Ohio State erupted in the second half for a 31-7 win over Army on Saturday, giving the Buckeyes a win one week after suffering a loss to Oklahoma.
Here’s what head coach Urban Meyer had to say after the win:
“I’d like to thank the Buckeye Nation. Jerry just informed me, 108,000 people showed up after a tough loss a week ago. I can’t speak for everybody, but what drives me and drives a lot of our players and our coaching staff is not wanting to let Buckeye Nation down. So, from our heart, thank you for your support again, and it was a beautiful day in the Horseshoe against a good football team, a team that — just had a nice talk with our players.”
My father was in the Army. My sister was in the Air Force, spent many times against the Air Force Academy. Played Navy several times. Never been to Annapolis yet. I will. I took my son to West Point and we stayed in General Blake’s house. And they were gracious, took us to the firing range, and just saw some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s been a bucket list of mine to go do that.
It’s easy to put your head on the pillow at night knowing that men and women that represent our country, it’s awesome. So that was a great experience to play them. It was a pain in the rear end.
They had an 18 play, 99-yard drive. They just wear you out. It was 14-7, and our defense, Coach Schiano and the defensive staff, did a great job. And obviously the players. Tuf Borland came in and did a heck of a job.
On J.T. Barrett:
I’ve known about the Big Ten Conference for probably 40-some years, and of all the great players that have played here, to say you’re the number one touchdown maker in the history of the Big Ten Conference, that’s awesome. That’s something that — that’s going to be a hard one to break. He’s got a lot of games left. Much credit to him and I appreciate him. Questions?
Q. Can you describe how difficult this last week was for you and how much of a necessity having a game like this was psychologically?
COACH MEYER: Losing is awful. And it was the typical — it’s not the first time. I hope it’s the last time. But sometimes those things happen. You work really hard not to allow it to happen, and you go through the discomfort of being crushed, to extremely angry and self-reflection — what could you have done better? And then you have to somehow pull yourself off the canvas and get going. How do you do that? You do that with your faith, your family and your friends and your teammates.
That’s why a lot of us have very narrow circles. And mine are just who I mentioned and most importantly our players. So they did a good job. A guy like Billy Price is a strong guy, and he picks us right off the canvas and let’s go.
Q. Tuf Borland came in, was that a performance issue on Chris Worley’s part?
COACH MEYER: No, he has a little sprained foot. Tuf played fantastic.
Q. Do you think that’s a position that becomes a competition more so now?
COACH MEYER: Sure. Worley is a leader, but anybody that plays well gets an opportunity.
Q. This wasn’t the first time this week that J.T.’s had some adversity or had people question him. He’s always seemed to bounce back traditionally throughout his career. What is it about him that allows him to make those plays, make those games come back? And did you have any conversations, notice anything different with him throughout this week?
COACH MEYER: The heart of a lion. It’s a heart this big. And toughness, one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around. That’s pretty good characteristics to have with a guy touching the ball every snap.
Q. J.T. was one touchdown down from that record. How aware are you during games how close a player is to breaking a record like that? And do you think about that, you keep him in longer?
COACH MEYER: No, I wasn’t aware of that one until I saw it pop up on the screen. Sometimes you will. Not very often, though, like someone will say, I remember Zeke or something, he needs five more yards to — and then you start going through your mind you don’t want to embarrass your opponent. You don’t want to get a guy hurt. That didn’t happen this game, but it’s happened before.
Q. J.K. Dobbins, obviously his first two carries of the second half — 22 and 52 yards to get you guys some breathing room there. Just what did you see there? What have you seen of him just taking the bit here, his first three games as a freshman?
COACH MEYER: We saw it against Indiana. Unfortunately we didn’t get him in the space. He’s a perfect tailback. He’s a space player that we need. And it’s a shame Parris had the one called back; it was a lightning bolt too. We’re getting some breakaways developed. We tried to shoot it down the field a couple times. They were playing such soft coverage, it was hard to get behind them. But J.K. and Parris, they’re two of our best playmakers right now.
Q. Were you all determined to hammer inside (indiscernible)?
COACH MEYER: No, we had a lot of outside plays, too. Those plays that hit were outside plays. And then I thought Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day did a nice job mixing and matching. It’s all how you play, how they’re playing — if they’re starting to pack it in there, you get outside. And our POs were good. The run-pass options a lot of times where you see J.T. pull the ball and kick it out there and get really plus yards. We’ve got to really keep going with that.
Q. In the first quarter, J.T. still tended to overthrow the ball to players like Mack and McLaurin. Do you think him tying the record with Drew Brees made up for that, compensated for overthrowing the ball?
COACH MEYER: He misfires. He was 25 of 33. I was hoping he would be 33 for 33, I guess. But sometimes you misfire a little bit. I saw what you saw. He had a couple of misfires early.
Q. How helpful to get Haskins in the game, and will you start to bring him along a little bit?
COACH MEYER: I thought so. I thought he performed well when he was in there. He was 4 for 4. I wanted to throw him more, but you just didn’t want to do something silly. And so I thought he did very well when he got in there. That’s his first snaps, I believe.
Q. Special arm.
COACH MEYER: Quick release, too.
Q. I know obviously you guys did a good job on some of those perimeter throws and spacing them out a little bit, but sometimes it looks like if you just hand it to the tailback every play you guys could have put up 60 if you wanted to.
COACH MEYER: Just that easy, right?
Q. Yeah, I mean, hey, but it’s more than that. Are you —
COACH MEYER: First of all, it’s much more than that.
Q. I know. But you did give it to J.K. on the first two times in the second half and you went 2-yard, 74-yard drives?
COACH MEYER: Just give it to him every time.
Q. And I asked you this during the week, do you still — you know you need to throw, right? Even if you think you could run every time, and I know it’s not —
COACH MEYER: You can’t run every time.
Q. But you have to be balanced —
COACH MEYER: The reason the runs, just to help you a little bit — not that I’m an expert, I guess I’ve done this a long time, though — just to clarify a few things. What makes the inside run game open up is when you start hitting all those bubble screens and a lot of the horizontal pass plays, too, or eventually they just get in tighter and tighter. So you have to be very balanced. And I thought we were very balanced today, like 300-300. Yeah, 316 passing and 300, what was it, 270 rushing. That’s about what we need to be. But you do have to in the big games you have to be balanced because they can stop the run.
Q. But you’re pretty happy with that balance; that’s how you would like it to look?
COACH MEYER: Every game.
Q. Coach Schiano was down on the field today. What did you see in terms of doing that? Was that because of what Army does, you expect him to go —
COACH MEYER: Combination of both. He’s an energy guy. He provides a lot of energy. He knows — he’s coached against this offense for many, many years. I wanted him on the sideline for energy and to make adjustments. And we’ll reevaluate for if he’s going to stay down there.
Q. Who went up in his place?
COACH MEYER: Coach Davis went up.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.