Urban Meyer said he does not want to look back at the Iowa game last season.
After another 1-point win against then-No. 9 Penn State on Saturday, Ohio State will return to Ohio Stadium in a much similar position to what it was after the win against the Nittany Lions.
The Buckeyes prepare for Indiana on Saturday ranked as high as they have been all season, reaching No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
With the parallels between last year’s Iowa game and this week’s Indiana game, Meyer said in his weekly press conference the team’s approach will need to be consistent, to stay level headed against every opponent it faces.
Meyer said this is not a conversation he has had with his team yet, but it will happen eventually.
“That’s real,” Meyer said. “Especially in places like Ohio State where it will be a really good team, and now prepare for another really good team. That will be the message.”
Even though Meyer would not acknowledge the Iowa game directly, he said Indiana will bring a dangerous team to Columbus on Saturday, but he does not look to the past in terms of preparing for a game very similarly placed to one of two losses last season.
However, when focusing on only his team, Meyer knows one thing.
He said Ohio State has not yet hit its ceiling. But it’s not something the head coach is worried about right now.
“We went on the road twice, against TCU, a top-10 team on the road and Penn State on the road. I don’t know any school in the country that did that this year. We walked away with wins,” Meyer said. “Also we lost one of the top football players in America on defense. We’re just coaching our tails off to make the guys better. Young players have to contribute. The ceiling here is — we don’t have time. We are just working on what we have to worry about.”
Safety position opposite of Jordan Fuller still a competition
After sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor was ejected from the second half of Saturday’s win against Penn State for targeting, something Meyer considered as “going for the ball,” but in regards to player safety, “no time to argue,” the safety position opposite junior Jordan Fuller is still up for grabs.
Meyer said redshirt sophomore Jahsen Wint, redshirt freshman Shaun Wade — who has been playing as a part of Ohio State’s nickel package — and sophomore Brendon White are all candidates to start the first half for Pryor on Saturday.
After allowing Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley to have a career day on Saturday, allowing him to rush for 175 yards and throw for 286 yards and score two touchdowns, Meyer said the defense has to improve in every facet of the game.
“You have to play better,” Meyer said. “I think that’s the same conversation we’ve had. Now we have some new players, but it’s Week 6.”
Meyer said that, like many other teams around the country, Ohio State is a little banged up heading into the sixth game of the season against Indiana.
However, Meyer did say redshirt junior running back Mike Weber, who suffered a foot strain against Tulane and battled through it against Penn State, is getting closer to 100 percent heading into Saturday. The head coach said the fourth-year running back did not play to his full potential on Saturday, with sophomore J.K. Dobbins leading the team in carries.
Meyer also said redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones is probable after suffering an ankle injury against Penn State and redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette is also probable. He also said redshirt junior defensive lineman Robert Landers did not play to his full capabilities on Saturday, but is on track to be 100 percent against Indiana.