Ohio State's Urban Meyer coaches against UAB during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer has not hidden his dissatisfaction with the way his Ohio State team has played this season.
So, with his team hitting the road for the first time in its Big Ten opener at Michigan State on Saturday, he switched gears and accentuated the positive.
"I know we're Ohio State, and there's all kinds of expectations here," he said Monday. "I still am not giving up. I think by the end of the year this might be a hell of a football team. I mean, it might be sooner than that."
In his first year at the helm of the Buckeyes, Meyer has been brutally frank in his evaluations of players and positions. After Saturday's closer-than-expected 29-15 victory over 37-point underdog UAB, he followed his usual pattern and climbed all over his team.
He said after the game that his players were very passive, that it pained him to watch at times, that the Buckeyes had depth issues and were playing too many freshmen and that he was disappointed with all aspects. Whew.
Then, with those criticisms still ringing in their ears, he threw a change-up at them.
Meyer had a short clip of highlights created that he showed to the Buckeyes on Sunday. Here was offensive tackle Reid Fragel laying out a defender 10 yards downfield, there was defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins leveling a ball-carrier. The offense looked invincible, the defense was unyielding.
Meyer said the video made the players feel better about themselves. Since he said he felt terrible about his team after the game, it also improved his spirits.