A Return to Normalcy After Bye Week

By Kyle Rowland on October 14, 2013 at 5:00p
Game week has returned to Columbus.

A major development inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center last year was the issuance of iPads. Urban Meyer’s was put to use Saturday evening as he sat inside J. Madison Brooks Gymnasium on the campus of East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn.

As daughter Gigi was playing volleyball, Meyer stole peeks of the Michigan-Penn State game on his iPad. He wasn’t the only one watching the game, so too were Ryan Shazier, Joel Hale and Philly Brown. Some may have even hinted at liking the final outcome.

All three – and Meyer – enjoyed a weekend away from football. Shazier tagged along with Hale to his hometown of Richmond, Ind. While there, Hale’s mother fed them like kings, according to Shazier. The duo also feasted at local restaurants. Brown watched his 13-year-old brother play football for the first time. All the younger Philly did was touch the ball three times and score on each play.

But Monday meant game week. Life as usual. A return to normalcy.

The day started at 7 a.m. with team meetings and a weigh-in. The team practiced mid-afternoon Monday after the layoff and will practice in pads three times this week.

“I think we managed it well,” Meyer said of the off week. “Once again, I evaluate that every year on how we do after bye weeks, and we gave them some rest. Six tough games, back-to-back night games, back-to-back primetime games against ranked opponents. I told them we would take care of them if they won, and they did a good job.”

For a dozen seasons, Meyer has done virtually nothing but win. Undefeated seasons and national championships appear with near regularity. So it comes as no surprise that winning after off weeks is another Meyer staple. He’s coached after being idle 36 times. Meyer’s record is 34-2.

It’s been a combined effort, according to Meyer. The entire coaching staff does its part in supervising the demands of a week when rest, fundamentals and improvement all collide.

“I’ve been very blessed to have really good assistant coaches, and I think we manage it well,” Meyer said. “I think that’s where my strength coach is very involved, or where I always seek guidance on how our team is doing. There’s not some rigid program we have. I think we are just very careful how we manage everything.”

Expectations point to his record after resting improving to 35-2. Ohio State is a 17-point favorite over Iowa. And a dominant defensive line will grow by one. Seven weeks after breaking his foot, sophomore Tommy Schutt will return to action.

He’s a backup but plays with the quality of a starter. Schutt’s return bolsters the line and adds another layer of depth. The unit can rotate so many guys that freshness in the fourth quarter isn’t a concern. 

“He is a very welcomed back player,” Meyer said. “He was a guy that might not have had the title of starter, but was a starter for us. He went down to training camp and worked his tail off. Coach Marotti says he’s one of the best at taking care of his business and getting ready, so he should be a go Saturday.”

Jordan Hall’s status for the game is still up in the air, but both Meyer and running backs coach Stan Drayton indicated he would practice the entire week.

At the midway point of the season, Meyer believes his team stacks up well against the rest of the nation. He took time over the weekend to watch Oregon, Clemson and other teams in the national title conversation. It also brought forth the realization that each game is fragile and going undefeated remains a difficult feat.

“We have to find a way to win this Saturday,” Meyer said. “It’s not easy. We’re 6-0 and doing the best we can to get first downs and stop people.

“I think we’re right there [nationally]. I think we’re a good team. I do. Some of these teams are real explosive teams. I watched Clemson really closely, and every once in a while you play football against a very well-prepared team and they take away some of that explosiveness. It happens. It’s not necessarily what Clemson did wrong, it’s what Boston College did right. We run into the same things. That’s something, if I had to grade us, we’re not explosive from the first to the fourth quarter.”

Part of that equation is something as simple as taking the foot off the gas, while another factor are the players themselves. Meyer stressed the need last week for Dontre Wilson to become a more well rounded player. On Monday, Philly Brown made it clear he wants more playmakers on the offense.

“Dontre is a valuable guy,” Meyer said. Problem is he’s a novelty right now as opposed to a full-time player. Full-time players have to go block Sam linebackers and those kind of things, and we are not quite ready. But we are working at it. There's other ways that we can be creative in getting him involved.

“He deserves to play. He works hard. You know, this time next year, he’s going to be a rocked up, 350-pound benching guy – we hope. Percy [Harvin] was a 400-pound benching guy that when he blocked you, he blocked you. So that’s where we have to get with [Wilson].”

If it doesn’t come to form in the next three weeks, another bye week beckons.


Comments Show All Comments

Him1stftballl8er's picture

Schutt returning is great. Our Dline will be that much better and deeper. Spence, Hale, Bennett, Washington, Bosa, Schutt, Carter, Marcus, Miller.....

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

BuckGnome's picture

As this DLine matures, it's going to bury opposing offenses. 

Dougger's picture

I'm hoping for a quality W, but unfortunately I feel we'll have to win by at least 17 to keep the votes up. Happy to hear everybody got some good rest in.
Edit: it wasn't mentioned in this article, but I feel it's relevant. With a bye week Curtis Grant you're in my thoughts buddy.

I like football

InHartWeTrust's picture

We will remain safe at #4, either Clemson wins and stays there, or FSU wins and jumps to #3 and Clemson falls behind us.  If we win, we are essentially a lock to open at #4.

81Alum's picture

+1 for Curtis. I lost my dad and know how difficult it is to focus on the here and now. Different people react differently, and I hope Curtis has taken the time to heal mentally.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I was very confused reading this title and seeing that Kyle, and not DJ, wrote this piece.

Kyle Rowland's picture

Haha, I'm also from Marion. 

ChazBuckeye's picture

Was born in Marion General.  Dad went to RV (your alma mater if I'm not mistaken) and my mom went to Marion Catholic.  I coached at Marion Pleasant for a couple of years.  They suck and cheat recruit despite what ppl will tell you.  
I saw RV beat Marion Harding...WOW is all I can say.  Sorry, off topic of your article but I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Dontre - "...rocked up, 350 pound benchpressing guy".
Sounds like little Philly may be someone to keep an eye on...

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Watching Dontre Wilson mature and become one of the most dangerous players in the country in the weeks and years to come is going to be a blast, he's already shown flashes of brilliance, his upside / potential is just unreal.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

MN Buckeye's picture

I am very curious to see how we respond on Saturday. Every game is a challenge, even Iowa. I have also been encouraged to hear how the team has been bonding and avoiding the ego drama that often arises in the locker room and on the field.

D. Anthony's picture

...something something Percy Harvin

D. Anthony

BeijingBucks's picture

Iowa has been stepping up of late so our boys better take note.  However, if we have one of those patented 1st quarters... Iowa is not built for catch up ball.
I think this is the game our D Line makes their statement.  And as I keep hoping... no more dropping 8 and rushing 3... lets drop 3 and rush 8! (so to speak)
so interesting how our D Line was the biggest question mark this season and we were so confident with Roby Island.  Offenses have actually reversed that thinking in the first half of the season.  Hope Roby can reassert himself... he still has those moments of brilliance but has lost his consistency as he tries to cover a bit of everything run/man/safety.  I think he actually believes he's superior to whoever he is up against so can just react.  abbracadabra proved that was untrue...
this team though.  Just simply fun to watch.  nuff said.

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

buckskin's picture

I'm glad the Bucks are on the field this Saturday; 1 hour of work was too much for me on football day.

jthiel09's picture

Crazy to think coming into the season our supposed weakness on defense was our line and now it's one of the strongest units on the entire team. Just goes to show the recruiting and coaching we have is second to none. 
We may not be as explosive, score as many points as some of the other teams out there, but we haven't lost a game in 652 days ... and it isn't happening anytime soon.


ChazBuckeye's picture

“Dontre is a valuable guy,” Meyer said. Problem is he’s a novelty right now as opposed to a full-time player. Full-time players have to go block Sam linebackers and those kind of things, and we are not quite ready. But we are working at it. There's other ways that we can be creative in getting him involved.

INHARTWETRUST and I know exactly what Urban's saying there.  Dontre is a great freaking player and fast as hell, but at this present time he's a novelty as UFM said.  He will be a great player...and soon;-)

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

dwcbuckeye's picture

I agree that in time, Dontre will be more of a complete player.  I am of the opinion that he can be used more often then he has been.  Just because the defense reacts when he enters the game and says "look number 1 is in the game", just because they anticipate him getting the ball, doesn't mean they can do anything about it.  When Hyde is in, they know he will be running the ball if that is the play, but they don't seem to be able to stop it.  I totally understand that they want him to be a better blocker to add value to the team when he is in, but doesn't touch the ball.  I get it.  I just would like to see him opposite Hyde in the backfield and be given an opportunity to run the ball.  That is what he did in HS right?  How many plays this year has Dontre been handed the ball in the backfield, e.g, not some trick reverse?