Ohio State’s offense continued to dominate its opponents, this time taking Rutgers to the woodshed with a 56-17 victory over the Scarlet Knights. The Buckeyes 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big 10, have averaged 56 points in a four-game win streak since losing at home to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6. Urban Meyer talks about the game at his press conference on Saturday.
COACH MEYER: Thanks for coming. As always-not really. I don’t want to take them for granted. But I want to thank our student body and our fans for being there and showing up, hanging out when it got a little drizzly. We appreciate that.
Also we had a lot of respect for Rutgers. They came in, 5 and 1. Really could have been 6 and 0, other than the slam pass that the Penn State receiver caught against them.
So pleased with the get-out, that we got out of the locker room fast, 14-0, that’s a good sign of several games right in a row. Questions?
Q. I think a lot of us were wondering why was J.T. still there in the fourth quarter if you were up 56 whatever it was, and what was the thinking. And you guys did take a bit of a beating injury-wise?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, the one that really hurt was Jacoby Boren. And Joel Hale hurt his back. And we put Gaskey, a young man, great kid, was a walk-on. Real depth– Brady Taylor hurt his shoulder. Marcelys wasn’t allowed to play today.
And right now we’ve got a little depth issue. J.T. Barrett, that’s a conversation I had with Tom and I can’t remember the conversation, other than once again he’s still a freshman trying to get as many game reps as he can.
Q. Jalin touched it a few times, touchdowns. Seems like every week you’re adding to this offense and still growing. Does it feel that way to you as well, like you’re adding more pieces even with the players?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, it sure does. Sometimes like Evan Spencer, we had a couple of plays designed because he’s probably practicing our best as a wide receiver. But the one thing about our style of offense and really everyone’s style of offense nowadays, in the spread sets, you don’t say throw the ball to him because if they take him away something else is open. That’s where J.T. is so good at whatever the defense gives you, giving the ball.
So we have a lot of pieces right now that deserve maybe a few more, but you can’t really control that in the way we do our business.
Q. You came into this week, saying you wanted to improve on the red zone offense. Your six trips there, five touchdowns, another game where you had over 500 yards of offense, more than 50 points. Is there anything that you feel like you guys can’t do offensively right now?
COACH MEYER: I still grade us down offensively. When your quarterback has to scramble on the fourth down in the red zone, that’s a good play by an individual. Actually, we were trying to get Evan isolated on the Mike linebacker and we did. We didn’t score. We have a little chat about that tomorrow and get better at that.
So I still consider our red zone offense not as good as it should be. So that gives us something really to work on tomorrow.
Q. You guys have scored more than 50 points in four straight games now. You’ve coached a lot of good teams, but what do you need to do when you’re playing like this now to make sure you keep playing at a high level the second half of the season? How do you keep a team rolling?
COACH MEYER: I don’t feel for one minute because I’m grinding the coaches pretty hard and on headsets. The good thing is that I don’t feel like there’s a complacent attitude. Complacency is awful in this business and with the players, because when you watch the film, we could actually have played a lot better in certain situations.
Our defense, you credit that, you can take the first half and that’s a credit to our defense. They took a team that threw 400 plus yards against our rivals and really played well, creating turnovers once again and getting the ball to the offense rather quickly.
So I think there’s a lot of things to work on offensively. The second half I was not pleased with our deep. We gave up some runs, and when a 2 gets in the game there can’t be that big of a drop-off. And right now we all saw what happened, there’s a significant drop-off when our 2s got in there.
Q. Does this defense now deserve to be called Silver Bullets? Is this a defense you’re proud of? And is this in any way kind of a statement nationally or do we know how good Rutgers is? Barrett seems to be moving up, as do you.
COACH MEYER: Yeah, I think to come out like we did on a national televised game. Next week we all know what’s coming down the barrel, prime time game, in a stadium with 110,000 people. That’s going to be a great evaluator. This was a home game against a team that we had a lot of respect for. We considered, our whole talk all week, they were a 6 and 0 team.
That’s the way we approached it. I think you can tell the way our guys came out that there was a lot of respect for that team. It was earned respect by what they did a couple of weeks ago when they beat our rival.
I don’t know if I answered your question or not. I think we are. I think we are-and I’m sure you’re asking me to, someone will blog it out and say here’s Coach Meyer ranting and raving again. I’m not. I don’t really watch the other teams, but I think we’re playing at a pretty high level right now.
Q. Was there one thing before the game that you really wanted to see and did you see it?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, get out fast and play good a pass defense against a team that was on fire throwing the ball. And most improved quarterback I think in the country, a year ago. Because we went back, watched some film last year, and that was a much improved offense.
So jump start, quick start, started off by kicking game and then the opportunity to play some good pass defense.
Q. You said you prepared this team as they were playing a 6 and 0 team. And this was pretty expensive from you guys. I think it was 56 to 10 halfway through the third. And you get the guys all fired up for that. What’s the message post-game when you guys put it on a team like you did, is this one where the guys can pat each other on the back and say job well done, any of that?
COACH MEYER: No. I don’t feel that yet. There will be a time for that. It’s usually in January. It’s not now. It’s a time to, first of all, develop depth. We could go on and on about the mistakes that were made today.
But enjoy the win tonight, go see your families, do what you gotta do and come back ready to go. The good thing this is a really good team to coach right now. They’re as hungry as our coaching staff and that’s a good sign.
Q. What about Devan Bogard, heartbreaking?
COACH MEYER: He’s walking around. We’re saying our prayers tonight for him. Every pink game he’s sat. I didn’t realize that. He’s hurt his knee. He’s a wonderful kid. Prayers with him. Thanks.