November 15, 2016

Quotes: Tony Alford + Players

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Nov. 15, 2016

J.T. Barrett, junior quarterback
On playing Michigan State
“Just a battle each time we play one another. It’s not really a blow out game. It’s always been one of those that go down to the fourth quarter and that’s how it’s been.”

On focusing on football and not outside factors like rankings
“If I can’t control something, I don’t put a lot of stress or worry to it because it is out of my hands. With all the things that happened Saturday, we can’t control that. It is outside of our little bubble of Ohio State here at The Woody. I don’t worry about those things or give them a lot of focus. I think the main thing is we control what we control, and that is playing Michigan State this week.”

On getting contributions from younger players like Demario McCall
“I think one of the great things is getting those guys get reps. I’m a big believer in reps and experience and that helps you develop as a player. Them getting a lot of reps on Saturday just helps them develop, and it allows us to have more depth when it gets deeper in the season when we may need those guys.”

On the Michigan State defense
“They’re a defense that is aggressive. They are going to force you to take shots downfield. They are going to apply pressure and try and get to the quarterback. They like to get you behind the chains. They want you behind the chains so you are in third and long situations knowing that it is very hard to convert those. They have a good defensive plan.”

Raekwon McMillan, junior linebacker
On getting revenge on Michigan State this weekend
“I wouldn’t call it revenge, we just want to get back out there and get the job done this weekend. We’re really not focused on all the things going on around this game, we just need to go into this away game and get the job done.”

On playing behind the defensive lines he’s had during his career
“They’ve done a great job this year, they’ve really done a great job every year I’ve been here. Getting in the back field, going out and making plays, not just holding at the point of attack but getting in the backfield, creating a new line of scrimmage, they’ve been doing a great job with all of that this year. I really appreciate everything they do. They go out and there and bust their butts throughout the week so they can do the things they do on Saturdays.”

On the offensive line
“We came in with three first time starters, and throughout the season they’ve grown more confident in themselves and they’ve learned the playbook better. Learning the ins and outs of the game has helped them throughout the season. When we took our loss earlier they were being scrutinized, but they came in and got to work.”

On Tyquan Lewis
He’s a big competitor on the field. He has that drive and he’s very vocal out there. He’s always out there making plays. When we’re down and we need a spark, Tyquan is one of the vocal guys who will talk to the team to get everybody up.”

Tyquan Lewis, junior defensive lineman
On the team’s confidence right now
“We’re playing at a really high level, our focus has been very good. Guys are doing the little things more. You can see things are bonding together and guys are coming closer together, because this is the time of year when everything counts more.”

On Sam Hubbard
“He’s a tremendous athlete. I’ve seen him get off of cut blocks and spin around and still make plays. Playing with him is a benefit to me. We’re pretty deep at defensive end, but we all come out and bring different types of games to the table. Having him out there shapes the defense into a whole different animal.”

On how well the defensive line has been playing despite losing talented players over the last couple seasons
“It’s the same concept every year: next man up. Everybody comes in and they put in the same amount of work, everybody comes in on Mondays at the same time and watches film, we all get the same cut-ups and we all watch them and we critique ourselves. We’re always looking to improve ourselves and it overflows from season to season, it’s something that’s handed down.”

Pat Elflein, senior offensive lineman
On staying focused for the Michigan State game
“It’s the same focus for us every week. We have to stay focused like that because of the way the Big Ten is. You have to stay focused or you’ll slip up very quickly. Having some experience against this team, they always come out to play. Records don’t matter in this game. It’s a Big Ten matchup, they’ve got really good players. They’ve always had a good game plan against us and we’ll do the same for them.”

On what Michigan State has traditionally done to play Ohio State tough
“Personally, I know their defensive front seven is always very tough. They show up to play and they play hard. It’s always a slugfest up front for us. This will be my fourth game playing against these guys. It doesn’t matter what the records are, these guys are going to show up and play hard. They’ll have something dialed up for us.”

Billy Price, junior offensive lineman
On staying focused during the last few weeks of the regular season
“It’s a two-game season. You can’t focus one somebody else’s decision making. We’re going to go to East Lansing and play a tough team. They’ve got a defense over there and their offense really came on. Just have to make sure we focus on the task at hand and that’s all that we can control.”

On outside factors influencing the Michigan State game this Saturday
“A little bit, it’s a human element. They kind of ruined our senior night for us last year. It’s tough. It’s in the back of your head absolutely. Michigan State has always been a team that has played us tough. They have a great defense with two athletic linebackers, so we just have to execute.”

On how games against Michigan State have been in the past
“Very physical. Tough wins. Even when we beat them by 12 two years ago, that was a physical game, everything was sore. You have to respect those guys. They are cut from the same fabric that we are. We’re tough, blue-collar type guys who just go out there and go to work. That’s why it’s a slugfest.”

On the team’s play since the Penn State game
“Yeah. We didn’t take things for granted. When you don’t appreciate the little things, those things go away. You just have to really appreciate wins around here. Wins are hard in the Big Ten. You have to appreciate every little thing.”

Sam Hubbard, sophomore defensive end
On how well the defensive line is playing
“I think we are just working together. We rotate so much, that there are so many guys that are fresh. We are playing so fast at all times. Everyone is focused on staying fundamentally sound and big plays will come. We just have so many guys playing at a high level.”

On the team’s blitzing frequency lately
“We really haven’t been dialing many pressures at all. We’ve been sending four guys and winning our one-on-one matchups. Teams play us differently, they try to get the ball out faster, they roll out and try to different things to keep the pressure off of them.”

On Michigan State
“You get the feeling that they are going to play us hard no matter what because they always do, and we have to be ready for that. They are going to bring their A-game. They are getting better every week.”

On the way the team has played since Penn State
“We got a wakeup call. We didn’t take stuff for granted after that. A lot of the guys playing for us had never experienced a loss before. If we don’t take care of the little things, that is what can happen.”

Tony Alford, running backs coach
On what the team will see from Michigan State
“They are going to play hard and play sound. We expect them to play their best football.”

On Mike Weber
“He’s on track. You have to understand, with the guys that preceded him, there is an expectation of how that position is going to play. If you are going to be the starting tailback at The Ohio State University, you better hurry up and get to that level. Mike is coming along and he has grown up very quickly. He loves to play this game.”