Urban Meyer back on job, and for Buckeyes, it’s ‘like he never left’

Ohio State coach returns to practice but still suspended for two more games

The Ohio State Buckeyes held a practice Tuesday with head coach Urban Meyer on the job for the first time since the spring.

According to the players, it was the same, old Meyer on the turf field outside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

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“It felt different because it was really hot today,” defensive end Jonathan Cooper said. “That was the only thing.”

“He brought good energy,” wide receiver K.J. Hill said. “It wasn’t nothing special. He just did his role like he always does.”

“It felt good,” running back Mike Weber said. “It was like he never left. He was the same. His head was forward. He didn’t bring none of that stuff up. His job was to coach, and that’s what he did today.”

The No. 4 Buckeyes (1-0) didn’t welcome Meyer back with a big ceremony. It was business as usual as the team continued preparation for the Big Ten opener against Rutgers (1-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

“I gave him a high five and a big hug,” Cooper said, “and said, ‘Welcome back, Coach.”

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Meyer had not been on the job since Aug. 1 when Ohio State placed him on paid administrative leave while it investigated domestic violence allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. On Aug. 23, Ohio State suspended Meyer through Sept. 2 and the first three games.

Without Ryan Day serving as acting coach, the Buckeyes beat Oregon State 77-31 in the season opener Saturday.

“The team and the coaches handled (Meyer’s suspension) extremely well, a lot better than some other teams would,” Cooper said. “For us to handle that and go out and dominate like we did, I feel that’s a big stepping point for us.”

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