Oct. 20, 2012
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An Interview With Coach Meyer
COACH MEYER: That was a great, great win. Great team win. And obviously you're going to ask about our quarterback Braxton. I've been running around; I'll find out immediately right after this.
We had Philly Brown was out, got hit in the head. And we lost Devan Bogard. I'm not sure about the seriousness of his injury, but it doesn't look good to his knee. So right now we're on fumes as far as special teams and certain positions. So we've got to regroup and gotta get a lot better.
However, some of the efforts I saw tonight were legendary. I mean, that was a moment that I'll certainly never forget. And that was the quarterback come jogging into the game, the old right hander, just did a heck of a job. We had the safety and just some stuff happening.
But the bottom line is we're going to build on wins and build on being extremely positive in coaching these kids because they do listen to you. With that said, I'll answer questions.
Q. Could you describe the swing in your emotions from what it was like with a minute to go and
COACH MEYER: I have no idea. I'm still trying to figure this bad boy out. We won, right? (Laughter).
Q. Was there a point where you lost faith that
COACH MEYER: No. I just love Kenny Guiton. Especially when he hit the long pass, I really thought he was going to go in and overtime the energy in that stadium, how loud, that was louder than the Nebraska game.
I want to thank our fans for that.
Q. Did you push a button a little bit today with Chris Fields? I don't think he had a catch coming in. He makes a big catch.
COACH MEYER: Chris Fields is a product of, I'd like to say, our program. That means three weeks ago he wouldn't have been on the field. But he just changed his whole dynamics, the way he works, his practice habits and his performance.
You can go out there and work all you want and not make plays. But he's earned that right to be on the field. He was even playing before that before Philly went down, he was on the field, where three, four weeks ago he wasn't on the field.
He also ran down on kickoff for me. It's just that whole systematic approach that we have, and very proud of him. My goodness. That was a great catch.
Q. When you put it all into context, and I know you said you probably haven't been able to just yet, I'm just wondering if maybe that's kind of why you get back into coaching, the ebbs and flows of the game, I'm sure you lost some hair in it, too, but have you in your life seen anything like that with everything you guys went through?
COACH MEYER: I don't know anything like that, not where we're at injury wise. And when I say on fumes now, Nate Williams is playing outside backer, and he's not an outside backer.
We gave up a touchdown because of that, playing guys out there, they're just going as hard as they possibly can. To answer your question, I've never seen anything swing like that. And then with where we're at as far as we're full speed, full strength, that's a whole different animal.
Q. Just talk about real quick: Is Hankins okay?
COACH MEYER: Hankins is okay.
Q. Did you look into Kenny Guiton's eyes, what did you see there as he rolled in, like you call him righty as he comes out of the bullpen, but as you said, this is a guy that had a one way ticket back to Texas on the bus?
COACH MEYER: He threw the pick, and I grabbed him, I said you're going to go win us a game. He looked right at me. I think he was down. I think that moment kind of picked him up. And we have confidence in Kenny Guiton.
And the one thing is we're real honest with guys around here. If we didn't, I would tell them: We don't have any confidence in you. Here's what you need to do. That's not the case.
Every snap of practice he gets a rep. He's done it over and over again in practice, the cross, we call it 860 cross. But after that interception, we all went back I just grabbed him and I said: You'll be right back and we'll win the game. And he looked right back me, said: I gotcha, Coach. And how many times has he been in that position, how many times has anybody been in that situation?
Q. I want to ask about your defense. I know you gave up a couple of big plays, but in the fourth quarter, slammed the door in the overtime. I don't know that they got any yards in overtime. Just the job they did in the fourth quarter and the overtime.
COACH MEYER: I thought they played well the whole day. I thought one was obviously a mistake by Nate Williams was playing outside linebacker. And Josh Curry, true freshman, goes down. Nate's gotta to play. We couldn't get that repped in practice this week. But he made plays after that. So I thought our defense might have been their best performance. Obviously the first one was kind of a little trick play, double wheel out of the backfield. You take away that play, which you can't take away that play, and kickoff for touchdown and our defense played really well.
Q. I know you love Kenny Guiton. But 47 seconds left, 61 yards, no timeouts, backup quarterback, what are the odds of that?
COACH MEYER: I knew it from no. (Laughter) did I know that was going to happen? How much time was left?
Q. 47 seconds.
COACH MEYER: 47 seconds, no timeouts. I just can't say enough about it. But it's kind of recurring theme every time we bring up his name.
It's the same thing as a coach. He prepares. We call it competitive excellence. Competitive excellence is simply when you work so hard, when your number's called, because of so many reps you can make a play. It's just a tribute to that kid. He's a special guy. I hate to say this but even if he doesn't complete that pass that's a special kid. He's all Buckeye now. That family ought to be very proud. I know they are are you kidding me? Just what kind of kid he is. And I'm not talking about the game winning touchdown. Just what kind of kid he is, what kind of team player.
Q. Do you have any idea how severe the injury is to Braxton, and when
COACH MEYER: I just came up here. I'm going to go right from here and find out.
Q. When you put Kenny in the game is there any difference at all in the package he has or do you have the full deal?
COACH MEYER: He's a little bit different. Not so much packages, the calls we use. He's not quite the runner, but we ran we just did different calls. But it was different.
I want to mention Jake Stoneburner. I don't know if I did. He played his tail off and he has the last two weeks. We had a come to you know what meeting because he wasn't playing well. He was playing okay.
But, once again, I think one of the things that I love so much about our program is direct conversation and direct honesty. And he wasn't playing very hard in East Lansing. He did it. He played okay, but okay is not good enough for a guy like that. The last game he played lights out and today he played great.
Q. You spoke during the week about getting involved with the defense, getting more hands on with it. What evidence did you see of the conversations you had with the staff this week that showed up in the field on those fourth quarter drives and those stops you had to get?
COACH MEYER: I was so busy with the offense during that time, I really have not seen it. I'll let you know afterwards. I like I would flip over the energy level and the conversation between our defensive staff and I would go out there.
When we'd huddle up, I'd say something. Talk to them. But to start to say I had something to do with that I don't think that's appropriate. I think our defensive leaders and coaching staff did a heck of a job and did what they had to do. Once again, now those injuries aren't going away real fast. We've still got some more work to do.
But to think we played good in the fourth quarter because of some T shirt I gave them or some catchy phrase, that's not fair. That's not appropriate. That's a group of players, enough is enough, and they played hard.
Q. I know you don't know about Braxton yet, but when you were out on the field with him, what was your level of concern as you saw him?
COACH MEYER: My son, all these guys are, same with Bogard, I have concern, and especially I think it's ahead and that concerns of all us, so I'm going to go find out right now.
Q. Last year this team, when Braxton got hurt at Nebraska, fell apart. What was the difference for the team to be able to hang in there as Kenny came in?
COACH MEYER: I think we talked the old saying the reason you work so hard is when you actually talked about that in the hotel this morning, when it really gets really hard, the people that don't work very hard just let go of the rope and do something else.
If you hold onto that the rope, it's an old analogy a lot of people have used. And it's amazing we did talk about it this morning in the hotel. The reason we do, it's so hard. You come in February, March, when it gets so friggin' hard, you can't give in; you've got too much invested that's my opinion why they won the game.
Q. The two point conversion play, what was the execution, what was the call on that?
COACH MEYER: Great call. Tom called that one. It's actually been I asked him before we got the ball, I said: What's our two point play?"
The offensive line was screaming at me to run the ball. I mean, like screaming. And same with Carlos Hyde. And I almost changed that play. And I said: Tom, let's pound it at 'em. He said, no, let's go with this.
So he won that battle. And great call. Great execution. He blocks his way out. A little delay by the tight end.