November 24, 2018

Meyer, Haskins Postgame Press Conference: Buckeyes Beat TTUN

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Ohio State University Football Media Conference

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Urban Meyer

Ohio State – 62, Michigan – 39

COACH MEYER: Thanks for being here. And on behalf of our players and staff, you can’t beat our fans. The best fans in the land. And they’re with us and they helped us win that game today. That stadium was rocking and electric. And so much appreciation, more appreciation than ever.

We asked them at the skull session: When I need you the most, would you give us your very best? And our fans and student body who we love just gave us their very best.

Also great respect for our opponent. I’ve been saying that really for seven years, that — how do you tackle a rivalry? You show the most incredible amount of respect you can for that rivalry. And how do you do that? You work your you-know-what off as hard as you can. It’s not a one-week thing; it’s a 365 that we work on that.

So great respect for our opponent. Great respect for the rivalry. And we understand that elite warriors, which I consider our players, they get a mission assignment and a directive and if they accomplish it, they celebrate. They celebrate the right way with their families. Do the right things. And then they come back tomorrow and they accept their next mission assignment directive. And that’s a big one. That’s in Indianapolis.

Q. With all due respect, where has this team been for the last two months? Pretty good right there. That was pretty good out there. Where has the team been the last two months?
COACH MEYER: It was 688 against Maryland. So —

Q. We joked a couple weeks ago that (indiscernible) was up and down (inaudible)?
COACH MEYER: A win is frustrating for you or someone else. A win is not frustrating for us. A win — there’s a lot of good football players out there. A lot of great programs. And I kind of think that’s disrespectful to other people that work really hard at trying to win games. I see former players in here that says — it’s really hard to win a college football game.

So, with all due respect, there’s never a bad win. Someone might say: Why didn’t you run it or throw more; you missed a tackle? That’s okay, you win that game. And our guys, obviously, showed up and played great today.

Q. It has obviously been a difficult year for you and your team. How sweet is this to get — not just winning, but to play the way you did and get this kind of result?
COACH MEYER: Extremely proud of our players, the way they’ve fought through it. And like someone was saying, nothing’s ever good enough. And obviously some adversity earlier in the year — not some, big-time adversity. And to come back against your rival and play like that, that’s a focused team that loves each other and cares about each other.

Q. To do this offensively against the number one defense, what did you see that you could exploit?
COACH MEYER: I just think Ryan Day and Kevin, everybody, I think we’re the second offense in America. And I know we struggle all the time or whatever. But second offense in America just put a bunch of yards on the number one defense in America.

So just great players and a really good offensive staff, and that’s how you do what you did. Did we see that? No. No. The guys just went out and played.

Q. Jonathan Cooper seemed to have his game of the year, just attacking their offense and stuff. What do you remember about a motivational aspect of things for your defense especially going into this game? What was sort of the watch word? And what did you think of Jonathan Cooper’s play in particular?
COACH MEYER: To be honest with you, I didn’t know, because I was busy during the game on the other side. But Coop just works his tail off. That was a rugged week for our defense last week, rugged. And to come out and just play like they did against that team was awesome.

Q. I’ve been covering Ohio State for a long time. I’ve said Dwayne Haskins Jr. is the best passing quarterback I’ve ever covered. What’s your sense of him right now? He just broke a couple of big-time records today in the Big Ten. And just what he has meant to this run?
COACH MEYER: I think he’d be the first one to tell you that the quarterback’s a product of those in front of him. And I take a peek down here against that defense. Under sacks it says zero. So I think the first thing that he would say, and I’d be disappointed and shocked — as a matter of fact, I’m going to tell him to make sure he says that — thank the big guys up front because they won the game for us — zero sacks.

And when you can flip a ball to Parris Campbell and he takes it 78 yards and Dwayne gets the stats, I think, on that one. Is that a pass or run?

Q. It’s a run.
COACH MEYER: Sure he didn’t flip it to him? Supposed to flip it, I think. (Laughter).

But Dwayne will come in here and he’ll give all the credit to offensive line and the receivers, and that’s what great quarterbacks do.

Q. What kind of challenge do you face this week as a coach getting these guys up after the high of this victory?
COACH MEYER: You mean for the Indianapolis game? We’ll find out. We’ve been there a couple times. That’s our goal in the weight room when you walk in you see a sign that says “Get to Indy.” And they did. That’s my job and our staff’s and our leaders job.

I don’t think it’ll be big. I think this is going to be enjoy their families and back to work tomorrow.

Q. What’s your perception right now of Northwestern football?
COACH MEYER: I think they’re awesome. I’m a big fan of — Pat’s one of my very closest friends. I have just great respect for him. And I haven’t watched them yet. So that comes tomorrow.

Q. Dwayne said the very first play he ran, that was his call. He said he wanted to send a message. How happy were you to see that play, that he’s kind of taken it to them? And, two, are you cognizant of the score and needing to score points? Do you get into the playoff stuff at all in a game like this?
COACH MEYER: No. That’s been brought up before. We just played as hard as we possibly could and kept going and kept going and kept going. And they were scoring a little bit too, so we had to keep scoring. So, we don’t — that’s not indicative of even comes across as a thought during the course of the game.

Q. Everything that happened off the field with this program has been well-documented. A lot of things that have happened with you have been well-documented. After a win like this, after a tough year, maybe the toughest year you’ve had at Ohio State, what’s it like to be up there right now accomplishing what you guys did today and 11-1 on the year? And where does the program stand in your mind and what could be ahead?
COACH MEYER: I think it’s a very healthy, strong program. I don’t like to go backwards. And I assure you I won’t. We’re pushing forward. And a bunch of very good players. Like I said, that love each other.

That was a love game. That was one of those things that you hear the word “brotherhood,” and why do you really play? Why does a true soldier fight? It’s not for the hatred of those in front of you; it’s for the love of those behind you. And that’s a great quote that we live by, and they proved it today.

Q. You’ve been very successful against this team, haven’t lost to Michigan. Where does this one rank considering the place this team was in, what you needed to do to win, the score? Everything that went into it seemed to be perfect for you.
COACH MEYER: Well, it’s — the double-overtime, you can go through either one. Once again, I’m not going to shortchange any of those other efforts that we’ve had. But the team we beat today was very good. It was a very, very good team with excellent players all over the field.

And, so, where does that rank? I don’t know. But I know the team we beat, that’s a heck of a team we beat.

Q. You had a special moment after the game outside the locker room. You were shown by your family, Shelley, your grandson. What did that moment mean to you and what were you thinking?
COACH MEYER: There’s no one that means more to me than her. And, yeah, there’s nothing more important than my three kids and my grandson. And another one on the way. And to see the smiles on their face, that’s priceless and that’s something I’ll never forget.

Q. We can see what a game like this means to you, what this means to you personally. Can you take us more inside what you feel personally right now, what that game was like? You’re 7-0 in the rivalry. How does Urban Meyer feel right now?
COACH MEYER: I think I just shared it with you, to see the people I love the most, my players, and our staff and my family enjoy it, that’s all I care about. And once again, all due respect to everything else that’s out there and conversations, we’re kind of foxhole people that live in a foxhole and you care deeply about your family, care deeply about your players. And I do care deeply about the school.

Q. Special teams question, the punt block with Chris Olave, you guys brought him off the edge, and then he came inside for that. Was that something you thought maybe you had a chance to hit on, or where did that come from?
COACH MEYER: To tell you the truth, I didn’t think we could do it. That’s Coach Schiano drew that up and Parker that works with us and I saw it on Wednesday practice. And I grabbed Parker and I said, you can’t — you only have 2.1 seconds to get there. And he’s not that fast.

And Schiano kept saying, we can do it, we can do it. So I called the black, which is — I shouldn’t say — I called the block — see I gotta change the signal now (laughter). We called the block and we have two blocks, and I thought we were going to go with the other one. And I hear him go ahead, and I see the signal. And I got really pissed.

I said we’re not going to get there, we’re not going to get there, we’re not going to get there. And not the first time I’ve been wrong. Been wrong many, many times.

Q. You’ve had teams in the past that kind of everything has kind of started to click together towards the end of the season. I know that’s everybody’s goal. But is there something in common that those teams have in common, or is everyone a different animal, because this —
COACH MEYER: Every team’s different, but it’s all about how you practice, about how you attack your week. And offensively, I felt like we’ve been doing this. Even defensively against Nebraska we started to settle down. And then Michigan State we played really well. And then obviously we didn’t play well last week.

So today I thought our defense — once again, our pass defense, just too many balls, too many guys open. But stopping — what did we hold them to rushing? Jerry, what did we hold them to rushing? That’s pretty good, holding that team to 160. So they played great today. And they’ve been practicing great.

Q. How about Olave’s game, just the way he played —
COACH MEYER: Monster. Yeah — he’s a, Buckeye Nation, get used to that one now. That’s the real deal. Comes from an incredible family. Came all the way across the country to be a Buckeye. And you could see right out of the jump when he started practicing, he’s got the “it.”

And he’s on my punt team. He’s obviously a punt blocker. Greg Schiano picked him to go block that punt. There’s very few that can get there. And he did it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #188 at 2018-11-24 22:25:00 GMT

Ohio State University Football Media Conference

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dwayne Haskins

Ohio State – 62, Michigan – 39

Q. Dwayne, first of all, how sweet is this? And what did you guys see that you could exploit in the Michigan defense?
DWAYNE HASKINS: It’s a crazy win. We seen a lot of man coverage, lot of one high, so we knew that we could get a lot of one-on-one match-ups and crossing routes on them. And made some plays when it mattered the most. And it was a great win today.

Q. (Inaudible)?
DWAYNE HASKINS: I don’t know about 62, but I knew we were going to come out and put on a show. I’m proud of how we played today. It started up front with the “O” line. And the playmakers made plays. That’s what mattered.

Q. Seems like very quickly Chris Olave has become one of your favorite guys. Talk about getting him involved there early, Dwayne, and what that meant to the offense, getting those two quick touchdowns?
DWAYNE HASKINS: Chris came in as a freshman, you can see all the talent, all the skill in the world. Didn’t have opportunity to play much this year. So when he got in there he made it matter. And he was really smooth, silky receiver, makes a lot of plays, plays fast. Johnnie got hurt a little bit, so he came in there and made some big plays as a true freshman. So I’m proud of the way he played.

Q. Dwayne, can you describe what the postgame celebration was like this week, and after all the ups and downs of this year and to beat your rival the way you did?
DWAYNE HASKINS: Definitely. Can’t really get off the field really. All the fans just flooded the field and it shows how much love that this football team gets from this university. And just really a great win. And we played great. And looking forward to next week.

Q. I know sometimes the “statement win” thing gets thrown around casually, but is this the kind of message you wanted to send to get back into the playoff race here?
DWAYNE HASKINS: Yeah, we played well, so we’ve got to do it again versus Northwestern next week, and let the committee make a decision from there. But we’re going to keep putting good stuff out there on film, and keep getting better. And I feel like we can still get better; we haven’t played our best game yet. So there’s a ways to go for us.

Q. Dwayne, did you, unlike maybe the most of us who didn’t see this coming — this is the number one defense in the country against the pass, giving up 122 yards or something like that. Did you like what you saw on film and saw this to be possible?
DWAYNE HASKINS: I was licking my chops, I see the one-high covers and that’s a quarterback’s dream. The biggest responsibility for me all week was to be able to pick up blitzes and protection, because we saw a lot of different fronts and exotic looks. I spent hours in the film room just trying to figure out how we can pick the blitzes up. And once we picked it up, receivers make plays, and I’m going to put it there. And it was a great overall team effort today.

Q. With the season you’ve had and the game you’ve had today, how would you like people to think of you, and how would you like Ohio State fans to remember you with what you did against Michigan today?
DWAYNE HASKINS: I’m not done yet. But I want to be one of the best to ever do it when I get gone playing here at this university. And this is a dream come true for me. I have no words to say about, like, all we’ve done this year. It’s been a dream of mine to play here at the university for a while.

And to break all these records and to go win these games the way we’ve won these games is a blessing. And going to put on a show next week.

Q. (Inaudible)?
DWAYNE HASKINS: We did some running plays all week and we were just going to — you know, if it’s there, pull it, and the “D” end crashing the side, so I pulled it. Just wanted to show how I can use my feet, and made plays when they mattered.

And that’s a great defense we played. Like you said, the most impact defense in the country, great players across every position group. And we just wanted to show we were one of the best offenses in the country.

Q. You guys had your doubters heading into this one. We heard so much about the Michigan Revenge Tour. Was that motivation for you guys all? Did you just circle the wagons that so many people were counting you guys out?
DWAYNE HASKINS: I mean, we didn’t need the underdog score point. We didn’t need the revenge tour. We didn’t need the guaranteed win. We know what this game means to our school, to our teammates and to our coaches.

So I just knew that this week in practice I needed to bring a different type of energy, like I did last week against Maryland. And I gave it my all today. And I’m glad we got the win.

Q. (Inaudible)?
DWAYNE HASKINS: Yes, it did.

Q. (Inaudible)?
DWAYNE HASKINS: A-plus job. Zero sacks. I have to take them out to dinner. So that’s good. But as far as picking up protections, there was no pressures. I really had all day in the pocket. I can’t complain. The line did a great job. I’m praying for Metes, hoping that he’s okay. To have a performance like that, try to do it again next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #188 at 2018-11-24 22:01:00 GMT