Despite going undefeated in 2012, and coming within one win of making the final BCS National Championship game in 2013, Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is far from satisfied. In fact, he thinks the Buckeyes defense is a serious concern.
In an interview with CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler this week, Meyer candidly spoke about his defense and what he has planned for 2014.
“I have a vision for our defense. I made it clear what I’d like to see. I’d like to challenge every throw and run like hell, to have a defense like we played at Florida. I want to see it. I’m more involved than I’ve ever been … There are a couple of positions that have to play better than they’ve played.”
Meyer has never been squirrely about wanting to mold his team in the image of an SEC squad, and he went a step ever further saying that the defense simply needed a complete overhaul.
“Overhaul. Overhaul. Overhaul it. A little bit like when we came here and we overhauled the offense …What Chris Ash is able to do, we’re overhauling it entirely. Some things will look the same, but there’s a reason why our kids didn’t play very fast last year, and it’s not because of the players. We’re overhauling everything, the terminology, the way we practice, the way we coach. It’s going pretty good. No resistance, no egos, really good people.”
With the Buckeyes having their destiny in their own control coming in to the final weeks of the 2013 season, they escaped with a narrow victory over rival Michigan in the final regular season game, and then were beaten in consecutive games by Michigan State (in the Big 10 championship) and Clemson (in the Discover Orange Bowl). Both times it was Ohio State’s secondary that let them down.
So what if the pass defense had been better? Do the Buckeyes beat the Spartans and play for the Crystal Football?
“Yes. I don’t want to take anything away from Michigan State. They were a great team. They threw for 300 yards on us. You’re not going to win many games that way. When you have to outscore people, that’s going to catch up to you.”
The rest of the Q&A is quite revealing, and gives a good glimpse at how Meyer sees the future of college football offenses progressing.