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Urban Meyer: Ohio State focused on ‘excellent’ Minnesota team

With much of the talk surrounding Ohio State football concerning the College Football Playoff rankings, coach Urban Meyer said he’s more focused on the task at hand during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference.

After beating then-No. 7 Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes have their sights set on Minnesota — which is coming off a 51-14 thrashing of Iowa. Meyer said the Golden Gophers — who have just a pair of losses this season — are a team that deserves OSU’s full attention.

  • Meyer said the Buckeyes “spend every second” of their day working to avoid a letdown against Minnesota.
  • He said the Golden Gophers’ win against Iowa was their best performance of the season.
  • Meyer on Minnesota: “This is an excellent team that’s in my opinion a top-25 team without question.”
  • On whether he would coach a fourth quarter differently in order to impress voters, Meyer said: “Of course not. You do what you have to do to win a game.”
  • In reference to sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson’s two fumbles and dropped passes against Michigan State, Meyer said mistakes don’t send players straight to the bench, but a lack of effort does. Wilson stayed in the game and ended up catching a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter in East Lansing, Mich. “If it was lack of effort, he’s out of the game in a second.”
  • Meyer said he’d “never want to have a place where people are scared to make a mistake.”
  • He said the cold weather expected at Minnesota — a high of 28 degrees is predicted for Saturday — is simply “part of the game.” He added that both teams have to deal with it just the same.
  • Meyer said Minnesota’s defense is similar to that of Michigan State’s. He added the Golden Gophers have a “stop the run mentality.”
  • He said sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa has “come a long way,” but Meyer added he thought Bosa could be an impact player from the start.
  • Meyer said redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has a “relentless approach to everything he does.” He compared Barrett’s focus on preparation to two of his former quarterbacks in Tim Tebow (Florida) and Alex Smith (Utah).

The Buckeyes are scheduled to play the Golden Gophers on Saturday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon.

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