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Despite offensive explosion, Urban Meyer believes Buckeyes can play better

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Following a 56-17 shellacking of Rutgers on Saturday, the Ohio State football team is looking ahead to its next challenge, a night game in State College, Pa., against Penn State.

The Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0) are set to play just their second true road game of the season against the Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2). OSU coach Urban Meyer met with the media Monday to discuss the upcoming game and recap the Rutgers win.

  • Meyer made a point to thank the OSU fans for continuing to come out in big numbers. Ohio Stadium ranks first in the country in average attendance thus far in 2014.
  • Meyer said he was pleased with the fast start the Buckeyes got out to as they scored on their opening drive for the fourth straight game.
  • He said senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein and junior offensive linemen Taylor Decker and Jacoby Boren graded out as offensive champions.
  • Meyer emphasized the play of Spencer. Added he is one of the MVPs of the team right now.
  • Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott was named offensive player of the game by Meyer.
  • Despite winning Big Ten Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week, Meyer said redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett could have played better in the game against Rutgers. Barrett did not grade out as a weekly champion.
  • Meyer named senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett, sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa, redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis Powell, junior linebacker Joshua Perry and senior cornerback Doran Grant as defensive champions.
  • Meyer said Grant played his best game as a Buckeye against Rutgers.
  • Meyer said the Penn State defense stands out to him. The Nittany Lions rank first in the country in rush defense.
  • Meyer said he has “a lot of respect for their big quarterback,” sophomore Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game.
  • Meyer said playing at Penn State in 2012 was one of the top-five atmospheres he has played in. Added he feels much more comfortable now sending Barrett in as a starter than he would have a few weeks ago.

Injury report

  • Meyer said Boren rolled his ankle against Rutgers, but should be ready to go against Penn State.
  • Meyer said he does not know the status of junior linebacker Devan Bogard who sustained an injury on special teams Saturday. Bogard has missed extended time with knee injuries in the past.
  • Defensive line coach and former Penn State assistant Larry Johnson Sr. said the status of redshirt-senior defensive lineman Rashad Frazier is still unknown for Saturday.
  • Wide receivers coach Zach Smith said he believes sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson will be able to play against Penn State after sitting out most of the second half against Rutgers.

The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Nittany Lions Saturday at 8 p.m.

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