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December 2, 2018

Dre'Mont Jones

Columbus, Ohio

Q. Last night the defense was kind of a microcosm of the season, at times dominating, at times kind of disappeared. Is it even confusing to you as a member of the defense, just how inconsistent you guys have been this year?
DRE'MONT JONES: I've mentioned this before that it's been like that. We've played up to our competition and played down to our competition, but I felt like last night we struggled in the third quarter and found a way to bounce back. It's been happening all season, but in the end we did win.

Q. You and Chase were forces all night. When you think about him only being a sophomore, how good is he now, and how good can he be?
DRE'MONT JONES: His ceiling is super, super high. He is a kid with a lot of confidence and a lot of talent, and he's going to continue to enhance it even next year. And the year before next, whatever he does, if he stays or leaves, he's a talented kid and is going to continue to grow. That's all I can say.

Q. Dre'Mont, were you surprised when you saw the ranking today and you guys were 6th behind Oklahoma and Georgia?
DRE'MONT JONES: I was a little surprised, a little disappointed because we expected to be in that playoff run, being 6th after a two-loss team. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. We play Washington in Pasadena, California, and I've never been to California before, so I'm excited.

Q. How does this feel this year in comparison to last year, you guys kind of being in the same situation, being left out after winning the Big Ten Championship?
DRE'MONT JONES: It's a little bit of deja vu moment. Only thing is we didn't have two Ls. We both lost last year to -- I'm not saying mediocre teams, both teams were decent, and we should have blown them out. I felt like we left our destiny in the hands of the committee instead of our own hands.

Q. Dre'Mont, the way you guys celebrated last night, that was your accomplishment for the year, get to Indy and win in Indy, that's what you set out to do. When the playoff announcement happens 12 hours later and you guys don't get in, does it take away at all the enjoyment or the celebration of what you guys did?
DRE'MONT JONES: No, not at all, because this conference is super hard, and we have a lot of talented teams. To be on the top of that, it's super surreal and feels good.

Q. As hard as that is, if you got to change it, would you think that all conference champions should be in? I don't know what -- you're probably not going to be able to change it just because Dre'Mont Jones said so, but it's hard. There should be a reward for that, right?
DRE'MONT JONES: I mean, it's hard. I feel like there should be a reward, but at the end of the day, you've got to live with the results. We did mess up at the midpoint of the year. That's our fault.

Q. Urban talked about the fact that, when Nick Bosa went down with an injury, it really impacted the defense in a negative way a little bit. As a member of that defense, what do you think it did in any impact for you guys as a defense going on throughout the rest of the season?
DRE'MONT JONES: I think you lose like the leadership. When you start off the new year with five leaders and you end up with four and one of those leaders was a major impact on the team, not just the defense, it affects you a lot.

Q. Was he still in contact with you guys, being an encouraging voice?
DRE'MONT JONES: Outside of football, me and Nick are still friends. I still talk to him. Chase still talks to him. We all still talk to him. Nothing changed.

Q. Dre'Mont, I think with your sack last night, you have 8.5 sacks for the year. That's half a sack more than Nick has last year. Did you fill the gap a little bit? How do you think you all filled the void without Nick?
DRE'MONT JONES: I think it enhanced our game even more. I feel like, at times, not knowing we relied on Nick to make a big play, I feel like we don't got to do that. We have the capability, and we have the talent to do some things he can't do.

Q. But you personally, you seemed to turn up the wick. I'm not saying you didn't play hard all the time, but you seemed to turn up the wick in some really key moments. Do you ever think about that, and is it an accurate statement the you just decide to make a play occasionally to have an impact?
DRE'MONT JONES: It's just a personal goal of mine this year coming back was to enhance myself and enhance my game period. The fact that I got those opportunities and I took over those opportunities, that's just something I've been trying to do all year.

Q. When I say Rose Bowl, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Like you said, you've never been to California, but this used to be the biggest reward you could get as an Ohio State football player is to play in this game.
DRE'MONT JONES: I think of those Reggie Bush days back in '05 and being a little kid and watching him and not really understanding it and then becoming a fan of the game and just understanding it more and more each year. Kind of know the totality of it.

Q. Dre'Mont, it's happened two straight years to you guys that you have this loss in the middle of the year that you mentioned, that seems like in the end probably kept you out of the playoff. Whether you're around in the future or whether you're not here, what is the lesson? Is there a lesson that you would try to tell younger Buckeyes? To say, of course you want to win every game, you guys out there every week and try to win. But when it happens two years in a row, is there anything that can be learned from this that you've got to avoid a game like that? How do you avoid it?
DRE'MONT JONES: Just remaining humble in all aspects throughout the year. We were definitely hot, coming in strong, and then we played Purdue. I'm not going to say we took it for granted, but we didn't really put a lot of emphasis like I thought we should have, and it definitely hit us in the mouth and humbled us a lot. But I feel like, to get humble, I feel like we shouldn't lose by 29 or 30 more points. That's our fault at the end of the day.

Q. I guess even in a loss, right, it's like if you can try to find a way to keep it tighter or whatever.
DRE'MONT JONES: If we're going to lose, I don't want to lose by 29 or 30. At least make it close. Like I said, it was our fault. That definitely was a deciding factor, I think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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