COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The criticism from head coach Urban Meyer got so bad that about the only respite for Ohio State's wide receivers was when they were united in their misery.

Maybe that was what Meyer wanted.

Meyer seldom failed to take a shot at his receiving corps from the minute he first saw it in the spring. He called the passing game from a year ago "non-functional" and "inadequate." He continually complained that he couldn't find a single playmaker among his pass-catchers. He questioned their heart, their effort, their skill.

Now, as the 18th-ranked Buckeyes draw closer to their Sept. 1 opener against Miami (Ohio), the verbal assaults have softened somewhat. Meyer has come around.

He says they're "not where we need to be, but so much improved."