Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer has immersed himself in preparations for the Wisconsin game. 97.1 The Fan, however, did manage to pry him away for an hour to get him to preview that battle with the Badgers.
He started out talking about the bye-week and the typical rest/rust debate that comes after some time off. Meyer admitted he had concerns, but “I like where we’re at.”
He especially likes that the break allowed Etienne Sabino to get healthy. The linebacker will start Saturday. Meyer imagines he’ll play quite a bit, too.
On the other hand, Bri’onte Dunn is still dealing with a sprain of his MCL, and he’s out this weekend. Meyer confirmed that with Dunn sidelined, they’ve given some practice snaps to Adam Homan, but they would only use him as an emergency third string tailback. “That’s not where we want to go,” said Meyer.
Meyer would, without a doubt, prefer to ride Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith and quarterback Braxton Miller, and Miller won’t be the only signal caller who figures prominently in the Buckeye run game.
In an interesting discussion of Ohio State recruiting, Meyer said he would not pursue a quarterback who didn’t move well. Part of the reason for this is it takes a mobile quarterback to run Meyer’s offense. The other reason, and it’s not insignificant, is that defenses are so multiple these days.
That’s an aside, though. Again the focus is on Wisconsin. Regarding the Badgers, Meyer made it clear: “There’s one rivalry game, and that’s next week. This is a huge game because Wisconsin is really good.”
He singled out for praise linebacker Chris Borland and running backs James White and Montee Ball.
He also had kind words for the Badgers head coach. “When Barry Alvarez went there, that whole program changed,” Meyer said of UW’s current athletics director. “Coach Bielema has done a great job continuing that and making it even better.”
- Meyer said they’ll go to their jet, up-tempo offense more and more as time rolls on.
- He graded two position groups, giving the offensive line a B…maybe even higher. However, he called the wide receivers a C and still an “area of sincere concern.”
- Meyer spent a lot of time discussing what the Buckeyes will do to make up for the fact that they’ll miss 15 bowl practices due to their postseason ban. He already plans on them doing strength work and drills that will help his players do a better job getting into a football stance and tackle. They’ll put two sleds in the indoor facility for the offensive lineman and two machines in for the defensive lineman.