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October 13, 2014

Chris Ash

Q.¬† With some of the different looks that you give offenses on third down, Darron made that rush on spot, your package there, have you‑‑ how has the defense progressed in being able‑‑ I know when you got here you talked about maybe giving different looks on third down.¬† Have you been pleased with what you guys have been able to do on down with your personnel and your looks?
COACH ASH:  Yes.  So far we're progressing nicely, getting more and more different looks, different types of rushes that we can show on offense.  And I think we've been pretty productive with that here in the last couple of games.
Overall, third down we've been decent outside of the Virginia Tech game.  I think we've gotten progressively better each week.  And I like the direction we're headed.

Q.  I know you're worried about the next game, but little broader picture, when you got here I know you talked about your goals as a coach down the line.  Just for any assistant coach here, what do you sort of absorb from Urban Meyer on a daily or weekly basis on how you run a team, go about your business as a coach?
COACH ASH:  What I've taken from Coach Meyer is he has a very clear vision of what he wants the program to look like, what he wants the assistant coaches to do, with the way they handle their business, the way they coach and build relationships with the players, what he wants to see Xs and Os wise on offense, defense, special teams.  The way he invests into the players with a real life Wednesday programs, all of our leadership developing, the hydration and nutrition part of it that we do in the program.
The thing I've taken from him being in this program is all those things, it's a clear vision of what he wants and the investment that he makes in the players is outstanding.

Q.  Chris, you went against Rutgers last year, didn't you?

Q.  What did you take away from that game?  You guys had a big lead and they came back on you and stuff.  What's your recollection of that?  But also what are you telling your guys to be ready for?
COACH ASH:  To start, our offenses are very similar.  Kyle Flood, the head coach, has been the offensive coordinator there in the past.  He obviously wants a philosophy he wants to see on offense.
Because it's held true throughout the last few years, even with different offensive coordinators.  Quarterback Nova is a good player seen the development he's made from last year to this year under Coach Friedgen being there.  And the receivers are good.  They have a system and philosophy they believe in, I think they're executing it well.

Q.  How would you describe their system?
COACH ASH:¬† It's more of a pro‑style system.¬† A lot of 21, what we call 21 personnel, two backs and a tight end.¬† They'll give you some 22 personnel two backs and two tight ends.¬† A little unconventional from what we've seen so far this year but they do a nice job of mixing up their run game and play action passes off of it.

Q.¬† Do you feel you and‑‑ do you all feel better equipped now to call things, to do things that maybe you didn't feel five games ago or just what's the sense I guess of confidence, whatever you want to call it, on the defensive side?
COACH ASH:  I think the development has been great here the last few weeks.  Coming out of that Navy game, the opening game of the year, we invested so much time and energy into that game.  And we had to be able to win it against an offense like that.
It did set us back a little bit for games 2 and 3 of the season.  But I think we're starting to catch up and we're starting to get to where we feel like we should be or wanted to be a few weeks ago, but the development and the growth, the mental understanding of what we're doing and execution of what we're doing is a lot better here the last few weeks.

Q.  You said it's kind of an unconventional offense, it's really unconventional not used to seeing it.  But it's very conventional.  Are you looking forward to playing that type of offense because they've been throwing the kitchen sink at you?
COACH ASH:¬† Like anything in college football you have to have a package that's flexible from week‑to‑week, have to be able to defend a no huddle spread teams that throw it all around the time teams that pack it in.¬† In this league alone when you look at the offensive philosophies in the Big Ten from what we do here at Ohio State to a team like Iowa or Wisconsin or Michigan State, those pro‑style teams that line up with two backs in the backfield, you've got to have a package that's pretty flexible.
I think right now we feel good where we're at that our package is flexible enough that each week without a lot of changes we can defend different styles of offenses.

Q.¬† Eli Apple is a guy playing Rutgers‑‑ New Jersey guy.¬† Can you describe his development?
COACH ASH:  I think Eli has done a nice job in the first half of the season.  He's gotten his hands on some balls.  Got a couple of interceptions.  He's tackled well.  He's been in the right position most of the time.  Cincinnati was a play that he gave up and we didn't play it right and should have had some help there also.
But overall, I think his growth and development and maturity as a corner has been good and he's only got unlimited potential to see where we can go throughout the rest of the season.

Q.¬† Regarding Gary Nova, he's thrown a lot of yards and touchdowns, thrown a lot of interceptions.¬† How much of the bad that he‑‑ the poor plays that he's made do you guys focus on?
COACH ASH:  Well, they're there.  I mean, you can't deny it.  When you watch a quarterback in general not just speaking of Gary Nova in general.  You try to identify the things that rattle them whether it be certain line games certain pressures, certain coverages, things that can get into his head, see if there's a pattern of the mistakes that a quarterback makes that you're noticing on film.  And if you do, then you want to try to implement those things.  So there's a lot of things that he does well.
He's done a nice job in the pocket.  He's throwing the ball deep very well this year.  He's avoided pressure very well this year.  He's scrambled well this year but there are some things on film that you think hey maybe this or that that would maybe rattle him a little bit.  Those are the things we try to identify every week.

Q.  Do you have to play him differently than you have previous quarterbacks this season?
COACH ASH:¬† Not necessarily.¬† Their style of offense with it being more of a pro‑style attack is a little bit different maybe than what we would see in the previous weeks.¬† You have to adjust to that more so than what you do Gary Nova as an individual.

Q.  Coach Meyer touched on this a little bit last week.  You guys are playing a little more press coverage this year but you're not jamming the receivers at the line of scrimmage.  He said he doesn't want his guys to lunge at the receivers because that's a good way to get beat deep.  Can you talk more about the rationale, they're playing press coverage but not jamming the wide receivers?
COACH ASH:¬† When you watch corners or teams that implement a lot of press technique, there's not a lot of actual hand‑to‑hand combat.¬† You don't play press technique with your hands, you play it with your feet.¬† You're basically playing basketball with the wide receiver.¬† You want to move your feet and cut that receiver off and make him fight for his release.
When defense backs get overly aggressive with their hands at the line of scrimmage and don't move their feet, they reach, they lunge, get overextended, that's when you're going to get beat.
With what we're doing, we're not necessarily closing the middle of the field with a middle safety.  The last thing we can have in our cover structure is a corner that doesn't have vertical control on a wide receiver.  And that's when you lose a vertical control how you lose vertical control is a corner that reaches and lunges and tries to play with his hands more so than his feet.
So the misnomer of press technique from a typical fan's point of view is well you've got to get your hands on them.  No you don't.  You do if they're within striking distance of you, but you don't want to overextend your body and basically lunge to be able to get your hands on a wide receiver.  You want to be able to move your feet.  Keep the wide receiver within the framework of your body.
If you're able to do that and contact is able to be made with both hands, great.  But if you're not, then you've got to move your feet and gotta be able to open up your hips and run.  I don't know if that helps answer the question.

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