Great respect for OSU, Meyer
A capsule look at James Franklin’s weekly news conference:
About the Buckeyes: They’re No. 6 in both the AP and coaches polls. … Only loss was 31-16 at home to Oklahoma in week two. … In last four games have scored 54, 56, 62 and 56 points, albeit against weaker teams (UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland, Nebraska). … Coach Urban Meyer is astounding 67-7 in six seasons there. … QB J.T. Barrett has thrown for 21 TDs and only one INT while passing for 1,838 yards. He also has 359 yards rushing. … RB J.K. Dobbins leads ground attack with 775 yards, which is actually more than Saquon Barkley has (757).
Last time vs. Penn State: Lions won at home last year, 24-21.
No shortage of respect: Ohio State has long been the standard for success in the Big Ten, and that’s certainly been true under Meyer’s watch, as well. “So much respect for the university as a whole and the football program and their history and their tradition, and obviously Urban Meyer is one of the most respected coaches in college football and has been very, very successful there and everywhere else he’s been,” Franklin said.
Familiar face: Barrett is a four-year starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, but as Franklin jokingly pointed out, it seems like he’s been there forever. “J.T. Barrett has been playing at Ohio State for I think this is his 16th year, maybe going on 17,” Franklin deadpanned. “One of the most successful quarterbacks in school history, if not the most. One of the most successful quarterbacks in Big-Ten history and nationally. I mean, you got to just completely respect everything that that guy’s been able to do in his career.”
A good bye: One advantage Ohio State has in this game is that it’s coming off a bye week. Penn State just enjoyed such an advantage prior to playing Michigan. “It helps a lot, there’s no doubt about it,” Franklin said of having a bye before a big game. “You just have more time for everything. More time to recover, more time to get healthy, more time to watch film and plan. It’s valuable. I think it’s probably the most valuable thing we have on this earth is time, and a bye week creates that.” The coach did go on to add that PSU still has positive residual effects from its bye two weeks ago, plus it helped that the Lions blew out Michigan. “We were able to get some backups in the game and things like that,” Franklin said. “That helped that it wasn’t Iowa where it was this emotional draining and physically draining game all the way up until the last second. So I think that there’s value in that, as well.”
Iowa trip helped: Franklin made a good point when he noted the team already went through a rigorous road test at Iowa, a game the Lions escaped with a last-second 21-19 win. “I do think that there’s value that we have been on the road in a tough environment,” the coach said. “Not only in these guys’ careers but in this season. Because I think we all know it’s tough to do. It’s tough to come and play at Penn State. It’s tough to go on the road and play at Ohio State.”
Reaching out to Meyer: Franklin doesn’t have a really close relationship with Meyer but did have a need to contact him recently. “I actually called him three weeks ago about a rule that we were having a discussion about, and I wanted to get his opinion on it,” Franklin said.
Best division in football?: Franklin didn’t want to go out on a limb when he was asked if the Big Ten East is the best division in the country. “I don’t ever like to say things that are like definitive like that because I haven’t gone out and studied it,” he said before later adding, “I want us to feel that way. I want us to believe that. I have worked in a lot of different conferences, and I think we’re part of the discussion. I think that you can’t have a discussion without us being a part of that discussion, obviously our side with Penn State and with Michigan State and with Michigan and Ohio State all in the same side of the conference, it’s up there.”
— Compiled by Cory Giger