Ohio State’s Denzel Ward hits Maryland’s Taivon Jacobs after a reception in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. Ward was ejected from the game after being assessed a targeting penalty for the hit. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo: Jamie Sabau
Photo: Jamie Sabau

Meyer concerned targeting issue could affect bigger game

Officials on the field and in the replay booth robbed Ward of his moment in a 62-14 victory against Maryland at Ohio Stadium. Ward hit Maryland wide receiver Taivon Jacobs after a catch, forcing a fumble. Ward picked up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown only to be whistled for a personal foul and then ejected for targeting.

The Big Ten admitted the replay official was in error, said Meyer on Tuesday during the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference.

“The report back was that on the field it’s a snap judgment,” Meyer said, “but the replay official was in error. He should not have been ejected. It was a mistake.”

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Asked if he was concerned an error like that could affect a bigger game — like the Big Ten championship or a playoff game — Meyer said concerned wasn’t a strong enough word.

“I’m concerned, irate, all of the above,” Meyer said. “I still to this day don’t understand how that happens. That’s for the higher-ups to figure out.”

Here are other highlights from Meyer’s teleconference:

Standout player: Wide receiver Binjimen Victor caught a 25-yard touchdown pass against Maryland and has four touchdown catches in the first six games for the No. 9 Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0).

“It’s amazing to say this: we’re not even scratching the surface of his ability level,” Meyer said. “He’s got so much more left. We haven’t even seen near the ceiling. He’s a great young man who’s learning how to work all the time and go all the time. He’s a very talented guy.”

Position battle: Malcolm Pridgeon, Matthew Burrell and Demetrius Knox are all in the running to start at right guard in the 7:30 p.m. Saturday game at Nebraska. The position opened when Branden Bowen broke his leg against Maryland. He’ll miss the rest of the season.

“It’s wide open,” Meyer said.

Possible change: Sean Nuernberger and Blake Haubeil continue to compete for the job of handling kickoffs. Haubeil had the job for the first five games. Nuernberger took over last week but struggled.

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Meyer said they are thinking of different ways to approach kickoffs, but it’s not as easy as just kicking it through the back of the end zone.

“We have trouble kicking it through the end zone, too,” Meyer said. “If it was that simple, I’d do that. It’s more complicated than that.”

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