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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'You put your hard hat on and you go to work'
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — The lone bye week for the Buckeyes is now in their rear-view mirror, which means that they will now play nine B1G games in a row without a break, and possibly 10. Has that fact hit quarterback J.T. Barrett yet?

"No, not really," he said this week. "I feel the bye week went well. I think if anything I like how it’s going to be straight games so we stay in a rhythm. We try to get in a rhythm and then stay in a rhythm going into Big Ten play. So I kind of like that it was earlier because I wouldn’t want the bye week to be later and then mess up the rhythm that we have."

Following the win over Oklahoma almost two weeks ago now, the Buckeyes became one of the darlings of the college football world. Analysts and media alike raved about the performance of such a young team, and now the Buckeyes are sitting at No. 2 in the rankings.

So how do the coaches keep the players from buying into all of the accolades and hype that they sat around and watched and listened to last week?

"We don’t give them hype in this building," chuckled running backs coach Tony Alford. "They’re fine. There’s a lot of outside things that go on in this program, good and bad, and that’s part of the culture that we’ve built here. You walk in this building and you go to work. You go to work every day. You put your hard hat on and you grind it out. That’s the culture of the locker room. The older guys have helped promote that and keep that culture going."

Saturday will be the eighth time in Urban Meyer's career that he will face a team being led by a former assistant coach. He is 6-1 in the previous seven meetings.

Meyer was asked this week about his assistant coaches and the balance they have to maintain between being the best assistant they can and putting themselves in a position to become a head coach down the road.

"I want our guys to give us two good years and we'll help you," he explained. "I also had people on our staff that maybe spent too much time and I'll have to tap them on the shoulder and say quit worrying about it. Bear Bryant had a great quote, I can't remember it verbatim, but it's actually in our coaches manual and that's, if we do well, you'll receive your reward. If we do poorly, you will not.

"So the best way to get a head coaching job is do the best job you possibly can and when someone calls then we'll recommend you. Don't -- it's not because of agents, it's not because you're on the phone, it's not because you're looking for it. I've had a couple chats, because it does happen, people start getting their phones blown up and like players in the NFL, you've just got to manage it."

Page 2 — How is Chris Ash still helping this defense? What is the goal of the Buckeye defense each week?

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