Aug. 2, 2012

Note: This is the third in a series of news releases full of facts, notes, quotes, anecdotes and just general good stuff to get folks up-to-speed with Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has made it clear that the goal of fall camp, which opens Friday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, is to get his Buckeye team ready to win games, starting with the season opener Sept. 1 vs. Miami.

Go beat someone out and win a position Meyer has essentially said to those wondering about starting roles or spots on the two-deep chart. Fall camp is not about the two-deep; it’s about preparing to win games, and Meyer has a plan to win that has guided him through 10 seasons as a coach. Judging by the numbers – a career record of 104-23 and two national championships – his plan to win works.

One of only two active collegiate coaches with multiple BCS national championships and one of only 13 coaches in the last 50 years to win multiple national championships, Meyer’s plan includes four tenets: play great defense; score in the red zone; dominate turnovers; and win the kicking game. His teams have succeeded in each of those competencies.

Play Great Defense
Meyer’s 10 previous teams have led a conference in a key defensive category 12 times and have had a national Top 10 rushing defense four times. And in his six seasons at Florida, his teams ranked second in the Southeastern Conference with a cumulative, six-year average of 100.9 rushing yards per game allowed, a key defensive stat that ranked sixth nationally.

Fewest Rushing Yards Per Game Allowed (2005-2010)
1. TCU – 82.9
2. Boston College – 91.7
3. Ohio State – 92.2
4. Texas – 96.1
5. Alabama – 100.4
6. Florida – 100.9

Meyer’s teams have also had national Top 10 defensive statistics 16 times, including five times in the Top 10 in total defense.

Score in the Red Zone
From the 2007 season through the 2010 season, Meyer’s Florida Gators had the best touchdown percentage in the red zone in the SEC: 66 percent (265 chances; 175 touchdowns). His teams score touchdowns…a lot. Four times they have led a conference in scoring and five times they ranked in the Top 10 nationally.

Dominate Turnovers
In his six years at Florida, Meyer’s teams committed only 108 turnovers, a total that ranked fourth in the nation for fewest committed. Four times – twice at Florida and once at Utah and Bowling Green, respectively – Meyer had a team in the Top 5 nationally in turnover margin. Meyer enters the 2012 season with a career team turnover ratio of plus-112.

Besides committing so few turnovers, a big reason for Meyer teams’ impressive turnover ratio is interceptions: his teams have ranked second in the nation with 116 interceptions between 2005-10.

Turnovers Committed (2005-10)
1. Alabama – 97
2. Air Force – 102
3. Ohio State – 107
4. Florida – 108
Navy – 108

Most Passes Intercepted (2005-10)
1. Boston College – 118
2. Florida – 116
3. Virginia Tech – 112
4. Boise State – 109
5. Oregon – 109

Win the Kicking Game
Meyer’s teams consistently win the kicking game. Three of his Florida teams led the SEC in net punting and five of six were in the Top 10 nationally (with a sixth team 12th). Four of his teams – two at Florida and two at Utah – led a conference in kickoff returns, with his 2003 Utah team the NCAA’s best with a 28.2-yard average.

Two more impressive statistics (and special thanks to the University of Florida sports information department for these) contribute to Meyer teams winning the kicking game: his six Florida teams blocked a total of 32 kicks (21 punts, eight field goals and three extra points), never failing to block multiple punts in a season and blocking multiple field goals in five of six seasons; and Florida led the nation over Meyer’s tenure by allowing just 361 cumulative punt return yards.

Two cool stats: Florida was 16-0 in games its special teams blocked a punt. And the Gators did not allow a punt return yard in 25 of Meyer’s last 33 games.

Fewest Punt Return Yards Allowed (2005-10)
1. Florida – 361
2. Iowa – 513
3. Ohio State – 555
4. Oklahoma – 607
5. LSU – 709

Big Wins and Winning Big
And where has Meyer’s plan to win positioned him? For starters, he is the second-winningest active collegiate coach with an .819 winning percentage, a figure that is 10th-best all-time among major college coaches.

Since 1945, only the legendary Bud Wilkinson has reached 100 wins faster than Meyer, who won his 100th game in his 118th game as coach on Sept. 25, 2010. All-time, he is sixth-fastest to reach 100 wins.

Fastest to 100 Wins
1. Gil Dobie – 108 games
2. George Woodruff – 109 games
3. Bud Wilkinson – 111 games
4. Fielding Yost – 114 games
5. Knute Rockne – 117 games
6. Urban Meyer – 118 games

Meyer was chosen by two – Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News – as the Coach of the Decade (2000-09) and he has earned three national Coach of the Year honors (by The Sporting News in 2003 and the Eddie Robinson and Home Depot Coach of the Year honors in 2004).

Meyer’s teams have ruled rivalry games and dominated within the conference. His rivalry game record is 21-3 as Bowling Green was 1-1 vs. Toledo, Utah was 2-0 vs. both BYU and Utah State, and Florida was 16-2 vs. Tennessee (6-0), Georgia (5-1) and Florida State (5-1).

Bowling Green, Utah and Florida were a combined 60-18 in conference games with four conference championships. Meyer’s teams are 7-1 in bowl games, including 4-0 in BCS bowl games. His teams are 19-7 vs. the national Top 25, including 11-4 vs. Top 10 teams, 7-3 vs. Top 5 teams and 2-2 vs. the No. 1 team in the nation.

More Winning Numbers

  • Meyer has won 13 games three times during his career, including back-to-back in 2008 and 2009 to become the first and only BCS coach to accomplish the feat.
  • Only one other coach in college football history in fact, according to Wikipidea, has ever won at least 13 games in back-to-back seasons: Walter Camp. Yale. 1891 and 1892. 
  • Meyer teams have had winning streaks of 11 games (Bowling Green), 20 games (16 at Utah and four at Florida), 11 games (Florida) and 22 games (Florida). 
  • His teams have 14 wins by 40-or-more points and another 20 wins by at least 30 points for a total of 34 routs. 
  • For 88 consecutive weeks, from Week 1 in 2005 to Week 7 in 2010, Meyer’s teams were ranked in the Top 25 and for 27 consecutive weeks, between 2008-10, his teams were ranked among the nation’s Top 5 teams. 
  • Including Bowling Green and Utah totals, Meyer’s teams blocked 51 kicks between 2001-10. Only Texas (60) and Fresno State (58) blocked more. 
  • Meyer’s teams have scored first in 81 of his 127 games and they are 76-5 in those games, including a 49-2 record at Florida. Utah was 18-1 and Bowling Green was 9-2.

So as one can see, it’s crystal clear by the numbers: Coach Urban Meyer’s teams have a plan to win. And the plan works.