COLUMBUS — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Monday his team still is somewhere between being angry and trying to move on after the loss to Oklahoma revealed glaring fundamental problems with quality of play as well as play-calling.
The Ohio State passing game was terrible, and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield carved up the Buckeyes secondary as the Sooners romped to a 31-16 victory at Ohio Stadium on Saturday night . Ohio State running backs all but disappeared, leaving Meyer to question the play-calling of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. Quarterback J.T. Barrett ran the ball 18 times, often on zone reads, compared with 16 total carries by tailbacks J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber.
Meyer said everything is being evaluated this week before Army visits Saturday, although he continues to be resolute that Barrett’s starting job is not in danger.
“You go from devastated and crushed to pissed, and then you have to move forward as a leader and get going,” Meyer said. “We’re somewhere between two and three right now, the pissed and moving forward. Our players, they’re resilient. They get over things quickly so it’s our job to get over them quickly and move forward and fix the problems that caused the failing.”
Ohio State dropped from No. 2 to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 , while Oklahoma zoomed from No. 5 to No. 2.
Meyer said the play-calling will be evaluated. He and players made much in the preseason about a new focus on downfield passing, but through two games Barrett and the Buckeyes have shown limited improvement from last year, when their inability to throw the ball downfield tripped them up against better opponents.
“Fortunately we haven’t too many (losses), but you know me well enough that the B-word doesn’t come out — we’re not blaming anybody,” Meyer said. “There are some guys who didn’t play particularly well, and I usually don’t bring that up very often.”
Meyer said he reassured Barrett after the game and will try to make sure he remains confident.
“I think he’s confident in me, and he understands I’ve been here before,” Barrett said, noting that Meyer stuck with him in 2014 after he lost to Virginia Tech early in the season. “And so I’ve been here before. I didn’t play that bad. But definitely didn’t play up to par as far as putting us in the best situation to win.”
Meyer acknowledged that none of the six receivers in the rotation has emerged as a go-to guy, as was the hope.
Meyer said receiver Austin Mack is “feeling much better today” after his helmet hit the turf while make a jumping catch near the sideline against Oklahoma. He is probable for the Army game.
Weber nursed a hamstring pull during the preseason and still isn’t quite 100 percent. Meyer said it “tugged on him a little bit” in the game, limiting him to 29 yards on three carries.