Sept. 15, 2012

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POSTGAME: Recap | Notes | Quotes | Box Score (html) | Box Score (pdf) | Transcript
VIDEO: Highlights | Postgame Press Conference
LINKS: Game Day Magazine

No. 12 Ohio State (3-0) 31, Cal (1-2) 28
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 15, 2012
Attendance: 105,232

Ohio State Quotes

John Simon, senior defensive lineman
On his postgame speech
“It was a tough game for us. I was a little dinged up, so to be able to go out there with the team it meant the world to me. I just wanted to express that to the guys. We’re all a family. It’s just something I felt like I had to do.”

On today’s game
“I think both sides of the ball were physical. Cal is a very good football team. Fortunately we were able to come out on top, which makes everything a little better.”

On playing through injuries
“I felt like I had to be in the game. Everything we’ve gone through – the winter, spring and summer, plus all our workouts and everything those guys have put into the program – is tough. To not be able to go out there with them, I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”

Nathan Williams, senior defensive lineman
On the play of the Ohio State defense
“Cal mixed it up and gave us a lot of looks. We executed as well as we could have, but we do have to improve a lot. Our defense is disappointed in our effort. We’re going to try to get it corrected. It won’t happen again next week.”

On California’s running game
“Their quarter was a good quarterback. He could throw the ball, but a lot of the passes I remember were little short passes. The running game is what killed us. We started to get a little bit comfortable at the beginning of the game. We need to get that fixed so it doesn’t happen to us again. I don’t think fatigue was an issue. Our defense is always ready.”

Etienne Sabino, senior linebacker
On today’s game
“Cal is a good team. They came in here and really gave us their best shot. They know how to fight. We have to get better at tackling. At the same time you need to give Cal credit, they are a good football team.”

On John Simon playing injured
“It’s emotional when you have a guy like John [Simon] who gives everything for this team. He puts the team in front of himself when maybe sometimes he should put himself in front of the team. It really makes you look back at yourself. `Are you giving everything you have for this team? Does it mean that much to you?'”

Jake Stoneburner, senior wide receiver
On the jump pass touchdown in the fourth quarter
“We’ve been working on that play since Coach Meyer got here and he said he was going to use it this week. It’s obviously a great play and it came at the perfect time.”

On the offensive struggle in the third quarter
“We just got into a lull. I don’t know exactly what it was, little things like missed assignments, dropped balls, bad communication. It started to click there again late in the game, but we have to make sure we do it for four quarters.”

Christian Bryant, junior safety
On the defensive adjustment that led to his fourth quarter pick
“[Bradley] Roby communicated to me before the play they were going to run the seam route and Ryan [Shazier] did a great job of re-routing their receiver and forcing the quarterback to overthrow it.”

On Cal’s ability to attack the edge
“I would say we were losing leverage, but Cal also did a great job of cut blocking our guys. Their play calling and scheme caused a lot of problems.”

Jack Mewhort, junior offensive lineman
On John Simon’s postgame speech
“John is the type of dude who is typically stoned-faced and stoic, but he leads by example. Today he just broke down and opened up after the game and it was really cool to see that from someone like him, a leader, captain and guy we all admire. It is something I know I’ll never forget.”

On the offensive struggles in the third quarter
“It was really frustrating. We put a lot of pressure on the defense to win the game for us and we appreciate what they did out there. I thought we showed a lot of improvement in the fourth quarter which will be something to build on.”

On Cal’s defensive strategy
“We were pretty prepared for what we saw. They threw in a couple of blitzes here and there we maybe weren’t ready for. We studied and knew what was coming, but we just didn’t execute like we should have.”

Johnathan Hankins, junior defensive lineman
On defense giving up 500 yards of offense
“Cal was a good team; they threw the ball well and they ran the ball well. I think we’re really motivated as a team now that we were able to hold them at times and come away with a win.”

On Nathan Williams’ play
“He brings a level of comfort to our defense and when you have guys as good as Nathan Williams and John Simon out there. I feel like it makes my job a piece of cake.”

Ryan Shazier, sophomore linebacker
On how the defense can improve
“We need to stop the run, force them to do what we want them to do. We got after the quarterback more today and we need to continue to do that.”

On getting to the quarterback
“I was kind of the designated blitzer today. They sent me after the quarterback more than usual and it felt good to get him on the ground and disrupt what they wanted to do on offense.”

California Quotes

Jeff Tedford, California Head Coach
On the game overall
“We can take a lot of good things from today. We made some successful plays, kept our composure and played with a lot of heart. However, we didn’t come here just to play well, we came here to win. “

On the second half
“We just kept executing and using the playbook. That’s why we went for it on fourth and one. In the fourth quarter we were looking to tie the football game and just go ahead because we were playing fairly well and doing a good job running the clock.”

On the loss
“It is very discouraging because we came here to win and we played well enough to win, but the scoreboard just doesn’t say that. No matter what the stats are, what the scoreboard says or what happened today, we proved we can play with the best of them.”

On senior quarterback Zach Maynard
“Zach played really well today. He managed the field, took a lot of hits and kept going and kept control of his offense. He really hung in there and played well against a great Ohio State defense.”

On the end of the fourth quarter
“When its 28-28 on the scoreboard and there are four minutes left to play, we are going to go for it. We wanted to put some points on the board.”

On Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller
“Braxton is a hard guy to contain because he is so big and physical. For most of the day he made great decisions and threw some great passes. When he threw that long ball down the left side of the field, it was a perfect pass. He is fast, accurate and a great athlete.”

Marc Anthony, senior cornerback
On Devin Smith’s Touchdown reception in the fourth quarter
“I was on the opposite side of the field, but we [as a defense] all take responsibility. It was a crucial point in the game. We had a simple cover 2 and got caught getting nosy. We need to minimize those mental errors.”

On the Buckeye offense
“Braxton is one of the best in the game and he came through for his team. All of our eyes were on Braxton. We wanted other players to make something happen for them.”

On Cal’s mood
“It’s frustrating. We knew we could win and we wanted to show we can play with anyone. We have to stop our mental mistakes first.”

Brendan Bigelow, sophomore tailback
On his touchdown
“I initially took the handoff and thought don’t slow down. I spun off a few people and just tried to stay on my feet, keep pumping and keep running. My eyes got big when I turned the corner. I just try to take what I learn in practice and apply it to the game.”

On his injury
“I’m still recovering from my injury, but I’m reaching that point. I’m close to it and I feel ready to add to this team. We need to keep working hard and getting ready for the next game which is pretty big too.”

Steve Williams, junior cornerback
On his interception
“I was just running the coverage. He [Miller] threw it right to me. I just wanted to capitalize.”

On Cal’s performance in the second half
“We brought up the intensity from the first half to the second half. We had the same calls in the second, we just executed better.”

On gaining national respect
“People know we can play and we have heart, but we need to finish, then we’ll have more respect. We need to have victories to reach our potential.”