January 11, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
Hard Rock Stadium
Ohio State Buckeyes
Alabama, 52 - Ohio, 24
Q. Obviously tough game. They were able to get pressure on Justin more than most teams have. Was it something they did in terms scheme, or was it just, Hey, that's a really good team?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: So I think there was a lot of pressure. They were always a talented team. We already knew this coming in. They have a bunch of great guys on the defensive line and linebacker corps and everyone they have on defense.
They have a really talented roster there and the coaching staff as well. You know, they're one of the top teams in the nation. It was two top teams going at it tonight, so just a little mixture of talented players.
They had some schemes here and there, but I think we were doing some things right on the field, you know.
Q. Obviously you guys were fueled so much this year by what happened last year against Clemson. Do you think there will be a similar response to what happened tonight?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: Yeah, you know, we try to use everything we can to play with a chip on our shoulder and fuel us for the next season. After that loss against Clemson we really left the field with bitter taste in our mouth saying we left a lot of stuff on the field that could have brought us to the championship game like we did this year.
So when we went out to go play against Clemson, we remember those feelings. We had a lot of those emotions playing that game, but we knew to keep our poise and calm and do the job we needed to do.
Same thing here. This is just another building block on our team to make us stronger, not only as team, as a group we have coming back, but also for future Buckeyes.
Q. Obviously you guys have a lot of guys like yourself who could potentially have a decision to make heading off to the next level. When you look at this Bama team with guys like, Leatherwood, Najee, DeVonta, all those guys that decided to come back after a disappointing end last year, how do you think you and the leaders of this team can come together to find maybe something special to bring more guys back next year?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: You know, everyone is going to make their decisions that are best for them in their careers. If you really want to know what it takes to bring guys back, look at what we did this year when we had COVID cancel our season. We had a lot of things happening with a lot of people not being able to play, not knowing if we're going to play.
And while guys you were, once they heard we were playing ball again, everyone came back like it was nothing.
So just that's what we are. This is a brotherhood, and we are always going to support our brothers no matter what decision they make.
As you can see this year, we had a lot of guys that came back after our season got canceled and they just wanted Thornberry a part of brotherhood and play their hardest. That's what we try to do all season long in this game.
What happens is whatever happens.
Q. Everybody knew how explosive this Bama offense was. I don't know if you guys talk about it as a team or just thought it in your head, but coming in as an offense, how many points did you think you guys had to score to hang with them? You know what you mean? What does that feel like? Did you feel that in the game of every time you go on the field you kind of got to put points on the board because you how explosive they are when they get out there?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: Well, I mean, you know, they're an explosive team, like you said, and they're a talented team over all, especially on offense.
For us, how many points we thought we needed to score? We thought we needed to score one more than them. We just wanted to win the game. We didn't really focus on how many points they put up on the board, how many points we put up on the board. We just said, We got to score one more than them. We didn't do that tonight.
You know, we just came in with the mindset of every time we touch the ball we're trying to find a way to put it in the end zone or put points on the board. We just had belief in our defense and us as a team about everything we needed to do.
We didn't really think about their offense. We just focused on us because it's about us. It's not about other teams. It's what we can do as a team.
Q. Did you see Trey go down on that first drive, and how did that change some things for you offensively?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: Can you say that question again? I'm sorry.
Q. When you lost Trey Sermon on the opening drive, how did it change what you wanted to do tonight on offense?
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE: You know, it was tough losing Trey. He's a brother to us. When we heard -- when I heard that he was out after that first drive, it was really heart breaking for us, not only as an offensive line, but as an offense and as a team in general.
But we didn't change anything. Still had the same game plan. We all trained hard through all the players and depth chart, so if someone went down, we knew someone needed to come up. It's not like we only played with Trey. We made sure everyone was accounted for and everyone was able to play and do their job.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports