Ohio State Buckeyes: 5 things coach Urban Meyer said about Saturday’s game vs. Michigan


Monday marked the beginning of Michigan Week for Ohio State football, but not the beginning of preparations for the Wolverines — at least in a general sense.

Here are five things to know from coach Urban Meyer’s meeting with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center:

1. Meyer and the Buckeyes think about Michigan much more than one week out of the year

Following the lead of predecessor Jim Tressel, Meyer makes sure Michigan stands out from Ohio State’s opponents while trying to avoid putting the Wolverines on a pedestal.

“This rivalry is not a one-week deal,” said Meyer, whose Ohio State teams are 5-0 against Michigan. “It’s, ‘Hey, let’s get this thing going.’ And I learned that from Woody Hayes, from Earle Bruce, from Jim Tressel. I just think it’s in your blood. It’s in your DNA.” 

While those former coaches set an example, current strength and conditioning director Mickey Marotti plays a big role now.

“I would say darned near every day you’re here you get reminded of the game, from ‘Coach Mick’ in the offseason to myself in spring ball and training camp, we have periods devoted to this game during practice. And I mean you would have to be, something wrong with you not to figure this one out.”

2. Michigan will be on top of its game, Meyer says

The 8-3 Wolverines enter the week having been humbled at Wisconsin.

The fifth-ranked Badgers won 24-10, outgaining the UM 182-58 on the ground and knocking Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters out of the game.

The Ohio State-Michigan game has a way of helping players put their troubles behind them, though.

“That’s the history of this game,” Meyer said. “Both teams play their best.”

3. Watch the way the “big uglies” battle

The 114th edition of The Game will, like many of them, include a big focus on the matchups in the trenches.

Ohio State is first in the Big Ten in rushing while Michigan is third. The defenses are fourth and fifth, respectively, in stopping the run.

Meyer noted Michigan defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst are “both very highly draftable NFL players.”

The Buckeyes running game has really been rolling the last two weeks, piling up 335 yards against a stout Michigan State defense and 325 on one from Illinois that ranks last in the conference.

After being humbled by Penn State on Oct. 21, Michigan appeared to recommit to the running game, posting back-to-back 300-yard outings against Rutgers and Minnesota before gaining 160 on the ground against Maryland on Nov. 11.

However, Michigan averaged just 1.6 yards per carry against a Wisconsin defense that is among the best in the country.

4. What’s required in power running game?

It wasn’t all serious football talk. Meyer laughed at himself while describing what he looks for in an interior offensive lineman to make his power running game go.

“We want the big wide (butt) — probably shouldn’t say that — but to move defensive linemen you need to have the big guards in this offense,” Meyer said. “And zone schemes, that’s a prerequisite — be powerful coming off the ball.” 

5. No wrinkles needed

Hayes was reputed to have taken time out of the season — when the Buckeyes were facing a doormat like Northwestern, the legends go — to prepare for Michigan, and Tressel was well-known for unveiling a new concept or two against the Wolverines every year.

Meyer said he doesn’t expect any surprises though.

“You can’t now. This conference — we’re in the East side of arguably the toughest conference in America. So just go play the game, try to go win. I don’t think — I heard days in the past where you saved the little eight and the big two. Those days are done.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

A Browns win will release thousands of free beers into the world
A Browns win will release thousands of free beers into the world

The next time the Cleveland Browns win a regular season game, the first round is on Anheuser-Busch.  The team and the company revealed Tuesday several Bud Light Browns “victory fridges” will be place around the Greater Cleveland area (including at FirstEnergy Stadium), and they are set to be opened remotely as soon as the next Browns...
Cincinnati Bengals counting on young linebackers to shine
Cincinnati Bengals counting on young linebackers to shine

Injuries to the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense last year forced some young linebackers to grow up pretty quickly. Now those guys are going to be called on even more as the Bengals prepare for the start of the season in about three weeks. »RELATED: A.J. Green thrills fans at training camp Veteran Kevin Minter moved on in free agency, Vontaze...
Veteran Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey: ‘The sky is the limit for us’
Veteran Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey: ‘The sky is the limit for us’

The Cleveland Browns are trending in the world of football during training camp after the first episode of this season’s HBO series “Hard Knocks” aired last week. The team has grabbed the attention of many in what appears to be the transition of a winless franchise to a possible contender. Veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey was...
How much might Urban Meyer investigation cost Ohio State?
How much might Urban Meyer investigation cost Ohio State?

Nothing is free, and that certainly goes for investigations of a football coach by a public entity.  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine granted firm Debevoise and Plimpton a budget of up to $500,000 to investigate how football coach Urban Meyer and others in the Ohio State department of athletics handled domestic abuse allegations against...
2018 Prep Football Season Preview: Ross Rams
2018 Prep Football Season Preview: Ross Rams

Kenyon Commins is sure his Ross High School football team is much improved over the 1-9 Rams of 2017. What that means in terms of wins and losses this season … well, the second-year head coach will just let that play out on the field. “We’ll define our own success,” Commins said. “If our success is 5-5, it’s 5-5...
More Stories