A gorgeous afternoon highlighted by abundant sunshine provided the scene for Ohio State's first normal midweek practice of the 2015 season at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Wednesday.
Urban Meyer led the Buckeyes to a 2-0 start last week, beating Virginia Tech on the road on Labor Day and then Hawai'i Saturday at Ohio Stadium. The latter was a tad lethargic and unspirited, but a 38-0 victory nonetheless.
Meyer took to the podium following practice briefly Wednesday to provide updates on his team's progress in preparing for the Northern Illinois Huskies.
- Meyer was noticeably hoarse following the practice. He said Marcus Baugh is "playing the best he's played since he's been here." The two freshmen are not ready behind him if need be, so Meyer said he would probably use Jamarco Jones in an emergency situation.
- Jim Tressel is getting recognized this weekend for his induction into the Ohio State and College Football Hall of Fame. "Coach Tressel ran one of the premier programs in America when he was here." — Urban Meyer
- On Braxton Miller's usage rate, Meyer said he tries to get him the ball at least 10 times a game, more if he's "hot." Can the former quarterback throw yet? "Yes." Asked if he would deploy him in that role, Meyer shrugged his shoulders: "You think I would tell you that?"
- Ohio State had numerous false starts by offensive linemen against Hawai'i. Meyer made sure that his guys weren't using their opponents' clapping of the hands as an excuse for false starting.
- Mike Weber did not have a good day Tuesday in practice: "He's a little sore." Said Weber is likely not going to play Saturday, but is probable for next week.
- "The guy that does not go hard disappears." — Meyer
- On Northern Illinois, Meyer again mentioned his time at Bowling Green when he faced off against the Huskies: "They just keep hiring great coaches one after the other. Extremely well-coached and good players ... Quarterback's a stud. He's a runner, thrower, just a really good program."
- The base defense of the Huskies is similar to Ohio State's, Meyer said, but at times deploy and odd front: "We gotta work against that, because we haven't played well against it in the past."
- Meyer again said Ohio State hasn't seen a "base, normal" defense yet, but that's not an excuse for a lack of production in the running game. He said he's noticed teams ganging up to stop running back Ezekiel Elliott.
- On having options at H-back, Meyer brought up former offensive coordinator Tom Herman and other members of the offensive staff for being able to move the ball before they were available last year and at the start of this year: "Right now, this is what you dream of there."
- Meyer said Ohio State's had "two great days" of practice this week: "I usually don't say that."