“I came in at halftime, and it’s 16-6, I believe, and we’re not playing well,” Meyer said. “And I look in the locker room and ready to kind of go after everybody, and I see Coach [Luke] Fickell has the—you know, they use that projector, and they’re going through making adjustments. All the defense is sitting right in front of them. I go walk in on the offense and get ready to implode a little bit, and they’re in there, Ed Warinner and everybody is working like pros, working on things and I said, the worst thing I could do is open my big mouth and get in the way of a bunch of people working their tails off and being professional, as they were.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Monday that he does not believe in halftime speeches.
At his weekly news conference, the three-time national champion was asked what, aside from X’s and O’s, a coach can do to help his team in an environment like Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, where Ohio State beat Wisconsin on Saturday. The Buckeyes trailed 16-6 at halftime before storming back to win 30-23 in overtime.
Here’s what Meyer said:
“We were writing that book after the 2014 year, and they kept saying, ‘What did you say to them at halftime?'” Meyer said. “Everybody’s looking for that because there’s a lot of movies out there where people give great halftime speeches, and that’s not the truth. It doesn’t matter what you say at halftime. It matters what you say and do January, February, March, April, May, June, July because you train for those moments.
“It’s kind of silly when you say, how was the pregame speech, Coach? I don’t know. They’re certainly not listening for something— are they going to play harder because you said something? They play harder because of the training, power of the unit, and brotherhood of trust, in our opinion, the way we approach it. That’s why they play so damn hard. I would be shocked if our players said anything other than that.”
And, along similar lines, here was Meyer’s answer to a question about halftime adjustments: