Two-Minute Drill: Updates From the Players at Monday's Ohio State Media Luncheon
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's Big Ten Championship Game Week, which means there's a bunch to talk about on the Ohio State side of things. Several players were made available to speak, including Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Devin Smith and Ryan Shazier. Here are the highlights.
Jack Mewhort Updates
* Mewhort said they've been fortunate to have continuity on the offensive line for two years now, with Taylor Decker being the only change since the start of last season.
* He said he remembers last year's game being tough and hard fought. He said the MSU defense doesn't do a ton of different stuff, they just come out and try to outplay and out-talent you. He said he's looking forward to playing MSU DE Shilique Calhoun.
* Mewhort said if they execute their base plays, they'll be alright. They have to play fast and be confident in what they're doing.
* Asked what his favorite Braxton Miller moment was this year, he said the touchdown run where he rolled out to the right against Michigan.
* Mewhort said that Pat Elflein “played a great game” and “did not look like a redshirt freshman.” “We're all very proud of him right now.”
* Mewhort said Marcus Hall is down on himself right now because he knows he messed up and did not give a good representation of himself or football team. “We're all still behind him. We're a brotherhood.”
Ryan Shazier Updates
* Shazier said he's watched the Michigan State linebackers, and likes to watch Denicos Allen. “He kind of reminds me of me a little bit.”
* Shazier said some of the problems last week against Michigan were guys trying to do too much and not just doing their jobs.
* He said Michigan State has a very good offensive line, and quarterback Connor Cook is a very good decision maker. He said he does exactly what the coaches ask him to do.
* On the Iron Bowl reaction, did the team have to re-focus? “We don't really need to do much re-focusing, because everybody still understands.” Everybody knows that Michigan State is still the focal point.
* He called the win over Michigan “bittersweet” because of the yards they gave up, but he's definitely happy to get the win. They'll need to be better next time they play Michigan.
* Shazier said picking an offensive player of the year between Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde is too difficult of a decision for him to make.
* He said he's not surprised that people are questioning their defense at this point.
* Shazier said Jeremy Langford is really good at locating the hole and hitting it quickly.
* Shazier said they've been using negative media talk as motivation the entire season. He said that as long as they keep winning, that's all that matters.
Michael Bennett Updates
* Bennett said that they just have to take care of business this week and everything will work out after that. It's only Michigan State this week for them.
* He said they celebrated the win over Michigan, but they've already moved on to Michigan State.
* Bennett said they need to play better team defense and tackle better. He said they could take notes from Michigan State's defense.
* Bennett said it's “pretty cool” that Michigan State will be in the same division as Ohio State next year. He wasn't aware that was happening.
* He said it feels great to know that he's had a hand in bringing Ohio State back to this point.
* Bennett said they've been doubted all year, so what is being said now is nothing new to them. He said they have to take care of a Big Ten Championship, and if they don't, then nothing else matters.
* He said a Big Ten Championship would mean everything given how far they've come since his freshman season in 2011.
* Bennett said Urban Meyer does a great job making them understand that you can't look too far ahead, and you can't look past each game or each day. “You're not going to win the game on Saturday if you're not preparing hard on Tuesday.”
* Bennett said the closest offense they've seen to Michigan State's might be Wisconsin or Penn State.
Devin Smith Updates
* Smith said the 2013 Ohio State offense is much more explosive than last year's offense. He said they can score from anywhere on the field. He said both Ohio State and Michigan State have improved from last year.
* Smith said right now they are only focused on Michigan State. There is no worries about anything else. He said soon after the Michigan game, it was immediately to Michigan State. Asked about the opportunity to play for a national championship with a win over Michigan State, Smith said, “That's what we wanted.”
* Smith said the team grew closer after last year's Michigan State game, and it was certainly the turning point in the season. He said it's ironic that Michigan State is there to play Ohio State on a bigger stage this time for what could be another turning point.
Corey Linsley Updates
* Asked about Taylor Lewan saying after the game that Ohio State wasn't the number three team in the nation, he said, “I guess he was right.”
* Linsley said they aren't paying any attention to the BCS situation right now. “That's the beauty of the position we're in.”
* Linsley said that it's reassuring that Urban Meyer has won conference championship games before. They'll do what he says, because he knows what he's doing in that regard.
* Linsley said that having finals this week and next is tough. He said he had to go write a paper after interviews. He did say, however, that it allows them to stay focused on football and school, which is kind of nice.
* He said that the MSU defense plays like the OSU defense back when Jim Tressel was the coach.
* Asked if he thinks this offense can run on anybody, he said, “I feel that way now. That's the way we prepare.”
* He said that everything changed last year against Michigan State, and now everything is on the line for them against the Spartans again.
* Linsley said that Marcus Hall is doing alright, but that he was completely distraught after the game. He said he waited in the locker room for Hall, who was busy having a talk with Urban Meyer. He told Hall that “it's just football”, because Hall was acting like his life was over. He said he's constantly asking people for updates on Hall's status for Saturday's game.
* Regarding the video of the team watching the end of the Auburn game on the bus, Linsley said, “I kind of wish that video hadn't gotten out.” He said he stopped paying attention, and then when everybody started reacting, it “scared the hell” out of him. He said that players were celebrating and that Philly Brown had to stand up and remind them that they were all acting like they didn't have another game to play on Saturday.
* On the opportunity ahead of them, Linsley said, “Our dream is here. The Chase is real.”
* He said Michigan State is just so disciplined, that's really what sets them apart.
Joshua Perry Update
* He said the defense may have looked bad at times on Saturday, but the tape showed that they were close on a lot of plays, which means that the issues are correctable. He said they'll have a chip on their shoulder for the way they played.
* Perry said that it took the defense a little while to settle down against Michigan, but the objective was to win, and they did that. He said winning is never easy in rivalry games. He also said that they've got to face facts that mistakes were made.
* Perry said that when he committed to Ohio State and signed in 2011, he wasn't expecting to reach this point so quickly, but that he did know they'd be back. “This is Ohio State.”
Doran Grant Updates
* Grant said that “some things happened” on defense, but “at the end of the day, we still won the game.” He said this defense is good enough to win their remaining games. He said they do have to play better, however. He said execution is the key and just making the plays when they come to you.
* Grant said that they've had to sit and watch the Big Ten Championship Game for two years, so it will be exciting to finally get to play in it.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.