Coming off the huge win at Michigan State, Ohio State will have to hit the road again this week to face Minnesota in frigid Minneapolis. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer met with the media Monday, and bullet points of what he had to say follow.
Champions from MSU:
Defense: Bell, Bennett, POG: Doran Grant
Offense: Spencer, Marshall, Thomas, Heuerman, Elflein, Price, "a freshman who was a champion in that environment against that defensive line." Players of the game: Boren, Barrett, Elliott, D. Smith
Special Teams POG: Evan Spencer
Meyer now says the celebratory phase is over and the team is now learning from the film going forward to Minnesota. Meyer says he has a lot of respect for Minnesota's coaching staff and the consistency under Jerry Kill.
Meyer confirms Dontre Wilson broke his foot. Says he caught a TD with a broken foot. Didn't have a great game but showed off his toughness in gutting through it. Meyer points to a number of people who can step in, but obviously Jalin Marshall starts and Noah Brown moves up to No. 2. They might get creative with personnel, then, but Curtis Samuel will stay at RB given the injuries there.
"It's the best performance we've had since we've been here" offensively, Meyer says. It was a very balanced performance "against a legitimate top-five defense in America. A bunch of NFL players on that defense."
Meyer says he "can't stand" prevent defense and the defensive coaches are a little annoyed at the yards they gave up late, but intimates they did what they had to do to win the game. Says the D is still looking for depth at DL.
Feel more comfortable now using the wildcat? "Oh yeah. More with Jalin becuase he's a quarterback." They're also teaching Curtis Samuel as far as that goes but Jalin gives you some options. He can throw and they have a couple of passes in the playbook for him.
Meyer on J.T. Barrett: "His biggest jump is just being a manager." Does a good job getting OSU in the right play and understands defenses more now. "When he's accurate, we're hard to stop."
As for Bosa not filling up the stat sheet, Meyer said good players get frustrated when they don't produce, but MSU did do things to neutralize him. "Joey didn't grade a champion so he has things to work on" but it's legitimate that OSU schemed for him.
Someone brought up the possible 2015 WB controversy and Meyer says simply, "Competition brings out the best and I'm really excited to have two good quarterbacks next year."
"Early in the season we were not a great team. We had a QB who had been a QB for about two weeks. The offensive line was horrible and the receivers were not ready." Says this is the most improved team he's coached, and this is a group of grinders. Says it could be a championship level team.
Meyer says the team will have to have a good plan to deal with coming off the late game and getting energy back before next week's noon game on the road. Good news is there's no classes tomorrow because of Veterans Day. Also points to veteran leaders like Doran Grant, Curtis Grant, Jacoby Boren, Jeff Heuerman as those stepping up in that realm.
Interesting note: Meyer said he watches each play a number of times (obviously) and by the end what he's watching is the reactions on the sidelines of the players. He's looking for invested players who show that on the sideline.
On the weather being an issue vs. Minnesota: "It's going to be cold, I imagine, in Minnesota in November."
Meyer says OSU "has five guys I have no problem throwing the ball to." And even a guy like Evan Spencer deserves more than he's getting. But they've come a long way from being "pathetic" in 2012. "I'm a big fan of the receivers right now."
Asked again about how J.T. has just stepped in and is doing things as good as Braxton, essentially, and if it is crazy. "I don't use the term crazy. I use fortunate or blessed." Both are excellent QBs and they'll worry about that day when both can play when it comes. Also reiterates Barrett is a product of those around him. "You put good guys around a QB and teach him well, there's a good chance good things are going to happen."