Coach Urban Meyer took time out of preparations for Ohio State’s football game at Nebraska on Saturday to make a quick trip out of state Monday to visit with a current player’s family that is dealing with a serious health issue, an Ohio State spokesman confirmed.

Spokesman Jerry Emig did not identify the player or the circumstances. But Meyer clearly felt it was important enough to cancel his weekly meeting with the news media.

As is usually the case on a Monday, players had the day off while coaches worked on game-planning. The Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0) are coming off a 62-14 win over Maryland. Nebraska (3-3, 2-1) is coming off a loss at home against Wisconsin.

OSU first announced on Sunday night via a release that Meyer’s news conference would be canceled, without further explanation. Emig quickly clarified that it had nothing to do with the well-being of Meyer or his family, nor members of his staff or players.

Barrett has their attention

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett leads the Big Ten in points responsible either passing or running (19.3 per game), is second in the conference in passing efficiency (166.0 rating) behind Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook (167.2), and he has the attention of Nebraska coach Mike Riley.

“The guy’s had a lot of experience playing football, and I think it shows more and more all the time,” Riley said at his Monday news conference. “I think the comfort level he has is high.”

He added that Ohio State, riding a four-game win streak, is “playing at a high level since that one loss” to Oklahoma. “They’re versatile and productive offensively in almost every category, near the top in everything. Same thing defensively. So it’s a major, major challenge for us.”

Ohio State beat the Huskers 62-3 in Ohio Stadium a year ago.