In the final game week with acting head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano handling media availabilities for head coach Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s two coaches met the press for one more Monday from the team room of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Before the No. 4 Buckeyes (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten) battle TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, what did Day and Schiano say as they got ready for their latest week of preparation?
Ahead of the primetime tilt for 8 p.m. ET on ABC, Schiano and Day recapped the 52-3 rout of Rutgers and previewed the No. 15 Horned Frogs (2-0).
On TCU’s defense…
“Coach (Gary) Patterson’s done a great job. They have all the answers. Anytime a defense has been together that long, they’ve seen so many different things go, come their way. So they have adjustments, they make quick adjustments, they know exactly how you’re trying to attack them.
“So a very, very talented group as well. A lot of veteran guys back there, so they’ve been together such a long time that you’re not going to get anything free. You have to earn everything that you get.”
On sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins…
“When the games get tighter, every play matters even more. So the mistakes are still there — we talked about that in the meeting (Sunday) — the mistakes are still there. We can’t, for instance, (have) the interception in the red zone two games ago (against Oregon State) or a play with a false start or a sack on third down. Those plays in a big game are going to show up even more.
“So they’re still there and we have to correct them, and that’s a sign of a mature group. You can win a big game, kind of like we have the last two games, but then come to work and be critical of yourself and take the coaching so that we make the corrections to keep building.”
On a top-15 matchup without Meyer…
“I think that when you play in big games, obviously you have to take care of the football. You have to run the football. You have to play good defense. You have to really follow the play to win even more because every play is so much more important. In terms of preparing for it, though, we’re going to be who we are. We’re going to do what we are.
“I think that when you start to stray and start to focus on other things like being (in) a big game — I think that’s when you get distracted. We’ve got to focus on us. If we play the way we know we can play, then that’s going to give us the best chance to win. If we start to overthink it or anything else, then we’re not putting our best foot forward.”
On freshman cornerback Tyreke Johnson…
“Not everybody can play. It’s a competitive environment. He’s doing well, though, especially in the last 10 days. I think he’s really catching on. Hopefully, somewhere down the road he will play.”
On TCU’s offense…
“They are a really talented offense. It all starts with the offense and defensive lines. Their offensive line is as good as any in the Big Ten. It is that kind of offensive line, very, very good. Skill people. They are fast. It’s a very fast football team. You look at their receivers — it’s one, it’s two and these are really athletic kids in the backfield.
“Thirty-three (Sewo Olonilua) and six (Darius Anderson) are really good running backs; and their quarterback, the guy is new this year. (Shawn) Johnson, No. 3, we recruited him. He’s a really good player who is multi-dimensional, who can throw, he’s a strong-arm guy. He’s a huge test for our defense. This is a very athletic, fast, productive offense.”
On junior defensive end Nick Bosa…
“As I was saying defensively, it’s all about math, the numbers. It’s the same thing in protection. If you commit six to protection or you commit seven to protection, it’s less people in the route; and less people in the route means that you can cover them better because there’s more people that are able to get in the throwing lanes and that kind of thing.
“It is a trade off in everything you do on offense, as well as on defense and so if they choose to keep a double on Nick and a double on (sophomore defensive end) Chase (Young), then the single on (junior defensive tackle) Dre’Mont (Jones). And they have to kind of pick which ones they want to double on.
“But a lot of that is based on concept of passing game, how fast the ball is coming out and where the ball is coming out. You always want to protect the blind side of your quarterback. All that goes into it in the protection scheme and that’s what we try to attack. We try to attack the protection scheme with the players we have.”
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