Ohio State’s pass defense has shown improvement since being humbled by Oklahoma in the second game of the season.
But Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer isn’t willing to give his stamp of approval in that phase just yet. After all, he noted in his radio call-in show on 97.1 The Fan on Thursday, Army, UNLV and Rutgers are hardly elite passing teams.
“It’ll be much more of a challenge this week,” Meyer said, referring to Maryland.
The Terrapins are 3-1 with road victories over Texas in the opener and Minnesota last week.
Maryland has been successful despite losing two quarterbacks to season-ending injuries. Max Bortenschlager is now the starter. Meyer compared his situation to that of Ohio State’s in 2014 when Cardale Jones struggled when thrust into his first game then was much better when he had time to prepare for the next week.
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Other highlights from Meyer’s radio show:
*Meyer said he almost fell out of his chair when he was informed about defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones’s locker-room leg injury last week. He said OSU got a favorable medical report about the leg, which required stitches and said Jones is lifting weights again and should be able to play next week against Nebraska.
*Meyer on OSU's pass defense doing well the last few weeks: He noted that none of the last three opponents – Army, UNLV or Rutgers – has much of a passing game. "It'll be much more a challenge this week."
*Meyer on having lot of night conference games on the road: "I mentioned something to Gene (Smith). I made an appeal," but TV pays the bills.
*Meyer: "You start talking about student-athlete welfare, academics..." Says there should be a maximum of two night road games.
*Meyer said that AD Gene Smith told him that TV money pays for a lot of the revenue for facilities, among other things. Meyer said the late road games disrupt the Sunday routine, which includes a practice. Says players drag in those after night games.
*Meyer on running back Mike Weber: Said Weber's hamstring was a tear, not just a pull. Said, as he has before, surgery was considered. Weber said Weber developed scar tissue and last week was the first time he felt really good.
*Meyer on player reaction for Rutgers shutout: "It was like they won Super Bowl when they missed the field goal, which is the way it should be."
*Meyer on running back Demario McCall: Praises him for TDs, mentions muffed punt. "At some point, he's going to make an impact on our program."
*Meyer said he was happy to see tight end Marcus Baugh strain to block for Johnnie Dixon on his second TD. Said Baugh is adopting the wide receivers’ blocking mentality.
*Co-host Jim Lachey announcing OSU academic scholarships, said Jordan Fuller had 4.0 last semester, joining Billy Price and Liam McCullough.
*Meyer on Maryland: "Maryland is a very talented team." Mentions win over Texas and overcoming QB injuries.
*Meyer on TE Rashod Berry, a converted DE: "Rashod was a guy I wasn't sure was going to survive here." Said he was immature.
Meyer said something has clicked in Berry. "He's as talented a guy as we have on the team. I can't say enough good things about him now."
Meyer on Berry's blocking: "Much improved." On the tight ends overall: “That was our weakest unit. Out of 9, that was 9th." Now it has improved a lot.
*Meyer: I'm seeing playmakers develop. I'm seeing secondary improve, offensive line improve. "The weakest units are improving."
Meyer said he likes freshmen offensive linemen Thayer Munford, Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, but he isn't pleased with the overall depth on the offensive line. Meyer said Matt Burrell is improving but still needs more from him.
*Meyer on OSU targeting calls on McLaurin, Jahsen Wint: "Terry took a cheap shot early in the game and didn't appreciate it."
Meyer: This game is safer than it ever has been because of those (targeting) rules."
*Meyer on J.T. Barrett breaking Art Schlichter's career passing record: "It's a great opportunity to appreciate him," but still has lot left.
Meyer on his team: "It's a good team to coach right now. We just have to keep pushing *them."
*Meyer said his kickoff coverage unit is elite right now. "Those guys are animals running down the field."
*Meyer on skull session in front of fans: "It's something I never want our players and coaches to take for granted."
*Meyer on DJ Durkin, who he hired at Bowling Green as a graduate assistant and then later as an assistant at Maryland: "I was pretty tough on GAs when I was younger. He took it and ran.... He's an impact coach, one of the best I ever had."
The guest this week on Meyer's show is linebacker Jerome Baker.
*Baker said he saw J.K. Dobbins talent in the spring. He saw him running and was like, “Who is that?!”
*Baker on OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano: "He does a great job of getting everyone involved, different blitzes, different coverages" each week.