Ezekiel Elliott's Interview After Ohio State's Loss To Michigan State

Ohio State junior running back Ezekiel Elliott said during a postgame interview that he won't be back with the Buckeyes next season. He also criticized the team's play calling in the loss to the Spartans.

Question: What are you feeling right now?

Ezekiel Elliott: “It’s been a real rough week for me. No one knows this, we kind of kept this under wraps, but earlier this week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I was hospitalized. I had an infection in my leg and honestly I didn’t even think I was going to be able to play during those days. It really took a toll on my body, but I was able to get back in practice Thursday and play in the game. But I mean about what happened today, it’s just kind of like a bad dream. Offense had a rough day. I think I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the play calling. I’m disappointed in the situations we were put in and I wish it all played out differently.”

Q: Was it disappointing to have just 11 carries?

Elliott: “It’s very disappointing. In the one drive that we had where we kind of had some momentum when we scored after the strip sack, the plays we ran, we ran a lot of gap schemes and we were gapping ‘em. You guys saw that on that drive when we had a lot of momentum and obviously we didn’t see those plays at all for the rest of the game. Those plays weren’t called anymore, I asked for those plays to be called and they weren’t. It just, it hurts, it hurts a lot just because of how we lost. I feel like we just weren’t put in the right opportunity to win this game. We weren’t put in the right situation to win these games. I don’t think Michigan State was better than us, they weren’t. But we didn't execute.”

Q: Were you lobbying for more of those play calls?

Elliott: “I was lobbying all game.”

Q: Why weren’t they listening to you?

Elliott: “It’s kind of been something we’ve seen all season, honestly. We’ll have some momentum, we’re calling plays that work and then we kind of try to play away from it and try to get cute.”

Q: Who are you talking about?

Elliott: “I’m talking about the play calling, so whoever calls the plays.”

Q: Who were you lobbying to?

Elliott: “I was lobbying to coach Meyer all game.”

Q: What was the explanation?

Elliott: “I’ve heard no explanation.”

Q: Were you healthy enough to play?

Elliott: “I was 100 percent tonight.”

Q: How does it feel to have the 100-yard streak snapped?

Elliott: “Honestly that’s not even what I’m thinking about right now. I don’t care if I would’ve had 100 yards today, I just wanted to win this game and kinda keep our playoff hopes alive. I mean I don’t know how it all can work out … I don’t know if we still have a chance to play in the Big Ten championship, I don’t know what’s ahead of us, but I got up in front of the team after the game and I told them like, ‘We’re bigger than this loss. If this is the worst thing that’s happened to us then we’ve had some great lives and we live great lives’ … I told ‘em that we’re family. We play for each other and we don’t have that much time left together, we really don’t. We gotta cherish the moments that we have with each other and we gotta go out there and compete for the rest of the season, no matter what and no matter what bowl game we play in. It doesn’t matter, we gotta go out there and we gotta finish strong.”

Q: Do you feel you deserve more carries?

Elliott: “I think I do deserve more than (12) carries. I think I really do. I mean honestly I can’t speak for the play calling, I don’t know what was going on, I don’t know what they were seeing, but honestly it didn’t work out. It wasn’t working.”

Q: What were your expectations of this game?

Elliott: “I mean honestly I go into every game planning to dominate and … man it hurts so bad. I honestly don’t know how to react right now. My grandpa was here from overseas, my grandpa lives in Finland and he … came to this game and it kinda hurts that he has to see me go out like this and I just wish that I was given an opportunity to do more.”

Q: Did you have to pass a fitness test to play today or where you clear to go?

Elliott: “No, I was clear all the way. I’m 100 percent. I’ll show you guys, I have a big cyst on my leg right now. That’s why I wore that big pad, that’s why I had that big pad … Honestly it just took me longer to get ready because I had to put that pad on so I missed going out with my group so I ended up having to warm up by myself.”

Q: What caused the infection?

Elliott: “I had a scratch on my leg and it just was a skin infection that kind of turned really bad. I had a 103-degree fever. I couldn’t walk it was so painful on my leg … Honestly at that point early last week, early this week, Monday-Tuesday. Tuesday I didn’t think I was gonna play. I was depressed in the hospital, crying like a baby, didn’t think I was gonna be able to play. But things turned around and I was able to go out and practice … with no difficulty.”

Q: What’s your mentality this week heading into the Michigan game?

Elliott: “Oh, we’re hungry. Honestly I’m personally not gonna let anyone slack off, back down on me. This game means the world to us and everyone in Ohio and we represent everyone in Ohio. I mean we’re gonna come out and we’re gonna play a hell of a ball game. It’s gonna look like a different team, it’s gonna look like a new team. I’m actually pretty excited to see how this team rebounds from this loss and I’m ready to forget about this and get to moving.”

Q: Did you think this could be your last game?

Elliott: “Honestly, this is my last game in the ‘Shoe. I mean, there’s no chance of me coming back next year. So I gotta make the most of my time left and I just want to thank Buckeye nation for just making this place so special and I’m sorry about tonight and, I mean, we’re gonna come out a different team next week.”


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