Two-Minute Drill: Meyer Expects Hall, Williams To Play
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There are still three days before Ohio State takes the field against Cal this Saturday, but Urban Meyer is feeling good about the health of his football team.
The Buckeyes won’t have tailback Carlos Hyde or defensive end Michael Bennett this weekend, but they should have both Jordan Hall and Nathan Williams available against the Golden Bears.
Here’s what Meyer and some of his players had to say after practice on Wednesday.
* Urban Meyer said Jordan Hall practiced today for the first time. Likely to play Saturday, but unsure how much.
* WR Devin Smith told me Hall looked pretty good in practice today and they expect him to be on the field Saturday.
* FB Zach Boren was reluctant to talk about how Jordan Hall looked in practice, but the plan is to use him.
* Meyer said freshman OT Kyle Dodson OK today after passing out during practice. Was sick before practice and got dehydrated.
* Meyer also said DE Nathan Williams practiced today and he expects to have him in some capacity on Saturday, but Michael Bennett and Carlos Hyde are out.
* Johnathan Hankins told me he thinks Williams will be ready to go Saturday and makes a big difference with what they can do because it allows John Simon to play the other end spot.
* Meyer said they won't name a starting RB until Saturday, but it's been a big week for Rod Smith. He's on punt block now, which around here is a bigger deal than just having a good week running the ball.
* Meyer set over/under on carries for Braxton at 15. Said ideal would be 10-12 if other guys were contributing what they need to contribute.
* Meyer said his top playmakers right now are 1. Braxton, 2. Philly and then Devin Smith, Stoneburner and Evan Spencer.
* Meyer said Philly Brown has looked good in practice this week with his increased role. Could get some carries out of backfield.
* Braxton Miller said Philly got a few inside carries in practice today and looked good.
* Meyer said Saturday will be a big test for Devin Smith. Said "a grown man will be covering him for 55-60 plays."
* Smith said OC Tom Herman told them Cal's press pass coverage will be "test of our manhood."
* Meyer said they are going to have to throw the ball more and do some different things on offense than first 2 weeks.
* Meyer said LB Storm Klein is officially back this week from his suspension, could play on special teams. Up to coach Fickell how much.
* Meyer said Klein has been very humble throughout the process of returning to the team. Feels like he knows him a lot better now.
* Meyer attributed lack of a pass rush to Miami's scheme week one. Said his guys "just didn't play well" vs. UCF.
* Meyer said two ways to get more pressure are beat man across from you or bring more than they can block. Wants more of both.
*Hankins said he feels he's played pretty good this year, but hasn't dominated like he should.
* Hankins said Mike Vrabel has been mad about the lack of a pass rush. Tells guys they aren't using what they do in practice.
* Meyer said it will also be a big test for Bradley Roby going against Keenan Allen. Not like coming up and playing a hitch vs. Miami.
* Hankins made it sound like DE Se’Von Pittman could see his first action this week. He was working with the OSU defense, and not the scout team in practice.
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