COLUMBUS – Following Ohio State’s 42-35 victory against the Indiana Hoosiers, Buckeye head coach Ryan Day spent some time talking to reporters, as did a few players including quarterback Justin Fields, defensive lineman Tommy Togiai, cornerback Shaun Wade, running back Master Teague III, and linebacker Baron Browning.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ “Really excited to be 4-0. Looking at everything we’ve been through, to be first place in the Big Ten East and to be 4-0 is great.” Most people don’t understand the sacrifices these players have made.
+ All that matters is that they win.
+ The energy they came out with was as good as he has seen.
+ “We gotta figure a way to close out games, this is the second week in a row we’ve let a team hang around.”
+ “This was not easy, really proud of this team and the coaches.”
+ On the 4th-and-1 call, they are always going to be aggressive and go for it.
+ He is not pleased, “far from pleased,” with teams being able to come back in the second half. But Day said it’s a different dynamic, playing with no fans and having to bring their own energy and playing four games when it’s almost Thanksgiving. But they have to coach better and execute better.
+ Shaun Wade’s Pick-6 was huge.
+ On the pass defense, Day said Indiana made big plays and if they didn’t give up the big plays, they probably could have had the game and run away with it. But they did give up the plays, 491 yards passing is way too much. But good news is that they stopped the run. They need to go find the issues and where the big plays are coming from and get that changed.
+ There are some things that they can look at to address this, but teams attack differently and they have to figure it out. They will look at personnel, scheme, coaching. “When you’re trying to fix something you have to look at these and that’s what Sunday’s are for. It’s not like they are not capable of doing it because they did int he first half. They just have to fill in the gaps.”
+ Justin Fields was gutsy and tough. “We knew it was going to be a high risk, high reward game.” Overall he played really gutsy and made some big time plays. They were blitzing every snap. Certainly want to have the interceptions back but you have to be aggressive, they couldn’t play on their heels. Production was good but have to clean up the turnovers.
QB Justin Fields
+ On the interceptions, Fields said on the first one he got the read wrong and it was too high, the second one he tried to throw it away, third one he just tried to do too much.
+ He obviously made bad decisions, he ended up with three picks. But he is glad they got the win. Fields said he will look at it on Sunday and get better.
+ They have to start finishing teams. He doesn’t know how it happens or why teams come back against them, but they have to start finishing teams. Coach Day talked about that in the locker room post-game.
+ On the running game, Fields said when he is not picking up the offense, other people have to pick him up. All of the running backs did a great job, they helped him a lot and helped the team a lot.
DT Tommy Togiai
+ On Michael Penix being able to still make plays with the pressure, Togiai said he has that quick release and was still able to get the ball out. Moving forward they can try to do a better job of getting there faster.
+ On teams moving the ball on them better in the second half, he said they just gave up big plays more in the second half. They need to get more pressure and get guys on the ground and tackle better. The biggest thing was the amount of big plays in the second half.
+ On this game being the Big East Showdown, Togiai said it’s hard to get a win, especially in the Big Ten. They are going to celebrate that.
+ They were able to rise to the occasion today.
+ The defense doesn’t panic. They can’t worry when the offense scores, they have to keep playing.
CB Shaun Wade
+ On giving up the big plays, Wade says that when they give up big plays they just have to move forward to the next play. Coach Kerry Coombs talks about that.
+ On his Pick-6, Wade said he knew it was coming because they ran an outside blitz.
+ On giving up big plays in the second half, Wade they have to figure it out because they can’t give up points like that. He has to go back and watch the film to see.
+ They had a couple blown coverages, but there was a couple where they just made plays. That’s a part of football, the wide receivers are going to make plays and the DB’s are going to make plays.
+ This is a championship defense and secondary. It’s not just the defense, it’s the team total in the second half that needs to do more.
RB Master Teague III
+ On his performance and the running game, Teague said they have been improving every week. He feels good about it overall but they will find nuances in the film to correct. But he feels great about it. “It’s a blessing.”
+ On getting in a groove, Teague said he did get in a good groove today and felt like he was able to make plays and help the team win. To a certain extent it is easier to be out there every time, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. He believes in the coaches and will be coachable. Certain situations he voices his opinion on certain runs, but it’s a team game.
+ On his 41-yard touchdown, Teague said it feels great. That’s a part of his game, a home-run hitter, but he just hadn’t been able to do it yet. He shouts out the offensive line for blocking on that play.
+ He has never been a part of a game where they blitzed that much.
LB Baron Browning
+ The pass game has some things to clean up but each week they get better and that’s what matters.
+ On sustaining energy in the fourth quarter, Browning said they have to work on that. They have to fix it if they want to be the team they know they can be.
+ On improving, they have to just keep getting better, look at the film and correct the mistakes that were made.
+ Right now they are celebrating the win, but they will take it one day at a time and correct as much as they can moving forward.
+ They knew Indiana was going to be a hard team to beat so this was a good win. They have to take it one game at a time.