Following a nail-biting 20-13 victory against Northern Illinois, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addressed the media.


COACH MEYER: So the best thing about 3-0 is a chance to go 4-0. And ever since last year, the end of last season, our defense was playing exceptionally well. I think they held that out to whatever yards they did, well below their average. And five turnovers on offense, that’s exceptional play by our defense.

So I know there’s going to be a million questions about the offense. And there should be. There’s a little discombobulation that’s got to get worked out, and we’ve got good players, good coaches, good scheme.

And I always get sick when I start talking like that because you take away from a great effort by an opponent. But it’s a very good effort by an opponent. But we expect much, much higher execution than what we’re having right now.

Q. There won’t be any excuses, wasn’t a short week; they didn’t play a strange defense. Can you put your finger —
COACH MEYER: Played all odd. They changed their defense; but once again, you’re right, that’s —

Q. Can you put your finger on what the issue is offensively?
COACH MEYER: No, just because you can say the offensive line is not blocking well, we’re not coaching well on the offensive line. Then all of a sudden the receivers have some issues and the quarterbacks have some issues. It’s discombobulated right now.

And offense, it’s a play. Easiest way to think it’s 11 people doing the right things at the right time. And we’re having some issues with that. It’s not happening, obviously.

So we’ll go back to work and get it fixed and get it fixed fast. I have not lost confidence in our staff and our players. Obviously we have very good players, and we’ll get it worked out.

Q. The pick six by Darron Lee maybe ends up being the difference in the game. Maybe talk about that, and should you give one guy all the reps now, everybody’s — all the armchair guys say that’s all diluted, do you need to pick the guy —
COACH MEYER: It’s all diluted?

Q. The reps, are they diluted?
COACH MEYER: There might be some truth to that. Not that I’m going to call some armchair people and ask them what they think.

But I do believe in game reps. And that’s how players get better. And that’s something that I’m going to — I’m going to spend a lot of time thinking about that.

Q. What about Darron’s play?
COACH MEYER: Great play. He’s one of the best players in the country. I love that kid. And he’s a high energy guy. He’s got great, offensive skilled hands, and really is a great player for us.

Q. The quarterbacks threw three interceptions today. What part of the offensive struggles are the quarterback at the moment?
COACH MEYER: I’m not prepared to tell you right yet. I’ll give you a little bit more insight next week. But the first one, it was a wet ball, and he let it go down the field.

The second one was just a misread. And the third one was we were trying to vertical pass down the field. So misfired.

I don’t think there was duress on any one of them. It’s just not fair for me to say — I’m not a big BCV guy, I’m not going to complain and defend. I’ll have more information for you next week after we decipher what exactly happened.

Q. I know the game just ended but do you know who your starting quarterback is right now?
COACH MEYER: Good question. And I don’t know that right now. I haven’t had time to think about it.

Q. You’ve spoken several times past couple of weeks about the offensive line. Just a thought on, when you’re dealing with them right now midgame, are you sensing some frustration from them? Because they know and they understand.
COACH MEYER: Sure, these are veteran kids that have been playing together for couple years, second year playing together, with the addition of Chase. And that’s kind of, when you think of big wins we’ve had around here because you’re displacing people, and we’re a play action team on top of that. That’s when things are going downhill fast, when you get Zeek and you see him busting through there and play action off of that.

And we’re not hitting it. We haven’t really had — against Virginia Tech, the Bears, we were discombobulated. Last week was all odd, and then this week they went to all odd, and we’re having trouble with that right now.

So number one we’ve got to give our players the right stuff at the right time to give them a chance and then they have to execute it. And I’m certainly not saying, boy, the offensive line — no, no, that’s not it at all. So we have a long way to go, coaching and playing. The good thing is we’re going to devote a lot of time to getting this thing right.

Q. With as much as your reputation is tied to offense, are you okay with this currently being a defense-led program?
COACH MEYER: Sure. I’m okay with winning games. I’m not okay with five turnovers and lacking execution and not being able to control the line of scrimmage, because that’s a recipe for failure, at some point you’ll fail miserably. Turnovers, if you can’t control the line of scrimmage, you’re not going to win a big game. And those two things have to get fixed fast.

Q. I heard you say discombobulated, was me — how many times have you used that word in your life?
COACH MEYER: Offensively, a couple. It’s been a while since we’ve looked like this. So we’ve got to get it fixed. Did I learn that from you?

Q. Maybe.
COACH MEYER: Are you just taking credit?

Q. No. I wanted to ask you, there was a time there when J.T. threw a ball out to Vannett in the left flat and pulled the string on it. And looked like you mouthed to J.T., watching the television, “throw the ball.” What was going on, did you feel some tentativeness from your quarterbacks today?
COACH MEYER: Once again, those kind of questions, I want to wait until I watch it. I do remember it kind of died on him on the left flat wide open. And he’s a great player. He’s got to shoot that. I think, Nick, it was a low catch, go to catch it, turn around, make a play and go get a first down. I’ll have more. But you’re not going to have me starting pointing fingers. I’m not going to do that.

Q. I won’t do that. (Question off microphone)?
COACH MEYER: We felt like he gave us the best chance to move the ball down the field.

Q. How good was your secondary today? Northern Illinois had over 700 passing yards — how good was your secondary today? They only had 80 yards passing, over 700 in the first two games. How crucial was their performance today in giving you guys a victory?
COACH MEYER: That’s three games in a row. I think two that we’ve kept — I didn’t know that — we kept them under 100 yards, right? That’s unheard of. Once again we have — I love this quarterback we played. This coach, I don’t know him, but I told him what an outstanding team he has.

But our secondary across the boards is as fine as any secondary I’ve had. We’ve had some really good secondaries over the years.

Q. You guys had a seven-point lead. It was third and goal at the five, something like that. Ezekiel Elliott went up the middle, got two yards. Looked like there was a lot of confusion on the sidelines. Did somebody not know it was third down, or what was the thought on that play call? Maybe throw the ball in the end zone, perhaps?
COACH MEYER: I’m trying to recall the play. We’ve done that before. It was kind of two-down territory, and I wanted to pound it in there. We didn’t get the necessary yardage. Is that where he kicked the field goal?

Q. Yes.
COACH MEYER: The confidence level I have right now is to give it to one of the best running backs in America, and come walking off the line of scrimmage against pressure, what we’ve done many, many times over the last few years.