Meyer unhappy about way OSU started Iowa game
COLUMBUS — Buckeye head football coach Urban Meyer wasn’t thinking about Shakespeare after Saturday’s win over Iowa, but he undoubtedly would agree – to a degree – with the Bard of Avon who once wrote, “All’s well that ends well.”
Although the game had the desired ending when the Buckeyes won 34-24, Meyer does have some concerns.
Pointing out it’s been twice this season that Buckeyes have come back from being behind, he added, ” … for some reason we’re not starting as fast as we used to. So I’m going to address that real hard tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday and Tuesday in practice because we have to go, because some day it’s not going to turn out that way.”
Iowa outscored the Buckeyes 10-3 in the first quarter and was ahead at the half. It was the first time this season OSU has been outscored in the first quarter.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa head coach, is a realist. “You don’t get prizes for playing a good first half,” he said. “You have to play the full 60 minutes. I think we realize it’s a matter of what do we have to do to be in a better situation the next time we get this chance.”
Iowa sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock, commented the Hawkeyes had good tempo on the offense during the first half before adding, “The line did a great job and gave us time to get the ball out. The running backs saw their holes and we wanted to continue that but unfortunately, we didn’t get it done.”
Even though the Buckeyes’ start wasn’t pretty, OSU continued the nation’s longest winning streak. Their 19-game streak is the second longest in school history.
There also were several firsts in the game, including OSU running back Carlos Hyde’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter being the first rushing TD allowed by the Hawkeyes this season. Iowa’s opponents had carried the ball 215 times since the Hawkeyes last surrendered a rushing touchdown.
Hyde’s acrobatic touchdown run was something to see. He described it as “a basic sweep play. Braxton (Miller, quarterback) read it right, gave it to me and I followed my blocks. I thought the safety had me, but I managed to stay up. When I saw Philly Brown with the block, I got excited and knew I had it.”
Describing Hyde’s run as “God-given,” Miller added, “To be tackled like that and keep moving forward, that’s sweet.”
Miller and Hyde each rushed for more than 100 yards, the first time OSU had two backs with 100-yard games since last year vs. Indiana. These two players combined to each rush for 100 yards against both Nebraska and Indiana last year.
Meyer is one of 41 known head coaches at the highest level of collegiate coaching to guide a team to a winning streak of at least 20 games, including 19 at OSU and one in Florida. However, with Saturday’s win, he is believed to be the first major college coach to have at least three such streaks.
Asked about that record, Meyer said, “Some day, I imagine when I’m an old guy sitting somewhere, they’ll say that’s kind of cool. But right now, it means I’m blessed to have a bunch of very good players and a bunch of great coaches.”
The coach said what OSU wants to do now is to beat Penn State Saturday. “And our focus – I wish I had our guys living on a desert island, cuz I don’t want to hear anything else except to go win No. 8.”
MY PLACE in the press box was especially interesting Saturday. Sitting just down the row from my chair were Bill Myles and his wife as well as Steve Snapp, who served in various posts in OSU’s Department of Athletics, beginning in 1973. One of those important posts was as sports information director.
I remember when my late husband, Cal, interviewed Myles when he was still working at OSU, and he had some interesting anecdotes about legendary OSU coach Woody Hayes. Myles worked as the Buckeyes’ offense tackles coach between 1977 and 1984.
In 1985, he left coaching to become OSU’s assistant director of athletics. Then in 1998, he returned to the football staff as director of football operations.
After the team led by head football coach John Cooper defeated Michigan 31-16 in 1998 and earned the Big Ten championship, Cooper commented, “I’m happy for the program. I’m happy for Andy Geiger (athletic director at that time), Archie Griffin, and Bill Myles. I’m obviously happy for our senior class and our entire football team.” OSU then defeated Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl, 24-14.
Myles’ wife told me that her husband has written a book that has been sent to a publisher. Considering his years in athletics and his association with memorable coaches, it should be an unique look at the Buckeyes.
Pokas can be reached at email@example.com.