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By Matt McCoy
**Click HERE: Meyer to listen to Urban Meyer on the Big Ten teleconference**
Back in July, Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke shared ribs at a football clinic in Michigan. Saturday figures to be a far less cordial meeting in Ohio Stadium, as the Buckeyes and Wolverines meet for the 109th time. But both coaches, on Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference, used the "R-word"...respect...in describing the rivalry.
"The one thing about this rivalry that you're taught at a young age is, who the enemy is, however there's a deep-rooted respect for the enemy," Meyer said when asked about his memories of the Woody Hayes versus Bo Schembechler years. "There's a lot of respect for coach Schembechler. I had the opportunity to meet him and he called me when I received the Bowling Green head coaching job. Coach Hayes, I had a chance to meet him and was able to sit down and speak with him a few times. I knew at a young age I wanted to be a coach and those are the first two out of my mouth when I say what great coaches were."
Both Meyer and Hoke grew up in Ohio...Meyer in Ashtabula and Hoke in Kettering.
"When you've grown up in the rivalry you understand that it's the most important game of the year," Hoke said. "Any guy who's played in it on either side or coached in it knows what excitement there is surrounding the game and the passion of two great schools that have a lot of respect for each other."
Meyer 'knows something's coming'
The elbow injury to Michigan's dynamic quarterback Denard Robinson forced the Wolverines to move Devin Gardner from receiver to QB and Gardner has performed. Last week, in fact, he was Big Ten player of the week, either scoring or throwing for all six Wolverine touchdowns in Michigan's 42-17 win over Iowa.
In that game both Gardner and Robinson took snaps at quarterback. Robinson also lined up at running back and receiver. Meyer admits, the tandem will be a major headache for the Buckeye defense.
"They're dynamic with those two quarterbacks in there," Meyer said. "Those coaches are very good coaches so they're going to be creative and we know something's coming with double-passes or (something) so you just have to be really careful in how you defend them."
Wrecking ball for St. John?
It's been rumored for years but it appears St. John Arena is headed toward destruction. In a story by Encarnacion Pyle of the Dispatch, Ohio State plans to use a $10 million dollar gift from Sam Covelli, owner of Panera restaurants, for a 4,000 seat arena to replace St. John Arena. It will be built on the corner of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive and will house varsity sports like wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics.
The plan is to demolish St. John Arena and use the space for classrooms and student housing.
610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White joined Joel Riley and me Wednesday morning. Tony played his Buckeye career in St. John and is less than anxious to see it destroyed.
"It'll be a sad day for this University," Tony said. "I know progress is progress and it's important and time moves on and things change but a lot of history and a lot of what is Ohio State is in that arena...I told President (Gordon) Gee that the day they decide to tear it down they might find me chained to St. John Arena trying block the wrecking ball."
We also talked to Tony about Grinnell College's Jack Taylor who set an NCAA record Tuesday night, scoring 138 points in Grennell's 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible. The 5'10 guard at the Division III school finished 52-of-108 from the floor including 27-for-71 from 3-point range.
Tony was entertaining. Click here Tony White to listen to Tony's comments on both St. John Arena and Taylor's 138 point performance.