After dumping UNLV and with a primetime tilt against Rutgers on tap, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer took to 97.1 The Fan's airwaves Thursday to discuss all things Buckeye football with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.
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Urban Meyer lamented "opening his big mouth" about increasing night games five years ago when he arrived. He thinks they should be limited to one or two night road games a year. "But there are these TV contracts now, and I understand that."
On Parris Campbell being No. 1 in the country on kickoff returns: "He's one of the best human beings on the team."
Meyer on receivers: "This is one of the most selfless groups we've had here."
Coffee with the Coach Question: Is this a high number of receivers that have played so far?
- "Six is a lot."
- "The key will be how they perform against equal competition."
Is Terry McLaurin setting the standard without the ball in his hand?
- Meyer equated him with Ezekiel Elliott and Evan Spencer in terms of blocking.
- "You're in a good position when your best players are your toughest."
On tight end Rashod Berry:
- "He's such a talented guy."
- "I love where he's at right now. His attitude is fantastic." Noted Kevin Wilson and former tight end coach Tim Hinton mentor him.
Joe Burrow "thinks he's tough enough to play a day after having surgery." Said him playing mop-up duty had to do with him recovering, not his position on the depth chart.
Dwayne Haskins played "okay" but had a "freshman moment" that "bothers him" but was a "teachable moment."
"I almost put Tate Martell in, man, and burned that redshirt."
Defensive linemen Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper drew praise from Meyer.
Right tackle Isaiah Prince "wasn't our best practice player" a year ago, but that has changed. "He had his best week of practice last week."
H-Back Demario McCall is still not 100%. "Anybody who saw him on that kick return last week saw that." Noted he curled up on the run, which goes against his nature as a violent runner.
The pass defense is getting better but it's still "nowhere close to where we need to be."
- Chris Ash came into Ohio State in 2014 and changed the defensive philosophy.
- Ash convinced Meyer to switch to rugby tackling after a film session. "We went from most missed tackles in 2013 to the best tackling team in 2014."
- "You're seeing a lot of things he believes in on their defense. They weren't very good last year. They're very good this year."
- Offense is a little behind the defense, but "they have a good coach in [former Minnesota coach] Jerry Kill running the show."
- Does he think they'll see press-man coverage? "I don't know. Remains to be seen."
Meyer has "plenty of opinions and some strong ones" about the FBI probe into college basketball recruiting, but isn't sure he can share them.
- Noted the NCAA is up against it in enforcement because they can't subpoena people.
- Added that if it's proven coaches intentionally lie about committing a violation, a coach's career should be over.
- "A 50-year-old man has more rights than an 18-year-old player. Who comes up with that?"
Brian in Fostoria: Describe your experiences going against former staff members.
- First experience was against Dan Mullen when he went to Mississippi State. Mullen knew all his signals and Meyer "learned his lesson."
- Chris Ash sat in on all of Meyer's special teams meetings, and their returner, wide receiver Janarion Grant, is electrifying, so they've put extra emphasis on kicking this week.
- "It's great [to see former assistants move on]. I just wish he were in another conference."
Andre in Indianapolis: [Completely garbled transmission.] "My goodness. Apologies, Andre." — Keels seconds before cutting the line.
On Schiano and Rutgers:
- "Rutgers is in the Big Ten conference — and I may not have the right to say this, but I will — because of Greg Schiano."
- "It's only a matter of time before Chris [Ash] gets things rolling."