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November 2, 2015

Ed Warinner

Columbus, Ohio

Q. What changed? You had this situation before, is there a lot of tweak to go what you're going to do this weekend that you wouldn't have done?
COACH WARINNER: Not really. I mean, we just have to address the strengths of Cardale and make sure we have a good game plan that fits his strengths, and then, you know, bring along the package with Braxton Miller as a back-up quarterback.

Q. Have you found that deep threat yet?
COACH WARINNER: We have certain guys that have made some plays down the field, yeah. I mean, Curtis Samuels caught some deep balls for us, which we think he's a threat, and Jalin as well. So we feel like those two guys are definitely deep threats for us.

Q. How did Cardale respond last week after it was clear that J.T. was going to be the starter?
COACH WARINNER: He was good, real good. He's a pro, and wants what's best for this team, and came to work every day, did his job at work, prepared himself, and he was ready to go when called upon.

So, you know, I feel like he's ready to do the same thing again this week. Bigger role, obviously, and step in and -- I think he's undefeated as a starter.

Q. Braxton is going to be the back-up. Obviously that would require him to throw some, I would assume. How has he done with that? Has he thrown much? What have you seen?
COACH WARINNER: We will have to see how that develops as we move through the week of practice.

Q. Going to ask about Braxton. He's been working primarily at wide receiver from what we understand. How hard do you anticipate or difficult that might be, move from one position to the other, and then back, and being ready to back-up Cardale?
COACH WARINNER: Well, we have had a package each week with Braxton at quarterback, so you've seen him out there running quarterback, and you've just seen a small sample size that we've used in the course of the recent games, but there's much more that's available to us with him there, so we'll just get more work at that, and evolve that as much as we can so we're ready to go.

Q. I don't know how easy it is to compare it, but when Cardale was put in this situation off the bench a year ago against Wisconsin, he had no starting experience. You guys said you were confident in him, but there had to be some doubts about what he could give you. Now you guys know after ten starts. Is there a difference this week as opposed to that first one? What is it?
COACH WARINNER: Well, I think it's just -- it's a combination of things, like what does Minnesota do on defense? What can Cardale do at a high level, which is a lot of things, and then what can the rest of the team do as well, and then combine all those thoughts together and put together a nice package, where we can win a football game.

So it is nice to know, though, that he has played and has those experiences and I think, you know, he will be ready to go and play at a high level.

Q. As confident as you guys seemed in that week leading up to the Big Ten Championship game, was there any trepidation for the coaching staff about what was going to happen Cardale's first time-out?
COACH WARINNER: Not regarding Cardale. We have that every game, coaches, I mean, that's the nature of being a coach is -- but as far as Cardale was concerned, he had a great week of practice, he prepared what we asked him to do, we felt confident with what he could do, he showed that in practice, and then he went out on the field in the Wisconsin game and did exactly what we thought he would do, and did it at a high level, so it was fun to see.

Q. How would you evaluate the play of the offensive line thus far, Ed?
COACH WARINNER: Pretty good, yeah. I mean, based on where we're at yards per carry, we're ahead of last year; we're ahead of last year in a lot of areas. So I think the last four or five weeks we've played extremely well, and these last couple games -- so we're kinda hitting our stride. I think it takes a while for the "O" line to do that, but I'm really pleased with where we're at right now, so all good.

Q. Is there one particular area that you feel you guys need to get better at the most?
COACH WARINNER: No, I don't have a specific thing that is my biggest concern, you know? I mean, the guys are showing up to work at practice, they play hard, they practice hard, and then they go out in the games, so I think they've controlled the line of scrimmage through the last four or five games pretty well.

Q. Coach, Urban discussed adjustments and how things become more normal throughout the course of the season. How much more smoothly are the logistics of play calling and getting your offense to where you want to be going right now?
COACH WARINNER: I think it's going much better. I mean, I think it's going real good, as a matter of fact, right now. So we're real pleased with that. The coordination of a group of coaches adjusting in the games and communicating well, so that parts gone well.

Then, you know, just as we've evolved offensively, because you have different pieces, different things going on, but where we're at right now, I couldn't be happier with where we're at the last couple of games and the momentum we have, so we just have to keep moving forward.

Q. Do you feel like you have an answer as to what it will take to make Cardale effective in the red zone? Because before the answer was J.T., and you don't have him now.
COACH WARINNER: Yeah, we do. We feel like we have a good answer for the red zone right now, and we've kind of evolved into what we're going to do there, and we know what we can do. He practices as part of that all through the last few weeks, even though J.T. has primarily done it.

We'll use the things that play to his strengths.

Q. If Cardale would potentially go down with injury or whatever else would happen, how comfortable are you guys in Braxton Miller as a passer. He's going to be your back-up quarterback. He's had the shoulder surgeries. Where does he stand with that?
COACH WARINNER: He's completely healed and he's medically able to go, so behind the scenes there is a lot of things that he's been doing that nobody knows about. So we're confident that he will do whatever he needs to do to help us win a game.

Q. Without tying to potentially using him in the red zone that we talked about before --
COACH WARINNER: Whatever we have to do to use Braxton Miller to win a game, he'll do it, and he's in here yesterday and already today many hours getting ready, so -- kid loves Ohio State football and is a team guy, so we're confident that when his number is called, he will be ready.

Q. Ed, how does something like this affect how you view J.T. Barrett?
COACH WARINNER: He's a 20 year old. 20 year old's make mistakes. 20 year old's aren't perfect.

He -- you know, did something that hurt himself and hurt our football team, but everybody gets a second chance in life, and so we'll move forward. How do I view him? He has a lot of banked credibility on what he's done prior to that. Now he has to repair that credibility with the players and coaches, which he's in the process of doing that.

Like I said, everybody gets a second chance, and, you know, he'll earn that right to get that second chance, and we'll let that process play out.

But, you know, as far as -- he's a human being, and he made a mistake, a grave mistake, that he regrets, and we all regret, and put us in a tough situation, and we have to move forward from that.

Q. Do you know specifically with his teammates, how does the team react to something like this when you have a guy who has been acknowledged as a leader and one of the captains and is involved in something like this?
COACH WARINNER: I think time will tell there. I think he has a lot of teammates that trust and respect him. I think everybody -- it was an eye-opener that, you know, he made a mistake, and I think we'll see, you know, how things move forward.

I can't tell you right now. We haven't even put the team on the field, we haven't had the team together to assess where we're at, but I think everybody here is businesslike, and we want to win this football game, and no obstacle and no speed bump, so to speak, is going to get in our way.

And so every coach and every player has to strap it up, and here we go. We'll play a little hard, play a little bit better and not let what's behind us now affect what's in front of us.

We're not going to let that happen. We're preparing for -- to go win a game with the players that we have.

Q. Ed, is it possible that Cardale is the kind of guy that's better when called on, for want of another term, in "emergency situations" that, as you look back, and the way he responded last year in the postseason, et cetera, is he the kind of guy that will -- do you have the sense that he's the kind of guy that will step to the forward in a situation like this?
COACH WARINNER: Yeah, I do. I have great confidence that he will -- just knowing him and knowing how important this team is and his desire to be successful and to help us be successful, I have a great amount of confidence that he's going to prepare and play extremely high level, and we're going to do everything we can to help him do that, so, yeah, I'm not losing sleep at night that Cardale is going to go out there and start against Minnesota.

I mean, I feel very confident in that.

Q. Obviously last year he was thrown into a tough spot going through the playoffs, or going into the championship game. Are there certain guys that do -- are better off in that kind of situation than being the regular guy, if you understand what I'm saying?
COACH WARINNER: Oh, I suppose there are. I mean, I suppose there are people that feel more comfortable in that role. I don't think Cardale views himself as that. I think he views himself as a starter, and he prepares like that, so I think that's a whole different story with him. But there are -- in basketball, there is the sixth man, and then they become starters in basketball, and it's a whole different deal, but I think this is a whole different situation.

I think he prepared really well last week, and I think he will continue that, I mean -- and his off-week preparation was great, too. So last couple weeks he's gone out there and, like, we watch practice, and you wouldn't know he's gone through what he's gone through.

Q. What did you see from Minnesota that concerns you as an offensive coach going against their defense? What did you see especially the other night?
COACH WARINNER: They had a chance to win and played a very physical game, very aggressive against the run, play a lot man coverage, very sound, very well coached, so they present an aggressive approach to defense with -- like I said, some blitzing, but a very heavy man coverage, and just well coached, play hard, substitute some guys through there, rotate some defensive linemen to try to stay fresh and keep coming at you, and I think they will have a great deal of confidence in themselves, and they'll come in here and give us their "A" game.

Q. You guys had a nice rhythm going with J.T. at quarterback, and you had the option going and stuff like that. Do you step back from that and kind of use what you were using Cardale for the first couple of games?
COACH WARINNER: We will evolve to what we think and move in the direction that suits Cardale the best, but we won't abandoned everything we are doing, no.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.

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