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By Matt McCoy
Ohio State returns to action Saturday against Iowa after enjoying a bye week.
The extra time has been good to Urban Meyer coached teams who have a 34-2 record in games when Meyer has more than one week to prepare.
In Saturday's case, however, Ohio State isn't alone. Iowa also had a bye and has had two weeks to get ready. New wrinkles and sometimes major changes are not unusual following byes so on Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference, Meyer said he and his staff have put in some extra time to make sure they are not caught off guard.
"We actually went back and watched Iowa after their bye week last year to find out what nuances that they (might present)," Meyer said. "Some staffs are different. Some staffs are so philosophically sound in what they do that they don't change much, others you can see a whole new defense or offense so we do our homework. Every team gives us a little somthing new."
What did Meyer find? Did Iowa make any significant change following their bye last year?
"I can't give you everything," Meyer said.
The last time quarterback Braxton Miller played, Ohio State fans saw him at his best and his worst. Miller led the Buckeyes back from a 10 point second half deficit to beat Northwestern 40-30. But before the late game heroics from Miller and running back Carlos Hyde, the Buckeye QB was loose with the football, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception.
With the extra week before Ohio State's game with Iowa, Meyer has challenged Miller to do a better job of protecting the football.
"I wanted to see and I did see a guy that recognized the mistakes he made and that he is going to work hard to correct them," Meyer said of Miller's response in practice since the three turnover night in Evanston. "Number one is ball security. If he takes care of that ball and maybe hits a couple more passes, I thought he played great but that's the name of the game (you can't) take away two plays. With me it's all about ball security...That fourth quarter was a powerful statement on what kind of quarterback he can be."
On Ohio State's game winning drive, Miller connected on all four of his passes for 64 yards. He also rushed for 23 yards in the fourth quarter.
Hall Ready To Contribute
Meyer said that senior running back Jordan Hall, who missed the Northwestern game with a tweeked knee, has been back at practice and appears to be ready to go.
"His first way of assisting the team will be with special teams," Meyer said. "And he can certainly compliment Carlos (Hyde) and also be involved on third downs."
Despite missing the Northwestern game and getting only one carry versus Wisconsin, Hall still leads Ohio State in rushing with 427 yards.
To listen to all of Coach Meyer's comments on the Big Ten teleconference click here: