With No. 10 Ohio State to host Maryland on Saturday, Urban Meyer took to 97.1 The Fan's airwaves Thursday to discuss all things Buckeye football with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.
Meyer gave thanks for the call-in show not happening at night. Keels said he should thank Jim Tressel, who flipped it from Tuesday nights to Thursday afternoons. "Thursday is my night to see my grandson."
Linebackers Pete Werner, Baron Browning, and Justin Hilliard "are coming along."
The cut in Dre'Mont Jones' leg is healing "very well," according to a trainer report Meyer received this morning. He should be good to go next week against Nebraska.
Lauded Jalyn Holmes for moving inside to replace Jones. Noted Tyquan Lewis is probably the only other defensive end that can do that.
Ohio State is "very realistic" about Maryland being a bigger challenge than Army, UNLV, and Rutgers.
Coffee for the Coach Question: Is there a maximum amount of road conference night games a team can play?
- Meyer "doesn't think it's right" his team has to play so many night road games.
- Talked with Gene Smith, who noted T.V. contracts pay for the facility upgrades Meyer enjoys.
- Thinks games should be capped at two night road games per year.
- "I remember last night we had two road night games in a row. That should never happen. I don't think it's right."
On Mike Weber being "pain free" for first time since July:
- Weber tore his hamstring and put him on the brink of surgery.
- "We tried to have him come back, and he felt scar tissue pulling on him."
- Noted Weber is in great shape after transforming his body over the offseason.
Demario McCall "still doesn't have the juice he had last year," but he's coming along. "At some point he's going to make an impact on our program.
Meyer enjoyed seeing his players celebrate the missed field goal that preserved the shutout against Rutgers. Young players didn't play well against UNLV, but his defense "held onto it."
On Johnnie Dixon's 70-yard touchdown catch, Meyer said Kevin Wilson brought the idea of going fast on third down. They hit Rutgers with it, and were able to get behind their defense.
- "Very talented team. We down to Austin, Texas and beat a very talented Texas team."
- "Glad we're playing them at home"
- Third-staring starting QB Max Bortenschlager is settled in now with practice and showed he could run in a win against the No. 1 defense in America in Minnesota.
Andre in Indianapolis: Could you talk about the progression of backup tight end Rashod Berry?
- "Wasn't sure he was going to make it here." Wasn't a bad guy, just didn't take his job seriously.
- Something clicked in the last few months.
- "He's as talented guy as anyone on the team ... I can't say enough good things about him."
Randy in Cleveland: How do you grade out the offense, defense, and special teams?
- "Other than one game we've played really well."
- "I've seen a young secondary get much better."
- "As you start getting into the meat of the Big Ten conference, it's 'Let's have another evaluation next Thursday."
- "The weakest areas of the team are improving."
- Still not pleased with offensive line depth.
Does staff alert Meyer if a player is close to breaking a record? "I try not to, but I've learned in recent years [it's okay]." Meyer does it every now and again, but not very often. Said if J.T. Barrett is 50 yards away from a record in a lopsided game, he's not going back in.
Rutgers linebacker Deonte Roberts took a cheap shot at Terry McLaurin, and McLaurin "got him" later in the game. Meyer doesn't rail about targeting calls because he knows the safety going into the game.
On Maryland coach D.J. Durkin:
- Hired Durkin as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green.
- "Just a tough guy. ... One of the best I've had."
Did Tennessee Jeff appear? No.
[Full replay available at 971thefan.com]