Urban Meyer’s stated goal at the outset of the current season was to put his team in position to compete for championships in the month of November. That time has finally arrived.
Meyer and the No. 3 Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0) will bid farewell to their seniors on Senior Day on Saturday at Ohio Stadium, as well as a notable draft-eligible player. Ohio State will then play Indiana for a chance to claim the program’s second consecutive Leaders Division title and its first-ever berth to the Big Ten Championship Game.
“That’s why you come to Ohio State as a coach or a player,” Meyer said during his Wednesday press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “To get to November and play for a championship, and they know that now. It’s not like we’re talking about that yet. Tuesday and Wednesday are for getting ready for (Indiana).”
In addition to the seniors that will step on the Ohio Stadium turf for the final time, redshirt junior corner Bradley Roby will play his last collegiate home game, too. Meyer confirmed that he and Roby discussed his remaining year of eligibility and agreed that it was time for the player to move on.
“We talked and he’s going to go move on,” Meyer said. “And that’s all you ask. You don’t ask for five years nowadays. Not probably, he’s gone. … I think it’s great for him (and) great for Ohio State.
As for those players that have exhausted their eligibility, the Senior Day festivities will honor a class that Meyer said was unique and different compared to the 2012 seniors. The class’ personality, he said, is derived mostly from the seniors on the offensive line, including Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley and Andrew Norwell. Meyer also mentioned the impact that safety C.J. Barnett and running back Carlos Hyde have had on the Buckeyes, lauding both players for climbing from the depths of the roster just a couple years ago to becoming key cogs in the current 22-game winning streak.
“It’s emotional,” Meyer said of bidding farewell to the seniors. “Not every senior class is good. For some of them it’s time to go, time to move on with their careers. The last two (senior classes) we’ve had here have been not good but great. That’s going to be real hard. Once again, that’s not because they’re seniors. It’s because of what they’ve done.”
As for the Hoosiers, currently the No. 14-ranked scoring offense in America, Meyer said he is concerned about Indiana's prolific attack but is also encouraged by the return of injured players to all phases of the game.
Linebackers Curtis Grant )ankle, back) and Joshua Perry (head), absent from the Illinois victory because of injury, both practiced on Wednesday and will play Saturday against the Hoosiers, Meyer said.
“Josh is a go. Curtis practiced, he’ll probably be about 80 or 90 percent,” Meyer said.
Perry will rejoin the special teams unit, Meyer added.
Freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa, who totaled 2.5 sacks and four tackles in less than one half against the Fighting Illini but was forced from the game with a neck injury, will also play against Indiana. Mewhort is also “good to go" for the Indiana game, Meyer said, after tweaking his knee last week in practice.