Urban Meyer bends over away from his team during Ohio States win over Maryland. (via ABC)MoreOhio State will face Michigan next week for a shot at winning the Big Ten East and a spot in the leagues title game. But hanging over that top-10 matchup will be the bigger story of Meyers health and future. A source at Ohio State said after the game that Meyer appeared fine in the locker room and that the feeling on the staff is that hed endured worse pain during games this season.
One play, 3 yards and an incalculable supply of anguish for…
The fragility Meyer showed on the sideline reflected the Buckeyes on the field on Saturday. As Maryland shredded the Buckeyes for 535 yards, Meyer looked increasingly worse. Ohio State only held on to win in overtime after Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome missed a wide-open Jeshaun Jones on a two-point conversion that could have – and really should have – won the game for Maryland.
The pained images of Meyer on the sideline throughout the game brings his health back into focus, as he looked so tortured for most of the game that ESPN cameras zoomed in on him as much as the game action. Meyer appeared dazed, weak and needing to pause his movements at points to gather his strength to keep coaching the next play.
The Buckeyes and Terrapins went to overtime, and OSU needed a missed two-point conversion pass to escape with a 52-51 win.
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Saturdays game continued a drama-filled year for the Buckeyes, who are 10-1 but showing few signs of being an elite team. Meyers comments at Big Ten media day about former assistant coach Zach Smith led to a flurry of stories that exposed the extent of Smiths illicit behavior while an assistant coach at Ohio State. A lengthy university investigation and suspension led to Meyer missing the entirety of summer camp and the first three games of the regular season. (Athletic director Gene Smith was also suspended.)
Urban Meyer reacts on the sideline during Ohio States win over Maryland on Saturday. (via ABC)MoreWhen Meyer returned to the sideline, he hasnt appeared to be himself for stretches.
That included him dropping to a knee during a game against Indiana on Oct. 6 and a general sense of anguish thats accompanied him on the sideline that seemed to increase on Saturday. In late October, Meyer revealed to Yahoo Sports his history of his health issues as a way to help explain the pain hes had on the sideline and answer questions about his future. Meyer told Yahoo that the pain hes expressed is the result of a congenital arachnoid cyst in his brain that he had surgery on in the spring of 2014. Meyer told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview in late October that this is a case where hes learned to manage it and monitor it with medication.
In late October, Meyers personal physician, Dr. Andrew Thomas, told Yahoo Sports in a statement: The past four years, weve been working closely with coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst. This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years.
There had actually been some optimism in the Ohio State program this week that Meyer was feeling better and that hed figured better ways to manage his pain. Hed looked and sounded a lot more like himself, but itd be hard to imagine that optimism carrying over to this week.
On Saturday, the pain appeared difficult for Meyer to manage. And that will lead to the questions about his future intensifying.
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COLLEGE PARK, MD. — Ohio State survived a trip to Maryland with a 52-51 overtime win, but many of the same defensive struggles still exist.
Video: Urban Meyer discusses Ohio States 52-51 win over Maryland
After giving up 535 yards — including a record-breaking day from freshman running back Anthony McFarland — Ohio State didnt seem to build much momentum heading into its matchup with No. 4 Michigan next Saturday.
The defenses struggles made a big-time performance by the offense more of a necessity than just something to be proud of. Every time Maryland scored in the second half, Ohio State answered. But that wont be a guarantee next week. Michigan is home to the best defense in the country and Ohio State wont be able to put up 52 points and 688 yards against them.
Video: Dwayne Haskins discusses Ohio States 52-51 win over Maryland
If Ohio State plays like this next week, especially on defense, the Wolverines may accomplish something they havent done since 2000. Win a game in Ohio Stadium.
Video: Davon Hamilton discusses Ohio States 52-51 win over Maryland