Urban Meyer addresses starting QB job, Braxton Miller's status
Urban Meyer talked about Ohio State’s quarterback situation when J.T. Barrett returns from suspension next week and how Braxton Miller was doing after departing the game with a head injury.
Here’s the complete postgame transcript from the Buckeye coach:
COACH MEYER: Thanks for coming. And appreciate our fans and incredible atmosphere at nighttime in the Horseshoe. I don’t think we played a clean game. I do not want to take anything away from our opponent, because that’s two weeks in a row that they just swung as hard as they possibly could, with very good players.
I thought our defense, you know, we gave up some pass yards there. Certainly too many at the end. For the most part they just kept us — because offensively we’re sloppy and not executing at a high level.
And then once we got going, we had some big plays and scored enough points to win the game. I’ll answer any questions for you.
Q. Was that the call for Cardale, was that a keeper on his own? Was that a little option play, the clinching touchdown there at the end?
COACH MEYER: We knew they were going to be blitzing and it was called. That was a direct run, cue run where you just gap everybody down. We knew they’d be all over the place. And we wanted at that point to keep the clock running.
And yeah, that was a direct run.
Q. And the other thing, with J.T., like you said, you’ll address that this coming week and stuff. Will he be in the running for the starting job this coming week?
COACH MEYER: Yes.
Q. How would you evaluate Cardale going back out there just as a whole? And then as you said, what do you need to see in the early part of the week as you make that decision?
COACH MEYER: Well, just the accuracy in the throw game. I feel like — it’s hard for me to say now that, because I don’t see — I’m down on the field, and you can’t see a thing down there.
And when we’re getting in some situations where it might be, like, bear-0 or the no-deep situations, that they’re going to do the best they can to take away Zeek. And they pretty much did. I mean, he only had 114 yards on 26 carries, but weren’t able to get him out like we like to. And there’s only one way to do that, and it’s been that way since the beginning of the evolution of football.
They do this, you have to be able to hit those. And when we do, we move the ball. So obviously we had a couple of big ones. The Jalin, Braxton, and a couple other ones. We just gotta continue to work at that.
Q. Did you want to throw deep more in the second half? It seemed like you stretched it a little bit more.
COACH MEYER: I wanted to hit the deep ones, yeah. Not just throw. Throw, you just throw. Hit the deep ones.
Q. How did he —
COACH MEYER: Okay. I can’t remember when Jalin, I think Jalin was in the first half, and second half we had Braxton in a very good, no-deep situation. But we had Curtis on one, Braxton on another one. One of the linemen made a mistake.
So those are those situations when we’re cooking, we’re nailing it. Those are the situations that when you get no-deep or nine up, eight up to stop the run that you have to hit those deep balls.
Q. You said sloppy, but several — you may not be aware, three or four, I don’t know how many unbeatens — TCU, Michigan State, Memphis lost today — survive and advance.
COACH MEYER: Best thing about 9-0? A chance to go 10-0 with a good bunch of people. Can’t wait to go back to work tomorrow.
Q. First of all, how is Braxton?
COACH MEYER: I think he’ll be all right. I just talked to him. I’ll know more tomorrow.
Q. What was the — more the shoulder, chest?
COACH MEYER: I’m not quite sure. I think he just got the wind knocked out of him or dinged a little bit. I’ll know more tomorrow.
Q. The interception by Vonn Bell, when they initially called it targeting, were you pretty sure it was not, and were you thinking —
COACH MEYER: I just saw — I didn’t see it. I just saw it on the big screen like everyone else did. But I couldn’t tell.
Q. Your overall grade on Cardale and the offense’s performance as a whole?
COACH MEYER: I’m not going to do that. I’ll know more tomorrow when I watch the videotape, because a lot of times when I used to do that I’m wrong. And I’d rather wait until I let you know for sure when I meet with you guys on Monday or Tuesday.
Q. Just kind of your overall impression, though, if you know just coming off the game?
COACH MEYER: Not what we would expect. We expect to play better. I hate to say that because that sometimes sounds like we’re taking away from our opponent, because they’re a pretty rugged group. But just expect much more efficiency out of our offense. Did we have any turnovers?
Q. Had one, lost fumble.
COACH MEYER: Okay.
Q. We’ve talked about this a lot this year with J.T. and Cardale. At this point, do you feel like the offense is very different when one guy’s in compared to the other? You saw what J.T. did with the run game, did you feel that tonight?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, I felt a little different. A little different. Probably more so now as the season’s gone on than I did earlier in the year. A little different.
I think the read game, you know, that’s not a big part of Cardale’s game, which is kind of one of the parts of the foundation of the offense.
So you have to get those yards somewhere else, and it’s got to be that. And looks pretty good when you’re hitting that. Because they’re really — you know, at times just putting a lot — this team, that’s their base because they have two very good corners. Stop the run, stop the run, stop the run, and, boy, they were up in there. And we were trying to be as creative as we can to get some runs going. But then you’ve got to hit those passes.
Q. If my numbers are correct tonight, Zeke became Ohio State’s fourth leading all-time leading rusher. Could you talk a little bit about his consistency and how you count on that guy all the time?
COACH MEYER: He’s an animal. I love that kid. He’s a team player. You can see how he was holding onto the ball because they were trying to strip it there at the end. And he’s excellent in pass protection again tonight. And yeah, he’s a work horse that we’re very glad he’s going to be with us for a while.
Q. Vonn Bell had a pretty stellar game, a pick-6 and 10 overall tackles. Could you talk about his play tonight how he was all over the field?
COACH MEYER: I’ll know more but I see what you saw. I don’t spend a lot of time right now on that. On Sunday I will and find out how he did. But I saw the same thing you did. He’s one of our more consistent performers not just on defense but on our team.