Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer underwent a minor surgical procedure over the weekend to remove fluid from a congenital arachnoid cyst. It is a problem that has bothered Meyer at times in the past, but now he hopes to have it behind him. On Tuesday Meyer returned to doing what he is best known for, coaching. Meyer addressed his medical operation to the media and says he is optimistic moving forward.
“It surfaced a couple times,” Meyer said according to Cleveland.com. “Once in ’98, once in ’04 and a couple other times. It’s just something I have to manage. They were great at the medical center, relieved some pressure and I am good to go.”
Meyer made a point of addressing this concern quickly, rather than holding off as he has done in the past. Knowing his background by now, that is a wise decision. As long as the health issues are put to a minimum, Meyer will be able to focus on finding a way to get Ohio State back on track. After winning the first 24 games since being hired as head coach, Meyer’s Buckeyes dropped two straight to end the 2013 season with a Big Ten Championship Game loss to Michigan State and an Orange Bowl defeat at the hands of Clemson.
Ohio State loses ten starters from the 2013 team and quarterback Braxton Miller is coming off a medical procedure of his own this offseason. Miller was in a sling at the first practice but doing what he could to go through reps mentally. Ohio State held off on operating on Miller’s throwing shoulder because there was a chance it would have healed before the spring. Once it became clear Miller was not going to be healed as they had hoped, the decision to send Miller to the operating room was made.
Miller will still be the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes in the fall, that is pretty much guaranteed. He will lose some snaps this spring of course, but he will have plenty of time to put work in to improve his passing skills ahead of the 2014 season.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury