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Crew fans get more on your favorite team
By Matt McCoy
The Buckeyes don't have a game Saturday, but that doesn't mean they're not busy this week.
"We work them really hard...I think that's always been our answer," Urban Meyer said when asked how he handles the bye week during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference. "In the same respect we have to get some of the guys who have been banged up a little bit of rest. I kind of trust these guys though. I think they understand that we are what we are and we're not a team that can do anything else other than work extremely hard and show up ready to play because it's not like we have all the answers because we certainly don't."
Meyer had the Buckeyes in full pads for Tuesday's practice and will have them in shoulder pads and helmets both Wedesday and Thursday. He said they'll work the team out on Friday again before allowing the players to leave for the weekend.
How do they stack up?
Urban Meyer said he's a college football fan and will spend some time watching games this weekend. He also admitted that he took a peek at some of the big time match-ups last Saturday.
"I did watch the second half of the Alabama (LSU) game and I did watch some of the USC/Oregon game and there are some great football teams out there," Meyer said. With Ohio State now ranked fifth, he was asked if he imagines how his Buckeyes would fare against those top teams. "Oh sure, I try to visualize how we would do and the one common denominator on those teams are speed and that's an area where we need to improve a little bit but I certainly would like to think that we could play with those teams."
Sabino return better than 50-50
Linebacker Etienne Sabino has been out with a cracked fibula since the Nebraska game but Meyer indicated that the return of the senior captain is looking good.
"I say it's above 50-50 for him to be back for the Wisconsin game," Meyer said. "I love who he is...he's one of my favorite guys because of his intangible value that he is to our team. That's leadership, toughness, dicipline and his committment to our team...We need him back even if it's not in a full time role."
More Hyde-Smith combo?
The Buckeyes have featured both Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith in the same backfield several times in recent weeks and you can expect that to continue.
"I thought he played really hard (against Illinois)," Meyer said of Smith. "He caught a big (51 yard) touchdown pass for us and has really come on. We might do more of that two backs in the backfield at the same time."
There was some question as to whether Meyer would feel that way after Smith fumbled in the second half against Illinois. Meyer has expressed concern about Smith's ball security issues in the past.
"If (this fumble) were ball security or laziness or not doing what we teach, I would have a major issue (with it,) but it wasn't that at all" Meyer said. "The defender put his face right on the ball. We don't allow (the fumble) or condone it however that doesn't set him back at all."