Ohio State sits at an unscathed 5-0 heading into its Big Ten home opener against Maryland Saturday at noon.
The Buckeyes escaped Bloomington, Indiana, and the Hoosiers Saturday, 34-27, when Zander Diamont's final pass attempt fell to the turf as time expired. Urban Meyer met with reporters Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to dissect the victory and preview the home bout against the Terrapins.
- Ohio State's champions from the Indiana game include Ezekiel Elliott (offensive player of the game), Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller, Corey Smith, Dontre Wilson, Pat Elflein and Billy Price on offense. On defense, co-players of the game were Adolphus Washington and Tyquan Lewis. Other defensive champions were Raekwon McMillan, Joey Bosa, Tommy Schutt, Vonn Bell, Gareon Conley, Joshua Perry and Darron Lee. Joe Burger was special teams player of the week.
- Meyer said Corey Smith is done for the year with a similar leg injury as the one Noah Brown suffered in camp: “My heart bleeds for that guy.” Smith will try to gain a medical redshirt, Meyer said.
- Meyer: “We’re 5-0. Best chance to go 6-0.”
- Turnovers and red zone are the two biggest areas that need improvement: “We’re going to keep getting better.”
- On Cardale Jones: The quarterback had his best week of practice prior to the Indiana game. Jones threw one interception and missed two others in the end zone: “It’s not all him, the timing with the wide receivers need to get better.”
- Timing and execution with the quarterback and wide receivers are also the reason for Ohio State’s struggles on 3rd down, Meyer said: “(Jones) is getting better.”
- Scheme is “overrated” when it comes to recruiting, Meyer said: “Competitive spirit and human spirit override all of that.” He added the focus sometimes is to take the best player and make them fit your system.
- Meyer said after watching the Indiana tape, he felt like he saw a team that was close: “I won’t use the term great … but improved and very efficient. When you have the turnovers and penalties, that stops the efficiency.”
- “There’s not one problem. It’s a variety of problems." — On the red zone struggles.
- Meyer said Saturday was one of the games Ohio State played its hardest in during the last two seasons: “This one has the characteristics of being a great team,” Meyer said.
- Meyer added again how good Ezekiel Elliott is on the second level of defenses: “Once he gets there, I don’t know if there’s anyone that can stop that guy."
- Meyer took the blame for the first offensive play of the game, when Braxton Miller was tackled for a loss on a touch pass: “I wanted to get Braxton a touch and they blitzed their corners.”
- Curtis Samuel hardly practiced last week due to back spasms, Meyer said, the reason for his lack of playing time Saturday.
- Vonn Bell is "playing at a very, very high level" right now, Meyer said.
- "Everybody's looking for exceptional, and we were fortunate the last few years to break school records." — Urban Meyer. He added about the success in the running game with big plays were largely due to great perimeter blocking in recent seasons.
- What does Meyer see in his wide receivers room right now? "I see a group that's getting better. I see a group that's not where it needs to be. The timing with the receivers and quarterback are not where it needs to be."
- It is not difficult to manage Braxton Miller right now: "I see a guy that's getting better at wide receiver."
- Cardale Jones is not the type of runner that Ohio State's had in the past, a reason for the lack of a quarterback running game, Meyer said: "You take the best guy at the time and build around what he can do."
- Miller still "deserves touches in the game. He is electric with the ball in his hands." Said Miller played 30 plays and graded out as 80 percent, because of his effort and blocking.
- Would Meyer ever consider putting J.T. Barrett in as a red zone quarterback? "I've thought about it, we've had that conversation. But there's no decision on that yet."