It's a bye week at Ohio State, but after a loss to an unranked opponent on Saturday, it hardly means its time for rest.
Urban Meyer and Kevin Wilson took to the radio waves on Thursday afternoon to dissect Saturday's defeat and discuss the struggling running game, the red zone woes and how the team will bounce back during the bye week.
Here are the highlights.
On recovering from the Purdue loss
- Meyer the Buckeyes "attacked" their areas of concern on Sunday and Monday.
- Some of the coaching staff is already out on the road for recruiting this weekend, but players will practice today before getting some recovery time this weekend.
- "We're beat up right now," Meyer said, but he expects them to be healthier after the bye week.
- The Buckeyes are working on scheme tweaks, but are already game planning for Nebraska to "try to get a leg up."
On missed red zone opportunities:
- "When you get four red zone opportunities and get two field goals, that's a whole different ball game if you get it in the end zone."
- That's been a strength of the team, but not recently.
- "I can't tell you the number of hours we've spent on that."
Tim Hortons coffee with the coach question from Jamie in Rock Creak, what's the long-term prognosis on Austin Mack's injury?
"There's a chance at the end of the year for a bowl game," Meyer said.
Meyer called it a "fluke injury," saying "it was non-contact, he just twisted wrong on the field."
Meyer said Jaylen Harris and Chris Olave will have to step up in Mack's absence, Binjimen Victor is the starter.
"Ben Vick is the starter at X right now," Meyer said.
On the tight ends
- Meyer said he thinks they'll become more involved in the offense.
- "Rashod and Luke have done a really good job,"
- Mentioned Jeremy Ruckert is coming along.
On Dwayne Haskins throwing 73 times
- "That's certainly not the intent."
- The score indicated that in the fourth quarter you basically throw it every down."
- "For six years, it was 50/50 – 250 rush, 250 pass. It's not," Meyer said of the running and passing balance. "We have to do better at that."
On Malik Harrison
- "You can't see the ceiling of his potential"
- Meyer said he just has to play loose.
On the place kickers
- "Sean is still not cleared."
- Sean Nuernberger is expected to be healthy next week.
- "As of now, Blake is the starter and we'll re-evaluate that each week."
On young corners ready to step up
- Meyer said Cam Brown was coming before his injury.
- Sevyn Banks and Tyreke Johnson are next up after Brown.
- Meyer said Shaun Wade has a corner skillset, but we're trying to get him ready to play safety."
On K.J. Hill
- "He's an elite player. He's a guy that you count on."
- "He's maybe not the fastest guy or the biggest guy," but he gets the job done.
- Notes Dwayne Haskins has a lot of confidence in him.
On the special teams
- "That was devastating," Meyer said of Davon Hamilton's roughing the punter.
- Meyer said overall the special teams played well against Purdue.
- On the competition at the offensive line
- "Those guys are coming along very, very nicely," Wilson said.
- "Some of those young guys are knocking on the door."
- Competition is a great ally of a coach and a great ally of a unit."
- "Not that there's any job up for grabs," Wilson said, "but competition is healthy."
On transitioning from guard to center
- "It's the same position, it's just managing the ball."
- "The center passes the ball more than anyone else on the team – he passes it every play."
- "It's really just the ability to manage the ball."
- "He becomes the voice box for the offensive line."
- "There's a little more communication and leadership skills needed."
On faltering in the red zone
- "You need to run the ball a little bit better," Wilson said.
- "Running the ball is a mindset and an attitude," Wilson said.
- Wilson said you can change the scheme, but ultimately it comes down to execution.
- "The box has always been loaded," Wilson said, even when J.T. Barrett was running it last year.
- "You have to make competitive one-on-one plays," Wilson said.
On Jeremy Ruckert
- "I really think Jeremy Ruckert's doing well."
- Wilson said Ohio State needs to get Ruckert on the field more.
- "We should have been playing him all along," Wilson said, when the Buckeyes began to air it out in the second half. "He's playing good, and he plays the least."
How important is first down on second and third down play calling?
- When you're doing well on first down, it sets the rhythm for the rest of the offense.
- "When you're not doing well on first down, you're out of rhythm."
- Wilson said he thinks all good offenses have good rhythm.
Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano made a brief appearance towards the end of the show, discussing how Ohio State's secondary played against Purdue.
- Schiano said the Buckeyes tried to double-team Rondale Moore, "but he's a good player."
- Shiano said Shaun Wade, who was matched up against Moore most of the game, actually did a good job even though Moore did beat him a few times.
- "The competition at the safety spot alongside Jordan Fuller hasn't been settled yet. That isn't a good thing in Week 9," Schiano said.
The Buckeyes are off this week, but return to action on Nov. 3 when they host Nebraska at noon in Ohio Stadium.