Sept. 15, 2012

POSTGAME: Recap | Notes | Quotes | Box Score (html) | Box Score (pdf) | Transcript
VIDEO: Highlights | Postgame Press Conference
LINKS: Game Day Magazine

An Interview With Coach Meyer

THE MODERATOR: Coach will open up with some opening comments, please.

COACH MEYER: Thank you all for being here. The best thing about 3 0 is a chance to go 4 0. And that’s about it. We’ve enjoyed a win against a very quality opponent, Cal, very good athletes, well coached.

And our guys found a way. I have been in games before where I thought we were going to lose, where I just kept waiting I thought someone would make a play, I really did.

And to see Devin Smith, having an athletic quarterback to get you out of trouble sometimes, sometimes gets you in trouble. But what is going to happen is we’re going to have to be throw the ball, become efficient throwing. We’ve gotten better. You can take a look at the evolution in the past, what’s it been 12 months, or 24 months, whatever it’s been.

But since Braxton became our quarterback, he’s much better. But we’ve got a long way to go. It’s kind of turning into that kind of a world for us right now that there’s a lot of players, people, numbers, committed to stopping the run.

And the good thing is we are developing some receivers. Devin Smith had a hell of a day, made a couple of great plays. Philly Brown is a good player. Evan Spencer is coming along. Jake had a decent day.

We’re starting to develop a little bit of depth. And you think about where that was to where it is now. If this would have happened in April whatever the 7th, they said okay, they would be able to stop the run, I’d say I don’t know; we’d have to figure out a way to score. And I think we just have to do a good job of finding a way to throw the ball a little bit better.

On defense, bad tackling. That’s all I know, is bad tackling. We’ve gotta get that figured out. It’s time to play Ohio State defense and that wasn’t Ohio State defense at all.

We’ve got to get that thing worked out. I know it won’t be from a shortage of effort. We are going to get it worked out and go. John Simon played hurt today. Gave a little emotional speech in there.

He had a sore shoulder. They kept telling me all week, it should be fine, it should be fine; it just didn’t heal as fast as we hoped. Boy, he just lost it in the locker room as far as just sharing, opening up his soul for this team.

And I’ve done this a long time, man, and he’s as good you mark that down there, can you put a jersey up there or something that says John Simon, because that’s a grown ass man excuse my language that’s a guy.

If we have another child I want to name him, what is it, Urban John Simon Meyer or something like that. (Laughter) can’t wait for that headline. But that’s how much I love that guy. I’m not ashamed to say I love him. Love that guy. Man.

Makes all of us look in the mirror and say: Are we doing enough for our team. That guy, what he just did in there, not to give you too much of what went on in there, but am I doing enough. When I say I, as our coaching staff, are we doing enough? Are we doing as much as he’s doing? No. We’ve gotta do more. Gotta do more. Gotta get you fired up.

And that’s what this great game teaches you. With that said, great respect for the team we just played and the coach I know, best thing about 3 0 is, what, a chance to go 4 0 and get better. Questions?

Q. More excited about the rally, more concerned about defensively you get six back?
COACH MEYER: Yes, yes, yes.

Q. You always say yes, yes, yes, but you gave up 512 yards.
COACH MEYER: Terrible. Terrible. I wish I had some magic answer for you. Don’t tackle very well right now. Stupid penalties.

We had some personal fouls, 15 yard penalties. Better get that cleaned up or we’re going to lose a game. Once again, I don’t have a magic answer for you. Are we going to do ten 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.

Q. Were you concerned about Cal’s pace and the way they looked like they had the jump on you the second half?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, they did. I think that was a product of lack of offense. Four and out, four and out, three and out and three and out. And I can’t remember how many there were in a row. That’s kind of coming out of the blocks. Remember how we came out of the blocks?

We came out of the blocks with some big hits. And that’s going to be it’s going to be maybe a hit show for a while until we force people to defend us.

And I’m getting more comfortable with it. And I think that’s going to be part of it. I’m talking about the passing game.

Q. Offensively you guys had it humming, three straight scoring drives and then there’s the long lull, you mentioned the three and out, three and out, what did you do to get it right, because when you needed scoring drives in the end you got them?
COACH MEYER: We executed our blocking on the perimeter. Evan Spencer, kind of an unsung hero but two of the drives at the end he did a great job. They did a nice job.

Take away our perimeter run game, they fire that corner from the field and we got inside them and those were those runs, Jordan had a couple of plays and Braxton had a couple of nice passes.

And just executed the right time. If you think about the long yardage plays because it’s just bad penalties, man. Second and 25 is hard to recover from. Third down and you know, on my headset, I’m looking at second down 25, I don’t have on my sheet the second down and 25 call.

We have 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. If the people who commit violations or penalties are still going, then you either fix it, there’s not many choices.

Like I said, it’s not five pushups. It’s either you fix that or you’re out. We’ve gotta get someone else in there. But now we have to find out who the next guy in is.

Q. Urban, on the winning touchdown pass, did you all see that there, that their safety might be a little anxious if it comes wide or was that just pure Braxton Miller?
COACH MEYER: That was a scramble. That was a scramble drill short got deep, deep go short. That’s what he did. That’s one thing that you hear people in the NFL, heard it the other day on the TV, the quarterback that can extend the play. He extended the play and made one.

Q. What were your conversations like with Braxton during the game, especially the second or third quarter when they, nobody seemed to know what they were throwing up front at him. It looked like.
COACH MEYER: If you really watched it and you’re a football guy you understand they went bear defense, four down, bear defense, four down, and paralyze your offensive line a little bit.

And I was just trying to save keep him calm, cool, keep going. I love coaching Braxton. There’s not a whole lot of panic with him. The one we’ve gotta take care of the ball. Forcing a play on that interception. That’s not like him. We can’t do that. He’s fine. Just maturation as a quarterback. And it’s happening right in front of Ohio State’s eyes.

Q. You talked all week about wanting your defense to get more pressure on the quarterback; you guys blitzed more today. What did you think of the risk/reward of that of how that worked out?
COACH MEYER: I don’t a lot of times I don’t watch. I’ll let you know on Monday. Obviously when I see a team that ran for that many yards and as many poor tackles as we had, we had other issues on top of that, pressuring the quarterback. We’ve gotta get it corrected and I’m going to find out.

Q. Can you tell what John Simon did, did he take blame upon himself?
COACH MEYER: No, no, he almost didn’t play. I didn’t know that because they told me all week he should be fine. He didn’t practice much because of his sore shoulder. No ligament damage or something like that.

When you say sore, for most human beings they’re probably laid up in the Ohio State Medical Center, because that’s how tough he is. And he just because he almost didn’t play this game. And he goes so hard. So that’s kind of what happened.

Q. The other question I had is the penalties, two weeks in a row you’ve had 10 or 11 penalties.
COACH MEYER: Bad ones, too. I don’t agree with the PI. I think the guys were going after the ball, big one at the end, third down and 21 was it third and 21, launched it down the middle of the field. Guys are going after the ball.

I haven’t seen the personal fouls. My eyes are here and I see it. I know we had a bad one. Once again I’ll have more for you after I watch it. Whatever I do that Monday is Monday the press conference? I’ll let you know Monday just off the top of my head.

Q. Fourth touchdown pass, I think it was, it got so crazy. Second one to Stoneburner was very reminiscent of a Tebow play.
COACH MEYER: It was a jump pass. It was a pass that I saw with everyone else in the world saw when Braxton Miller, they had the world to stop Braxton. And they came up, really good execution by Jake Stoneburner, blocking and releasing in the back of the end zone. That’s if you’re pounding the quarterback that’s a hard one to stop.

Q. On Jake, the subject, you talked before about tying to find ways to utilize him better. Big gain on a 40 yarder down the middle. Also a couple of scores. Could you tell us about his evolution on offense. And Devin Smith, dropped a couple but had some huge catches.
COACH MEYER: Yeah, he dropped a couple but we need a home run hitter. When you take a really hard swing every once in a while you’ve got to hit it out of the park. And he did. I thought the one execution, the one Braxton fired it on, we ran back to back deep balls, one to Jake and one to Devin. He back shouldered. It that was a big league throw and catch.

Jake is a guy he needs to get more involved, he needs to play better and we need to coach better. He’s going through a development phase as well. That was a big game for him. Big play right down the middle of the field for us, too. He’s got skill. We’ve got to continue to find ways to evaluate and take care of. He’s not that big 260 pound tight end that you want and he’s not quite fast enough that you like to extend. He can do a little bit of both. I think, once his legs get back underneath him, we’ll be able to utilize him a little more next week.

Q. What you got out of Jordan Hall today, it’s 17 carries, I think 87 yards.

Q. Did you think
COACH MEYER: No, I did not think that was going to happen. He just kept going. I think he was rusty, I think there were more yards there. I think he could have come out of a few things that he normally would. But I love Jordan Hall. He’s given a lot for us and our staff. So we’ve got to give back to him. He had a good day. That was the first time he went hard since he got hurt.

Q. About Jordan Hall and Nathan Williams, they both played virtually the whole game. Is that a reflection of just how good they are or maybe you don’t have the faith in the others behind them?
COACH MEYER: Probably both. I think that’s a pretty strong statement. When you say don’t have faith, they’re just young and still learning the game. When that game got tight you want your dudes in there, your guys.

And to say Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn, I don’t have faith in them, that’s too harsh. Because I do. The other guys behind would be Noah Spence. One common denominator about most of those guys, they’re still young and green. We have to get them ungreen here real quick because we need them.

Lack of faith is just I wouldn’t say that. But obviously they’re not in there. So we have more confidence in the other guys.

Q. We’ve talked after every game about the number of carries for Braxton. 12 carries for him today. Was that a concept of the game plan, or was partly a reflection how Cal was playing you guys and trying to take that away?
COACH MEYER: Both. I think we were very conscious of it. Also Cal did good. Cal had people assigned to Braxton all day. I think it’s going to be that kind of year now.

I had that happen before, someone mentioned Tim. But you’ve gotta throw the ball, we’ve really got to throw it. The good thing is when we throw it, it’s pretty clear what the coverage is. It’s you against you and you gotta go win.

Q. You referenced the scramble deal on Devin’s touchdown. Is that something that developed over the summer that you’ve been harping on through training camp that they had to do that stuff on their own and build that sort of rapport to know where everybody’s going to be?
COACH MEYER: Plus we coach it. Every staff does. Pass skills, go against offense/defense every Tuesday and Wednesday. And we always tell the quarterback you don’t throw it away at that time. Scramble, stay alive and don’t run.

That takes time to develop it. You have to have a feel and be real disciplined. Everybody wants to stand there and have open, open, no. If you’re in a certain area of the field, you take off. That’s what Devin did.

Q. We talked to Coach Knight last night. He was talking about how he’s not very positive or he wasn’t very positive with his players with a situation like this.
COACH MEYER: Bobby Knight.

Q. Yes. Not to make that comparison, but I was curious how you are with your guys in the locker room after a game like this where you said you felt like maybe there was a time where you felt like you were going to lose.
COACH MEYER: I guess I’ve just lost enough games to know that when you win, go enjoy it. I won’t say tomorrow will be all peaches and cream, but today you enjoy the win, man. And best thing about 3 0 is to go 4 0. And we have a nice thing in there: Defend The Shoe, which we did, against Pac 12; you won, go enjoy your families and let’s go to work.

The good thing is they expect to go to work now. I see it in their eyes.

Q. You referenced a bad penalty earlier. When you’re watching film, what’s the difference between a bad penalty and one you can live with?
COACH MEYER: I think the guys going after the ball. The one down the middle of the field, they were just going after the ball. That should not be a penalty, in my world.

Now, I might be wrong when I watch the film, it might be a penalty. The one, late hits on quarterbacks. I think Corey Linsley had one right in front of us I didn’t see it on video got after him, that’s just stupid, ignorant penalties.

Right tackle jerking on the 1 yard line going in, that’s a stupid penalty. Going after balls and your feet get tangled up, that’s football.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
COACH MEYER: I don’t think so. I’ll let you know on Monday. I won’t say it was news to me, because he had a sore shoulder. But the whole week they said: He’ll be fine, he’ll be fine, he’ll be fine. But the thing about John, he doesn’t say much to you, other than: I’ll be ready, I’ll be ready my shoulder is far away from my heart. I say: I gotcha John.