COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MEDIA CONFERENCE
January 7, 2021
Grapevine, Texas, USA
Ohio State Buckeyes
CFP Media Conference
Q. You kind of talked about this a little bit after the game, the Clemson game, but an offensive line needs cohesion, needs time together, and you guys haven't had that the last several games. How have you been able to overcome that, first of all? And how important is the same kind of dominance you had against Clemson to be displayed against Alabama?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, well, for starters, it's really important. I truly believe in my heart that games are won at the line of scrimmage, won or lost at the line of scrimmage. So it's always important, and it's always a focal point of what we do. Huge for sure.
And then, yeah, just in terms of cohesion within an offensive line group, it is really important, and we're just kind of -- you're right, we haven't been able to do it a whole lot this year. Just so many things getting shifted around, so many people in and out.
I think we just got used to not having it, not used to the same five guys always being there, just doing what we have to to get it done. I don't know. It's a good question.
Q. Congratulations on getting this far in the season and having a chance to cap it down in Miami. I'm curious if you could tell us maybe what you've learned from both Coach Meyer and Coach Day about training to play in championship moments and being at your mental best to perform in those moments?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, well, thank you very much. I really appreciate that. Yeah, I've learned a lot from both of them. I think in terms of what has stuck out to me the most has just been the preparation throughout the week. Both of them have been huge on the preparation throughout the week, and both of them really have always said that the games aren't won on Saturday or in this case Monday. The games are won on a hard Tuesday practice, a padded Wednesday practice.
I think that myself and our team really takes that to heart, and we always try and show up and give it everything we've got and prep the best we can, especially those earlier in the week practices where they're padded.
For me, I think that's the most important thing.
Q. I think Matt Jones has two starts and two champion grades. What does that say about him and his ability to step in and maybe about the unit as a whole to stay ready?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, I think Matt has done a great job, and that's huge. They haven't been two easy games, either. They've been really important games. So he's done a great job.
And I think it says a lot. You've seen our team throughout this season miss people, people who would normally be starting, that just aren't there certain weeks. And I think what you've seen throughout our team is people who typically wouldn't be starting in a situation and understanding that they have to do what they have to do to help our team win the game.
It's a very different mindset when you're going into a game and you're a second-team guy that I think you're probably not going to play as compared to when you know you're going to start and you have no choice but to play, but to prepare, but to take the week just dead serious the whole time. I think that's been huge for Matt.
He was in that situation, and he has no choice, know what I mean? He's there. He has to perform and he knows it, and that's what he's done. I think it speaks volumes to the character of our team.
Q. Paris Johnson has to come in and play some guard, which is not necessarily his forte, and I think ends up playing both guard spots in that game. How have you seen him develop over the course of the season as someone who can help you guys in a moment like that, and also what does that sort of versatility tell you about what he might be down the road, even when he is focusing on tackle?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, Paris is an extremely talented football player and offensive lineman. He has the right skill set. He has what God has given him, and God has given him a lot. And he also has the mindset.
I don't know if I should say this or not because it's pretty early on in Paris' career, but in my personal opinion, if Paris isn't an Outland Trophy winner before he leaves here then he's screwed something up, because he should be by the time he leaves. In my opinion. He's that talented.
So, yeah, he's a ball player, man. He's good. I think he could step in pretty much anywhere on the offensive line and be just fine.
Q. I would love your perspective as somebody who blocks for him what you have thought about what Trey has been able to do the last few games for your team?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah. Trey has been huge for our team and it's been so fun. I think I heard Coach Day say something about this in a different interview, that Trey never once complained. He was a big-time running back from Oklahoma that transferred to Ohio State, and the start of his career at Ohio State didn't exactly go perfectly.
There were just -- things were different and he had a bit of a slower start than he would have wanted, and he never said anything. Never not one time did he complain. Never not one time did he ask for more carries. He never had a bad attitude, he just kept coming to work.
I think that's the most satisfying part for me in watching him succeed now and how well he's playing. He just does everything right. He never complains. Honestly I can't say enough how happy I am for him.
Q. Do your tackles, the starting tackles, get talked about enough for what they do for you guys and how talented they are?
JOSH MYERS: I don't think so. I don't think they get talked about enough. I think both of them are really, really good players. I mean, you just look at the Clemson game. I mean, even just their pass protection was incredible all night, and they've been doing it all season.
It's weird. It's a weird thing when tackles get slightly overlooked among members of the offensive line, but somehow it's managed to happen this year. But those two guys are so valuable to our team and what we do every week. So yeah, I think they don't get enough recognition for what they do.
Q. What have you seen in Alabama's front seven that might pose as a threat for you all going into this game?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, they're really talented. Really talented across the board. They have good, big, strong, athletic guys across the board, and they know their scheme really well. You can just see it coming from film. They're extremely disciplined and extremely good with their technique. You can tell their technique is outstanding all the time.
They're just the type of group that never makes a mistake in terms of what gap they're supposed to be in. If they're on a blitz, no one messes up, which you see fairly often in college football where a blitz gets communicated incorrectly and some guy loops the wrong way or someone hits the wrong gap. I've been watching a bunch of film on them, and I don't think I've seen it one time. So that's the thing that jumps out the most to me.
Q. You were among the players honored on senior day. I was just wondering, have you made a final decision yet on whether this will be your last game as a Buckeye?
JOSH MYERS: You guys will know that answer on the 12th.
Q. What do you love about playing at Ohio State and the winning and competitive culture that is cemented at the university, and what have you taken away from playing with so many gifted football players during your time there?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, that's a great question. There are so many things that make Ohio State a great place. I think what separates Ohio State is -- so there's great people at Ohio State. I think there's great people at a lot of places.
But there's great people at Ohio State who care about you and also will push you in the direction that you need to go to get you to where you need to be in your career, and I think that's a special thing, and I think that the way that the entire university and the coaching staff and everyone inside the facility goes about it is what separates us, in my personal opinion.
And then on top of that, just like you said, the culture and the history behind Ohio State football, man, it's just so special. All of the things that we get to do, the skull session on a regular season, and then playing in the Horseshoe, there's just -- I could talk about it forever, to be honest with you.
Q. I wanted to ask about Miyan Williams, who's come on late this year. What's it like to block for a guy like that?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, it's fun, man. I've gotten asked that a -- a couple questions about different running backs that we've had, and they're all fun to block for. Just super -- Miyan is going to have a great career here. He runs the ball extremely hard, and as an offensive lineman, I just love that. The lower your shoulder mentality is -- I'd like to think that's how I would be if I was a running back.
It's been fun to watch him grow this year and contribute. And man, he's contributed some pretty key moments, as well. It's been fun.
Q. I don't want to add to the hyperbole, but a coach of yours told me before the season that Paris Johnson was the most talented freshman offensive lineman they'd ever seen. Now what you're saying about the Outland, what does it say about you guys as a group that, A, he's not even playing, but B, what has your role been, yours, Wyatt, Thayer, Nick, the role just as far as guiding him in this weird season?
JOSH MYERS: Yeah, Paris would be a starting offensive tackle at 99 percent of the universities in the country this season. I think part of our role, and the reason why I said I'm not sure I should say this or not, is because he is a young guy and he has things he needs to improve on, and I don't want him to hear that and start -- you know what I mean?
But I know Paris well enough now to understand that he won't take it that way. Yeah, I mean, I think me, Thayer and Wyatt have just tried to keep his head in it, which he's done a great job of doing. It was a great year for him to just continue to get better, and he has just all year. He's gone hard, and he's been committed to getting better.
He's been a pleasure to play with, and one day he's going to be a whole lot better than probably anyone else on our starting line right now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports