Lots offense for the Ohio State Buckeyes, but not much defense. Quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for four touchdowns and Ezekiel Elliot ran for 182 yards as #22 Ohio St. ran past Cincinnati 50-28 Saturday night. Coach Urban Meyer talked about the Ohio St. squad in his press conference after the game.
COACH MEYER: I couldn’t help but stare at our students that are still there. I keep hearing about students who quit going to games. It’s not here.
And the minute we quit appreciating students, I told our players, you bet, if I ever hear about you not being gracious to a student, thanking that student, you won’t play here. That’s how serious I am about that. I love our students. 29,000 strong support our football team. And that just makes my job easier. You take away those students, you try to go motivate that team and that’s a little more difficult.
So we’re an offensive line driven team. And they won the game for us. And they controlled that line of scrimmage. They protected our quarterback. J.T. played well.
Other than a dropped third down and a fumble, I was very pleased for the night, offensively. Defensively, we’re back to the drawing board. And pass coverage, the corner, a couple corners got beat and we gave up big plays.
You can say other than that, but we’ve got to get that fixed. You can’t play championship football until that gets fixed.
Q. Urban, on that note, what did you tell Chris Ash and Luke Fickell you wanted after that third big one?
COACH MEYER: Once again, I don’t micromanage. I’m going to get involved on Sunday. Other than I said we gotta get the corners off a little bit.
And I felt like when they started running by us, that’s a problem. So we’ll just have to reevaluate what we’re doing, who we’re doing it with, and make sure we’re giving our team the best opportunity to win. And that will take place tomorrow.
Q. You’re up 40, seven minutes, 30?? 28. What’s going through your mind at that point?
COACH MEYER: Best. Great teams don’t do that. I didn’t want to take anything away from UC. Because UC is probably the best throwing team we’ve faced since we’ve been here. When Coach Tuberville says he’s got the best group of receivers he’s ever had, everybody takes a deep breath and goes, Really? I asked him after the game, and he’s got a good team.
But we’re Ohio State, too, so we better learn how to play pass defense and get that fixed.
Q. Kind of a coming?out party for Ezekiel Elliott. 233 yards, something like that, touchdown, 182 on the ground, total yards. Was it good to get?? I know you’ve been liking him a lot, but finally having him to have a big game like this?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, and it’s not like we haven’t tried. It’s Virginia Tech, they played some bear against us, and we added some offense for that particular defense.
So we have a lot of confidence in Ezekiel Elliott, and I think he’s, before he leaves here he could be one of the great backs of Ohio State. A long way to go.
I like the way that group works right now. That’s our hardest working group. And that’s a credit to Stan Drayton and what he’s got going back there.
Q. How far has J.T. come in the last couple of weeks, and what area is it that you think he’s developed maybe the most?
COACH MEYER: I think not surprised by his development. I think Tom’s an excellent coach and he’s a very good student. When you see false starts, when you see a little bit disorganization, they said they couldn’t hear him.
I kept screaming “Peyton Manning” at him, because when I study or just get to watch games, Peyton Manning’s still as good as I’ve ever seen as far as taking control. And he’s not there yet. So take control of the offense.
Other than that, very accurate today throwing the ball. And once again other than that dropped pass on third down, I think it was Devin and turnover by Curtis Samuel not much you can do other than say keep pushing because that would have been a lot more yards than 700.
Q. Back to the offensive line for a moment. You mentioned earlier this week you thought Chase Farris would play quite a bit for you, looked like he did. Rotated center a little bit. What do you think worked well, what combinations worked well you think up front that helped you sustain it?
COACH MEYER: I’ll let you know. If I said it I wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. Coach Warinner will be able to address it next Monday, Tuesday, whenever we talk to you guys again. Off the top of my head I don’t know.
Q. 710 yards total offense. Eight off the school record. Is that what you envision this thing establishing a guy like Elliott and then getting it out quick to Dontre and Jalen and so forth?
COACH MEYER: That’s a good point. And when you have a horizontal and vertical punch, that’s the hardest offense is to defend. Our first year?? our only horizontal offense was Braxton Miller, and then you go recruit a Dontre, recruit a Jalen, we’re starting to hit?? you start making them defend. Like they were playing wide defensive ends and that was giving us the interior run. The minute they tightened down, we hit the edge. That’s what we’re trying to be, in the run game.
Q. Do you guys need to really evaluate who you are and what you are in the back end, like are you guys?? you guys have the skill set to play press man coverage, you just need to change and be something else?
COACH MEYER: I really think we do. But obviously I saw what you saw. So I’ll be ready to address that more, because that’s going to be a hard conversation tomorrow. I want to challenge throws and play bump and run coverage. If you have the personnel keep doing it. If you don’t, you’ve got to adapt. And our guys hang in there with us, and so maybe Cincinnati’s receivers are that much better than Ohio State’s receivers. I don’t know. That’s just something we’ve got to evaluate.
It’s still early. But it’s not like this is not going to be addressed and get worked on.
Q. Heading into Big Ten play now, do you feel like you have a team that can compete at the top of the Big Ten, can win the Big Ten with what you’ve seen four games in?
COACH MEYER: Not ready to say that. You don’t give up 200 yards passing and be able to look you in the eye say that’s a championship level football team out there.
I see certain units playing at a very, very high level, not nine. So our objective?? any championship level team operates at nine. And since I’ve been here we’ve not operated at nine.
We’ve come close a few times. And today was an example but that was not nine strong, though, and we’ve got to get a couple of units fixed and figure out what’s going on and give them the best opportunity to be successful.