Urban Meyer Call-In Show: Virginia Tech

By DJ Byrnes on September 4, 2014 at 1:01p
Urban Meyer dishes knowledge at OSU's media day [Walt Keys, ElevenWarriors.com]

Ohio State is 1-0 after beating Navy last week, and as Urban always says, "The best part of being 1-0 is the chance to go 2-0."

Virginia Tech are on tap for a night banger at Ohio Stadium, and Urban Meyer took to 97.1's airwaves to talk Ohio State football, the win over Navy, and the challenge of the Hokies.

  • Urban says practice this week has been "good." 
  • "The good thing is [Ohio State's previously-inexperienced players] are all veterans now."
  • Urban said he was glad the Navy game "went that way. ... We had a chance to be challenged in the second half. ... Overall, it was a very good win for Ohio State."

A player from Ohio State's win that isn't talked about much, however, is freshman Sean Nuerenberger. 

  • "He's one of the most talented kickers I've been around."
  • Urban admits they almost punted, but brought Neuerenberger on to hit the first 47-yard field goal.

Jack in Austintown: Thoughts on the Notre Dame series?

  • Urban says he's experienced the rivalry on both sides.
  • "Two of the most tradition-laden programs in the country."
  • "Rabid fanbases on both sides."

The topic then turned to J.T. Barrett:

  • "It started out precarious... when the offensive line struggled." 
  • "I thought [JT] did well. He's a veteran quarterback now. .... I thought he handled himself well."
  • "I think in the second half he completed every pass he threw, including that 80-yarder."
  • "His demeanor is his strength."

On Jacoby Boren:

  • "Jacoby Boren is undersized," but he took every snap at center.
  • "The Boren family is tough and hard-nosed."

Urban then lists Ezekiel Elliott, Curtis Samuel, Rod Smith, Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall as guys that "have to touch the ball out of the backfield."

On Devin Smith:

  • Devin Smith has "true speed." His issue comes from "bump-and-run" coverage, but "he's getting better." 
  • "Consistency has been his career issue."
  • Devin Smith's average touchdown catch is 40 yards, which "has to be an NCAA record of some sort."

Urban then warns Virginia Tech brings a lot of bump-and-run coverage, so OSU will have to make "plenty of plays down the field."

On Virginia Tech's offense:

  • Virginia Tech "struggled" last year on offense. But, "they're a lot better this year."
  • "Their skill level is very good. Their quarterback is much improved."
  • Anticipating a 50/50 run/pass ratio.
  • Virginia Tech's offense features influences from the West Coast and the spread.

On Virginia Tech's defense:

  • Bud Foster runs "a unique style of defense," but it has "evolved in the last two years." Says Virginia Tech runs about 70-75% "man-free" which will be a challenge for Ohio State.
  • The linebackers will hug closer to the offensive line, allowing them to instantly penetrate whenever the opposing offensive line double-teams somebody. Urban says "this will be a challenge, but also an opportunity."

Mike from Toledo: "What makes Ohio State's home opener different from places you've coached in the past?"

  • The history of the stadium, the personal part of growing up in Ohio and the band are all factors Urban cites.
  • "I'm a big fan of the pageantry." 
  • "We have the No. 1 student body. 29,000 students will be there."

After reminiscing about Ohio State fans' performance in showing up at Cal last year, Urban says Ohio State didn't "practice noise" in preparation for the Navy game because "Buckeye Nation would be there." He was right.

Armando in Columbus: "Virginia Tech's Bud Foster compared your offense to Georgia Tech philosophically. ... Do you and coach Herman have any idea of what you'll be able to hang your hat on?"

  •  The offense is a "work in progress."
  • At the end of the year, "we want to be a 500-yard offense [a game] offense."
  • "Our skill level is better."
  • "A lot of [what the offense does] is dictated by what the defense does... but we'd like to be a bit more balanced than last year."

Jeff Heuerman is "still limited." He'll play, but Ohio State is hoping to have him back at full strength by Big Ten season. 

  • "We have a tight end dilemma right now."

Sasha from South Salem: "When might we expect to see 'the Shelley [Meyer] shovel pass in a game?'"

  • "I'm going to down there to have a talk about that," Urban says.
  • Ends with laughing and, "Go take care of your kids, Mrs. Meyer."

On Navy:

  • Urban says Mickey Marotti gave a "very intense" half-time talk against Navy.
  • Urban cites the fumble recovery and the defense's stand after Ohio State's 4th down failure as two turning points in the game.
  • "I know our defense gave up a lot of yards, but there's no question which side of the ball won that game."

On the safeties:

  • "We're three-deep at safety right now."
  • "Vonn Bell is going to get the start."
  • "Tyvis Powell graded out as a 'champion' this week."
  • Erick Smith will eventually be worked into the safety rotation.

On Adolphus Washigton:

  • "He's playing at a much higher level."
  • "His effort level hasn't always been there, and that's not because he's a bad guy. Larry Johnson Sr. has done a very good job with that."

On the linebackers:

  • "The guy that has to get into the game is Raekwon McMillan. He's earned that right. Last week's game just wasn't good for him."
  • "It will go to a more traditional [rotation] now."

On special teams.

  • "It was great."
  • "Punt coverage was outstanding." Punt return was "okay."

On renovated Ohio Stadium:

  • "I have not seen the final verdict."
  • "I remember looking at it during media days and thinking, 'I'm glad I'm not in charge of this.'"
  • "What a great way to open a renovated stadium... under the lights."
  • Says recruits will be able to take in the whole "experience."
  • Admits the weekend with recruits "will be big."

Urban admits sometimes he sits in his room at the Blackwell Hotel and watches the fans stream by. 

  • Chris Ash "did an excellent job" working with Luke Fickell. 
  • Ohio State had "very few 'first game penalties.' That's a good sign."

Practice notes and injuries:

  • Evan Lisle has a PCL injury and will be out six to seven weeks.
  • Marcelys Jones had a big scare in practice. His knee-brace snapped, and Jones feared he "lost his knee." But it turned out to just be a bone bruise.
  • Stephen Collier is the scout team quarterback.

On Ohio High School Football Championships coming to Ohio Stadium:

  • "I love it," but says he also likes going up to Massillon to watch title games as well. But having it in the Horseshoe is "good for us and good for the state of Ohio."

On Saturday's ceremony honoring the 40th anniversary of Archie Griffin's first Heisman:

  • "I wore Archie Griffin's number in high school because I was such a big fan."

Comments Show All Comments

steveoz49's picture

I just LOVE being a Buckeyes Fan... LOVE LOVE LOVE

+3 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

lets go let's go. should be a great game, great environment. can't wait.


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

bethmowins's picture

That explains Lisle disappearing from the depth chart.

D-Day0043's picture

That must have been one heck of a hit to the knee to snap his knee brace. 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

BTBuckeye's picture

I was sweating reading this. Not sure if that's good or bad

vitaminB's picture

You might need to up your cardio.

+11 HS
bucks4nuts's picture

Take a spin class from Sasha

"To The House"

+5 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

I'd love to see the Buckeyes build on last weeks 2nd half and continue to take big steps on both sides of the ball. You could see that they got better as the game went on and hopefully there is a carryover to this week. Quarter by quarter, game by game, week to week. GO BUCKS!

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

+3 HS
countrybuckeye's picture


"Momma told me there would be days like this."

-1 HS
Bleeding-Scarlet-Grey's picture

Glad to hear that the injuries aren't season ending, hope for both those young men to have quick recoveries! The atmosphere this weekend is going to be insane for the recruits, no way we don't at least get one commitment over the weekend when all is said and done. I personally would like to see Barrett get more passing attempts as he reminds me of Troy Smith in his delivery, check downs, decision making, and accuracy.

Brother man, I have MADE and LOST millions in my lifetime.... Brain cells that is! How I made those millions I do not know because the secret has been lost in the millions I have lost!!!! ~ Taco

niblick's picture

"I thought [JT] did well. He's a veteran quarterback now. .... I thought he handled himself well."

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, veteran now, lol

-4 HS
lsjSnail's picture

He says this now so everyone with stfu about being a young team. No excuses.

+1 HS
CALPOPPY's picture

Dang, people are a little sensitive about Niblick's opinion.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

+1 HS
Wesleyburgess1's picture

I'm worried about the offensive line this weekend. The way Bud Foster blitzes will be one hell of a test. Probably gonna leave a TE or HB in to pass protect allot.

blocko330's picture

I hate seeing "Practice notes and Injuries:"


“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

Barnsey69's picture

The blitzing will not be a problem IF Barrett knows his check-downs & the backfield guys pick it up.

See no problem, moving right along...*walks anxiously down the aisle*

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

nikolajz1's picture

We might finally see slants and crossing patterns. Get Dontre or Jalin behind the blitizing linebackers and it'll be a pretty much guaranteed 15 yards. 

Denny's picture

But did anyone tell Coach Meyer that they 'love him' and/or call him 'brother'?


+1 HS
bucks4nuts's picture

No....It would have been epic if Sasha (Mrs Meyer) said it at the end of the  call tho. Not that I was laughing hard enough already.

"To The House"

+1 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

No, this was the first show I've listened to in quite some time that did not feature a "Love ya brother."

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Denny's picture

If we don't tell Coach Urbs that he is family/we love him every time he takes our calls, he will most certainly feel unloved and leave OSU. smh.


d1145fresh's picture

The offense getting up to 500 ypg is focused a lot on the defense not allowing long, time consuming, drives by the opponent. Last week Navy consistently had long drives in the first half. When the second half came around and the defense starting holding them more the offense picked up. Hopefully this week will have more 3 and outs to get the offense more reps.

AndyVance's picture

The Sasha call was the highlight of the show. Spinner Shells is awesome :)

D-Day0043's picture

I hope they let JT come out slinging the rock.  VT expects us to play conservative, so I would open up the play book. JT's a smart kid. He can handle it.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

dmurder's picture


I think we had what? 55 plays last week? 

We should see the plays increase with VA Tech o-line figuring out how to deal with bosa, washington and bennet in the backfield.  Here's to hoping they get off the field and give the offense a lot more plays than 55.

My only concern is the short passes that i think VA Tech will try in do in order to stay away from the D-line. Going to be something to see this new secondary pressing. VA Tech will probably take there shots!

"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

nikolajz1's picture

I expect to see lots of screens. Given how awfully we covered that against Clemson seems like a great bet. Gets the ball out quick so you dont have to deal with Bennett and Bosa coming at you. 

KevinJ's picture

You forgot the best quote "Meyer - Just win the damn game!"

JonesSuggsAndHarmony's picture

Hello, Buckeye fans. I've been lurking for a few days absorbing the great content here in preparation for the game Saturday, and I thought I'd drop in as a bonafide member of your esteemed community and talk football, if you'll have me.

If y'all are interested in a fairly nuanced examination of what the Hokies will likely try to do, I highly recommend the work of Frech and 3rd&31 from The Key Play. They both do excellent work, and I think you'll find it a worthwhile read.


I'm anxious to see how we look against a quality opponent such as yourselves. Hoping it's a great game. Go Hokies!

+2 HS
FloridaBuck's picture

Good write-ups indeed (I too have been lurking on the enemy's site). Seems like the majority of your fans are able to hold an intelligent discussion, which is a welcome change from what we are used to dealing with. Good luck on Saturday, but when all is said and done, I'm saying the Buckeyes come out on top. 31 - 26. 

Montana silver bullet's picture

I agree the opposing teams throughout the season will try to get the ball out quick to negate our D-line pressure even though we  have no elite talent and are overrated.

Montana Silver Bullet

UpIrons's picture

Glad to see they are bringing back high school football championships to Ohio Stadium. I grew up in Massillon but it was still something very special when my high school (Canton Central Catholic) got to play in the 'Shoe in 1988 and won the state Championship. Sure would make recruiting easier once those kids get a taste of playing in the 'Shoe.