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September 6, 2014

Urban Meyer


COACH MEYER:  Thanks for coming.  I want to thank our crowd, incredible crowd atmosphere in the stadium.  And also our opponent, really did a good job preparing for us and exposed us a little bit, where some of the weaknesses right now on our team.
And it was rather obvious what it is.  But we can play better on both sides.  So anxious to get back to work tomorrow and get a little better.

Q.  Quarterback's a function of the line.  Where do you put the‑‑ disappointed in the "O" line.  They gave up seven sacks.  J.T. throws a pick.
COACH MEYER:  The thing that's going to be real obvious the way we operate, there's not going to be this guy's gotta do better.  We're not going to do that.
Where do you put the blame or something.  We don't blame people.  We just gotta get a lot better.  And that starts tomorrow.  We had a good meeting as a team.
You really find out about people.  And I have a lot of confidence that some of these young people, now they're veteran guys, that are going to get better and better each week.  We just have to do a better job.
I know that sounds redundant or coach‑speak, but I'm not sure what else you say.  You're surely not going to say, ‑‑ the quarterback's a product of the offensive line.  We also had some dropped passes.  We had all kinds of issues that we have to get a lot better at.

Q.  J.T. made some big plays, struggled at times.  How do you assess at first glance how you thought he played?
COACH MEYER:  Gutsy effort.  They played zero coverage.  I don't think our wide receivers played well.  We dropped a touchdown early in the game that would have‑‑ you start hitting some of those like we did, it puts them in the zone coverage.
And that happened, I can't remember, I think it was the third quarter we started hitting some plays.  Had a couple of speed options.  Had a couple of passes caught.
Mike Thomas turned a short one into a long one.  That's what has to happen against a zero‑‑ that's a good secondary.  Coach does a nice job.  That was zero man most of the game, and they put your corners on islands that we didn't expose it.
And then we miss a couple of protections and you're on our backs.  Gutsy effort by our quarterback.  Obviously not good enough, but a quarterback is a product of those around him, and we all have to get better.

Q.  Are you fairly disappointed with‑‑
COACH MEYER:  Very disappointed.

Q.  Noticed at halftime your running backs, Elliott and (indiscernible) had four carries.  And you're down seven.  Not to bag on the play calling, but seemed like you were coaching the game as if you were down 20 instead of down seven because you couldn't run it.
COACH MEYER:  Everybody was within six yards of the line of scrimmage.  We tried‑‑ there's two unblocked defenders standing right there at the point of attack.  We did get some option‑‑ one thing option does, it equalizes one defender and we had a couple of big hits, one touchdown by Zeke and some plays in the option game.
But there's no inside run game when they do that.  And it happened a little bit our first year.  Purdue did it and Cal did it where they just completely shut down.
It happened the year before we got here where there's not enough confidence in our skilled athletes.  And we worked so hard, recruited so hard.  We gotta do better and win some matchups.  That's what it comes down to is winning matchups.

Q.  You talked about the special teams matchup coming into this week, and then a couple special team things go wrong early on with the short punt and a couple of missed field goals.  How much did you feel that set you guys back early on?
COACH MEYER:  Set us back a little bit.  And missed a couple of field goals‑‑ I think we missed a couple of field goals, gave up a punt return.  Kickoff coverage was okay.  I'm just trying to‑‑ the game just ended so I'm trying to rally this up here.

Q.  24‑yard punt (indiscernible)?
COACH MEYER:  Yes.  Don't punt the ball 24 yards.  So we've got to work on that.  Don't punt the ball 24 yards.

Q.  They were, I think, seven to ten on third down in the first half.  Seemed like some problems in the pass defense sort of reared their ugly heads at times tonight.  Could you comment on where you guys are on your pass defense, and is that disappointing that that reared up?
COACH MEYER:  I'll give you more on that tomorrow.  I didn't watch a whole lot of the defense.  We were trying to adjust to a brand new‑‑ they played bear defense no deep.  That's what Cal did us against a couple of years ago.  Unique defense that you have to expose them in the throw game or it's going to be tough to run.
I'll give you all that conversation, I guess, whenever the next time we meet.  But to tell you I didn't see a whole lot of it because I was working on offense.

Q.  How much of a surprise is this performance to you?
COACH MEYER:  How much of a surprise is this performance?  A little bit surprised.  I thought our skilled guys would perform better.  I thought we'd protect a little better.  A little bit‑‑ disappointed.  I don't know, coaches don't get surprised, get disappointed.
And obviously we just gotta work a little harder, and I still have confidence.  We have enough skill on this football team to get by people.  It didn't look like it, but we have to get by people or you're going to see‑‑ what you saw today you'll see every week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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