(Updated for Meyer’s comments during the Big Ten coaches teleconference)
Just mentioning the name Urban Meyer these days elicits strong opinions. He is undeniably one of the best college football coaches today, if not all-time. He has the 2018 Buckeyes right where he’s had them virtually every year, and where he had Florida virtually every year before that — in the heart of the national title hunt.
As you know all too well by now, this past offseason was about much more than coaching football for Urban Meyer.
We’re not even going to dip our toe into the intricacies of that subject, which resulted in Meyer being suspended for the first three games of the season. It has been written about and discussed ad nauseam at this point, and we wouldn’t claim to have all of the facts or pretend to know what the right answer is.
But we can confidently say this — almost any other coach in America (save for Nick Saban) would have been fired. We live in a politically correct, optics driven society, where even when the facts are on your side, the mob can bring you down.
Again, we don’t know if Urban Meyer had the facts on his side — the point here is that for just about anyone else, it wouldn’t have mattered. The optics were that bad. And for Meyer to still have his job, it means he is that good. So good that Ohio State was willing to stand by him and take all of the backlash that has come with their decision to suspend rather than fire.
You’ll have to go elsewhere for a strong take on whether Urban Meyer should have been fired. There is no shortage of opinions out there. Our only point here is to emphasize, with IU headed to Columbus this weekend, just how good of a coach Meyer is. Accordingly, when he speaks about Indiana, we take note.
On Indiana’s Defense
Meyer was asked about his initial perceptions of Indiana’s defense, with the reporter noting that IU’s defense has played “pretty well.”
“No, they’ve played very well (on defense). They’ve got a bunch of new starters, their scheme is outstanding, they’re very well coached, and they’ve got answers for everything. We’re just knee deep in it now, but that’s my initial reaction, and obviously very good players.”
On How Indiana’s Passing Attack Compares to Last Year
As you likely recall, IU’s Richard Lagow had a big game against OSU last year, going 40 for 65 through the air for 410 yards and three touchdowns (along with two interceptions). Meyer was asked about that and how he expects IU to approach things this year.
“This quarterback they have, and I’ve not studied him yet, that’s usually on Wednesday, they have a guy that’s a dual threat from Cincinnati, Ramsey, that’s a gutsy player man, and he’s one of those guys that creates something out of nothing. So it depends on what your facing. Last year’s quarterback that they started was more of a drop back and he was dropping seeds on people. This guy (Ramsey) is a very good thrower, but he’s got the other element.”
During Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, Meyer had high praise for Ramsey, even comparing him to Penn State’s Trace McSorley, who had nearly 500 total yards against the Buckeyes last weekend.
“He extends plays, he’s rugged, he moves the chains,” Meyer said of Ramsey.
Meyer discusses a number of things in the video below, mostly focused on his team and the Penn State game, but he is first asked about Indiana at around the 21:30 mark. Throughout the video he also referred to Indiana as “very good” and “very dangerous.”
(Note: There are also a couple non-IU related moments in this video that are entertaining, including at the 13:45 mark)
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