Jeff Horton Press Conference - Intro

"I think looking back on the Ohio State game, obviously we got beat by a better football team. I think they dominated us in all areas. They are very talented, and the farther we got behind, I think the more it showed. We just couldn't keep up.The thing I was disappointed in, I thought we got sloppy...

Horton presser part 1 -

Horton presser part 2 -

"I think there in the second half when we have a punt block for a touchdown, we have a sack, fumble recovery run in for a touchdown, those are things that probably disappoint me more than anything. Because I think we've done a good job protecting the football, protecting the quarterback this year.

"We got sloppy there. And then in the special teams, there's no excuse for me for that to happen. So playing Ohio State, giving them any points, is not conducive to even having a chance to win.

"I thought we started well in that game. Obviously we scored in four plays. The first time we had the ball. We only had five plays in the first quarter, and then when we got in the second quarter there, down 14 7, we drove it down well again and then we missed the field goal.

"You can just kind of feel the momentum get sucked out of you a little bit there. I was mentioning last week, we need to take advantage of every opportunity we get when we get a chance to score, we didn't do it. For a struggling football team it makes it that much harder because of the momentum shift.

"I remember in the second quarter, about five minutes left, maybe a little more, not much more, it was 17 7. And I actually felt pretty good where we were at that position, then we couldn't get out of the half quick enough. It ended up being 31-7.

"You get behind Ohio State 31-7, that's not a good thing. They're talented. They are going to be able to tee off on you and get after you. And like I said, when it got a situation there in the second half that we got sloppy and just didn't finish it the way we wanted to.

"I think Michigan State this week, they are a big, physical football team. They are obviously 8-1 and ranked. They are coming off a loss last week to Iowa, but they are still very talented football team.

"Probably if you look at the teams atop the Big Ten with them being one, you look at schedules, they have got the best path to the Rose Bowl, so we anticipate them coming back home and being ready to go and being prepared. And we'll have to get ourselves ready to go in there and get after them.

"I think they ran into a buzz saw there at Iowa. Iowa kind of had their backs to the wall after losing to Wisconsin a week before. They jumped out on them early. I think a couple of the interceptions they had big returns with, and then getting ahead 30-0 obviously when Iowa did, and when you get behind teams like that, it is hard to come back on them. But I know Coach Dantonio has done a great job there at Michigan State and he will have them refocused and recharged and ready to go this week.

"I think on offense they are very, very balanced. I think they run the ball very well. And they also pass the ball very well. They have had great success doing that this year. I think they have a talented group of receivers with Bell and Cunningham, the two backs, Baker and Bell are both kind of a double headed monster.

"Kirk Cousins, the quarterback, has done an outstanding job this year, very consistent. Delivers the ball, spreads it around very well. And they are big and strong up front.

"Defensively they are very aggressive. I think they have the best linebacker in the country in Jones. He's all over the field making a lot of plays. And Worthy up front, the D lineman is very good. And last week you saw Rucker come back and play, and I know he is listed to start this week. And they like to blitz.

"You know, I'd say they blitz over 50% of the time. So we have to be prepared for that because they are really going to get after us. And obviously as the game went on the other day, Ohio State had some success doing that, so we have to be prepared and ready to answer that.

"I think the biggest thing, we need to respond. We need to really kind of circle up and get ourselves ready to go and regroup and refocus and re-channel our energies to get going. I think it's a tough stretch obviously we are in. Losing this many games in a row is not fun, it is not easy, and it tests you as a person.

"And you have to keep marching on and moving forward, starting with me as a head coach for that. I am counting on all of us to respond to it, players and coaches. Have a great week of practice and get ourselves ready to go Saturday at 12:00 there at Michigan and get ready to beat Michigan State there in their home stadium. It would be a tremendous challenge.

"I think if you look at the depth chart, you see that we had some changes. I think the biggest thing right now, you know, we're thin in the offensive line. I think Matt Carufel is very doubtful that he will play.

"Dom Alford is very doubtful that he will play, so that basically leaves us with one lineman backing up all five positions, being Ryan Wynn. If something happens to two of them, we probably will slide big Curt Hughes down and he will have to be a lineman. But hopefully we can get out of that game with that going on.

"On defense, I change a few things. Kendall Gregory McGhee probably starts for us at defensive end. And we move Anthony Jacobs inside and give him a chance there. Some things we dealt with there that I will put out, suspended Brandon Kirksey for one game. I love his passion, I love his energy. I like what he brings to the practice and to the field every day.

"There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and as leader, a captain, I thought he let us down as that person. So we had a good talk on Sunday and he will be suspended for this game, and I fully anticipate him to come back next week and play his best game of the year against Illinois.

"You'll notice Ra'Shede Hageman and Michael Carter not on the depth chart. I think it is in their best interests that they focus entirely on academics. Trying to do what is best for this football team and for the next coach coming in. That he has as many guys back as he possibly can. And I think they need to channel all that focus and energy into making sure they are ready to go for the spring semester.

"So with that obviously we had some shuffling, but it was something we felt needed to be done. And again, I think it's in those young man's best interests."

Courtesy: University of Minnesota

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