Four days before Ohio State takes on Nebraska and three days after the Buckeyes beat Miami (Ohio), starting quarterback Justin Fields and a trio of teammates – Austin Mack, Jashon Cornell and Jonah Jackson – each took the podium for press conferences on Tuesday.
Here are updates from all four Ohio State players:
- He says his body has adjusted to the hits he takes.
- "The receivers know scrambling around with me, they know I want to throw the ball first." He says he likes to keep his eyes downfield when scrambling, which he called a "big thing" he's been working on.
- Fields says he hasn't explored much in Columbus. He often goes back to his apartment and watches Netflix. He mostly takes online classes so he can spend more time around football.
- He's not sure whether he'll run more later this season or not.
- Fields says the coaches have had conversations about him being a smart runner, but he says they haven't directly told him to look to throw rather than to pass.
- He says you have to know who you're facing, and knowing who's the best player on the other side makes you more efficient.
- On where he is now compared to when he arrived in January: "I think I've matured a lot, not only in the game of football but in life."
- Has life been easier or less hectic in Columbus than in Georgia? "Nah, not really. It's been the same."
- Fields on whether people have an idea of what goes into being the starting quarterback: "I think people have some sort of idea, but they don't know about the little details of all we do."
- Fields on whether he wishes he had a more traditional life of a college student: "I'm fine with the way my life is right now." He says by embracing everything he's doing right now, he can't wish for anything else.
- "I think the most important stat we praise is stopping the run. I know it probably doesn't shot up on the stat sheet."
- He says Nebraska is a "great program" with strong running backs and a quarterback that can take off and run.
- Cornell says the defensive line has had lots of energy due to the heavy rotation.
- He says he think the Rushmen can do a lot more despite not having shown much of the pass-rushing package thus far.
- On Jonathon Cooper: "The one thing that Coop has done really well is help the younger guys."
- On Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez: "I played against Martinez last year. He's a really good quarterback. He can run the ball. He can actually pass the ball too. he's a threat."
- "We don't want to get sacks. Everybody can get sacks. We want to get sack fumbles. Fumbles can change the game."
- Cornell says Chase Young "hasn't even hit his level yet."
- He says when offenses focus on Young, it opens up opportunities for the other linemen.
- "I'm definitely feeling great about the progress I'm making every single game." He says he has had a lot he needs to work on.
- On minimizing holding calls: "Just be clean in my technique and keep my hands inside. That's basically it."
- On the board of players with knockdown blocks: "It's looking pretty decorative." He says some of the younger players have picked up some knockdowns.
- He says Nebraska's line will be just as big or bigger, which makes it difficult.
- Jackson says each week has a theme. Right now, it's about keeping the momentum and "proving upon what we need to do."
- On whether Nebraska still has a mystique: "I believe so. They still have a well-decorated history." He says he was in Lincoln two years ago with Rutgers.
- On what makes somebody difficult to face: "I would say their coverage, how well they play, their movement, flexibility."
- On getting his touchdown called back due to a holding penalty: "I mean, it sucks. But it's on film. It's the luck of the draw. You can't dwell on the moment. Just got to try to get in the end zone next time." When asked, he says he didn't get a Buckeye leaf for the called-back touchdown.
- On whether it's difficult not to get frustrated by lack of targets: "It's hard not to get frustrated, especially for me being a last-year guy." He says you have to stay in your lane knowing it's a process, referencing how Terry McLaurin had 35 catches a year ago.
- Mack says his demeanor is different this year because he's more confident and "playing like he should."
- He says there's still a mystique about Nebraska: "It's an intimidating atmosphere. They're a good team."
- On seeing Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams score touchdowns: "I was ecstatic. I was extremely happy for them guys."
- He says Jameson Williams always said when he catches a ball, he's going to take it to the end zone.
- Mack says it's his job to show the younger wide receivers what the standard is and to coach them up.
- He says he hopes to go the same path as Terry McLaurin and makes the NFL.
- Mack says Justin Fields hasn't made a lot of tough throws and hasn't forced much. He notes that Fields can take off and run, which is a skill Dwayne Haskins didn't have. On what impresses him about Fields: "Just his demeanor."