Urban Meyer reveals his role in Ohio State offense moving forward


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? 

That apparently is Urban Meyer’s thinking as he returns to the sideline this weekend for Ohio State football after a three-game suspension. 

“I think I’ll be involved more as a game manager at this point,” the coach said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday afternoon. 

“I’ve done that before in the past,” he said later when asked about the decision. “I help where I need to help, but I think a high degree of it was the performance of the offense and how well it worked together and obviously the success we’ve had.” 

» URBAN MEYER COVERAGE: Coach says he’s working to be a better leaderMeyer’s career by the numbersMeyer says he wanted to help Smith family

He praised the job offensive coordinators Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson did in his absence. 

Not only are the fourth-ranked Buckeyes 3-0 on the season, they have the No. 2 scoring offense (56.3 points per game) in the country and are No. 3 in total yards (608.7 per game). 

With Day and Wilson running the show so far, Ohio State’s offense has featured more passing and less runs by the quarterback, though that could be as much a result of strong-armed Dwayne Haskins replacing graduated-senior J.T. Barrett at quarterback as it does Meyer missing training camp and being barred from the sidelines on the first three game days. 

The head coach has been part of game-planning meetings the past two weeks after serving a six-week suspension without pay as a result of an investigation that found he mismanaged former assistant coach Zach Smith’s employment. 

Meyer discussed several topics on the weekly call, including: 

  • Having already declared star defensive end Joey Bosa out for this week’s game against Tulane, Meyer said they hope to know more about his status “midweek.” More tests are being conducted on his injured groin. 
  • Wayne graduate Robert Landers is probable to play this week against Tulane according to the coach. The starting defensive tackle has an undisclosed injury. 
  • He said another defensive tackle, Davon Hamilton, is among the most-improved players on the team and credited coach Larry Johnson with his work in developing the Pickerington Central product. 
  • For the second time this week, Meyer called Day — who served as acting head coach in his absence — an elite coach. He praised Day’s organizational skills. 
  • While the Buckeye linebackers have absorbed a lot of criticism over the first three weeks, Meyer said defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is very pleased with their progress. However, they will need to improve as they gain experience. 
  • TCU’s up-tempo offense gave Ohio State problems last week. The Buckeyes prepared for it, but seeing it live is different than practice. That caused some alignment issues. 
  • New starting guard Malcolm Pridgeon endured some hard times after coming to Ohio State as a junior-college transfer, but “everybody in the program loves him,” Meyer said. 
  • Asked the biggest areas in need of improvement this week, Meyer said that while the kicking game has impressed him so far, coverage units are always a top concern. Nonetheless, he was happy with their performance against TCU. Meyer also wants to see consistency from his kickoff return unit and the offense to continue to take care of the ball. The defense must cut down big plays allowed. 
  • Demario McCall, C.J. Saunders and Johnnie Dixon will continue competing for reps as returnmen until someone grabs the job and hangs onto it. 


Reader Comments


Next Up in Sports

College football recruiting: 5 things to know about the early signing period
College football recruiting: 5 things to know about the early signing period

High school football players across the country are set to lock in their college choices Wednesday, decisions that will be felt near and wide.  Here is what you need to know from a local and regional perspective as the second early signing period for college football takes place:  1. Ohio State has another strong class — but not as...
Western Michigan at Dayton: What to know about Wednesday’s game
Western Michigan at Dayton: What to know about Wednesday’s game

Who: Western Michigan (5-5) at Dayton (5-5) When: 7 p.m. Wednesday Where: UD Arena TV/Radio: ESPN+/ AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO » FOLLOW THE FLYERS: All the links you need for the season in one place Probable Dayton starters Josh Cunningham, 6-8, R-Sr., 14.8 Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, So., G, 13.3 Trey Landers, 6-5, Jr., G, 10.1 Ryan Mikesell...
Ohio State football will play a Friday night game next fall 
Ohio State football will play a Friday night game next fall 

The third year of the Big Ten’s experiment with Friday night football will included Ohio State.  The Buckeyes’ game at Northwestern, a rematch of the 2018 Big Ten championship game, will be played Oct. 18 in Evanston, Ill.  While the Big Ten’s decision to play three conference games and three nonconference games on Friday...
Report: Coveted quarterback transfer could land at Ohio State
Report: Coveted quarterback transfer could land at Ohio State

Ryan Day is set to sign his first recruiting class as Ohio State head coach on Wednesday, but an even bigger player acquisition could be on his mind.  The Toledo Blade reported Tuesday morning Ohio State is a potential landing spot for Georgia quarterback Justin Fields if the highly-touted freshman follows through on an interest in transferring...
Girls Basketball: Improved Catholic Central earns signature win
Girls Basketball: Improved Catholic Central earns signature win

Catholic Central High School girls basketball coach Brandon Peterson knew his team was on the verge of a signature win. On Dec. 8, the Irish led defending Ohio Heritage Conference South Division champion Greeneview in the fourth quarter, but relinquished the lead in the final three minutes and fell 62-51. »RELATED: Monday’s high school...
More Stories