Urban Meyer Press Conference Transcript
Oct. 29, 2012
An interview with Coach Meyer
COACH MEYER: A couple comments about the Penn State game. I very much appreciate that atmosphere at that Penn State. That was as good as I've been fortunate to be in some really great environments, classy environments where student support is tremendous, and I just think that that needs to be recognized. I know our players have great respect for going there. I've heard all about it going up the week prior to it. So, it certainly lived up to its reputation, and even in my mind, enhanced it. So our guys responded well in a very tough situation, a tough environment.
Overall, very good team win. A lot of things to continue to correct upon, however, probably our best team win not probably, our best team win we've had. Once again in a very tough situation, our defense continues to improve. Zach Boren continues to improve. I'll go through champions in a minute.
But fundamentally, we're much better tackling and leveraging the ball. We blitzed more. We had more pressures. Our defensive staff will give you more numbers. But we played more man coverage and blitzed more than he did all year. So that's telling us something that we need to do more of that.
Wide receiver Jake Stoneburner continues his last few weeks have been the best football, according to him, of his career at Ohio State. Lot of things that you don't see as well, but just his down field and physicalness. We're moving him inside and playing a little bit of fullback ever since we moved Zach over. So some things you don't see, he's doing very well for us. We really appreciate his restored or rededication to making himself a great player.
Evan Spencer played very good, his three for three opportunities, made plays all three times. Carlos Hyde graded out a champion, and 91% of his yards were after contact. He's a very strong contact runner.
In our offense, player of the week started very slow, was not very efficient early on in the passing game, however finished very strong. Made some big plays for us, and his competitive spirit is a big reason why we won that game. That's our quarterback, Braxton Miller.
On defense, we had just two champions, and they were both co players of the game. Brad Roby graded out 94%. He had an inordinate amount of play opportunities, 30 opportunities, which is almost unheard of. They were throwing a lot at him, and he had 7 PBUs. And I even had one of my guys just recheck some of my records. I don't think we've ever had a guy get his hand on 7 balls and 20 production points.
Other co player of the game continues to I don't think he played as well as the week before. He was as productive or even more productive. But Ryan Shazier graded out a champion at 8 tackles, 3 assists, two tackles for loss, two sacks, forced fumble and a touchdown, 38 production points, which is very high. Other guys had special mentions, however, they didn't grade a champion.
On special teams, Griffin received a Scarlet Shirt, which is an award we give out to guys that get great efforts. He stopped a fourth down fake punt, and Brad Roby made two tackles on kickoff. Then the last one is our defense excuse me, our special teams player of the game was Devin Smith, had four tackles on punt. Excellent effort running down the field.
With that said, I'll answer any questions for you.
Q. I know Zach Boren moving to linebacker was your idea. I knew you expected him to play well on some level. But how well he's playing, does that surprise you at all?
Q. You mentioned a more aggressive defense. Was that an edict from you that you need more pressure?
First everybody thinks let's go play man. We have good corners, great. There are three other guys somewhere. You can't just hope it works out.
Q. You referenced a heart to heart conversation with Stoneburner a few weeks ago to clear the air, maybe. I know some of that is private. But what was your message to him?
For some reason he hadn't been, so you can blame it's all the coach's faults, or Coach Tressel or everybody's fault, but at some point, you've got to play better. That's exactly what was said. The cool thing is he said I agree a hundred percent, coach, and you got it. He's been great.
Q. Was he uncomfortable at all in that role? Was there a transition period to the responsibilities he had? Was that a factor at all?
Q. Back in I think it was '97, talent would get you seven, eight wins, nine, discipline, leadership makes something special. Three games to go you're 9 0. Is this team falling in that category as special even beyond record?
Q. I had to look it up, for the record.
This is a special team. They're fighting for each other. It's a refuse to lose type atmosphere, which some of us have seen teams that play really well, and they're blowing teams out all the time. We're not that type of team for I can give you 150 reasons why. However, we're a bunch of guys that work really hard, blue collar approach, that show up every Tuesday and want to get better. You don't want anything else as a coach.
There is some discipline and leadership taken place, that's why it's pushed above the 7, 8 wins.
Q. How did (Indiscernible) when you go up against a friend, a guy that you've worked with, like at Illinois this week?
Q. Do you talk to him at all?
Q. You have referenced Braxton's competitiveness many times this year. I'm wondering when things aren't always going perfectly and he makes a bad read, an interception, does the competitiveness get in his way sometimes where he's trying to make a play all the time?
Q. How do you harness that, because you love the competitiveness?
Braxton, if you had to probably really evaluate his progress, I'd say it's probably on schedule, which somebody would say well, he should be a better thrower by now, and he should be. But there are other areas of his game that have really improved. So fundamentally, we addressed I don't think fundamentally he played a very good game Saturday. He missed a practice, and Braxton can't miss a practice. This Sunday we had a lot of fundamental work. As we progress through the season, I try to cut our practices back. We're one of the few schools that haven't had a bye week, and usually a bye week, you would go out there and reorganize your fundamentals. And I took him yesterday, and we're going to have to find time for him.
That's hard to do when you want to get them off their feet because they're getting worn down a little bit. Our team fundamentally is not where we need to be. We need to keep pushing that envelope, and a lot of young players playing, and a lot of players that maybe just aren't ready. We need to keep pushing. Braxton fundamentally has to be on his game, and he wasn't very good Saturday.
To answer your question about the competitive spirit, there is nothing else a coach would rather coach than a competitor that you have to cool them out a little bit and say don't force things and don't try to win the game every play. I've coached guys where you say try to win the game once in a while, and those guys aren't really the kind of guys you want leading your team.
Q. Obviously, we know your plan to win starts with playing great defense. With what you've seen the last two weeks from your defense where are you on that path defensively?
Q. We know you guys can go to a bowl game. We've talked about that already, And we know you want to win every Saturday. But in the bigger picture, how important is a good season in the first year as coach as you are establishing yourself at a school and establishing your program here at Ohio State?
But making that phone call, we make a lot of our phone calls tonight to recruits. It's as much of the coach's tone, the energy in the phone call. You have to make those calls when something bad happens as well. I'm not really into it. I can't wait to make those phone calls tonight, and I'm really anxious to make those phone calls tonight. And say, hey, this is Urban Meyer from Ohio State, and we're 9 0. The best thing about 9 0 is you have a chance to go for 10, and the conversation usually picks up from there.
Q. Talking to Jake the other night, he said in that conversation you talked about his development. He had a little bit of a hard time coming to grips with what you wanted from him in that new spot. Could you tell he was a guy that was sort of seeking what it is you guys all wanted?
So you're right. I see Jake as an intellect. He's a very smart guy, and I agree, that's probably what was holding him back, and it shouldn't hold him back.
Q. Braxton had a slow start throwing the other night. Was it almost like a frantic thing? Is that what you're talking about the fundamentals? Can you talk about what you saw in the second half?
A lot of it was his foot work. Pulling away from center was very sloppy, and he panicked at times. The one to his right just flat panicked. It was like he was throwing a baseball, but he settled down. He settled down.
Q. What do you say to your team this week? What is the pitch?
Q. You've had teams that you knew as a powerhouse. Is this more rewarding to coach a team that you know has some flaws, has some issues and get them to this point?
So if you ask me a question and watch young people develop, there is nothing better. Other than winning a game, I'm putting that right there, and I'm seeing it happen every day here which is why we all love to do it.
Q. Working on special teams, I know it's been up and down. How much of it is just increasing (Indiscernible)?
Q. Follow up on Tim Beckman. He's kind of had a tough go of it after the Indiana loss. What is your impression of the rebuilding process he's going through and maybe just the job he's doing?
Q. You talked about Braxton, and we're three quarters of the way in now. Does he need your blessing or endorsement? Or do you say, oh, next year is his year? Maybe promoting players generally.
I know I watched that Kansas State quarterback, and he's a great player. I'm trying to think. Oh, the guy from West Virginia. I haven't been following enough. But you're asking me because I have a little experience at that award and seeing guys getting ready. Braxton has to play much better, however, I believe he is a candidate.
Q. Off topic here, you were at Notre Dame, and probably no place is more of a love hate (Indiscernible). Were you aware of that when you were over there? And how important is it (Indiscernible)?
Well, love/hate, is you're the Yankees and they can't stand you, but they also love you. You come walking into high school with a shirt on, you either get something thrown at you or a big hug. It's not, hey, the principal's office is over there. It's one of these or one of those. It's not, hey, by the way, it's over there.
Q. Do coaches use game tape occasionally to shape their players' opinion of a team? Would you ever cherry pick the best plays from a team to convince your guys that the team is really good or show them more human plays if your guys need built up?
In this instance, everybody knows who we are. We better fight our tails off or we'll lose the game. So to answer your question, we have, and we're not in that situation right now.
Q. It will be a rough week weatherwise. Is that going to influence your preparations at all?
Q. Wanted to ask about the punt block, and having it happen again and giving up a touchdown, is that something that continues to concern you going forward into the last three games of the season?
Q. You guys have a much different style of punt this week. Did you see something that would prevent something like that from happening?
Right now just flat punting the ball is not very good, and he's actually very pretty good at doing our quarter role like we did and making sure we're in sound protection. So we're in a little dilemma right now.
Q. Did you see anything with Devin Smith? You had him out there.
So we're jury rigging a system, and I won't saying it's working very well.
Q. Do you think Sabino could be back this week or does he need a bye week still?
Q. Devin had to come off a little bit?