During the bye week, Ohio State had some players who needed to rest up after suffering injuries in the weeks prior. Now, moving into Saturday’s game against Nebraska, head coach Urban Meyer said in Tuesday’s Big Ten Coaches Teleconference that the majority of the injured players are good to go.
With a depleted defensive line, after the loss of All-American defensive end Nick Bosa, Meyer said redshirt junior defensive lineman Robert Landers will be back next week.
Meyer acknowledged that even while playing through some injuries, Landers is back to being the kind of player he was last season.
“(Landers) has not been the same,” Meyer said. “He had injuries all along this fall and he is one of our better players there. He is full-speed now. He is bringing that same energy he does when he is healthy.”
Meyer also said sophomore offensive lineman Thayer Munford has been resting after injuring his hip, but practiced yesterday and is ready to go for the game against the Cornhuskers.
After each player suffered an injury in Ohio State’s Oct. 20 loss to Purdue, Meyer said sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette and senior wide receiver C.J. Saunders will play on Saturday.
Meyer still focuses on balanced offensive attack
After the records redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke against Purdue, completing 49-of-73 pass attempts for 470 yards and two touchdowns, Meyer said the Ohio State offense needs to go back to its 250/250 approach.
The head coach said it’s something that Haskins is aware of, but the team might lean a bit more pass-heavy than usual.
“With a guy like Dwayne, it might be a bit higher in one area. When you have another type of quarterback, it’s a little higher in the other area, but you have to have balance and we are experiencing that now,” Meyer said. “Dwayne knows that and he’s obviously a very smart guy. He understands the game and that has to happen.”
Even if the Ohio State offense focuses more on the passing game, Meyer said both sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior running back Mike Weber are not happy with the lack of success they have been having.
“They are both very frustrated, as we all are, as the offensive line is,” Meyer said. “There’s times where you have to make your own hole and plow through it and get positive yards. We worked extremely hard on that during the bye week, but frustration is a right word. They are great people and they want to do well first, for the team, but they are prideful guys. They want to rip through and get some big yards.”
Meyer said that Isaiah Prince, as one of the leaders on the offensive line, has been playing well overall, saying he has done a good job leading the unit in practice.
However, when asked about personnel changes in the front five after the 49-20 loss to the Boilermakers, Meyer said redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Davis has been pushing himself into the conversation for a more prominent role.
“He is very close. Those are conversations that have been had,” Meyer said. “It will continue, but he is a guy that has to be one of our most improved players from the summer until now.”