WATCH: Urban Meyer Previews Ohio State-Indiana At Midweek Press Conference

By October 4, 2018 (11:00 am)Football
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Two practices closer to Saturday’s 4 p.m. kickoff on FOX from Ohio Stadium pitting Ohio State against Indiana, head coach Urban Meyer met the media after practice Wednesday in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center team room with several updates and other thoughts before the Big Ten matchup between the No. 3 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0) and the Hoosiers (4-1, 1-1).

Urban Meyer

On the wide receivers…

“We don’t have that much depth. Those guys are playing well. As (fifth-year senior H-back) Parris (Campbell) said to me, when (junior wide receiver Binjimen Victor) is making plays — you’ve been hearing us talk about Ben Victor for the last several weeks because he’s become one of them. It starts on special teams. He starts on kickoff return like all of them do. Then he started blocking like all of them do. Now he’s starting to make plays like veterans do when they become part of the team.”

On the statuses of junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and junior cornerback Damon Arnette

“They’re both going to play.”

On the offensive adjustments in the second half against Penn State…

“Second-year staff together on offense. The adjustments obviously worked. First half was awful, but the second half they were utilizing things that they saw, the coaches saw, did a great job. So obviously, the answer is you have to do that. That’s their jobs, that’s our jobs and they did a very good job.”

On the result of the Penn State comeback and what it does for sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins

“Just the confidence in (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach) Ryan Day, don’t undervalue that. The relationship, the confidence, the communication between those guys. That’s imperative. Obviously, when it works, it’s very positive. When it’s not, then you’ve got to find out why.”

On if practices or preparations change after a game as physical as Penn State…

“We have. The heat (Wednesday) gave us the August heat again. So we watch it. (Strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti) watches it closely. Eighty-something plays against a tough team in a very tough environment, so we do, we watch it. Plus, we’ve got home at 3:30 in the morning. Those are all things we watch real closely.”

On if Jones needs to practice during the week…

“We call it the Shazier rule because (former Ohio State linebacker Ryan) Shazier had an issue. There was an entire year where he would stand back and get a little bit of mental reps around here. So you get your mental reps. And (former Ohio State quarterback) Kenny Guiton. Those are two names out of our past. (Guiton) was the doctor of competitive excellence. There’s a picture in the locker room. Competitive excellence, you only get that when you’re getting a mental rep or game rep. Everybody can’t get game reps. Sometimes you can’t. The guy that stands back by the cooler talking is not getting a mental rep. Mental rep is pretty close to a game rep. So you see guys at practice actually taking that rep without the contact. That’s how our guys get ready.”

On how Ohio State’s depth separates the pack of the Big Ten as Penn State’s James Franklin and Indiana’s Tom Allen said Tuesday on the coaches teleconference…

“I don’t see that right now. No, I really don’t. We’re hanging on at a couple positions right now. We better get some guys back. (Fifth-year senior offensive lineman) Brady Taylor is key to get back. He’s back in a couple weeks. I don’t (see the depth). You can never have enough depth. So I don’t know if I was a part of that phone call, but we have a ways to go.”

On the development of Haskins through four games after Penn State…

“I think that the answer’s obvious. The crucible of training — the heart, toughness, the difficult situations helps you get through it. To come out the other end of that thing with a win, of course that helps him. He’s been in some big-time environments now and twice on the road against top-15 teams, last year against a top team on the road against our rivals. So those are all growing whiskers and scars. That’s what happens. So it’s something you can’t teach in practice.”

On what Ohio State sees in Indiana…

“I think they’ve got very good players and an excellent coach. That’s what I think. Very good players. I’m not sure if that No. 22 (Whop Philyor) is going to play, but he’s a really good player. Yeah, I think they’re very good.”

On the defense and what to see going forward…

“We have a lot of respect for Penn State’s tailback (Miles Sanders). He had like 40-something yards. We kept him in check other than the quarterback (Trace McSorley) scrambled out of there a few times on the designed runs but a lot of them were scrambles, too. He had the night of his life. He had a great day. He set his feet and scrambles a couple times. Just too many big plays. Other than that — we’ve been saying that for a while, but just too many big plays. When the guy catches it or a guy breaks it, you’ve got to get him down.”

On the defense starting strong out of the gate…

“We made a drastic change in 2013. We changed the whole philosophical ‘bend but don’t break.’ We don’t do that. With that comes some risk and we’re going to challenge every throw, and that’s what we do.”

On how to limit big plays by better safety play…

“Just practice and experience, and keep working at it.”