With Penn State dusted and a trip to Piscataway on tap, Urban Meyer took to 97.1 The Fan's airwaves to discuss all things Buckeye football with Paul Keels, the Voice of the Buckeyes, and former All-American Jim Lachey.
Mike Weber "can certainly play," and that he's "almost at full speed." Noted they pulled the redshirt off Jerome Baker. Sometimes they have to talk to parents about careers, though. K.J. Hill's and Jerome Baker's parents told them: "Whatever helps the team."
On Urban Meyer's promised championship tattoo: "Did I mention we had three people run over 23 mph on kickoff coverage?" (laughs). "I haven't had time... maybe one day... [Jeff] Heuerman is the one who won't let it go."
Ohio State's slow starts are "on the check list." Notes they'd like to start converting a few third downs on their first drive.
Jalin Marshall was too small to play quarterback at the collegiate level. "I love recruiting high school quarterbacks," Urban said because most coaches put their best player there. Joe Haden was another guy who played HS QB.
On benching Cardale a week after throwing 300 yards and a 75% completion rate: "Our red zone and third down production just wasn't what it should be."
Has Urban Meyer ever thought about putting Miller in the triple option with Ezekiel Elliott and Curtis Samuel? He's thought about it, but noted Braxton Miller isn't a great option quarterback. "He keeps it too much."
On being open to an MSU night game knowing it'd be less time to prepare for UM: "I defer all that to Gene... he'll do the right thing; he always has. I've got a lot of respect for Gene." Later remembered OSU's Monday game: "All those things I said about Gene? I take them back."
Parris Campbell is out "for a couple more weeks." Dontre Wilson has a foot problem, but "he's on call." Johnnie Dixon is plagued by tendonitis again. "He's a darn good kid... he's going to get something out of this."
Braxton's blocking: "Much improved." Urban told him that there's more to being an NFL receiver than just the physical tools. "He's worked so hard... he's doing very well."
On the lack of the counter-trey, which devastated Oregon, this year: Defenses have featured weak side help to prevent it. Oregon didn't. "We'll get back to that when the defense allows us."
"I got a knot in my stomach watching the tape," Urban said in reference to Rutgers' defensive line.
"We respect [Rutgers'] athletes." Urban praised Leonte "No. 4" Carroo's speed.
Rutgers "should've beat" Michigan State. Were down three scores to Indiana and came back too. "Their quarterback is throwing a 68% completion rate and they have two good running backs. So, here we go again..."
"We're paid to score touchdowns... and J.T. has been excelling at that." (Presumably the making touchdowns part, not the getting paid part.)
Lachey asked if they practice bad snaps. "Why would you ask that?" Urban joked slyly. "No," (background laughter) "We don't. Next question."
Urban lauded things like 56-yard net punts in how far they go to winning a game. "I'm glad we're talking about this. It might not be interesting to a lot of people, but if you're talking about going in and winning a game..."
Denzel Ward ran 21.6 miles per hour on kick coverage. Malik Hooker, a guy Meyer "really starting to like" runs 20.3 mph.
"Our coverage units are either No. 1 or No. 2 in the conference usually... right now they're both No. 1." Jeff Greene and Warren Ball are two special teams members that drew praise.
Jerome Baker is "really coming on."
Meyer is "a big fan" of the targeting rule. That coupled with OSU's rugby tackling has lowered injuries dramatic. Cam Williams led with his crown — "which we don't teach" — but "did the punishment fit the crime? I don't know."
Once Ohio State started to control the decision, Urban knew the only way they'd lose if they "did something stupid." It was his call to stay with J.T. Barrett an Ezekiel Elliott. "If you ever want to demoralize a team, run right at them... and that's what we did."
On defense: "We didn't play great against the run. We played great against the pass." Saquon Barkley drew praise.
Was he surprised in PSU's lack of passing? "The stats don't tell the story... I think they dropped back 25 times." PSU had some success running the ball, but the Buckeye defensive line played "very well."
Urban "thought the atmosphere was great." He wondered, "What is this going to look like?" but it turned out well. "They really did up the [players'] tunnel."