COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 3 Ohio State had last weekend off, and Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer went to watch his daughter play volleyball.
Meyer took his iPad so he could watch a little football, too, the first time he’s really watched anyone but Ohio State and upcoming Ohio State opponents this season. Meyer watched plenty of his own team on film last week and watched it on the practice field, too. Now that he has some point of comparison, he feels his team stacks up well with the other perceived contenders for college football’s big prizes.
“I think we’re right there,” Meyer said Monday. “I think we’re a good team. We’re not explosive. Some of these teams are explosive teams.
“I watched Clemson really closely, and every once in a while you play football against a very well-prepared team and they take away some of that explosiveness. It happens. It’s not necessarily what Clemson did wrong, it’s what Boston College did right, and we run into the same things. That’s something, if I had to grade us, we’re not explosive from the first to the fourth quarter.”
Through the off-season Meyer said he appreciated the attention and his team’s lofty preseason rankings but was careful to say “we’re not there yet” when the subject of anything beyond the regular season was discussed. He said he hesitates to offer a guess on where teams should rank nationally because “the human element gets involved,” and he’s been through enough seasons to know that the best teams in early October aren’t always the best teams in early December.
With so much football left, Meyer said his reaction to any discussion of where the Buckeyes might end up is, “wait a minute. We’re just trying to have a really good practice today.
“I really like this team. Where are we? I don’t know. We’re 6-0, doing our best to get first downs and stop people.”
ON THE MEND — Meyer said sophomore defensive tackle Tommy Schutt “is a go” and “a very welcomed back player” as he’s set to return from a preseason foot injury this week. Senior running back Jordan Hall is also due back at practice Monday after missing the Northwestern game with a knee injury.
Linebacker Curtis Grant lost his father of the same name on Oct. 8. The funeral was Monday in Virginia, and Meyer said he expects Grant to be back with the team and to play Saturday vs. Iowa.
“We’re 100 percent behind him, like (we would be) with any player,” Meyer said.