ATLANTA (WCMH) — The entire Ohio State team took part in the Peach Bowl media day at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.
The Buckeyes addressed everything from facing No. 1 Georgia, trying to bounce back after the 22-point loss to Michigan, injury concerns and much more.
Head Coach Ryan Day
Question: How ready do you think you guys are to play here?
RYAN DAY: “I think preparations have been excellent. I think the practices have been excellent. we got down here Christmas night. It was good to get down here early. Had a good practice Monday, two
really physical practices the last two days. We’ll have a really good practice today and good preparation here as we head into meetings this morning. But all the focus is just playing the fastest and most violent game we’ve played all season here Saturday night 8:00.”
Question: Jack Sawyer said our team is practicing “pissed off.” Is that the kind of attitude you want right now?
RYAN DAY: Well they should be. And we all should be. We know what we need to do in this game to win, and that’s kind of the way this month has been for a lot of us at practice every day. There’s been an edge. There’s been friction. There’s been conflict. There’s been a lot of that
going on and that’s a healthy thing.
QB C.J. Stroud
Question: When you look at Georgia’s defense, what stands out to you?
C.J. STROUD: “Really a multitude of things. Of course Jalen Carter up front. He shines on film. He’s a really good player. I’m actually a fan of his. I watch Georgia defense a lot. They fly around, play really good ball . . . The leader of their defense is No. 10 [Jamon Dumas-Johnson] He does a great job of calling the defense, moving the front, stunting them, and just really great communication. I think there’s really 11 coaches on the field, and you can kind of tell because of motions and things like that, they handle it really well. And they’re ball hawks. They get to the ball. I know Kelee [Ringo] personally. Kelee is one of my good friends. It’s going to be fun playing against him. I can’t wait. He’s a great corner.”
Question: Do you sense that you’re where you need to be going into this game?
C.J. STROUD: “You have to really be in your shoes and appreciate where you’re at like looking around here I’m really blessed so whatever happened a month ago it was an ‘L’ but I look at it as a lesson and you either learn from lessons or you don’t and if you don’t learn from it, I count that as a loss.”
WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
Question: Did the Rose Bowl prepare you for a game like this?
MARVIN HARRISON: “Absolutely. That was my first start too as a college player so all the expectations and pressure was there for me given that it was my first start but I definitely think it helped me prepare not only for this season but this moment as well just playing on such a big stage like that.”
WR EMEKA EGBUKA
Question: What did you learn about yourself in your first season as a starter?
EMEKA EGBUKA: ‘There’s nothing I’ve done that really surprised me. It’s not really an expectation for a number landmark but there’s an expectation to the amount of opportunities you take advantage of and I feel like I’ve done but there’s still plays I wish I could have back.”
C Luke Wypler
Question: The offensive line has allowed the fewest amount of quarterback pressures in the nation. How much pride do you take in that?
LUKE WYPLER: “I think our offensive line takes a lot of pride in that. I think as a unit we pride ourselves on keeping C.J. clean. We kind of like him a little bit so we don’t want him to get hit . . . and let him step up in the pocket and make accurate throws. We know how good he can be when he isn’t touched and doesn’t have pressure in his face.”
OT Dawand Jones
Question: You and Paris Johnson Jr. are two of the top-five graded offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus. What’s been a reason for that success?
DAWAND JONES: “We were just talking about it yesterday we can be like Orlando Pace and Korey Stringer [first-round OSU draft picks] honestly. He really didn’t know about it but I did of course because I know a lot of sports history but I feel like we’ve built a big bond from him playing guard to now playing tackle so we just take pieces from each other’s work and improve our own craft.”
OG Matt Jones
Question: What was going through your head when you were on the cart injured during the Maryland game?
MATT JONES: “It was no doubt in my head. I knew I was going to be back. There was no pouting or anything to it, so I just stayed positive. It was a grind. I lived in the trainers room. Just work. Now I feel great.”
LB Steele Chambers
Question: “What’s the preparation been like getting ready for Georgia’s offense?
STEELE CHAMBERS: “It has been different prep but I mean we’ve had a month to get ready for it. It is unique but Coach [Jim] Knowles is a smart dude so he figured it out and I think we’ve got a good game plan for it.”
Question: It’s a big stage and big moment. How ready is the team for Saturday night?
STEELE CHAMBERS: “As a team we’ve gone through a lot of big games. I feel like everyone’s prepared to play on such a big stage like this.”
DE Jack Sawyer
Question: What do you make of Georgia’s offensive line? They’ve allowed the second-fewest quarterback pressures this year behind only you guys?
JACK SAWYER: “I think Georgia’s offensive line is one of the most athletic in the country and they do a great job of getting out in space and getting down field on screens and stuff like that so really when it comes down to a game like this it’s just about physicality and executing.”
CB Denzel Burke
Question: You had injuries to deal with, expectations to deal with coming off a good freshman season. How do you view the whole season?
DENZEL BURKE: “First half of the season wasn’t what I expected but really glad how I fought through the season. I felt like I had a really good second half of the season … it’s really helped me grow into a man and really excited for this opportunity we have Saturday.”
Question: How confident do you think the entire team is?
DENZEL BURKE: “Oh we’re extremely confident. We’ve been practicing hard all month, putting the chips in and I feel like we’re ready … I feel like all the things we went through this year, especially the last game I just feel like we have a big chip on our shoulder. I can see it in practice, we’ve been practicing hard and we really just want to finish strong man and do it for the city of Columbus.”
CB Cam Brown
Question: How did you guys get rejuvenated and get back up after that Michigan loss?
CAM BROWN: “We had to really criticize ourselves and really go into detail about things that we did incorrectly and things we did good and just try to push each other harder in different ways that we never did before.”