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October 1, 2016

Urban Meyer

Columbus, Ohio

COACH MEYER: Thanks for being here. A couple of comments -- always grateful to our great fans and homecoming, Ohio State style. Also, congratulations to my mentor, Earle Bruce, a guy who means the world to so many people and Buckeye Nation. And I think one of the greatest constituencies of Coach Bruce is the high school coaches in this state. He was a high school coach for many, many years and followed Coach Hayes and had a brilliant career here. And I just -- some people learn from different people. I learned from him.

What I learned from him was you do right. There's no gray area, and following the rules also about the premium placed on education and toughness. That's what I take from Earle Bruce, and I'd like to think that maybe some day somebody looks back at our program and says they must have learned that from Coach Bruce. So I'm very appreciative of Buckeye Nation and Gene Smith for allowing that to happen and President Drake. Because I know that's a unique deal. I think it's the seventh guy that's ever done it. And that's a hell of an honor.

Second thing is J.T. Barrett broke the record. I'm a Ohio State fan. So I know all the great quarterbacks at Ohio State, all the great players. And to see J.T. Barrett throw 60 in 21 starts, averaging almost three touchdowns per game, and that's just incredible feat when you consider the school that he broke that at. Still got a lot of football left.

Congrats to J.T., it's very well deserved and he played well today. I'll answer your questions for you.

Q. Dovetailing off J.T., seemed to have kind of a slow start. Obviously threw that pick and stuff. What kind of came over him, though, as the game went along?
COACH MEYER: He's had slow starts before. He's just a good player. And I thought he played outstanding. I think -- I haven't seen it yet, but I think it was behind him a little bit. I think he misread it, to be honest with you. I'll see more after I watch the videotape. But to have a slow start, comes right back. And our defense had a slow start, too. Gave up a few passing yards and then just stiffened up. I'm not too concerned with that.

What I was really pleased with was to get very good work on the two-minute drill today. And that was flawless. I thought Tim Beck and Ed Warinner did a nice job on communication, as far as the clock, as far as the timeout, management of the timeouts. And it's one thing to practice it on Tuesday, or on Sunday is when we practice, Sunday practice, but to do it in the live fire that was very impressive.

Q. Is it hard for you -- you reference that record. Is it hard for you to believe that he's set it as quickly as he has? And second part, you talked in the offseason about your quarterbacks need to be Heisman candidates. Is that the level you think he's playing at right now?
COACH MEYER: Oh, sure, I think he's a Heisman candidate. That's no disrespect to other players. I just don't get to see a lot of them, but there's no doubt he's a Heisman candidate.

I was taken aback about -- I had no idea but I think on the radio show and someone said he's only a five away, a couple weeks ago. And I was, like, five away from what? Because it doesn't seem like he's been playing that long for us. He's only been a starter for, I think, this is his second year, second -- two and a half year starter at Ohio State.

And a very good player. Very efficient player. That's what I love about him.

Q. I know the first few games you said Mike Weber left a few long runs -- that he popped two today, just wanted to know what you thought?
COACH MEYER: Caught once. The guy we had last year would have got caught. So print that. I'm going to use that tomorrow. (Laughter).

But, no, he's getting better and better. And Coach Alford. The drills are -- they're very unique drills they've been putting together about keeping their feet up. Because obviously it's a long year, but he's improving.

Q. When it's 58-0, other than the two-minute drill, something particularly you were happy with and maybe something you were disappointed with today?
COACH MEYER: I thought our defense just smothered them. I think we gave up some passing yardage early but we have respect for the team we played and the scheme that they play. And they were hitting a couple of crossing routes on us.

But I feel our defense all over the field. Even when they do get a play, they're not usually solo tackles, usually a few people getting hats on them.

I was very impressed with our defense for -- someone said 33 yards in the second half. Wow. Very good defense. And I thought our kickoff coverage, they received the wrath for the last two weeks. And I think we had four kickoffs inside the 20, if I remember right.

And they responded, because we don't do what happened -- we're not supposed to allow what happened happen at Oklahoma.

Q. Any disappointment?
COACH MEYER: No, I think very pleased. They did what they're supposed to do and come out and play with a chip on their shoulder and they came out and played hard.

Q. Picking up on the defense. Offense gets a lot of love. But this defense is on record pace to be one of the best ever. Put yourself on the other side. What would keep you awake at night, having to face your offense or defense?
COACH MEYER: Oh, good question. But I just think once again that you have three corners right now that they're getting a nice little rotation. And I'm seeing numbers like 40 plays instead of 70 plays. And we play so much. It's basically zero coverage the entire game.

And when you have Gareon, Denzel Ward and Marshon Lattimore, and the fourth guy pretty good, too, Damon Arnette, we've never had that.

Even at Florida when I had Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden, you didn't have the depth behind it. So we just need to continue recruiting that depth at that position. That frees up so much. If you have two guys, say you cover them, too, and play.

Q. When you signed J.T., how did you project him? I mean, does this speak to your -- you're fierce about recruiting but also development.
COACH MEYER: I made this comment that Tom Herman and Trent Dilfer were responsible for us signing that kid. He was a guy that we had two kids in Ohio that ended up committing early. And it was my first year. I said I need to see you throw. For some reason that didn't happen. And we started losing commitments at quarterback right away.

And Tom said I think we should take this guy. I said what's his name again? He said J.T. Barrett. I said okay. I called Trent Dilfer from the Elite 11. He went to him. He sold me on him. We took him. He's the first quarterback I've ever signed that I never saw throw. Think about that.

Q. You trusted Herman that much?
COACH MEYER: Herman. And I didn't know Tom. That was a leap of faith. But the Trent Dilfer thing, when he saw him in the competitive situation in that Elite 11, that's what kind of sold me on that. And then Tom got to see him throw in the spring.

We had two people see him throw, but I did not see him throw. I guess I should do that more often, just take -- (laughter).

Q. How have the new 16 starters adjusted and improved since their first game of the season, and what do they need to do both on and off the field to progress?
COACH MEYER: Well, they've done okay. I mean, they're a bunch of new names out there. You saw we played Bin Victor today. He's a guy -- he's just too good of a player to sit around. He won't be here for five years.

We said go, let that dog eat. And you'll see more and more of him. He's just getting better and better. To answer your question I think our guys adjusted well. We just need to continue to get depth in our program, because we have eight weeks left. And it's an eight-week -- it's going to be a journey. So we need to continue to build depth.

Q. You talked about depth and playing young players, you know, endlessly today. Not only did you get to play them but three people scored a first career touchdown. A few had first career receptions, first time playing. It's more unusual to see how much production you got from some of these young guys. Have you been around a game like this in your career that you can remember that so many people had their first scores and first, you know --
COACH MEYER: Usually not this late. Usually maybe game one or game two. But we have 44 kids when we started the season, first time playing at this level. And you can see no longer is that the case.

Guys just keep getting better and better in practice. That's a credit, first of all, to the player, but our coaches are doing a good job, man.

Our nine guys, assistant coaches, just keep getting these guys better. And also Bin Victor four weeks ago didn't know right or left, now all of a sudden we're seeing get him in the game. And I'm seeing it at other positions as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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