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November 23, 2013

Urban Meyer


COACH MEYER:テつ Thanks for coming.テつ Couple quick comments.テつ Just very much appreciative of the skull session and our student body and fans and those nut job students for staying until the end.
Very appreciative of the Ohio State students, which our players are student‑athletes and they're part of it, and we do a lot of things together.
So very much appreciative of that.テつ And then second of all that Gene Smith came down to present our players with the game ball, the longest winning streak in Ohio State history.テつ We kind of avoided that thing like a team going through a no‑hitter.テつ Now that they have it, they talked about it, and it's over.テつ And we can move on to rivalry week.
So I'll answer any questions.

Q.テつ You guys obviously are already in the Big Ten championship game.テつ Michigan State's there.テつ The winning streak.テつ How do you fight that sense of you guys accomplished something when there still seems like there's some unfinished business yet, too?
COACH MEYER:テつ I think that's my job.テつ That's our coaches' job.テつ I think this week‑‑ it's easy to evaluate how did our defense play, how did the pass defense play, so on and so forth.テつ When we focus, this is a very good team, very, very good.テつ Obviously this week focus won't be an issue.テつ It's going to be execution and performance.

Q.テつ Obviously weather a pretty significant factor today.テつ How do you think your team handled the conditions and did it affect game planning maybe day of, did you have to make any changes because of it?
COACH MEYER:テつ Philly Brown was dealing with injury as well.テつ Offensively I can speak that the weather did have an impact.テつ We're a very good rushing team.テつ I think we rushed again for 300 yards.
Braxton Miller, there was only a couple of design cue runs.テつ But it would be hard for me to say that wasn't the best he's ever run that I've seen him play.テつ Played very hard.テつ Tough.テつ Physical.
Carlos Hyde and obviously the four senior offensive linemen.テつ Defensively, I think Indiana is a throw‑the‑ball‑around offense.テつ I don't think.テつ I know.
We have a lot of respect for it.テつ I know Luke Fickell aged a littler bit getting ready for this game.テつ And having Josh Perry back and Cam Burrows, Doran Grant got dinged a little bit.テつ But I was impressed with our preparation on defense and the way they executed it.

Q.テつ In terms of the defense, want to talk about Ryan Shazier.テつ Credited with 20 tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, forced fumble, partridge, pear tree, just everything under the sun.テつ What's he given you right now after last week and this week?
COACH MEYER:テつ He's playing at a very high level.テつ A very emotional guy, has the heart the‑‑ his heart is everything.テつ He's very, like I said, he wears his feelings on his sleeve and the players love him for it.テつ And so do I.テつ Very emotional player that plays that way on the field.テつ Playing great right now, too.

Q.テつ Talk about the defensive effort today.テつ You gave up the two ones at the end, but compared to where you went last year, were you proud?テつ Just talk about what you‑‑
COACH MEYER:テつ It makes you sick when we drop the ball on offense, it made you sick, because the game should be over.テつ And that was just‑‑ I mean, it was a great performance all the way around and not even close to last year.
Effort, as one point, was a problem in last year's game.テつ Since that day effort hasn't been a problem.テつ We had some execution errors over the year that you're going to have in football.
But there's, let me assure you, there's no effort issue at Ohio State.

Q.テつ Doran Grant, is it a serious deal?
COACH MEYER:テつ No, I don't believe so.テつ And Curtis Grant should be back next week.テつ We could have played him this week butwe didn't need to.

Q.テつ What was the emotion like for you today knowing that these seniors who have done so much for the program last game, Carmen Ohio, what was it like for you?
COACH MEYER:テつ One thing that I learned, this is interesting, 1986 when I was here was my first experience with a place like Ohio State where I'm in the middle of it as a graduate assistant.
I would see Jim Lachey and Archie Griffen and all these great players come back and be part of this program.テつ And I would notice that the ones that were part of something special were always back.テつ They kept coming back.テつ They kept wanting to be around.
And as you grow a little older and become more experienced, the greatest thing that happened today is every one of those players in that locker room is going to come back now and be part of this, because there's going to be a special place for them around that facility and what they've done, longest winning streak in Ohio State history.
That's all‑‑ not all I remember‑‑ but that's a big part of what kind of drives me is to see the players come back and say look what we did.テつ Because I saw it.
That's the first time I really experienced that was in Columbus, Ohio in 1986, saw the former players coming back, the'68 national champions and these other Big Ten championship teams, they come back and celebrate with their families.テつ I think it's one of the greatest things that can happen to a college football player.

Q.テつ Urban, Braxton Miller went into the end zone twice airborne and he's playing without a brace.テつ Did you get nervous, what did you think?
COACH MEYER:テつ We ran a little trick play.テつ As you saw, he was trying to throw it to Heuerman on the Jazzy ‑‑ Kenny G.テつ I did not come up with that, Herman did.テつ But Jazzy is a play we run, I was hoping he would throw it.テつ He's a great athlete.テつ I'd rather him not do that, but do what he's gotta do.テつ He played really well today.

Q.テつ You've won two National Championships, had an undefeated team last year.テつ Just in the context of how good teams play, where is this team right now at 11‑0 across the board?
COACH MEYER:テつ If you're asking me to compare, I don't know if you can.テつ I mean, I'd have to go back and really, really think about it.テつ I know one thing that this team is playing at a very, very high level.テつ They're focused each week, and that's our job to maintain focus again this week.
So on a national level, we have enough to work on and this week you're going to hear some very generic answers about everything, because‑‑ I'm not being a jerk to you guys, it's our focus is on beating that rival team and that's it.

Q.テつ You know what a championship team is like from your past, I'm not asking you to compare‑‑
COACH MEYER:テつ Sure you are.テつ You are trying.テつ And you have a deadline or something to handle, I get it.

Q.テつ The level, the context of the level you have to be at to be that‑‑
COACH MEYER:テつ We're a very, very good team right now.テつ And we've got a big game coming up this weekend.

Q.テつ Can you talk a little bit about what goes into a winning streak like this?テつ There's a lot of things.
COACH MEYER:テつ I think it's consistency.テつ You see it‑‑ every once in a while you take a peek at the scoreboard, you see scores.テつ You go what happened there.テつ And for this team to do it 23 times in a row, that's an incredible testimony, first of all, to the players.
I mean, Tuesday's practices are not a bunch of chocolates around here.テつ Every week you better show up or you stick out like a sore thumb.
So, first of all, the players are incredible, consistently performed over this two‑year period.テつ And I really want to mention my staff.
I mean, we haven't had any turnover.テつ The alignment is without question, they're perfectly aligned.テつ There's no‑‑ we turned the ball over at the end and I've been around some defensive coaches that would have acted like‑‑ would have just had to go back out there and play.
Our defensive coaches do, they go coach.テつ Because that's what we expect them to do.テつ What do our offensive coaches do when they give up some points, they coach.テつ That's probably why those things happen where you get a nice, long winning streak.

Q.テつ One of the things that you're teaching the players is discipline, hard work, and obviously how to win and be champions on and off the field.テつ One of the other things that I hear from some of the players is that you're teaching them how to celebrate also, how to enjoy the moment.テつ Can you talk a little bit about that, how you're connecting with them on that?
COACH MEYER:テつ Oh, I'm not sure of the question.テつ But what I think, what I just told them, I said we can‑‑ if there's something you're going to do tonight that's going to help us win the game next week, do it and do it a lot.テつ Learn how to be a pro.テつ Win games.テつ Expect to win games here.テつ Act like you've done it before.テつ And spend time with your family, spend time with your friends, get back to work tomorrow.
I'm not quite sure the direction of the question, but we do spend a lot of time discussing how to take care of yourself and make sure we are a purpose‑driven team and our purpose comes to a head next week in Ann Arbor.

Q.テつ When was the last time you coached in the snow?テつ Was that Utah?テつ How much does that change things?テつ Would you like to see some of the southern schools play in this?
COACH MEYER:テつ Probably was‑‑ snow was, we won 3‑0 in Provo, Utah one year.テつ 3‑0 that's how bad it was.テつ I thought it was kind of cool to hear Hang on Sloopy in the snow.テつ Brought back some good memories.
Do we want to a southern team up here in December ‑‑ you're trying, I'm not going to answer that because we've got a big rivalry game next week.

Q.テつ You stressed making sure that nobody takes for granted how hard it is to win a game.テつ You've done it 23 times in a row.テつ For you or for the players, have you sensed any complacency at all getting it done afterwards?
COACH MEYER:テつ I really haven't.テつ And that's something that our staff, and I have people that try to help me with that.テつ And I don't feel that at all.テつ Because these are good guys.テつ They listen.テつ And our coaches do a really good job of just the next play, the next down, and obviously the next game.テつ So, no, I don't feel that at all.

Q.テつ You're not tired of winning?
COACH MEYER:テつ No.テつ Victory meal tomorrow night.テつ Victory meal.

Q.テつ Is there a 24‑hour rule there or do you immediately go, what are your thoughts on the team up north?
COACH MEYER:テつ I've not really watched much of them on videotape.テつ I have great respect for this rivalry, humbled to be a part of it.
When I say great respect, almost makes me in awe.テつ Eight of my nine guys are from the state of Ohio.テつ One wishes he was from Ohio.テつ And the respect we have, which means with respect and being part of it comes incredible, I'll say this, the responsibility sometimes can be overwhelming, what we have to do next week.
So we take it very serious. テつWe're working the game as we speak.テつ We're all going to go home, see our families, we're coming back tomorrow and ready to go.

Q.テつ Excited to experience it up there?
COACH MEYER:テつ I'm humbled and excited to be a part of it.テつ Yep.

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