As preparations continue in Columbus and Madison for Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, three Ohio State players and three Wisconsin players each took 10 minutes out of their schedules to answer questions from media members on a teleconference on Sunday.
Wisconsin was represented by running back Jonathan Taylor, center Tyler Biadasz and linebacker Chris Orr, while Ohio State was represented by safety Jordan Fuller, center Josh Myers and defensive tackle Jashon Cornell.
A quick recap of what each of them had to say, starting with the three Buckeyes, follows below.
Ohio State S Jordan Fuller:
- On the targeting penalty that was reversed on Saturday, Fuller said he did not think his hit was malicious but thought the same thing last year against Nebraska, when he was ejected for targeting. Was glad that the penalty was reversed so he isn't suspended for the first half of this week's game. He felt like it was a similar play to last year where there was "nothing he could have done differently." Fuller said he would never try to hurt an opposing player. "I would say if I was reviewing it, I wouldn't call it targeting, so I guess we're just kind of on the same page."
- Fuller said the Buckeyes are going to "work really hard for this one."
- On Ohio State head coach Ryan Day: "He's just a different personality than Coach Meyer, maybe a different vibe." Said Urban Meyer was more stern at times, whereas Day is more conversational with players. "Different guys, different personalities, but still just great experiences."
- Fuller gave credit to backup defensive backs Amir Riep, Sevyn Banks, Cameron Brown and Marcus Hooker for how they stepped up coming off the bench in Saturday's game with Shaun Wade and Damon Arnette both injured.
- Fuller said he expects Wisconsin to not only feed Jonathan Taylor the ball but to try to get the ball to Quintez Cephus and their other receivers as well. "Jonathan Taylor's a great player, but they also have other great players that can hurt you as well, so we got to be prepared for everybody."
Ohio State C Josh Myers:
- "We're excited to be back in the Big Ten Championship Game. It's always an honor. It's such a fun game to play in."
- Who's the best offensive lineman on the team? "That's a good question. That's a tough question to answer. I think all five of us across the board have done a great job this season."
- Does playing a power team like Wisconsin make you want to establish the run more? "We always want to establish the ground attack ... I think with how well their ground game was, I think it was definitely on the mind of our offensive line, and I think we wanted to be able to show that we're in that same conversation ... It's something that we're obviously going to try to do again on Saturday."
- On Ryan Day saying Sunday that he thinks Ohio State's interior offensive linemen are the best three in the country: "That's super high praise, and I take that as a huge compliment, especially coming from Coach Day."
- On the chemistry of the offensive line: "All five of us are extremely close."
- Myers said he thinks the athleticism and mobility of Ohio State's offensive line has been key to its success.
- Myers said he thinks it is a "huge advantage" for Wisconsin's defense that they have had an opportunity to play against Ohio State's offensive scheme, so the Buckeyes have to be prepared to do some different things, knowing the Badgers will do some different things on defense as well.
- Myers said it is easier to play indoors as a center because he doesn't have to worry about the ball being slick in bad weather and potentially slipping through his fingers.
- On Day: "We just love him so much ... I personally want to win for him ... I can't say enough about how good of a job he's done since he's gotten here."
- Myers said he still watches tape of former Ohio State centers and Rimington Trophy winners Billy Price and Pat Elflein because he wants to be able to live up to the level of success that they had.
- On J.K. Dobbins: "He's just such a good player, and an even better person. He runs the ball incredibly hard, and as an offensive line, we just respect that so much."
Ohio State DT Jashon Cornell:
- Cornell feels like Ohio State's defensive line has proven its ability to stop the run when most of the hype surrounding them entering the season was about its ability to rush the passer.
- Cornell said the Buckeyes view Wisconsin as a "completely different team" than it was when it played Ohio State in October and that the Badgers will be "way hungrier" than the first time around, so the Buckeyes have to be prepared for a tougher challenge. "We have to play our best game because they're going to give us their best game."
- Cornell said the Buckeyes are having a lot of fun and that the brotherhood this year is "so much better" than previous years. "We're all playing for each other. We don't have anybody playing for individual stats." Said in the past, there was more of a laser-focus on just winning whereas now, they're having more fun together and really focusing on playing for each other.
- On going up against Ohio State's interior offensive line: "We don't take it easy on each other."
- Cornell said the Buckeyes have treated "every game like it's a March Madness game." March Madness has been a motto for this year's team led by Day, and Cornell thinks the team has bought into that approach each week.
- Cornell said he doesn't have a preference on playing indoors or outdoors. He grew up in Minnesota, so he's used to playing in bad weather.
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor:
- Taylor said Wisconsin is working this week to "maximize" this opportunity to play in the Big Ten Championship Game.
- Taylor said he is "very motivated" to play Ohio State again and knows that his team will lean on him to make plays, so "I got to make sure that I'm ready this week, have a great week of preparation so that I'm ready when my number is called."
- On going head-to-head with J.K. Dobbins: "I think J.K.'s a great runner. I really like the way he finishes his runs. He always finishes them very physical ... I don't think he gets enough credit for how physical he finishes his runs."
- Taylor said it is crucial for the Badgers to play with great discipline and technique because of how talented Ohio State is.
- Taylor said the Badgers expect to see some new wrinkles from Ohio State since it's their second time playing the Buckeyes.
- "Going into November, we wanted to make sure we were playing our best ball. They always say November is the football you remember." Wisconsin won all four of its November games.
- On going up against Ohio State defensive end Chase Young: "He can beat you on any single play ... You have to make sure your technique is spot-on."
Wisconsin C Tyler Biadasz:
- What makes Ohio State's defensive front so tough to run against? "They're very consistent with their movements. They're good players, too ... They're a very consistent team all-around ... It holds you to a great standard, as well, to compete on that level."
- Biadasz said it does help to know that this week's game will be played indoors and that they can practice indoors and prepare for the exact kind of environment they'll be playing in, instead of having to prepare for potential bad weather.
Wisconsin LB Chris Orr:
- Orr said Ohio State's offensive line works really well together, which is what makes them so tough to go up against.
- Orr said Ohio State ran a play called "backdoor read 4i" frequently in the first game against Wisconsin that the Badgers weren't expecting to see and had trouble stopping the first time. He said the Buckeyes had a great scheme the first time around, which allowed them to have the most success that any offense has had against Wisconsin all year.
- Preparing to play Ohio State for a second time, Orr said the Badgers have to work on what worked against them the first time and what others have also done well against them, but said it's also a "guessing game" to try to predict what the Buckeyes will throw at them this time.