OHIO STATE COACH URBAN MEYER
September 10, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Great to have him back at that position on the kickoff. Obviously offensively to have our quarterback go down early in the game on that first drive was a blow, but our team responded. It's an incredible case study of arguably one of the greatest that I've been around as far as your backup quarterback is elected captain. I think that would be, once again, an interesting case study.
I wonder how many times that's happened, the backup quarterback is elected captain, and there's no real surprise internally; maybe externally it is, but internally he was one of the leading vote getters. He was a guy that just I was talking to Philly Brown the other day and there's a lot of respect for Kenny Guiton about everything; the way he handles his business, and where he's come from, once again, around incredible case study what Kenny has done for this program in our brief tenure here.
But the way they played, he distributed the ball very well. He moved the ball around. We have to do better in the open field as far as breaking tackles; I would grade us a minus.
We protected the quarterback much better in this game against a team that blitzed from they got off the bus blitzing; it's one of those kind of defenses. We did a little more six and seven man protection; just means we kept the extra guys in there because of that, and it worked. And I thought overall, on offense, we did a fairly good job.
The champions on offense were Jack Mewhort played very well, had some incredible efforts down the field on Kenny's long run. Had a knock down about 35 yards down the field, 30 yards down the field on his long touchdown run. And three explosive plays, he was the key guy that got us to the second level.
Jeff Heuerman is starting to play like Jeff Heuerman again. He played very well, graded out champion, had one explosive play, two catches, 33 yards.
Wide receivers, we had two of them, Philly Brown, two big plays. Our intent was to get him involved. He had six catches, 73 yards, two big one excellent catch, and the other one, just great technique as far as boxing out a defender. Really that was I've been very critical of the wired receivers, but he's a wide receiver now. He's starting to box out defenders and he's starting to do things you ask wide receivers to do, not just go out there and run fast once in awhile. He's getting better and better.
Evan Spencer only had one catch but he graded out very high and did a nice job. The Offensive Player of the Game was the old right hander, Kenny, did a very admirable job in all areas, distributing the ball, making the right checks. A lot of what you saw was him controlling the game as far as making checks. That's it.
On defense, I watched it I didn't have time yesterday, I watched it this morning, and we are getting close to the kind of defense that I have a dream of seeing, and that's aggressive. Our defensive line is playing at a very high lively right now. I don't want to jinx them they just are playing they are not perfect at all; matter of fact they are very poor in some things they do but as far as effort, energy, enthusiasm, esprit de corps, that whole unit is playing and I have to give credit to their coach, Mike Vrabel. They play like Mike coaches and I imagine the way Mike played here; it's just high energy, intense, very close knit group.
Steve Miller comes in and gets a sack; and Coach Fickell showed it to the team yesterday, the sideline erupted and Joel Hale was the first one to congratulate them. That doesn't happen by accident. That's because of the leader of that unit, Mike Vrabel, they are buying what he's selling. That's very much a positive right now.
But overall, I thought we played well on defense. C.J. Barnett, graded a champion, graded out very high, first game back. Brad Roby, graded out 99 percent, very high; he had 12 opportunities, made a play at 11 of them.
And then co players of the game, Michael Bennett, I keep telling you he's our best practice player, the correlation between that and performance is obviously very high, and he graded out 90 percent co defensive player of the game, very proud of him.
And Ryan Shazier, didn't play as well his first game but he's starting to look very active, ran some people down, very good awareness on screen plays and that was Ryan Shazier.
So I was very impressed with our defense. Just the energy, once again, there's a lot of things we can fix. We are too soft on zone coverage. At times, I thought we were too soft in man coverage, but I liked the philosophy that we pressure I had that written down on the other paper, but we pressured more than we had the previous week.
A couple comments; we are going on a long trip across the country, I can't remember if I have experience doing that. When I was at Notre Dame, we would go play USC, and that was a tough trip. We have got to really manage it well, and we've had many, many discussions with people who have made that trip, as well. We are going to leave Friday morning and make sure we get them acclimated as much as we can. We are facing a team that averages 104 plays a game on offense, so we need all able bodies to be ready to go.
Braxton Miller will be a day to day decision. I just met with him today. He's feeling much better. Was, a little stiff, which is our trainer and I and him just met ten minutes ago and he's feeling the first 48 hours after that injury is very tough. It's a sprained MCL is what it is.
And then Adolphus Washington has a groin injury, that will be day to day, also. Neither one of them has been disqualified for this game but neither one of them has been cleared to play yet, so I'll keep you posted.