Urban Meyer admits Ohio State still a work in progress
Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Despite a 3-0 record, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer admitted that the team has been plagued by inconsistent offense and problematic defense, which could hurt them as the Buckeyes take on big-name squads in the Big Ten, starting with Michigan State.
“We obviously have to fix it. The ways to fix it are you demand and coach it better or you eliminate, you make changes in personnel,” Meyer said.
“Are we going to do 10 pushups after we commit a penalty? I don’t know. We’ll get better, though. I promise you we’re going to get better. How long will it take? There’s a lot of moving parts to get better,” he added.
The Buckeyes will take on University of Alabama at Birmingham Saturday before taking on the Spartans Sept. 29 at Michigan.
In its first game, Ohio State topped Miami (Oh) in impressive fashion, 56-10, but its inconsistent offense and defense were evident in wins over Central Florida (31-16) and California (35-28).
The Buckeyes have been flagged 21 times for 180 yards in the past two games and were was called for six personal fouls against the Bears.
“You think about the long yardage plays on offense because it’s just bad penalties, man,” Meyer said. “Second and 25 is hard to recover from. On my headset, I’m looking down at second down, 25 (yards to go). I don’t have on my sheet the second down and 25 call.”
In their past games, the Buckeyes’ defense also allowed a 44-yard pass, 81-yard run and 59-yard run that all ended in touchdowns, not to mention eight plays of over 25 yards. In their last game, the Buckeyes surrendered 512 yards to Cal.
“I wouldn’t blame fatigue,” said end Nate Williams, whose defense faced Cal’s up-tempo attack and Miami’s quick passing game. “If I can handle it (after having micro-fracture knee surgery), I know other guys can. I’m the least conditioned player on the team, by far. (Cal) had us on our toes. I know missed tackles are a big part of it.”
Ohio State’s enigmatic offense, led by sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, should also be addressed by Meyer.
Against Cal, OSU scored touchdowns on three consecutive series in the first half but went three-and-out on five of their next six possessions. Miller returned to his first-half form just in time to lead the Buckeyes to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and a 35-28 victory.
“It goes back to consistency,” offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. “When (Smith) is good, he’s really good, but he has to be good all the time. That can be said for everybody on offense.”
“When we’re clicking,” tight end Jake Stoneburner said, “you can see how lethal we can be.”