Urban Meyer talks Rutgers football’s 3-0 start: ‘I think that was the perfect schedule for Rutgers’

Urban Meyer likes how Rutgers football was tested with their out-of-conference schedule.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — A 3-0 start has certainly been good for Rutgers football, getting the Scarlet Knights halfway towards bowl eligibility. But the schedule has also tested Rutgers, something that Urban Meyer thinks will help the program in the long term.

Meyer, who won three national championships (two with Florida and one with Ohio State) likes the undefeated start to the season for Rutgers. The record is nice, Meyer said, but what stands out to him is the fact that Rutgers has been pushed in their two road games.

In their season opener at Boston College, Rutgers utilized a strong fourth quarter for a 22-21 win. The home opener the next week was a blowout win over Wagner that was followed up with a 16-14 win at Temple.

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That, Meyer says, is ideal for a program that is now in its third season of a rebuild under head coach Greg Schiano.

“I think that was the perfect schedule for Rutgers and it turned out perfect too. They had two battles. Boston College, that was 50-50, that was a great win,” Meyer said on the Big Ten Network this week.

“That was on the road,” said former college and NFL coach Dave Wannstedt, also on the Big Ten Network segment with Meyer.

Rutgers has their Big Ten opener on Saturday night against Iowa (7:00 P.M. ET, FS1).

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Urban Meyer, Dave Wannstedt thinks Rutgers football special teams could be the difference against Iowa

The infamous Chris Olave block punt in Ohio State’s win over Michigan was drawn up by current Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano.

Four years ago, then Ohio State freshman wide receiver Chris Olave blocked a punt against Michigan, blowing the gates wide open in what would become a huge win for the Buckeyes.

That blocked punt, according to then Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, was drawn up by none other than Greg Schiano. Meyer warns that Schiano, now head coach at Rutgers, could use special teams trick plays ahead of Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Iowa (7 P.M. ET, FS1).

That Olave blocked punt with 4:50 left in the third quarter, gave No. 10 Ohio State a 34-19 lead over No. 4 Michigan. Ohio State would go on to beat Michigan 62-39 and end their season 13-1 with a win in the Rose Bowl.

Meyer spoke about Schiano and the upcoming Rutgers game during an appearance this week on the Big Ten Network. He was joined by former college and NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt in analyzing this week’s Big Ten games.

“We had two big ones to win a game: against the Wolverines when Chris Olave blocked it – that was his call,” Meyer said on the Big Ten Network about Schiano’s role on special teams in 2018. “And then the Penn State one. We were down two scores and we went after it at midfield.”

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The block heard ’round The League!@OhioStateFB has opened the floodgates, and it started with this play: pic.twitter.com/ZpJYpQEYic

Wannstedt started off the conversation by talking about the importance of special teams for this Iowa (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at Rutgers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) game. Wannstedt’s personal experience having coached with Schiano and against him has led to some personal experience about how the Rutgers head coach can and will utilize special teams in this game.

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“The thing that concerns me about this game that is a little different with Iowa – they’re not running the ball like they have. Three games but they’re bottom of the Big Ten and Rutgers is leading the Big Ten in stopping the run. Something is going to have to give on that end. Greg will just assume take it down to that. And the other thing about Schiano – he worked for you and he worked for me and I competed against him at Pitt – you better be sound on your special teams this week,” Wannstedt said.

“He would drive me crazy with whether we’re punt block or kickoff return or something – I’m telling you the special teams could be the difference in this game.”

 

Urban Meyer praises Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano’s rebuild: ‘What he has done has been phenomenal’

Urban Meyer breaks down the state of the Rutgers football rebuild under head coach Greg Schiano.

Ahead of what is a measuring stick game for Rutgers football, the Scarlet Knight’s head coach received some pretty heady praise from Urban Meyer this week. One of the most successful college coaches of his generation, Meyer said he is impressed by the job being done by Schiano at Rutgers.

It has been a solid start to the season for Rutgers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) ahead of Saturday night’s game against Iowa (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten). The game under the lights at SHI Stadium (7:00 P.M. ET, FS1) should have an electric atmosphere as Rutgers looks to end what is a 19-game home losing streak in the conference.

For Meyer, who won three national championships (two with Florida and one with Ohio State) and won the Big Ten on three occasions with Ohio State, it has been a noteworthy start to the season for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are chasing bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014.

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In talking with the Big Ten Network about Rutgers hosting Iowa, Meyer was joined by former NFL and college head coach Dave Wannstedt. Meyer praised the job done by Schiano while acknowledging that the Scarlet Knights still have some catching up to do within the Big Ten.

“I’m watching, obviously, I’m biased because I respect – we both respect Greg Schiano and what he’s done. Take the ball [96] yards in that drive against Boston College. To go to Temple and beat Temple. Obviously, they’re still building that roster,” Meyer said on the Big Ten Network.

“What he has done has been phenomenal. I just think Iowa has a personnel advantage right now. I think it is close but Iowa – that’s going to be a tall task for Rutgers.”

Rutgers is off to a 3-0 start for a second straight season. They come into Saturday’s game with the best-run defense in the Big Ten.

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Iowa, after a rocky start to the season, has shown signs of a return to their normal strength. On Saturday night, in a game delayed multiple times due to inclement weather, the Hawkeyes beat Nevada 27-0.

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Urban Meyer comments on return to coaching

Believe him?

It didn’t take long for a few head coaching positions to become available in college football as Nebraska has fired Scott Frost and Arizona State has already moved on from Herm Edwards.  A name that has been brought up by fans of both programs already is one that has won a lot in the college ranks, but is also one that doesn’t seem too likely to get back into coaching anytime soon.

Former Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is of course who I’m talking about, or as he’s better known in these parts, Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach from 1996-2000.

Meyer recently told On3 that he doesn’t see himself returning to coaching.

“I’m really happy with Fox and really happy with the lifestyle right now,” Meyer said. “Flying in today to see grandkids. I’m happy with what I am doing.”

Both of these things may be true in this very moment and perhaps they stay that way for a long time but even if they do, I certainly am one that finds it hard to believe Meyer will want the Jacksonville debacle to be his last run in coaching, even if the lifestyle is a grind.

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Report says Nebraska has contacted Urban Meyer

The three-time national champion was warmly received by the Lincoln crowd.

During the second half of Nebraska’s 49-14 loss to Oklahoma, news broke that Urban Meyer had been contacted by the University of Nebraska athletic department regarding its head coach position. However, Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports says the school is still identifying potential candidates for the head coach vacancy, so unknown precisely what the nature of the conversation was.

Meyer was in Lincoln for Saturday’s game as a FOX Big Noon Kickoff crew member. The Lincoln crowd warmly received the three-time national champion head coach, who occasionally took up “we want Urban” chants. Meyer has recently reciprocated the affection by saying that Nebraska fans “are as good fans as there are in America.”

Workers assemble a set for the Fox Big Noon Kickoff football show Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at the University of Nebraska Union, in Lincoln, Neb. (Noah Riffe/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)

It’s no surprise to hear Meyer’s name connected to the job as Athletic Director Trev Alberts stated that the process will involve talking to “a lot of people.”

“Ultimately, you know, in a prior life, I have relationships with a lot of coaches in this business, and I intend to reach out to a lot of people. So if you hear that Trev Alberts reached out to XYZ coach, it doesn’t mean that I’ve offered the job to XYZ coach. I think there’s some fabulous coaches out there that have a perspective about our job that I can benefit from so I’m going to reach out to a lot of people.

“If you hear that Trev Alberts reached out to XYZ coach, it might very well be true. Doesn’t mean that I’m trying to hire that coach. I’d like to get that perspective. I’d like to get a perspective of a coach who isn’t here right now about our job, and what the uniqueness is and the needs and those sorts of things. So just want to be clear about that process. Obviously, there’s been some changes in college football with the early signing date and transfer portal. There are considerations as we go forward as well.”

This will not be the last time Urban Meyer’s name is mentioned in connection with the Nebraska job, and there will undoubtedly be more names to follow. With the promise of a “detail-oriented process,” it could be some time before a permanent head coach is named.

Below are social media reactions and video clips of Urban Meyer’s trip to Lincoln.

Watch: Nebraska fans chant “We want Urban” to former Jaguars coach Urban Meyer

Nebraska fans aren’t too worried about how Urban Meyer’s time with the Jaguars went, evidently.

Urban Meyer’s brief tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars was an unmitigated disaster, defined by a scandals and a whole lot of losing before he was fired during his first season with the team. Evidently, the Nebraska Cornhuskers faithful aren’t too worried about that.

On Saturday, Nebraska fans serenaded Meyer with a “We want Urban” chant while he was sitting at the analyst desk during FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff show.

During Nebraska’s game against Oklahoma, the broadcast also showed a fan in the crowd wearing a “Hire Urban Meyer” shirt.

Prior to his unsuccessful NFL stint, Meyer led the Florida Gators to two national championships and the Ohio State Buckeyes to one. He had a 187-32 record at the collegiate level with a 12-3 record in bowl games.

Nebraska’s once proud program that has five national championship wins — including three in the 1990s — has endured five straight losing seasons and is off to a rough start in 2022. After losing to Georgia Southern last week to fall to 1-2 on the year, Scott Frost was fired as the team’s head coach.

Desperate Nebraska fans chant for Urban Meyer as next coach

Nebraska fans are pleading for Urban Meyer to become Cornhusker coach

Nebraska played host to FOX College Football’s pregame show on Saturday before its game against Oklahoma.

The matchup was the first since Scott Frost was fired Sunday after going 16-31 as Cornhusker coach.

The timing could not have been more perfect — or awkward — in Lincoln as one of the people on the FOX panel was former successful college coach — and failure as an NFL head coach — Urban Meyer.

Before interim coach Mickey Joseph had a chance to take the field, the Cornhusker faithful were in full throat: “We want Urban.”

Some folks never learn.

Meyer imparted wisdom on what it is like to take over a program, too.

Garden hose? Fire hose? Meyer was doing nothing to douse the fans’ dreams of him as Cornhusker coach in 2023.

The Cornhuskers scored first but Oklahoma responded with 28 straight points. That’s going to do nothing to quiet the throng.

Nebraska fans started a ‘We want Urban’ chant for Urban Meyer and everyone is trying to warn them against it

Nebraska fans, y’all do not want these problems

Look, it’s understandable that Nebraska fans are trying to settle their coaching situation. The program fired Scott Frost after just 3 weeks into the season. He’s supposed to be coaching against Oklahoma today but he’s at home with the rest of us. It absolutely stinks that he’s not that guy.

But Nebraska fans really, really, really have to be careful what they wish for.

They broke out into a “We want Urban” chant for Urban Meyer on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff on Saturday and, boy, was that a mistake.

For those of you who don’t know, Fox hired Meyer to be part of its college football broadcast on Saturdays. So he heard all this and is taking it all in. And, uh, he seems to like it.

Just look at the delight in this man’s face.

Keep playing, Nebraska. Urban might end up wanting y’all back. And those are problems you absolutely do not want in your life.

We were all there when he sabotaged the Jaguars, right? Like, y’all. It was bad enough that Josh Allen praised Doug Pederson for actually not being Urban Meyer. That’s the only bar he had to clear.

It’s not just the NFL. His Ohio State legacy is absolute garbage, too. This dude stinks. We told you exactly 12 times how he is actually the worst — and we haven’t updated the list yet.

Everybody is trying to warn Nebraska fans against this. They probably won’t listen though.

When was the last time Ohio State won a National Championship in football?

It’s been a little while since the Buckeyes stood on top of the college football world.

C.J. Stroud’s Ohio State Buckeyes are chasing the 2022-23 college football national championship as one of the heavy favorites. But as talented as Ohio State is now and perennially, it hasn’t finished the job in a short while.

The last time Ohio State football won the National Championship was during the 2014 season.

Urban Meyer coached that squad with notable future Sunday talents like Ezekiel Elliott at running back, Joey Bosa at defensive end and Taylor Decker at tackle. Famously, third-string quarterback Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a victory in the national championship Game over Marcus Mariota’s Oregon Ducks after respective injuries to Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett earlier in the year.

Other years the Buckeyes have won national championship in football are: 1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970 and 2002.

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Fred Taylor: Trevor Lawrence proved his leadership during ‘debacle’ of 2021

Jaguars legend Fred Taylor says there was a silver lining in the “debacle” that was the 2021 season.

There weren’t many positives about the 2021 season for the Jacksonville Jaguars when the team finished with the worst record in the NFL at 3-14. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was drafted No. 1 overall last year, finished his rookie season with an NFL-most 17 interceptions and just 12 touchdown passes.

But the silver lining, according to Jaguars legend Fred Taylor, is that Lawrence proved his character during a challenging first season in the NFL.

“I am definitely looking forward to seeing his progression,” Taylor told Jaguars reporter J.P. Shadrick on a podcast appearance. “As a player, he’s always an amazing leader. He’s been that throughout college.

“I thought he showed poise and leadership a year ago in the midst of that debacle there with the offensive system and the coaching stuff. I truly believe that he has a consummate pro in Coach [Doug] Pederson in his corner. A former quarterback, someone who knows offenses, who knows what the player likes, what he wants, what he’s good at. We saw glimpses of that this offseason and this preseason, as well, so hopefully it translates to success for this offense.”

Urban Meyer was the head coach for the majority of Lawrence’s rookie season before getting fired in December after a 2-11 start to the year. Several scandals eventually led to Meyer’s dismissal, including the coach allegedly kicking the team’s kicker and apologizing for a viral video that showed him at a bar with a woman other than his wife.

Earlier this week, Lawrence said “the culture has really flipped” for the team in 2022 after hiring Pederson as the team’s new head coach in February.