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The Suburbanite
  • Ohio State Notebook: Meyer sees a lot of room for improvement

  • As good as things seemed to go for Ohio State in its opener against Buffalo — at times — Urban Meyer had a great deal to vocalize to players during Sunday’s film review.

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  • As good as things seemed to go for Ohio State in its opener against Buffalo — at times — Urban Meyer had a great deal to vocalize to players during Sunday’s film review. The offense scored on its first three possessions, fizzled out in the second and third quarters, and finished strong. The defense was back to the bend-but-don’t-break mentality Meyer detests, and in the third quarter, the second-ranked Buckeyes failed to put away a Mid-American Conference team.
    As a motivational kick in the seat of the pants, perhaps the season opener was a perfect start for Meyer. He is 13-0 as Ohio State’s head coach, but he is a meticulous perfectionist.
    “Complacency is certainly not a problem this week,” Meyer said, slightly smiling. “There’s been times where you smoke a team and then all of a sudden, you’re going on Tuesday and you start trying to get after them, and they’re looking at you — because they have just been told how great they are. ... It’s a great opportunity for us to coach them hard and get better (today) and Wednesday.”
    Meanwhile, across the country, San Diego State is having problems. The Aztecs lost to Eastern Illinois at home in its opener. Head coach Rocky Long was seething after the 40-19 loss to an FCS team.
    Long watched his defense give up 533 yards, including 361 in the air. Long said it was as bad a performance as he has been around. Long snapped at reporters after the game even asking about Ohio State and seemed fatigued about answering questions all camp about the Buckeyes before playing Eastern Illinois.
    How can the Buckeyes take the Aztecs seriously after that loss?
    “It’s a bad day in San Diego, I would say, on Sunday and today,” Buckeye safety Christian Bryant said. “I heard their running back went down (Adam Muema), and I heard he’s supposed to be a good player. But I haven’t really watched much film on them yet.”
    GETTING DEPTH BACK
    Starting safety C.J. Barnett, who was held out of the opener as a precaution, should be ready to play this week, and All-American cornerback Bradley Roby is back from a one-game suspension. Also returning is running back Rod Smith, and Meyer plans to use center Corey Linsley more this week. Linsley was limited to 17 plays against Buffalo, and the line struggled when he left against linebacker Khalil Mack. Roby’s return will move Armani Reeves to a nickel or dime spot in coverage, although Meyer said Roby will have to earn back his spot. He also watched Reeves get exposed vs. Buffalo.
    TWO-POINT PLAYS
    The message from Meyer is clear this year. He wants to score as many points as possible, and when the Buckeyes went for 2 points after their first two touchdowns of the season, it was because Buffalo couldn’t stop them. “I went to the Fiesta Bowl and I watched Oregon do that early, and I just know it drives defensive coaches crazy,” Meyer said. “You have to work on (defending) it, and it’s a way to get some cheap points. We have been working on that since February, and it worked pretty good. I don’t know often we’ll do that. We usually decide that on Wednesday, but it’s in the package.”
    Page 2 of 2 - BUCKEYES
    Meyer is 2-0 against San Diego State, having won in 2003 (27-6) and 2004 (51-28) while he was the head coach at Utah. ... The only Mountain West Conference team to beat Ohio State is Air Force in the 1990 Liberty Bowl. ... The latest coaches’ and writers’ polls will be released this afternoon. Monday night’s Florida State-Pittsburgh game held up the rankings. ... Jordan Hall was Ohio State’s offensive player of the game, and Christian Bryant was the defensive player of the game. CB Doran Grant graded out at 96 percent.