Ohio State Post Game: Coach Carr

In Coach Lloyd Carr's post game presser he commented on injuries, the play of Troy Smith, whether the offense played to its potential this year, and more.

Opening statement:

"Disappointing loss. I think that's pretty evident. It was a great football game. Give Ohio State credit. I think Try Smith obviously made some unbelievable plays that enabled them to pull that game out. I thought we did a lot of great things. We won the turnover battle, which normally means that you've got a great chance to win. I thought we did a great job in the kicking game and we did some very good things defensively, but we couldn't run the football. In the end Try Smith was the difference in the game."

On if so many close losses this season tells him anything about the team:

"It tells me lost to a great football team today. I'm disappointed…we're all disappointed in the game, but I'm not disappointed in the guys we have. I think they played their hearts out. I thought they played with great effort, but it just wasn't good enough today."

On if he gave any thought to going for in on 4th down on the last offensive series:

"I didn't give any thought to it. Houston, I think, is a great field goal kicker. We gained 26 yards on the exchange, which is almost three first downs. They needed a field goal to win there, so I never gave that a though because had we gone for it and not made it then they're on the 36 yard line and they're two, maybe three first downs away from field goal position. So that was an easy call."

On injuries:

"Well, there's no question that injuries have impacted our ability to run the football. Jake Long is as courageous a guy as you'll ever see. They're all courageous up there, but Jake Long hurt is other foot (not the one that sidelined him for the first seven games of the year) last week in the Indiana game and he is going to have surgery sometime this week. He'll miss the bowl game. They felt that he couldn't damage it or hurt it anymore, and that it was safe to play. He played….I don't know how he played. Leo Henige broke his leg and he will miss the bowl game. Of course Adam Kraus was out. Injuries are all part of it, and we've certainly had more than our fair share, but that's part of the game as well. That's just what it is."

On Mike Hart:

"He could not go back in. He was not full strength going in. I don't know how close he was, but he got nicked up in there. My guess is it will be hard for him to come back, but we'll have to see. He's a resilient guy."

On going for in on 4th and inches earlier in the game:

"I went into this game with the standpoint that we were going to play to win. I went for it early…I don't know from what yard line we were on…but we were probably in field goal range. But we felt 4th and a yard…we had a good call if they ganged up…we checked to a pass that we thought would be good. And on 4th and an inch we felt it was a big opportunity to maintain possession and help our defense. It was worth the gamble."

On if he can say anything to make the team feel better after the loss:

"Well there is nothing that can make you feel better after losing in this game. There's absolutely nothing. And yet, I think they know that I'm proud of them as people. As competitors. As guys who fought the great fight all year long. "

On the Troy Smith Long completion to Tony Gonzales on the last drive:

"Well, we had him. There were two plays that Smith made. We had them 3rd and 10 and he scrambled to his left to our sideline. We had position to make a tackle. We would have had him fourth and probably four to five yards. But he made a great move there to evade a tackle. It looked to me like we had him for a sack on the play where he scrambled out of there. I don't know exactly what happened. But that was without question the biggest play of that drive…maybe the biggest play of the game."

On if they played defense any differently in that last drive or if it was it just a great showing by Smith:

"I think he threw the football awfully well, for the most part, all day long. He made some big throws. They dropped a couple, but I thought he did a great job. I think defensively we did a great job. That's a difficult offense to defend when you have three receivers that have the speed that they have with Ginn, Holmes, and Gonzales…and really, a very good back. I thought we did some very very good things. They put together a drive to start the game which made it very very difficult for us. I thought the way we responded…we played well the rest of the half defensively. We held them to a field goal there at the end of the half, where a touchdown would really have put us in a bad situation. And then we came out and we caused two turnovers that gave our offense great field position. We mixed the coverages. We played zone, w played man, we blitzed…he made some plays."

On if he looks back on the losses this season and thinks about what might have been:

"No because I'll have time to evaluate all of the games in this season when we're done. I think the main thing is to try to stay focused on the next game. Try to get ready to compete, and try to win."

On if the offense reached its potential this year:

"Well, I told you earlier in the season…and again, I think you have to be fair to the players…this team has been the most unlucky team I've ever been around. We've not had the continuity you need to develop as a team. If you ask me could we have been a more productive offense…yes we could've. But I think based on the situation we had today, I thought our offensive coaches found some ways to do some things without Mike Hart. Jerome Jackson missed Tuesday's practice. Without getting hit, he planted and turned his ankle. So he missed the game. But I'm not here to talk about what ifs or injuries or anything else."

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