Ohio State’s 48-3 season-reviving victory over Michigan State last week was certainly a team effort, but Urban Meyer heaped much of the praise on Ohio State’s offensive line.
“Our offensive line is one of the most improved areas on our team,” he said on his radio call-in show Thursday on 97.1 The Fan. “It was against a rugged defensive line. We knew going into the game that they had to play well. Game-planning, I thought the offensive staff did a really nice job. But game-planning without execution by the players is a joke. So (it was) a really nice job by our offensive line.”
He said that Mike Weber’s 82-yard touchdown run was aided by the offensive line setting up as if the play was a designed pass.
Meyer said that if he were in charge of an NFL team, he’d take center Billy Price with his first pick.
“He's that good of a player, that good of a leader,” Meyer said. “He's an ironman and does everything right.”
Parris Campbell, who was the guest in the final segment of the radio show, also praised the offensive line.
“It's a group that has grown up in front of our eyes,” Campbell said, specifically mentioning right tackle Isaiah Price as embodiment of that growth.
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Other highlights from Meyer’s radio show:
*Meyer on having to replace linebackers Jerome Baker and Dante Booker last week: "That was a stressful situation around here Wed/Thurs when we were trying to figure out who could go."
*Meyer said right guard Demetrius Knox is playing through an injury suffered vs Iowa.
*Meyer on cornerback Damon Arnette's play: "He’s a guy you can just see the maturity develop as he grows up. Him and (Kendall) Sheffield have really improved. Denzel Ward is playing well, too.”
*Meyer praises his wide receivers’ blocking: "Terry McLaurin is a legend, the way he handles his business. You see 1,000-yard runners -- you can't do that without perimeter blocking."
*Meyer on J.K. Dobbins coming to OSU after missing all but one play of his HS senior year: "We didn't say anything publicly, but yeah, we were real worried. ... He's a man's man."
*Meyer said Carlos Hyde "started the whole thing" and Ezekiel Elliott took it to another level.
*Meyer said part of his pitch to running back recruits is the advantage of playing in a spread offense from a health perspective: "It's a space offense. You don't see our guys get blindly hit."
*Meyer on the depth at running back: "It's real strong right now." Said Demario McCall is transitioning to the hybrid position.
*Meyer gets a question on redshirting: "It's pretty complicated." Said he thinks rule will be changed to allow for a redshirt if player plays fewer than four games.
*Meyer on wide receiver Binjimen Victor: “There’s so much left with him too. He’s an elite player who doesn’t play elite all the time. I have yet to see his ceiling. There’s room for growth and he’s a great guy. He works his tail off. He was just raw. People are going to remember him around here.”
*Meyer on the early-signing date in December: Said it won't change things for next 3 weeks. But "There is a potential you're talking about 90-95% of class signed in December. It's going to be intriguing how it's going to (impact OSU). I'm not sure it's good. Now is not the time to have the debate."
*Meyer on kicker Blake Haubeil and the kickoff coverage: "The last couple weeks have been outstanding."
*Meyer is finally asked about Illinois. Again praises Illini's defensive tackles. Said it's clear Illinois is playing for the future.
*Meyer asked about walk-ons: Said some, like DT Nick Seme, are more valuable than some scholarship players.
*Meyer on Drue Chrisman and punt return team not giving up a yard in punt returns this year: "Don't jinx us, man. You’re the same guy that says, ‘Man, your guy is throwing a no-hitter. Good luck."
*Meyer said he learned his appreciation for the military at Ohio State. Said he's always had "great respect" for military but Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel strengthened that bond by OSU.
*Meyer said when he was a graduate assistant in '86 was always impressed with how former Buckeyes were always around. Said J. Hankins was in facility recently. Said that's invaluable for a program.
*Meyer on Senior Day and recognizing players like J.T. Barrett: "The things he's done for us, it's over the top."
*Meyer on the Illibuck trophy, the wooden turtle that goes to Saturday's winner: "It's one we don't take lightly. It's one we have to win. It's great."
*Parris Campbell on playing Michigan State after missing almost three weeks with a concussion: "I felt like myself around here. I'm feeling great. I feel better than ever right now."
*Campbell on returning kickoffs: "Returning kicks for me is kind of a safe place for me. I'm comfortable back there."
*Campbell on blocking: "As a wide receiver at Ohio State, our main thing is blocking."
*Campbell, a fourth-year junior, on seeing seniors on Senior Day: "It's extremely humbling. I'm a redshirt so it's basically my class. All the hard work, they've put in. For me, it makes me want to go harder because we have to get a W for those guys."