ARLINGTON, Tx. — The Ohio State Buckeyes suffocated the USC Trojans 24-7 Friday night in the 82nd annual Cotton Bowl Classic, giving OSU a win over Michigan, a Big Ten Title, and a Cotton Bowl win to cap off a very successful 2017 campaign. After the game, plenty of coaches and players shared their thoughts on what the win meant and what they are looking forward to next year. Here are some highlights.
+ After the game, Meyer had each of the seniors say a few words to the team. “And I can’t get enough of those guys.”
+ Meyer said he gets asked what J.T. Barrett means to this team and he never gets tired of answering it. “We just had…not very many dry eyes in the locker room.”
+ On Barrett: “I know he’s going to go play in the NFL.”
+ The defensive line was dominating and relentless against an excellent quarterback.
+ Sam Darnold is every bit a top five pick. “I was watching him warm up and going ‘whoa.'”
+ This win was very personal for Meyer.
+ The program is in a very good spot right now. This game provides more momentum for next season and also for the close of recruiting.
+ Conversations about Denzel Ward began after the Big Ten Championship Game. Denzel is a great young man. His mom is great.
+ “God has definitely blessed me and my family for the opportunity to be at Ohio State.”
+ “It’s been a blessing. I’m very grateful for everybody. That’s been a part of my dream here at Ohio State.”
+ Barrett has looked up to Drew Brees since he was a kid, so it’s crazy to now hold the all-time total offense record in the Big Ten, breaking Brees’ old record.
+ On Denzel Ward not playing: “My mindset was just the next man up. I know we’ve got a lot of young guys that was ready to play.”
+ Webb was pleased to cap his career so well, with interceptions in both postseason games.
+ He has high expectations for the safeties next season, including Isaiah Pryor, who expects to take over for Webb at the Falcon safety spot.
+ Coombs said it is selfish of him to want Denzel Ward to play. It was a personal decision and a tough decision to make.
+ Coombs wants spring practice to start tomorrow because he was very excited about the way Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Jeff Okudah all played.
+ Shaun Wade will be able to take part in winter workouts in January. He would have played this season if not for his abdominal injury.
+ Wade said he can’t wait to get to work and help the team in any way that he can.
+ This season has been tough, but there are so many examples here of cornerbacks who have redshirted and gone on to great careers.
+ Okudah learned so much this season, which will only help him next season.
+ He thought he played okay tonight. He knew there was a very good chance that he was going to play a lot of snaps in this one.
+ Young said it was a great feeling to get a sack on Sam Darnold in the Cotton Bowl.
+ What should you expect from Young next year with more snaps? Just a tenacious player on every snap. “Relentless.”
+ Jones has a decision to make on the NFL. There are good things about leaving and staying, so he has some things to think about.
+ He knows Nick Bosa thinks he’s staying, but he’s not sure how he’d know if no decision has been made.
+ Weber has not made up his mind about next year and the NFL.
+ Martell learned a lot from J.T. Barrett this season, especially on how to do everything as a professional.
+ Martell expects to play next year.
+ Learned a ton from Damon Webb and plans on stepping in for him seamlessly.
+ Per Webb, Jordan Fuller and Pryor are both very smart players, so he believes they will be fine without him.
+ Garrett knows there is a huge opportunity to see the field next year, and he’s going to spend the offseason making the most of his shot.
+ He thinks Dre’Mont Jones is coming back.
+ Garrett learned a lot from the seniors and now he is ready to step into a leadership role for the younger players coming in behind him.