Football

Postgame Quotes From Ohio State vs. Michigan State

Sept. 29, 2012

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer
Opening statement ...
"We beat a good team. As I always do, I give credit; that was a really good team we played. Excellent defense. Any time you hold a quality running back to whatever it was - I think 34 or 40 yards (45) - that's a great, great effort. It was a great team win. We found out something about our team today, to go on the road in a hostile environment against a quality, quality football team and find a way to win and answer every drive with another drive; when it was time to go make a play, they did. From Devin Smith to the field goal kicker to the punter to, most importantly, our D-line and O-line, and having Carlos Hyde back, and just pounding the ball. Gutsy effort by our quarterback, [he] had some miscues but just, I mean, just the toughness - he's banged up, he's banged up - and just kept coming back, kept coming back, and then Philly Brown, I think did a great job. On defense though...are you kidding? If you had to say who's the MVP...that D-line and linebackers did a very, very nice job stopping a very good rushing attack."

On coaching his first Big Ten game ...
"This was a war, and this was two sledgehammers going at each other. I know the Big Ten has taken some heat; I thought that was a great game, great atmosphere, bunch of great players on the field...We played at the next level and that was good for college football and good for the Big Ten."

On Braxton Miller and his pushing through injuries ...
"I've got some good players on that field, and I agree...I'm a Braxton guy. He's got to take care of the ball. But we'll worry about that. We're going to enjoy the win. One thing about giving a great effort, that's all I care about. Point A to Point B, four to six seconds, and Braxton of course, but a bunch of other players did that today too.

"I saw his knee jam right in front of me, but I just love Braxton. Braxton's my guy, I've got a great relationship with him. He's family now, and when something like that happens, you're like...I guess it's no different than John Simon, you know John's laying there, you know we're a family now. You spend so much time together, you see what these kids do. You're family. So yeah, my reaction is that it's not just because it's Braxton, it's because he's a family member."

On the TD pass to Devin Smith ...
"It was a blitz-a-thon. We had some hits we didn't hit earlier, but when the ball starts getting moved against [Michigan State], they blitz - it was one of three blitzes they were bringing - we knew it; we just have to execute better. They have good corners. That No.5 [Johnny Adams] is a good corner, and I just was kind of watching, and I said that was the right time, and what a great throw and catch.

"Devin Smith is becoming a great player right in front of our eyes."

On having confidence in his defense ...
"Absolutely I thought [we were good enough to win]. I thought our defense was good enough to play better the first four games; that's how much confidence I've got in our players and coaches. I'm disappointed like you guys with bend but don't break like we've all seen, however...yeah, of course I've got a lot of confidence. I think we've got really, really good players. Do we have great players? We have a few of them. But yeah, I did have confidence in them."

On grinding the ball on the final drive ...
"I think every coach wants that. And against that front, when they knew it was coming...to just take the ball and end the game like that, that tells you a lot. I didn't know if we could do that. I thought our defense could play; did I think we could line up and just knock guys and make holes and guys run through tackles like Carlos did? ... To say that I knew we could that do that, if I knew we'd do that, we would have done that earlier in the game too.

"I mean, that was a hell of an effort."

On the importance of this victory over Michigan State ...
"That was a great game. This ranks as one of the great ones I've [ever coached]; I'm very lucky to have been around some great players, some great teams...this ranks as one of the top wins. This is fantastic."

On his team's defensive strategy ...
"I know that we played a lot of man coverage today; didn't put a lot of stress on the corners. At times you give up a pass or two. We put an extra guy down in there, and they did it.

"When you start having confidence in your back end players...it's a big part of why we took some chances."

On stopping Le'Veon Bell ...
"That's a good back. He won't be held to [such low yardage]. I'm venturing to say that won't happen again to that guy. He's a good player."

Ohio State Junior Wide Receiver Corey Brown
On the toughness of the game ...
It was definitely a dog fight out there. We played against a really good team. Whenever you play in a dog fight you are going to feel a little roughed up after the game.

Thoughts on the game plan and the effects of the turnovers ...
The plan was to go ahead and control the perimeter. We felt if we were able to get out on the perimeter and us as wideouts go out and block on the perimeter then we would be successful today.

Playing against a tough Spartan defense ...
They were a tough defense. They were really well coached. Just like I said before the game, they were as good as advertised.

What this game means for the Buckeyes ...
It's a real confidence booster definitely. This is a real good team, I love this team. They know how to come out and win, especially the job the offensive line did at the end of the game to run the ball and have Carlos Hyde run the ball as well as he did. It was a confidence booster.

Thoughts on being so involved in the offense ...
It's a blessing I am glad that Coach Herman has developed so much trust in me that he can call that many plays for me.

Ohio State Junior Defensive Lineman Johnathan Hankins
On getting banged up and getting back into the game ...
When I went down, I got hit in the back and couldn't breathe for a little bit. I then felt like I was ready to get back into the game.

On moving forward ...
This game was a confidence boost that we can go out there and make the plays and we can do our job. We are going to continue to make progress.

Ohio State Senior Cornerback Travis Howard
Thoughts on Michigan State ...
We knew that Michigan State was a big run team. We knew they had a good back in Le'Veon Bell; we knew they were going to give it to him as much as possible. Our whole scheme was to put nine in the box and just press on the outside, which was very effective.

Thoughts on the game plan of making MSU win it with passing ...
It was most definitely the game plan. We knew that they wanted to run the ball so that is what we were focused on. So we had to make them one dimensional and shut down the run and make the quarterback beat us by throwing the ball.

Thoughts on the play of the defensive line ...
Our defensive line did a great job today. They got a lot of pressure on the ball, they made the running back run east and west which is a great thing. I appreciate that because it made our job easier for making the quarterback one dimensional.

Ohio State Junior Center Corey Linsley
On a different feeling from last year ...
I think it was just an attitude thing and a revamped program. As Coach Meyer puts it, if you get kicked enough times you are going to respond eventually. That was us today. I am proud of our guys.

On the last drive ...
Offensive linemen don't show up on the stat sheet. So when you can do something like that, everyone knows it was on the O-line and we responded and we reacted. We won the game. It is just a really good feeling. Obviously, we really appreciated everybody else. It wasn't solely us winning the game, but in the end we really mattered and we had to step up. It felt good to go out there and do it.

On the coach's first Big Ten win ...
It was a lot of fun. I know he is excited. We were on College GameDay. We were against a good ranked opponent, supposedly the best defense in the Big Ten. To come in here and grind hard, commit to the greater cause, I think he is really happy with us and it means a lot.

Ohio State Sophomore Quarterback Braxton Miller
On his knee ...
It was aching at the time (of when it was injured) but I'm going to get it secure. It's no big deal.

On the frustration in moving the ball ...
You know, things happen like that. You fight through it and good things come out towards the end.

On overcoming mistakes ...
You've got to forget about it. It's football, things happen.

On the role of Devin Smith ...
He's one of my favorite receivers so I'm going to always throw to him.

On the win ...
It was a fun game. It was a good team game. We fought through it and we'll be back at it tomorrow.

Ohio State Senior Linebacker Etienne Sabino
On the third down blitz ...
We were in man coverage and I was at the back and he blocked so I went. This is such a great win, special teams blocking punts, offense moving the ball, defense stopping the run. This is just a great team win.

On the target on Le'Veon Bell's back ...
We have a lot of confidence in this defense. I have a lot of confidence in this defense. I can tell we are playing to our full potential. Le'Veon Bell is a great running back, but we are a great defense.

Ohio State Sophomore Linebacker Ryan Shazier
What was said on the sideline after poor tackling led to the MSU touchdown ...
We just recognized the play; we didn't recognize the play and everyone just come make the tackle. We were too focused on stripping the ball. We just have to wrap it up, because we know we are good enough to stop the team.

Thought on the blitz by senior linebacker Etienne Sabino ...
It was the call, everything was the call. The running back stayed in so we just came. Etienne (Sabino) made the play and got the sack and sealed the game for us.

Importance of the win for the Buckeyes ...
It is really a big road win; we know this was going to be the basis of our season. We knew we were going to have to go in and do good against them to have a good season.

Thoughts on playing a tough physical game ...
I really believed our defense could win a game like this because nobody has really seen how good we are yet. We showed them a little something, but we still have a lot more. So I knew our defense was good enough to do this.

Ohio State Sophomore Wide Receiver Devin Smith
The difference maker of the touchdown pass ...
I think it gave a little light to the team. Once I made that play everyone on the sideline knew the game wasn't over. It helped us push through the game and get the win.

Talking about the touchdown catch ...
He played me press, I gave him a little move at the line of scrimmage and just ran fast. Braxton Miller threw me a nice ball I caught it and just took it to the end zone.

Talking about the emotions of making a big play ...
It is unbelievable, coach Urban Meyer talks about making plays for the team. At halftime, he was telling everybody to make a play and I made a play.

Thoughts on helping sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller out ...
It was crucial for us to get that score. Braxton (Miller) played a heck of a game and I am proud of him.


Michigan State Quotes

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio
Opening Statement ...
Good football game today. I thought our guys played extremely hard and I'm proud of them. When you lose a game 17-16 you have a tendency to say what if a lot and look at single plays and how they would have made a difference. But I was very proud of our football team. We have to stay balanced as a team and run the ball more effectively. I was impressed with Andrew Maxwell today throwing the football. They (Ohio State) scored on the opening series and on a long touchdown pass. Braxton Miller is a very exciting player as we knew coming into the game, and he took a lot of bad plays and made them good ones. He got out of trouble quite often and is a very good player as we knew.

On the struggling offensive line affecting Andrew Maxwell's performance ...
I think Andrew (Maxwell) played well today. I thought we protected him for the most part pretty well. He had some pressure on him a bit and they sent some blitzes sometimes. Nate Williams played very well for them in applying some pressure. It goes both ways though. We lost Travis Jackson in the game and lost Fou Fonoti earlier, but we have Blake Treadwell back so it evens out a little bit. I thought Maxwell played well enough to win. He threw the ball very effectively.

On the defensive effort the last drive of the game ...
It's tough to say without watching the film but you have to close on that dive play. The quarterback is a threat to carry every time. We have to be a little stronger on the point of attack. I thought (Carlos) Hyde slipped out and got four or five yards when we had him for no gain. I thought our defense played hard and played very well with the exception of about three series. One long touchdown pass, their first series and the last series. We have to get the ball and get our offense back on the field there.

On struggling to get in the end zone ...
When you lose by one point it's a big failure. I can handle the mistakes if our guys play hard, compete, and play with energy. All of our goals are still in front of us. We still have to grow as a football team but I thought we played better. Even with a loss I thought we played very competitively and we played a good football team with some playmakers.

On the fumble recovery by Kurtis Drummond potentially being returned for a touchdown ...
I'm not going to complain about the officiating because we could have had a pick six in the first quarter if we catch the football. They are doing the best job they can and we do the best we can. But that's just part of the game. They had to review it and I'm just glad we got the football. That's the way it goes sometimes. We left some plays on the field and we have to be better in certain situations. There are plays out there to be made.

On the receivers taking a step forward ...
I thought Keith Mumphrey played better. Great effort by him to get in on that touchdown. I thought he caught the ball better. I thought Tony Lippett caught the ball better and made some good runs after the catch. It was good to see Bennie Fowler make a big play also. We weren't balanced as a football team and we need to be. We were always behind the sticks a bit and when you have a good player like Le'Veon Bell you have to get the ball in his hand. We have to be able to run more effectively. > On Ohio State's defense focusing on the run game so heavily ...

They are a traditionally good defense. They have a good front and their linebackers flow. They are a well-coached football team.

On how the offensive line will be re-shaped after the injury to Travis Jackson ...
It's too early to say that until we see how Ethan Ruhland played, but we have different people we can move around. Travis (Jackson) is a very good football player and is an inspirational and motivational football player, as was Fou (Fonoti). It's tough to see that and you feel badly for him as a player. This is when your faith is tested. He will respond. It's another thing we have to persevere through.

MSU Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar
On the last drive...
"We ran one earlier, a drive before, we thought we were really close on popping it. It felt like there was enough time on the clock (that) we (could) establish a big run there. Didn't want it to become a situation where we were in a two-minute mode or that type of situation. We didn't execute it well enough and to their credit they made the play. Obviously, that's one you'll look back on and wish we would have thrown it."

On the avoidance of discouragement on offense...
"I think they have to be awfully resilient and believe in what we're doing. Over time, it's been a proven commodity but we have certainly struggled to make big plays, trying to create explosive plays. You had a situation out there where early in the third quarter you get one down there and unfortunately, you're not lined up in the right formation. They have to persevere, they have to believe in one another, and they've got to continue to grow together as a group."

On the veteran receivers' role...
"I noticed Tony (Lippett). I thought he really played up to his ability. I thought Keith Mumphery did some nice things. We'll have to look at the film and evaluate what everyone else did but as Coach (Dantonio) said in there, there are some real positives to take away from it. It's a very disappointing loss but there were guys that took some steps forward, which will help us win."

On Andrew Maxwell's struggles...
"He's going to grow from it. I thought he really made some good decisions today. I thought he threw the ball effectively. I think every snap he takes, he'll just get better. We have to be collectively better around him; that's me included and everybody. We have to do a better job. He's growing and I thought he took a step forward and if we can build on what he did today, we're going to go in the right direction."

On Ohio State's means of slowing Le'Veon Bell...
"They dropped an eighth defender down into the box. When we motioned, they moved heavily to where our strength was. They made a commitment to stop the run and I think they did a good job."

On the loss of Travis Jackson...
"It's certainly a big loss. You've endured the loss of Fou (Fonoti) and now Travis. Those are two big hits. Those guys that are coming in will do a good job. I thought Ethan Ruhland held his own from where I was watching. Obviously we'll get it on film and see what actually happened but those guys are battling. That's the thing. I was proud of how hard we played and I thought we did an excellent job of giving great effort. We just needed to come up and make a play... and we didn't do that. I don't know the medical report, everything I heard didn't sound like it was real favorable (for him to return this season)."

On Blake Treadwell...
"You know (Blake) went in, he took some snaps, and he's still working towards being back to himself. He's much closer and the timing couldn't be better for him to return."

On Keith Mumphery's touchdow...
"I think it was an exceptional effort and that's the way you've got to play. I thought it was a tremendous finish to the run and he wasn't going to be denied. That's how you have to play. That's the attitude that we have to play with every snap. It was impressive and it was great to see him execute it."

MSU Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi
On Braxton Miller...
"I think we said earlier in the week, he's a great quarterback, he can run the ball, and we just didn't make enough plays on him. He does a great job running the ball. He is their offense. He made plays and we didn't make plays at times. We had him in the back field a few times and he scrambled. Coach Dantonio talks about loose plays and he had some loose plays; we didn't make enough. We left too many plays on the field; whether it was down on the ten yard line coming out one time when we got him dead to right in the back field, we don't make the play, and he scrambles and there's linemen down field, he throws a pass... I could probably pick 15 plays when we didn't make a play early in the game. We should've had a pick six; we got three but we could have got three or four more. We just didn't make enough plays. Kurtis Drummond gets a fumble, he's going to score a touchdown but they blow the clock dead. We don't get anything. We get a turnover; that's all we get. We just didn't make enough plays today. We didn't get it done.

"He's a good football player. Give them a lot of credit. We knew they could run the ball. They run the ball against everybody they've played. We'll look at the tape and find out why but he's a good football player.

"Number five changed the game."

On missed tackles...
"It's an issue. Good players make you miss. There's plenty of missed tackles that first half especially. You've got to give credit to (Braxton), he's a good football player. They've got a lot of quarterback runs where we didn't do a good enough job tackling him."

Michigan State Junior Quarterback Andrew Maxwell
On the performance of the offense...
"We came out and we played hard, we played with toughness. We played our butts off from the first whistle to the last and that's something that we talked about all week. We wanted to come out and play Michigan State football; the type of football that we know how to play, the type of football that we train for year round and I feel like we did that today."

On OSU taking away plays in the running game and where they progressed...
"Give credit to them, they did a good job stifling our run game a little bit but that gave opportunities for guys to make plays outside and that's what we did. Keith's (Mumphery) play, his touchdown, obviously was huge. Right before that series I said, `Who's going to be the one to make a play, who's it going to be?' and they all looked in my eyes and they were up for the challenge. It happened to be Keith. Tony (Lippett) made a great catch on one of the third downs, Bennie (Fowler) made a great catch on third down, so we made some progress there and we'll just keep getting better."

On whether they had check-down plays or the option to pass when OSU filled the box...
"We have plays that we know what we can't run it into, whether it be built in or just an out of the blue check. Those are things that we prepare for and that's why we have meetings."

On the play of OSU's defensive line...
"They just played physical. I thought they had a good pass rush all day. They didn't blitz a whole lot, that's a good defensive line; they're going to cause a lot of people some problems. I thought we did a good job with protection, I thought we did a good job picking up what they threw at us."

On the last offensive drive...
"Plays were there to be made, for whatever reason we didn't make them. We knew it was going to be either our last drive or we were going to have one more so we to make something happen and we didn't. We will come back and we will be better prepared for those situations when they come in the future."

On the deflation of a loss to start Big Ten play and what the team will do moving forward...
"I think it starts with realizing all of our goals are still intact. Obviously we can still win our side of the conference, we still have a chance to go to Indianapolis and we still have a chance to go to Pasadena. I think it starts with keeping our hope there and knowing that our goals are still in front of us. If we play like we did today, if we play Michigan State football the way that we trained to and we stay together, we're going to win our fair share and have a chance at it."

On the slow start of the offense...
"That's crucial every game, it doesn't matter who you're playing. You always want to start fast but if you don't I think it's important that we stick together and every time you go out on the field you have to believe that it's going to be the drive where you go down and score."

On the impact of Travis Jackson's injury...
"Travis started all of last year for us and started this year obviously. That's a guy that people really looked to in the locker room as a leader, really respected and very well liked. Him going down is a lot like Fou going down, where you lose his experience and lose his leadership. Ethan Ruhland will do a great job stepping in for us. Ethan's a fifth year senior, a guy who has been here for a long time. He's really paid his dues and worked hard for this moment so he'll do a great job for us. Obviously we feel for Travis but we'll know that he'll be there cheering us on and doing whatever he can."

On spreading the ball around and using Bell in the passing game...
"Any time you can spread the ball around and get the ball to your playmakers, that's something that's going to keep a defense guessing, so they can't hone in on one thing and take it away. If we do kind of focus on one and they take it away we could be in trouble but that's the advantage of having so many playmakers we can get the ball to. With Le'Veon in the passing game, one of his strengths is receiving and getting yards after the catch so that's something that we try to utilize."

On what Ohio State did to take away Bell and the run game...
"They packed the box a little bit. When we were in power formations they would roll a safety down and pack it pretty good. They just played physical and did a good job stopping the run."

Michigan State Junior Running Back Le'Veon Bell
On Ohio State defense...
"They made us pass the ball. The safety wasn't actually on the line of scrimmage, but they brought him down to where the linebacker would. They played man on the outside and made sure to stop the run."

On lack of making plays...
"There were a lot of times that we could have made plays. It was a couple of little inches here and a couple of little inches there that could have made a difference in the game. Those plays just didn't go our way and we've got to learn from it and move on."

On moving on from loss...
"There were a lot of positive things that came out of this game. We passed the ball well. A team can't just game plan on just stopping me the whole time and stopping our run game. Maxwell did a great job. The receivers did a great job, especially in the second half; those guys really stepped it up. We've still got all of our goals in front of us. We still want to go to the Big Ten Championship game and win that and still go to the Rose Bowl."

On loss of center Travis Jackson...
"That was a huge loss. He's the line to the quarterback. He makes all the calls. He's like the general. With him being a center, a lot of things change up front. He was a big loss today. Ethan [Ruhland] did a great job coming in and filling in for him today. I hope Travis is ok."

On being a part of the passing game...
"I was expecting that. We just wanted to try to give me the ball in different ways; just letting me touch the ball and try to make plays. Coach Roushar does a great job with that and Maxwell does a great job with that. We're just going to keep getting better."

Michigan State Junior Linebacker Max Bullough
On looking to next week's game...
"Tomorrow we're still going to be upset about this as we watch the film, but come Monday we will be ready for Indiana."

On fourth-quarter fumble...
"I knew it was a fumble. I knew it right away. But those things happen. With plays happening so quick, those referees are doing the best they can. I think they did a great job. That's just part of the game of football, they are just trying to make the best calls they can and there are not a lot of people out there willing to do that."

On one-point loss...
"I think we need to mature as a team, mature as players and get past it. Obviously, we need to look at what we could have done better. They had too many rushing yards on defense. That stings us and that is not what we're like. We need to look back at the game and get better and get ready for Indiana."

On missed tackles...
"I think against a guy like Braxton Miller, it's inevitable that there's going to be some. I think we could have eliminated a few more of those and eliminated a few more of the lose plays where he beat us. That's where we got beat against Notre Dame. So those are things we need to work on. We harped on it all week, but we just couldn't make the plays."

Michigan State Senior Linebacker Chris Norman
On overall game...
"It's tough. This is one of those games that you really wanted to win. To lose by one point is tough, but the one thing I am happy about is that I don't think we lost because of effort. I saw a lot of guys out there playing their hardest, Keith Mumphery especially being one of them. Talent-wise we have always had talent, so we had the talent and we had the effort. We just came up short."

On losing two straight games at home...
"It's really frustrating. Not just because it's your home field, but because you want to win. You don't want to lose. It's something I'm honestly not used to and it's something I don't want to get used to. We look forward to not having this happen again. I think the offense is getting better. Our defense still has to step up some more."

On responding to adversity...
"With the loss to Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan being too close and losing to Ohio State, there are definitely some situations that we need to respond to as a football team. I think we have the character, the people on this team and the coaches to get that done."

On Ohio State QB Braxton Miller...
"He's very elusive. Braxton Miller is a dynamic talent. It was a really hard offense to defend. The guy can make plays. It was really frustrating at times, but you've got to roll with the punches. You've got to still try to make the plays you can. That's what we tried to do, but we came up short."


 

 

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