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The Ohio State Buckeyes react to a sluggish win over Northern Illinois

The Buckeyes beat Northern Illinois 20-13 Saturday and while a win is a win, there was disappointment in the team's performance.

For the second straight week Ohio State was forced to rely on a dominant defensive perforance thanks to a sluggish, ineffective offense. Here is what the players and coaches had to say about the narrow 20-13 win over the the Huskies.

LB Darron Lee

On his interception returned for a touchdown:

"If I can give my team a spark or help my team win, that’s all I can ask for and that’s all I can be happy for. It’s a great feeling to get to the end zone. I’m happy I got that pick. It’s good to help my team win."

Head Coach Urban Meyer

On if he is dissapointed in the continued uneven play of the offensive line:

"Sure, these are veteran kids that have been playing together for couple years, second year playing together, with the addition of Chase (Farris). And that's kind of, when you think of big wins we've had around here because you're displacing people, and we're a play action team on top of that. That's when things are going downhill fast, when you get (Ezekeiel Elliott) and you see him busting through there and play action off of that.

"And we're not hitting it. We haven't really had -- against Virginia Tech, the Bears, we were discombobulated. Last week was all odd, and then this week they went to all odd, and we're having trouble with that right now."

On if he knows who is starting quarterback is:

"I don't know that right now. I haven't had time to think about it."

LB Joshua Perry

On the way the defense is playing right now

"It feels good. It shows the work that we put in. I remember my sophomore year, we were awful at pass defense. Even early on last year, we struggled a little bit. I am thinking back to the Cincinnati game we played in where we had some struggles. We have definitely made improvements. Another thing that we need, is to keep the consistency. We need to always have intensity, and I think we do a good job of that. But the season is long, and things change so for us it's going to be about the consistency of our work and our intensity in everything we do."

RB Ezekiel Elliott

On the poor play of the offense:

"We’re not playing well, we’re not executing and we’re not paying attention to the details of the game. We got a lot of dumb penalties. First play of the game, we had a good start to the drive but there was a bad motion. I think we need to focus on attention to detail and we’ll get better."

LT Taylor Decker

On the team's overall play:

"First, our defense played awesome. Our defense was amazing. They saved us. I love my guys, I love my guys on the offensive line, and it's just, you prepare for one defense, they come out in another one. Obviously everyone is going to play odd against us now. We've showed that we struggled against it. That takes away our double teams and what we like to do, run the ball up the middle. It creates problems for us. We just have it iron out those wrinkles. We just have to get better. We're not where we want to be. But we'll get this figured out. We definitely will get it figured out."

On the frustrations of the offense:

"It's just really frustrating knowing what we're capable of and what we can do to teams, and we're not playing up to that level. If it was the best we were capable of, that is what it is, but it's simply not. We just have to get it figured out."

DE Sam Hubbard

On the in-game work of defensive line coach Larry Johnson:

"I would say he coaches effort a lot. He wants to see relentless effort. First he’ll start off with the Xs and Os, telling us what we need to do. Then he’ll give us some inspiration for why we need to get to the quarterback and how we’re going to be great, which is really helpful to me because it’s never anything negative. It’s always constructive."

CB Eli Apple

On if the defense is feeling pressure to step up when offense struggles:

"I wouldn't say any more pressure, we just have more opportunities to go out there and make plays. That's how we have to take it. Sometimes the offense is not going to be doing what they're doing, and getting yards and scoring points. Sometimes we have to pick it up, and we are cool with doing that."

Defensive Coordinator Luke Fickell

On if the defense is exceeding expectations:

“I don’t know that you can ever exceed expectations here. That’s just the reality, you set that bar really high. Those guys got to know the expectations. Whether it’s been two years ago when maybe we struggled a lot more at times, the expectations aren’t going to change and they understand it and they love it.”

S Vonn Bell

On how it feels to be on the unit that is carrying the team:

“It’s a heck of an honor. We know those guys will put points on the board, they’re a little sluggish right now, we just got to hold the load right now, keep on balling. These guys is playing really good football right now so I’m really proud of this defense and the coaching staff. We just got to keep on going and get better every week.”

On the play of the defensive line:

“Oh yeah, they came today. Big time sacks, quarterback pressures, we got the quarterback running everywhere. Hats off to those guys. Those guys keep on rotating fresh and coming in and they just making plays. I love it.”


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