Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, quarterback Justin Fields, running back Master Teague, nose tackle Tommy Togiai, linebacker Baron Browning, and cornerback Shaun Wade spoke with reporters following Saturday's 42-35 win over Indiana. Here are the highlights of everything that was said.
-- "Really excited to be 4-0." Looking back on the last four months, he's proud of this team. People don't understand the sacrifices that have been made. "This family has stuck together." All that mattered today is that they find a way to win. "Now, there's a lot of things in this game that were unbelievable." The energy in the first half was great. "In my opinion we dominated." "We've got to figure out a way to close out games." "So many great things in this game. Indiana is a Top 10 team."
-- To be 4-0 after not playing football a few months ago, "really proud of this team and the coaches."
-- Always want to be aggressive on fourth downs and they will continue to do that. He was worried that a field goal may not do it. He liked the call but needs to execute it better. "Always going to be aggressive and then not second guess ourselves when it doesn't work."
-- "A long way from pleased. We've played four games and it's almost Thanksgiving." It's just a different year for everyone and that's why you're seeing some strange games this year.
-- He thought they were going to run away with it after the touchdown to start the third quarter.
-- The secondary is inconsistent right now. Shaun Wade's pick six was huge. The defense stepped up after sudden changes. But there were big plays and if they don't give them up, they run away with this game. "But we did." The good news is they stopped the run, but they'll go back and watch the film and see where the big issues are.
-- There are some things that are repeating in the secondary that haven't been good. Teams are also attacking the secondary in different ways. You look at personnel, then scheme, then coaching. You have to identify those things when trying to fix something. "That's what Sundays are for." There was really good football being played in the first half, so this defense can play well. There is proof.
-- Really gutsy performance by Justin Fields. They knew going in that it was going to be high-risk, high-reward. The first interception was a bad read. The others he tried to force the ball. "Overall, I thought he played some big-time throws." Indiana blitzed on every snap. "We did have 607 yards of total offense." You want those interceptions back but at the same time you have to go at them and be aggressive.
-- Decisions regarding personnel is part of coaching. When you assess an issue, it's not usually just one issue. It's not usually just personnel or coaching or scheme. "I'll be very surprised if we have to make any changes." But 500 yards passing is too much and they have to fix that.
-- "I didn't play well at all." He is upset about how he played.
-- The first interception he made the wrong read on the coverage. The second one he tried to throw away and it was batted down. The third one he just tried to do too much and the ball sailed on him.
-- "Of course I made some bad decisions. I threw three picks."
-- The coaches talked to the team in the locker room after the game about needing focus the entire game and finishing teams out.
-- It was important to get the running game going. When he's not playing well he needs his teammates to pick him up and the running backs did that.
-- Indiana covered the fourth down pass to Luke Farrell pretty well. The pass was just off the mark.
-- The defensive line had a good day of getting to Penix, but he was getting the ball off with a quick release.
-- They can do a better job getting to the quarterback faster. They did that on the last couple of drives. They need to do that the entire game.
-- The defense didn't do anything different in the second half, they just gave up big plays and missed tackles. They didn't let up or do something different than they did in the first half. Indiana just made plays and OSU missed some tackles.
-- The defense told themselves that IU couldn't sustain drives on them, they just needed to stop giving up big plays. They did that on the last two drives.
-- "The biggest thing for us is we never panic." Have to move on and keep doing what you do.
-- Coombs tells the corners they just need to "snap and click" and move on from big plays after they're done.
-- The pick six, he watched film and knew it was coming.
-- The second half struggles wasn't just the secondary, it was the whole defense and the whole offense.
-- "We had a couple of blown coverages. And sometimes they just make plays. That's part of football. DB's are going to make plays too."
-- Definitely still confident that this is a championship defense and a championship secondary. It's not just defensive issues in the second half, it's an entire team issue.
-- The running game is improving every week. "Shoutout to the O-line." They had good practices. He feels good about the running game right now.
-- It is easier to produce when you can carry the ball enough to get into a groove, but he's going to do whatever he is asked to do and whatever the team needs from him.
-- The offensive line did a great job of blocking on his 41-yard touchdown run.
-- The running backs were very focused on pass blocking this past week. "I've never been a part of a game where they blitzed that much." But it was good to experience it. "I wish some of those sacks didn't happen."
-- There were some miscommunications in the pass defense and some things they can clean up. They will get better each week as a defense. That's the goal.
-- The second half struggles are something they're going to have to fix if they're going to be the team they know they can be.
-- Regardless of who is in the game, if your number is called you have to be ready.
-- "We just gotta keep getting better." Fix the miscommunications. One little misstep creates explosive plays.
-- Right now, they will celebrate the win. Tomorrow they will begin addressing the issues one day at a time.
-- Indiana plays them hard every year. This is a big win, but they have to go one week at a time and not look forward at what's ahead.