B1G Teleconference: Urban Meyer Says Personnel Changes Are Coming on Special Teams

By James Grega on October 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm
Urban Meyer

Coming off the biggest win of the season, Urban Meyer made his weekly appearance on the Big Ten coaches teleconference on Tuesday afternoon. 

After allowing a pair of big kick returns against Penn State on Saturday, Meyer was once again asked about his special teams and if changes could be made.

"We are going to make some changes in personnel," Meyer said of Ohio State's issues on special teams, although he did not give specifics as to which spots might see changes. 

What follows are the rest of the highlights from Meyer's appearance on the teleconference. 

Meyer notes:

  • Meyer said quarterback J.T. Barrett "has seen it all. He will write a book some day."
  • Meyer said he let his players celebrate a "mission accomplished" after the Penn State win. Said he keeps an eye out for any let downs in practice or meetings.
  • Meyer praised Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell, saying he is the face of the Hawkeye program.
  • Iowa is a "prototype program," Meyer said. Added he thinks the days of coaches being at a program for 20+ years are gone. 
  • "I thought offensively, for the most part of the game we operated at good tempo," Meyer said of Ohio State's offensive performance. "I had no problem with the offensive performance. I did have problems with turnovers." 

Highlights from the rest of the Big Ten coaches

Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)

  • Ferentz said, "We have our hands full playing Ohio State this week." He added Iowa began preparation for the Buckeyes on Saturday after defeating Minnesota. 
  • He praised running back Akrum Wadley for his career at Iowa. "He is a threat as a receiver as well."
  • "He's got everything you want in a defensive end," Ferentz said about Ohio State's Sam Hubbard.
  • Iowa said the Hawkeye running game has struggled this season due to two new starting tackles and a first year quarterback. "We will see if we can't carve out a couple yards (against Ohio State)," he added. 
  • Ferentz said he never imagined he would be the longest tenured college football coach at one school. "I feel lucky to be at a place where we have enjoyed great stability."

Chris Ash (Rutgers)

  • Ash said the emphasis in practice has been taking care of the football. "But penalties have been an issue. Those things get you beat."
  • "I think we have improved in all of our special teams areas," Ash said. "We invest more time on special teams than anywhere in my career."

Jim Harbaugh (Michigan)

  • Harbaugh said freshman quarterback Brandon Peters played well against Rutgers. "He moved the team. I thought the moment wasn't too big for him."
  • Harbaugh said coach Tim Drevno wanted to move down to the field for "added value." He added he believes that will continue. 
  • "The hustle is the first thing that stands out," Harbaugh said when discussing Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck. Michigan plays Minnesota this Saturday.

Paul Chryst (Wisconsin)

  • Chryst said he is appreciative of what his team has done to this point, but that his team is focussed on the next game in order to get to the College Football Playoff. "We still have a lot of football ahead of us."
  • "We still have areas we can get better," Chryst said. Gave credit to his coaching staff for the undefeated start. 

Mike Riley (Nebraska)

  • Riley confirmed that offensive lineman Michael Decker is likely out for the season with a knee injury. Surgery is a possibility for him. "He might be able to get back for a bowl game."
  • "We have experienced a really tough weeks in a row," Riley said about Ohio State and Wisconsin losses. Added the win over Purdue was refreshing. "I like how we competed down the stretch."

Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)

  • Mark Dantonio said he expects his commits to sign during the early signing period, or he doesn't believe they are actually committed to his team. 

P.J. Fleck (Minnesota)

  • Fleck said he will have to find "creative ways to move the ball" against Michigan's defense. 
  • Fleck said he believes in student privacy laws in regards to player injuries. "You have to see how they progress throughout the week."
  • Fleck said he respects Jim Harbaugh, who has taught him to "be yourself in all areas."

Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)

  • Fitzgerald said his offense has just been taking what the defense has given them over the last two weeks. 
  • Fitzgerald praised Iowa running back Akrum Wadley. "When you play Iowa, it always starts up front."

Lovie Smith (Illinois)

  • Smith praised Jeff Brohm's ability as a quarterback when he coached at Tampa Bay as an assistant while Brohm was a player. 
  • Smith said he is pleased with his teams improvements, but did add he has not seen an area where his team has exceeded his expectations. 

D.J. Durkin (Maryland)

  • Durkin said he doesn't have a particular interest in establishing a rivalry with Rutgers. "Rivalries are more for the fans."

Jeff Brohm (Purdue)

  • Brohm said he is preparing for an Illinois team that "is as hungry as we are for a win." Combined, the two teams have five wins. 
  • Brohm said he feels his special teams units have improved each week throughout the season. 
  • He said he pulled three redshirts at linebacker this year to help his team on special teams. "If there is a need, we are going to play them."
  • Brohm said he will try and pursue the graduate transfer market again in the offseason recruiting as he did prior to his first year at Purdue. 

James Franklin (Penn State)

  • Franklin said he felt the loss to Ohio State was due to inconsistency on the offensive and defensive lines. Added he felt the momentum swung on the blocked punt. "There were a lot of similarities to our game last year."

Tom Allen (Indiana)

  • "I was disappointed in the way we finished," Allen said of Indiana's loss to Maryland on Saturday. Hoosiers blew a fourth quarter lead against the Terps.
  • Allen said playing Wisconsin's offense is tough to match up against because of their personnel. "They seem to be the most physical offense we will play."
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