Meyer: “Really Good Day Today”
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It has been a quick turnaround.
In just a few short days, Urban Meyer has gone from hardly being able to stomach his food after watching the Buckeyes limp through a 29-15 victory over heavy-underdog UAB, to singing their praises.
“Really good day today,” an upbeat Meyer said after practice Wednesday evening.
Photo by Dan Harker
“The energy. I was hoping I would see a little more…whenever you start playing your conference rivals, you know a lot of these players. I guess these guys grew up together, so you see a little more demeanor to them.”
Meyer made sure to pump up the energy inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Wednesday, where the Buckeyes were practicing indoors to stay out of the drizzling weather hovering over the city this week.
It got so loud on the practice field that quarterback Braxton Miller could barely hear himself think as he ran the offense in preparation for what should be the best defense he will face all season.
“No, not really,” Miller said of whether he could hear anything during practice.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“They put a whole bunch of stadium music on. So, it was really loud. I couldn’t hear a lot of times and we’re using hand signals and things.”
The use of hand signals is nothing new for the Buckeyes on offense, but it will be tough for Miller to yell out his code words to the offensive line on Saturday. Ohio State hasn’t played up in Spartan Stadium since 2008, when Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells lit up the Spartans during a 45-7 rout.
There wasn’t much more for Michigan State fans to cheer about in 2006, when Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez led Ohio State to a 38-7 victory in East Lansing.
Meyer is expecting a different atmosphere on Saturday.
“It will be a loud stadium. I’ve been there before,” he said Wednesday.
“When I was at Notre Dame we were up there. I think they’re right on you. I think they’re right there, and it’s not the Buckeye fans that are right there. It wasn’t the Irish fans either.”
Meyer was already familiar with Ohio State’s rivalry with Michigan State before he ever took the head job in Columbus.
“Sure because I grew up here,” the Ashtabula, Ohio native said.
“I remember the great games and the great wars when coach (Woody) Hayes was the coach here and Duffy Daugherty was the coach (at Michigan State). George Perles. I got to know him pretty well and he took care of us a few times.”
No one is going to be taking care of Meyer and the Buckeyes during their first round voyage this week. Certainly not Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, who still has some familiarity with this OSU team.
Dantonio worked with Luke Fickell in Columbus when he was the defensive coordinator, but he also knows Ohio State’s new head coach.
“Pretty well,” Meyer said.
“Obviously our backgrounds are very similar. He reached out to me when he was at UC, where I went to school. I came up there one time and spoke at his clinic. Quality guy.”
We’ll see if he’s still saying that after the game on Saturday.
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