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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 3, 2014
Q.¬† I know Jeff got shaken up a little in the game Saturday.¬† I assume he's fine.
COACH HINTON:¬† He's absolutely fine.¬† He's gotta catch the play.¬† He actually got minus on the play.¬† Gotta make the play.
Bottom line, they did a pretty good job rotating their safeties to stop the play.¬† We've got to make that play.¬† Those are the big plays that get a quarterback on a roll.
I talked to our guys about it all the time.¬† Our job is to make our quarterback play really well.¬† So make that play.
Q.¬† You're well past halfway in the season.¬† Do you kind of relish the fact that you can find out a little bit more about your team playing against a high caliber opponent?
COACH HINTON: ¬†There's no question.¬† The thing is when you come to Ohio State University, is there any reason why you don't want to play in these kind of games?
You sign up for this.¬† And this is what it's all about.¬† National TV, prime time and all that kind of stuff and getting an opportunity to play a great opponent and a Big Ten opponent and all those things are exactly why you signed up to come to Ohio State.¬† Let's go.
And I know our kids are really excited.¬† I know they're going to spend an awful lot of time in the film room themselves this week.¬† And this is really, really what defines a season are these kind of games, obviously, because you've got to go play well on the road.¬† It's a tough environment.
It's a unique locker room setting and all those things.¬† So you gotta go in and kind of keep yourself focused and let's go play a great game against a great opponent.
Q.¬† Do you have nagging questions that will be answered most likely Saturday night?
COACH HINTON:¬† I don't know in my case if they're nagging.¬† I think the one thing that a coach's perspective is a little different.¬† I think from the outside we see it every day.¬† So you know where some of the strengths are.¬† And there isn't a football team in America that doesn't have weaknesses and you know where those weaknesses are.
So you look at it and you say, okay, I know what we're capable of doing.¬† And sometimes through the public you may not get exactly the way you want it on that game day.¬† But you've got to give them credit, too.
Sometimes we always laugh because we walk in and you say, okay, this is what they're going to do this week.¬† When has that ever happened to us?
Maybe there's some weeks there's carry‑over.¬† When we go to play them, it's not the same defense or the same style.¬† And give you a great example, we ran a couple of counters early in the game.¬† Well, they had played their defensive ends one certain way every game this year against us they changed the defensive ends.
So those counters weren't very good plays in the end.¬† But we ran them because of what they did.¬† So we get a lot of that.¬† So the question is what is next and what are we really expecting next.
So if we get a team that we can line up and really get an idea where those birds are, I think we're okay.¬† And I know there's a lot of great players and J.T. will be even a little more healthy this week based on that injury.
And everything about the game, we're going to live up, and this team is going to play really well.¬† I don't know if I need any more answers, just go execute what I know we can do.
Q.¬† As a position coach on the offensive side of the ball, do you look at that offense and in some ways is it more complete than it was a year ago?
COACH HINTON:¬† Boy, that's a great question.¬† The one thing about this offense, and we had a little bit of‑‑ I don't know what the word was‑‑ couple of bad things happen to us Penn State a couple of weeks ago and kind of got in that lull.¬† And we ended up picking it up in the overtime.
When you look at that offense, the thing that keeps telling me over and over again, who do you stop?¬† I mean, you look at it, the word complete in my mind comes really into the picture because our X receivers are making plays, Z receivers are making plays.¬† Tight ends have had plays down the field against Maryland.¬† We had two vertical throws and catches against them.
And we had one I think also against Rutgers.¬† And then you look at the running backs and catching the ball, they're catching the ball in passes and running screenplays and getting the balls in certain runs and being able to perimeter run.¬† We've had some nice north and south runs.¬† When you look at it it's a very complete offense.
And I always wonder what do you really walk in, say, okay, I gotta take this person away or that play away, because we are very versatile at what we do.¬† And sometimes when you have those little lulls in the games, mostly it's because you're playing the checker game.
There's that little adjustment.¬† Now the checkers are moving and can we get the checkers to line up the way we want them to line up to make the plays that we want.
And that's really where it is.¬† I mean, we're obviously in that position sometime during the game they'll make us make the adjustments.¬† But I really like what we're doing.
You can obviously sense the staff's been together for three years on the offensive side of the ball.¬† There's a lot of things that is already happening in motion before the thought comes up and being verbalized, that you can see that we can make the adjustments pretty quickly in the game.
That part of it is really good.¬† To me it's very versatile because it can hit you and attack you in a lot of different ways.
Q.¬† The other thing I wanted to ask you, what's Urban like to work for in a week like this?
COACH HINTON:¬† Like this one, these are the good weeks, to be real honest with you, because everybody knows what the price is.¬† And as a head coach, he has a job to do.¬† It's the weeks where would you be complacent are the worst weeks to work for any head coach.¬† Because what happens he's not going to allow any complacency.
So weeks like this, are you kidding me, it's all business and here we go.¬† But you know everyone's really focused from the manager up, everybody knows what's at stake and everybody loves the opportunity to go up there and compete.
I mean, really looking forward to it.¬† We're all wired to go do this.¬† I mean, this is what it's all about.¬† Let's go play.
Q.¬† Tim, with that said, last year I was asking Urban what gave you guys problems defensively from them.¬† Obviously that fourth and two play Jeff and Denicos Allen didn't quite match up and stuff.¬† How often do you bring those things up this week or show‑‑
COACH HINTON:¬† I'll tell you, if I show it too many times to Jeff, he'll jump off a building.¬† I'm not going to show him that play very often.¬† Took me a week to bring him back down to earth after that game.¬† I can tell you that one.
Here's the thing.¬† You look at it, you look at it and defensively when you look at what they're going to try to do, the one thing about Michigan State over the last several years, they don't change much.¬† They are who they are.¬† What they do is they know their defense extremely well.
There's little intricacies.¬† In that play, for example, they went double rifle blitz, they didn't run it all game long.¬† It was the only snap of that in that game.¬† And obviously we practiced against it.
And the doggone blitzer didn't blitz what he had really shown in‑‑ what he had shown in practice in other games.¬† Because I think the blitzer made a mistake, to be very honest with you.¬† Then all of a sudden he recovered and Jeff wasn't able to recover with him.
So you look at it and you say that's how fine line it is when you play a team like Michigan State because they're going to give you all really insight.¬† They're going to line up, play 4‑3 quarters and press the number one receivers.¬† What week haven't they done that in their entire last nine years or 10 years how long they've been Michigan State?¬† That's what they're going to do.
The thing is there's a lot of little intricate battles going on about how they're going to play their front and how they're going to line up and where they're getting their rotations in the secondary to get run fits and those things.¬† That's where the battles will come in.
That's what makes it all fun.¬† That's the strategical part that you absolutely love and we're looking forward to that challenge.
Q.¬† As an offensive staff, do you all look forward to another shot?¬† You all got them up‑‑
COACH HINTON:¬† You mean like when you lose a game you look forward to playing another opponent.¬† At them?
Q.¬† At them, at Narduzzi?
COACH HINTON:¬† Absolutely.¬† We're all competitive.¬† I grew up the youngest of five boys, whenever I lost to one of my brothers in a game, I was going to go out, let's play another one.¬† I think we all have that innocence.¬† And we do know the challenge.
It's a good football team and they're a well‑coached football team.¬† They know their stuff very well.¬† It's a staff that's been together for a long time.¬† They know their system.¬† They know what they're going to do, and our job is to execute a game plan really flawlessly.
Q.¬† You obviously know Mark Dantonio.¬† What do you remember about when he chose to leave, go to Michigan State, what do you think of the program he's built there?
COACH HINTON:¬† In reality I was in a car with suitcases in a car driving towards an airport, and I called Mark and I said I can't go, I'm going to stay at Cincinnati.
I was supposed to have gone with him.¬† I do know Mark very well.¬† The thing that's really interesting about Mark and that group, they are‑‑ they have a unique way of saying, okay, I'm going to put the chip on my shoulder somewhat.¬† There's going to be something that comes out of this press conference, I'm going to guarantee you they're going to put on a bulletin board somehow some way the world's against them.
That's been their MO since the day I've known him.¬† And they're going to do a great job of playing that out.¬† Mark is a phenomenal coach, is really good people.¬† And the bottom line is that they're going to have an element of toughness which they bring to the day.
They're not afraid to surprise you with some things that you haven't seen.¬† And obviously whether it's a fake punt, fake field goal or one of those things, they're not afraid to bring that out and expose it to you.
And they're going to‑‑ those kids have been in some really big games lately.¬† I mean some really big games.¬† And they don't back down.¬† So I think and Mark does a great job of preparing them to play in those kind of games.
So I look forward to the challenge.¬† Obviously he's a long‑time and will be a life‑time friend and the bottom line is it's time to go play the Spartans, though.
Q.¬† Having worked for both of them, what's the difference between Mark and Urban?
COACH HINTON:¬† Oh, my gosh, it would take a long time to talk about that difference.¬† Only because everybody is different.
And I've had the unique pleasure of working for a few different people and with Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly and Urban Meyer here in the last 10, 11 years, and they're each unique in their own way and each are great coaches and special people and they all know how to do their job very well.
And it would take a long time probably to sit down and explain all those.
Q.¬† You have the luxury of having two good veteran tight ends with Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett.¬† If something happened to those guys, how close is Marcus Ball being able to hold the fort down for you guys?
COACH HINTON:¬† He's really made strides.¬† Started on two special teams on Saturday.¬† Very pleased with his results on those special teams.¬† He's made a lot of strides.¬† He got eight or nine plays in the game Saturday, and he didn't grade out as well as I would have liked for him to.
But it's part of learning and experience.¬† And I gotta‑‑ there's really an improvement in him.
His off‑the‑field stuff has been fantastic and on‑the‑field stuff is improving.¬† He got to the point where you guys know, by the media, Coach Meyer is pretty particular about who he runs down on kickoff.
He was starting No. 3 on kickoff, which is a phenomenal thing for us.¬† It was a great challenge for him and I'm glad he got an opportunity to do that.
Q.¬† Sam Hubbard, do you think his future is at tight end, and do you have some arguments with Coach Johnson?
COACH HINTON:¬† There will be a lot of arguments over great players.¬† The bottom line is whatever is going to be best for the team in the end, that's where he'll be.¬† He's a great young man.¬† He works at the game really hard, will dedicate his life to being a great Ohio State Buckeye.
And where that all ends up, I don't know.¬† But I do know this, there will always be a fight for a good player.
Q.¬† In practices, does he rep with you guys or the defensive ends?
COACH HINTON:¬† Predominantly now going with the defensive linemen.¬† But we spot him whenever we need him in practice because scout teams‑‑ I think sometimes that gets lost in the message.
Scout teams this time of year are absolutely huge and how well they perform against you is really how well you're going to play on Saturday.¬† So we put him where we need him to get to.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports