In Illinois, Ohio State is taking on a team that is 3-6 on the year, including a 0-5 mark in the Big Ten. Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said that is team isn't overlooking the Fighting Illini, however, as it prepares to head to Champaign.
Meyer said that Ohio State's win streak is not a distraction right now. Said he doesn't want to devalue, because it is a "heck of a reward for these players."
Despite the cold weather, Meyer said that it doesn't take much to get his players up and at it on Saturdays. As for his wife? "For Shelley? Yeah." Meyer said that the weather's been great thus far this season.
On Evan Spencer's comments: "He's a great kid. I just don't like that stuff. I don't agree with it."
Meyer said that he and his staff are keeping an eye on the wind and precipitation in Champaign this week. Said that the cold isn't much of a concern and doesn't make a difference for the players.
Meyer said that the Buckeyes have look invested this week, not looking past the Illini.
In Illinois, Meyer sees a team that's just been a play or two away from a pretty good season. Said they've been in a few "coulda, woulda, shoulda" type of games that they've been very close to winning. Said they've made a "night and day" improvement offensively this season.
Meyer said the Illini's passing attack will be a big test for the OSU pass defense. Will show how far they have or haven't come since making midseason adjustments.
On junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, Meyer said that being a really good player on a really good team is why he's getting so much midseason recognition. "I think he'd be the first one to tell you that." Said he's playing at a very high level and is deserving of the recognition he's been getting."
Meyer said that Michael Bennett's been dinged up by a stinger that's hampered him recently. Said he had a three-four game lull, but he's back to playing at a "pretty high level." Is looking forward to him finishing this season the right way and possibly getting All-Big Ten recognition.
Jordan Hall's look good health-wise and practiced today.
Meyer said that he's always had an emphasis on special teams, which is why players must contribute there before contributing on offense and defense. Said it's just the great respect that he has for the game plan, and the players and sharing that now too.
Asked if he's rooting against Alabama and Florida State, Meyer said: "You said root? Something like stand up and cheer?" and played it off. Meyer said that he has not called Dan Mullen to ask for a favor against the Crimson Tide.
Meyer said that the Buckeyes were only 50 percent into the passing playbook last year. It's almost 100 now thanks to the quarterback improvement.