December 15, 2016

Ohio State Player Quotes – Fiesta Bowl Media Day

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Dec. 15, 2016

FIESTA BOWL MEDIA DAY COVERAGE

Chris Worley, junior linebacker
On having a bigger role than in 2014
“It’s the same thing no matter what you play here. There is a certain expectation that you have to play at, and Coach Meyer doesn’t change that for anyone. It is a bigger role, but at the end of the day, you have to produce on that field. I’m excited to have this opportunity to live up to expectations. It’s going to be a fun one.”

On Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson
“He always has his composure. No matter what happens throughout the game, whether he throws a pick, when he comes back out there he is going to be composed. He’s going to put his team in the best position to win. One of the things about Clemson and Deshaun, he has great talent around him, so he doesn’t have to do it all by himself.”

On Clemson’s offense
“Offensively, they probably have the best overall talent of any team we have faced so far. It’s going to be a great matchup for us. We have athletes on defense and they have athletes on offense…it’s going to be a battle.”

Robert Landers, freshman defensive lineman
On his play this season
“My expectations for myself were just to contribute to the team the best that I can and somehow become a factor and make the game easier for the team as a whole. I didn’t really expect to have the season that I’ve had, but I’m blessed to have it and I’m trying to take full advantage of it.”

On how Big Ten play has prepared the team for the College Football Playoffs
“It gets us beyond prepared just for the simple fact that we see a little bit of everything. Going into a game like this, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s nothing that we’re not used to seeing. We don’t really have to change up schemes and sets too much. It’s not that bad, but the Big Ten has a little bit of everything, so it allows you to be ready for teams later on down the road from different conferences that have a certain skillset that they like to stick to.”

On the success of rotating players on the defensive line
“I feel like it’s worked very well to our advantage because we’ve got fresh bodies. When you have fresh bodies, you don’t really see teams rotate offensive lineman. It’s kind of like, one wave goes in, do what they can do and wear the offensive line down, and then you have another wave coming in with fresh bodies, another wave and another wave. It takes the tempo of the game to another level that most teams, especially offensive lines, aren’t used to seeing. With the skillset of our defensive line, where everybody is athletic and fast across the board, it makes it more difficult for an offense to scheme up effort and speed.”

Jerome Baker, sophomore linebacker
On going up against Clemson’s skill position players
“I’m excited to play against them. It’ll be a good challenge for us. I love going up against the best in the country. If you’re a competitor you should love going up against the best. That’s what drives me.” On who has stood out at bowl practices “Dwayne [Haskins] is definitely getting better. These last few practices he’s been throwing it like a maniac, he’s really good. Antonio Williams has also been running it really hard, he always runs like it’s his last game. He always gets me ready to go for every game.”

On where he has seen the most improvement in his game since the start of the season
“It was more my preparation. The first game of the season I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. By the time the Michigan game came around I was watching a lot more film and studying all the little things. My preparation improved a lot over the course of the season.”

Marshon Lattimore, sophomore defensive back
On how he’s been able to stay healthy this season
“I’ve been getting a lot of treatment and paying attention to a lot of the little things. I’ve been stretching a lot more and over the summer I was doing yoga. The little things really helped me stay healthy this year.”

On the team’s preparation plans heading into the game
“The coaches do a good job with that, just taking everything one day at a time. We’re going over film and having some meetings to prepare for the game. This week we’re trying to get in as much as we can because we go home next week. When we come back and go out to Arizona we’ll practice and watch more film but we’ll go home and have a mental break before that.”

On what aspects of his game he’s improved upon this season
“Everything. From top to bottom, I’ve improved on every part of my game. My preparation, technique, getting faster and stronger. I’ve really worked to improve on everything.”

Billy Price, junior offensive lineman
On Clemson’s defensive line
“They have some big boys up front, they’re all 300-plus across the board. They’re big, athletic, strong, fast; they’re everything a Clemson player is supposed to be. Being able to reload from last season like they did will make it a big challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

On what the rushing game needs to do to be successful against Clemson
“Zero fumbles, first and foremost. That’s the biggest expectation for us, turnovers will be key in this game. As far as numbers, we’ll just need whatever it takes to win the game. We just need to hold onto the ball.” On getting practice reps at different positions along the offensive line “There is always that factor of needing to be prepared for games. If Pat [Elflein] goes down, who’s up next? If I go down who’s up next? We always float through different positions. There’s a bunch of guys who do a little bit of everything, we just want to be prepared.”

Pat Elflein, senior offensive lineman
On what it will take from the offensive line to be successful against Clemson
“To be consistent. At times we’re inconsistent, other times we are consistent. It’s not whether we are physically able to do that, we just have to walk in and do it every play. Sometimes we look like the best offensive line in the country, sometimes we look the exact opposite of that. So, really just bringing that together. I always say this, ‘it starts in practice.’ We have to do that in practice every day or it’s not going to happen in the game.”

On staying humble
“It’s just a mindset for me. I feel like when I’ve come back to practice I’ve been working harder than I was. I just feel like there is always someone better than you out there. My goal is to be the best at what I do. I’m chasing that person, wherever he may be, wherever they are, I’m chasing that. Complacency is a bad thing and I know that. It’s tough…I’m trying everything I can to not get complacent. I feel like I’ve done a good job, and my coaches and teammates have done a good job of pushing me. It’s just a mindset, coming to practice every day, going to workouts every day, that there’s still room for improvement and someone out there is better than you, stronger than you. I know we have a huge test coming up against Clemson. There’s no way I’m going to let my teammates down and throw in the towel.”

On assessing his play heading into the Fiesta Bowl
“There are certain technique things I still work on every day. I’m not a perfect player, so I feel like there is a lot of technique I can still work on. I feel like I get away with some stuff just by effort, which is what we teach here. I’m trying to work on my technique to put the whole package together.”