Ohio State has made it looks pretty easy thus far.
Two double-digit wins in a row against Nebraska and Penn State has the Buckeyes out to a 2-0 record to start the season, with Rutgers coming to town for a 7:30 p.m. game on Saturday. A slew of players – Harry Miller, Chris Olave, Master Teague, Pete Werner and Tommy Togiai – joined the media on Wednesday to discuss the pair of wins and preview the matchup with the Scarlet Knights.
A bullet-point rundown of what each of them said:
- Miller said he learned about how to play the left guard position from watching Jonah Jackson last year. “There's no better guy to learn from.”
- He says learning behind last year's line and with his fellow linemen this year gave him the understanding of how to work himself into his first year as a starter.
- Miller says center was especially appetizing to him when he picked Ohio State, but he also knew how "It's just an opportunity to play football with good dudes regardless of position."
- "That's what it comes down to is reps." He says for him, he had to "really get my, sort of, sea legs."
- Two of Harry Miller's goals: Owning a bookstore and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. He wants to start a book store at Ohio State. He credits his parents and teachers with his reading.
- Harry Miller becomes the first player to ever say, "I haven't been a musketeer in France," during an Ohio State football interview session.
- Miller says Nicholas Petit-Frere is "great company to have" as an offensive lineman. Calls his growth "charming and good to see."
- He says Tommy Eichenberg went with him to Nicaragua earlier this year on a mission trip: "We shared some very intimate moments." He says Eichenberg is a "quiet dude" who is "incredibly profound."
- He wants to be sponsored by Half Price Books if the NCAA allows players to make money off their name, image and likeness.
- "With more reps, you build more confidence." He says his first start was beneficial for that reason.
- On Saturday's performance: "Just working on my technique. Relying on my technique that I've been coached up by coach J over the years."
- Togiai says he was surprised at the end of the night that he managed three sacks.
- His pass rush: "I think it starts with the get-off." He says he tries to "always have a motor."
- He says Jonathon Cooper and Tuf Borland "bring it every day" and are "unselfish."
- Togiai says he tries to bring energy and his motor to "drive the defense."
- He says he's been working on his speed since his freshman season, talking to the strength staff. He thinks it's paying dividends now. He's adjusted his running form.
- Togiai says Haskell Garrett is playing at an "unbelievable" level.
- He says he's as confident as ever about this interior defensive line. Thinks they can "do something special."
- "I think at end spot, we have a lot of guys that go off, that are waiting to go off." He says Taron Vincent is "waiting to have a breakout game, as well."
- Togiai says he and Garrett created a "close bond over the years." He thinks it helps them on the field. "That camaraderie and stuff like that will really bode well for us."
- He says they want to stop the run then rush the passer afterward.
- He says he "gets to know this defense very well" as a fourth-year linebacker and can play all three spots at the second level of the defense.
- "I feel like we had a great game plan going into Penn State." He says he agrees there's a "pro feel" to it.
- Werner says learning the defense was a little bit overwhelming at the start of his career, but through reps and years of work, he's in a great spot.
- "I really focused this offseason trying to get at the right weight, strength, things like that." He says the focus now is to maintain his weight and strength.
- Werner says they focused a lot on not allowing the quarterback run to beat them.
- On the upcoming opponents: "I respect the hell out of these teams."
- "If you play well, you do have fun." He says he likes competing and winning, so while there's a lot going on in the world right now, they can have fun.
- On Penn State's offense: "It was definitely not in their game plan to only rush the ball for 44 yards and throw the ball as much as they did." He says knowing they can stop the run from a defensive perspective eliminates it from their plan.
- Werner says he's trying to get the hang of blitzing from inside the box. He says you have the ability to control the defense from there.
- He says when there's a lot of talent and knowledge on the defense, you can take some risks or calls certain calls. " I think we've done a great job of responding to (Kerry Coombs') play-calling."
- "We feel like we have a lot of targets in the passing game, a lot of threats, a lot of people that we can depend on in the passing game." He says they have multiple people they can go to.
- "Practice is practice. We're all practicing hard. That's what we do here."
- On his connection with Justin Fields: "I feel like it's way better." He says they built the chemistry during the offseason.
- Olave says routine passes have to be routine, and he has to make a play for the team on contested targets.
- On the pairing of him and Garrett Wilson: "I feel like me and Garrett are a good duo. Garrett gets a lot of targets in the slot, and if they want to bracket him in the slot, you've got me on the outside."
- He says he ever expected Ohio State to offer him a scholarship. "I always wonder why the Pac-12 wasn't first."
- Olave says there was "never a doubt" he'd play vs. Penn State. He says he felt good even on the sideline after getting dinged in the season opener.
- "I'm looking to take more pride in my blocking this year."
- On deep balls from Fields: "Them the shots that we want. Them the shots that I want, for sure."
- On Ryan Day saying he's maybe the best receiver he's been around: "That means a lot, especially coming from coach Day." He says he kept his head down and kept working to get to this point.
- On his health: "I'm feeling good. No worries." He says he's been going through full practices without any struggles or concerns.
- "Just improving every week." He says the first week was a "little bit of a struggle" but says he thought he "did a lot better" in Week 2. "I'm more proud of what I did this past week but still more hungry to do even more."
- Teague says he's especially determined to score when he's close at the goal line. He doesn't know if he has a "real serious thought process" other than he just has to get in.
- "Whatever the situation is, I'm going to find a way to perform." He says he's willing to do whatever it takes.
- He says he's not sure how carries will be split throughout the season.
- On Togiai: "Probably the strongest person I've ever seen." He says Togiai doesn't say much but he "grinds hard." Says he's "very happy, excited" for him.
- He says he thinks the team as a whole improved from Week 1 to Week 2.
- "Thank you to my O-line." He says as they get better, he plans to get better, too.
- Teague says he hasn't said too much to Cameron Brown, who suffered an Achilles injury. "Through the process, I'm going to be keeping up with him." He says he told him we're not really sure why some things happen in life, but this is a time where he can grow as a person. "It's going to work out for the good if we look at it in that way."