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Football: Urban Meyer addresses offensive line, controversial issues in Monday news conference

Facing the No. 1 rush defense in the country on Saturday, Ohio State found some success in its running game, especially in the second half, recording 106 yards on 26 rushes.

In what head coach Urban Meyer considered “his best game” of the season, redshirt junior running back Mike Weber rushed for 104 yards, scoring a two-yard touchdown run near the end of the fourth quarter to secure Ohio State’s 26-6 win.

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Meyer praised the offensive line, grading out senior left tackle Isaiah Prince, redshirt senior right tackle Demetrius Knox and sophomore left guard Thayer Munford as champions.

But he did say the Ohio State offensive line still has a ways to go moving forward.

“I think we can play a little bit better,” Meyer said. “That was a rugged day now. That was — it’s not exactly where we need to be. But I think I am satisfied with where we’re at.”

Meyer said last week that redshirt junior offensive lineman Branden Bowen and redshirt senior center Brady Taylor have each returned from injury, but are not in the starting rotation for the offensive line. He said Monday that redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis would be the next man in on the offensive line.

When asked about the struggles of junior center Michael Jordan, with his inconsistencies snapping the ball, Meyer said he was concerned that it’s continued to be a problem throughout the season. However, the head coach said he sees a player, in Jordan, that continues to work hard, highlighting that he had been graded as a champion multiple times this season.

“Work really hard at it,” Meyer said. “He was out there yesterday working on his, how he holds the ball, and we’re studying and working extremely hard on it.”

Even with the struggles in the middle, Meyer said he did see progress from the entire offensive line against the Spartans on Saturday.

“That’s the only thing I’ll say about our offensive line now is that: Are we where we need to be? No. Do they grind and work and fight and spit and everything they can? You know we made a big point of the last, the fourth quarter in that game now,” Meyer said. “And against that once again — and great respect. I talk about that program all the time, because I do. And that defense, that’s as good a rush defense as I’ve seen.”

Meyer responds to controversial topics

Former Ohio State wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith broke his silence on Sunday, going on Twitter and posting accusations against former Ohio State offensive coordinator and current Texas head coach Tom Herman.

When asked if he had any reactions to what Smith said about Herman, Meyer was succinct.

“Move on,” he said.

He was just as quick to respond when asked about former Maryland head coach DJ Durkin and the situation involving the death of an offensive lineman during spring practice, leading to questions about the program culture.

Meyer said he is close to Durkin, a former assistant coach under him at Florida and Bowling Green, and his family and said he has talked with the former head coach about the situation. Meyer would not elaborate any more on the subject.

Browning probable for Maryland

After coming into Saturday’s game against Michigan State as a game-time decision and failing to play a snap against the Spartans, sophomore linebacker Baron Browning is probable for Saturday’s game against Maryland according to Meyer.

Meyer would not go in depth on what his injury was.

Without Browning on Saturday, the head coach praised the play of the linebacker unit as a whole.

“Tuf [Borland] had a great day. Graded almost 90 percent. Malik Harrison, 90 percent. Pete Werner, 90 percent,” Meyer said. “One of their best days.”

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