ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Following the 119th playing of The Game, and Ohio State’s 30-24 loss to Michigan, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day answered questions from reporters. Quarterback Kyle McCord, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. also spoke with the media.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On the end of the game, Day said they needed a touchdown there and Michigan was in a deep coverage there. McCord was hit. “They made a nice play.”
+ The feeling in the pit of his stomach… he can’t describe. “We waited a whole year for it and came up short.”
+ On not going for it on 4th-and-1 early on and electing to kick the 52-yard field goal, Day said he felt like it was worth it to get the points, especially starting on the two. Early on, the 4th down, he didn’t want to give them any momentum, wanted to play good defense. “Now, you second guess everything.”
+ On the touchdown that Burke had hands on, Day said he was told it was a touchdown, he didn’t understand it.
+ On Michigan controlling the clock for the final eight minutes, Day said they did a nice job running the ball and held on to give their offense a win. They needed to get a stop to get them off the field.
+ On McCord’s performance, Day said they had to win rushing yards and turnover battle and they didn’t win either of those.
+ On what he told the team, Day said he will keep it in the locker room but they are all disappointed. This game means to much to so many people, it’s crushing to come up short. There’s a locker room in there that’s devastated. It wasn’t a lack of effort but they didn’t win the turnover battle and didn’t win the rushing yard battle. “I’d like to say that it is more than that, but I’m not sure that it is.”
+ It comes down to getting stops and finishing drives.
+ There was one drive in particular they were rocking off the ball and running well.
+ They didn’t have a good start to the game.
+ On working the game all year and not having enough, Day said they had good plays and good stuff, they got in a rhythm a bit in the second half, they were fairly explosive. They were doing a decent job of that on offense.
+ He hasn’t even thought about the playoffs. They have a very good team and came up short but they have a good team, who is solid in all three phases. He does believe they can play either anyone in the country, but he hasn’t thought about it.
+ On the early pick, McCord said the corner made a good play and jumped in on the slant call. His eyes were on the linebacker but he jumped it. “We put our defense in a tough situation there.”
+ On the locker room after the game, McCord said it hurts. To work that hard for that opportunity and come up a few plays short, hurts. There’s no way around that.
+ On the last possession and reminding him of Notre Dame, McCord said the defense got them the ball back, down six with a minute to go, they knew they had to get the ball rolling. In that situation, they knew they were going to take shots down field to get the ball moving. He didn’t get as much as on the ball as he wanted to.
+ On where this team can go and leading the team, McCord said there aren’t a lot of words to say to the team in the moment. It hurts to come up short but they will re-group tomorrow, watch film, and make corrections. But now they have to sit back and let things shake out… it’s out of their control.
+ Games like this come down to one or two plays, whether you make them or you don’t. The margin of error is so slim. “Not the result we wanted.”
+ The 2021 class is very talented and will do great things at the next level. But this one stings, this is what they talked about when they first got here, and to lose on this stage hurts.
+ On playing uphill all game, McCord said the interception was not the ideal way to start the game. They were playing up hill and never re-gained a lead.
+ On this potentially being his last game playing with Marvin Harrison Jr., McCord said he hopes this isn’t the end of it, but if it is, he submitted himself as one the best players in Ohio State history.
Marvin Harrison Jr.
+ He thought at the end they were going to pull out the win. “The DB just made a play.”
+ He has a lot of emotions right now. He knew the game was over after the interception and everything they worked for was gone. The goals they had… they weren’t going to accomplish them.
+ On what’s next, Harrison Jr. said “I don’t have an answer for you yet.”
+ The safety helped double him and he was bracketed in the end zone. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I definitely got doubled a lot more today than I ever have I think.”
+ McCord has done a great job handling everything that comes along with being a quarterback at Ohio State. “I’m super proud of him. Before he’s my quarterback, he’s my friend.”
+ On not being able to get the stops, Knowles said they didn’t get them when they had to. They had some guys in positions but didn’t make the plays. “You always wish you had made those plays in critical moments.” He thought the guys played hard but he is disappointed.
+ On J.J. McCarthy’s performance, Knowles said he showed he’s an excellent quarterback. “He made plays with his feet when he couldn’t with his arm and we didn’t. That’s what happens in match-up games.”
+ “Not enough. Ultimately, you gotta win this game and I certainly feel like we were a play short. That’s something I gotta keep working on.”