Happy with the win. Not thrilled with how it went down.
That was the theme on Saturday afternoon when Ryan Day, Justin Fields, Shaun Wade, Master Teague, Baron Browning and Tommy Togiai took the podium for virtual press conferences after their 42-35 home win versus Indiana. Check back shortly for video embedded above.
A bullet-point rundown of what each of them said:
- “Really excited to be 4-0.” He says it’s a “big, big deal” to be first place in the Big Ten East.
- Day says most people don’t understand what these players have been through and they sacrifices they've made over the past few months. “This family has stuck together.”
- He says the start in this game was “ridiculous” and the energy was great.
- “We’ve got to figure out a way to close out games.”
- He says “Indiana is a good team” and he’s “really proud of this team” given it’s 4-0 record.
- Day, on the fourth-down decision late in the game, says Indiana was "moving the ball pretty good" and was worried "a field goal might not do it." … “Either way, we're going to be aggressive in those situations." Says they can't second-guess themselves when it doesn't work.
- He says he thought Ohio State was going to run away with the game when they scored early in the second half but that didn't happen.
- On the play of the secondary: “I think a little inconsistent.” He says Shaun Wade’s pick-six and avoiding allowing points off of turnovers were huge.
- On the big plays allowed: “If we don’t give up those plays, we probably run away with this game, but we didn’t.”
- He says he knew this would be a “high-risk, high-reward game” so he knew Ohio State would be aggressive. He thought Fields tried to force passes “a little bit too much.” He says Indiana blitzed “literally every snap” and he was pleased with how Fields gutted it out.
- On if making midseason personnel decisions is difficult: “Sometimes you have to make hard decisions. That’s part of coaching.” He says he’ll be “very surprised” if they have to make personnel changes.
- Says the amount of passing yards were “unacceptable.”
- "I didn’t play well at all."
- Fields says he got the read wrong on his first interception. The second pick: "I tried to throw it away but it got batted down." He says he was “trying to do too much” on the third interception.
- “Of course I made bad decisions. I had three picks.” He says what matters most is they got the victory.
- On the second-half letdowns: “I’m not sure what happens, but coach Day was just talking about it to us in the locker room.”
- Fields says he’s “not going to have an opinion” on the plays they run and will just try to do the best he can with what’s called.
- “When I’m not picking up the offense, other players have to pick me up.” He says Master Teague and Trey Sermon both help him and the team out a lot.
- On the failed 4th-and-1 near the end of the game: “I think they covered it pretty well. I don’t know if they were looking for it.” He says the pass was “off the mark” when the defender came off of him.
- He says he thought Ohio State’s defensive line had a good day of getting pressure but notes Penix had a “quick release” that allowed him to get the ball out. “I think we can do a better job probably.”
- He says they need to replicate the last couple of drives when they started getting pressure.
- “I think we just gave up big plays more in the second half than the first half.” He says they missed some “crucial” tackles I the second half.
- “It’s always good to get a win. It’s hard to get a win in the Big Ten.”
- Togiai says the only way Indiana was scoring was with the big plays that Ohio State has to prevent.
- “The biggest thing for us is we never panic.” He says they can’t worry about other teams scoring consecutively and just have to “keep playing.”
- Wade says Kerry Coombs teaches “snap and clear” to a defensive back’s mind.
- “The pick six, I just watching film I knew it was coming.”
- He says the whole defense and offense have issues in the second half. “We can’t be giving up points like that in the second half and not scoring in the second half.”
- Wade says he has to go back and watch the film to figure out the big-play issues.
- He says there were “a couple blown coverages” on Saturday.
- If he thinks this is a championship-worthy defense: “Definitely. If you just go from the first half, that was a championship defense.” He says the entire team had issues in the second half.
- On the run game: “Definitely improving every week.” He says he overall feels “good” about it.
- He says he “did get in a good groove today” and felt like he would’ve produced o matter how the coaches use him.
- If it’s easier to get into a rhythm as the sole back: “To a certain extent, it is. But I’m here to do whatever’s best for the team.”
- He says he’s capable of being a “home-run hitter” and will “continue to do that more.”
- Teague says he wishes some of the sacks didn’t happen but he’s glad they came out with the win and Fields is healthy.
- He says he will “be coachable” with whatever they ask him to do.
- Teague says Indiana is an “amazing team” that they knew wouldn’t quit.
- He says all that matters is “how can we be better than the last week” on defense.
- Browning says he feels like regardless of who’s in, players have to step up. He feels like that’s an area that needs improvement.
- He says miscommunication was an issue.
- They’ll enjoy the win on Saturday and will correct what they can on Sunday.
- Browning says they have to take it “one game at a time.”