“I know some of our guys like to have a breakfast together Friday morning before the game,” the Miamisburg native and starting center for the Buckeyes said. “I have five roommates in my house, and three of them are (teammates) Gavin Cupp. Max Wray and Luke Farrell so we always do, we call it victory meal. We have like a second one at our house Monday morning and make a big ol' meal. We'll have guys over from time to time. We love it."
The “victory meal” concept was brought to Ohio State by former coach Urban Meyer. It requires everyone to get together on Sunday nights after a win to savor the moment and enjoy each other’s company.
The point is to prevent coaches or players from taking for granted any win, while the gatherings at Myers’ house sound more like a matter of bonding.
And eating lots of food.
“We had biscuits and gravy yesterday,” he said, noting they went through about 40 eggs. “It was really unhealthy, but it was great.”
On top of that, Meyers confirmed the recent expansion of the football facility has played a role in helping the Buckeyes grow closer as a team.
As head coach Ryan Day hoped, adding video games, a basketball court, golf simulator and more has encouraged players to hang around the facility more. That naturally leads to more interaction, including among players who might not otherwise spend much time together.
“Yes, big time,” Myers said when asked if the increased camaraderie players have talked about frequently this season is impacted by the additions to the facility. “I think especially that room with the basketball court and the golf simulator and all the games. I think that was so huge.”
As an example, Myers cited the golf simulator bringing together himself, an offensive lineman from Southwest Ohio, and Jeremy Ruckert, a tight end from Lindenhurst, N.Y.
“I love playing golf. I’m not very good at it, but I love it. So I’ll go in there a couple hours a day in the offseason and just mess around hitting shots, maybe watch some film,” Myers said. “Ruckert loves golf so we’ll go in there and just play together and it’s guys that I normally wouldn’t hang out with outside the facility.
“Then while we’re doing that there’s 10 guys shooting hoops or playing H.O.R.S.E. or something and we’re all in there for a good amount of time and I think that added a significant amount of camaraderie to our team.”
Of course, Myers’ play on Saturdays is also a big factor in the Buckeyes’ success.
He has taken over at center for Bengals fifth-round draft pick Michael Jordan and been an immediate hit.
With Meyers, fellow third-year sophomore Wyatt Davis and fifth-year senior Jonah Jackson anchoring the middle and Thayer Munford and Branden Bowen starting at the tackles, the Ohio State offensive line has been able to make room for J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague to run and given quarterback Justin Fields time to utilize a deep receiving corps.
“Those inside guys to me are who are a little bit different,” Wilson said. “I think the way Jonah has came in and the way Wyatt and Josh Myers have played. We've had some good centers, but those three guys are very, very smart.”
That helps them adjust on the fly as blocking assignments change with defensive adjustments.
“You’ve got to be able to see the whole picture and when you're no huddle team going fast, you got to process quickly and be able to see things and get everyone on the same page and those guys have been solid.”
Playoff rankings story updated with some comments from CFP chairman Rob Mullens, who had an easy job explaining the top of the rankings but had a curious answer when asked about a Big Ten team on the rise https://t.co/OQiE5Lo035
Speaking of the Bengals, Wilson acknowledged one of the staple plays of Southwest Ohio's pro football team in the 1980s has become a larger part of Ohio State's attack this season: Outside zone.
For years, inside zone was the basis of Meyer’s offense, but the team has diversified the attack some in the first season with Day as head coach.
"Years and years ago, everybody started going with (offensive line coach Jim) McNally and the Bengals doing inside and outside,” said Wilson, who also leaned on outside zone when he was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and head coach at Indiana.
“I think with the line we had and where we thought we were at tackle I think coach Day just wanted to look at it a little bit in spring to see how it went and it just kind of snowballed, and we ran it before but maybe not as much but as we came out of spring, we just saw that our line was creating a lot of just a lot -- they're big, but they're actually very athletic, so as they get moving, they just create a lot of momentum and force, and as they create that force, they just create the seams and creases within the defense.”