Do you like playing in a dome?
I don‘t mind it. In high school, I played in the Astrodome a bunch of times and then I played Minnesota (in ‘04). It‘s not a bad thing. There‘s no wind, sun, anything like that.
Can you talk about your leg? Are you going to be able to go?
Yeah, I‘m sure I will. I don‘t know why I still have (the boot) on (his left leg). To tell you the truth, I don‘t really know what‘s wrong. They didn‘t really tell me. I had friends of mine that saw it on TV and they said it looked really bad. I don‘t know what happened, really.
Are you expecting to practice today?
I‘m pretty sure. I came in early this morning and talked to the training staff. I don‘t really know the whole lineup that they‘ve got me doing, but I‘m sure I‘ll be doing something.
What is causing the pain in that foot?
I don‘t know. It just hurts. It‘s just the way it got twisted up.
So, you‘re talking about a foot sprain?
I don‘t know. That‘s what I would think it is. I took it off yesterday when I went to a movie because I didn‘t want to be in public with it. And it just kind of…my foot is swollen a little bit.
They didn‘t say high ankle sprain, did they?
No, it‘s nothing with my ankle. It‘s just my foot/
What are you guys playing for this final game of the season?
We‘re playing to win. We‘re real close as a team in all areas with all guys from Elgin to Edds to no matter how old anyone is. We‘re still real close as a team. We‘re just not winning. But we‘re excited to play. We‘re hungry to win. It hasn‘t happened lately. And it hasn‘t happened in the Big Ten in a while. I know that Minnesota has confidence now because they beat Michigan State last week. But we‘re just going to go up there, it will be our last game, we‘re just going to try to have fun and just play; don‘t hold anything back, I guess.
You talk about holding back. A play that a lot of people are talking about his the fourth down ( and short). As an aggressive quarterback, I‘m guessing you‘re going to want to go on that.
Well, it wasn‘t just me. I got in the huddle and told everybody what we were doing and they were all weren‘t too excited about it. They said check it; check the play. (laughter) I said, no, we just need to do what we‘ve got to do. That‘s just kind of the way it‘s been going on this year. We‘ve got guys that are so hungry and just want to win and everybody in the huddle is saying check the play. I can see it in the coaches‘ perspective. We got it inside the five on the punt. It‘s just kind of goofy how it all works out. But they know what they‘re doing. It was kind of like the Outback Bowl when Coach Meyer went for inside the 30 on the fake punt. That was pretty gutsy. But it can go either way.
You walked away from that play with some time left in the (play) clock. Did you just think they're not going to jump?
Yeah, after you say hut like three times, there‘s not much else you can do.
How close were you to checking? Did it run through your head a little bit?
Maybe a little bit, but I wasn‘t going to do it. You just run what‘s called.
What is the message that sends to the offense, the team?
I don‘t know. I just know that when I was in the huddle and I was telling them this is what we‘re going to do; don‘t move, we‘ve got no play, they were all, "no, let‘s do this." I don‘t know what it said to the defense and the other guys on the sideline. We just went back on the sideline and we talked about what we were going to do the next drive. That was it.
Do you think the fact that you guys have struggled to make plays factors into the coaches‘ thinking there?
Probably. I don‘t know. They don‘t talk to us about that stuff. That‘s their thing.
You still had a couple of drives there in the fourth quarter.
Yeah, you know, we shouldn‘t have been in that position where we had to go on fourth down. We had other opportunities later that I didn‘t complete balls that I should complete. If I complete the passes I‘m supposed to, that fourth down is irrelevant.
There have been a lot of dropped passes by the receivers the past few weeks. Are you doing anything in practice to try to fix those?
We did a little bit last week. I got all the guys out afterwards and was just throwing deep balls, really high and just had them adjust. But other than that, they do a lot of drills in practice and a lot of catching on the jugs afterwards. They do a lot of stuff.
Have you looked at the Minnesota defense?
Yeah, I looked at the Wisconsin game. Wisconsin hit a few big plays on them, a few trick plays, too, that put points on the board. I didn't watch Minnesota‘s offense. I don‘t know what that did, but they did a pretty job because it was like five points in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin was very multiple in a lot of stuff they were doing, a lot of play action. Minnesota‘s defense looks good. They‘re real aggressive with their safeties and corners. I know that. They come down real hard on the run. It‘s just something that we‘re going to have to game plan around.
How important is this game? Why is winning important?
Winning is really important, every game. But we haven‘t won in the Big Ten since I think Purdue, which was a long time ago. We need a win in the Big Ten. No one wants to finish losing, obviously, and neither do they. It‘s going to be their senior day and they‘re going to be ready to go. They have confidence. They won last week. They haven‘t beaten us in a while. We‘re just going to have to surpass their level of intensity.
I don‘t know. That‘s hard. Ohio State‘s offense is at the top of its game as well as Michigan‘s defense. That‘s going to be an unbelievable game. Ohio State might have a little edge since it‘s in Columbus, but it‘s going to be fun to watch. Hopefully we‘ll see a little bit of it after our game. It‘s worth the hype.
Are there any quick fixes for the offense in a week? What can you do in a week?
I don‘t know, probably don‘t hold anything back, let it all hang out, just play and have fun and not worry about the season, the bowl, our record, the Dome, anything.