LL Cool J's "It's Time For War" was playing inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday morning, which can only mean one thing: It's Michigan week at Ohio State.
The music stopped for a few minutes so Ohio State coach Urban Meyer could meet with the media for his only press conference of the week – with abbreviated media availability this week with Thanksgiving on Thursday – to preview Saturday's rivalry game against Michigan, a contest between two 10-1 teams that will decide who wins the Big Ten East and earns a berth in next week's Big Ten Championship Game.
A bullet-point recap of what Meyer had to say about the game ahead, as well as looking back on Saturday's 52-51 overtime win at Maryland:
- Dwayne Haskins, J.K. Dobbins, Tuf Borland and Demario McCall were named as Ohio State's players of the game for Saturday's game. McCall, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, Luke Farrell, Rashod Berry, Joshua Alabi, Malcolm Pridgeon, Michael Jordan, Demetrius Knox and Isaiah Prince were also named champions on offense, while Chase Young, Dre'Mont Jones and Malik Harrison earned champion honors on defense. Meyer also gave recognition to Drue Chrisman and Josh Proctor for their performances on special teams.
- On how Maryland performed on Saturday: "What they've gone through with the tragedy in the spring ... that was a tremendous performance," Meyer said, referencing the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair during an offseason team workout.
- Meyer was blunt on the defense's performance against Maryland: "It was not good."
- "Dwayne really took a step" with his performance on Saturday, particularly because he was able to make plays as a runner as well as a passer, Meyer said.
- Left tackle Thayer Munford is probable to play this week after leaving Saturday's game with an injury. Mike Weber and Baron Browning have also been cleared to play this week.
- Meyer said he has had "uncomfortable" and "direct" conversations with the coaching staff about the defense's performance this season.
- Meyer said he doesn't talk with the team about being an underdog or about being doubted by people outside the program.
- On improving in the red zone and being more balanced on offense: "Our guys have worked tremendously hard at that."
- Meyer said he doesn't believe there's been a significant talent differential in any of his games against Michigan. "It's always been extremely close."
- Meyer said he met Woody Hayes "several times" when he was a graduate assistant at Ohio State under Earle Bruce.
- Could you get away with using Woody Hayes' coaching methods today? "Zero chance," but added, "The guys like Woody Hayes, I'm sure, would have adapted."
- Meyer said he only watches Michigan during the season before this week when there's crossover with other opponents Ohio State is playing.
- Meyer acknowledged that there is an "inherent understanding" that players from Ohio have of the rivalry that Ohio State players who are not from the state might not.
- Meyer said Branden Bowen was "ready to go" if needed to play at left tackle on Saturday, too, even though Joshua Alabi played in place of Munford.
- On Isaiah Prince: "I think Isaiah's worked as hard as any offensive lineman I've ever had."
Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for additional coverage this afternoon from Meyer's press conference.