In years past, a matchup against Indiana might cause Ohio State players to lose focus a bit. The Hoosiers, after all, are hardly Big Ten powers. But coach Urban Meyer doesn't believe that anyone will overlook Indiana after the Hoosiers (3-1) upset Michigan State in its Big Ten opener.

In years past, a matchup against Indiana might cause Ohio State players to lose focus a bit.

The Hoosiers, after all, are hardly Big Ten powers. But coach Urban Meyer doesn't believe that anyone will overlook Indiana after the Hoosiers (3-1) upset Michigan State in its Big Ten opener.

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"The players are engaged," Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference this afternoon. "We respect every opponent, but sometimes when the film is not very good, that's where you have to create scenarios or maybe not even show them what you know.

"But when a team is really good - Indiana just beat Michigan State – there's no issue. It is a problem when the (opponent) is not that good, but that's not an issue this week."

McCall 'a work in progress'

Freshman running back Demario McCall is averaging 7.2 yards per yards per carry in mopup duty this season. He has shown eye-catching speed and vision. Last week against Rutgers, he gained 85 yards in 10 carries, including a 20-yard touchdown run for his second score of the season.

But McCall isn't ready to challenge Mike Weber or Curtis Samuel for playing time just yet, Meyer said.

"He's still a work in progress," he said of the 5-9, 182-pounder from North Ridgeville. "He's not big and strong enough yet to carry the load consistently. We're really pleased with what he's doing and we feel he's got a really good future, but he's not at the same level at the other two yet.

"He's working hard. A lot of it has to do with physical maturity, too. You have to be a big, strong guy to play in this conference, and he's not quite there yet."

Two Heisman candidates?

Quarterback J.T. Barrett is listed at 7-1 to win the Heisman Trophy by Bovada, but could another Buckeye enter the Heisman picture.

Curtis Samuel leads the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (168.3 per game) without benefit of any yards as a punt returner or kickoff returner. The junior H-back is averaging 15.0 yards in his team-leading 23 receptions and 8.0 yards per rush, also best on the team.

When the subject of Samuel's Heisman viability was raised in the Big Ten teleconference, Meyer didn't dismiss it. He likened it to his 2008 Florida team, which had reigning Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and dynamic H-back Percy Harvin.

Tebow finished third in Heisman voting that year, but Harvin wasn't in the top 10.

"I think it's a little harder for an (H-back)," Meyer said, "but (Samuel) is certainly having that kind of year that he should be in the conversation."

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch