After a preseason of frustration because of a torn hamstring and nine games of waiting for his new (faster) version to kick in, Mike Weber took off on his first long touchdown run of the season Saturday against Michigan State. And some might have noticed the quick shimmy from the sophomore in the end zone.

Coach Urban Meyer noticed. The first thing he told Weber was he didn’t want to see that again. The shimmy, that is.

“I don’t regret it, but it won’t happen again,” Weber said. “It’s a policy that coach Meyer has, give the ball to the official, hug a big guy (offensive lineman). But it was just an in-the-moment thing.”

That 47-yard burst and the career-long 82-yard TD run later in the 48-3 win helped earn Weber the Big Ten offensive co-player of the week award Monday along with Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft.

Weber had 162 yards rushing on just nine carries. Freshman teammate J.K. Dobbins had 124 on 18 carries, huge chunks of the Buckeyes’ 335 yards rushing against a Michigan State defense that was third nationally against the run (87.0-yard average).

“I think it’s a good thing for us,” Weber said. “We went into the week going hard about running the ball … and it worked out for us.”

Weber, who became the third Ohio State freshman — albeit as a redshirt freshman — to top 1,000 yards rushing in a season in 2016, was hampered by the hamstring at the start of preseason camp. It dropped him on the depth chart behind Dobbins, who on Saturday became Ohio State’s fourth freshman to top 1,000 yards.

Speaking of backs

Meyer issued “a mandate” to his offensive staff to get the ball into the hands of running backs more after seeing them combine for just 11 carries in a 55-24 loss at Iowa two weeks ago. There was a good reason why, he said Monday, as the Buckeyes turned their attention to Illinois.

“I think we’re as strong right now as we’ve ever had it, in terms of depth,” Meyer said of the running backs, including third-string Antonio Williams, while adding he liked the rotation against the Spartans.

He said offensive line coach Greg Studrawa pushed for more running, and “that’s as active as he’s been in a game plan. When a line coach takes ownership like that, you’re going to” pay attention.

Don't change targeting

Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones became the fifth Ohio State player disqualified from a game because of a targeting hit this season, on a late hit on Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke.

Meyer has taken umbrage at just one ejection, that of defensive back Denzel Ward. And Big Ten officials later said the ejection was improperly certified by the replay official.

“I was disappointed in Dre'Mont. It was a late hit,” Meyer said.

When asked if more leeway should be given in terms of whether a hit rises to the penalty of disqualification, Meyer said, “I don't agree that they should change it. It's what it is. Keep your face out, keep your helmet out of the game.”