Live Updates From Matt Barnes, Brian Hartline, Justin Fields, and More

Matt Barnes Ohio State Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State assistant coaches Matt Barnes and Brian Hartline will be speaking with reporters today following Tuesday’s noon session with head coach. Also spending some time with the media are quarterback Justin Fields, offensive lineman Jonah Jackson, receiver Austin Mack, and defensive tackle Jashon Cornell. We will provide live updates throughout the session once it begins. Refresh for the latest.

Justin Fields

+ Binjimen Victor is an all-around receiver. He can block, he has moves after the catch, he can jump. He’s dangerous in the red zone and everywhere else.

+ “I’m fine with the way my life is right now.”

+ Playing against this Ohio State defense makes this offense better. It’s tests the receivers on a daily basis. “It helps the offense and helps me fitting those balls into the tighter windows.”

+ People may have some idea of the level of commitment that it takes to play at this level, but they don’t know all of the little things that are involved in being a football player at Ohio State.

+ “We’re ready for the test. It’s just another business trip.”

+ Going into games like this, you can’t make it bigger than it is because you may not play up to your full potential. You prepare the same as the other games and if they do that, this should be enough to win the game.

+ He’s not sure if he’ll run more as the season gets tougher. Whatever they need, he’ll do.

+ Day doesn’t discourage him from creating on the run. He tells him to be smart with the ball, but he’s allowed to be himself. That allows him to be a better player.

+ He hasn’t seen too much of Columbus because he usually just goes home and watches Netflix. Most of his classes are online.

+ The receivers know that when he scrambles, he wants to throw the ball and not run it. So he’ll keep his eyes downfield before just taking off and running with it.

+ “My body feels great.” Felt no pain on Saturday. His body has adjusted to the hits.

Austin Mack

+ It only takes one moment here at Ohio State to elevate yourself nationally. He cited the “Noah Brown game.”

+ Mack was excited on his touchdown, but then saw the flag and was disappointed. “It sucks” but you move on and work to get another one.

+ Why no interceptions so far for Justin Fields? Mack thinks the game plan has been simple for him and the wideouts have been getting open. He hasn’t forced a lot of throws because he can run. He’s mature and is good at making decisions.

+ Terry McLaurin is testimony that the hard work pays off.

+ He was ecstatic watching Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson. Williams tells his teammates all the time that if he can get a catch he’s going to take it to the house every time. They laughed, but you saw him do it.

+ There is still a mystique around Nebraska. It’s an intimidating atmosphere. They are a good opponent.

+ It’s hard not to get frustrated by lack of touches, especially as a senior, but you look at what Terry McLaurin is doing and he only had 35 catches last year. But this is all a process and he’s going to follow it with full effort and good things will come.

+ Even when he’s not getting the ball, he’s still trying to maximize everything else that gets put on film, like blocking and effort.

+ They study the defensive backs they face each week very closely.

Jonah Jackson

+ He believes there is still a mystique around Nebraska. He was there two years ago with Rutgers and it’s a great place.

+ You have to be prepared for this defensive line. They will study their tendencies individually and understand what they do against the run and in their pass rushes.

+ Definitely looking forward to the challenge this weekend.

+ They compete among the OL for knockdowns, but if Wyatt Davis takes over the number one spot, that’s okay and a good sign for Davis.

+ He needs to be cleaner in his technique and keep his hands inside to avoid some of those holding calls.

+ He’s feeling great about the progress he is making in each game, but there are still things that need to be fixed. Not just about him but the whole team as well.

Jashon Cornell

+ Chase Young commands a lot of attention and offensive linemen can forget about the other guys.

+ Chase Young is on another level, but he hasn’t even hit his level yet. He can still do a lot more that people haven’t even seen yet.

+ Everybody can get sacks — they want sack fumbles.

+ Not sure there is a different feel this week because they take every week very seriously.

+ Jonathon Cooper has been helping the younger guys and staying involved that way as well.

+ This defensive line can still do so much more, especially in the Rushmen package when they all get healthy and Jonathon Cooper comes back.

+ This defensive line has plenty of energy because they trust the guys behind them. They don’t have to play in a game until they are tired. If they need a breather, they can come off the field and let the guy behind him do his thing.

+ What is the most important stat for a defensive lineman? Stopping the run. It may not show up on the stat sheet individually for linemen, but that’s what they look for.

+ Nebraska has really good running backs and a really good quarterback who can run the ball.

Brian Hartline

+ Having too many good receivers isn’t a negative, but it adds a dynamic that needs to be handled. If you are having heart surgery, do you want one good doctor or five really good doctors? It’s the same with a receiving room.

+ He is fine with receivers being frustrated with lack of touches, but don’t let it affect your playing time or your team.

+ Is he using Terry McLaurin’s success in recruiting? He almost doesn’t need to because social media is doing it for him.

+ Garrett Wilson’s progression has been really good. Everything stems from mindset and approach. Hartline can tell you on Wednesday who he thinks will have a good game on Saturday based on how they are practicing.

+ There’s only so many snaps for these guys. Special teams is another opportunity for each of the receivers to make an impact on the game. You always want to be in the situation where you have guys who are ready to play. You never want to have to rely on a guy who isn’t ready.

+ There aren’t a lot of reps in practice available to the number of receivers they have, so mental reps are a must. If they are making the most of those mental reps, then they can put that on the field on Saturdays. But everything is earned and if you show you can do it in practice, you’ll get an opportunity to do it in a game.

+ Binjimen Victor passes the look test more than other receivers. He is a leader of the room and Victor knows he needs to continue to grow and will never think he’s made it while he is at Ohio State. The goal is to always be improving.

+ Why has there been no drop off? The guys have prepared to get better every week. Where they were in the spring wasn’t good enough. Where they were in week one isn’t good enough for where they need to be now. Where they are now won’t be good enough for November. They have all bought in on the process to get to where they need to be.

+ Jameson Williams has a track background that helps him. He is starting to have an impact on special teams. Chris Olave had a similar role last year to where Williams is currently.

Matt Barnes 

+ It has been since 2010 that Ohio State has gone without a kickoff return. Demario McCall has been close. The rules have changed now regarding blocking, so you have to make sure you swing at the right pitches.

+ Any time you feel comfortable putting your corners on an island, it allows you to defend the middle of the field better.

+ There are some good young players at safety. He feels good about the depth.

+ Nebraska is pretty good on special teams. They’ve had some issues on their field goals, but he expects them to get that shored up. This is a great coaching staff at Nebraska.

+ Garrett Wilson is an aggressive punt returner. He attacks the ball, which they want. The great returners don’t need to be coached too much. They have the natural ability to make things happen.

+ We’ll find out today how excited the defense is to get things started for the Nebraska game. He expects them to be locked in during meetings and in practice.

+ There is a great balance of young players and established players on special teams. You pick and choose when to play guys like Chase Young or Chris Olave. Some younger guys have played well with their opportunities. He singled out Bryson Shaw, Jameson Williams, and Garrett Wilson.

+ The special teams culture has been established here for a long time, so they’re just trying to live up to that and improve upon it if they can.

+ The best players play on special teams and Chase Young is an example of that.

+ Field goal blocking has a lot that goes into it. They scout the kickers they are playing against and what kind of lift they get on their kicks. That determines how they go about blocking it.

+ No place is like Ohio State when it comes to special teams that he’s ever seen. He’s seen it from the other side playing against Ohio State and preparing them. There is constant conversation regarding the management of the depth chart regarding offensive and defensive starters and how much special teams they will play, and then balancing that with getting the young players their necessary experience as well.


One Response

  1. Not surprised at all @ McClaurin’s success. What was surprising is it took till his 4th&5th years for everyone else to see his talent. At the time of his recruitment he was one the top performer’s @ the opening and many criticized the staff for recruiting athletes and not receivers like Wilson. One of the hot takes after 31-0, even though we know now it was mostly about the QB and wr coach.

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