WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Last season, after No. 5 Ohio State lost to Iowa 55-24, former Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price addressed the team. This season, after the Buckeyes’ 49-20 loss to Purdue, senior offensive lineman Isaiah Prince did the same thing.
For redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin, the offensive and defensive lines are where the leaders of Ohio State are.
“Our program is prided on our O-line and D-line and for someone to step up and say something at a time like this, it’s necessary.” McLaurin said.
What was the overall message? It was the same one McLaurin heard after Iowa.
“There’s no pointing fingers,” McLaurin said. “We just have to look in the mirror and see what we could have done better. We got hit in the mouth, but it’s about how you come back from it.”
Ohio State will have a couple of weeks to figure out what went wrong in Indiana against Purdue before its next game.
The Buckeyes will enter its bye week after the loss to the Boilermakers, with its next game being against Nebraska on Nov. 3 in Ohio Stadium.
The goal heading into the bye week for head coach Urban Meyer remains the same whether or not his team won or lost to Purdue.
“We’re 7-1, and our objective is get to be 8-1 and find a way to get these things fixed in the bye week and get some guys healthy,” Meyer said. “We’re on fumes in the back end of our defense right now, so we gotta get some guys healthy.”
Ohio State was without redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette during its loss to the Boilermakers, who did not travel with the team after suffering an undisclosed injury against Minnesota. In the Purdue game, both junior wide receiver Austin Mack and sophomore Jeffrey Okudah left the game with injuries.
But even with the injuries, there are persistent issues on both offense and defense that Meyer knows he will need to address prior to the next game against the Cornhuskers.
McLaurin said this is something that a loss brings to light. It brings an aggressiveness, a seriousness to future games for Ohio State.
“When you are on a roll, it’s not like you feel like you can’t get touched, but you don’t know what that taste is like to lose,” McLaurin said. “It almost makes you recalibrated and get your mind right, look yourself in the mirror, all of us men in the locker room and see what you can do to get better. Not what the guy next to you can do, what you can do.”
Going into Ohio State’s last game before its bye week, the team thought it came in prepared, with Meyer saying he thought the Buckeyes came in with “a good week of work.” However, with losses come evaluation.
Evaluation needs time, which is something Ohio State has on its side. But it is an idea that players have to buy into.
Even though McLaurin would not share exactly what was said when Prince spoke to the team after the 29-point loss, he hopes the players heard what was said.
“I just hope everybody is in there listening and looking how we are going to get better from this,” McLaurin said. “You can’t say everything is going good when we come back and beat Penn State and we lose this and it’s all, ‘woe is me.’ You gotta take the good with the bad and you just have to look at how you can get better personally.”