Ohio State needed all four quarters to beat Northwestern, 21-7, in a wet and windy environment in Evanston on Saturday.
Because of the weather, Ohio State didn't generate much offense through the air and C.J. Stroud finished the game with only 76 yards passing. However, the Buckeyes turned to the run game, and Stroud and Miyan Williams delivered. The former contributed a career-high 79 yards rushing, while the latter led the team with 111 yards and two scores.
After the win, Ryan Day, Stroud and Williams answered questions from the media in a postgame press conference. We took notes of everything they said here:
- Day said he's "never been around conditions like this" and said the weather made things challenging for his offense to move the football down the field. Day said that on multiple occasions it was "almost impossible" to throw the ball, which was frustrating. "I'm glad this game is over with."
- Day said Ohio State's defense "played strong" against Northwestern's offense. "There was a point in the game where the defense had a lot of energy and you could feel the field flipping." He added that Ohio State "took the wind" in the second half to help the defense.
- Day said the Buckeyes "can learn a lot from a game like this... Could we have done things differently? Of course. But I'm glad this game is over with."
- Day said he considered having Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum in the game, but he and Tony Alford felt Williams was "running good" and would continue improving with more carries as he found a rhythm.
- Day said the defense had "a job well done" because they kept the Wildcats out of the end zone. "At the end of the day, it's about scoring points," which the Buckeyes kept Northwestern from doing on Saturday.
- Day said Stroud "wants to run" and will do what his team needs for Ohio State to win games. Day said he would prefer that Stroud does not have to run, but he thinks there will come a time in games when it is necessary. He is thankful that Stroud was willing to take hits today and help the Buckeyes gain yards at crucial times in the game.
- Day said Ohio State needs to be better at short-yardage situations where it needs to convert on third down. He said Northwestern did a good job stacking the box and hitting holes. "No excuse. We need to be better... but (Northwestern) did a good job, especially early."
- On Stroud running the ball, Day said "we gotta be smart when we put him in those situations." However, "when the time was right to do it today, he did it," which Day believes was a significant advantage for Ohio State – primarily because Northwestern was not expecting Stroud to be a threat running the ball.
- Day said Stroud was frustrated with his performance against Northwestern but not "as frustrated as me," he said with a laugh. He added that Ohio State is "not used to swimming upstream," but he was proud of his team's resiliency and their desire to overcome adversity when things weren't going well.
C.J. Stroud and Miyan Williams
- Stroud said "we had to find another way to win" other than throwing the football on Saturday and thinks the Buckeyes responded well to that by using the run game effectively.
- Stroud said he will do anything to win games for Ohio State. "Whether it's throwing the ball or running the ball... I'll do anything I can to win." He said he doesn't play the game for the approval of anyone else and will run the ball when asked by the coaching staff.
- Williams said "it felt good to be back out there" after leaving the Penn State game early last week with a "minor injury." He said he was thankful to play a game with his teammates on Saturday against Northwestern and wanted to run hard for them with each opportunity he received.
- Stroud said football is a "bang-bang sport" and he plays "instinct ball" every Saturday. He said there wasn't really an opportunity to judge the wind during a play because of the pursuit of the Northwestern defensive line, but he tried to use good judgment and timing for when and where to throw the football.
- Williams said he noticed that Northwestern was stacking the box with Ohio State trying to run the football, but he tried his best "to make something out of nothing."
Meanwhile, Emeka Egbuka and Tommy Eichenberg also met with reporters following the contest.
- #2 Ohio State 21, Northwestern 7
- • Buckeyes Slog Past Northwestern, 21-7
- • No Style Points in Sloppy NW Win
- • Stroud Shows He Can Run When Needed
- • Buckeyes Break FBS 20-Point Record
- • Ohio State Postgame • Photos • Notebook • Quotebook • Debriefing
- • NW Postgame • 3 Key Stats • Five Things • Social Reactions