Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
No. 5 Ohio State is off this weekend with a bye, but coach Urban Meyer still had plenty to talk about Tuesday at the weekly Big Ten football coaches teleconference. Meyer discussed the Buckeyes’ bye week plans and how his team stacks up against other undefeated teams across the country.
Bye week for the Buckeyes
Heading into a bye week after playing what Meyer called the team’s most complete game of the season, the first-year coach said he’s concerned his team could lose its momentum.
Nonetheless, Meyer said he is confident in his team’s focus as it prepares for a Nov. 17 showdown at Wisconsin.
“I kind of trust these guys now,” Meyer said Tuesday. “I think they understand that we are what we are. We are not a team that can do anything else other than work extremely hard and show up ready to play.”
As for Meyer, he said he will spend some of his weekend off watching college football and visualizing how his team would fare against the teams he is watching, especially while observing the nation’s elite programs.
OSU is one of six undefeated teams remaining, and Meyer said he thinks the Buckeyes could hold their own against the other five.
“I certainly like to think that we could play with those teams,” Meyer said.
Meyer also said there was better than a 50-50 chance that redshirt senior linebacker Etienne Sabino would see action against the Badgers.
Beckman on the Buckeyes
It’s no secret that one of the main reasons for OSU’s 10-0 start is the team’s running game. The Buckeyes rank ninth nationally in rushing yards per game and second in the Big Ten.
Illinois was the most recent victim to OSU’s rushing attack, as the Buckeyes racked up 330 yards on the ground for five touchdowns in last Saturdays 52-22 win against the Illini.
Illinois coach Tim Beckman gave his take on what makes OSU so successful while running the football.
“They’ve got tailbacks. Tailbacks, not just one, that run extremely hard,” Beckman said. “The other thing that I’ve noticed more and more as their season has gone on – I think their receivers are blocking better downfield, which are causing those gains that were 10-yard gains now to be 50-yard gains.”