Following a 38-0 win over Hawaii in which the Ohio State offense underperformed by most standards, head coach Urban Meyer addressed the media, looking at the positives and negatives from the win over the Rainbow Warriors and looking ahead to Saturday's game with Northern Illinois.
In case it wasn't obvious from Jones' two starts so far this season, Meyer confirmed that Cardale Jones is the starting quarterback. "J.T. (Barrett) has not beat him out yet, but will continue to have opportunitities to do that."
Here are some other notes from the Ohio State head caoch:
- Champions for the game on offense were limited given the lackluster performance. Receiver Curtis Samuel graded a champion on the strength of a team-high seven receptions for 53 yards. Ezekiel Elliott was the offensive player fo the game with 27 rushes for a workmanlike 101 yards and three touchdowns.
- On the other side of the ball there were plenty of champions. Cornerbacks Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, safety Tyvis Powell, linebacker Raekwon McMillan and defensive end Tyquan Lewis were all graded as champions while safety Vonn Bell and linebacker Darron Lee were defensive players of the game.
- Conley, who Meyer called the most improved player on the team, was also named a champion on special teams and co-player of the week on that unit with Terry McLaurin.
- Meyer was asked about where the Big Ten stands nationally following plenty of speculation on conference strength this weekend. Meyer said he "has no idea" where the conference stands and doesn't know how coaches would have time to comment on that.
- When asked about how to use a player with the skillset of Braton Miller, Meyer said that is can be difficult to amke sure that a receiver gets the ball, which is why you line him up for direct snaps. With Miller it's more than just a threat to run, though, because "Braxton can throw and will throw," Meyer said.
- When asked about the fact that just three true freshmen have seen the field for the Buckeyes this season (Isaiah Prince, Eric Glover-Williams and Denzel Ward) Meyer listed a handful of players that are close. Those included linebackers Jerome Baker, Nick Conner and Justin Hilliard as well as receiver K.J. Hill. Mike Weber, who tore his meniscus in fall camp, should play this week against Northern Illinois, Meyer said.
- The biggest concern for Meyer coming out of the Hawaii game is the offensive line. While the issues were not all on them, that unit drives the team and since they get the praise when the team plays well, they deserve some of the blame.
- Specifically, Meyer said that the second-level and edge blocking was below the standards that Ohio State has set against Hawaii. The coach specifically cited a missed block by Jalin Marshall on a speed option near the goal line. Last season Ohio State was among the best in the country in that regard.
- The head coach was asked if he was disappointed in J.T. Barrett's play when he was inserted into the game for a spark in the first half. Meyer was not willing to use that word and said that neither quarterback played well.