Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes square off with the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners in the prime-time matchup at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium on ABC. During Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, Meyer listed three main areas of concern — pass coverage from corners and linebackers, blocking by the interior offensive line and downfield passing accuracy — he plans to address during practice this week.
Meyer unsurprisingly announced Monday that running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will both play against Oklahoma. On Tuesday, he still did not know in what capacity the two would see the field.
“They’ll both certainly play and I think they’re good complements to each other,” Meyer said. “Kind of remains to be seen on how we use it. But they’ll both play.”
Meyer also provided an update on quarterback Joe Burrow’s recovery from surgery on a broken hand. hand. He said Burrow has begun throwing the ball and is “pretty close” to returning.
Here are some more updates from Meyer’s teleconference session.
On Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield: “Well, we studied them all in the offseason. He’s just a — he’s one of the best players in America. So, no, I think he’s carrying on what he does and that’s playing that position very uniquely and very aggressively. He’s a heck of a player.”
On Oklahoma first-year coach Lincoln Riley: “I talked to [former Oklahoma] coach [Bob] Stoops who is a friend of mine. We just were talking and he [said], ‘It was the right time, we had the right guy in place.’ When Bob Stoops says that, that tells you all I need to know about their new coach. You don’t make it to that level and have a guy like Bob Stoops put his name on you without being excellent. And that’s what he is.”
On where Mike Weber has improved from last year to this year: “His seriousness. Him and [strength and conditioning coach Mick Marotti] have worked very hard as he’s faster than he’s ever been. He’s in the best shape of his life. He re-made his body. He used to be kind of a chunky player, now he’s lost some weight. He’s strong, fast. He’s had a great offseason, that’s why he was so disappointed when he got the hamstring injury. He looks fantastic.”
On Jerome Baker’s growth as a player: “Maturity is probably the key word. He’s very much matured. Just little things like his academics, his performance off the field. Obviously, his performance on the field last year was excellent. This year, his performance on the field, but it’s just his attention to detail from little things like his body weight to his academic performance and seriousness. So he’s just grown up and that’s nice to see.”