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Football: Urban Meyer says Ohio State isn’t yet a playoff team in Big Ten Championship Game Coaches Teleconference

Urban Meyer prepares to lead the Buckeyes onto the field prior the start of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Even after a 62-39 win against then-No. 4 Michigan, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer still isn’t ready to call his team a championship contender.

“I don’t think we are yet,” Meyer said. “I think certain areas of our team are, I think certain are not.”

After the Buckeyes put up the most points in regulation the Wolverines have ever given up, the Associated Press Top 25 Poll moved Ohio State up four spots to No. 6, narrowly trailing No. 5 Oklahoma.

Meyer said his team “went about things a little bit differently” in the week prior to the Michigan game because of the rivalry, and that he doesn’t believe the talk of making the College Football Playoff “has any impact at all on this week of practice.”

For Meyer, it shouldn’t be taken for granted to even be considered as a top team in the league.

“When you start using terms like national championships and playoffs, that is very rare air,” Meyer said.

With Ohio State assumedly still on the outside looking in for the playoff, it might need to not only win, but win big, against No. 19 Northwestern on Saturday.

Meyer isn’t even thinking about that.

“We’re trying to win the Big Ten Championship,” Meyer said.

Ohio State loses a starter on the offensive line

Much of the fourth quarter in the Ohio State-Michigan game was garbage time.

The Buckeyes put away the Wolverines early, and on their final drive, they were driving down the field with a chance to drop as much as 70 against their rivals.

Then, potential disaster struck when redshirt senior left guard Demetrius Knox went down, and needed to be taken off the field in a cart.

On Sunday, Meyer said the team will be without Knox for its game against Northwestern.

Meyer said redshirt freshman guard Wyatt Davis is expected to replace Knox in the lineup.

Davis’ potential, according to Meyer, is “unlimited.”

“Very talented, and he’s a tough guy” Meyer said. “He’s surrounded by a really good group, so that’s where I’ve seen his growth.”

Haskins strives for the Mamba mentality

Coming into his redshirt sophomore season, quarterback Dwayne Haskins had the throwing ability to be a starter, he just needed to gain the leadership, Meyer said.

To do this, Meyer said Haskins studied NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant.

Meyer also said a lot of credit goes to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day.

“That’s one of the best development jobs I’ve ever seen,” Meyer said.

In the past two games, Haskins has gained momentum in the run game, rushing for three scores against Maryland.

The first play of the game against Michigan was a designed Haskins run, and Meyer said the redshirt sophomore quarterback has the ability to be a threat on the ground.

“Just the threat makes people play a little more clean, a little more contained,” Haskins said. “Dwayne certainly has the athleticism to at least be a threat.”

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