Imagine Meyer's reactions during game

Staff Writer
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State acting coach Ryan Day greets quarterback Tate Martell on the sideline after the redshirt freshman's 51-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin in the second quarter. [Jonathan Quilter/Dispatch]

Who: Urban Meyer. What: Watching the Buckeyes dismantle Rutgers. When: Saturday. Where: Somewhere far from Ohio Stadium and the media hordes. Why: Too wet to mow grass. Plus, he’s still the head coach.

One week after sitting out the Ohio State opener, Meyer served the second installment of his three-game suspension. We don’t know where he watched the 52-3 blowout — for Oregon State, he reportedly holed up at his home off the seventh hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club — but we know he was not present in the Horseshoe when the Buckeyes made us again ask, “Why is Rutgers in the Big Ten?”

>> Read more: Ohio State 52, Rutgers 3 | A romp in the rain

We can’t be sure what Meyer was thinking and feeling as OSU turned in a nearly flawless tune-up for Saturday night’s more legitimate test against TCU in Arlington, Texas. But we have a pretty good idea. What follows are those ideas.

Meyer: “The black rain jacket and ball cap is a good look for Coach Day.”

Shelley (sticking her head into the man cave): “I like you in white. Very clean.”

Unidentified voice from the kitchen: “Speaking of white, did you see Rutgers wore their Surrender uniforms?”

Shelley: “Urb, did you hear they only had 93,057 in the Shoe? First time in 115 games, since 2002, the crowd didn’t hit 100,000. See what happens when you’re not there?”

Meyer: “More because of the rain. Maybe. Time for kickoff.” (He leaves the room, unable to stomach having to watch the Scarlet Knights signal a fair catch and get the ball at the 25-yard line, as they did nine of 10 times; Meyer’s bailiwick is special teams, but he sees nothing special about removing kick-angle strategy, even if he approves of the rule for safety reasons.)

Third play of the game: Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa sheds a block and loops around to tackle tailback Raheem Blackshear for a 1-yard gain.

Meyer: "He's a grown man."

Ohio State scores on its first series; a 38-yard pass from Dwayne Haskins Jr. to Johnnie Dixon. Haskins will finish 20-of-23 passing with 223 yards, four touchdown passes and a 229.4 quarterback rating.

Meyer: “Only two quarterback runs? Hmm. But hard to argue with the results. The kid has an incredibly quick release. Good poise in the pocket, too. I wonder when Tate gets a shot?”

The Buckeyes have outscored Rutgers 166-3 in the past three meetings, all against coach Chris Ash, a former Ohio State assistant under Meyer.

Meyer: “They’re improving. It’s just that we’re improving faster. Did I speak correctly on that?”

Ten OSU receivers caught passes, resulting in 354 reception yards and five touchdowns.

Meyer: “I knew (wide receivers coach) Brian Hartline would make a smooth transition after taking over for …” (looks down, shakes head).

Demario McCall fumbles a punt for the Buckeyes.

Meyer (spilling popcorn): “So much work left on this return team. That won’t cut it against TCU. I promise practice won’t be fun for those guys this week. But the best thing about being 2-0 is the chance to watch from my La-Z-Boy as we go 3-0.”

Tate Martell checks in for Haskins.

Meyer (leaning forward in his recliner): “Love this kid.”

Martell goes 10-of-10 passing for 121 yards and a 51-yard TD pass to Terry McLaurin. The redshirt freshman also rushes for 95 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown.

Meyer: “I really love this kid.”

Ohio State kicks off. Meyer leaves room again, looking nauseated.

Game over. Meyer listens in on Ryan Day’s postgame news conference.

Day: “Defensively, (we) were smothering their offense.”

Meyer (punching the air): “Yes! Stepped on their necks. I can’t wait to get back out there.”

Voice from kitchen: “We’re out of milk. Urban …?”

Meyer: (Sighs) “Be right back.”

roller@dispatch.com

@rollerCD

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