Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer addressed criticism of the Buckeyes on call-in radio show Thursday afternoon, acknowledging that both sides of the ball need to improve as OSU prepares for Saturday’s game against Army.

Meyer took two live calls five days after the Buckeyes lost to Oklahoma. The first caller said he was more concerned with the Buckeyes’ defensive weaknesses.

“We're playing fairly good against the run,” Meyer replied on 97.1 The Fan. “The pass has been hurting us.”

Meyer said the secondary is feeling the effect of losing three starters who became first-round NFL draft picks. But his critique went further.

“The linebackers have not played particularly well,” he said.

The second caller was more critical. He noted offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s success elsewhere and asked, “When are we going to see his offense because right now the offense is not working?” referring to dismal offensive performances against Michigan and Clemson at the end of last year and last week.

“It’s a work in progress,” Meyer answered. “It’s a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback coach that we’re trying to mesh the good things that Indiana did and the good things that Ryan Day did when he was with Chip Kelly and continue to enhance our offense.

“But the three games you mentioned, you’re correct, those weren’t good offensive performances. We played pretty good defenses, but we need to play better in those games.”

Other highlights from Meyer’s radio show, which included a cameo from freshman punter Drue Chrisman in the final segment:

* As he did Monday, Meyer detailed the stages of grief the Buckeyes have gone through. “Players are a little more resilient than coaches. They bounce back and have had a good week of practice. This is a very unique game (vs. Army).”

* Meyer said freshman quarterback Tate Martell has done a nice job on scout team simulating Army’s triple-option. Meyer said they’ve instituted a 1-through-5 grading scale for scout team this year. Martell got a 5, as did freshman guards Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers.

* More Meyer on Army's triple-option: "This is what they do and they're very good at it. They have a very good quarterback (Ahmad Bradshaw)."

Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra 

* Meyer said that because Army is undersized on defense, they use creative ways of blitzing and moving around. “They do some unique things on defense.” They use a 3-4 formation with zone coverage and try to prevent the deep ball.

* Meyer said OSU's improved academics have caused Buckeyes to be more selective in recruiting because "there's no place to hide" mediocre students.

* Meyer on J.T. Barrett: “He’s an old veteran. He's been through it. I'm the first one to say from Day 1 you get far too much credit and too much blame.” He said it’s pointless to keep repeating that because it’s a fact of life. “The best way to answer issues is to play really well and make sure those around you play really well.” Meyer said Barrett has had a good week of practice.

* Meyer said when he was new head coach at Bowling Green, he considered using wishbone in opener with Missouri. Instead, he went with the spread.

* Meyer on having military speakers for team: Said OSU has always had reverence for military, starting with Woody Hayes. Meyer said respect given to military by OSU is "second to none."

* Meyer on OSU’s offensive line play so far: “Just OK. I think we can play better. They’re much-improved from a year ago, but we have to get on a roll here. We have to get big yardage and big plays. That’s what’s missing from our offense right now.”

* Meyer on new punter Drue Chrisman: "We're more traditional punt now that we don't have an Australian. Drue is a very good punter as well."

* Meyer on MLB Chris Worley: "He's been banged up a little bit. He's played OK. He's got to play better."

* Meyer said cornerback Damon Arnette would have blocked a punt vs Oklahoma but slipped at the last second.”

* Meyer said that wide receiver Austin Mack is expected to practice today. He banged his head against Oklahoma making a big catch: "He's going to be a heck of a player for us."

* Meyer on Joe Burrow's recovery from a broken hand: "Joe is getting close. We're not sure he's game ready yet. We'll see today and tomorrow."

* Meyer said his Florida players' homes were spared the worst of the damage from Irma.

* Meyer on the Cleveland Indians' 21-game winning streak: "My goodness. That's fantastic. I'm very proud of the Indians."



Listen to the BuckeyeXtra podcast: