Big Ten Teleconference Recap: Urban Meyer Discusses Nick Bosa's Decision And How Ohio State Replaces Him

By Colin Hass-Hill on October 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm
Urban Meyer

Ohio State moved to 7-0 with a not-so-convincing 30-14 win against Minnesota on Saturday. Before the Buckeyes head to West Lafayette, Indiana, to take on Purdue, Urban Meyer hopped on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday to discuss his team's upcoming matchup against the Boilermakers and Nick Bosa's decision to end his career.

Here are some notes from what Meyer discussed on Tuesday's teleconference.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • Says the guys who have stepped up in Nick Bosa's absence need to continue to step up. Lists Chase Young, Jonathon Cooper, Jashon Cornell, Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday as the important players.
  • Says he doesn't know if the Bosa's decision will become a trend: "Every individual's different."
  • On Bosa's decision: "Very emotional. We love Nick. The Bosa family has been obviously awesome for the Ohio State program."
  • On whether he was surprised of Bosa's decision: "I was hopeful. But I can't say I was that surprised."
  • Says he both understands and supports the decisions of Nick Bosa and Denzel Ward. Compares it to the NFL draft early entries that teams just have to understand and move on.
  • On how he will address the Bosa decision with the team: "This just happened. I'm still debating on how to do it."
  • He says he is very pleased with Ohio State's execution in the pass game. Big plays remain the concern on defense.
  • On Damon Arnette: "He's a good player. Obviously when you're facing a team that throws it as good as Purdue, he's a key guy." Says he's not sure how the cornerbacks would rotate if Arnette can't play on Saturday.
  • Says two or three years ago, Terry McLaurin made major strides on the field. Calls him an "A-plus guy."
  • He says Nick Bosa's family is still working on whether he will be around the team the rest of the season, even though he won't play.
  • "I have dealt with the headaches this year and last year, but I'm doing fine." Says his cyst sometimes flares up and medication is helpful. Asked whether it's better or worse: "It's fine."
  • Says Haskell Garrett will remain inside even though he played some snaps at defensive end with Jonathon Cooper out of the game.
  • On the defensive line without Bosa: "I think they've played pretty good. Obviously when you take one of the best players in college football out, that's an issue."
  • Says he hasn't thought about whether it's best that the Bosa news came out now instead of possible speculation about a returning remaining the rest of the season.

Here are some highlights from the other Big Ten coaches during Tuesday's teleconference.

Chris Ash, Rutgers 
  • He says special teams in an indicator or the culture of your football team since players are doing jobs they weren't necessarily recruited to do. Says the kick coverage units are playing as well as they have since he arrived.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
  • Says Brandon Peters no longer banged up and is healthy.
  • On Joe Milton: "He handled the ball well. Made a good run. Good to see him mix it up out there and go play."
  • On the offensive line "Each guy in the unit is playing their best football." Says they're also playing very well together as a group. 
  • Asked what are the keys to playing well on the road this week: All of them. All the things we want to be at our best. Defensive unit, offensive unit, special teams. All those factors, and I think it's going to take every man on every play. I think that's the biggest key."
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  • "I liked how we've started the week and looking forward to the opportunity to play Illinois this weekend."
  • On the matchup with Illinois: "It means a ton. It's a conference opponent and West Division opponent and certainly that's enough." 
  • On the new redshirt rule : "I think we're all figuring it out as the season goes on." Says when it's all said and done, there'll probably be a few players who play four or fewer games and remain redshirt eligible.
  • On players like Nick Bosa deciding to end the season early after an injury: "I'm so reluctant to comment on.. Each individual's situation is so completely different. Everyone wants what's best for people. I would say this, that people are more and more aware of everything, so it wouldn't surprise me if we saw more of it." 
  • Says Illinois is an important state for recruiting due to close proximity to Wisconsin's campus.
Scott Frost, Nebraska
  • Unavailable for the teleconference due to a scheduling conflict.
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
  • Asked whether Michigan State's trick plays give Michigan something to worry about: "I'm on alert for their trickery, I'll put it that way."
  • Says game-planning against any defense is difficult because you never know what they'll do and change. Says Michigan will be very difficult to game-plan for and calls it a challenge.
  • Says he's tried to hold some young players off the field until later in the season to take advantage of the new redshirt rule. As many as eight players will play, but redshirt, he estimates. He says the rule is good for college football because it allows teams to brings extra players and offers game experience for young players, which will benefit college football in general. 
  • On players like Nick Bosa deciding to end the season early after an injury: "I'm sure that's every individual player's decision going forward." Says that hasn't happened much in the past and he's just now hearing the Bosa news. Says he's not sure this will become a trend and it hasn't happened at Michigan State.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  • "Just really happy to get two conference wins and two road wins the past two weeks."
  • On C.J. Beathard: "I watched it eating dinner with the team. The pre-game portion was on." Saw the last two drives last night, one of which ended with an interception. Says he's not surprised Beathard had a good game.
  • On players like Nick Bosa deciding to end the season early after an injury: "It's fair to say the world we're living in is changing daily – apparently daily because I wasn't aware of that. Maybe hourly. I don't think any of it surprised me as we move forward. Two years ago maybe was the first time I heard of a veteran player pulling out of a bowl game." Continuing: "I guess there's a business side to everything and there's also a sports side to things. You'd never want a player to do something that's stupid. But at the same time, there's conflict at times. We're just living in a place right now where things are, nothing would surprise me, I guess."
P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
  • Asked about targeting, Fleck says coaches look for whether there is any malicious intent. He says "I don't think there was any malicious intent," with Coney Durr's hit that got him ejected from Saturday's game against Ohio State. But, Fleck says officials will always err on the side of player safety, which Fleck backs "100 percent."
  • Says the idea of turnover props has been presented to him by a player, but he says it needs to be very creative and done as a team.
  • Says Minnesota has had to embrace the redshirt rule because it is the youngest team in the country. 
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
  • On turnover props: "I think if the guys came to me, it's something we would discuss in the offseason." Says it sounds like the newest gimmick in college football.
  • Calls the redshirt rule one of the best rules implemented in college football in a long time.
Lovie Smith, Illinois
  • Says Purdue quarterback David Blough is a very good, underrated quarterback who makes all the right decisions. 
Matt Canada, Maryland
  • Says he's looking forward to going to Iowa because it's a tremendous place to play, but also a tremendous challenge.
  • Says Nate Staley is playing very efficiently and is running the offense efficiently. Says he's playing at a very high level.
Jeff Brohm, Purdue
  • "We're definitely excited about this upcoming weekend." Calls Ohio State a team that knows how to win: "They do it every week."
  • On quarterback David Blough: "I think the first thing is I've done a better job. I probably wasn't aggressive with him early." Says he opened up the playbook against Missouri and attacked down the field, which has led to him playing well lately.
  • He says Ohio State tries to take away easy throws and make teams attack them down the field. Says it's important for Purdue to hit throws up the field. 
  • "I think without question there'a lot of buzz around town." Says fans understand this is a "huge test" and a great opportunity.
  • Says Ohio State has a good quarterback who likes to throw the ball. "They've become a pass-first team that sets up the pass by running the ball." Says this is the best passing team they've faced this season, and it'll be pertinent to pressure Haskins. 
  • Calls Markus Bailey the most talented player on Purdue's defense. "If he plays a great game, it'll definitely help us." Says it's natural for Bailey, a Columbus native, to have extra motivation going against the Buckeyes.
  • He feels the defense has made improvement after struggles early in the year. Says the approach has been more aggressive. 
  • On Ohio State: "They can run the ball when they want, but they like to throw it."
James Franklin, Penn State


  • Says he has tremendous respect for Indiana's defensive coaches, and the Hoosiers have forced a lot of turnovers.
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