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Urban Meyer on revenge being a motivating factor: ‘Hell yeah, it is’

Ohio State takes on Penn State this week, which beat the Buckeyes last season.

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes take on the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The winner will most likely punch its ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, and just might make a case as a College Football Playoff team.

Last season, Penn State upset the Buckeyes 24-21, which left OSU sitting at home on Championship Saturday. Although the Bucks ended up making the Playoff anyway, revenge has been talked about this week. Even head coach Urban Meyer admitted to it being a motivational tool.

"You've got to figure you're dealing with youngsters," Meyer said via ESPN. "Is revenge a motivator? Hell yeah, it is.

"I'm not saying this will be it," he continued. "There have been times we used it and we looked silly using it, and there are times it worked. I don't know yet. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday isn't about that; it's about execution of a game plan and focus."

While it’s obvious that revenge is a theme inside Ohio State’s locker room, it’s nice to have a head coach actually admit that it definitely could be used, instead of taking the high road and playing it down.

"I'll kind of listen and watch," Meyer said of playing the revenge card with his players via ESPN. "I think you're talking about 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds. We've used [revenge] quite a bit, and then other times, we moved on."

That’s a bit of the opposite approach taken by Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher last week. Ahead of the Louisville game, Fisher said he wasn’t taking the game personally after 2016’s blowout loss to the Cardinals. One of his players, Levonta Taylor, however, said he and his teammates were taking the game “very personally.” FSU ended up losing that game on Saturday 31-28.

Ohio State is currently a touchdown favorite against Penn State.