On Monday following Ohio State’s 34-27 win in Bloomington, Indiana, OSU coach Urban Meyer addressed the media to discuss thoughts about the Indiana game and where his team stands heading into its Week 6 matchup against Maryland.
Here are three topics that were covered by the coach.
During the second half against Indiana, redshirt wide receiver Corey Smith was carted off the field with a leg injury suffered when a pile of players rolled up on him.
It was alluded to after the game that the Akron native was out for the year. On Monday, Meyer confirmed it.
“My heart bleeds for that guy, and so do the rest of our team,” Meyer said.
Smith had 20 catches for 255 yards in 2014 and this year had five grabs for 62 yards. He also played a key role on the coverage side of special teams due to his downfield speed.
Meyer said Smith suffered a “similar injury to Noah Brown,” who was lost for the season with a broken leg during practice before OSU’s first game.
However, Meyer said it is a possibility that Smith’s time in college might not be up as a medical redshirt is a possibility to bring him back for a sixth year.
“From what I understand there’s a chance we can get one more year back,” Meyer said. “We’re going to see what happens.”
Meyer also said that sophomore H-back Curtis Samuel, who did not have any touches in Saturday’s game, was limited in practice all week with back spasms but is doing better, and redshirt freshman wide receiver Parris Campbell should return to action against Maryland after missing two games with a leg injury.
Areas of focus
While OSU topped the Hoosiers to stay undefeated and top-ranked in the nation, Meyer said there are two ongoing areas of concern that plague the team: red-zone offense and turnovers.
Meyer called them “two areas of strength in the past” that “are not strengths right now.”
The Buckeyes had three turnovers against Indiana — two fumbles lost by redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall and an interception by redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones.
The Buckeyes have committed 13 turnovers so far this year: seven interceptions and six lost fumbles. Their minus-four turnover margin is 101st in the country.
OSU’s red-zone scoring rate of 75 percent ranks 108th in the nation. In 16 trips to the red zone, the Buckeyes have scored six touchdowns, hit six field goals and have come up empty four times. None of the six touchdowns were of the passing variety.
Meyer said a discussion has happened about using a two-quarterback system with redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett stepping in for Jones inside the 20-yard line, but no decision has been made.
Redshirt senior Braxton Miller did not factor in much on Saturday’s box score, but Meyer felt happy enough with the H-back’s performance to designate him a “champion” from the game.
Miller had one run for 14 yards, and caught the first pass of the game for a large loss of nine yards. He was also flagged for a chop block that took away a touchdown.
“He deserves touches,” Meyer said. “He’s an electric player with the ball in his hand. We just have not got him loose the last couple of games.”
Meyer praised Miller’s perimeter blocking against Indiana, and pointed out that while Miller graded out as a champion on Saturday, he did not in the opener at Virginia Tech despite producing 140 yards of offense and two touchdowns.