After a hard-fought road victory over Michigan State, the Buckeyes are back on the road again, facing Maryland in College Park.
Urban Meyer, Ryan Day and Greg Schiano took to 97.1 The Fan on Thursday to break down the gritty win over Michigan State, talking Drue Chrisman's monster game, the use of Tate Martell in the red zone, and Ohio State's success in the running game.
The trio also previewed a talented Maryland team that likes to stop the run defensively and utilize presnap motion offensively.
Here are some highlights:
On the punting game
- Meyer notes Ohio State's average starting field position was at the 50 while Michigan State's was at their own nine-yard line, which is due to Ohio State's punting game.
- Meyer said it was especially important with the wind and the weather.
- "That was obviously the difference in the game."
- "As good as Drue was, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon were even better."
- "That's my baby," Meyer said of the punt team.
- "(Chris) Olave is going to be the next guy"
On limiting big plays
- "This offense we're playing this week is all big plays."
- "It's really feast of famine," Meyer said of Maryland's offense.
- "We're starting to eliminate the big plays because we're tackling well"
Tim Hortons coffee with the coach question from Susan in Maumee, what effect does high school teams' seasons ending have on recruiting?
"Obviously there's a little more access," Meyer said, but notes it really doesn't change much.
Meyer said it just means the players have more free time to talk and visit.
On running routes beyond the first down marker
- "No, that's kind of a misnomer."
- "That's not the way it works."
- "Generally speaking, a pattern is a pattern."
- Meyer said you can't really change an entire passing pattern to run past the sticks."
- "We've never done that."
- "My answer to the offensive coaches is 'stay out of third and long.'"
On the running backs
- They're relatively healthy, and at this time of year that's rare.
- Meyer praised their unselfishness
- You have to be relatively unselfish as a running back.
On Tate Martell packages in the red zone
- Meyer notes that scoring in the red zone is hard on everybody, not just the,
- "How do you equate numbers, is always the answer."
- "Tate gives us a little bit of answer down there. I think we'll use him more in the future. It remains to be seen."
- "It gives you a quarterback playing receiver, and they can't really play receiver, so I really don't anticipate that," Meyer said of playing both quarterbacks at the same time.
- Notes Maryland uses a lot of pre-snap shifts "trying to get the defense to screw up."
- Maryland plays a defense very similar to the 46 Bear they saw against Michigan State
- "Athletically and talent-wise, this is as good of a defense as we've faced this year."
- Notes that Maryland does not take fair catches on kickoffs often.
- "Their skill is very good."
On Brendon White
- "The best thing he's done is tackle, get them on the ground," Meyer said.
- Meyer said, with all respect to Michigan State, that Maryland will be a challenge for him.
On Dwayne Haskins
- "Remember, this is his first year starting."
- "So much of playing quarterback is more than just getting the ball and throwing it."
- Meyer said Haskins has done a great job checking protections, reading the defense and all of the other mental things.
- "Obviously he's got a very quick release and he's very accurate."
On Maryland's 17 interceptions
- "I think they've done a great job."
- Ryan Day said they change their coverages so much it can confuse a quarterback.
- "When you can change that up on a quarter back..."
- "They can blitz on way, and then drop linemen the other way."
On Tate Martell
- "The first thing is, he's been practicing really, really well the past few weeks."
- "He's got a lot of short area quickness."
- Ryan Day also praised Tate's ability to throw the ball.
- "He's a little bit of change of pace, and because he's been practicing so well we decided to get him some snaps."
On Chris Chuganov
- "It's kind of like signing a free agent off of waivers," Day joked.
- He hasn't had a lot of time to prepare, but he's stepped in and done a nice job, Day said.
- "Really impressed with the way he's been handling himself."
On the running backs
- "They're running hard. Their pad level is low."
- Ryan Day said that might have been the best game they played all season.
- Ohio State did a good job of blocking, but there's always going to be a free hitter, and the running backs did a great job of making him miss or running through him.
- "Late in the game, we turned four-yard runs into six-yard runs."
On defensive scores
- "Any time you can get non-offensive scores, it fires everybody up."
- "It's a quick hit and it can change the complexion of a game."
On controlling the field
- "Scoring drives don't necessarily have to be one drive, it can be two or three drives."
- The key is to keep moving the ball, play defense, and keep shifting the field.
- "Eventually, it's going in the end zone."
On Shaun Wade
- "He's really progressed."
- Schiano praised his versatility.
- "I think he's done a great job. He plays safety and then he goes down and plays what's pretty much a corner position on the inside."
On the defensive line's dominance without Nick Bosa
- Schiano believes Nick Bosa was the best player in college football, and that he made the rest of the defensive line significantly better.
- Other guys have had to step up in his absence.
- "It's so much harder to rush the passer than it is to protect the passer."
- Said depth at the position helps.