Less than 24 hours removed from Ohio State’s 62-39 romp of Michigan, head coach Urban Meyer addressed the media Sunday on the Big Ten Championship Game coaches teleconference to recap the No. 10 Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1) over the No. 4 Wolverines (10-2, 8-1) and preview next weekend’s tilt with Northwestern.
Ahead of the 8 p.m. kickoff on FOX from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, how has Meyer processed winning The Game and what does the result mean for OSU’s momentum into the conference clash with the No. 19 Wildcats (8-4, 8-1)? During his portion of the call, he discussed the key points and shared a significant update.
- Late in the fourth quarter of Ohio State’s win over Michigan on Saturday, Demetrius Knox was carted off the field with an apparent lower-body injury. Meyer provided an unfortunate update on the fifth-year senior right guard.
- “He’s out,” Meyer said of Knox. “He has a Lisfranc issue with his foot and it’s a tough injury, and he’s done so much for this team in his career here. So it’s a tough loss for us and we’ve got to regroup, and put together that position.”
- In place of Knox, Meyer mentioned redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis as the projected starter for Ohio State against Northwestern.
- “He’s had a tremendous couple of months of practice for us,” Meyer said of Davis, who entered for Knox after the injury in the Michigan game. “So we’re confident he’ll be ready.”
- While the offensive line’s depth takes a hit without Knox, who Meyer said is believed to be done for the season, junior Branden Bowen leads the charge of two-deep backups ready to roll. Bowen, who has been working at backup right tackle in recent weeks, is “close” to being the unit’s sixth man.
- “He’s close, him and Josh,” Meyer said of Bowen. “There are three guys right now that are playing at a (high level) — and, really, four, we have very good depth. (Junior) Josh Alabi, who played, I think 80 plays against Maryland at left tackle. And then you’ve got (redshirt freshman) Josh Myers, who’s really come on. Obviously, Wyatt Davis and Branden Bowen. So we’ve got a little bit of depth there.”
- With help likely needed for Ohio State to reach the College Football Playoff, how much thought does Meyer put into an impressive win over Northwestern?
- “Zero,” Meyer said. “We’ll try to win the Big Ten championship.”
- Ohio State’s special teams unit shined against Michigan, highlighted by wide receiver Chris Olave‘s third-quarter punt block leading to cornerback Sevyn Banks‘ 33-yard touchdown return. Meyer mentioned defensive back Josh Proctor and linebacker Teradja Mitchell among the “true heroes” on special teams.
- “You see the special teams, I call them the heroes because they sometimes don’t get the (credit),” Meyer said. “Chris Olave had two touchdown catches, but he did something more important than that, he blocked a punt. He’s also a gunner for us. And then also a guy named Josh Proctor had two tackles on kickoffs against Maryland and was a force yesterday. And then a guy named Teradja Mitchell, which is just — he’s going to have a tremendous career here.”