Ohio State will soon hit the road for its second game outside of Ohio Stadium this season, and the battle against Maryland will be the first true away game for the Buckeyes as they head into conference play.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has never been to Byrd Stadium, the 54,000-capacity facility Maryland calls home, but he knows he’s in for a unique atmosphere given the historic nature of the game.
“It’s a loud environment,” Meyer said. “I think this is their first Big Ten home game, and it’s going to be a great environment.”
Meyer also said there’s a noticeable different in Big Ten play and non-conference play. While the intensity of practice doesn’t change, people are more aware of what’s at stake. “We understand the significance of this,” Meyer said. “Our goal is to compete for a championship in November, and this is it.”
Other updates from Meyer’s post-practice press conference are as follows:
- Meyer said sophomore “H” Dontre Wilson’s biggest issue last year was being able to take on blocks. That’s not as much of a problem now that he’s put on weight, and he’s a more complete player who fits their offense well.
- Meyer bristled at the notion that Wilson struggled as a receiver last year and offered praise for the work that the Texas native has put into that facet of the game. “He’s got pretty good hands. He’s a little bit of a body catcher, but he’s worked hard on it. I like his progression. I like where he’s headed.”
- Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, who sprained his non-throwing wrist, has impressed OSU’s staff. Meyer said it’s a different and more challenging offense when Brown plays, and they’re preparing for that possibility since Maryland coach Randy Edsall said he won’t announce a decision until the day of the game.
- Meyer said he’s a big fan of the autonomy proposals announced today, and lauded athletic director Gene Smith and president Michael Drake for their work in student-athlete welfare. “I’m sure we’re right in the middle of that conversation… that’s the right thing to do.”
- Meyer also reiterated, in regards to four-year scholarships, that he doesn’t “send kids on their way.” If players aren’t happy about playing time, the choice to leave is made by them and not the Ohio State coaching staff.
- Meyer on junior center Jacoby Boren: “That’s what he is, he’s a battler. He’s an undersized guy. His survival rate is because he’s a Boren. They’re all like that, the ones I’ve been able to coach. I wasn’t with the oldest brother but Zach’s the same way. He’s a banger, he’s a worker and their survival rate at this level is because they’re tough and they do things the right way.”
- According to Meyer, the offense still has to perform against better defenses for him to be satisfied, but the balance between the run and pass is what he’s looking for.
- Meyer said Maryland’s defense is “the most athletic defense we’ve faced so far this year.”
- Meyer said the pass defense had a good day of practice today and he really likes where they’re headed.