility for a deep third of the field, while the strong safety plays like a linebacker. This coverage is generally considered to be a run stopping defense as it focuses on preventing big pass plays and stopping the run while giving up short passes.
On the snap, the CBs work for depth, backpedaling into their assigned zone. One safety moves toward the center of the field. The other safety is free to rotate into the flat area (about 2-4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage), provide pass coverage help, or blitz.

Spider1944's picture

Thank you for the info. Is there any way the QB can read this before the snap?

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

steveoz49's picture

Most D-Coordinators do everything they can to best disguise their coverages pre-snap.  But once the ball is snapped, it all becomes pretty obvious.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Withers mentioned 3 deep vs cover 1 yada yada. Can anyone suggest a primer 101 to read on all this stuff? Hate not really knowing what y'all are talking about. I think it would make the game more enjoyable.

Check out all of Ross' defensive breakdowns. He sums it up quite well.
I'm still holding out hope we have Shazier next year. We get left out of the NCG who knows?
Also, a lot of people forget that we're extremely young across the board. We only have 14-15 seniors that play but only 7 of them currently start (8 if you count Basil and 9 if you count Bryant who is out). Our youngsters are already playing a LOT.

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

Poison nuts's picture

Well at least he was at Gigi's game...which by the way is right down the street from me. Damn - missed my chance to fan out on UFM.
On the question of learning more about football - 11W has tons of posts here written Ross Fulton that are pretty incredible as far as gaining more football knowledge. You can probably find them if you look around the Football Blog posts some.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

RedStorm45's picture

Your place had to be hopping last March with FGCU's tourney run.

Poison nuts's picture

Yeah Redstorm, it was pretty crazy here for a while. People were hyped. That school is pretty new & athletics are really new so that was a huge deal around here. I'm hoping they get football one day - I never get to college games anymore.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I agree, I live in Tampa and was in Fort Myers at the time of the tourney. You could sense the hoops team had taken over the town for those few weeks. Very cool atmosphere. They get football I'll definitely come down to watch. 

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

tcm1968's picture

Wish someone would ask Urban if Braxton is "playing" 100% healthy. There's a BIG difference between having a healthy knee and playing like it's healthy. Might be a few more games before we see a 100% healthy on the field Braxton Miller. Has had no top end speed with the brace on and seems tentative to kick it into gear.

holtzy's picture

With the time that has past since it happened...including the bye week, I bet it is hardly in Braxton's mind at this point.  I think we will see Braxton as himself now.

RBuck's picture

Someone did ask that question. Meyer said Brax is 100%.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Seabass1974's picture

The schedule is set up for a perfect finish. Win 3 games, take a break, win 3 more and win the Big Ten.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

That's a great way to look at it, glad to have the Buckeyes back this week.

OhioWhiteSnake had initially posted a few says back, appreciate Urban confirming the news that Curtis Grant's father passed. My condolences to the Grant family at this time.

Hate Week runneth over

QBYBuckeye's picture

No margin for error.  No complacency.  Gotta have decisive wins (3 TDs +) the rest of the season.  Iowa scares me because they are this week's opponent. 

New York Buckeye

ibuck's picture

What scares me is how often the Buckeyes don't play the whole 60 minutes. And so is Urban, complaining about the offense not being explosive all 4 quarters.  OSU needs to grind Iowa the whole game: no cruising after going up 2 TDs or so. And that applies to coaches too (coughHermancough).

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

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

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Huge pumpkins scare me more than Iowa.

Earle's picture

No surprise that the only defensive Champions were D-Linemen.

Just say no to italics abuse.

Buckeye06's picture

The Withers stuff obviously is the most interesting to us likely.  He says "continue to play man" so he is saying they are doing that already.  I have been fine with the "soft" coverage sometimes because teams have problems driving the length of the field, and it's much harder to complete that stuff in the redzone than at the 40.  I wish we would play a little tighter, but I think the staff is trying to stop giving up big passing plays, and that is working.  Since no one can run the ball on this team yet, why give up all that hard work for one long pass play.
Dontre needs to get in the game more even as a decoy, but I agree he needs to be able to pick up a blitzing LBer at least for a second in an emergency

iamcbs's picture

Prayers and condolences to the Grant Family!! A terrible loss , BuckeyeNation supports you and your family!!

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion~Alexander the Great

RedStorm45's picture

I don't know the context - but it's interesting that Urban mentioned how much Percy Harvin could bench, given that previously he's asked fans/reporters to stop trying to compare players to some of the "greats" (read: Tebow, Harvin).

allinosu's picture

With defensive line getting better every week some pressure comes off the secondary to focus more on the pass. That bodes well for us. I would still like to see kenny g a series or two a game just to keep him sharp.

balbak buck's picture

The Whole idea of two DC s' is bad.And according to meyer ,Fickell needs to have a better chemistry with all the staff.So they are not clicking..Where is Jim Heacock?? i thought that he would be involved somehow ,but i guess not.I hope come next year that we will have a one DC,and hopefully it will be neither of the ones that we have now..

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Part of having "co" OC's or DC's is to reduce the turmoil when one of them leaves. Meyer's staffs are typically so good they get "recruited" heavily, so this approach makes sense as long as there are clear lines of responsibility.

dlb72osu's picture

BBB -
I just know that you are making 100K's a year giving sage advice to members of the collegiate football community. I just don't understand why UFM and other HC's don't see the wisdom of your words.
BTW, where can I find the quote where Meyer says that Fickell needs to have better chemistry with all the staff? I would like to read that in its entirety and understand what the coach was referring to. I missed that one.
I dislike calling OSU fans out, but I am so sick of people yelling the sky is falling when it is simply confetti. Some people want to think that their miserable lives warrant them pissing on the parade.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

balbak buck's picture

chill out.Captain of your soul..Meyer comment about Luke was in his yearly review of his coaches.its here on 11 W.go back and check it.the art of conversation ,which you may have not read or heard about,warrant that you be civil.but i like your spirit ,dear sir.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

And the art of writing warrants that you use punctuation and follow other stylistic rules designed to make things easier on readers.

jedkat's picture

ANGRY KEYBOARD!!!!

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

balbak buck's picture

Life is too short for that..

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Life is too short for that..

So waste our time, not yours? I get that, but then maybe readers start to automatically skip your comments so as not to waste their time, in which case your commenting becomes a waste of your time, however quickly you're commenting.

Earle's picture

What comments?

Just say no to italics abuse.

biggy84's picture

Withers has a very impressive resume' as a DC in the past. Hell, he has been very successful at every level. His defenses at UNC were among the nations best. Maybe he should have more input?

balbak buck's picture

I do not know much about Withers,or how much he is involved in calling the plays.Yet he did get Meyer trust as a good DB coach.But still,if he is that good as a DC,then why wouldn't they let him get more involved ???

BUCKSOMIES's picture

Condolences to the Grant family.  Losing a father is tough.  Your Buckeye family will always be there for your support.

dlb72osu's picture

I once heard a very wise man say "if I could pick one person to be my son, my brother, my best friend I would have chosen my father to be this person."
I lost my father on Jan. 4, 2000 and the best thing I can pass along to Curtis is that one day that huge empty hole that you feel in your heart will some day fill up with the warm memories of what you had with him.
Heart felt condolences.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus