Meyer Monday: Wisconsin Week

Ohio State begins Big Ten title game preparation this week with some dark clouds hanging over the program. Urban Meyer addressed the media Monday and hit on the pressing issues facing the team.

Bullet points of head coach Urban Meyer's press conference Monday as Ohio State prepares to take on Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game.

Urban Meyer begins by thanking the students for the high attendance this season.

Next up, fans of all ages. OSU led the country in attendance this season.

Meyer also thanks the seniors for all their contributions, especially after starting 6-7 and having a bowl game taken away from them.

Urban Meyer says J.T. Barrett should be a Heisman Trophy finalist. He's looked at the stats now and firmly believes Barrett should be in New York and if he's not, something is wrong.

Meyer said Barrett's injury is similar to the one sustained by Evan Spencer last season. Obviously Spencer made a full recovery.

Meyer said he disagrees with Noah Spence's ban, says it shouldn't be classified as performance-enhancing. The good news is that a lot of good things are happening in Spence's life right now.

Asked about the adversity the team has faced the last few days, Meyer admits it has been tough. What he likes is how close this team is even through everything has happened. As for the challenge this weekend, he said, "You shouldn't be here" given all that has happened. Is happy the team is together quite a bit these days to help pick each other up.

On dealing with the death of a player, which is something that has happened in his career before, he said he actually first talked to Cris Carter, who has had that happen in his career as well, as well as others. "It's difficult. You can look in a coaching manual and I'm not sure you'll find anything. You'll never get over it."

Meyer is asked about what it's like to be a walk-on and says he does whatever he can to help those guys out. Says guys like Joe Burger and Craig Fada are as important to the team as anyone. Chris Rock is here because he loves the team and Ohio State. "That's what we do what we do."

On Karageorge: "I knew him. He loved (being here). It just was such a short period to spend with him."

How often they call QB runs "depends on how the game is going ... We like to limit J.T., Braxton, from Alex Smith to Chris Leak to Tebow. Each guy carried it a different amount of times." Scrambling is what makes a great QB because it changes the game. "The direct runs, we limit those. Those aren't called very often." Then there's the option plays. In their own mind they have a number but that can change in the course of a game.

Meyer is told he's an underdog for this game. "We'll see. I'm going to evaluate how we show up Tuesday." Admits they don't know much about Wisconsin yet so it's too early to tell how that will develop.

As for the No. 2 QB situation, "Hasn't been determined yet" if they would burn Collier's redshirt. Could just go with Jalin at backup QB.

When asked about how many reps Cardale has gotten, Jones has faced the No. 1 defense quite a bit while running the No. 2 scout-team offense. But that isn't quite the high-level "live" reps at the end of practice, though it will help.

"We expect our quarterbacks to prepare a certain way," Meyer says. Called J.T. the ultimate grinder. "Is Cardale that type? I'll let you know. It certainly would be a great bonus for us." Says Jones did a good job of being a leader in the spring when he ran with the ones.

Meyer doesn't comment on a question about how OSU handled Kosta Karageorge's concussion issues, but does say, "This is the best group of medical people I've ever been around, the way they handle their business and their attention to detail."

Meyer says they're working out how many QB runs they want to call for Cardale given the situation at backup. "During the course of the game I'll watch that very closely."

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