Labor Day provides no holiday to college football programs but at least this season the work day is more normal for Ohio State as opposed to last year.
The Buckeyes had to wait until the Monday night of opening weekend for the first game of their national title defense in 2015. Ohio State downed Virginia Tech 42-24 in Blacksburg.
Alternatively, Urban Meyer's program opened its 2016 slate on Saturday like the majority of the rest of the sport. Ohio State destroyed Meyer's former employer, Bowling Green, 77-10. The head coach met with reporters in the team room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to share his thoughts on the game film, preview Saturday's matchup against Tulsa and provide other updates.
- Former players Joel Penton, Butler By'not'e and Roy Hall spoke to the team Sunday night about the image of each player personally and the group as a whole: "What really counts is our identity. What's our identity as a player? As a team?"
- That message is "occupying a lot of his thoughts" right now.
- Malik Hooker was named defensive player of the game by Ohio State. J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel earned it for the offense and walk-on kicker Tyler Durbin on special teams.
- Mike Weber had a 91 percent blocking rate, Meyer said: "That's very high for him for his first start."
- Barrett is audibling and getting Ohio State in its correct packages very well right now: "He really has control."
- On Tyler Durbin: "He's a really good guy, man. I love his effort. He even had a tackle on kickoff."
- "I thought our guys played pretty good. It was good. It wasn't great." Ohio State beat Bowling Green by 67 points.
- On Tyquan Lewis, Meyer called the defensive end "an effort guy" and a "made player. He's pushed himself past the edge and became an elite player."
- With the absence of Tracy Sprinkle due to injury, Meyer noted Robert Landers, Malik Barrow and Joshua Alabi should get more time: "We're taking a long look at Malik."
- Meyer called Sprinkle's injury "a big loss."
- There were some disappointments in the film, and he called out Corey Smith: "I think Corey Smith needs to be better. I don't think the techniques of the wide receivers are not what they need to be."
- Dante Booker is questionable for Saturday with a sprained MCL.
- J.T. Barrett's interception was a "tactical error" not just by him but by the coaching staff as well.
- However, both sides forgot about the interception immediately Saturday: "There was zero conversation. Just get past it. Move on."
- Meyer singled out Barrett's connections with K.J. Hill and Noah Brown: "That's because they work so hard together after practice."
- The plan is to continue to play as many receivers as Ohio State did Saturday: "Yeah we're playing 10, but there's two hybrids in there as well. Our goal is to wear some people down by playing fast."
- On Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery's spread attack and how it varies from Ohio State's: "The identity is we're going to line up and hammer the football and run the football. When you look at Baylor and Tulsa, they're very balanced. More balanced than people think. I think they are very similar but there are differences."
- On Ohio State's redshirting philosophy, Meyer said they recruit a player to play immediately because players don't always plan to stay around for four or five years. Meyer said he learned that from former USC coach Pete Carroll.
- Meyer is "pushing it very hard" to get true freshmen in the game this season.
- Were there teachable moments from Saturday? "Oh sure. Our starting receivers did not grade out champions. Only one offensive lineman did ... A lot more enjoyable to coach after a win."
- On Ohio State's #DevelopedHere slogan: "That's all on [Mark] Pantoni."
- Meyer said he does not believe Sprinkle could play even in the bowl game due to his patella injury. Sprinkle had successful surgery on Sunday afternoon.
- "Demario, you can't tell him to slow down. He ran really hard. He's trying to become the backup tailback at Ohio State and he's doing a very good job."
- Meyer said it is difficult to balance pushing a young team to play well and not embarrassing an overwhelmed an opponent like Bowling Green.
- Asked where Tyler Durbin came from Meyer said: "I have no idea. I don't know where the hell he came from." Meyer also noted he "doesn't look like a football player."
- "He's our kicker." — Meyer on Durbin