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October 3, 2016

Urban Meyer

Columbus, Ohio

COACH MEYER: (In progress.) Doing everything well, blocking and obviously running and catching. Very talented player.

Parris Campbell is also one of our most valuable players just because of his value in the special teams. I mean, he makes tackles on kickoff. He is one of the best gunners in the country. He is turning out to be very -- he only had a couple kick return opportunities since we put him back there, but just got a lot of respect for Parris.

Terry McLaurin is also a program guy. It was great to see him score a touchdown. Very valuable player for us.

Marcus Baugh played his best game as an Ohio State Buckeye. Gave his best effort. He graded a champion. Offensive line he had all five guys looks like. He had all five guys graded out champions and did well. Dominated the line of scrimmage.

Player of the game, J.T. Barrett obviously setting a record at a school such as Ohio State with so many great players that have traveled these hallways.

Other player the game was Mike Weber: 14 carries; 144 yards and playing very hard and doing good things without the ball in his hands as well.

On defense had a bunch of them. Jalyn Holmes, Hubbard, and Tyquan at defensive end.

You had Chris Worely, and in the back end you had Gareon, Marshon, Denzel, and Malik Hooker.

We gave the player the game to the entire defense to hold a team to a 116 total yards.

Special teams, I think I left it on my desk.

Damon Arnette did exceptional. Kickoff team answered the challenge. They took it all week now. They got it for a while, or I guess two weeks since we lost. We gave up a big one to Oklahoma, so we worked real hard at it.

Rashod Berry, Eric Glover, and Damon Arnette were outstanding.

I'll take your questions.

Q. J.T. related a story. I think his first spring ball threw a spring pass that was miserable he said and you got all over him. He said that just stuck with him. In terms of his evolution, do you remember that comment by chance?
COACH MEYER: So all the nice things we say to J.T. doesn't stick with him; just the bad things. I'll have a chat with J.T. about that.

I thought you were going to say one of the great things. No. Just kidding you.

I do not remember that. It's well-documented that there is so much trust -- he's the first quarterback we've signed that I've never seen throw. Think about that for a minute. First quarterback since I was a head coach, and I said I would never do that.

It was one of those years where guys were committing early, and to say I trusted Tom, I didn't trust Tom because I didn't know him. Trent Dilfer really helped with that as well.

Yeah, J.T., he struggled, but it wasn't fair. He was hurt and he missed most of his senior year with a bad knee. But obviously he's turned into a great player.

Q. One other quickie. You went over a million followers on Twitter. When we sat down in the pre-season you said you want to lead the league, the nation in social media.
COACH MEYER: I said that?

Q. Yeah, you did.
COACH MEYER: I never said that. I don't care about social media.

Q. Yeah, you did. You said, We understand that Clemson is very good, and we want to be better.
COACH MEYER: Oh, oh, as a program. I didn't say I want to. Yes, absolutely. Oh, okay. You're absolutely true, and that's why we hired some people and made that office what it is right now.

Q. What do you think of that platform to have a million people following you?
COACH MEYER: If it helps us sign a good player it's great; if it doesn't, I don't care.

Q. You have said when it comes to leadership Tim Tebow is the gold standard. Just curious, how close is J.T. to that level?
COACH MEYER: Very close. Yeah, J.T., in his own way, is exactly on the same level as Tim, and those are two elite leaders. There are some other guys, but, yeah, J.T. is certainly at that level.

Q. How did you guys emerge from the game injury-wise?
COACH MEYER: Oh, boy. Let's see. Think we're pretty good. K.J. Hill is getting close. Book, I would put him at probable, Dante Booker.

Obviously you heard the injury about Demetrius Knox. I think that was before the Rugers' game. He is out for several weeks. Other than that, I think we're good.

Q. Urban, you just listed a bunch of champions. And not just those guys, but the roster in general, are you surprised how quickly some of those guys are picking it up this early in the season?
COACH MEYER: I don't like the word "surprise." That's disrespectful realizing that we have talented guys. I think it's great. I'm excited to get out for another day of practice.

That's one thing about young players. There is such a ceiling that they're -- they have so much room for improvement. Bin Victor played in that game. If you said three weeks ago he was going to play, he had a hard time lining up, didn't go hard, and kind of quit in the middle of plays. Now of a sudden he's a guy now. He's going to be a helluva player here.

So I just once again, any time -- and that's not just this team. The young players, you really enjoy coaching them. Once, as you say, the game slows down, you start to see some terrific players develop.

Q. Is that recruiting at work that you guys can enter a season as the most inexperienced team in the country and...
COACH MEYER: That's part of it. There are two phases. One is recruiting, and then a group of nine coaches and a strength coach that's second to none that just grinds and develops and pushes them. The culture within the units is something -- a big thing that happens around here.

All of the above, but obviously it starts with recruiting.

Q. When you look at Mike Weber, do you see more Carlos Hyde in him or more Zeke?
COACH MEYER: More Carlos.

Q. Why?
COACH MEYER: He's a banger. It's a thumper and a plus yardage guy most of the time. Zeke was too. Doesn't have the top end that Zeke has. We're working on that. And Carlos' is a great back. We have been fortunate. I think Mike falls right in that category.

Q. The top end, you said you were going to tease him about that yesterday, getting caught on the one long run. Is that just more time in the weight room? How would you improve something like that?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, just keep working. Zeke was a national level high hurdler in the 110s and Mike is not. But Mike has great feet, great power, and that's why I compare him a little bit closer to Carlos Hyde.

Q. When you look at your offensive line, Isaiah Prince in particular has made huge strides over the last several games. What have you seen from him?
COACH MEYER: Huge strides. Just consistency. He's grown up. He's a great guy to be around. He's very mature now. He was very immature a year ago in his growth and development. I think Pat Elflein and Billy Price are pivotal in that kind of development of players.

Q. I'm sure you saw some video of Indiana and you saw their video from the other night. They suddenly have a D. What do you see when you watch them? Do you see an improved defense?
COACH MEYER: I see an outstanding team. What is it, or fifth year? I mean, for four years in a row it's been a swing as hard as you can, because that's game is going to be -- this is by far their best time, and that is being very respectful of the other teams we've played against.

I think they got an excellent coaching staff and you can see some really positive, really good things on video tape. Their game Saturday, that was a great win for that program.

Q. Speaking of Indiana, how closely do you pay attention to comparative scoring? Do you look around the country to see what other teams are doing and what the score is and how that relates?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, I learned that. Tom Herman was so good at that. If I see North Carolina, for example, I'll flip on their film and watch a couple series. We have plenty of interns and GA's cut me up this Oklahoma State thing.

So we do -- explosive offenses, you know, Tom would do that constantly. I would come in and he would be watching Oregon. He would come in just for -- and I think it's called professional development. I challenge our coaches all the time now to do that. I do that. You come up with some great ideas.

Q. I assume you had a talk with Mike Weber not to try to be Zeke. Maybe you didn't. How do you handle that?
COACH MEYER: Oh, the opposite. Not so much -- because we're so -- there is such an emphasis here about the selfless player. Zeke had a reputation of being arguably the best tailback in couple decades as far as blocking and things without the ball, so we actually want him to be a lot like Zeke, and use it as an examples quite often.

Q. You said working off the ball too.
COACH MEYER: He's doing really well. His protection is outstanding. His effort is -- really pleased what he's turned into.

Q. I think this season you guys have scored a touchdown with the in final two minutes of the first half every single game; one of them against Tulsa. I think that's more than any time you did last year. Anything you're doing differently at that point?
COACH MEYER: I think J.T. just managing the ball very well. We are keeping our guys fresh. You know, I think Coach Smith has a nice little rotation of receivers. When you're playing guys 25,30 players not 65 and just the wear and tear usually that happens at the end of a half and the end of a game just because you're -- just the logistics of the game, the timing of the game.

So I think you're seeing fresher legs. We look very fast at the end of first half now as opposed to if the guy has played 35 plays and he is kind of blown out right before halftime.

Q. Coach, you guys were never under the radar this season, but with the success that your team has experienced so far, how different is your challenge psychologically with this team than it was at the beginning of the year?
COACH MEYER: I was worried going into this past game. We had a bye week and they had two weeks to hear about how they played well against Oklahoma. They were challenged pretty harshly by myself and our staff.

There are very good leaders on this team, so I've tested them about five or six times already. Whether it be a day off during training camp or let them move out of the hotel, just test them a little bit and see it they answer the challenges, and they've done a very nice job.

Normally 17 year olds can't make those decisions because they don't know. But they follow the leadership of the team, and if the leaders do the right thing, then normally you'll see nice development of the team. If you the leaders of your team are idiots, then you've got a problem.

Q. Last year at times early it was hard to get everything clicking at the same time. There was some struggling. This year seems like you got the train rolling full speed early. What's the difference?
COACH MEYER: I think any time you have a very good defense and you're getting that ball back quite often, you know, offensively Tulsa wasn't exactly a thing of beauty the first quarter and a half, but the defense hung around.

You know, any time you have great defense that's -- just the way the game of football is, you have great defense, thing are going to get usually rolling for you at some point. Even if you struggle a little bit.

Then the fact that you have J.T. Barrett running the show, it's pretty smooth. Even when he makes a mistake it's usually not an awful one and we can rally right back up. But it starts with defense.

Q. Another Mike Weber question. I think at the beginning of his tenure here kind of got off to a rocky start with the way things went with Michigan and the high profile signing day stuff. Obviously you got through that pretty quickly, but when a player goes through something like that, how does that impact the way they acclimate to the program, and was it a little bit more difficult with Mike?
COACH MEYER: I remember it was like a day and a half, and I was shocked when it all took place. I called their high school coach and we had a very honest conversation. This is how it occurred. We have some pretty good built up bank with high school coaches that this is the way we operate. We don't do things that are going to disrupt young people.

I mean, it was over. I think it carried on for a little bit maybe here, but not -- Mike was great. He came into spring, and within a day or two everything was done. That had zero row impact once he started showing up here and getting ready to go.

Q. Robert Landers has seemed to be playing very well. You need somebody to step up on that interior defensive line. From what we've seen, seems like he's really made an impact for you. How has he been able to make an impact so quickly?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, he was very active in Saturday's game. Obviously he has a little size issue. He's a littler guy, but he's quick. He's twitched up. Larry is really doing a good job with him. He's certainly in the rotation.

We do need to -- Dre'Mont needs to improve. They're all young players in there other than Mike Hill.

Yeah, to answer your question, he's been really good and we anticipate he'll continue to get better.

Q. When you look at the wide receiver rotation, have you ever able to use them like you would, like hockey and mix and match them based on what you're seeing in the game?
COACH MEYER: Yeah. I don't micromanage that too much. There are a couple guys in my mind that when I a, getting ready to call a certain play I want in there, but skillsets aren't that different. It's nice to have a good, healthy dose of them.

Q. 35 snaps, is that just about freshness, or you have that many guys?
COACH MEYER: That's a great question. The way we play-- and it's a little bit like the corner position right now -- we play zero man. You can call it quarters or whatever it is, but those corners are on an island. Basically what you do, you show up at practice every day, tape your ankles, and you run for two and a half hours.

In the game, what do you do? You simply go run for two and a half hours, and the wear and tear on bodies.

So Kerry has been very diligent about the number of plays. I want to say our corners played 25 plays Saturday. I think we held them to 50-some plays, but, okay, say it's 30 plays. That's fine.

It's when you start getting 80, 90s like we have had around here because the backup is not very good, we're not prepared to step into that roll yet. The dropoff is significant. You can't take them out. Same with Joey. He played 85 plays. That's just absolute wear and tear on you. So the rotation that really helps.

Q. I know you want to be balanced. You always talk about that. When you run the ball as well as you are, how much do you even -- Oklahoma game you almost rushed for 300; you only threw for 150. Are you okay with that because you ran it so well? How do you balance that?
COACH MEYER: Well, that's kind of my thing. You know, I'll even stare at our scoreboard and see certain times of the game that we have to -- because it'll come back. You can't say we're going to run the ball, because at some point we learned a lesson in that rainstorm last year against Michigan state. You can stop the run.

We're going to face some teams that can stop the run. That doesn't mean you give up on it. You have to be balanced and make them pay the price if they're going to put everybody up there to stop the run.

So there is no doubt that you have to be balanced. I watch that very closely.

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