Imagine Meyer's reactions during game
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?”
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.”
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