"This is the most exciting weekend in Big Ten football you have all the rivalry games, Northwestern playing Illinois, Indiana at Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa and of course we get to go to the Big House and compete with Michigan. Just a tremendous weekend we're looking forward to and it's an exciting weekend for the conference."
On whether he expects a surprise police dog inspection in Ann Arbor this year like Michigan received in Columbus last year:
"I know it's normal for our busses and bags and all the rest to be inspected, that's just the times we live in. When you have a venue like we have here in Columbus on the day of the Ohio State-Michigan game like you'll have in Ann Arbor on the day of the Ohio State-Michigan game. That's part of what you do, no I don't think we'll have any surprises or anything. Obviously we regret if there were any surprises a year ago, they certainly were not intended. In this moment in history, security of everyone not just the players and coaches, but the fans, trainers, doctors, media folk, or whoever. That's part of the world we live in and we expect it."
(Ed note: just to be clear, and for the record; fans going into the game that day were not faced with police dogs, and no other team playing at OSU last year was searched outside the OSU stadium, or at its hotel for that matter.)
On if he regrets how he handled Troy Smith and rotating quarterbacks:
"It wasn't just about football, we were taking care of consequences you have to face when you don't do things exactly right. I thought we took care of that teaching moment and did what we had to do for the good of the individual. You just have to press forward and do the best you can with whatever circumstances you have so no I don't have any regrets on how we handled it."
On whether he thinks Troy Smith will continue to play as well as he has:
"This is a tough defensive football team he's going to face in a tough environment. It's a great challenge for him it's a great challenge for the guys that will be on the field at the same time with him. We certainly hope that he can continue to be efficient and make good decisions and so forth but that's what Saturdays is for to find that out."
On how much forgiveness could come from the fans with another great Michigan performance from Troy Smith:
"Oh gosh, I hope it's not based upon good games! I hope forgiveness is something that's apart of all of us. We all make mistakes and we all pay the consequences. I just happen to believe forgiveness is the right thing and I don't know that you have to throw touchdown passes or win games in order to hope to be forgiven."
On if his offense is tremendous now:
"Well, we really think we're improving. I'm not ready to say we are tremendous by any means. You have to go out each Saturday and see what you can do against the people your playing against that day. I happen to know having watched a ton of film of Michigan's defense that they are a very fine defense, that's going to be a tremendous test for our offensive guys. I hope we improve from last week. I think we've been improving throughout the course of the year. Again, like that (Michigan) countdown clock points out that really what's important what do you do when the clock strikes zero. What are we going to do Saturday at 1:06 offensively. That's the fun of preparing.
On Ohio kids playing for teams in the Big Ten:
"It's been going on for years and years and years. Ohio produces a ton of good college football players. This particular year there's 89 guys on Big Ten rosters that aren't on our roster. Our response to that is we're real proud of the kids we have. There's some guys you wish you had them as well, but that's not the way things work. There's some great kids from Ohio playing up at Michigan. I think has been one of the things over the course of time has even further intensified this rivalry. I remember when we had Pepper Johnson from Detroit, Craig Krenzel from Detroit playing for us and those type of things. So our response to that is we're awfully proud of Ohio high school football."
On if John Cooper didn't understand the rivalry as good as him:
"I'm not sure that's fair to say that John didn't understand that, actually he's a Tennessee guy. Everyone in SEC country understands the importance, whether it's Tennessee-Alabama, Florida-Georgia or Ohio State-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama. A guy that was around the game his whole life like he was, he understood that. He played against some great Michigan teams, had some really tight football games and so forth. Perhaps the fact I grew up in Ohio and it was part of my growing up that my dad happened to be a football coach at the smaller level and his season was typically over. You know you don't see your dad much during football and about the time the Ohio State-Michigan game rolled around was the first time you saw him for more than five minutes during the course of the season and you got to sit down and watch a game with him. You can talk about that in all the households in Ohio and Michigan. It's one of those special things people enjoy together. Do I intimately understand how privileged we are to be apart of it? Perhaps. I think it's a little unfair to say John or anyone else doesn't comprehend. I think anyone who knows football comprehends what rivalry games are all about.
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