Nov. 18, 2006
Ohio State Post-game Press Conference Transcript
COACH TRESSEL: Well, I don’t know where to start with our seniors, what a special bunch of guys that just worked and worked and led and led and everyone told them beginning last spring that we couldn’t be a great team because we lost so many great players and these seniors just decided that they were going to do whatever it took to lead a football team to reach its potential. The amount of love that’s evident between our players and this senior group is amazing. What I’ve appreciated about them the most is that they just continue to be humble and just look for ways to get better and just anything we’ve ever asked, they’ve done. They’ve fought like crazy and everything hasn’t been perfect, but they haven’t given up.
Michigan is a great football team. Everyone saw that. They weren’t going to give up because that’s the way they’re built, and I can’t say enough about them either, but these guys up front right here, Troy and Quinn and David and Doug, they’re extraordinary at what they do. It’s really amazing. And the crowd was out of this world and I’m sure the TV audience enjoyed it. That’s it.
PATTERSON: Sup? First, I’ll just take my hat off to Michigan. They’re a great football team that really battled us hard out there. They played physical, they played hard, but this is — I can’t even explain it, the feeling I’m having right now, this is the happiest moment of my life, we put in so much hard work with these guys, these young guys, in summer workhouse, and all the film study, it’s just great. It just feels so great when you work really hard for something and everybody’s all together. We’ve been stretching this whole year, the whole agenda, it wasn’t just a phrase, we had just one agenda, all the guys, we loved each other and I just thank God, I just thank Jesus.
PITCOCK: It goes back to just all the seniors, you know, seniors and Coach Tressel, I think, us coming in in ’02, Dave was the only one who wasn’t there with us, a few walk-ons, but we learned a lot from the ’02 team. They had so much heart and character throughout the years, we’ve grown as men through Tressel and his teachings. I think he tries to do that first and foremost before being a football player. I think that’s what the love and the character of our seniors have really brought together this preseason. And like David said, just one agenda. We set our mind on what we were going to do and we’ve done it. And I still can’t really believe that we’re 12-0.
Michigan, it was a battle today, man! They are one of the toughest teams — it is the toughest team we’ve played all year, hats off to them. They were unbelievable, they were not going to let down at all. One of the best, Hart, best back we’ve faced, just in the pocket, just knew when to hit, throw a perfect ball. They’re a good team and they represent the Big Ten well.
DATISH: First off, hats off to Michigan. They really gave us everything that we thought they were going to give us and they played hard, like we said going into this game, it’d be the most physical battle we’ve faced all year and it definitely lived up to that reputation. This game as a whole as you look at the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, the judgment day goes on, it typifies what the rivalry really is. This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing a football game in my life. It was just an incredible feeling. I’m just so proud of everybody on the team. This has been the single-most team effort that’s gone on through the week of practice, on into the game. There was guys, kickers, everybody, those guys weren’t standing by the heater vent, they were out there waving the towels around, getting the crowd going. The fans were electric. This was a great atmosphere to root for Ohio State and we were just super excited to get that outright Big Ten title. The guys can look at that sign, like I have for five years, they have it for 2006, I’m just super proud of everybody. It was great.
SMITH: What more can I say, man? Hats off to the University of Michigan. It was a hard fought battle down to the last second, but, man, I — I’m at a loss for words right now. I was downstairs with my teammates and the overall feel of everybody is unparallel. You wouldn’t be able to understand it unless you ran the gases that we ran, ran the hills that we’ve ran, pushed the sleds that we’ve pushed, played powerball. We’ve got a game called powerball, too, we play a lot. When that heat and that sun is beating down on your back in the summer, the commitment and the focus — focus was the key word for us today, and everybody focused in.
Words can’t express how I feel right now. I’ll probably be wearing this smile for the rest of this week. I love every single one of my teammates with the deepest passion you can probably have for another person. Our staff did a great job today putting us in the right calls and the right situations. You’ve got to fight though, persevere, and the 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes did just that, outright Big Ten champs, baby!
REPORTER: Coach, I know everybody out here tried to make it a National Championship kind of game. I know you kept talking about this is about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry in the Big Ten conference. Just put it in perspective what that meant for you guys to be the champions of the Big Ten and this rivalry, one of the better games in the Michigan rivalry?
COACH TRESSEL: The number one thing in our minds was our seniors and making sure that their last game in this building was a great memory and obviously would lead to the outright Big Ten Championship which we have not had since 1984, and I guess the sideline of the whole thing is it’s going to lead to bigger and better things. But the seniors and the outright Big Ten Championship, that was our focus.
Troy mentioned that word focus. Paul Warfield talked to our guys this morning and he talked about those championship teams he was on and they had the ability to concentrate and focus and he really challenged our guys to have that ability amongst all this hoopla and I thought, like they always do, they will listen.
REPORTER: Jim, 42-39, I think most people thought this would be a fairly low scoring game, could you talk about the offense and just about the fact that 81 points were scored today?
COACH TRESSEL: There were a lot of good playmakers out there today and some of the points Michigan scored, we gave them the ball down there pretty darn close, but guys stepped up there and made plays. It was a fast game the whole time and there were two minutes left in the first half and we were going down like it was the end of the game, and you knew you had to play that way. Sometimes it goes that way, and sometimes it goes the other ways, but those were two good offenses, two good defenses, two good football teams.
REPORTER: Coach, maybe Troy, if you could talk about the long runs by Pittman and Wells, they weren’t supposed to be able to run like that on them.
COACH TRESSEL: Pittman and Wells were good, those guys blocking for them did a good job. I think Beanie’s run, he broke a tackle right in the line of scrimmage and everything else was blocked, and he was gone, and he didn’t stumble like he did last week. And then Pitt’s, he hit a crease, I don’t know if anyone got a glove on him. Those guys have another gear and our guys will know how to block.
REPORTER: For Jim and all the guys, did this game feel like a National Championship game? Did it have that feel like a heavyweight title fight out there?
SMITH: For me, I was overwhelmed just by the fans’ support, being my last game in the Horseshoe, it meant pretty much everything to me. Some things didn’t go the way we wanted them to offensively and constantly I was reminded by teammates that we follow you. We pretty much react to the way you react. And that meant everything in the world to me because no one on the sideline was going to let me get into a situation to where I was going to be down for a second. It had the implications of a huge game and that’s as far as seniors, and our team, but the National Championship is something aside, something different than this. This is the Ohio State University-University of Michigan game, the biggest game in college football, and today the best team won.
REPORTER: Jim, the last touchdown drive, Troy took a couple vicious hits, in fact, he was taking vicious hits all day and I’m wondering if you can talk about Troy’s toughness and also, Troy, if you would talk about those two hits and then three plays later your pass for the touchdown.
COACH TRESSEL: Well, I’ve said for however many years we’ve been talking about Troy that his number one quality is his toughness. If you want to be a champion as a quarterback, toughness is number one. And he is that, and he stands in there and he knows that’s part of the game and he pops back up for the next one. But you can’t be a championship quarterback. You can’t be what I think is the All-American quarterback without being tough.
SMITH: For me, I live and I play through everybody else. I come back to the huddle, when I stare at 10 guys in the huddle, eyes wide open, alert, and ready to dominate the opposing team, I come to the sideline and there’s 105 plus guys, eyes wide open and ready to do everything and anything they can in support of our team. So there’s no way that I can get into a situation where I feel as if my legs hurt, my knee is hurt, my elbow is hurt, and limp up or act like something is wrong with my body, because I’ve been in situations where I’ve seen scout team players constantly beat their bodies up, play and play and play after play, so I could never shortchange any of my teammates.
REPORTER: On that, Jim, I just want to get a good view of it, did you feel like it was a legitimate call, and Troy, did you feel like that was a helmet-to-helmet hit?
COACH TRESSEL: What play was that?
REPORTER: The personal foul.
COACH TRESSEL: Oh, on the sideline?
COACH TRESSEL: I think it was an out-of-bounds hit is what it was called, three or four yards out of bounds, in fact, Coach Hazell got decked on that hit.
SMITH: I just wanted to see that Robo made the catch. I just wanted to get back up and see what happened, that’s what I was most concerned with, getting our team down the field.
REPORTER: Jim, you were a little undecided earlier this week when we asked you whether there should be a rematch. Based on the fact it was 42-39, do you think that could happen? Do you think Michigan deserves another shot?
COACH TRESSEL: I was asked that right when the final tick went off the clock, so you’re late, but right now, quite honestly, the only thing on my mind is the joy of winning the Ohio State-Michigan game and the joy of being the Big Ten Champions and the joy of having the chance to go back out to Phoenix and be with the wonderful people from the Fiesta Bowl. And I guess we’ll worry about — there’s football to be played and we don’t usually worry about things until all the football is being played and I think Michigan is a very deserving football team. There can’t be many teams in the nation better than Michigan, but I’m not going to get into it. My opinion doesn’t have a vote. The guy from the BCS is here. He has all the votes, I don’t have them.
REPORTER: Troy, can you talk about what it means to you to beat Michigan three times now?
SMITH: I’ve said it time and time again. It’s not me beating Michigan. It’s the team that is lined up and took the field every year that I got to start as quarterback that beat Michigan. They’re also 3-0. We all have three sets of golden pants that means the world. You know, that first one, when I first got them, just a little small, little, like a Christmas tree ornament, and it didn’t mean that much to me at first, but now it means the world because you have to go through situations and games like that today to earn those golden pants and the teams that I’ve been able to play, we’ve been privileged to play with, deserve that, just that, to be 3-0.
REPORTER: Jim, do you think Troy clinched the Heisman Trophy today? You can talk about it now that the regular season is over. And number two, Troy, were you excited, when you saw the game playing, were you going to throw the ball 40 or more times?
COACH TRESSEL: Well, I would think he clinched the Heisman Trophy, I don’t think there’d be any question about that. But I don’t know how excited he was about the game plans, I think he’s the best player in college football.
SMITH: I think the Heisman Trophy is a team award. If we go into a situation, I don’t care who you are, you can be hands-down the most electrifying player in college football and lose two or three games and you’re out of that. It’s a team award first and foremost because our team is 12-0. I owe them everything in the world. If it wasn’t for them in these situations, I wouldn’t even be here for any of the accolade that I do receive and all the credit in the world goes to my team and my coaching staff.
REPORTER: Were you excited about the game plan? Follow up on that.
SMITH: The game plan? I can’t buy into the plays that are called. We try to run them to the best of our abilities and if it’s a pass, we have to complete a pass. If it’s a run, we have to get four plus yards. So that’s the way I look at it and hopefully that’s the way the team looks at it. Some games you run a little bit more than you pass, it doesn’t matter, as long as you get the win.
REPORTER: Troy, can you talk about on your final touchdown drive, you guys had a 4-point lead at that point, did you feel like you had to score a touchdown there with what Michigan’s offense had been doing and can you talk about the throw to Robiskie for the final touchdown?
SMITH: Every time we get the ball, we want to score a touchdown. There’s not a situation or a time during the game where we have possession of the ball that we don’t want to put points on the board. Robiskie just made a great catch. It was an adjustment that he made that not too many people could make.
The offensive line did a great job of holding those guys which they had been battling with the whole game and Robiskie came back and made a Division I college athlete play on the ball, and I have them to thank for everything.
REPORTER: For Doug and Troy, can you just talk about the fumbled snaps and maybe, Troy, how you said you were a little down there and your teammates picked you back up, just talk about that a little bit.
DATISH: The first one, obviously, was high, I didn’t see it. The second one got caught in a divot on the field, the ball got stuck on the divot. There’s no excuse, that’s my sole and first huge duty on the field is to give Troy the ball and I didn’t do very good on that on those two particular plays, but I’m proud of my teammates for not coming after me and really supporting me with everything that was going on. I’m just glad we won.
REPORTER: How much did you want to run, and your use of Beanie, it looked like not only his touchdown, but it looked like they sold out entirely on the play fake to Ginn.
COACH TRESSEL: You know, that was a play we’d been working on for a while, and Beanie, when Beanie comes in, he’s our short yardage back, and it was only a second and one, but we thought maybe we could bait them into thinking we were just going to get the first down, and great execution, the offensive line did a great job protecting and Beanie did a good job of jumping up there and Troy kept his head down, and Teddy’s fast.
And someone asked Troy about the game plan and so forth and how much do we expect to run and I think you have to see things unfold before you can really know how they’re going to play you, I think what’s true in our situation is we never see the same team on the field as we see on the film. Everybody plays Ohio State better than they are, so I think you have to wait and see the tempo and the feel and so forth. So I don’t know how many yards we rushed for, but it seemed like it was okay and it seemed like we threw it a good number, but again, I don’t know what it was, but I thought — I thought we had a decent balance against a defense that was good and I was proud of the way our kids played and the way our coaches planned.
Michigan Post-game Press Conference Transcript
Michigan Post-game Press Conference Transcript
REPORTER: Is that the toughest loss of your career, would you say?
CHAD HENNE: It’s definitely hard to swallow, but, you know, it’s never fun losing to Ohio State. I mean, it’s a great rivalry. Great tradition goes with it. But we fought, and Ohio State — I mean, they just made a lot more bigger plays.
REPORTER: You guys stayed with them pretty long, blow for blow. You guys were hanging in there.
CHAD HENNE: Both offenses were making plays and the defenses were definitely fighting hard. But, I mean, Troy Smith’s a great quarterback and he proved that today.
REPORTER: Chad, what would be your best argument for a rematch?
CHAD HENNE: I mean, it would be great for us, but it’s not up to us. We just agree wherever they tell us to go, and we don’t we are where we’re playing. We just go out and play.
REPORTER: Is it hard living up to the billing, 1 versus 2? You can’t ask for more than 42 to 39.
CHAD HENNE: Oh, definitely. It was a hard-fought game, but we’re not disappointed. We played well. But I think there were some points that we — on offense, we definitely could have executed better and took advantage of some of their turnovers at the end.
REPORTER: Chad, what did they do that gave you so much problems with protection?
CHAD HENNE: They were trying to bring in from every which way. I was sliding most of the protection to the threat, but, I mean, they’re great athletes and they’re going to get by. You put them one on one, and 50 percent of the time they’re going to win and 50 percent we’re going to win.
REPORTER: Chad, do you think these two teams are pretty even?
CHAD HENNE: I mean, it didn’t tell today, if Ohio State won. But we definitely were at the top, but, I mean, just shows the game. Ohio State won. We lost.
REPORTER: Chad, what was the last 24 hours like, finding out about Coach Schembechler, and what did Coach Carr say to you guys?
CHAD HENNE: It was definitely difficult for us. He’s just a great figure to us, and especially built our program and sustained. I mean, Coach Carr loves him dearly and so do we. We always see him around the building, and for him to address us Thursday after — or before practice, it was just a great feature for us, and it’s sad to see him go. Because, I mean, you’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you’ve got, because he was there one day, and then he’s gone the next. But we dearly miss him, and we tried to fight for him today.
REPORTER: Chad, would you talk just a little bit about the comments that Bo made to the team on Thursday and also kind of what you’ve seen from Lloyd since yesterday?
CHAD HENNE: I mean, Bo was just trying to get us hyped up. He’s been in many Michigan/Ohio State games, just saying go out there and play our best, play to your capability. I mean, just keep fighting. And that’s what we definitely did today, but we just came up on the short end.
REPORTER: To end with the loss, do you think you guys have made a case for a rematch?
CHAD HENNE: I can’t really say. I mean, it’s difficult for me to say. Whatever the polls say, we’ll go with it. But if we get that rematch, we’ll definitely be up for it.
REPORTER: Watching Troy, do you — I mean, do you think that Troy is the Heisman Trophy winner right now?
CHAD HENNE: He’s definitely a great player. He proved that today, that when there is pressure on him, that he can get out of the pocket and make plays happen. So if he’s leading the polls already, then I’m sure he’s going to get it, so he’s a heck of a player.
REPORTER: What do you think Coach Carr thought as far as Bo’s passing?
CHAD HENNE: Like I said, it was hard for him. He was a man that coached for him and was around him all the time and definitely got a lot of inspiration from Bo. So, I mean, it’s definitely a hard loss, but Bo wouldn’t want us to think about him during the game. He would just want us stock out and play our game and not let anything distract us.
ADMINISTRATOR: I’m going to let Chad go. I’m going to bring LaMarr up.
REPORTER: As close as you guys came, do you think you deserve another shot?
LAMARR WOODLEY: You know, it was just whatever they decide. That’s just something that we really don’t have no control over. I mean, if it happens, it would definitely be nice to play Ohio State again.
REPORTER: Did that seem like a classic to you? I think it was the most points ever scored is that series.
LAMARR WOODLEY: Yeah. It definitely was a lot of points scored. Nobody probably expected the game to be that high. They probably thought it was going to be a low-scoring game. It kind of shocked everybody.
REPORTER: LaMarr, why were they able to move the ball on you the way they did?
LAMARR WOODLEY: You know, like I always say, whenever there’s a big play occurred, you know, somebody’s out the gap, not doing what they’re supposed to do, just opened up the gap wider than it should have been.
REPORTER: Did you think anybody could score that many points on you guys?
LAMARR WOODLEY: No. I never expected that to happen.
REPORTER: What does that say about them?
LAMARR WOODLEY: I mean, they’re definitely a good offense. We knew that coming into the game, that they were a great offense. You know, they had a lot of weapons on their team, so we definitely respected them.
REPORTER: How difficult was that five-receiver set to handle?
LAMARR WOODLEY: You know, we was getting pressure on them, but he managed to get the ball off a few times and scrambled and got a few passes. So, I mean, it’s just guys that know how to hold their man.
REPORTER: LaMarr, you guys tried so many things against Troy, sometimes dropped back, seemed like nothing would work. Were you a second off or a play off?
LAMARR WOODLEY: I think we were just a second off from getting back there a few times. And then a few times, some of our plays didn’t work.
REPORTER: Do you feel like they had you off balance most of the game?
LAMARR WOODLEY: No, no. We just had mistakes. Just as far as the defense, too many mistakes. When you have mistakes, you know, other team capitalize on them. You give up big plays and stupid penalties, it allows the team to continue their drive.
REPORTER: Was Coach Carr emotional the last 24 hours? Did you get a sense that it was tough on him?
LAMARR WOODLEY: When you look at Coach Carr, he was continuing to move on. You know, he wasn’t, you know, emotional. He wasn’t really showing it, you know, because he didn’t really want to bring, you know, any guys on the team down. We feed off our coach, so, I mean, he’s just trying to stay positive.
REPORTER: How did you find out about Bo, LaMarr? What did it mean to you? How do you think it affected the last 24 hours?
LAMARR WOODLEY: We found out during the meeting yesterday. It affected me. I had the opportunity to — you know, my four years there, to talk to him. When I was getting recruited, I had an opportunity to talk to him. I’d sit in his offices a few times and he’d go in there and coach me up. He actually coached me up Wednesday of this week, telling me the things I need to do, how I need to get the defense going.
REPORTER: Can you talk about how you guys never gave up on that game when you were down by as far as you were? You fought a pretty good battle.
LAMARR WOODLEY: You definitely can’t give up. You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to believe in each other. Early in the game, we just gave up a lot of big plays.
REPORTER: If you guys won, you were going to the national championship. Now you’re not sure. Is it going to be an agonizing wait?
LAMARR WOODLEY: Yeah. It’s definitely in the air. We lost today and we put ourselves in that situation and we have to sit back and wait. You know, if we would have won, we knew right away where we were going to be playing and what day. All we can do is sit back and wait now.
REPORTER: LaMarr, if you played them again, what do you think happens?
LAMARR WOODLEY: I mean, we’ll correct the mistakes that allowed them big plays and it won’t be a score like that.
ADMINISTRATOR: I’m going to move LaMarr out so I can get Mike Hart up here.
REPORTER: Mike, can you talk about what this game meant to this team today?
MIKE HART: It meant everything to us, for the national championship. You know, that’s all — the national championship meant the Big Ten championship. It meant everything to us.
REPORTER: How do you explain what happened out there? I mean, not the game anyone expected.
MIKE HART: We lost. You know, that’s the only thing. You know, we didn’t score enough points on offense. We lost.
REPORTER: Mike, you’ve had a great career at Michigan, but being 0-3 against Ohio State, does that override everything or hurt everything?
MIKE HART: Yeah. You know, it hurts. You want to beat Ohio State. It hurts. I’ve got one more year left and I’m going to get them next year.
REPORTER: Would you like to still get them this year?
MIKE HART: Of course. I guarantee if we play them again it would be a whole different game. We should have got them the first time around. We didn’t. So if it doesn’t happen, that’s our faults. You know, but if we played them again, it would be a whole different game. Guarantee that.
REPORTER: Why were you able to have some questions running the ball compared to last couple games?
MIKE HART: Because, you know, their defense wasn’t — their defense played good, but they’re not as good as people thought, I guess I could say. We knew we were going to be able to run the ball, but we didn’t put enough points on the board. There’s nothing special about that defense.
REPORTER: Why would it be a whole different game.
MIKE HART: Because the defense played. They don’t usually give up big plays. We scored more if we had offensive chances. We both had to take advantage of our opportunities offensively and defensively.
REPORTER: Mike, how much of an advantage do you think it was to have that game played here today.
MIKE HART: It’s a huge advantage. There’s no excuses. They played on their home turf. The crowd energizes them. That’s no excuse. We can win here, we can win at home, we can bin anywhere. But they beat us.
REPORTER: Mike, it sounds like you think there should be a rematch. Do you think there should be a rematch?
MIKE HART: I think it was a great game. I think it was a close game. I think anyone could have won that game. Do I think there should be a rematch? Probably. I think we’re both the top teams in the country, regardless of what anybody says. On a neutral site, it would be a big game. If I won, I’d probably be like, no, I don’t want a rematch. Anytime you lose, you want a rematch against that time.
REPORTER: Did it happen to be playing for the national championship?
MIKE HART: Of course. It’s for the Big Ten. It’s for Ohio State/Michigan, and there’s no bigger game that I’m going to play.
REPORTER: How much is this going to linger, especially not knowing if you’re going to play in the bowl games?
MIKE HART: I’m pretty sure we’re either going to the Rose Bowl or the national championship game. I think it’s one of the two. It will be on the west coast somewhere. I don’t know. It don’t really bother me.
REPORTER: Mike, what did Bo mean to this team? You guys knew him.
MIKE HART: He was a great man. You know, he started the tradition of excellence in the classroom and on the football field at Michigan. And it continues to this day. You know, no one’s ever going to forget about him on this team and what he done for this team. He was still a big part of this program.
REPORTER: Do you remember much of his meeting with you guys on Thursday, what he said?
MIKE HART: You know, he just said if we want to win, we’ve got to come out and win the line of scrimmage. That’s Bo. Offensive line and defensive line got to win games. That was his point. We knew what we had to do to win. He told us we knew what we had to do. We just department get the job done. Thank you.
COACH CARR: It was a great football game, and I’m extremely proud of our team. I think we have a great football team. We have great kids. And I thought they competed as hard as anybody could have ever asked them to compete. Ohio State has a great football team, and give them credit. Questions?
REPORTER: Lloyd, how difficult has the last 24 hours been for you?
COACH CARR: Well, we — when we met on Sunday, you know, I felt the key for us to win this game was to focus in on our game plan and the execution of that game plan so that every single guy could come in here and play his best. And throughout the course of the week, we talked about all the distractions that were part of a week like this, and I told them on Wednesday that nothing was going to distract us from this game because I didn’t know, you know, what would happen once we got down here. And, you know, it’s all part of the rivalry here. You never know and you have to be able to deal with whatever comes. But when I told the team on Friday, I tried to tell them that, you know, he would not have wanted to be a distraction. And I told our team we weren’t going to use Bo and his passing away as a motivational deal. That would have been to dishonor him. And I simply told them the way we could honor him is to coach and play in a way that would have made him proud.
REPORTER: Do you think your team did that today, Lloyd?
COACH CARR: I think we made too many mistakes. We gave up too many big plays. Anytime you give up two long runs for touchdowns and a long pass, it’s going to be hard to beat anybody, but much less a team like we played today. So, we simply — big plays simply were the biggest factor in the game from my standpoint.
REPORTER: Lloyd, you got the whole team looking to you, and I’m sure you’ve got to control your emotions after you heard about Bo passing away. Was it hard, and is it still hard for you to do that?
COACH CARR: Well, I think, obviously, he spoke to the team on Thursday afternoon and I tried to convince him to not talk, because when I went down to get him, about 2:20, he said he was having a hard time breathing and he had had a hard time breathing since he had the pacemaker put in, the second one. But he said, no, I’m going to talk to them, you know. So he went down and he spoke to them for 10 or 12 minutes and, you know, to walk in there — we had a 1:00 o’clock — we had a 12:00 o’clock meeting on Friday, and I found out about two minutes to 12:00. So was that hard to tell them? Yeah, that was hard and it was emotional. And yet, you know, I think all of us have challenges that, you know, we’ve got to — you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to deal with whatever comes your way. That’s part of the — part of our lives. So — but certainly it had, you know, this is — this has nothing to do with what happened today. I mean, it was part of the weekend, but we lost to a better team today.
REPORTER: Coach, scoring 39 points on the road against the number one team in the country, do you believe that’s going to be enough to earn a rematch in Arizona?
COACH CARR: Well, that’s not in my control, and I really don’t have any thoughts that I want to — I don’t have any thoughts right now on that.
REPORTER: Talk about the day Mike Hart had.
COACH CARR: I haven’t seen, you know, the statistics, so I don’t know, you know, what he did from a rushing standpoint. I don’t know. I know he protected. He gave his body up to protect the quarterback. I saw that on numerous occasions. But so I, you know —
REPORTER: Lloyd, you said it’s not in your control, the rematch. But do you feel like your teach is fairly close to the Ohio State team as far as ability and everything else?
COACH CARR: Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
REPORTER: Can you speak on this game, living up to its billing, because it certainly did that? At least for the spectators.
COACH CARR: Well, it was a great, great venue. I mean, the crowds here are unbelievable. And I thought with the exception of — I mean, to come in here and only have one penalty for illegal motion, when honestly you could not hear. I mean, so to have 11 guys on the football field and perform like they did in that type of crowd, to me, is a remarkable thing. I think our kids just did a magnificent job of dealing with the pressure of the crowd offensively. I mean, I can’t — I admire them, because —
REPORTER: In all your game planning and preparation, would you have ever believed that 39 points would not have been enough?
COACH CARR: You know, I never gave that — you know, you could always go in with the idea that basically, you know, what I believe offensively is that you’ve got to have the kind of offense where you can score quickly, and that’s really what you work on. You work on two-minute offense. And you have — to be a great offense. And then you have to be able to buckle it up and run it when you have to. And so, you know, we go into a game feeling like we can handle whatever comes our way offensively. I think it goes back to defensively, what I believe is that you can’t give up big plays and be successful, and we’ve done a great job of that throughout this season, but we just didn’t do that today. And that was, in my mind, the difference.
REPORTER: Can you talk about Crable’s hit, Crable’s penalty a bit?
COACH CARR: Let me say this. I think the officiating crew was a group of outstanding men. I mean, guys that you would never question anything about them. And I don’t say that — I don’t question any of the calls except that I do feel like when a quarterback’s in the pocket and he’s getting hit, I think, you know, the rule has to protect him. But when a quarterback is scrambling, when he’s running around, especially some of the guys we get in college football, I’m not sure I’m clear on, you know, exactly what that rule is. But that was a big play in the game, because if we don’t have a penalty, then they probably are going to punt the ball or it’s going to be fourth down and 15. But I’m not complaining about the call. I do have some questions about, you know, that situation.
REPORTER: Was there a point in the second half when you were coming back that you felt like you would get back in control of it?
COACH CARR: Well, I thought — yeah. I mean, I never felt like we weren’t going to win the game. I knew we needed — I told them at half time, look, we need to get a couple of turnovers. We need to get the ball in good field position for our offense. I think the most — probably the most disappointing thing offensively in the second half was after their — I think their second turnover, maybe their third, we had to settle for a field goal. I mean, you know, if we could have knocked one in there, we’d tie the game up, so —
REPORTER: How tough was it, Troy Smith today, with all the weapons he had, to expect your team to defend all of those things?
COACH CARR: Well, we knew they were going to score some points, you know. When you’re spread out — and Pittman’s a great back and Wells made a great run in there. Again, yeah, they’re an outstanding football team and they’re particularly an outstanding offensive football team because, you know, they do a good job protecting the quarterback and it’s hard to get to him because of his mobility. And we did some very good things against them. But, you know, they do have — you know, they had some other guys that — Hall made a big play in there. He made a couple plays scrambling where we had decent field position and then let him out. That’s what he does.
REPORTER: Did you see a difference between your defense in the second half and the first half?
COACH CARR: Oh, I thought they came out and competed really hard and, you know, I thought they did some good things. You know, it’s just that that run in the second half was a big play. So — because now we’re down two scores again. I mean, we’re in a position to do some things. But that’s the way the game went, and so we went down and scored. I mean, we never stopped fighting.
REPORTER: Explain your thought process on not going for two points and deciding to kick the extra point when it was 35-31.
COACH CARR: Well, the chart said two, and I was happy to have them use a timeout. You know, we had a play call. They lined up, saw what we were in, and then called a timeout. And he was happy to have them use a timeout at that point. I just felt it was a little bit early. And I also knew that if they — the odds are against you, you know. They’re like 33 percent, are the statistics. And I just felt if we got five down and they kicked a field goal, now it’ eight. And I’d rather get the sure thing to make it four. Now a field goal would make it seven. You know, so at the last minute — and I think there’s an interesting rule there, because we asked them to move the ball back to the middle of the field, because we had placed the ball on the left upright because we were going to go for two. And then when I changed my mind, we asked to move the ball back and they said you couldn’t. And I think that’s an error. I think we still had the right to move the ball back. But thank God Garrett made the kick. Because if he had missed the kick from there, it would have been a fun answering that question.
REPORTER: Coach, can you talk about how your team didn’t quit fighting, you kept battling, and how proud you are of your kids?
COACH CARR: Well, I told them after the game. I said, I’m going to tell you the same thing I was going to tell you after we won, and I’m proud of you. I’m proud to be your coach and I’m proud of the way you fought.
REPORTER: How tough will it be to wait to find out where you’re going to play, when you would have known and now you don’t, really? How tough of a wait is that going to be?
COACH CARR: I have no idea. I guess we’ll find out.
REPORTER: Do you think that, as special as this rivalry has been, do you think playing them again in the season will kind of diminish the uniqueness of this rivalry?
COACH CARR: I think, you know, the BCS is a system that we have that governs and that will take care of all that. I think it will be very interesting to see what transpires in the polls as we go forward here. But I don’t care to speculate. I think, you know, it will be what it will be. And I know that it will be probably very controversial either way. So that’s what we like.
ADMINISTRATOR: One last question.
REPORTER: Lloyd, I know that this game was real hard to play because of what happened with Bo. Was there part of it in some way that was almost — it was good that you had a game to concentrate on instead of thinking about that? Maybe at this point, without the game, today in some — tomorrow in some way may be a little harder because there isn’t — you know, you really do face his loss?
COACH CARR: You know, I want to be clear. We have no — it would not be fair to Bo — I’m a little mad at him because he didn’t stay around for this game. But it wouldn’t be fair to him to use that in any way, and we don’t. And all I can say about him is I loved that man.
ADMINISTRATOR: Thank you.