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Meyer loved special teams play vs. Bulls

September 6, 2013
By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

You hear football coaches talk all the time about being strong in all three phases of the game.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer liked what he saw from his offense and defense, at times, but he fell in love with his special teams, which are under the direction of Kerry Coombs for the first time.

"Our kicking game was fantastic," Meyer said.

The only aspect Meyer wasn't pleased with in the kicking game was a missed opportunity to block a punt that resulted in a roughing the punter penalty.

True freshman Vonn Bell had three tackles on the kickoff unit, Ron Tanner was the special teams most valuable player, Drew Basil was good on his lone field goal try and the punting game was solid.

On top of those individual stats, the kickoff unit didn't allow Buffalo to start outside of the 20-yard line more than once.

Meyer thinks that Coombs' organization and passion really paid dividends on the specialty units.

"He's a tremendous motivator and very good in front of the team," Meyer said. "I have so much stuff going on, I want to be fair and be able to devote enough time to it. I thought, 'you know what, (Coach Coombs) has earned that right and he's doing a very good job of it.'"

Since his hiring as head coach, Meyer has openly spoke how big of priority he places on special teams. Plus, Meyer stresses the need to be on the special teams units prior to getting onto the field with the offense or defense.

"Our kids understand the priority special teams play for our team," Coombs said. "I think they really play hard as a result of that. I love our kids and how hard they play."


It's well documented that though it'll probably always a football first culture in Ohio, the success of the men's basketball program has been nothing short of impressive in the last few years.

Actually, Ohio State ranks tops in the country in combined winning percentage of men's basketball and football since the start of the 2010-11 season.

Who is second you might be wondering?

San Diego State actually ranks second. The Aztecs have been highly successful with the likes of Brady Hoke guiding the football program and former Michigan head coach Steve Fisher guiding the men's hoop program.


Unlike OSU and Buffalo last week, this wis the fourth meeting between the Buckeyes and Aztecs. All three of the previous meetings have come at Ohio Stadium. The last time the two teams saw each other was in 2005.

Ohio State - behind solid play from quarterback Troy Smith - prevailed by a 27-6 count.


The Buckeyes game will be broadcast nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. and for the second straight weekend, an OSU alumnus will be providing the color action. Sean McDonough will be joined by former Buckeye Chris Spielman in the booth.

Spielman and Meyer worked in the booth together during the 2011 season.

The two have remained close and Meyer actually leans on for advice from time to time.

"I talked to Chris last year at times about tackling," Meyer said. "He's one of those guys who has a very firm belief in tackling. He came in and we talked about it. I'm sure we'll talk this week, and I have absolutely have interest in what he has to say. He knows football."


Style points are going to be critical for the Buckeyes this season if they hope to earn a spot in the final BCS National Championship in January. Saturday's 40-20 victory didn't supply enough, evidently, because the Buckeyes slipped to No. 3 in the AP Poll, but remained No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.



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