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Nov. 7, 2016

Pat Elflein, senior offensive lineman
Looking back on the last month
“I felt like we were on track. There were just little things we weren’t hitting…missing a shot here or there that could have could have exploded the offense. Sometimes you don’t hit those things, it’s kind of like life…it doesn’t always go your way. But how you respond from that and get back on your feet and keep pushing, it really tells what kind of team you are and what type of players, coaches and what kind of culture your team has. I feel like the way we responded after the Penn State loss, and the close game against Northwestern, to a big win against Nebraska, really tells what kind of team we are and what kind of players and coaches we have. The loss does not describe what kind of team we have, but it’s the way we responded and got back on our feet that does.”

On last week’s practices
“After the Penn State week, we kind of regrouped and got back on track, so that was different. After that, we still have practiced as hard as we could and we have the capability to do what we did Saturday night. We want to do that every game. We want to score a bunch of points. Everything was just clicking on every cylinder Saturday night.”

On Coach Meyer’s discussion with the team about effort
“Coach Meyer was saying, ‘are you doing everything you possibly can do to help this team win a game?’ He was speaking to the whole team and that could have hit home with a lot of guys. With a lot of young guys that are new to this program and facing adversity. Just being a starter or having playing time at Ohio State that are new to this. Are they doing everything they can do to get the result we want? It looks like it did hit home with some guys, and they took that to heart during the week of preparation and it showed.”

J.T. Barrett, junior quarterback
On putting Curtis Samuel in a position to make big plays
“A lot of times I don’t throw it he breaks open, I throw it before he gets open. It’s more about throwing to a spot and understanding the landmarks we have. The passing game is a lot about timing and spacing. There are spots on the field he knows he needs to get to, and I need to place the ball there so he can get it and do something with it after he catches it.”

On his ability to extend the play and avoid sacks
“I just try to do my best. I understand the offensive line has a really tough job blocking the guys up front. I just tell them to give me two, two-and-a-half seconds and I’ll get it out of my hands as quick as possible or I’ll scramble. I just try to do my best to make sure we don’t have those negative plays.”

On how to prepare for the Maryland game
“You have to take the same approach to every game. I don’t take any game for granted or see them as lesser than any other team. You can get beat any time in the Big Ten. We need to take the same approach against Maryland that we took against Nebraska.”

Raekwon McMillan, junior linebacker
On tipping the pass that led to Ohio State first pick-six against Nebraska
“The running back flared out at the last minute. When the running back flares out, one of our keys is to get our eyes back on the quarterback because he could take off and run. I got my eyes back on the quarterback and read his eyes, got in the passing lane and then got my hand on the ball.”

On how a pick-six impacts the defense
“It doesn’t really do too much for the defense. It just really gets the crowd into it way faster. If we would have let them go down and score, it would have got the crowd out of it. We would have had to wait for the offense to jump back on them. Getting the crowd rocking from the start of the game is one of the best things that happened from last week. Once our crowd gets in the game, 108,000 people start making noise.”

On the defense’s ability to score a record-setting six touchdowns so far this season
“It just goes to show all the work we have been putting in during the offseason, spring ball and camp for sideline return for the last couple of years is coming out on the field. Even when it’s an incomplete pass or broken up, we always pick it up and start running because you never know what the call is.”

Luke Fickell, defensive coordinator/LB coach
On what role fun plays in the performance by the defense
“The reality is these guys have a lot of pressure on them, and that’s overwhelming. You have to remind them at times that this is a game you love to play and you have to find a way to continue to love it. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of it. I tell them all the time that the things I reiterate to them I’m really reiterating to myself. This is a game they love to play, they prepare to play it, so we need to find a way to have a good time doing it.”

On what an interception return for a touchdown can do for a defense
“It’s all about energy. This is a game of energy, this is a game of momentum. If you have the momentum you need to find a way to keep it. If you don’t have the momentum, you need to do something. Coach [Meyer] says all the time that with a young team momentum is worth 14 points. For us, being a little bit younger, momentum can be huge.”

On preparing for a team, like Maryland, that doesn’t have a set starting quarterback
“I don’t know that it’s hard to prepare for them because we don’t know who the quarterback is going to be. They’re going to do what they do; they’re going to run the quarterback. [The quarterbacks] will still be the core of the system of who they are. Maybe that helps us a little bit because we won’t be overthinking too many things, we can continue to do the things we do. But we have to prepare like the normal guys will be there and focus on the offense they’ve been running the last few weeks.”

Jamarco Jones, junior offensive lineman
On how to assess offensive line play after the Nebraska game
“Each game you still have things you can correct. There’s no such thing as a perfect game. As soon as we walked into our meeting yesterday, coach Studrawa was yelling at us about things we messed up. There’s always something to fix. We looked at the film and saw what we need to correct before our game on Saturday.”

On how the team stays focused on the next game without looking ahead to Michigan
“Coach Meyer does a really good job of making sure we focus on our next opponent. WE don’t look past anybody. We’re focused on Maryland, we’re not really worried about [Michigan]. When that game comes, that game comes. But we need to take care of what we need to take care of before we get there.”

On getting settled in as the starting left tackle
“I felt like I was prepared last year I was prepared. I prepared for every game last year in case my number needed to be called. It never was, but I felt like I was ready and that helped me a lot this year. This may be my first year as a starter, but the coaches can rely on me because I am an older guy and I know the playbook.”