Nov. 1, 2016

Chris Worley, junior linebacker
On having a home game at night
“It’s time to rock The Shoe. We’ve been blessed to play in some of the greatest stadiums and atmospheres in college football. Three big ones: Wisconsin, Penn State and Oklahoma. But now, it’s time for Ohio State to have a primetime game.”

On where the defense can improve
“Just trying to play a complete game. Last week, we had some great drives. With that being said, we also had a lot of mistakes. We have to find a way to dwindle down our mistakes and increase the positives.”

On the team’s confidence after the win against Northwestern
“I mean whenever you are coming off a loss, one thing you don’t want to do is continue to fall downhill. If you fall down, you have to get back up. But just because you get back up, it doesn’t mean you stay in the same place. You have to keep walking, keep fighting. That’s the whole motto of our team. The edge…how far can you go when things get rough? Who are you when it’s fourth and goal on the two-yard line to win the game? That’s what it’s all about.”

On the atmosphere at this Saturday’s game
“Coming in, a bunch of young guys are going to get overtaken by that moment. Coming out, you can’t really prepare for it. No matter what high school you went to, you will never have an experience like that. As an older guy, you kind of have to soak in the moment. Because you know that your opportunity to play in games like that is only going to dwindle. You only have so many more opportunities to play in that great stadium.”

On forcing turnovers
“A big part of that is the way teams have been playing us as well. When you have guys out there making plays like that, a lot of teams are going to be a little more cautious about how they attack certain guys or how they attack the defense in general. It changes every week.”

Raekwon McMillan, junior linebacker
On playing Nebraska in a night game at the Shoe
“I don’t know any other team in the nation that’s played as many tough night games on the road like us. For a young team to go out and do that, and be 2-1 in that situation- we’d love to be 3-0- but to come out and be 2-1 is very impressive for such a young team. The crowd was really amped up last weekend and hopefully they can do that this weekend against Nebraska.”

On the progression of the defense
“At the beginning of the season nobody had film on us, nobody knew what our identity was. After a while some good offensive-minded coaches can really exploit what you’re doing on defense. We’re very young, but we’re working through these growing pains. We’ll have more, but we have to keep on progressing.”

On Malik Hooker

“He’s definitely one of the better players on our defense, and on our team, period. Our coaches do a good job of putting the best players in the best positions to make the best plays. It really shows on Saturdays.”

On the red zone defense
“When it gets inside the 20 it’s about anchoring down and digging deep, making sure the other team can’t score. They’re thinking they’re going to come in and score, but we just have to believe as a unit and at every position that we can work together.”
On playing middle linebacker
“I’m not always the one making the play, I’m trying to get everyone situated and in the right position. It’s not always the flashiest position but it’s about going out there and being a leader every day. It’s just the game of football, making plays when you can make them and hustling to the ball.”

J.T. Barrett, junior quarterback
On how defenses are preventing big plays against the Buckeyes
“It’s not like they’re packing the box like they did last year with Zeke and they were daring us to throw. Now they see we have weapons so they’re backing off and making us nickel and dime it down the field, which is what we’re doing.”

On freshman wide receiver Ben Victor
“I think he’s close. You have to make plays in practice in order to play on Saturdays and I think he’s starting to do that. He’s starting to make plays, he’s understanding zones and spacing. I think that’s something different too, spacing as a receiver, because that’s what the passing game is based on: spacing and timing. Those are the things he’s getting a better grasp on, so I think he’s close as well.”

On how to beat defense when they’re playing off of receivers
“I think you could create some double moves, so they could bite on one then you hit them with another. Other than that I think you just take what they give you and don’t force things. We like scoring fast, but there’s not an issue with a 10-play drive that ends in a touchdown. As long as we’re scoring we don’t have a problem.”

On tight end Marcus Baugh
“With him it’s more about the routes he’s taking, and he’s getting more first read routes. A lot of times they’re just leaving him open and I’m giving him the ball to let him do his thing. We can throw it short but they still have to tackle, that’s where Marcus can make plays.”

On Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry
“Good football player. He’s smart, he’s fast, and he processes things on the fly very well, which you have to do as a safety. He’ll probably be watching me so I’ll have to control him with my eyes, but he’s a good ball player.”