Urban Meyer Monday: Sept. 29

Ohio State is back at it for Maryland week, and Urban Meyer kicked off the week with his usual Monday press conference today. See what the head coach had to say about the upcoming game with the Terps and about other topics.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer looks back at the Cincinnati win and forward to the Maryland contest at his weekly press conference. Bullet point notes on what Meyer had to say follow.

Starts with appreciation for the largest crowd in Ohio State history on Saturday. "A very well done performance by the offense." They sustained a high intensity and a high tempo, which was something they really worked hard on during the open week. "J.T. continues to be a very good distributor and is completing a high percentage of his balls." He's getting more responsibility of getting the team into the right plays.

Champions: Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, Mike Thomas, Rod Smith, J.T. Barrett, Nick Vannett, Jeff Heuerman (they were in 12 personnel close to 40 plays), and the player of the game was the entire offensive line. Plus Ezekiel Elliott. Meyer really impressed by how many yards he had after contact. "We turned a lot of 4s and 5s into 8s and 9s."

On defense, champions were Bosa, Bennett, Perry, Reeves. Bosa was player of the game.

Meyer says the team won't throw out its new pass defense scheme but obviously improvement is needed there. Notes they could have had a better play call on the TD before the half.

Kickoff coverage is one of the highlights of the team right now. They have a new award for the guys who race down the fastest, and Bri'onte Dunn won it last week. "The only way to run a program like this is to reward achievement."

On Maryland's first Big Ten game: Urban has never been to the stadium. "It'll be at atmosphere. They've been working on this one, I imagine, for a while."

Meyer says he has Mickey Marotti nearby to keep an eye on things like players banged up, i.e., situations like what happened at Michigan on Saturday with Shane Morris.

On the pass defense: "It's my job to find out why" the long plays happened. "I know the whys now." There's a couple of things he expects differently. Can't leave the middle of the field open right before halftime like they did. "The other situations, we have to play and coach better." On the whole, "I'm satisfied with the direction we're going. We just have to get it corrected."

Meyer: "I'm really excited about our offensive skill, it is a street fight to get the ball right now." This is the first time he's felt really comfortable with the tempo of the offense.

As for Barrett, he says he's not further along than where he thought. "I had a lot of confidence in J.T. He's fun to coach." Student of the game, product of those around him, etc. "I think as a group, this is a good group to be around right now."

Meyer asked already about the potential for a 2015 QB controversy and he laughs. Says Braxton is the QB. Also praises the growth of Cardale Jones and his "professional approach."

Does he pay attention to Michigan? "I don't, personally." Checks the scores on the way home and that's it. Someone reads him the scores and tells him how his friends are doing and the Big Ten. "I haven't followed our rivals very much."

The Schlegel question comes up. "In all seriousness I grabbed Anthony last night ... I appreciate him protecting our players but I'd prefer not to have a lawsuit." They did have a lot of fun with the photoshops and all that, though, and he earned the hit city award, haha

Meyer on Stefon Diggs, who he recruited: "I really thought we had a legitimate shot at him. Watching him play, I knew that he was something special." He's as good as anyone in the country.

On the pass D again: "We're not going to give in because we have a one-on-one matchup we lost. It's just happening too frequently."

Meyer raves about Joey Bosa, comparing him to a more talented John Simon, especially when it comes to compete level and mind-set

On Barrett being given more freedom to change plays, he says he needs to see the command there. But at the same time, they had some false starts and the like on the OL, so he has to take charge more. "He's a very intelligent young man." Changed to about a dozen or so good plays in the second half. "He's proved he has the cognitive ability to do it, now he needs to show he has the leadership."

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