By Andrew Lind
The Buckeyes held their weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where head coach Urban Meyer, receiver coach Zach Smith, and defensive back/special teams coach Kerry Coombs spoke to the media about the team's schedule during the bye-week, as well as the upcoming battle for the "Illibuck" trophy with Illinois.
A few points of emphasis from the presser include:
- Meyer believes the Buckeyes are one of the best teams in the country.
- Meyer said he'd rank the Buckeyes second in the country, also noting he has Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, and Baylor with in the top five.
- Meyer talked about the new mid-season signing rule, which allows coaches to meet and talk to prospects an unlimited number of times.
- When asked about some of the players who signed mid-season, Curtis Samuel and Marcelys Jones, Meyer declined comment.
- The last time the Buckeyes played at Illinois, Braxton Miller complete one pass. Meyer talked about quarterbacks being improved since then.
- Meyer said the Buckeyes did "what they had to win".
- Meyer calls offensive lineman Jack Mewhort a "high level pro prospect".
- Curtis Grant has been dealing with an ankle sprain, while Josh Perry had surgery on a dislocated finger. Both expected to play this week.
- Meyer said the linebackers are still not at Ohio State standard.
- Meyer says there's no issue with a letdown against the Illini. Calls the team "invested".
- Meyer said he was able to watch "as many games as he could get his hands on". Talked about Oregon-Stanford and Baylor-Oklahoma. Said he really enjoyed the former.
- Meyer said he gets updates every day on the probable conditions for the game on Saturday. Expects it to be ~50 degrees in Champaign.
- Meyer said the team is more functional and focused than last year's team. Didn't want to call the team better out of respect to seniors.
- Meyer said the team is better on offense, special teams. He noted the same players play special teams every week.
- Meyer said the team practices and expects to play very well.
- Meyer said that he's not frustrated that the Buckeyes aren't in the championship game right now because he's been down this road before.
- After a week of speculation, Meyer confirmed he spoke to FAU athletic director Pat Chun about the Owls' vacant head coaching position. No specific names were mentioned.
- Lastly, Meyer said the Buckeyes don't need style points. Just said the team has to play great.