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Urban Meyer: Keeping momentum will be key coming out of bye week, young offense is developing

Just five games and seven weeks into the season, the Ohio State football team has already found itself with two bye weeks.

The Buckeyes (5-1, 1-0) are scheduled to return to the field this weekend, two weeks removed from their 52-24 win against Maryland on Oct. 4. On Monday, OSU coach Urban Meyer met with members of the media to discuss the unusual early-season breaks, the development of offensive skill players and the talent on his young roster.

  • Meyer said the Buckeyes have to find a way to keep the momentum going after a week off between the Maryland win and the week leading up to a matchup with Rutgers.
  • He called the second early-season bye week “a little bit of uncharted waters for myself.”
  • Meyer called Rutgers’ last game — a 26-24 win against Michigan on Oct. 4 — a “tremendous effort.”
  • Meyer: “We’re a young team that’s getting older.” He said the young players on both sides of the ball are continuing to develop and contribute.
  • He said he will talk to the team “like grown men” to discuss keeping the momentum going this week.
  • Meyer said the Buckeyes are “no where near where we will end up.” Said the team is “still growing” and “much better” than where it was two weeks ago.
  • He said the defensive line needs to find more depth, young players need to step up and contribute.
  • Meyer said the OSU offensive coaching staff adapts well to the available personnel. Had to adapt to a new-look group this season.
  • He said the offensive staff is in charge of the product on the field as long as the players have the talent, which is the case at OSU.
  • Meyer said he would “always go defense first” if given the option in an overtime game.
  • He said it makes no difference that he and his players haven’t gone up against Rutgers before and said its win against Michigan caught his eye.
  • Meyer said he voted Mississippi No. 1 on his ballot this week.
  • He said he wishes more true freshmen — like freshman linebacker Sam Hubbard — were playing this season, but added it’s not worth wasting a year of eligibility for a player to get into games for a handful of snaps.
  • Meyer: “This is an extremely young team that got hit in the face in training camp with some injuries.”
  • He said despite those injuries, “the cool thing is we had a redshirt-freshman quarterback grow up right in front of our eyes.”
  • He said credit is due for a few guys — Barrett, redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett and redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas — who weren’t really factors in the past.
  • With 13 of 24 starters being freshmen or sophomores, Meyer said it’s “a good sign for the future” at OSU.
  • Meyer said injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller gave the Buckeyes the “wow factor,” which isn’t as prominent with Barrett under center.
  • He said he feels better about the offensive skill this season than he has in the past.
  • Meyer said redshirt-senior running back Rod Smith was a “non-factor” during the spring but is now a strong contributor.

The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the field on Saturday to take on Rutgers at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

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