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Watching Urban Meyer during Ohio State’s narrow Maryland win was just uncomfortable

The Ohio State coach’s anguished expressions were a constant backdrop to Maryland’s upset bid.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Ohio State kept itself alive in the College Football Playoff race, just barely, with a 52-51 overtime win at Maryland on Saturday. Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome missed receiver Jeshaun Jones in the end zone on a decisive two-point attempt to end the game. The Buckeyes are extremely fortunate to still be in the hunt.

Ohio State had trailed 17-3 in the first quarter, 24-10 in the second, and 31-17 in the third. The Buckeyes were also down in the last minute of regulation by a touchdown, but they scraped together just enough plays to beat an underdog that played its heart out.

The win probably will leave Ohio State fans more relieved than happy.

Urban Meyer’s sideline demeanor and expressions were a story of the game, as ESPN’s cameras and the internet watched him closely.

At various points, Meyer just looked furious with his team and the game’s officiating crew. After the Buckeyes got stopped on a fourth down in the first half, he threw his headset:

After a turnover in the third quarter, he looked aghast:

And he did again after a bad-looking pass interference call on the Buckeyes with two minutes left, which set up a crucial Maryland score:

But at other points, Meyer looked like he might be in physical pain.

Cameras caught him keeled over several times.

This was during a timeout in the fourth quarter, when OSU trailed by a score:

Meyer’s medical history is well documented and one of the bigger reasons why his future at Ohio State doesn’t seem certain right now.

His mental health has suffered at different points.

He’s been diagnosed with an arachnoid cyst in his brain and dropped to the ground on the sideline during one 2018 game. He’s dealt with “aggressive headaches” in the last two years, his doctor recently told Yahoo Sports:

Meyer decided to outline his medical history because of persistent questions about his future as Ohio State’s coach. He reiterated to Yahoo Sports that he has no plans to step down at Ohio State, but wanted to be fully transparent about his health issues to alleviate questions about his future. “I just want people to know what’s going on,” Meyer said. “I’ve been dealing with this for several years.”

“As with many medical conditions, the issue with his cyst is incurable and progressive,” wrote after Meyer talked in late October with local media about his health.

These issues have lingered for a while. Ohio State investigators found Meyer didn’t lie at a press conference about his knowledge of abuse allegations against former assistant Zach Smith. The investigators put forth memory loss and medication as possible explanations.

Meyer is 54 and has spent all but one of the last 18 years as an FBS head coach, working absurd hours and dealing with huge pressure all that time.

For that reason, watching him labor more and more throughout the Maryland game was deeply uncomfortable.