Ohio State’s rise in the College Football Playoff rankings hasn’t gone unnoticed in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but OSU head coach Urban Meyer is doing his best to keep his team focused on the task at hand this week.
With lowly Indiana coming to town on Saturday, Meyer found himself repeating a familiar refrain when asked Wednesday about his team’s rise to No. 6 in the country.
“Beat Indiana,” he said.
He said his team doesn’t really talk about the rankings during the week.
“It never really comes up,” he said. “I think everybody knows it. I mention it, usually on a Sunday – our Sunday meeting. I haven’t talked to them since this one came out Tuesday night. We just have to take care of business and play hard and practice well.”
Other updates from Meyer are as follows:
- Junior cornerback Armani Reeves will be back in the lineup at nickel back. “He had a good week of practice. I think he’s ready to go. Armani’s a great kid and a heck of a player, an emotional guy. He gives us a little spark so we’re glad to have him back.”
- He’ll be joined by sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn, who has also missed the last few games with an injury. “Bri’onte’s good to go. He’s full speed now.”
- Meyer had a lot of praise for Indiana running back Tevin Coleman, especially in regards to his big runs. Said if you give him a sliver of open space his acceleration can really hurt opposing defenses.
- Meyer on Indiana coach Kevin Wilson: “I’ve known Kevin Wilson 20 years. I think he’s a great football coach. I coached against him when he was at Oklahoma, coached against him when he was at Northwestern and they’ve had some unfortunate injuries this year at quarterback. I think they’re a fine team. Someone told me they're on their third or fourth quarterback.”
- When he looks at the Indiana defense, Meyer said he looks for the strengths. “They’re big, gigantic up front. Over 300 pounds and they’re all that odd slant angle stuff, they have a new coordinator named Brian Knorr. That’s their 34 defense. They blitz almost every snap.”
- When asked if he’d have a talk with redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett about Heisman hype the way he did with his team about playoff distractions, Meyer said that the potential to get distracted exists but that he wasn’t concerned it would happen to Barrett. “That’s probably true, I think so. That’s real. This kid’s so grounded, that’s a credit to his family. If I saw it, certainly I’d jump in the middle of it but I haven’t given it two thoughts.”