For the first time in over a year, Ohio State players faced the media the Monday after a loss.
The morning started with an Urban Meyer press conference in which the coach said he will be more involved with play calling going forward and that while he did not agree with the forum of Ezekiel Elliott’s postgame comments, he couldn’t argue with the message regarding the play calling and the running backs sparse carries against Michigan State.
Following those comments, junior Joey Bosa, sophomore Raekwon McMillan and seniors Tommy Schutt, Joshua Perry, Jacoby Boren and Taylor Decker spoke about the loss to the Spartans and how they can regroup with a looming rivalry contest with Michigan.
“I think (Elliott) said what a lot of people were scared to say,” Bosa said.
The lineman added that he didn’t fully accept the 17-14 loss that snapped a nation-leading 23-game winning streak until about 30 minutes after the game and that the whole thing felt like a dream.
Bosa also addressed the stress he’s felt this season and the confidence he has that something positive will come from the defeat.
One positive the Buckeyes can look to is the opportunity to top their rival Saturday. A win at Michigan would give the Ohio State’s four-year seniors a perfect 4-0 record against the Wolverines.
Senior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt talked about the appreciation he has gained for the rivalry since coming to Ohio State from Illinois.
Josuha Perry is another player with a chance to go 4-0 against Michiga, but that will only happen if they can move on from the loss to the Spartans. He spoke about what he holds on to coming off the Michigan State loss, what the team needs to let go and how they move on from here with the rival looming. The captain also addressed the comments from Elliott and offered his thoughts on what the running back had to say.
Perry also spoke about the Buckeyes level of preparation for the game against the Spartans, which he said could not have been higher, and the difficult process of trying to be perfect. Like Michigan State, Michigan runs more of a pro-style offense than the spreads that the Buckeyes have often faced this year and Perry knows that impacts how the linebackers must do their jobs.
Fellow linebacker Raekwon McMillan is preparing for his second game against Michigan and first start in the rivalry. He grew up in Georgia, but said The Game has made an impression on him.
Senior Jacoby Boren did grow up with the rivalry. His father played Mike Boren played football for Michigan under legendary coach Bo Schembechler and his oldest brother, Justin, played for the Wolverines before transferring to finish his career at Ohio State.
Jacoby is the third Boren to play at Ohio State after middle brother Zach Boren played fullback dn linebacker for the Buckeyes. The senior center spoke about his family’s unique place in the rivalry.
Fellow lineman Taylor Decker remembers what it’s like to lose a game and worse yet remembers what it’s like to drop two in a row as the Buckeyes did just that the in 2013. The first loss in that streak was to Michigan State and Decker said the best way to get over this defeat is a rivalry win.