Aug 31, 2013
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An Interview with: COACH Urban Meyer
COACH MEYER: Couple quick comments about the game: I want to thank our crowd, as I try to remember to do that: The Buckeye Walk, the Skull Session. Incredible experience for our players and a lot of new young guys that I saw a little bit of hyperventilating out there, but I thought they came out of the chute fast. Pretty strong week. And really hard about coming out fast and playing hard. And I think they did, obviously.
Two quick scores. First quarter was script. You can't play much better than our guys did. We're pushing the ball down the field, guys making plays. Special teams, I thought our kickoff team was outstanding.
And then we rough a punter. Then we have the fourth down, we don't make it. Then we throw a screen and it goes the other way.
And in a tight game, you're going to lose that game. So we've gotta learn to fight through those momentum shifts. I do want to give the team we played, Buffalo, a lot of credit and I have a lot of respect for their coach.
I've known him from before. And those guys played hard. They've got a kid that kicked our tails, that outside linebacker, had a couple of sacks, pressures.
I know he beat guys that I expect to play very well on our offensive line. So we've gotta get fixed.
The good thing is we can. When you score 40 points out of almost 460 or something like that and you're disappointed, that's a good sign. And the bad sign is we've got a long way to go.
Defensively, I think we played okay. C.J. Barnett was a gametime decision not to play him. He sprained his ankle I think on Tuesday. Probably could have played. Tried to be smart. Corey Linsley, our center, we played 16, 17 plays. That's when we pulled him. I almost put him back in. Then we had some cramp issues that hurt us.
So we've just got to get our team together. Our offensive line has once Corey is back in there full time. I think Jacoby did fine I don't want to say he didn't do fine. I gotta to find out how he did. I didn't feel the push we needed, and we have to get out of when we lose momentum.
Philly Brown has to get more involved. I can't believe he only had two catches. We have to do a better job with that. The first quarter, like I said, was script. I think 50/50 run/pass on play calls. And that's where we need to be.
I'll answer your questions.
Q. Talk about the defense. Ended up starting nine new guys and obviously Shazier had to leave for a while and stuff. What did you generally see out of them that you liked and didn't like?
COACH MEYER: I saw some things I liked. The things that drive you nuts are the little dink and dunks, I feel like we don't trigger on. The secondary just doesn't that ball's in the air, you like, bam, you like to see that. And I didn't feel that. I did feel we tightened up as it went along.
We had two new corners out there playing. You said nine new players on defense? Well, really ten new players for most of the game, right? So we just got a long way to go to get better, and after the film I'll have more for you this week.
Q. You mentioned earlier in the week you weren't happy with the way you guys started off last year. Got off to a much better start this year. But what happened after that?
COACH MEYER: Momentum is an amazing thing in college football. The more mature your team is, momentum's only about seven points, I consider it. But if you're immature, especially at certain areas, momentum is a 14 point shift.
And so the blocked punt was just terrible. I think we should have blocked it. And then you think of just the turnovers, three straight turnovers. Fourth down we didn't get it. Might have been four straight right in a row. I'm not sure. But we had a blocked punt where we ran into the kicker.
We had a fourth down, we didn't get it. We threw the ball to them on a screen pass and something else happened, we gave the ball right back. Four series right in a row. We were up 22 0, I believe, when it turned upside down.
The positive is we're 2 0 against a quality football team and when we needed a long drive we did. Kenny Guiton came in like he normally does and did a very nice job.
Q. Actually that dovetails right into my question. I was going to ask: Braxton seemed like he was having cramps and you brought in Kenny for a couple of plays. How well do you think Kenny did in substitution for Braxton? And was there ever a thought to have him try and air it out, because seemed like you had a few handoff plays with Kenny.
COACH MEYER: He actually has a broken finger. I don't know if you guys knew that. I think we told you that. He had a broken finger almost throughout all of summer and then training camp again, started bothering him again. He hasn't been able to throw like he normally throws. He's coming back and we're getting him back together.
Q. What did you learn about your team, both good and bad?
COACH MEYER: Good is that they're fighters. We had obviously our roster has taken some hits. We're down some players and you had some cramp issues and some young players stepped up.
I like the fact that they fought. I like the fact they jumped out early and they like to play. And that's the positive.
The negative is that you need to sustain consistent effort and intensity. And the offensive line is something that we really rely on. After the film I bet I'll come and say they played okay, but the expectation level of that group was not okay.
But I'll let you know exactly what I thought happened. The guy that played, was it 46, I just know where he played, I can see him standing out there, a really, really good player. And we're very satisfied to win a game. But we also know we have to get a lot better, which is good. Which is good.
Q. Freshman running backs Dontre shows you the quick feet.
COACH MEYER: Let him get away. And he had a chance, kickoff return, he looked electric. And then 15 didn't do much, did he?
Q. Want to ask about the two point conversion plays. They call it the swinging gate. What do you call that?
COACH MEYER: Oh, magic.
Q. The rationale behind it, are you just trying to give people something to prepare for down the line?
COACH MEYER: It's a pain in the rear end that you have to Coach Warner's done a nice job with that. I think as many ways to get cheap points and make people work, it looked good today. Those guys did a nice job.
Q. Jordan Hall had his longest runs, but how much more effective do you envision him when you have the big boys back running between the tackles?
COACH MEYER: I think he'll be fine. I think he gives us that little bit of a hybrid guy that can do both. That was kind of the plan with him. So once we have a full stable back, then he's still going to be certainly involved. And to be able to line up at receiver and motion in and run the ball, that's a good weapon to have.
Q. To have Braxton and Ryan both deal with the cramps, is that a concern at all going forward, or is it just happens sometimes on a hot day?
COACH MEYER: It's a concern, yeah, it's a concern. And we I know our strength staff and training staff work hard on the hydration, and I'm not sure if Buffalo cramped. That's the thing that I keep asking myself.
So we gotta just continue to do a good job getting these guys, to make sure that and Evan Spencer cramped, too, I believe. So we had three guys. But it was a hot mother out there now.
So we just have to of course we're going to work on it and we're concerned. We gotta get better.
Q. On the screen, when Mack intercepted that play, does Braxton have to read that, or was there something else that went wrong there?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, it's a sunny, clear screen pass to the outside receiver. Something's in the way, you burn it and you live to see the next down. That should never happen.
Q. I thought Braxton looked really good the first quarter, maybe not so much the second. Maybe if you could assess his play. And also four sacks. I know Mack was a beast out there.
COACH MEYER: Was it four sacks? That's unacceptable, completely unacceptable. We'll get it fixed.
You asked about Braxton. He was statistics aren't bad, 15 for 22 for 178, two touchdowns. He threw a pick?
Q. To Mack.
COACH MEYER: I'll probably see it the way you saw it and I'll get more information to you next week. I thought he came out of the chute fast. We did a good job opening it up a little bit. I think we tightened up a little bit when he started cramping and handing the ball off a little bit. So I think he can play better.
Q. Still on Braxton, it struck me that even though things weren't going very well in the second half, when you really needed it, Braxton broke off some of those runs like he always seems to do. And I know the emphasis has been on improving his passing and all that. Can you just talk about how that's still a pretty big part of what you do?
COACH MEYER: They started playing some coverages that great quarterbacks, when you drop eight and you play something we call two man or man under, where they're manning people with deep safeties, it forces you usually you don't see that kind of defense because you have an athletic quarterback.
But I saw the same thing you did, that when we needed a couple of plays, he had a couple of big ones for us. We're back up in a critical, critical situation. He got us almost all the way down the field.
Then he got us that field goal. I can imagine that was about a 70 yard drive, 60 yard drive. Quarterbacks have to do that. It's their job description, to get us out of a jam and be a great player and at times he looked like that today.
Q. I thought Joey Bosa had a pretty dang good game first time out in The Shoe. Looked like maybe the best defensive lineman you had there for a bit.
COACH MEYER: I didn't have a chance. Usually I'm talking to the offense. But Joey Bosa we're very pleased to have him as part of the program. His future is kind of silly, if he continues to get going.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.