COLUMBUS – Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and a handful of Buckeye offensive players met with the media to preview the Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup against Clemson.
Here’s what was said.
OC Kevin Wilson
+ Clemson does a great job creating negative plays. They make every guy work and every play is a fight. They are working hard to create those looks in practice.
+ It will be difficult to run the ball against Clemson.
+ There’s a comfort factor with Chris Olave being out on the field. He can catch the deep ball, he’s a tremendous player, and Fields has confidence in him. He took last year personal, maybe more personal than he should but that’s what good players do. His baseball background helps with his ability to get the deep balls.
+ Wyatt Davis is tough and physical. “He has an old-school nastiness about him.” His accolades are well-deserving.
+ The key thing is getting points, “you’re not going to win championships kicking field goals.” They have to find more success because it was not good enough last year.
TE Luke Farrell
+ He is so excited to be here, especially for his last year.
+ He has to keep an eye on everybody in the Clemson defense. Playing against them last year helps because it’s hard to replicate a game.
+ This is a huge game for them because of where it can lead to, a national championship, and with not having won against this team, it has given them a chip on their shoulder.
+ They haven’t put a complete game together yet. Their best is yet to come and they are preparing for that to be Friday.
+ Controlling the line of scrimmage will be huge.
QB Justin Fields
+ On what Ryan Day has taught him, Fields said Day has increased his football knowledge but he also changed his whole outlook on football because he’s really into the process.
+ He has to stay calm in the pocket and make plays under pressure.
+ He missed Chris Olave being on the field against Northwestern. Having him back will make their offense better as a whole because they have a great chemistry.
+ The Clemson defense is big and physical and they know how to get to the quarterback.
+ The sky is the limit for Julian Fleming.
+ He learned from this game last year that one play can change the whole game. Last year it was the targeting call on Shaun Wade, that changed the whole game and shifted the momentum.
+ On his thumb injury, Fields said he will be good by Friday night to play.
+ That game hurt a lot last year, that was their whole motivation in the off-season. Clemson is a great team, and he is excited to be able to play them again.
+ Clemson’s defensive line is playing really well this year. This Clemson team is very similar to the team they saw last year. They have great players all over the field. They know what they are up against.
+ On scoring in the red-zone, it comes down to executing. Everybody has to execute.
+ Everything happens for a reason. What happened in those games and him not playing as well as he needed to, he thinks maybe God was sending him a message that he needed to do more. He hasn’t prepared like this the whole season. God was telling him to lock in. He was mad after the games, but now he’s just motivated.
+ “Every team in the country wants to be in the spot we are in right now.”
+ He hopes Trey Sermon runs for another 300. But he thinks Clemson saw what he did. He hopes Sermon gets a chance to do it again.
OG Wyatt Davis
+ On being named All-American, Davis said he does believe that he played like an All-American. But there are a lot of things he can do better and he looks forward to doing that on Friday. As the games went on his play has gotten better each week. Not having spring ball was tough, those reps were so important especially for the offensive line. They weren’t able to get into a rhythm until a few games in and now they are trending in the right direction.
+ Against Northwestern, to have a solid game where they were put in the position where they had to run the ball in order to win, having that feeling of putting the team on their backs was great. He feels they did a great job when the team needed them most. Especially because it has been such a weird year.
+ Justin Fields is extra motivated this week. “You can just tell he has that look in his eye.” But it’s everybody, not just him. They had a whole winter offseason program just dedicated to this game and they are going into this game not respected at all, that adds a lot of motivation.
+ To play in the state where his grandfather excelled, Davis said he can only hope to achieve what he achieved. He still has a lot of family in New Orleans.
+ They have all of the tools to be an up-front, rushing team. That is their identity and they showed the world that when they have the opportunity to run the ball, they can get it done.
+ For him personally, this whole year has just been one thing after the other. From being away from the team and then coming back, and then one day you can practice and the next day you’re out for a few weeks due to COVID, and not seeing family, it has been hard.
OC Josh Myers
+ They think they can play their best in this game because they have to. They haven’t played their best yet because there hasn’t been any rhythm to anything they have done this season and maybe they haven’t had to play their best with the opponents they faced. It has been a really weird year.
+ There is a lot of pressure on Justin Fields’s shoulders every single game. He believes Fields is someone who is built to handle that pressure. He will be great.
+ Wyatt Davis is a great teammate.
+ The bowl experience is weird this year, it’s a shame because bowl sites are so much fun. The turnaround was so fast that it doesn’t feel like a bowl game.
+ This is exactly where they wanted to be. Last year was rough, the way they left that field. It’s good to be back in this position. They are excited to get another shot at Clemson.
+ The offense has no room for error in the red-zone. Last year it was just the little things that stopped them from scoring in the red-zone. That was the difference between field goals and touchdowns.
+ Having COVID-19 was terrible. He tested positive and immediately left his house and had to quarantine. He didn’t see anyone for 10 days, he just sat there and did school work and watched film.
RB Trey Sermon
+ They aren’t focused on where Dabo Swinney ranked them.
+ Ever since he got to Ohio State, he has been told about the game last year. His mentality is to do everything he can to beat Clemson.
+ He wants to play his best game against Clemson. He is more than capable of getting the job done, he doesn’t need to do anything extra, just give his 100 percent effort and play his best.
+ He watched it last year and thought Ohio State was going to win. “It was a good game.”
+ He came to Ohio State to play on a big stage like this. He can’t wait for this opportunity.
+ He has been getting used to playing with the offensive line. He feels a big difference when compared to a few weeks ago. It takes time to get a flow and figure out how guys move. Adjusting to the speed of the conference also played a role.
+ Sermon just wants to make the most of his opportunities, whether he splits the carries or he has the majority.
+ The Clemson defense flies around and everybody is there to get the ball and tackle.
WR Garrett Wilson
+ They heard about the comments from Dabo Swinney but for them it was just fuel to the fire. He fueled it and made it easier to go out there and put the work in. “They are a great team and we are a great team.” They expected some of the talk.
+ He’s as confident as ever in Justin Fields.
+ On having Chris Olave back, Wilson said he opens everything up in the offense and DB’s can’t lean one way or the other. Getting Olave back is huge.
+ Being able to get open and make adjustments will be key for him. They have a lot of respect for the Clemson defense.
+ Everybody knows what they are playing for.
+ This game means a lot for everybody but Chris Olave wants to make the most of it, “he’s the best receiver in the nation, we all trust Chris and if we have him out there we feel good.”
+ He has one big photo of the Clemson leaping catch from last year’s game in his apartment. “It’s pushing lift size. It’s hard.”