Urban Meyer said Monday he appreciates the concern of fans and the media about his well being as he deals with the discomfort brought by an arachnoid cyst in his skull, but that his focus is on getting his Ohio State team back on track.
“I want Ohio State to be successful in the worst way; working extremely hard to make sure that’s happening,” Meyer said at his weekly news conference. “I love Ohio State, I love our players, so the issue — I don’t want people to worry about me.
“I want to make sure we’re getting some things right around here, and that is what the effort is. That is 100 percent of what my focus is on.”
And he said that at the moment “I plan on coaching” for a while, despite reports to the contrary on the internet last week.
Video: Meyer answers the hard questions about health
If he appears anguished, he said, it’s due in large part because “We’re not playing well. And you know, I’m one of those guys that I want to help fix the issue, like all coaches do.
“So I’m not sure what anguish means. Like pissed or upset — you know when you see some things that we’re doing, it’s really uncharacteristic of our teams. So that might be what it looks like.”
An OSU spokesman said the kickoff time for the Buckeyes’ game at Michigan State on Nov.10 won’t be set until late Saturday or Sunday, with the television networks exercising their “six-day window” to make the decision. But the kickoff will be at either noon or 3:30 p.m.
Who’s made big strides?
Meyer was asked which players have made the biggest strides from the start of preseason camp to now.
“I’d have to say Ben Victor might be in that category,” he said of the junior receiver who made major plays in the win at Penn State and the loss at Purdue. “He didn’t have a great spring, and he’s playing at a pretty high level.
“He’s still a little bit up-and-down, but when he goes, he’s a really talented guy.”
Victor isn’t alone, Meyer said.
“I’d probably put Thayer Munford in that category,” he said of the first-year starting left tackle. “And then on defense, most-improved players from spring or from the summer until now, probably (linebacker) Pete Werner would be a guy.”
Brady Taylor and Branden Bowen had been counted on headed into the season as providing at least quality depth on the offensive line, but both were stunted by injury. Taylor, a center and guard, underwent arthroscopic surgery on a knee earlier this season, and Bowen, the starting right guard early last season before suffering a broken leg, had surgery to further repair that injury.
But both have been on the comeback trail and Meyer said, “They’re both getting pretty close,” to a return to action. When asked if that could come this week, he said, “There is a chance.”