Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor
The No. 16-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) will close out their non-conference schedule this Saturday, Sept. 22, when they host the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Coach Urban Meyer discussed his team’s upcoming opponent and Big Ten conference woes during the Big Ten coaches weekly teleconference Tuesday.
Through two games, UAB (0-2) has been anything but prolific on offense. The Blazers rank 110th of 124 teams nationally in points scored, and failed to find the end zone last weekend against South Carolina.
Nonetheless, Meyer said UAB poses concerns for his defense, particularly in the passing game.
“They just throw it down the field a lot,” Meyer said.
The Buckeyes have struggled defending aerial attacks so far this season, allowing an average of more than 283 passing yards per game.
“We’ve seen enough big plays for a season, yet alone just three games,” Meyer said. “And this team is willing to launch it down the field. That’s an issue.”
Big Problem for the Big Ten?
In recent years Big Ten teams have struggled to compete nationally, consistently losing high-profile non-conference games and struggling during bowl season. The trend has continued this season. Only three teams in the conference remain undefeated, and at No. 16, Ohio State is the conference’s highest ranked team in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Meyer said there is only one way for Big Ten teams to silence the criticism and prove that they are among the nation’s elite conferences.
“There’s one answer, go win those non-conference games,” Meyer said. “It’s not because of a lack of players or lack of coaching, they just have to find a way to close the deal. And I think they will.”
Meyer said he hasn’t had a chance to watch much Big Ten football yet this season, but believes that there is still plenty of talent in the conference.
“It’s a long season,” Meyer said. “There are a lot of things that will happen. I think there are a lot of great football teams in the Big Ten conference and I’m sure they will start to surface here real soon.”