November 22, 2016

Ohio State Player Quotes – 11/22/16

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Nov. 22, 2016

Chris Worley, junior linebacker
Is there a difference feel to this game that both teams are ranked so high
“No matter what the record is, whenever we play, it’s going to be a battle. You can take the records and throw them out. At this time of the year, it’s all about beating That Team Up North. With the records being as good as they are on both sides, it does intensify it a little bit more.”

Talk about the mindset going into Saturday
”You live for games like this if you are a competitor. I know I’m a competitor and everybody on this team is a competitor. It’s going to be a dogfight and we are looking forward to it.”

Facing a pro-style offense, what do they present
“I actually like playing against pro-style offenses. People show where their toughness is. You get to see who everyone is heart wise. It’s not going to be guys trying to run around you, it’s going to be guys trying to run right through your face.”

Do you like knowing which quarterback will be playing, and who do you expect them to play
”It is nice knowing who you are going against, but I expect them all to play. This is the type of game where injuries sort of don’t matter. Guys just go out there and tough it out.”

Joe Burger, senior linebacker
This game is always huge, but does it mean more that both teams have played so well
“I think the way that we build it up, no matter the records are, no matter what’s at stake, it’s always the same for us. In the media’s eyes, the game hasn’t been that big the past couple of years, but for us it’s always been the only thing that matters. We’re fortunate that this game has a lot of implications, this game is always the biggest of our year.”

When you face an athlete like Jabril Peppers, what is that like
“It’s a huge challenge. Obviously, he is a very dynamic player. We’ve faced dynamic players before, and we have to do a good job in preparing and understanding how they use him best. We will have a great game plan for him.”

Composure is very important, how do you keep it, how are you all prepared to keep it
“That’s something that we prepare for every day. Coach Meyer challenges us, he plays music during practice to try and create chaos. Coach Fickell always talks about controlling the chaos. I’m sure they (Michigan) will have some new wrinkles for us on special teams, defense and offense. We have to find a way to take what they give us and go back to our fundamentals and handle that. That’s all football is, controlled chaos.”

How much have you thought about Saturday (last home game)
“It’s hard to think about right now. I don’t know if the reality has set in. Especially with this game meaning so much, being built up all year long. At some point down the road it’ll hit me. I don’t know if I can describe it until I get out there in that tunnel for one last time. I’m going to hug my parents and I’m sure that will be a special moment for me. You try not to think about it as much as possible.”

J.T. Barrett, junior quarterback
First thoughts when you think of Michigan
“Good football team. It’s going to be one of those, we don’t like them, they don’t like us. It’s going to be a rough and tough football game.”

They play a lot of press coverage and man, are you looking forward to that
“I think it’s going to be good. It’s one of those mindsets, when a defense plays man, it’s a ‘our guys are better than your guys’ thing. We’re going to go do our best to prepare to make sure we come out and win those battles.”

Do you have a sense of respect for Michigan
“It’s one of those things, you know it’s always a hard-fought battle. You do have respect for your opponent always. You understand that they’re a good football team. We don’t like each other, but there is still respect for the game and your opponent.”

Does it being No. 2 vs. No. 3 make it feel any different
“I don’t think we are really focused on the rankings by any means. We approach it as That Team Up North week. That already has its own standard and level of expectations. As far as us both being ranked in the top five, I don’t think it’s changed.”

Do you always feel like you are going to be able to run the ball in this offense
“Sometimes it gets a little cloudy in there when the defensive line does twists and stuff. I just do my best to find the lanes and get out of there. That’s part of our offense, I think we do a good job. It’s a run-pass type of thing, I could throw it or there is a draw attached to it, so it just keeps the defense on their toes. It works out for us.”

Pat Elflein, senior offensive lineman
Lots of adrenaline in these games, how do you play hard while maintaining your composure
“You want to play hard and be very physical in between the whistles, because that’s how you win. You have to know when to cut it off and when not to be overaggressive after the whistle because that can really hurt you and the team. Especially in a game like this, you can’t afford any of those penalties. You want to be aggressive, you want to let them know it’s going to be a physical fight all day from play one, but you don’t want to do anything to hurt your team.”

How do you keep the younger players calm for this big of a game
“Everyone gets nervous for this game. We’ve played in a lot of big games this year. They’ve got that experience of playing in big games. They just have to use that to their advantage and use those little extra nerves they have to our advantage. It’ll be normal and it’ll be fun.”

Have you thought about it being your final game at home
“I’ll probably get a little emotional when we do Senior Tackle on Thursday. For the game, it’s time to be locked in and go to war. After that Senior Tackle, I’ll be focused and locked in on the game, and I’ll save the emotions for later.”

Do the stakes feel higher this year
“Yeah, we’re playing for it all pretty much. The stakes are always very high for this game. Everyone knows you can save a season by beating this team. The stakes are higher and we are playing for it all Saturday.”

Terry McLaurin, sophomore wide receiver
Talk about your role this season
“I’ve always been a guy who is about the team and trying to do whatever it takes to win games. If it’s special teams, blocking or playing receiver, I’m going to give it 110 percent. That’s just kind of how I’ve always been approaching the game. I’m very happy with the way I’m contributing to this team.”

Coach Meyer said they are going to play a lot of man, how do you beat that
“We have the luxury of going against one of the top secondaries in the country with the guys we have. We face a lot of man coverage during the week. We have the techniques and the tools that our coaches have given us to beat man coverage. We have the capability, it’s just being locked in on that certain play and knowing what you are going to do. At the end of the day, you just got to win the individual matchups.”

Gareon Conley, junior defensive back
On the importance of this weekend’s game
“It’s an honor to play in this game. It’s an honor to be a Buckeye in this game. This is one of the most tradition-rich programs and one of the most tradition-rich games. It’s going to be a great challenge and I’m glad to be here and be a part of this with my teammates.”

On Michigan’s skill players on offense
“I know from last year they were really good. They go up against press defense every day because that’s what Michigan’s defense does. They will be our greatest challenge, I think they’ll be the best group of wide receivers we’ve faced this year.”

Billy Price, junior offensive lineman
On having success in the running game against Michigan
“It’s all about preparation, that’s a big thing. If you understand that and can pick up on things after studying film, then those little wrinkles will make you better during the game. Especially when it comes to running the ball up front. It’s going to be a very physical game up front. If you don’t win up front then you won’t win the game.”

On appreciating the rivalry as a player
“You have to understand the history behind both stories programs. We’re very well educated on the history of the rivalry itself and the characters that have been involved on both sides. It’s huge. And every year you can make a part of that history, you can change that history. This is the best rivalry in all of sport.”

On how the interior lines will affect the game
“What happens in the matchup between our front sevens and their front sevens will define the game. They’ve got great players on the outside, we have great players on the outside. But if you don’t win up front it doesn’t matter what happens on the outside. If you can’t run the ball and stop the run then the game is over.”

Tyquan Lewis, junior defensive lineman
On preparing for two different quarterbacks
“It can be rough a little rough if one of them is a runner, but they already have a really solid foundation with what they’re going to do: run the ball and throw when necessary. If you’re preparing for two guys you just really need to get your base concepts down and come out and play. We’ll need to practice hard on Tuesday.”

On keeping emotions in check leading up to the game
“I’m just trying to get better. I am excited, but right now I’m focused on the fact that today is my day off and I’m going to put that time towards watching film. That’s what I do every week, I prepare the same way for every game. Just trying to find ways to enhance my game and get better.”

On playing against a pro-style offense
“I like playing against the run. I like playing across from a tight end and playing good football. But it doesn’t really matter to me. Every team has their scheme or what they’re going to do, but at the end of the day it’s about what team puts their hands in the dirt and goes at it. You can play whatever formation you want to play and we’re going to play whatever defense we play.”