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October 24, 2016

Urban Meyer

Columbus, Ohio

Q. Against Penn State, what did you see when you studied the film regarding your offensive line, and are you thinking about making any changes personnel-wise up front?
COACH MEYER: I don't think we played our best game. Conversations about any personnel changes usually go on today. I don't foresee that. But we need to improve.

Q. And the blocked field goal, did you consider calling a timeout there? Looked like it was a little bit rushed. Can you go into your mindset there?
COACH MEYER: 29-yard line. Options are pretty limited. Either go for it or punt down there. If you kick it through the end zone, that's just a nine-yard net. Fourth and seven, I believe it was. And considered it. I thought our guy does that so well in practice. The way it was blocked, so...

Q. How are preparations different for the next game after a loss like this? Do you say different things to the players, or business as usual?
COACH MEYER: It's not business as usual. We had a team meeting yesterday. We brought them in yesterday. A lot of them wanted to get back on the routine, which is a Sunday. Get the stuff out of their system and Monday's their day for academics and a day off.

So we did that, but yeah, it's different. Incredible leadership on our team. And move forward. Let it hurt for a while.

And you lose a game, you're not a loser. If you lose a game, you accept it. That's the message to our players. We work so hard so that doesn't happen. It happened; move on. Get ready for a very good team coming in here.

Q. You've talked about before how after a loss isn't the time to get really hard on a team; you said Lou Holtz taught you that. But how do you balance that with the many lessons that probably could be learned from Saturday?
COACH MEYER: That's why they call us coaches. That's a great point. It's not time to go dive into people. It's time to correct issues. And very winnable game, up by 14. And end of the fourth quarter with the ball at midfield. That's a moment that around here normally that we go in and finish the game off. And we didn't do that.

Q. You look at Northwestern, what do you see in them?
COACH MEYER: That's as improved a team as I've ever seen from beginning to now, outstanding. Three big wins, two on the road. Defining wins. Defense is outstanding. Gigantic inside guys.

So just a very good team. The quarterback -- I haven't studied them yet. I just talked to our staff. But I think they're averaging 38 points in their last three wins. Playing very well.

Q. The offensive line struggled, as you alluded to. The receivers again getting in trouble, getting separation. When you look at where this offense is right now, especially compared to where it was against Oklahoma, how much is it regressing, what can you put your finger on what the problem really is?
COACH MEYER: It's hard to put it on one thing. There's a multitude of things. When you have a young -- I guess not young anymore -- but we did not play very well in a couple of areas on offense. And what do you do? You just identify it, work on it, make personnel changes if you have to. And move on to the next game.

So, yeah, it has regressed a little bit. Certainly where there are plays to be made and we hook up on a couple of those plays we win the game and we're fine.

Q. How surprised are you that the offense hasn't continued to improve?
COACH MEYER: I don't like the word "surprised". We've all done this long enough, or I've done this long enough, that sometimes development of a certain position group or game planning needs to continue to take more time.

Q. J.T. said earlier in the season that the hurry-up helped, it kept the coaches from trying to come up with a perfect play. And then wondering if Saturday night if you got the results you wanted from the, quote/unquote, check with me plays?
COACH MEYER: Check with me plays.

Q. You know, they line up and look over to the side.
COACH MEYER: I don't know that off the top of my head. I think we like to be -- J.T. is a very good tempo quarterback. So we like to be involved in that as much as we can. But then sometimes you get caught in some bad plays and we witnessed that a few times.

Q. Did you feel in the game on Saturday that you guys had your best receivers on the field at the biggest times and how do you guys go about deciding who is on the field when it comes to the rotation of your receivers?
COACH MEYER: There's certain plays that I'll get involved in that when I want certain guys in other than I let Zach because he knows the rotation and as far as getting guys fresh when their number's called we want you to be fresh, ready to go. Curtis is an exception to that. He plays a lot.

But what we expect out of our guys, it's hard to play 60, 70 plays every snap. So we have a rotation going. And I'm trying to think -- there's not a big differentiation in our group right now.

And you kind of wish one would separate. And I don't see that happening. Noah is a pretty reliable guy and had nice plays. The other ones need to elevate.

Q. After the game, asked about some of the things you might have found that were concerning about the passing game, after looking at the film what do you find might have been your guys biggest issue, seemed like J.T. was hesitating at times?
COACH MEYER: It starts like pass defense, always starts with pass rush. Pass offense always starts with protection. We did not -- that was not our best game in protection, giving him time to go through his reads. I'm so into watching Northwestern. I'm trying to put that one to bed.

To answer your question, start with protection and some other things that we've got to work on.

Q. How do you assess defensively, because obviously for the most part defense were very solid but they get the drive at the end of the half and a very quick one at the start of the fourth quarter. How do you balance what you saw good with --
COACH MEYER: 55 total plays. The quarterback was nine of 25, I think, or something. And the tailback only had 90 some yards. So I think overall we played well. But certainly there were some ones that just -- we got the ball, beginning of the fourth quarter, we dot them on the 10-yard line and we're making adjustments. I look up on the 2-yard line going in, and so bunch of players are hurting. Bunch of coaches are hurting, and we're not -- this is the most time I've spent on this today because this one is put to bed.

You've got to move forward. And good group of coaches and players working on making sure we play a little better. But defensively you hold that team to what they did. And 10 points on special teams, two blocked kicks, and an offense that had a chance to put it away twice on the 40-yard line midfield into the third beginning of fourth. Should have happened.

Q. In terms of moving forward, because you've talked a lot about how much you like the leadership and you mentioned earlier, how confident are you that you're going to be able to flush this and move --
COACH MEYER: Easier to flush it when I walk out of this room. Make sure our players don't have to do this, okay?

Q. Number one, do you look at some young receivers now? I mean, because it seems like the problem the last several weeks has been guys getting separation, guys for J.T. to get the ball off early, things like that. What is sort of like the process in that regard?
COACH MEYER: Keep trying to improve them because a lot of those are first-time players. So they're still -- and there's been times it's been exceptional, we just didn't hit them or we got sacked or something like that.

So the young ones are Bin Victor and Michael Jordan, they're really coming, knowledge of the offense, just not those situations to be able to put them in there yet.

Q. Do you throw the kitchen sink at like, for example, I'm not pointing fingers but sort of I guess I am, enter tackles young tackles, Isaiah seemed to have a real struggle seemed like they were really pointing things at him on occasion? What do you do to sort of bring that along, that development?
COACH MEYER: You coach them and you challenge them and you also maybe, if there's ways to help them throughout the course of the game in that kind of situation where the noise and just it all kind of caved in on them a little bit.

Or you make a personnel change. And there's not someone right now to replace him. And he will be a fine player. He just needs to continue to grow because he's played, at times, exceptional.

Q. Special teams, two kicks blocked. How long has it been since you've even experienced that and what do you fix there? What do you reinforce? For example, Cam took an extra beat before that punt was blocked. The field goal block, looked like one of your players was pulled away so they could open a hole. What do you emphasize this week in that regard?
COACH MEYER: We haven't -- we did not even cover that. I'm going to cover that tomorrow when we have special teams meetings before practice.

You're right, I'm trying to recall when that's ever happened. You have to look at why it happened and, first of all, if there is a lack of urgency or not try, which doesn't happen, rarely happens. That's a whole different animal if it's, first of all, you're not allowed to pull a guy away, launch across and land on one of our guys.

So we've just got to coach through that. And the second one, the blocked punt, you've just got to strain -- I think it was Chris really, but the punter took an extra two steps.

Q. Last time you guys had a loss you changed the play calling structure last year. How do you feel about the play calling and the play calling structure at this point?
COACH MEYER: I feel okay. I'm not going to change it. We've just got to get a little better. And I feel okay with it.

Q. And you've said that you're sort of like the make sure we get the ball to this guy coach on the sideline. Did Curtis Samuel get it enough?
COACH MEYER: Not as much -- I'm kind of moving away from that because that disrupts the flow of a game a little bit. I think he did 10 or 12 times he touched the ball. I do that. That's one of my responsibilities, but I'm kind active -- used to be a real -- it disrupts the flow of the game sometimes.

So Curtis is the one guy that I'm trying to make sure touches the ball and I think he did okay. Early in the game I understood we played a bunch of plays before he got it. That shouldn't happen. But they were also forcing us to get out of some plays with some of the things they were doing.

Q. Is there something that they do defensively that you couldn't hand it to him; because you tried to throw it to him couple times early but only had two carries the whole game?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, they were. Not too get too complicated, but there's certain pressures or something that some of those plays aren't good so you check out of it.

Q. And are you getting the coaching in the receiver room and the quarterback room that this team needs? Are you happy with the coaching at those two positions?
COACH MEYER: That's a great question. That's something -- those who know me -- probably you guys don't know me that well -- very rarely is that answer yes, because I'm always challenging, pushing, trying to get them better and better.

So very rarely would that answer be yes. I'm always pushing for more. Your question at this time, after a loss, I think we can do better.

And there's been times we did excellent. But take that in context, too. After we beat Oregon, I challenged our guys. I said we could've done a little better there. We had a couple of turnovers. Win the game is the bottom line and always push for excellence in teaching in the classroom.

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