COLUMBUS, Ohio — As he will every Tuesday throughout the football season, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer participated in the Big Ten coaches teleconference call just moments ago.
Meyer talked about a number of items following his team’s big win over Nebraska. He – as usual – opted to skip an opening statement and went to straight to the media’s questions.
- Meyer opened the conversation talking about Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin. He said that it’s necessary to separate the personal feelings from the business of football but that “we’re all professionals, we coach our teams and move on.” Meyer added that he’s “very proud” of Durkin and sees some trademarks of the Ohio State program on what Maryland is doing.
- When he hired Durkin as a GA at Bowling Green, Meyer said he gave Durkin full-time responsibilities immediately. That’s “how good he was.”
- As J.T. Barrett approaches the Big Ten record for touchdowns held by Drew Brees, Meyer said he “studied Drew Brees.” Meyer is a “big fan” of Brees and sees a similarity in the competitive spirit and efficiency in the quarterbacks.
- Ohio State’s defense has returned a school record six interceptions for touchdowns and Meyer credits the athleticism and training in the secondary. He says the Buckeyes “turn like their hair is on fire” when a turnover happens to find someone to block. Ohio State has “emphasized that and it’s paying off.”
- Ohio State will not overlook an “underdog” Maryland team by remembering that you’re dealing with 18-22 year olds. “You can throw (last week) away if you underperform this week.” Meyer says preparing kids for a game against an inferior opponent is the “essence” of college football. He also credited his background in psychology and has “drawn upon it more than I’ve ever imagined.”
- Margin of victory shouldn’t be the “ultimate” indicator of a team’s prowess according to Meyer. He said style of play, body of work and strength of schedule and how a team is playing should be more important. Also worried that margin of victory concerns can lead to “unsportsmanlike” behaviors and running up the score.
- On recruiting, Meyer talked about the battle to maintain Jamarco Jones commitment in late 2013. He said he’d “rather not” have players who are committed take officials elsewhere, but has no rule against it. The player is the most important piece of the puzzle and Meyer once again said that is why he’s against an early signing period. When Jamarco visited Michigan State, Meyer said he probably talked to Jones’ mom “60 times” over the visit weekend.
- Mike Weber has Meyer “very pleased.” He’s not at Ezekiel Elliott’s level yet with respect to blocking, but that he’s developed very well as a first-year player.
- The “wear and tear” on players after back-to-back big night games is what Meyer’s biggest concern has been with the scheduling. He reiterated that more decisions need to made with the players in mind.