Ohio State coach Urban Meyer provided a briefing after Wednesday’s practice. The Buckeyes are prepping for Saturday’s game at Purdue (noon, Big Ten Network).
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Meyer said senior OL Jack Mewhort addressed the team about losing at Purdue in its last two visits to West Lafayette (2009 and 2011).
“I think it’s huge,” Meyer said. “We had a team meeting today and we addressed just giving one away or losing … I don’t see us overlooking a team. These guys played them two years ago and lost. Last year, they got hit right in the face. That team was every bit as talented. It was a tie ballgame. I don’t feel like there is an issue. There is respect for this team.
“Jack came to me and wanted to talk. I had no idea what he was going to talk about. He talked about more two years ago. He talked about what it was like in that locker room after that game and the locker room, itself. I guess it’s not the nicest locker room. We just have to be prepared. It will be a tough trip.”
Still, the Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0) are a 31-point favorite to handle the Boilermakers (1-6, 0-3), who have yet to even beat an FBS team.
“You see (upsets) all the time,” Meyer said. “That’s our job to prevent it. Talk is not how you do it. A senior gets up there and addresses it because we do play a lot of young players who have never been there. You bring that up on Tuesday or Wednesday. You don’t wait until Saturday because it would be too late.”
Purdue has been blown out by 30 or more points in four of its losses. But the Boilers also played Notre Dame (31-24) and Michigan State (14-0) reasonably close.
“I see a team that is searching for an identity,” Meyer said. “I think they have found it on defense. They are all over the place with a blitz-a-thon. They weren’t like that the first five games. You can throw those games out the window. Two games isn’t enough to prepare because you don’t have enough tendencies. But I think they are figuring out who they are.”
Meyer was asked about his team’s ability to run the ball. The Buckeyes rushed for 408 yards against Penn State last week.
“That starts with the offensive line,” Meyer said. “With all due respect to Carlos (Hyde), I could have run a couple of those through those holes. Carlos has run hard. That offensive line, that’s who we were last year and that’s who we are this year.
“That’s where (the offense) starts. We are seeing cleaner coverages for Braxton (Miller) to throw into. If you can’t run the ball, you see all kinds of complicated coverages. But it has been pretty clean for him because they’ve had to defend the run.”
Meyer said WR Evan Spencer has been slowed in practice but should be full-go for the game. Also he said Miller is fine and not experiencing any lingering issues with his knee.
“We rested him on Sunday,” Meyer said.
Meyer reflected on the 63-14 win over Penn State.
“That was an explosive atmosphere,” he said. “Our players jumped all over it early in the game. I don’t want to say I was surprised, but I was waiting for it, too.”
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