COLUMBUS – One of the things that quickly became apparent about Urban Meyer is that he doesn’t hesitate to use public criticism to motivate his team.
The most recent target of this motivational tool is Ohio State’s linebackers, who Meyer said are not living up to the long-standing tradition of excellence at that position at OSU.
“The area that is not Ohio State is linebacker,” Meyer said on his weekly radio show. “Where is James Laurinaitis? Where is A.J. Hawk? Ryan Shazier is playing at a very high level. Curtis Grant is getting much better. But the Josh Perrys and the younger players, we have to get them going.”
As a team, Meyer said the strongest areas so far have been the offensive line, the running game, the quarterbacks and the run defense.
He called OSU’s pass defense “alarming” for a second time and said there needs to be improvement in the kick return game and in the area of short and intermediate passes on offense.
BACK TO THE HORSESHOE: Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock has played in Ohio Stadium once before, as a high school player.
His Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas team beat Upper Arlington 52-7 in 2009 in a Herbstreit Classic game. Rudock threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns in that game.
OHIO STATE CONNECTION: Iowa defensive back John Lowdermilk is the son of former OSU offensive lineman Kirk Lowdermilk and was in the stadium wearing scarlet and gray as a high school student when the Buckeyes beat the Hawkeyes 27-24 in overtime in 2009 to clinch a Rose Bowl trip.
“I actually rushed the field and everything. It’s weird how things worked out,” Lowdermilk said earlier this week in a Cedar Rapids Gazette interview.
Kirk Lowdermilk was an All-Big Ten offensive lineman at Ohio State and played 12 years in the NFL.
RECRUITING OHIO: Iowa has 13 players from Ohio on its roster and will continue to recruit there, Ferentz said.
“We can’t get the majority of our roster from in state, unfortunately. I wish we could. It’s probably just not realistic based on history. So we have to go other places,” he said.