With a win over Michigan in the books and a No. 2 ranking to its credit, Ohio State now has its eyes set on this weekend's Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer appeared on a teleconference on Sunday, to help preview his team' upcoming showdown with the Spartans.
One day removed from his team's thrilling 42-41 win over Michigan, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer appeared on a teleconference in advance of his team's Big Ten Championship Game clash with Michigan State. Below is a list of updates that Meyer provided on the second-ranked Buckeyes, as they prepare to head to Indianapolis to face the Spartans.
Meyer said that he has not heard from the Big Ten regarding additional punishments for Dontre Wilson and Marcus Hall for yesterday's melee in Ann Arbor. Says he's reviewed the tape, met with the players, and will meet with Gene Smith later to discuss self-imposed punishments. Reiterated that he's disciplined with his players actions.
Meyer said the Buckeyes will have a team meeting today and will only discuss the BCS for eight seconds. There won't be any talk on social media about it this week. All of Ohio State's focus is on Michigan State.
Meyer said that Pat Elflein "played really well" against Michigan and he's "excited about his future. Is comfortable with him if he has to play against Michigan State.
Meyer admitted that losing Wilson affected the Buckeyes' offensive game plan a bit, which is why you saw Corey Brown get some carries against the Wolverines.
Meyer on if he has any reaction to the comments made by Auburn AD Jay Jacobs that it would be a disservice to leave the Tigers out of the BCS Championship Game: "No."
Meyer said that "America is ready for a playoff," but admitted that the BCS has been good for college football due to the discussion that it's caused. He noticed that in particular when he was at Utah in 2004.
Meyer said that the entire team was following the Auburn-Alabama game on their iPads and got TV service as soon as they pulled into Columbus. Said that the bus was absolutely nuts for about 15 minutes when Auburn pulled it out.
Meyer on if the gap between the SEC and the Big Ten is as big as it's perceived to be: "I don't think it is."
Meyer said he's excited to have two top-10 teams going against each other with a lot at stake this weekend. "I think it's great for our conference. The Big Ten should be doing this and I believe it will be from here on out."
Meyer on the play of Bradley Roby lately: "I think he's played very well." Noted that he's the Buckeyes' special teams ace.
Meyer said that Carlos Hyde is a much different player than he was a year ago, and is on a different planet than where he was two years ago. Gave a lot of credit to Stan Drayton for his turnaround. Asked if Hyde and Braxton Miller is his best combination ever, Meyer said it might be, but also mentioned the combo he had at Florida of Tim Tebow and Jeff Demps.
Meyer said that Miller needs to get back on track in the passing game. Took blame for his struggles and said they went away from him in the second half because of the success Ohio State was having in the run game. Noted that the Buckeyes won't have to deal with the elements while playing in a dome.
Meyer said that he won't suspend Hall, Wilson, or a third player who was involved on his own. Believes that they already served their punishment by having to miss the rest of the game.
Asked who the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is: Hyde or Miller, Meyer stated "that's a very good question and I'm not going to give you an answer."
Meyer said that he has a lot of respect for MSU head coach Mark Dantonio and that he knows that he has coaches on his staff who have worked with him in the past.
Asked about the game film incident against Michigan State last year, Meyer said that there was no intent and that it was just an error by their film crew. Noted that it was so long ago that he can barely remember the details.
Meyer said he'll never forget where he was when he found out that USC lost to UCLA in 2006 to help Florida get to the national championship game. "It's one of those things that will always be remembered.
Meyer said that the Spartans are a really aggressive blitz team. A lot of teams play press quarters, but maybe not to the degree that MSU does. Said it's a very hard defense to prepare for."
Meyer said that MSU linebacker Max Bullough allows the Spartans to use a defense as complicated as the one that they do. Said an experience middle linebacker can make all of the difference in the world and referred to Bullough as a "coach on the field."
Meyer said that he's embarrassed to admit it, but he didn't even think about the possibility of a return in the field goal situation that took place in the Auburn-Alabama game. Said he'd never line up for a field goal that far, but he's not sure how he'd approach coaching a team to defend a return like that. Said moments like that are why college football's so great.
Meyer said that one of the differences for Miller this year has been his preparation. Admitted that he hasn't faced a stage as big as Saturday will be, but noted that "the brighter the lights, the better he plays.
Meyer said that Michigan State's offense starts with the offensive line, but he hasn't studied the offense much yet. Noted that the defensive coaches have been impressed with how it's involved since earlier in the season.
Meyer said that the Buckeyes are "intelligent" and "a very focused driven team." Doesn't anticipate that they'll have any issues looking past Michigan State.
Meyer thought that Ohio State had its pass defense problems fixed, but admitted that they were "exposed" again on Saturday. Is an area where a major emphasis will be placed in preparation this week.
Meyer: "Our best defense is our offense hanging onto the ball." Meyer said there's no shortcutting MSU's offense. The Buckeyes will have to play well on both sides of the ball.
No additional injuries from the Michigan game. "We're in pretty good shape."
Meyer said that Elflein was excited by his performance and is looking forward to more opportunities in the future.
Meyer said that Michigan State's cornerback duo is the best that Ohio State will have faced all year. That was a position that he was very impressed with when the Buckeyes faced the Spartans a year ago.