Urban Meyer postgame transcript
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addressed the media after the Buckeyes’ 38-12 victory against Western Michigan on Saturday.
COACH MEYER: As always, thank our incredible student body and the fans. And the Buckeye Walk was outstanding, and so was the skull session.
So always very much appreciative as I speak on behalf of our players. Also Jacob and Noah. Today was Muscular Dystrophy Coach, I think it’s called Coach For Cure. And I’m proud to say that everyone associated with Ohio State Football, including some of folks here that were gracious enough to donate some money to an incredible cause. Used to wear this patch on my arm for many years. And I wore it because someone said wear a patch on your arm. And I had no idea why I was wearing a patch on my arm. And this young man is a part of our family. I love this guy. He’s a guy that makes my day. It’s not just him, it’s his family. And we raised $10,000 for an incredible cause in Jacob’s name. So very appreciative for those of you that also were contributors.
We played much better on offensive line. Controlled the line of scrimmage. The receivers had a very good day. Offensively, it’s close. The alarming part is the underthrown deep ball, which is fixable. It’s not fixable when you don’t have wideouts that can stretch a field. But we do.
And I’ve not seen the videotape, and it’s hard to see exactly what goes on on the field, but I know at least three or four underthrown touchdowns, or potential big hits. We have to get those fixed.
But overall, I thought Cardale played okay. He threw for 288. I still give him the okay because we have high expectations and a couple turnovers.
I thought Zeek is our most consistent offensive player. Our perimeter blocking was much better. Curtis Samuel is obviously a guy that we need to get that ball in his hand a little bit. I thought Braxton competed as well. And so I feel much better leaving this game as we move forward on offense.
Special teams was dynamic. We just had stupid penalty– they called Mike Thomas holding on a blocked punt. That’s the first time. That’s it. And they said that the guy ran and he tried to get out of his way and he grabbed his shirt, which I’ll obviously look at that. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I haven’t seen it.
We were going after a block and they called holding. And we blocked the punt. So that was a big change of field position.
We had a huge punt return all the way down inside the red zone and they got called back. So we have to clean up some penalties. But the effort was good.
Defensively, I don’t think we played our typical silver bullet self for — the interior run was an issue. And I’m sure you can visit with Coach Fickell and Coach Ash, we have to get that fixed. I don’t know exactly what happened. But, overall, much better performance as we get ready to play a team that’s 4 and 0 and start the Big Ten season.
Q. But it was the third straight game with a defensive touchdown. How big a lift is that, and an improving offense and a bonus like that?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, it’s the style of defense where we are aggressive. We challenge throws. All I saw is Adolphus running with the ball. I’m not quite sure what happened. The ball was tipped. But that’s obviously a big momentum pickup for us.
But think about our punter, too. Our punter and the punt team’s right now dynamic. We’re protecting. We’re covering. There’s no return yards. Net 51. That’s a good day.
Q. Seems kind of odd to think of Cardale underthrowing today with his arm strength. Is there anything you think you can make of that before you go watch the film?
COACH MEYER: I talked to both of them, because J.T. had one, too. And they’re calling inside nines, and that’s kind of a staple of our offense throughout these last three or four years.
And I think it wasn’t — it’s the Devin Smith. But they were underthrown because the wideouts were behind them. So that’s something I’m going to find out. The one thing that we do is, if we find out we’re not good at something, we practice the heck out of it so we’re going to practice the heck out of it.
Q. You mentioned the offensive line, crediting them for their work. What did they do in practice this week? What kind of commitment did they make to show that kind of improvement this week?
COACH MEYER: I think they got beat up a little bit and they got — I mean, I know I was exhausted by the time — Paul Keels asked me question after question after question. And so I think what I did, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I got asked the same questions. And I’m sure — I know I was tired of hearing about it, so I’m sure they were, too.
And Ed Warinner did an excellent job. And so that’s what we expect and we can still get better.
Q. You talked about having receivers today that could stretch the field and do that. Did you know coming into today that you had those guys? Were you wondering about that at all?
COACH MEYER: No. That was a little bit — because we haven’t separated like we need to. We separated today. And when I looked up, and once again, I’ll have more information next week for you after I watch it. But I can count five times we were behind them. And we had I think just one touchdown. I think we had one or two PIs, but they were underthrown. The underthrown interception was underthrown.
So I think we kind of figured out — Corey Smith had a good day. Jalen Marshall had a good day. Those are kind of over-the-top guys.
Q. We saw Braxton make some big catches in the opener against Virginia Tech. Where is he in his continued progress?
COACH MEYER: Trying to give him the ball. It’s an effort to try — we’re releasing him out of the backfield. We’re flipping him the ball, lining him up with the quarterback, and we’re just not having the big hits right now and we will.
Q. Has Braxton been showing some, I don’t know, lack of confidence? What do you see out of him when he comes back to the sidelines for some of those?
COACH MEYER: No, we’re not — I don’t necessarily think it’s him. Although I do think — did he drop one today? Just the concentration.
Q. Trying to make a move and dropped the ball.
COACH MEYER: No, it’s not lack of effort. It’s not like a 1-2. It’s not attitude. It’s great. And he had a good week in practice. We’ll keep pushing.
Q. Have you ever been around a defense that scored three touchdowns, or touchdowns in three straight games?
COACH MEYER: I can’t remember.
Q. But what is it — what is going on with that group more than anything else that you like?
COACH MEYER: Actually, I bet you the reaction that I imagine you see when I imagine a couple guys come up here is going to be a little disappointed that they didn’t play better.
Yeah, we score on defense, but as a whole I felt, once again not until I see the videotape and talk to our coaches, that we could have played better.
And the expectation level right now of our defense is very high. A couple of years ago you would have took that and said nice job. That’s not good enough right now.
Q. Looked like it was a concerted effort to increase the tempo. Could you address that? And also the play calling mechanics, did you change anything this week?
COACH MEYER: No, not really. The one guy that’s getting more comfortable is Tim Beck upstairs. I thought he did a very good job today. And the way that we’ve always run it is Ed, myself, run this. Script the series. Much better today. Much more organized. And you have to do that from upstairs. So he did a nice job today.
COACH MEYER: And the tempo is something that we’re looking for cleaner defenses than we saw and not playing defense on offense. And we were much better at that today.
Q. The deep ball to Curtis Samuel, Corey Smith was right in the same area. Who was the intended receiver?
COACH MEYER: I’m sorry?
Q. The deep ball to Curtis Samuel, Corey Smith was almost right next to him.
COACH MEYER: Curtis is the second level guy. But just react to the ball that was thrown. I think to Corey Smith. They’re not designed to stand right next to each other. Might be an idiot. Not that big an idiot.