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November 24, 2012

Urban Meyer


COACH MEYER:  Thank you for being here.  And I want to thank a few people, most importantly I want to thank Buckeye Nation, and from the Skull Session to the stadium, I just don't want that to go unappreciated.
Also appreciate our opponent, bunch of good football players out there that played very hard.  And that was a classic rivalry game.  But most important thank you goes to our senior class.  Most selfless group I've ever been around.
Guys that‑‑ the indicators are things like Zach Boren moving over, Sabino breaking his leg, having a variety of different options how to get it done.  The option was to get back as soon as possible.  Played with a plate in his leg.  And then John Simon, our heart and soul of who we are as the 2012 football team, it's John Simon.
And I had a bad feeling early in the week when I saw his knee.  It was a bursa‑‑ it's not a structural issue, it's just the swelling we couldn't get out.  And my man was in the training room early in the morning until late at night doing everything they could.
When they de‑q'd him, it was like a possessed group on defense.  I know why.  Because our brother was down and we presented him the game ball, which was deserving.
So a lot of great efforts.  I'll answer any questions about Carlos Hyde.  He's developing into one of the best backs in the country.  He's a powerful guy.  He's come a long way.  And our quarterback, I thought, 14 of 18 for almost 200 yards against a number one pass defense in America.  He played his heart out as well.

Q.  Urban, what's it like to be 12‑0, and then past that, what was the message to the defense at halftime?
COACH MEYER:  Well, to be 12‑0, it really hasn't sunk in yet.  It's more the fact that we're going to lose it‑‑ it's almost like you're losing some of your children when they go away to college.
Our house is going to be empty.  When we go to a meeting after our team meeting on Tuesday, we start a new journey.  And however the journey‑‑ the foundation's really, really strong.  Couldn't be stronger because of our senior class.  That's all I can think about.
I want to make sure they're properly recognized as one of the great groups of seniors in the history of this program, however we're going to do that.  Maybe we'll get 19 bronze statues somewhere, raise some money.  (Laughter).
And then the last question, what did we say to the defense?  I have to give credit to our defensive staff.
My comment was, after I saw Denard Robinson sneak out of there for a long run, stop the quarterback run.  That's the input I had.  Probably the same I think 107,000 people said that as well.  But Coach Fickell and Coach Withers running that defense did an excellent job, I mean, excellent job against some good athletes.  So I think for me to tell you what they did, I think that's‑‑ out of respect I'm going to have Coach Fickell talk to you about that.

Q.  The postgame, on the field there, looked pretty emotional for everybody, especially you, the first time you were obviously part of this as a head coach.  What was that like, everything going on on the field and also when you look back at your first now 12 months on the job, did you think that something like this or today was possible?
COACH MEYER:  Very emotional time.  And obviously this is the state I grew up in.  This is the state I made a comment on last November, December, whenever it was, that our objective is to make the great state of Ohio proud.
I imagine tonight there's a lot of people in this great state very proud of what their football‑‑ their football team, no one else's, this is the state of Ohio's football team.
And I'm sure they're very proud.  The other thing is my two daughters came back, and it's all I kept‑‑ I was trying to find them, obviously the nut job students won't let me find anybody, so that's okay.
But to be with my wife and children on that field is something special.

Q.  You've been involved with a lot of big victories over your career.  Where does this one rate?
COACH MEYER:  For the moment this is as good as it gets.  I don't think it's fair for anybody to say 1‑A, 1‑B, 1‑C, but I can tell you that's as good as it gets.  Once you get a strike with adversity‑‑ you name a game we didn't have to deal with adversity, that didn't happen this year.  John Simon not playing and a variety of other things taking place plus you beat a good team.

Q.  12‑0, just curious, how good you think this team is.  You played a lot of close games, but you're not going to get a chance to prove it in a Bowl game.  Wonder how do you put that in perspective?
COACH MEYER:  There's a common denominator right there for the top five teams in America.  The denominator was not part of our system, and that's a great defense.  You can't win it‑‑ you see the top teams getting ready to go play for championships.
I've been blessed to be a couple of teams of championships, and the common denominator is not rushing yardage, passing yardage, blocked punts, whatever it is, it's great defense.  And I'd say at this point in time Ohio State could go play with anybody in America.
I wouldn't say that five weeks ago.  But I think you've seen the growth, what we did today and the growth of our defense, as long as you play great defense and you're very functional on special teams, I think we had four field goals, 44 net without any return yards in punt.  We weren't doing that early in the year.  So that's why I said we had a team with a bunch of holes.
However, we just ran the ball for I think 200 plus.  We held one of the most dynamic players.  He did have a buck 22.  But you held a team to a very small 47 plays, if I remember right.  Small amount of plays.  So I just want to make sure I verify, that it's not just some coach up here opening his big mouth.  It's statistically analyzed for ya.  We could play with anybody in America as of today.

Q.  As proud as you are of your senior class, I'm curious what you think of your freshman class.  Especially Adolphus and Noah Spence, Tommy Schutt, guys that had to play a lot because John being out and their impact on the game?
COACH MEYER:  Mike Bennett, I don't know how he played, but Mike Bennett was a big part as well.  He's only a sophomore, I think.  He has two more years.
Those guys‑‑ sometimes you recruit guys that are overrated.  The names you just mentioned are not overrated.  They're going to be great players here.  They're going to be great players here and I appreciate the effort.  On top of it, wonderful people.

Q.  Urban, what does a season like this going 12‑0 do for laying the foundation of what you want to get done here at Ohio State?
COACH MEYER:  Bunch of recruits in the meeting room again.  The whole theme this week is go where the air is rare.  The loudest door is a big one.  Open it, kick it open, do what you have to get through that door.  Once you're in there, it smells different, it tastes and looks different.
I'm hoping the guys get that taste and they want to do it again.  Because once you taste that, it tastes really good.  And the foundation, I think, is strong.  We do‑‑ we're going to lose some really good players, really good players and really good people.  Even the ones that weren't the star players, Zach Domicone and Stu Smiths of the world, Taylor Rices of the world, someone's got to pick up the slack when they leave us.

Q.  A lot of chances to put the game away, you couldn't do it.  Was there a nagging feeling like this could come back to bite us; and what was the feeling like when you realized you were going to win your first Ohio State/Michigan game?
COACH MEYER:  Kind of lost it on the sideline there.  Gotta keep more composure, I guess, in the coaching manual I think it's chapter 13 it says keep cool.  I lost it there for a couple of minutes.  And then we kneeled on it to win the game after that last first down.  But we had some opportunities to put it away.
And if I had it again, I know 34 would have been pounding that ball to put it away.  Once again we're not exactly where we want to be offensively.  We will.  And with a lot of hard work.  But I don't want to get into that now.  But we'll be where we need to be soon.

Q.  If Ohio State is the last unbeaten team at the end of this season should Ohio State be No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll?
COACH MEYER:  Just trying to picture the headline here.  (Laughter) Enough headlines.  I don't need anymore.  They got me all excited at a pep rally the other day and that was a headline.
You know, I don't know enough to‑‑ I think we're at this point‑‑ like I said, the quote I'd like out there is I think this team could play and compete with any team in the United States of America as of now.  I didn't say that several weeks ago because we couldn't.  I understand but I'm not going to get into the what‑ifs and can't control what you can't control.  What if we would have done this, what if we would have done this.  We're 12‑0.  I'm going to see to it when you walk into that Woody Hayes facility this team will never be forgotten, because they deserve that.

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