With the 2017 season set to kick off with primetime match against Oklahoma on Saturday, Urban Meyer took to 97.1 The Fan's airwaves to discuss all things Buckeye football with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.
Meyer says Ohio State learned their lesson against Virginia Tech in 2014 in realizing teams won't always show everything when playing a lesser opponent in the prior week like with Oklahoma playing UTEP. "There's some film to watch, but not much. ... They've been planning for this game all year."
Mike Weber "was on call and we could've used him." Came down to a game-time decision. Meyer saw hints of J.K. Dobbin's talent in the spring.
On potential running back rotation: "I have no idea." Dobbins will start and Meyer will play it from there. Weber will play, though.
Coffee with the Coach Question from Tom in Weirton, West Virginia: How do you take care of occupying players' time before night game.
- Hydration, nutrition, and rest is crucial. Coach Mickey Marotti plays a big part in that time.
- Program tries to roll out the red carpet for players' families.
- Two walk throughs.
- "Have to be off their feet for two to three hours."
- Hasn't changed very much, but "science changes." Meyer noted some teams practice Wednesday as opposed to Thursdays now.
- "Once meetings are done on Friday... We want to be done. We want them to go relax."
- Noted Damon Arnette suffered from cramps against Indiana.
Indiana made a "very good decision" to "play the game on the outside" with their receivers and not allowing Ohio State's defensive line to dominate the game. Noted the defensive line missed hitting the quarterback by a split-second 15 times.
Defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones' improvement over the last two years is "remarkable." Said he comes from a great family, too. "He's a defensive end playing three-technique, which is what you need to go out and recruit these years."
The rotation of Dante Booker with Malik Harrison in the linebacker corps is "one area we need to get better."
On wide receiver Johnnie Dixon:
- "You love to see players rewarded."
- Dixon, Evan Spencer, and Daryl Baldwin among players Meyer cited as it being "never being too late."
- Dixon did great on the run, but he doesn't score without Ben Victor's block. "Our team recognizes that."
Oklahoma is "one of the best programs in America ... It's a very good place. Obviously it starts with very good players."
Sooner LB Ogbonnia Oronkwo is "twitched up." He's not very big but he's electric. "Our players are aware of him."
Sooner defense "is almost disregarded" in what they did in the first game, so hard to say if they'll play a similar style as last year. Noted they've practiced against multiple fronts, including Bear.
On coaches meetings after games:
- Come in Sunday with graded films
- Meyer reviews grades and watches film with offensive staff
- "Discussion about what we can do better and then move on."
- Team meetings and practice.
- "Victory dinner" for those that won.
- Film study.
Meyer shares an apocryphal Tom Brady quote about not wanting a coach that just says "Nice throw, Tom." Meyer wants players like that, but noted it's different dealing with young players as opposed to a 35-year-old veteran with Super Bowl rings.
On how he grades offensive linemen:
- "Did we control the line of scrimmage? That's the number one thing."
- "We didn't have enough times where we took advantage of the defensive line for playing tight."
- Technique, assignment, and "Did we get the job done?"
- Meyer doesn't micromanage those grades, leaves it to coach Greg Studrawa.
Meyer noted he slowed his offense at times against Indiana to let his defense catch its breath.
On Joe Burrow:
- "He's as tough as it gets."
- "To my surprise, he was out throwing the other day."
On Tate Martell playing Baker Mayfield:
- "He did a marvelous job."
- "He's got a real nice skill set."
Meyer said his favorite parts of game day atmosphere is "Hang On Sloopy" between the third and fourth quarters and walking out of the Blackwell Hotel and seeing fans and parents before game.
[Full audio available at 97.1 The Fan]