COLUMBUS, Ohio – Head coach Urban Meyer took part in the weekly Big Ten Teleconference on Tuesday to update both the national and local media about the status of his Buckeyes team.
Last Saturday against Army was a chance for Dwayne Haskins to see his first time as a college football player and he made the most of it completing all four of his pass attempts on Ohio State's final drive of the season. Meyer said on Monday that he would have liked to see him throw more but he also did not want to run it up on the final drive against Army West Point when the game was firmly in hand, 38-7.
Last year it was Joe Burrow who came in as the relief quarterback and he looked sharp during his limited duty for the Buckeyes. A broken hand that resulted in surgery knocked Burrow out of the rotation for a couple of weeks but it appears that he is close to being back.
"Joe has been cleared and he is practicing," Meyer said. "He started practicing last week but we were not comfortable with him."
Which leaves an interesting dilemma, who to play if/when the Buckeyes get up big on UNLV, a team that Ohio State is better than a five-touchdown favorite over. Nobody around the WHAC is planning for anything like that but talk of who the No. 2 quarterback is a fair discussion.
"We will make that decision as this week progresses," Meyer said. "It is still very close and I think both of the quarterbacks give us the opportunity to move the football."
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Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon defied the odds this season when he came back from an injury plagued career to see action in Ohio State's first two games. Dixon has three receptions, a touchdown and 71 receiving yards for his efforts.
But he was missing in action last week against Army. Fears went back to his arthritic knees and fans worried he might be lost for the season.
Meyer clarified why Dixon was unable to go on Saturday.
"It is a hamstring so we will know more today and tomorrow," Meyer said. "He tried to go at warmups and it wasn't… he tugged it earlier in the week and he worked so hard and lost a couple years because of injury and this happens."
What is his status going into the UNLV game?
"I don't think it is long-term, I think we caught it, the word hamstring around here is like you are stepping on hot coals," Meyer added. "You just don't want to hear it. Everybody overreacts because you have to. Those are those long-term injuries."
Another omission from the lineup was linebacker Dante Booker. This one was a bit of a combination of things that kept the linebacker out of the lineup and allowed players like Tuf Borland to see more playing time as the Buckeyes played much of the game with only two linebackers on the field.
I don't think it is long-term, I think we caught it, the word hamstring around here is like you are stepping on hot coals. You just don't want to hear it. Everybody overreacts because you have to. Those are those long-term injuries.
"He has got a little bit of a sore shoulder and also it was just a schematic issue," Meyer said. "It was all assignment based and we felt the other guys were more prepared for that."
Meyer was asked if any other members of the team were slowed by injuries and responded that he believed that everyone else was fine. Meyer was not asked about the status of Matt Burrell who was seen before the Army game wearing a walking boot on his left foot.