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January 1, 2010

Kenjon Barner

Chip Kelly

Kenny Rowe


Ohio State – 26
Oregon -17

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Coach first.

Q. I don't know how many passes Pryor threw, but if you had known going into the game that he was going to throw as many as he did, would you have liked your chances and was it surprising they threw as many as they did?
COACH KELLY: It was surprising to us. We felt watching their last couple of games where they didn't throw it very much and were rather conservative, they came in and opened it up, and obviously Terrelle beat us.

Q. How much did the clock figure into trying to get the field goal first at the five-minute mark?
COACH KELLY: It didn't. I mean, it's not a clog issue. We're down two scores so you need a touchdown and a field goal. It doesn't matter which way you get it, if you get the touchdown or you get the field goal. We needed both. We felt we could kick it. He is a very okay rat kicker for us, and at that distance we felt confident he was going to put it through.

Q. The 4th and 1, you got past that. I mean, that had to be enticing because you made a fourth and four earlier.
COACH KELLY: No, we needed two scores, so.

Q. Time of possession is not a big deal for you guys, but do you think maybe it mattered some this time with how much more time Ohio State had the ball?
COACH KELLY: No, time of possession, the TOP I was worried about was Terrelle Pryor.

Q. What was the main problem with Sully today? It was an uncharacteristic game for him.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they did a great job of taking him away and not letting him run a lot of our read stuff. They had a guy assigned to the quarterback, so he has to hand the ball off, and that's what they wanted us to do, and we handed it off. Part of trying to defend us is you have to take something away, and they tried to take away the quarterback.

Q. Chip, Jeremiah didn't seem like he really got in sync passing the ball tonight. What was going wrong in the passing game?
COACH KELLY: You know, it's always a passing game, it's a combination of whether it's a protection breakdown or getting to the right depth, the right routes. We had a drop or two that we thought we could convert late so he just kind on sat down, but we just missed it. We weren't on the same page.

Q. You mentioned that Terrelle hadn't thrown the ball a lot lately, but was that more the guy you saw recruiting him out of high school, just the more complete quarterback?
COACH KELLY: No, you know, when I saw him in high school he was a man amongst boys, and at times tonight he looked like a man amongst boys. He's a lot bigger, stronger, physical. He looks like a defensive line map. He's an impressive player when you see him up close. He certainly beat us on how he threw the ball.

Q. What happened on the Blount fumble?
COACH KELLY: You know, there was a fumbled exchange. I don't know exactly until I see watching the replay whether it was too high in the handoff, or we didn't have the good pocket. I can't tell you that until I look at the tape.

Q. Did that have any deflation on the sidelines for you, that play, because it seemed like it was kind of a turning point.
COACH KELLY: No, on our sideline we always felt like we were in it until kind of when the field goal was missed. We've still got a shot if we can stop them. But I don't think in that point in time that that changed our mindset at all.

Q. The not being on the same page, can you lay that on not having played in four weeks?
COACH KELLY: No, those are excuses, and we don't use them.

Q. Can you talk about Kenjon's play today in the return game, the run game?
COACH KELLY: Kenjon's special. We moved him over last spring. He was a great high school running back from down here, and we felt like when we recruited him that he was a defensive back, and we moved him over last spring. It only took a couple of plays when I knew he wasn't going back.
He's just a dynamic player with the ball in his hands, whether it's in the return game or running the ball or catching the ball. You know, the great thing about tonight, and I know there's a lot of negatives about tonight, and obviously losing to a very, very good football team, but I get to spend three more years with Kenjon.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you. Congratulations on a great season. Questions for players.

Q. Kenjon, was there something you saw on their special teams tape? You obviously dominated them in special teams?
KENJON BARNER: Not really. It was just a matter of my teammates making good, holding their blocks, and making me a hole to run through. That's pretty much all it came down to.

Q. There was so much talk about LaMichael and LeGarrette, you kind of slipped through the cracks. Where do you kind of fit in there and did that bother you that you were not getting talked about much?
KENJON BARNER: Not at all. I'm not one of those kids that needs to be in the limelight. I'm just line where I am. I'm making plays to help my team win, and that's all that matters to me.

Q. Kenny, what is it like trying to bring down Terrelle?
KENNY ROWE: It's pretty tough. He slipped away a couple of times. He runs pretty hard. He's got a good stiff-arm, too.

Q. Kenny, how tough was it when they kept converting the 3rd down? You just didn't seem to get them off the field?
KENNY ROWE: It was pretty tough because every time we'd get late in the game and they'd get a 3rd down. It was kind of frustrating.

Q. Kenny, what was your reaction when they came out and basically stuck six straight passes. They don't throw the ball a lot?
KENNY ROWE: Well, the plan was to make him throw the ball, but when he threw it that good, the plan didn't go well.

Q. Kenny, you take a 17-16 lead there in the third quarter and then Ohio State goes down and gets a field goal and retakes the lead. How did that change the momentum for your team, especially defensively?
KENNY ROWE: It didn't really change momentum. We held them to field goals rather than touchdowns. We've just got to get them off the field on 3rd downs late in the game.

Q. Kenjon, looking back on the season, what do you feel making it to the Rose Bowl meant for you guys?
KENJON BARNER: This was a big thing for us. We're a young team, and to be where we are with everything that we went through the injuries and all, I think that's pretty impressive for your team.
It was good for us to get a taste, you know, get a taste of this Rose Bowl and get that feeling. Kind of deal with this loss, but also get that hunger for next year, come back and want the National Championship, want everything, come back and fight.

Q. Kenjon, had you run up against a defense -- Coach said that they tried to take Jeremiah away from you and make him hand off. Had you faced a defense that was anything similar to what you faced today?
KENJON BARNER: You know, they did a great job. We can't take anything away from them. They did a great job of staying contained, had their backer flowing, defensive backs. They did a great job of us. They studied well.

Q. Kenjon, you said it's great to get here, but how disappointing is it to lose this game? It's a big game.
KENJON BARNER: You know, it's tough to lose any game, but to get here to this stage, it's extremely tough. It hurts. I don't think any one of my teammates likes the feeling that we have right now, but you know, this just gives us time to grow, time to come closer together, and just get back at it next year.

Q. You mentioned it was nice to get a taste of this. Was that spoken to at all in the locker room after the game?
KENJON BARNER: No. Amongst us we felt that we deserved to be here. This is something we looked forward to all season that we played for, and to get the opportunity to play here, it was a great experience. But what I mean by taste was just this game and how it's played and everything that goes on with the Rose Bowl. They put on a great, great, great show for you, and just to come up a little bit short, you know, it puts a sour taste in your mouth.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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