Urban Meyer on changes: 'I'm going to take a hard look at some things'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday January 01, 2017
Last time Ohio State lost to Clemson in the 2013 Orange Bowl, Urban Meyer made major changes on the defensive side. After a 31-0 playoff loss to Clemson on Saturday, it’s a question on the other side.
The Buckeyes were inconsistent all season. The team that won at Oklahoma and scored 62 points against Nebraska also struggled against Michigan State and Northwestern and became the first-ever Urban Meyer team to get shut out.
“Same group of guys went to Norman, Okla. and played and won, and went to Madison, Wis. and won in overtime, and then against our rivals, two overtimes,” Meyer said. “And we got beat. So we're going to move on quickly, and my respect for the football players, our team, has not changed. Identify things that have to get better and we will. That's what we do.
“Ohio State is not used to this. I'm not used to this, and we will not get used to this. That's not going to happen again. So we'll get things worked out.”
Curtis Samuel only had six carries, and Mike Weber only had five. Of Ohio State’s 27 fist-half plays, 21 were passes. The offensive gameplan was questioned all night.
“I didn't realize that until you just said it,” Meyer said to the reporter. “That was not the game plan. I think we kind of got taken out of the game plan a little bit. But no, that was our plan, to be balanced. We didn't follow the plan.”
The night featured former QB Cardale Jones and other former Buckeyes criticizing the offensive coaching. Remember a year ago, after losing at home to Michigan State, Ezekiel Elliott called out the OSU offensive coaches. After that, offensive coordinator Ed Warinner moved up to the press box, and the offense exploded in the final two games.
That carried over at times in 2016, but it was never consistent. It’s also worth remembering QB J.T. Barrett was the only returning starting skill player this year. Changes don't necessarily have to be staff changes, but also scheme and culture changes.
“In some regards. I'm going to take a hard look at some things when we get back, and obviously there were some great things this year, some great things,” Meyer said.
“I go back to Norman, Okla. and some other great things. But anytime you struggle a little bit, you always take a hard look.”
The offense hasn’t been the same since Tom Herman left after 2014, and the QB development is one factor. Quarterbacks coach Tim Beck admitted after last season that he wasn’t at his best. Asked if he expects to return for 2017, Beck said it’s up to Meyer.
"I don't know, that's Coach Meyer's decision," Beck said. "I thought I worked really hard and feel good about it. We didn't finish the way we wanted to, obviously. We didn't play a very good game all the way around offensively, and I'm a big part of that.
"I'm one of the leaders of the offense. With that being said, bullets get shot at me and I've got to do a better job and I understand that."