MINNEAPOLIS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and a number of Buckeyes talked with reporters following Ohio State’s 45-31 win at Minnesota. The defense was a major topic of conversation, as were the Ohio State running backs. Day and his players addressed those issues and many others throughout the session. The highlights of everything that was said are included below.
Quarterback CJ Stroud
+ First-game jitters were an issue early but his teammates encouraged him and they carried him until he calmed down.
+ Everything that was called was great, but the time of possession kept the Buckeyes off the field for long periods of time.
+ You have ups and downs during games. His mind wasn’t right in the first half. “I don’t feel like I did terrible but I definitely didn’t do as best as I could.”
+ The interception, he forced it. They didn’t get the look they thought they were going to get.
+ As soon as he came into the locker room at the half his teammates were encouraging him and calming him down.
+ He was asked if he just needs to be a game manager. “I have great teammates but I think I’m a great player too. Maybe the first half didn’t show that.”
+ The coaches told him before the game there would be ups and downs.
+ “I feel like my whole life has been perseverance.”
+ The swing pass to TreVeyon Henderson was a great call. He just had to get the ball over the defensive end. “He’s going to be a hell of a player.”
+ He just talked to Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson and they were both happy with his play.
+ They knew they would be able to take some deep shots. That’s a strong suit of his game. He wasn’t feeling it in the first half but was fine in the second.
+ He hasn’t played football in two years and laughed that some of the hits hurt a bit but he’s okay.
+ “We learned a lot from this experience. To say I’m surprised by how this turned out, I’m not.” “We played a lot of young guys.” “Very excited coming out of that locker room.”
+ They couldn’t get off the field on defense and couldn’t get the ball back in the second quarter. Rhythm took a bit of time to find offensively. This was CJ Stroud’s first game. They knew it would be murky early on.
+ On Stroud: You don’t just walk out there as a young quarterback and throw four touchdowns and call it a day. “It doesn’t just happen.”
+ He’ll look at the film and see what was up with the defense. They played a lot of guys. They are young. “I think it’s going to sort itself out a little bit.”
+ He told CJ Stroud that he had no expectations going in. It might be four touchdowns or four interceptions. There’s a lot of things a new starting quarterback needs to process and it takes time. It doesn’t just happen.
+ He is hopeful that Sevyn Banks and Cam Brown will be back next week.
+ They have a lot of depth on defense so they’re playing a lot. It may solidify through film. The position battles are close. They’ll look and see if they need more continuity instead of more depth. It will help down the road. The goal was to go 1-0 tonight. “We didn’t care what the score was and it will be the same thing next week.”
+ Luke Wypler did a great job of handling everything well. Harry Miller has a day-to-day issue.
+ Day told Stroud going in that something like this was going to happen. Don’t go into a game with expectations, go in with resiliency.
+ The defensive touchdown was maybe the difference in the game.
Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett
+ The depth was developed during camp.
+ Scoring on defense is about being in the right place at the right time.
+ On his touchdown: “It just shows that big dudes can run.”
Defensive end Zach Harrison
+ When he saw he was going to get to the quarterback he went for the ball and knocked it out.
+ The strip sack brought some energy to the sideline.
+ The pass rush was good but needs to get better. The fun thing is that you can go and watch the film and get better this week and see where the improvements need to be made.
Safety Lathan Ransom
+ He didn’t think his hit that forced a fumble was targeting so he wasn’t worried during the replay.
+ The young corners were going through the same thing he was, this was their first start and there were some nerves to start but they all handled themselves well.
+ Sevyn Banks was giving all of the DBs tips throughout the game. He really wanted to be out there.
+ Playing with all of this depth is what they do in practice and they have good chemistry with whoever is on the field.
Running back Miyan Williams
+ His touchdown run felt like a dream at first, then he realized he had to keep running.
+ When you make a good play, you want to get in the game, but he also wanted to see the other RBs get in the game and root them on.
+ He’s fine with the workload tonight. As long as they win, that’s what matters.
+ He knew early on that Henderson’s catch was gonna go. He has had crazier plays in practice.
+ His touchdown run: “To be honest it was actually the wrong play. I was supposed to go the other way.” “I was in a rush…”
+ “I was supposed to go to the left and I went to the right and there was nobody there.”
+ What his 40 time? “I don’t know.”