Ohio State has reached the halfway point of its 2018 regular season.
The Buckeyes are already bowl-eligible after beating Indiana, 49-26, at Ohio Stadium on Saturday to improve to 6-0. Dwayne Haskins earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for the fourth time in six games after completing 33 passes with six touchdowns – both tying school records – and 455 yards, the second-highest total in Ohio State history.
They still have plenty to work on, though, after giving up 406 yards on defense and struggling to move the ball consistently in the run game.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss all of that on Monday, as the Buckeyes prepare for their seventh game of the season against Minnesota at noon on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Here's what you need to know from Monday's press conference:
- Ohio State's champions against Indiana: Dwayne Haskins, Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Terry McLaurin, Binjimen Victor, Rashod Berry and Luke Farrell on offense; Tuf Borland, Jonathon Cooper, Davon Hamilton, Dre'Mont Jones, Pete Werner and Jordan Fuller on defense.
- Meyer said Ohio State had no special teams player of the week this week because the Buckeyes only punted twice, all their kickoffs were fair caught and the return game was a non-factor.
- Branden Bowen is "close" to being able to return to the field. "There's a chance" he could play this season, Meyer said.
- The coaches have had conversations about using Tate Martell in short-yardage running situations, but haven't committed to it one way or the other.
- Meyer said Ohio State had a good recruiting weekend this past weekend, with many visitors on campus (despite the decommitment of running back Sampson James).
- Meyer said he has been dealing with a cyst for "many years" that he has to monitor. He is feeling fine now, though, after dealing with the headache during the Indiana game.
- Meyer is pleased with the way the Buckeyes have overcome some significant injuries – specifically Nick Bosa – and said they "have really good people."
- Meyer on Ohio State's defense: "We try to build on positives and the positives are in the second half, we played outstanding."
- "3rd-and-1's tough right now. That's another weakness."
- On the possibility of moving Dwayne Haskins under center in short-yardage situations: "It doesn't really give you anything."
- Meyer said Minnesota has a "top-20" defense. "Their defense is outstanding." Described defensive end Carter Coughlin as an "excellent pass-rusher" and "outstanding player."
- Meyer said he has not considered having another procedure to relieve his headaches.
- Could Brian Hartline end up being promoted to full-time wide receivers coach? Meyer: "He sure could."
- Malik Harrison and Jonathon Cooper are doing "much better today" after leaving Saturday's game with injuries, but their status for this week's game has not yet been determined.
Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for additional coverage from today's press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.