Ohio State suffered its first home loss to Michigan in 22 years on Saturday.
The 45-23 loss was even more lopsided than last year’s 42-27 loss in Ann Arbor, which was the Buckeyes’ first defeat in The Game in 10 years. Now Ohio State has dropped two in a row in the rivalry for the first time since 2000.
Ryan Day starts his Ohio State career 1-2 against Michigan, and had some tough questions to answer from media members in a postgame press conference immediately following the contest. After Day, Jim Knowles and C.J. Stroud stepped up to the podium to answer questions as well.
We took notes on everything the Buckeyes said below:
- Day says the Buckeyes were playing “really well” up front on defense in the first half, but that it gave up “too many big plays” in the second half.
- On offense, Day says the Buckeyes had too many penalties and didn’t do a good job of converting on third down.
- On the lack of in-game adjustments, Day says “I’m gonna have to look and see where all the breakdowns were.” Day says “a few plays in the back end and a couple in the run.” Day says “the first thing we have to do in a game like this is play great defense,” and that they didn’t do that in the second half.
- On play calling, Day says “sometimes it’s execution sometimes it’s other things.”
- “Hard to say right now, because this is not the outcome that we envisioned.” Day says the Buckeyes had a good week of preparation, “but in the end, we came up short.”
- “We’ll figure out what’s next. I don’t know exactly what’s next right now, but that’s life at Ohio State. … When you lose, it all comes back to me as head coach. And that’s probably what hurts the most.”
- On OSU’s status as a CFP contender: “If we were able to get a shot in the top four, we’d be a dangerous team.”
- “In games like that, you have to play the field position game.” Day says “I just feel like you’re not in those situations if you’re converting on third downs.”
- Day thought OSU had a “great week” and “came into this thing swinging. … I gotta get my mind wrapped around that.”
- On C.J. Stroud’s performance: “I thought he competed, I thought he played hard. … There’s nobody who wanted to win more than C.J. Stroud today.”
- “Certainly there were breakdowns in the back end. That was clear to see. … The floodgates kind of open up and the game gets out of control. Should never have happened.”
- Day says “we felt like Chip could come in and give us a shot.” Day says Miyan Williams “wasn’t 100% today.”
- “We knew (McCarthy) could throw the ball and move. I just thought he played well when he had to.”
- Knowles thought “we were doing well” in the first half, and “just a couple big plays” were given up. Knowles said to the team “we just gotta keep it going. …nothing to get panicked about.”
- Knowles says Michigan “hit a couple big runs” in the second half and that “I have to take the blame for that.” Knowles says “it’s a story of explosive plays. … too many explosives, and that’s disheartening.”
- “The explosives, when they go for touchdowns, they become a different story. … When they go for touchdowns, certainly that falls on me and you’re right, I need to look at it.”
- “You gotta look at it conceptually, you gotta evaluate it from top-to-bottom.”
- On responding to the loss: “I just take responsibility. That’s all I can do.” Knowles says “I didn’t do a good enough job and I need to do better.”
- “The players are hurting much more than me. I’m crushed, but they’re young men who put their heart and soul into it. They’re the ones I have to look in the eye. … Everything that goes into it has to fall on my shoulders.”
- Knowles says McCarthy “made some good throws” on his back foot.
- “We have a hard-charging defensive line. At that point, you’re not gonna hold your guys back. … Then it’s my problem.”
- Knowles says Blake Corum is a “great player” but that his absence “really didn’t change anything.”
- Knowles says McCarthy is “impressive” and “manages things well.” Knowles says “he just does a really good job.”
- On his emotions: “It happened so fast. … Came a long way, man. From playing my first game in the Shoe, getting boo’d. … I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I appreciate everybody that comes and supports every game. I don’t think one game defines us.”
- Stroud says “I definitely think there’s still an opportunity for us to make the playoff, but this is The Game, man. This is the one. … I tried to do everything I possibly could, but it’s on me. This game is on me.”
- Stroud thought the Buckeyes “started off strong, but just laid an egg in the second half.”
- Stroud wanted to go for it on a late fourth down “really bad” but will still “ride with (Ryan Day) every game” despite not agreeing with him on the decision.
- “I don’t blame (the defense). We gotta score more points.”
- On how he wants people to remember his OSU career: “I don’t know. People are gonna say I never won The Game. I understand. People are gonna say I never won a Big Ten championship. I understand.”
- “I left everything on the table. There’s no rock I didn’t flip over. … It’s not like I left it to chance.”
- Stroud says the Buckeyes were “shooting ourselves in the foot” in the first half. “That’s really what was going on.” Stroud thinks “if we score more points in the first half, this game would’ve been a lot different.”
- “At the end of the day, it’s on me. I’m the quarterback. I take all the blame, I take all the credit.” Stroud says “I got to do more.”
- Stroud says “I stopped living a personal life” this season as he prepared for this game. “There’s no stone I didn’t turn over to try to win this game.”
- #3 Michigan 45, #2 Ohio State 23
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