Fresh off a win that moved Ohio State into solo first in the Big Ten East Division, coach Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss the win against Michigan State and an upcoming matchup with Minnesota.
Meyer praised the offensive performance against Michigan state, but added the Buckeyes have room to improve defensively as they prepare for a Minnesota team that gives “relentless effort.” He also addressed the play of a few particular Buckeyes and said one OSU sophomore made a big play on a broken foot during Saturday’s 49-37 win in East Lansing, Mich.
- He said sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson has a broken foot. “He actually caught a touchdown pass with a broken foot.”
- Wilson is “out for a few weeks,” Meyer said. Added he might have to have a pin put in his foot.
- He said the Buckeyes are “fortunate” and “blessed” to have both Barrett and injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller set to return to OSU next season.
- Meyer said the Buckeyes “played their best game” against Michigan State, but added there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
- Meyer said the players to grade as champions on defense were sophomore safety Vonn Bell, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett and senior cornerback Doran Grant. Grant was the defensive player of the game.
- He said the players who graded out as champions on offense were senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein and redshirt-freshman offensive lineman Billy Price.
- Meyer on Spencer: “He’s my MVP, as far as just all around what we ask him to do.”
- He said the offensive players of the game were junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren, redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, senior wide receiver Devin Smith and sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott.
- Meyer said Devin Smith played his best game against Michigan State.
- Meyer said Spencer and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith were the top special teams players. He said Corey Smith should be in the wide receiver rotation going forward.
- He praised Minnesota coach Jerry Kill and called him a friend. He added Minnesota gives “relentless effort” and is “very well coached.”
- Meyer on moving on from the win at Michigan State: “We’re done with the celebration part, now we’re learning from it. The players will receive their directive tomorrow, and now we’re moving forward.”
- Meyer on performance against Michigan State: “We didn’t play as well as we could on defense, and we expect to play much better.”
- He said Barrett has to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation statistically, but conceded he hadn’t watched many other players nationally.
- Meyer on the offensive performance against the Spartans: “It’s our best performance we’ve had since we’ve been here.”
- He said he’s “upset” that the Buckeyes haven’t found a strong rotation on the defensive line.
- Meyer said he’s very comfortable with redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall running the wildcat. Added the Buckeyes have “a couple passes ready for” Marshall.
- He said Barrett’s biggest improvement has come from his “understanding of the game.”
- Meyer: “Early in the season, we were not a great team.”
- “This is the most improved team I’ve been apart of,” he said.
- Meyer praised the play of OSU’s wide receivers, said he’s comfortable with that group for the first time in a long time.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon.