Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
The Ohio State football team improved to a 6-0 with a 63-38 victory against Nebraska on Saturday, but the news from that game wasn’t all good. OSU coach Urban Meyer said Monday that the team will be without redshirt senior outside linebacker Etienne Sabino due to a broken fibula.
“We’re going to miss him,” Meyer said of Sabino. “He had surgery, had a plate put in … best case (for his return) is 3 weeks, worst-case is longer.”
Meyer also addressed two other injured players, senior running back Jordan Hall and redshirt junior safety C.J. Barnett, who both missed Saturday’s game. Meyer said Hall is “not right yet,” and that Sunday was a “good sign” for Barnett, who was “out there running around.”
In addition to injuries, Meyer addressed many other topics during his weekly press conference Monday.
Addressing possibility of winning AP national championship
While OSU is banned from the postseason this year, and therefore ineligible to play in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, the Buckeyes could still finish the season with the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll should they win all 12 of their games this year. Meyer was asked whether he is OK with his players using that goal as motivation.
“No,” Meyer responded. “We only completed seven passes, and we gave up a bunch of yardage … we’re not going to talk about that stuff.”
Is Braxton Miller a Heisman Trophy candidate?
The Buckeyes remain undefeated halfway through their schedule, and sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller ranks seventh nationally with 763 rushing yards and 14th nationally with 1,823 yards of total offense. Meyer still thinks it is too early, however, for Miller to be considered a favorite for this year’s Heisman Trophy.
“I don’t think Braxton’s a Heisman candidate right now … but then again, I don’t know who is,” Meyer said. “I think at the right time, he will be a candidate, if he continues to play very well.”
Meyer’s Champions Club
Meyer named two players as his co-defensive players of the week for the Nebraska game. Senior defensive end John Simon, who had five tackles for loss on Saturday, was called the team’s “leader” and “soul” by Meyer. Simon was joined in that distinction by redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby, who intercepted two passes on Saturday. Junior safety Christian Bryant was also named a champion by the coaching staff on defense.
Meyer named six players as offensive champions. Junior running back Carlos Hyde, who ran for 140 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday, was the team’s offensive player of the week. Senior fullback Zach Boren, junior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown and three offensive linemen – redshirt junior left tackle Jack Mewhort, junior Andrew Norwell and redshirt junior Corey Linsley – joined him as champions.
Brown was also named special teams player of the week for his 76-yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter. Also recognized for their special teams efforts were freshmen Devan Bogard, Armani Reeves and Najee Murray, along with redshirt sophomore Adam Griffin and redshirt senior Zach Domicone.
Other players in the news
OSU confirmed on Friday that freshman wide receiver Ricquan Southward had left the program. Meyer shed some light on that situation Monday.
“I don’t think he is (still enrolled at OSU). I think he just lost his love for the game, and he wanted to get back closer to home,” Meyer said.
Meyer also said is “still evaluating” whether redshirt junior safety Jamie Wood, who is out for the season following shoulder surgery, will be able to return to the team or be given a medical waiver.
Another player who was not on the sidelines Saturday was freshman quarterback Cardale Jones, who was suspended from the game following a controversial tweet on Friday.
“Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS,” Jones tweeted Friday from his account @Cordale10, which has since been deleted.
Meyer explained why he took action against Jones for his tweet.
“I suspended him immediately for the game, real ignorant comment,” Meyer said. “That’s exactly what it is, a 19-year-old making an ignorant comment. I’ve moved on already, he’s very apologetic … he does go to class … and he’s actually a hell of a kid.”
The environment of Ohio Stadium
Meyer said that the environment created by the fans in Ohio Stadium on Saturday was “tremendous,” while tight ends and fullbacks coach Tim Hinton called it “unbelievable.”
“It was just a phenomenal night and phenomenal atmosphere and really exciting to be a Buckeye,” Hinton said. “Those ‘quick cals’ down in that end zone … I have chills when we’re doing those.”