Urban Meyer returns, Big Ten looks forward

Following a rough Week 3 of college football, the Big Ten is getting some major players back for a potential playoff battle.


Nick Rohlman

Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer addresses the media during Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Anna Kayser, Assistant Sports Editor

Illinois now has the same record as Wisconsin. Just let that sink in.

Last week was not a shining moment for the Big Ten by any means. Wisconsin — which might have been the conference’s king — went down at home, and BYU chose to celebrate to “Jump Around” in honor of the Badgers.

Purdue lost, again. Nebraska lost, again.

Teams all over the Big Ten would love to see one of its own schools in the College Football Playoffs, but now it seems as though that feat will only be attainable by the lesser evil of two teams.

Welcome back, Urban Meyer

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer made his way back to the head coach’s podium on Monday, marking the end of his three-week suspension.

He began his press conference by speaking briefly about the team and then getting into what took him off the sidelines in the first place.

Of 42 questions following Meyer’s opening statement, only one pertained to this week’s Ohio State game. In that update, junior defensive end Nick Bosa will receive further tests this week on an abdominal and groin injury.

RELATED: Iowa football notebook: defensive line, injury update, and preparing for the 3-4

Meyer has watched his team from home in the first three weeks, but sparingly — which, with No. 10 Penn State coming next week, might put the head coach at a disadvantage.

“I only watched the good plays. I couldn’t take it. I only watched the good ones,” Meyer said in his press conference. “My daughter kept me updated, and I would seriously — sounds silly, but I would leave the room. The way that game started, it looked like — that team is very good.”

Ohio State has been playing solid football, and that shouldn’t change with the return of Meyer.

Penn State expects to be ‘challenged’ by Illinois

Penn State may have No. 4 Ohio State coming up next week, but its focus is on this week’s road matchup against Illinois.

While Ohio State is dealing with internal issues, Penn State is working on what the season is all about: football.

Head coach James Franklin said Illinois poses a threat through the turnovers that it induces. Much like Iowa against Northern Iowa, the challenge this week comes from not looking too far ahead.

“I like where we’re at,” Franklin said in his Tuesday press conference. “We’re not talking about this week any other way than this is game week. I do not like talking about it any different than that, because I think it has a psychological effect, and we won’t do that.”

Illinois isn’t a daunting opponent — that’s no secret to anyone in the Big Ten. But by not overlooking the Illini, Penn State gives Illinois respect so that, coaches hope, the Nittany Lions will avoid mistakes.

The Lions’ offense has helped it, but the focus is on making the little things better.

“Instead of just saying, we’ve got a lull in the second-quarter games, we need to study that,” Franklin said. “Why do we have a lull in the second quarter? Are there some things we can do in terms of being very strategic and intentional about that, to study our second-quarter plans. And is there some things we can do to help ourselves there?”

Facebook Comments