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November 1, 2014

Urban Meyer


COACH MEYER:  Thanks for coming.  I told our players to‑‑ whenever we grab a hand at the end of the game, say be extremely grateful for the blessings to play this great game at the level they can play it, where they play it at, because I just made a point that our student body once again was out there in full force.  Even stuck around.  I even looked up there during the ending of the game they were still there.
We're very grateful for that.  The final part is who they played with.  I think we have a good bunch of players that care about each other and get ready for a big week.  So I thought our defense came out and played really well.  A little disappointed in the red zone, offense, couple of field goals we could have probably kicked or we could have went for, but I still want to put a lot of pressure on our offensive line and quarterback in those kinds of situations because we know they're coming down the road.
With that, I'll answer any questions for you.

Q.  Not to discount what J.T. did, but you put Cardale in and he got some meaningful minutes, and he contributed big time.  The tackle, the two TD passes, he hurdled a guy and what you're doing with Jalin Marshall, took a direct snap?
COACH MEYER:  We've been working on Jalin playing quarterback first because he's very talented.  Second of all, whenever you start getting you hear these stories‑‑ I've never been down to our third and fourth string quarterback, but you always try to be ready in case something happens.  And he's a gifted guy.
So we're going to expand his package each week.  But J.T. missed a couple of wide‑open guys early in that game.  But I was really impressed by the way he came back and he made some very good plays in the second quarter.
So and Cardale, I think that was the first time we let him play.  Usually gets in there, we just kind of mush around.  And he was in there with some really young linemen and still moved the ball.
So I thought did he very well.

Q.  How hard really was it to focus on this knowing what you've got next week and how quickly have you turned the page already?
COACH MEYER:  Well, it depends what kind of team you had.  I didn't feel it was hard at all.  Partially because we didn't play very well the week before on offense.  And defense is still a work in progress.  They're playing pretty good.  But offensively a week ago, we had hard practices.  We expect much more out of our offensive line than we got in State College.
So I didn't feel it one bit.  But now I'll focus obviously on this week.

Q.  Why did Curtis Samuel start the game instead of Ezekiel Elliott.  And what did you see out of Curtis Samuel that caught your eye?
COACH MEYER:  The week in practice.  There's nothing quite like competition.  And those two guys, I don't micromanage that position.  I certainly listen and give my opinions.  But Stan Drayton came to me in the middle of the week and said "I'd like to start Curtis Samuel this week, he's doing everything right, and practices at an extremely high level," and we still have great confidence in Zeke but we have two guys that can play.

Q.  Seemed like not just J.T. but a lot of starters were out very early in the second half, maybe earlier than you have done, is that next week?
COACH MEYER:  This time of year you're getting a little thin, with the tailback situation and Bri'onte Dunn's not back yet and I started‑‑ that was that position.  And the same thing at offensive line, you're getting very thin in some spots.
So we usually let you go in the middle of the third quarter, we'll pull you out.  But we made a decision to get guys out a little earlier.

Q.  J.T. (indiscernible)?
COACH MEYER:  We just and that we wanted Cardale to play.  I was going to go right before we went out at halftime we were going to let him go one more series.  And then I just got a feeling I said get him out of the game.  A little bit of the knee because obviously time away from that injury heals it.  He's fine and ready to go but just the smart thing to do, I think.

Q.  Last two weeks J.T. hasn't been real sharp throwing a ball.  Are you comfortable with where your throw game is going into East Lansing?
COACH MEYER:  Not yet.  I liked the way he finished the two‑minute drill.  He had two good passes, one a corner route to Dontre Wilson and then the touchdown pass to the tight end.
So, no, we're not 100percent there.  And we're going to work real hard at it at practice.  And I thought we had opportunities early in the game to hit some wide‑open guys and we just misfired.  Whenever a quarterback throws high it means he was juiced up and Tom Herman, I just listen to the way he coaches them and we have a lot of confidence, but that's one reason we tried to keep putting him in those positions and he left the game at halftime feeling very confident.

Q.  (Indiscernible) is he 100percent?
COACH MEYER:  I think he's pretty close.

Q.  Now that this game with Michigan State is here, with the way things went down last year, what was at stake when you lost that game, do you feel that has stuck with your guys now that you get another shot at Michigan State?
COACH MEYER:  We've not talked about it much.  In the offseason, our strength coach, Coach Mick, does a little bit of motivational stuff about how that was obviously the dream was ripped away from us, ripped away by a very good team, and we're going to face a very good team that we have a lot of respect for.
So it's all about the most prepared team.  That's what's going to win this game.  And I don't think there will be a whole lot of necessary‑‑ we'll do our part about motivation, but this is a motivated team.  And I think the most prepared team will win it.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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