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Urban Meyer praises defensive effort, says Bri’onte Dunn nearly lost his spot at Ohio State

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With his team in the midst its second bye week of the season, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke on the weekly Big Ten teleconference Tuesday to give updates after the Buckeyes’ 52-24 win against Maryland on Saturday.

On the call, Meyer praised the Buckeyes’ defensive effort against the Terrapins, addressed the development of redshirt-senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin and said there’s one Buckeye who might not have made it back next season without improvements on and off the field.

  • Meyer said OSU’s defensive statistics were “very good” against Maryland, which he said has one of the best offenses in the Big Ten. He said the overall effort was “really good,” with the only negative being a long pass play in the second half, which was the result of a miscommunication.
  • Meyer said the defense directly caused three touchdowns for the Buckeyes, scoring one itself: “Very pleased with our defensive effort, we’ve just got to do a little better in managing big plays.”
  • The third-year OSU coach said the team has “some bangs,” but no actual injuries to talk about.
  • On the bye week, Meyer said: “I wish we were still playing.” He said OSU has momentum, and he wants to keep that going.
  • He said he isn’t surprised that there are six Big Ten teams in the top 19 in the FBS in total defense.
  • Meyer on Baldwin: “If not the most improved player on the team, then one of them.” He said Baldwin is “one of my favorite guys right now.”
  • He said redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn might not have been back at OSU next season without making improvements. “He was gone, he would not be renewed next year if he would not have made a jump on the field and off the field,” Meyer said about Dunn. “He earned it.”
  • Meyer said Dunn has been one of the best special teams players for the Buckeyes this season, and he could have a chance to make an impact on offense going forward.
  • He said every team still has to improve, but he still needs to talk about OSU’s spot in the national picture because it’s a national talking point.
  • Meyer said redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett “certainly has” improved a lot since taking over as the starter this season. He credited the offensive line for some of that development, along with the skill players on offense.

After the week off, the Buckeyes are scheduled to play Rutgers on Oct. 18 at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

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