Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Monday defended running back Ezekiel Elliott for his critical comments about the OSU coaching staff following the Buckeyes' 17-14 loss to Michigan State on Saturday. In fact, the coach said he agreed with Elliott's critique. But he also said the junior running back, who used the same postgame platform to announce his intention to enter the 2016 NFL Draft as an underclassman, shouldn't have aired his grievances to the media.
Specifically, Elliott was upset that he had just 12 carries in the game.
"Very isolated incident. We have a three-year bank on Zeke," Meyer said. "Zeke is a very honest guy. Frustration, anger, probably mounted up. I couldn't disagree with him. He should've got the ball a little bit more. But that's not the place for that (commentary)."
Meyer also said he would be more involved in play-calling going forward.
Elliott had rushed for more than 100 yards in every OSU game this season until Saturday, when the Spartans held him to 33 yards and the Buckeyes to just 132 yards in total offense.
"Zeke has always been an extremely loyal person, a great competitor," Meyer said. "... He gets a microphone stuck in his face, and obviously we do not condone that, encourage that. Our rule is, always talk about your teammates and move on."
Elliott apologized for the criticism Monday on social media:
An NFL scout told FOX Sports on Saturday that Elliott's draft status would not be affected by his criticism of the coaching staff, and that he projects as a late first-round choice.
Ohio State's chances of a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff berth were all but dashed with the loss. Michigan State can win the Big Ten East if it defeats Penn State on Saturday.