Urban Meyer did not make his usual Monday morning appearance in front of the media to visit a player's family member who is currently dealing with a health issue.
Coming off of a 62-14 win over Maryland, Meyer made his first media appearance of the week on the Big Ten coaches teleconference to put the win over the Terps to bed and preview the upcoming matchup against Nebraska.
- "We are not even scratching the surface of his ability level," Meyer said of sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor. Put him in the same breath as Cris Carter and Michael Thomas in terms of his ability to high-point the football.
- Ohio State's right guard job is "wide open," Meyer said. Matthew Burrell, Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox are all competing for the spot.
- Meyer said Ohio State is still working on a package with the tight ends in as lead blockers.
- Meyer did not expand on his absence in yesterday's press conference.
- "We have trouble kicking it through the end zone. If it was that simple, we'd do it," Meyer said on kicking struggles. Added there is an ongoing competition to handle kickoff duties.
- Meyer said the Big Ten reported Denzel Ward's ejection as a mistake. Added he will give Ward credit for a caused fumble on the season.
Highlights from around the Big Ten:
Mike Riley (Nebraska)
- Riley said running back Devine Ozigbo has taken advantage of the opportunity to be Nebraska's starting running back with Tre Bryant out.
- Riley called Ohio State's offense "versatile and productive" this season, especially against the 3-4 odd front, which the Cornhuskers play defensively.
- "We've got to recruit like crazy," Riley said when asked how to get Nebraska back into the national spotlight.
- "I don't know about that," Riley said when asked if home field advantage will play into the outcome against Ohio State.
- On Nick Bosa: "The guy comes to play every day. He is hard to play against, but you appreciate that kind of passion."
Chris Ash (Rutgers)
- Ash said he and upcoming opponent Illinois are both in the same situation of trying to rebuild a program. "From the outside looking in, there are a lot of similarities."
- Said he saw the Illinois offense take a step forward in a loss to Iowa. Added he believes the Rutgers staff has a good feel for what the Illini will do offensively.
- Ash said he has not yet thought about applying for a medical redshirt for cornerback Blessuan Austin, who suffered a season ending injury against Nebraska.
Jim Harbaugh (Michigan)
- Harbaugh said defensive back Drake Harris has moved to offense to play receiver for Michigan.
- Michigan said both Indiana quarterbacks are capable of making "athletic plays." The Hoosiers recently benched Richard Lagow for freshman Peyton Ramsey.
Paul Chryst (Wisconsin)
- Chryst praised freshman running back Jonathan Taylor for his performance against Nebraska in which he rushed for over 200 yards.
- He said watching film of Purdue "grabbed our players attention," on both offense and defense. Added that the Boilermakers appear to be playing with added confidence.
Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
- Dantonio said recent trip on the road to Western Michigan is to help boost the economy of the state of Michigan. He added he has tremendous respect for Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, who he has coached against while Fleck was with the Broncos.
- Dantonio said playing a lot of freshmen will help benefit the program in the future. "The future looks very bright," he added.
- "Our entire team played with grit," Dantonio said of Michigan State's win over Michigan. Added quarterback Brian Lewerke "has a way about him in terms of the way he leads."
Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
- Ferentz praised defensive end A.J. Epenesa. "He has unusual maturity, physically." Epenesa was a five-star recruit for Iowa in the 2017 class.
- Ferentz offered his support for Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, who has taken a leave of absence after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
P.J. Fleck (Minnesota)
- Fleck said he uses Wisconsin and Kansas State as models for rebuilding a program. Specifically cited Barry Alvarez, who turned around the Badgers in the 1990's. "We are very excited for the future and that starts now," he added.
- Fleck also discussed how difficult building a culture is when a program has had three different coaches in as many years. "It will come, but it is a process as we continue to take steps forward."
- He said he still follows Western Michigan when he gets the chance. "I love those players like my own sons."
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
- Fitzgerald said that almost halfway through the season, his team is "inconsistent after five football games."
Lovie Smith (Illinois)
- Smith said Rutgers offensive coordinator Jerry Kill is "an outstanding football coach and an even better man." Smith was the head coach of the Chicago Bears while Kill was the head coach at Northern Illinois. His son also played for Kill at NIU.
- Smith said despite losing 45-16 to Iowa, he saw some progress last week against the Hawkeyes. Illinois trailed by just eight before allowing 21 consecutive points to end the game.
DJ Durkin (Maryland)
- Durkin was not asked any questions on the teleconference. Maryland is set to host Northwestern on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Jeff Brohm (Purdue)
- Brohm said using an extra man in pass protection is something the Boilermakers are considering. Purdue quarterbacks were sacked multiple times in a loss to Michigan. Boilermakers play Wisconsin this week.
- Brohm said he is encouraged with the way his team fought back to beat Minnesota last week. "It was huge. We turned the ball over four times and were able to overcome that."
- "He is an outstanding running back and has been very productive," Brohm said of Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.
James Franklin (Penn State)
- "They love us with that schedule," Franklin said of the Big Ten giving Penn State a bye week before playing Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State in three straight weeks.
- Franklin said the loss to Michigan last year, "Gave us a shot to the gut. Everyone took a look in the mirror."
- Franklin praised captain Nick Scott for his leadership role with the Nittany Lions.
Tom Allen (Indiana)
- Allen praised freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey, who earned his first start against Charleston Southern on Oct. 7. Added he will be challenged with plenty of pressure from Michigan defensive front this weekend.