Buckeye problems

Meyer looking for thorough explosiveness, that's about it

Published: October 14 2013 | 3:53 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 9:50 pm in

It can get weird everywhere.

Ohio State is 6-0 (2-0 Big Ten) and has won 18 consecutive games. The first questions out of the box for coach Urban Meyer during his Monday news conference focused on the lack of 1,000-yard rushers during his years as a head coach. He's never had one.

" I'm tired of hearing that, man," Meyer said. Moments later, he was pressed about his quarterbacks rushing for more than 1,000 yards.

"Some guys just like leave their press conferences, I might start doing that," Meyer said. Big smile. Laughter.

Yes, he was joking and, no, this wasn't a serious grilling. This is what the Ohio State head coach is asked when his team is the front runner in the Leaders Division and for a berth in the Big Ten title game. Iowa (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) is next for the Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes are coming off an idle week after falling 26-14 to Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 5.

A headline in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch this morning read "Ohio State: What if 13-0 isn't good enough?" This was in reference to Ohio State winning everything it can win and then not making it into the BCS title game.

Huh, Buckeye problems.

"I think water cooler talk and good conversation is, 'How are you, how's it going, what's the future look like . . .' Wait a minute, we have a really good practice today and some people laugh when I say that stuff, but the mindset is that I like this team, I really do," Meyer said. "They're good people and they're guys who play hard, I love the fact that the emotion that I see in the locker room at times. Very relatively minor, minor issues I'm dealing with.

"I really like this team. Where are we? I don't know. We're 6-0 and doing the best we can to get first downs and stop people. And I can feel sometimes pressure mounting on players when you streak -- you start hearing about streaks, you start hearing about that. And it's my job as a coach and our coaching staff is it's all about today."

Ohio State's situation is this: The Buckeyes opened Big Ten conference play with back-to-back victories over Wisconsin and Northwestern on primetime national TV. Ohio State is living as "A list" as a Big Ten team can.

Meyer didn't go there, at least not very far there, "there" being undefeated, BCS title game talk. He talked Iowa, a team, he said, that the OSU coaches have scouted for two weeks trying to figure out a way to run the football on.

"Just because I don't know a whole lot about Iowa other than I did coach against them in a bowl game awhile back [2006 Outback Bowl, and Meyer's Florida team won, 31-24] and they're the same as they've always been on defense, real stout, real firm against the run," Meyer said. "I believe they haven't given up a rushing touchdown, I read that somewhere, and I can see that they are very good, so just a big game."

Meyer was asked about Iowa wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley and his punt returns. Martin-Manley, who left the Michigan State game with a leg injury, leads the conference in punt returns on the strength of 83- and 63-yard returns against Western Michigan.

"They're a hold up team, and not to get too much detail, but you asked, they drop people back and they get some double teams on your guys running down the field," Meyer said, discussing Iowa's punt return technique. "So, there are two ways of returning punts. We don't do it. We come after people, we give the appearance we're coming after people and then lock on. They don't do that.

"They drop back and try to get a double team. It's a very good scheme, but it's a return scheme, does that make sense?"

Punt return. We'll just move on. (Yes, coach Kirk Ferentz will return punts again. Don't go crazy over last week's "So yeah, I may be leaning toward the point where you never try to see us return one again. Just fair catch it and try to keep it off the ground" statement from Ferentz.)

Any other Buckeye problems?

"That's something I want to be if I had to grade us," Meyer said, "we're not explosive from first to fourth quarter."

Buckeye problems.

Leaders
Passing Yards:K. Guiton664
Passing TDs:K. Guiton13
Rushing Yards:J. Hall427
Rushing TDs:J. Hall8
Receiving Yards:C. Brown381
Receiving TDs:C. Brown5
Interceptions:D. Grant2

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards:2957 (20)
Passing Yards:1273 (76)
Rushing Yards:1684 (10)
Points per game:46.8 (6)
Yards per game:492.8 (18)
Touchdowns:36 (4)
Field Goals:5 (81)

Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards:1957 (19)
Passing Yards:1440 (69)
Rushing Yards:517 (4)
Points per game:19.2 (20)
Yards per game:326.2 (12)
Touchdowns:13 (20)
Field Goals:6 (52)

Schedule 2013
DateOpponentResult / Time
8/31vs. Buffalo40 - 20
9/7vs. San Diego State42 - 7
9/14at California52 - 34
9/21vs. Florida A&M76 - 0
9/28vs. 23 Wisconsin31 - 24
10/5at 16 Northwestern40 - 30
10/19vs. Iowa3:30 ET
10/26vs. Penn State8:00 ET
11/2at PurdueTBA
11/16at IllinoisTBA
11/23vs. IndianaTBA
11/30at MichiganTBA

_____________________________

Schedule 2013
DateOpponentResult / Time
8/31vs. Northern Illinois27 - 30
9/7vs. Missouri State28 - 14
9/14at Iowa State27 - 21
9/21vs. Western Michigan59 - 3
9/28at Minnesota23 - 7
10/5vs. Michigan State14 - 26
10/19at 4 Ohio State2:30 CT
10/26vs. Northwestern11:00 CT
11/2vs. 25 WisconsinTBA
11/9at PurdueTBA
11/23vs. MichiganTBA
11/29at Nebraska11:00 CT

Leaders
Passing Yards:J. Rudock1202
Passing TDs:J. Rudock8
Rushing Yards:M. Weisman624
Rushing TDs:J. Rudock5
Receiving Yards:K. Martin-Manley225
Receiving TDs:C. Fiedorowicz2
Interceptions:B. Lowery3

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards:2501 (59)
Passing Yards:1256 (80)
Rushing Yards:1245 (32)
Points per game:29.7 (61)
Yards per game:416.8 (59)
Touchdowns:17 (82)
Field Goals:8 (31)

Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards:1740 (9)
Passing Yards:1209 (28)
Rushing Yards:531 (6)
Points per game:16.8 (11)
Yards per game:290.0 (7)
Touchdowns:10 (10)
Field Goals:8 (81


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