Tuesday briefing: Pressure produces sacks

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
3:17
PM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick hitters from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday afternoon.

Sack attack: The Buckeyes dialed up more blitzes and produced the intended effect.

A couple linebackers both got to the quarterback and recorded a sack, and an exotic pressure from the secondary led to one from cornerback Bradley Roby.

But that was only half of the head-turning total of six sacks Ohio State posted in the win over California to silence some early skepticism about its ability to get after a passer. The other half came from good, old-fashioned victories by the guys up front -- just as Meyer had been begging for after two quiet games.

"We were a little more aggressive in the play-calling on defense, and that helped," Meyer said. "I think half the sacks came from pressure, and three of them were guys beating guys. I think that’s the balance we want.

"We were a little conservative to start the season."

A more proactive approach kept the heat on the Golden Bears, though the Buckeyes had other issues pop up even while piling up sacks.

Cal finished with 288 passing yards, hit a few explosive plays down the field and also completed a 19-yard strike for a touchdown in the losing effort -- and another opponent willing to air it out is coming to Ohio Stadium on Saturday when the Buckeyes host UAB.

"The thing that concerns us the most are the plays downfield," Meyer said. "We’ve given up far too many big plays already, and the fact that they’re willing, daring or whatever you want to call it -- this is as many deep balls as we’ll see in one game.

"They just throw it down the field a lot, they have very athletic receivers [with] the quarterback, that’s the thing that concerns us."

Carrying the flag: Meyer caught the second half of the Michigan State-Notre Dame on Saturday night once he made it home.

But that's about the extent of his Big Ten study so far, so he wasn't interested in assessing the state of the league after a rough couple weeks or where his team fits in the conference picture as its highest-rated program in the AP poll after three weeks.

"I’ve not seen enough of the Big Ten. Obviously I’m going to get a dose of it the following week," Meyer said. "It’s a long season, there are a lot of things that happen and I think there’s a lot of great teams in the Big Ten conference. I’m sure they’ll start to surface here real soon."

The amount of film on those teams will also pick up dramatically soon once the Buckeyes are done with UAB this week. But Meyer at least has a head start on the Spartans, who will start conference play against Ohio State on Sept. 29 in East Lansing, Mich.

He said it: "If we don’t figure this stuff out, how to be more consistent on offense, how to tackle better on defense and eliminate the nonsense penalties, you will lose the game. The good thing here is we’re not dealing with people that don’t understand it. You come here to Ohio State to win the games, so it’s not an issue of understanding, it’s an issue of doing it. Let’s get it done in practice, get better and go. I’m excited, I can’t wait. We’re 3-0 and we’ve got so much room for improvement." -- Meyer, assessing the Buckeyes after three weeks

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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