Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 11
Nov. 11, 2013
An Interview with: COACH MEYER
COACH MEYER: Playing like one of the top teams in the country right now.
Q. Is it uncomfortable being in the situation of your vote has an influence of where you could end up?
Q. Can you explain this new signing deal that you're allowed to sign a guy to, it's not a letter of intent it's not a letter of intent, but you can deal with a kid on a full time basis but yet it's not binding for him. What do you get out of that, more than anything else?
Q. That's what I'm saying. The benefit is only that you can be
But the way I understand it, too, they can still go somewhere else if it's in a different conference. But I don't know.
Q. Braxton, we talked to you about him a little bit last week. The last time he went to Illinois he completed one pass to Jake Stoneburner. How much further along is he in that regard. When you go into Illinois, you almost have to have two game plans based on you don't know what the wind's going to be like that day?
Braxton would be the first one to tell you, Braxton at this point last year we weren't real fired up at times throwing the ball.
If you remember against Wisconsin, but it's a whole different we're in a completely different mindset. I have complete confidence in both our quarterbacks and our guys behind them. Excuse me, the guys catching the passes. It's apples to oranges, completely different scenario.
Q. Before the year you talked about Jack Mewhort being one of the top leaders you've ever had. The approach you had this last two weeks, has he lived up to that billing?
And he's certainly lived up to his expectation level, maybe even a little bit more, which his expectation level is very high.
Q. Seemed like Curtis Grant and Josh Perry had minor issues leaving the Purdue game, is everything okay?
What was the other name? Curtis Grant did not practice today. We expect him back tomorrow. His was ankle sprain and low back, but he should be ready to go by tomorrow.
Q. During preseason and even throughout this year, you pointed to the linebackers as the group that had the furthest to go to get to that Ohio standard. Is it because of the depth behind these guys or are the starters giving about what you want?
And I like the fact Curtis Grant has played pretty good. Still not to Ohio State standards. Banged up a little bit in his first year of playing. But he's been very adequate at that position. We need more, though, and he's going to give us more.
And Josh Perry has been developed recently. Starting the season nowhere what we expect from a Ohio State linebacker. But his last few weeks of practice and certainly in the games has played very well.
The depth is a major concern. We're nowhere where we need to be as far as the expectation level of the linebacker play here. When you think of the great linebackers that have arguably the last decade as good as a linebacker as ever in the country played at Ohio State, and we need to get back to that.
Q. What were your impressions of the games you saw, what did you think of Alabama and LSU, and did you get to see the Michigan/Nebraska game?
Like I said, just what's our impression, my impression is, like I said, Alabama/LSU, that was high level football and so was Oregon/Stanford. A lot of respect for those teams.
Q. How difficult is it this week to get players to concentrate on an 0 5, team that's 0 5?
It will be a bomb go off if I start to see that or we all start to see that, because this is a very invested team. Invested teams don't this is all about: Tomorrow we're going to really get after it.
Q. I want to touch upon the mid year signings as well that Tim brought up. You said you're allowed to speak to on different signings, Marcelys Jones, can you speak that?
Q. Do you see this maybe as a concession to the people that have been really pushing for a second signing period?
Q. Jumping off Tim's question. I know you spent enough time scouting the upcoming opponent, but how much time in advance work do you spend on the game conditions?
Q. What do you know about Illinois?
But it's been a while. We've got to be prepared for getting Illinois's best shot. They played some pretty good football as of late. Certainly offensively, the quarterback is leading the league in throwing. They took Penn State to overtime and put on a lot of points I think 600 yards on us last game.
So very good punt returner. So I know a lot about Illinois.
Q. Can you talk about wanting an angry team? Do you feel like you have an angry team? Is it easy to have an angry time right now when you have people saying you are on the outside looking in despite the fact you're undefeated, and what's the mindset of the team right now?
I know those are two little different words but very similar basically you're locked in as a team and you're focused on the next task. And that's what this team is right now.
Q. Frustrating at all or do you even let yourself
Q. Just real quick, the one pass completion game two years ago, did you watch that game, the time, have you seen any film of it since?
Q. What do you think the idea of the team winning the game on the pass?
Q. Last year you were undefeated. Right now you're undefeated. How do you compare your team right now to the team last year? Are you a better team?
We are playing I understand we're top 10 in the country in defense, rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense, that's pretty good, with replacing nine starters.
So we are getting a little better on defense. Comparing the teams last year, I think that's interesting conversation, but we're just more functional certainly on offense.
We're much better on offense than we were a year ago. Defensively, so I'm not sure. And special teams, we're much better this year.
Q. (Question off microphone) you're not making mistakes.
Q. You talked about that leadership last year a lot. I know that was a concern coming in to this year. How has that part of it worked out knowing that it was so good last year, how does that compare?
A lot of time spent on it through spring, summer and then we actually did it during training camp. So I graded a very plus right now. There's some purpose driven players that are leaders and that's what you want on a team. And I see it.
Q. At this stage of the year, with BCS standings, playing for Big Ten title, is there any more emphasis on how you win games and, quote/unquote, style points, or is it still just win the football game?
We practiced at a very, very high level today. And I expect them to play we all expect them to play, they expect to play at a very high level, because you're in the same breath with some very, very good teams.
And to maintain that status you have to play very well. Very well.
Q. Illinois's talent level has been pretty good over the last 10 years. What's their breakdown if they're on an 0 9 Big Ten streak?
What I see on offense is an explosive offense. 600 yards and then leading passer in Big Ten conference right now. So in special teams they're pretty good.
So I think right now they're just trying to find their way a little bit on defense.
Q. Pat Chung said he met with you last week, just to talk about a profile for his head coach. Did his profile match any guys you have on your staff?
Q. Did you ever get specific about
He's also very respectful of this time of year for us. I think the number one thing we talked about a profile because that's a unique place. I lived in Florida and that pocket, that's a very, very unique recruiting place.
And so that's mostly what we talked about is, first of all, the profile of a coach and someone with that, to just go dive into South Florida recruiting, that's not a place you want to dive into unless you've been there before.
Q. He gave you a list?
Q. Taylor, any update on him?
Q. You were off last week, come back weekend one step closer to where you want to be. What was the message to the team and maybe the reaction?
So the panic button with me is that we really ran them today. And to just go out and run without explaining what we're doing, especially when you have an intelligent team like this, so the whole message was let's get back to where you were a week ago Wednesday. And so that's really the whole message.
And we talked about the nation, the BCS, the state of the union that we do every week, and that's it. And then our job is to play, once again, I mentioned with the previous question, is that do we have to win with the style points, no; you have to play great, though, or you'll no longer be in the same breath with those other teams.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.