Hubbard Position Search May Continue At DE

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the media after Wednesday's practice ahead of the Buckeyes' game against Cincinnati.

A nomadic search that so far has included stops at linebacker, tight end and again at linebacker may have found a new spot as the Ohio State coaching staff searched for the best spot for five-star true freshman Sam Hubbard.

Speaking at his post-practice press conference on Wednesday, OSU head coach Urban Meyer mentioned that Hubbard might join Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes in getting some looks at defensive end thanks to the depth problems caused by Noah Spence's absence.

"We're playing a back-and-forth game with him just because we're down with numbers," Meyer said.

The issue was raised when Meyer was asked if Adolphus Washington might move from defensive tackle back to the outside to compensate for the loss of the All-Big Ten player. While that's up for future consideration, it won't happen when Ohio State takes on Cincinnati this weekend. Instead, the Buckeyes will continue to rely on players like Lewis ("shows bursts"), Holmes ("certainly a talented player") and Hubbard in order to replace Spence by committee.

The rest of the updates from Meyer are as follows:

- Asked what would happen if Ohio State were to lose to an in-state school, Meyer avoided downplaying the level of competition. “I’m not worried about all that, I’m just making sure our team is ready to go. I’ve got a lot of respect for Ohio schools because they’re mostly Ohio high school football players.”

- Meyer said Cincinnati has good athletes on both sides of the ball. Said that stastistically the Bearcats are probably one of the top throwing teams in the country.

- How much of his team is still a mystery? “None at all.”

- Meyer called Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville “a fine football coach.” Said he’s doing homework on potential trickery from the man who earned the Riverboat Gambler nickname during his stints at Ole Miss and Auburn.

- Meyer on his confidence level heading into this game in the event that it's a shootout: “You just prepare offensively and defensively and manage the game how you have to manage it.” Cites maturity of Barrett and improvement of offensive line as reasons he’s optimistic. "I get confidence from what I've seen, not what I hope... I see the maturity of the quarterback, and most importantly the offensive line is starting to get a little savvy to them now. It wasn't there in Game One or Game Two."

- On the secondary’s battle against Cincinnati’s passing attack: “That’s the big one.” Says he’s confident because of what he’s seen in practice but notes it’s a big challenge.

- Meyer said Gunner Kiel is big and strong and notes that he asked Coombs about his size because he looks huge on film and TV.

- Meyer said that Cincinnati will blitz in the red zone and also plays some cover zero, which caused the Buckeyes problems against Virginia Tech.

- Asked how often the team with the better quarterback wins, Meyer notes that the team with the best quarterback also usually has the better players around him.

- Chase Farris would be the only possible addition to the interior of the offensive line.

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