Urban Meyer on Constant Lookout For Signs of a Letdown Ahead of Trip to Iowa

By James Grega on October 31, 2017 at 9:38 pm
Urban Meyer

It always comes up following a big win, or even at times after a big loss. Is the next game a trap game?

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is on the lookout to make sure the Buckeyes don't have any letdown with a trip to Iowa on the horizon. 

The Hawkeyes are just 5-3 on the season, but were one play away from taking down Penn State in Iowa City and defeated rival Iowa State earlier in the season. The Cyclones are currently ranked in the top 15 after wins over both Oklahoma and TCU. 

Meyer said Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference that his approach to avoiding letdowns varies by team, but added he is constantly looking for signs that the Buckeyes might be taking their upcoming opponent too lightly. 

"I will watch it very closely. If this was an immature, young team, I would be more panicky than I am," Meyer said. "Elite warriors, which we consider our players to be, they celebrate a mission accomplished and then they sit back down and wait for their directive and assignments. They are very professional, but I am going to watch that closely."

Meyer said he is not only keeping an eye on his players, but even coaches as the preparations for Iowa continue throughout the week. 

"Especially the younger players and even younger coaches," Meyer said. "There are some younger coaches on our staff that haven't been in this kind of situation, so I am watching it very closely."

The Buckeyes returned to the practice field Tuesday and Ohio State was back to business as usual, according to defensive tackle Robert Landers. 

The Huber Heights, Ohio native said that he doesn't believe Ohio State will experience a letdown in its preparation because of the support and drive the Buckeyes get from one another. 

"Honestly, today's practice was like another practice for us. We go hard every day. We don't want to let each other down," he said. "We hold each other accountable and we don't let the tempo of the practice drop off. It was just reiterating in practice since last season ended."

It could be argued that Ohio State's 31-0 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal was the ultimate letdown after a 30-27 double overtime win over rival Michigan in the regular season finale in 2016. 

After that loss, Meyer said that Ohio State would never experience another embarrassment like that again. 

"Ohio State is not used to this. I'm not used to this, and we will not get used to this," Meyer said after the loss to Clemson. "That's not going to happen again. So we'll get things worked out."

It took a few games, but it appears Ohio State has indeed, worked things out. 

Wide receiver Austin Mack, who caught a career-high six passes for 90 yards in the 39-38 win over Penn State, said Meyer has been very clear what his expectations are for his players ever since the loss to Clemson. 

"Last year, he put the blame on himself," Mack said of his head coach. "He said what he was going to do, was make sure there was a clear and precise vision and that everybody was going to know what they had to do. He is really precise in everything that we are doing."

Mack added that the 'vision' varies week-to-week. For example, this week, the message has been fixing special teams in order to beat Iowa. 

"It is really clear and everybody knows exactly what their job is, and how to get it done," Mack said. 

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