Urban Meyer Talks Ohio State Football

  • 7/25/2017 3:05:51 PM
  • Jeff Alan
  • Local Sports

CHICAGO, ILL.  The Big Ten is holding their annual meetings in Chicago with football front and center as always.  Buckeye coach Urban Meyer who returns 16 starters from last season's 11-2 finish says his team was one of the youngest in the country, but not so much this season.

"Last year we were the youngest team in college football and this year we are not.  We lost six juniors to the NFL draft, nine the previous year so there are some shoes to fill.  We have three fifth year seniors (seven overall) here to represent Ohio State and I don't know if I've ever had that before now.  Fifth year seniors at Ohio State are hard to find.  So I feel extremely strong about the top tier leadership of our team and history shows that usually is an indicator of a good solid team."

 The seven-fifth year seniors are offensive lineman Billy Price, defensive lineman, Tyquan Lewis, linebacker Chris Worley defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, defensive tackle Mike Hill, tight end Marcus Baugh and quarterback J.T. Barrett.

The Buckeyes for the second time under Meyer advanced to the national semifinal where Clemson showed the Buckeyes the door to the tune of a 31-0 loss to eventual national champion Clemson.  Asked if the team uses that as motivation, Meyer responded by saying.  

"I've been asked that a lot.  We've kinda let that one go.  We have been known in the past to use different forms of motivation a loss here or there.  We've let this one go.  That ship has sailed, it's gone.  We have not addressed it or talked about it.  Professionally, it changed how we do some business on offense and we are moving forward.  It's in the back of everyone's mind and whether I'll use that during training camp is to be determined.  But where we are as a team I like where we are at so we are just pushing forward."  

Meyer has coached in some big rivalry games, BGSU vs Toledo, BYU vs Utah, Florida vs Florida State and Ohio State vs Michigan. But for Meyer, there is only one "big game."  

"I'm pretty biased in my opinion on this rivalry because I grew up in it.  I know it as well as any rivalry and I think it's the greatest rivalry in football and in sports and again that's a biased opinion.  I think it's tremendous respect, not a lot of like between the two universities and the games are incredible."  "The Game," will be played in Ann Arbor at noon on November 25th.

Last season even though the Buckeyes advanced to the national semifinal, the team did not win the Big Ten.  That honor went to Penn State who upset the Buckeyes 24-21 during the regular season then rallied to beat Wisconsin 38-31 in the Big Ten Championship game.  But Meyer says the Buckeyes are always going to be considered.  

"Ohio State is always going to be there.  It should be one of the top schools in our conference.  Other than that, I think it's just respect for our players.  I think we have recruited some good players and it's no consequence at all as to how we do our business."  

The Buckeyes will open the season on a Thursday night at Indiana on August 31st at 8 pm.  Then Ohio State will play three straight home games against Oklahoma on September 9th at 7:30 pm.  The Bucks will then play host to the Cadets of Army for the first ever meeting between the two schools on September 16th at 4:30 pm.  The Buckeyes will wrap up their non-conference slate on September 23rd against UNLV, then open Big Ten play the next week at Rutgers on September 30th.  

Meyer has gone 61-6 at Ohio State in all games, 39-2 in conference play winning the national championship in 2014.

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