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October 6, 2012

Urban Meyer


THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement and then questions.
COACH MEYER:  I want to give a lot of thanks to our crowd, the Buckeye Walk, the skull session.  That was one of the great evenings in Columbus, in Ohio State.  But I really appreciate that.
I never want to let that go without telling the fans that.  That was tremendous.  Also, our student body and the quick cals, it's really cool to watch guys really buy in, not only your team, but the fans.
That was ‑‑ from the bottom of my heart, I want to make sure everybody knows that.  I know it's not a great story, but it's a great story.  That was a good thing for Ohio State.
Give credit where credit is due.  I thought the first quarter was a trainwreck for our offense, but it was because they're playing very good defense.
And they weren't doing a lot different.  They came out and hit us in the mouth.  We had to get going, but our offensive line eventually took over that game.  And we have two good runners right now.  We have a quarterback obviously that's kind of ridiculous running the ball, and then Carlos Hyde is a guy that is starting to earn a lot of respect, other than that darn fumble.  But he's running hard.  And then Rod Smith came in and pounded it, too.
So you can see what we are.  We're kind of a pound‑ya offense right now.  I don't mind that.  I've not had a lot of those.  But that's a pound‑ya offense.
And we still need to do some other things, but we also‑‑ opportunity on the couple‑‑ I think we had two touchdown passes, right?  Just one touchdown pass, but another one down to the end zone.
Defense can get better.  Created some turnovers, but can get better.  Pleased with their effort, but we all know we can't give up those kind of yards and those kinds of points and win the game.  They fed off each other.  And this team is buying in, and they're doing a good job.

Q.  Coach, you said this could be heck of a football team by the end of the year.  Did the offense show up a little early?  Because a lot of people say a new era of offensive football has arrived at Ohio State.
COACH MEYER:  I like the sound of that.  It didn't feel that way in the first 15minutes of the game.  It was terrible.  And I didn't feel like we were blocking them.  I didn't feel‑‑ they were kind of defeating us at the line of scrimmage.  But that changed.  People are asking me.  But I don't know what changed, other than their guys played very well.  I'll have something more for you next week on exactly what happened.

Q.  Coach, Braxton Miller said you weren't even sure at the end how many points you guys have scored.  Did you just lose track?
COACH MEYER:  Braxton said that?

Q.  Yeah.
COACH MEYER:  No comment.  Just got caught up in the moment.  Caught up in the moment.

Q.  Is this when you got‑‑ when you started evaluating the talent, did you think this kind of‑‑ this would come‑‑ did you think this offense would be here this season with the guys you had?
COACH MEYER:  No.  I didn't think our offensive line would come to you're playing a tight end or right tackle, playing a bunch of guys and a lot of football, being as honest as I can, they weren't very good.  They didn't look the way we wanted them to look in January.  Good kids though, good, tough guys.
And they are‑‑ they're the ones that have really developed.  I mean, like really developed.  And even early in the season I didn't feel it.  I didn't feel us change the line of scrimmage against those early teams.  I'm starting to feel us change the line of scrimmage.  We know how fragile it is.  Have a bloody nose tomorrow and it's not a very good offensive line.
We don't have a lot of depth, but Coach Warner and those guys have something going now.  They're changing the line of scrimmage against some very good defensive lines.  The last two we played, those are very good defensive lines.

Q.  Talk about No.1, Robey's pick six, which kept you all in the game.  That was odd there.
COACH MEYER:  It was a dark day there for that first quarter.  He stepped in front, and I thought Philly Brown on his punt return‑‑ most kids that hear those‑‑ we do a ceremony after the game, let some guys talk who performed well, and every one of them to a man said that; that when the offense was struggling, you have Robey and also the punt return, and the defense, offense goes out, and I think we had a couple of long drives.  I can't remember the minutes.  But our defense was on the sideline and we're just methodically moving, the offense is moving the ball.  Right now they're feeding off each other.

Q.  Did you see a difference, though?  Obviously first quarter, like you said, was a trainwreck, and then suddenly Braxton went 72yards.  Is that the ignition point?
COACH MEYER:  No question.  We wanted to really rely on Carlos Hyde a little bit, to pound him the way I felt he earned it, and I made that comment after what I saw in that last drive against Michigan State; that maybe we can pound the ball for five, six, seven yards.  Some people would say it's not the most exciting thing.  It's pretty good to call a play on second and four, though, second and three.
That was the plan, and the plan was not working in the first quarter.  And I think Braxton obviously changed the game.

Q.  If you guys are ahead of schedule now, what does that mean for the future, especially on offense for this team?
COACH MEYER:  Well, we had a bunch of recruits in that locker room afterwards.  So you would start talking about future, you know, that's the name of the game, is go out and recruit new players and continue and build and keep going.
So I'm very pleased with where we're at, but I've also been doing this long enough to realize you have a bad week, you have a bad night tonight, you have a bad something, I don't want to be the downer, but we're not there.  We have a long way to go.
And the good thing is these guys know it and they're anxious to get into work tomorrow.  To a man, they said that tonight.  They can't wait to get to work tomorrow.

Q.  You just touched on Carlos and you referenced the offensive line playing better.  How much of it, though, these yards after contact the way that Carlos is battling through, it's him making some plays for you?
COACH MEYER:  I think I'll let you know more‑‑ that's a great question.  It's post‑contact yards.  But I also saw the line of scrimmage change.  You could see the line of scrimmage.  When he was getting into the line of scrimmage, it was two, three yards down the field that he's doing.
So that's a big guy like that, you get him started, it's hard to bring down.  And he has to get started.  He wasn't getting started in the first quarter.  That offensive line did it in the second quarter, third and fourth.

Q.  You've been known to call‑‑ say that's my guy, guys graduate through your program, did you get any new guys tonight?
COACH MEYER:  I got a bunch of them.  A bunch of them.  I like that.  I don't know if I'm prepared to say that.  I've got a bunch of guys in there right now.  My guys right now are that offensive line.  I just love them to death.
To see what they did tonight and see their reaction in there and know what they've gone through, that's a great question but there's more than just one.

Q.  You said in the lead up to this you wanted this place to be an inferno, those were iconic helmets hooking up, that was a pretty special night.  Did you enjoy it?  Did it live up to what you hoped it would?
COACH MEYER:  It sure did.  As I said, I started off that conversation with asking it to be an inferno.  It started from day one ‑‑ from whatever time we started, 6:00 or 5:30 we came walking down those stairs and a whole line of people, we closed in the Buckeye Walk because I want these people‑‑ I didn't like the first couple of weeks.  I saw a bunch of people, players with headsets on and listening to music as they're walking down.  That's not what we want.  We want the fans‑‑ it's Ohio's football team.  It's the great state of Ohio's football team.  Come enjoy your players, because they're playing hard for you.  I loved every minute of it.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thank you very much.

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