The Buckeyes are getting into the heart of their Big Ten schedule now, facing their fourth Big Ten opponent of the year as they look to stay unbeaten on Saturday against Minnesota.
Urban Meyer and head defensive line coach Larry Johnson took to the radio waves on Thursday afternoon to dissect last week's win, discuss the second-half performance, praise the team's receivers, and preview Minnesota.
On the team's second-half performance:
- Meyer notes that the defense held Indiana to 100 yards in the second half. "That was great progress"
- "One of the mantras this week is enhance your strengths and fix your weaknesses"
- Said defensive line and receivers are the strengths of the team.
- "The run game and pass defense are areas that need to get better."
On the receivers:
- Called the play from the receivers "very consistent"
- "The culture has been enhanced by those three old guys," mentioning Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon.
- Chris Olave, Blue Smith, and Jaylen Harris might gets some reps in coming weeks.
- On three receivers nearing 1,000 career receiving yards: "That's fantastic, and more to come. The future is bright there."
Tim Hortons coffee with the coach question from James in Orwell: "Is there still a coaching football class?"
"I believe that's been a tradition," Meyer said "I know coach Tressel did it, and we do it."
Meyer said it's not an easy class, but he tries to make sure the class can benefit everyone and not just prospective football coaches, calling it "more philosophical."
"Each one of our assistants have a segment, I have a segment," Meyer said. "We try to make it challenging and applicable to everyday life."
On Dwayne Haskins' continued improvement
- Praised Haskins' arm, but said he's most impressed with his growth mentally.
- "What I'm so impressed with is the teaching that goes into setting protections the right way."
- Said the protection has been great and "that's predicated on the quarterback making the right calls."
- On if he would have let Haskins throw a short pass if he knew how close he was to breaking the single-game passing record: "You never want to disrespect your opponent, but I might have."
On the defensive line
- Meyer said Dre'Mont Jones might have been one of the best players on the team, along with Nick Bosa, this offseason.
- Dre'Mont Jones has been dealing with injuries the past few weeks.
- Meyer mentioned Tyler Friday, Tyreke Smith, Taron Vincent and Tommy Togiai as younger guys that are stepping up.
- "That's a weakness right now."
- "Pass interference and defensive holding is a problem right now."
- "The one killer penalty is on special teams."
- Meyer said if a penalty is a result of playing hard, he'll just move on. But if it's because of laziness or a lack of discipline, they address it.
On defensive tendencies against the Buckeyes
- "They challenge the run, even after the success we've had throwing the ball."
- Meyer said Penn State sold out to stop the run, but Indiana didn't as much. Ohio State just didn't play well
- "Penn State, they were going to stop the run. They were going to force us to pass the ball to win. Last week, I just didn't think we played very well in the run game"
On the black stripes
- "I've been doing that 17 years now."
- "That's just a way a freshman can earn his stripe."
- "It's not easy to become and Ohio State Buckeye, and it's certainly not just because you sign a letter of intent."
- "Your teammates have to accept you."
On converting third downs
- Meyer said he wants to convert 80 percent of the time on third and short, 60 percent on third and medium and 40 percent on third and long.
- The Buckeyes are at around 70 percent on third and short, and Meyer is not satisfied.
1968 national championship team
- "I know that team," Urban Meyer said. "I actually have a picture of that 1968 national championship team at my house."
- "I also have great respect for championship teams."
- "I walk into the stadium and see the banner for the 1968 team and then look over and see 2014. That's awesome."
On noticing tendencies on the offensive line
- Johnson said they sometimes notice flat-footed offensive linemen in pass protection
- They have a presnap signal when they notice a tendency
- The scout team does a great job
On one-on-ones in practice
- "We like to get four or five good reps – no more than that."
- "It's iron sharpening iron," Johnson said. "It gets those guys ready, but it makes us ready also."
- Johnson mentioned Nick Bosa and Isaiah Prince making each other better.
On Minnesota's 6-9, 400-pound offensive tackle
- "Hey, you can't get locked up with him, because he's so strong."
- "He is a big guy, so we're going to make him move his feet."
- "We have to make sure we disengage pretty quickly."
On Minnesota's offensive line
- "They're a very big, physical offensive line."
- "We have to do a great job of holding the
- "It will probably be the most physical game we've played."
- "Those defensive tackles will have to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team"
On Robert Landers
- "People don't really know how much BB does."
- "He's a great, quick guy to get off the ball."
- Landers is "challenged, vertically," but that's an advantage. It gives him leverage and allows him to get under the pads
On the freshmen
- "You're no longer freshman anymore. After your sixth game, you're a veteran player."
- "Those guys are doing a great job."
- Johnson specifically mentioned Tommy Togiai, Tyler Friday and Tyreke Smith as freshmen that are coming along.