COLUMBUS, Ohio – As he will every Tuesday throughout the football season, Urban Meyer participated in the Big Ten coaches’ conference call just moments ago.
Meyer discussed a handful of issues and discussed the Buckeyes’ preparation for Saturday’s night’s matchup (7:30 p.m. ET; TV: Fox Sports) with the No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners. Here are the highlights.
- Meyer opened up by talking about the inexperienced team he has and who have been standing out as surprises, especially Malik Hooker, Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward and Dame Webb.
- Meyer talked about recruiting Ohio prospects while he was the head coach at Florida, specifically eventual Texas signee Jordan Hicks, who he said showed interest in leaving the state of Ohio immediately. He also talked about how the Buckeyes will represent themselves for players visiting Oklahoma this weekend as a few 5-star players visiting the Sooners are interested in Ohio State.
- Dontre Wilson, who sat out Sunday with a sore foot, has been “handling his body” different in the last year, said Meyer, and that’s been a key part of his improvement. He’s much stronger, Meyer said.
- Meyer addressed defensive back Damon Arnette, who had a bone bruise last weekend and is “full speed” for Saturday.
- Meyer talked about his friendship with Bob Stoops and how Stoops putting family ahead of his job helped Meyer understand he could do that as a head coach. He reminisced about visiting Norman as a head coach and recalled Stoops being very confident and said he “liked his approach” to the game.
- The Buckeyes will work to combat crowd noise in Oklahoma this Saturday by pumping noise into their practices on Wednesday and Thursday.
- Meyer said the biggest challenge the Buckeyes will face from Oklahoma is the Sooners’ defensive front, how their scheme negates the run but they’ve got personnel to handle the pass. He says it will be hard for the Buckeyes to run the ball.
- On Baker Mayfield, Meyer said he’s at his best when he creates plays because he’s “very strong” and you can’t bring him down easily. Ohio State will hope to keep him in the pocket.
- Meyer talked about recruiting J.T. Barrett and how he felt when the Buckeyes recruited the Wichita Falls, Texas native. He put the credit on Tom Herman and Trent Dilfer, who told him first about Barrett. Meyer said he took Barrett without seeing him, which he “hates to do,” and said he expected a big recruiting battle for Barrett but never got it because he and his family were the type of people that go by the premise that “once it’s over, it’s over.”