Oct. 7, 2012
An Interview with: BRAXTON MILLER
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Braxton Miller.
Q. Braxton, congratulations. A lot of people talk about a new era of offensive football here tonight. What clicked?
BRAXTON MILLER I think the O line. They stepped it up real big. They worked hard throughout the week, every day. So the O line just gave it out.
Q. Braxton, seemed like once you decided to run, the avalanche started. Why did it take you so long to get going as a runner there in the second quarter when you had the 72 yarder? Just talk about that and how it ignites things.
BRAXTON MILLER I was just handing out the ball to Carlos. He's the running back on the team. So my chance to get the ball, I'm going to try to make something happen with it.
Q. You were able to score 63 points against a Big Ten defense. What does that say about where this offense is right now?
BRAXTON MILLER You know, couple big plays happened throughout the game, too, where we returned a kick I mean he returned an interception and Philly Brown probably turned. So we gotta keep clicking like that.
Q. As far as learning the offense, where would you say you are right now? I know this is the first year offense, looks explosive, but are you still learning offense? What would you say?
BRAXTON MILLER Yeah, I'm learning every week. They throw new stuff at us every week. So just trying to get it down pat.
Q. First quarter you guys had 17 yards of offense. You end up with close to 500. What happens between the first quarter and the second quarter? And then once it gets rolling like this, was this the most extended period of this offense being what it is capable of?
BRAXTON MILLER I don't believe this is what it can be capable of. I think it can be better. We made a couple minor mistakes out there. We'll watch film tomorrow.
So I'll say we've got a lot more to do.
Q. How was Coach Meyer after putting up 63?
BRAXTON MILLER When we put it up, it was like how many points did we put up again? It was a lot.
Q. When Coach Meyer got here, is this sort of maybe what you thought the potential was for this offense? Did you think games like this were possible with his offense?
BRAXTON MILLER Yeah, absolutely. All the things that we do on offense is a lot different, the regular offense. But I imagined types of points like this one day.
Q. Biggest crowd in the history of the stadium tonight. I just wonder what playing in this atmosphere was like. Obviously it was different. Can you describe how different it was and what it was like to perform in that atmosphere?
BRAXTON MILLER Man, the fans were electric. And the defense was out there, they was just so loud. That's what I think what was bothering on the offense for Nebraska a little bit. I could hear them, definitely.
Q. The second interception by Bradley Robey, you guys were struggling. Before going into the second quarter, how much did that really ignite the offense, get you guys going?
BRAXTON MILLER Man, he does it all the time in practice. But finally he brung it to the field and big plays like that, you gotta score after that. So he brings a lot of excitement to the offense.
Q. After getting injured last year in this game, was that a lot of motivation to get out there and score a lot of points and have a game like you had tonight?
BRAXTON MILLER No, I wasn't really looking at it like that. I just came out there, do the deal, do what we have to do and keep moving the ball down the field.
Q. What part of the offense were you most impressed with? You can certainly spread the glory here. Was it Hyde, the tight ends, Philly Brown, yourself? What do you give the credit? Besides the O line.
BRAXTON MILLER O line. Oh, man, the tight ends, they actually got the shine today. They work so hard throughout the running game blocking, so now they finally get to catch the ball. So I'm proud of them.
Q. Has it sunk in? You guys are 6 0, now chance to go 7 0. How good does it feel? What's the feeling, I guess, down in the room right now?
BRAXTON MILLER Man, we celebrated right now. We gotta get back to work tomorrow. And hopefully we'll go 7 0.
An Interview with: COACH URBAN MEYER
THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then questions.
COACH MEYER: I want to give a lot of thanks to our crowd, the Buckeye Walk, the skull session. That was one of the great evenings in Columbus, in Ohio State. But I really appreciate that.
I never want to let that go without telling the fans that. That was tremendous. Also, our student body and the quick cals, it's really cool to watch guys really buy in, not only your team, but the fans.
That was from the bottom of my heart, I want to make sure everybody knows that. I know it's not a great story, but it's a great story. That was a good thing for Ohio State.
Give credit where credit is due. I thought the first quarter was a trainwreck for our offense, but it was because they're playing very good defense.
And they weren't doing a lot different. They came out and hit us in the mouth. We had to get going, but our offensive line eventually took over that game. And we have two good runners right now. We have a quarterback obviously that's kind of ridiculous running the ball, and then Carlos Hyde is a guy that is starting to earn a lot of respect, other than that darn fumble. But he's running hard. And then Rod Smith came in and pounded it, too.
So you can see what we are. We're kind of a pound ya offense right now. I don't mind that. I've not had a lot of those. But that's a pound ya offense.
And we still need to do some other things, but we also opportunity on the couple I think we had two touchdown passes, right? Just one touchdown pass, but another one down to the end zone.
Defense can get better. Created some turnovers, but can get better. Pleased with their effort, but we all know we can't give up those kind of yards and those kinds of points and win the game. They fed off each other. And this team is buying in, and they're doing a good job.
Q. Coach, you said this could be heck of a football team by the end of the year. Did the offense show up a little early? Because a lot of people say a new era of offensive football has arrived at Ohio State.
COACH MEYER: I like the sound of that. It didn't feel that way in the first 15 minutes of the game. It was terrible. And I didn't feel like we were blocking them. I didn't feel they were kind of defeating us at the line of scrimmage. But that changed. People are asking me. But I don't know what changed, other than their guys played very well. I'll have something more for you next week on exactly what happened.
Q. Coach, Braxton Miller said you weren't even sure at the end how many points you guys have scored. Did you just lose track?
COACH MEYER: Braxton said that?
COACH MEYER: No comment. Just got caught up in the moment. Caught up in the moment.
Q. Is this when you got when you started evaluating the talent, did you think this kind of this would come did you think this offense would be here this season with the guys you had?
COACH MEYER: No. I didn't think our offensive line would come to you're playing a tight end or right tackle, playing a bunch of guys and a lot of football, being as honest as I can, they weren't very good. They didn't look the way we wanted them to look in January. Good kids though, good, tough guys.
And they are they're the ones that have really developed. I mean, like really developed. And even early in the season I didn't feel it. I didn't feel us change the line of scrimmage against those early teams. I'm starting to feel us change the line of scrimmage. We know how fragile it is. Have a bloody nose tomorrow and it's not a very good offensive line.
We don't have a lot of depth, but Coach Warner and those guys have something going now. They're changing the line of scrimmage against some very good defensive lines. The last two we played, those are very good defensive lines.
Q. Talk about No. 1, Robey's pick six, which kept you all in the game. That was odd there.
COACH MEYER: It was a dark day there for that first quarter. He stepped in front, and I thought Philly Brown on his punt return most kids that hear those we do a ceremony after the game, let some guys talk who performed well, and every one of them to a man said that; that when the offense was struggling, you have Robey and also the punt return, and the defense, offense goes out, and I think we had a couple of long drives. I can't remember the minutes. But our defense was on the sideline and we're just methodically moving, the offense is moving the ball. Right now they're feeding off each other.
Q. Did you see a difference, though? Obviously first quarter, like you said, was a trainwreck, and then suddenly Braxton went 72 yards. Is that the ignition point?
COACH MEYER: No question. We wanted to really rely on Carlos Hyde a little bit, to pound him the way I felt he earned it, and I made that comment after what I saw in that last drive against Michigan State; that maybe we can pound the ball for five, six, seven yards. Some people would say it's not the most exciting thing. It's pretty good to call a play on second and four, though, second and three.
That was the plan, and the plan was not working in the first quarter. And I think Braxton obviously changed the game.
Q. If you guys are ahead of schedule now, what does that mean for the future, especially on offense for this team?
COACH MEYER: Well, we had a bunch of recruits in that locker room afterwards. So you would start talking about future, you know, that's the name of the game, is go out and recruit new players and continue and build and keep going.
So I'm very pleased with where we're at, but I've also been doing this long enough to realize you have a bad week, you have a bad night tonight, you have a bad something, I don't want to be the downer, but we're not there. We have a long way to go.
And the good thing is these guys know it and they're anxious to get into work tomorrow. To a man, they said that tonight. They can't wait to get to work tomorrow.
Q. You just touched on Carlos and you referenced the offensive line playing better. How much of it, though, these yards after contact the way that Carlos is battling through, it's him making some plays for you?
COACH MEYER: I think I'll let you know more that's a great question. It's post contact yards. But I also saw the line of scrimmage change. You could see the line of scrimmage. When he was getting into the line of scrimmage, it was two, three yards down the field that he's doing.
So that's a big guy like that, you get him started, it's hard to bring down. And he has to get started. He wasn't getting started in the first quarter. That offensive line did it in the second quarter, third and fourth.
Q. You've been known to call say that's my guy, guys graduate through your program, did you get any new guys tonight?
COACH MEYER: I got a bunch of them. A bunch of them. I like that. I don't know if I'm prepared to say that. I've got a bunch of guys in there right now. My guys right now are that offensive line. I just love them to death.
To see what they did tonight and see their reaction in there and know what they've gone through, that's a great question but there's more than just one.
Q. You said in the lead up to this you wanted this place to be an inferno, those were iconic helmets hooking up, that was a pretty special night. Did you enjoy it? Did it live up to what you hoped it would?
COACH MEYER: It sure did. As I said, I started off that conversation with asking it to be an inferno. It started from day one from whatever time we started, 6:00 or 5:30 we came walking down those stairs and a whole line of people, we closed in the Buckeye Walk because I want these people I didn't like the first couple of weeks. I saw a bunch of people, players with headsets on and listening to music as they're walking down. That's not what we want. We want the fans it's Ohio's football team. It's the great state of Ohio's football team. Come enjoy your players, because they're playing hard for you. I loved every minute of it.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.
An Interview with: RYAN SHAZIER
Q. I saw you a few times early in the game, lost Etienne, didn't look like you were getting hurt. What kind of got you guys going on defense, and how are you?
RYAN SHAZIER I'm pretty good. I had a bruise on my knee. We just doing bad at first. We had a few mistakes and everything. And then one thing that pushed us a lot is when Etienne got hurt, we tried to put it on our back. We try to do it for our brother because we're here for each other no matter what, and we'll always be there for each other.
Q. Just quickly on Martinez, three turnovers, three picks to you all. What did you see in in fact, Bradley mentioned earlier this week he saw some routes he might be able to jump and get an interception. Obviously he had a couple tonight. In your study of Martinez, did you see opportunities to make some big plays in the game?
RYAN SHAZIER Yeah, we seen a lot of opportunities to make big plays because he's a really good quarterback, but he loves to run the ball. His feet is his main weapon and his arm the secondary weapon, and we took advantage of it today. And we seen some things we could jump on and some kind of pass combination that we could take advantage of.
So it was really that's what we took advantage of today.
Q. Ryan, that was a wild game. You were in the middle of it. What was the moment when you felt like you all finally gained control?
RYAN SHAZIER I feel like we finally gained control probably when the offense scored in the third quarter. We felt that we had control the whole game, but once the offense scored, we knew we couldn't let them score. We felt they couldn't stop our offense tonight. We knew if we stopped them and the offense started scoring, they couldn't stop them. Couldn't do that. And the offense got rolling and they couldn't stop the offense rolling.
Q. Robey's game tonight, just assess it. How big was he for you guys? How much did he really get you guys going?
RYAN SHAZIER He had a lot of breakups, two interceptions. I know he was excited. He got his first one, was a touchdown. He just came back and got a second one.
His play today was amazing. We just really needed that, and that really helped a lot.
Q. We had the opportunity to speak to your father. He flew in from Florida. How was that knowing that he was in the stands and your family was in the stands to your approach to the game?
RYAN SHAZIER Today, it was already a big game, but it was a little bit bigger to me because my family was in town. They rarely get to come to games. When they do, it's really big to me. So I try to take all advantage of the game I could today. And it was just amazing just knowing that my family was here and I can spend time with them, because I don't really get to see them that much.
Q. You were the last undefeated team in the Big Ten. Tomorrow you'll probably be in the Top Ten Associated Press Poll, et cetera. Are you sort of surprised at this point, or where does this team go from here, do you think?
RYAN SHAZIER We're not surprised. We knew that this whole year we're going to do as many things and win as many games as possible. But we're going to keep fighting and be behind each other, keep rolling, and we won't give up and can't be stopped. And we'll keep going and win as many games as possible this year.
Q. Wanted to ask about the defensive line. You have a front row seat to how well they're playing. Are you impressed by the way the guys getting blocks and making plays throughout the game?
RYAN SHAZIER It's amazing, in front of us, John Hankins, Jonathan Simon, we have Garrett Goebel and Nathan and Steve Miller. We have Michael we have amazing guys in front of us. That's another reason I feel like I could play good sometimes. And the secondary get a lot of opportunity to make a lot of big plays because our defensive line brings a lot of pressure. We might not get a sack all the time, but they're bringing pressure in, making the quarterback be rattled.
So I feel it's amazing having guys like that in front of us and beating up blocks and making great plays.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.