On his radio show Thursday afternoon on 97.1 The Fan, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer again extolled his defense and special teams performance in the 26-6 victory over Michigan State last week and looked ahead to Saturday’s game at Maryland.
The Terrapins are 5-5 and have endured off-field issues even more serious than Ohio State’s because of the death during conditioning drills of player Jordan McNair. The fallout eventually cost coach DJ Durkin his job.
Meyer said Maryland is a dangerous team because of its big-play ability on offense and improved defense.
Here are highlights from his radio show:
* Meyer on OSU's field-position advantage in the second half of the MSU win: "That was obviously the difference in the game -- and we tackled very well."
* Meyer said that as good as punter Drue Chrisman was, gunners Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon were even better: "You can say bad things about people. Don't say bad things about my gunners."
* Meyer said he didn't he didn't realize Michigan State’s safety was a deliberate decision by Mark Dantonio until after the game. Thought at the time it was just a bad snap.
* Meyer on OSU's third-down defense: "Also the big plays are starting to get eliminated. This offense we're getting ready to play is all big plays. It's feast or famine."
* Meyer on DT Dre'Mont Jones having two TDs this year: "Dre'Mont got defensive player of the game and really played well."
* Meyer said K Sean Nuernberger "is on call and ready to go." He said LB Baron Browning won't play this week but should be back for next week.
* Meyer said S Isaiah Pryor is healthy. He missed the last two weeks and has been displaced by Brendon White. "He's a very talented guy. We need him."
* Meyer on White getting game ball on behalf of his dad, William White, who is battling ALS: "We had him speak to the team on Friday. Over the top." Said he knew if OSU beat MSU, he would give game ball to William. Meyer was an OSU graduate assistant when White was a Buckeyes defensive back.
* Meyer on freshman WR Chris Olave: "The fans are going to love him around here."
* Meyer on Maryland's offense: "They have a new quarterback. He has a good arm and has a lot of experience. They have a lot of skill. Taivon Jacobs is a guy we recruited (he actually committed)." Said Maryland uses a lot of motion to try to confuse defenses.
* Meyer on Maryland D: "It's big guys up front. They're top 20 (actually, 30th) defense. Arguably as talented as we've faced all year."
* Meyer on OL depth: "Wyatt Davis has earned playing time. He's a big dude who can move people. Branden Bowen is game ready and Brady Taylor is close. We were down to bare bones 4-5 weeks ago" on the OL.
* Meyer on use of Tate Martell: "Tate gives us a little bit of an answer there (in the red zone)." Said whether it will continue remains to be seen.
* Meyer on Mike Weber: "He earned every yard. Our offensive line earned every yard. Michigan State has always had our respect."
* Meyer on benefits of rotating Weber/Dobbins: "They're relatively healthy this time of year, which is rare. They understand the greater good is the team and they've accepted that."
* Meyer said Terry McLaurin lunging for a first down on OSU's final (TD) drive was a huge play because he would have had a tough decision whether to go for it or kick a field goal.
* Meyer on Dwayne Haskins' record-breaking season: Said he's really been impressed with his understanding of blocking schemes and his ability to read defenses.
* Meyer on injured WR Austin Mack's social activism: "He's an action guy. Tremendous human being. Tremendous in his faith and his leadership." Said it's unusual to have someone who has it all together like he does. "By the way, he's a heckuva player who we miss dearly now."
Offensive co-coordinator Ryan Day then joined the show.
* Day on Maryland's defense: "They use a multiple front (4-3 and 3-4) to make it difficult to identify in protection and the run game."
* Day said he understood that OSU had to be patient last week vs MSU. Knowing how well the defense was playing and excellence of special teams, didn't want to take risks. "Then the rock broke."
* Day on using Tate Martell: "He's been practicing really, really well the last few weeks... He’s improving in all areas."
* Day on freshman QB Matthew Baldwin: Said because he's coming back from knee injury, he hasn't been used on scout team a lot to ensure he doesn't get reinjured."
* Day on RBs: "They're running hard. Their pad level is low. Late in the game, we turned 4-yard runs into 6-yard runs."
Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano then joined the show.
*On Jones' fumble recovery for a TD: "Anytime you can get non-offensive scores, it fires everybody up."
* Schiano on DE Jonathon Cooper. "He's a smart, crafty player who plays with incredible effort."
* Schiano on Nick Bosa and his loss: "I'm biased but I really thought Nick Bosa was the best player in college football. Nick made everyone around him better" because offenses geared scheme around him. Said it took defense some time to adjust to being without him.
* Schiano said BB Landers and Davon Hamilton don't get a lot of credit but have done a good job occupying blockers in the middle.
* Schiano on DB Shaun Wade: "He's really progressed. You could see he had tremendous athletic ability but hadn't been inserted in game plan where he had to understand everything... I think he's done a great job." Has played both nickel cornerback and safety.
* Schiano said Maryland QB Tyrell Pigrome is short, so disrupting his vision is important. But said Pigrome can both run and pass and is a dangerous QB. Pigrome takes over for the injured Kasim Hill.