When asked if he got a special feeling for games like this, Meyer was quick to say yes and then added that he reminded his players that challenges like the one looming are why they work as hard as they do.
“Absolutely,” Meyer said. “I just had a conversation with our players. This is why they train. Every second of everything we do in the program from offseason to summer conditioning to training camp, we’re training you for moments like this. It’s a two-way street now. The players have to take care of themselves off the field with hydration and nutrition, and the unit leaders and position coaches gotta have their players ready.
“This is why we train, for moments like this – compete for championships in November.”
Other updates from Meyer’s post-practice interview are as follows:
- Junior defensive back Armani Reeves, who did not play against Illinois, appears unlikely to play against the Spartans. “I don’t think Armani’s going to get cleared. Still hasn’t practiced today. He was out here today but didn’t practice.” Meyer floated out true freshman Damon Webb and sophomore Cam Burrows as potential replacements for Reeves at nickel back.
- Meyer said that offensive line play will be critical for both teams given the talent on both defensive lines. Also pointed out that only junior left tackle Taylor Decker and sophomore right guard Pat Elflein played against the Spartans in the Big Ten title game last year. “I think the programs are somewhat similar. Any really good teams, if you watch them play, they’re driven by very good line of scrimmage players. Says MSU is very good defensively and OSU’s defensive line is good and should be a test for both offensive lines.”
- Asked about Tyvis Powell, Meyer said that the sophomore safety has been playing well but still has plenty of room to improve. He pointed to what they’re doing defensively now, saying that tall cornerbacks are perfect at safety for them now.
- Meyer likes his team’s effort at practice but wishes there were a few more days in the week. “I feel good that they’re attacking it. I don’t feel good about – I’m glad we have Thursday. We have a lot of work to do still, but you can’t ask for any more as far as attention to detail. We just have to be ready to go. It’s Wednesday.”
- Redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett appears to be good to go. “J.T.’s good. I haven’t asked him, he looks great.”
- Meyer on trying to handle the hype for Saturday’s game: “I’ve been asked a lot of questions and I’m sure the players have, too. We don’t apologize for all the wins we’ve had, but this is a big game against a great team. It is what it is. We’ve won a lot of games, and it’s just another challenge against a very good team. I don’t want to make it more than what it is, but it’s an opportunity to compete for the championship of the Big Ten conference is what it is.”
- Meyer thinks 2014 Michigan State is an even bigger challenge than last year’s Spartans. “This team’s a better team. They’re more balanced. Offensively, I think they’re dynamic and they develop their players. I think they had some seniors leaves but they filled it nicely, so I think this year’s team is even better.”