Hill Runs Forward

Putting the Michigan game behind him, much like the majority of his teammates, junior running back P.J. Hill is looking forward to his first game against the Buckeyes and another electric night atmosphere at Camp Randall.

You have personally yet to play against Ohio State. Are you excited to get out there in the limelight and play these guys?

Yeah I am ready. I am very excited about playing them. I didn't get a chance to play them last time because I was injured the weak before. I was on the sideline last year, cheering my guys on. Now this year I am feeling healthy and getting myself prepared to play.

When you evaluate how you played in the Michigan game, what did you like and what did you see that you need to go better?

I just think that overall we had a lot of mistakes and that stuff is on film and we need to learn from. That's what we did. It's over. It's in the past. We just need to move on and prepare ourselves for this year. We can't play Ohio State thinking about Michigan. That's a different team and our focus is O-State.

You're 0-1 in the conference heading into a night game. Do you put too much pressure on yourself to be too amped for this game?

There's not going to be any change. We come into the camp and we have Badger fans on our side. It's going to give us a little more motivation but when we are on that field and between those lines, we've got to handle our business and that's what we are going to do.

Several of you have said that you're going to forget about Michigan. What's the mood in the locker room like right now? Are guys angry?

Guys are angry in very good terms but they are going to put that together and put that into this week of preparation and do the things we have to do. Nobody likes to lose but it happened and we can learn from. Our focus is now watching film on O-State and preparing ourselves for this Saturday.

Do you like the shotgun formation that you guys are doing a lot more of?

We have always had the shotgun in our formation but we probably didn't really use it as much. It gives our quarterback a little more time but when we call a play on the field, we've got to execute. Every man has got to do their job and you have to play for the man next to you. It's not one person. When we play together as a team, we're going to be good.

Do you like the option and do you think it's been an effective strategy?

I don't know. Whatever the coaches call. I think they are going to throw that out the window (laughing). I think that one is going out the window. We need to get ourselves real prepared for this week.

The two linebackers for Ohio State No.33 (James Laurinaitis) and No.1 (Marcus Freeman), what do they do well that you have to get people on them so they don't come to you?

They are very strong, athletic and get on high and get off blocks. We watched a little film and when you get on those guys, you can make a big difference. All you need to do is get up to them and get on them. They are very agile. They are going to make you work and not make it easy. I am always up for a challenge and I know my guys are. You play against a good defense like that and you have to show what you are about.

The difficult part is getting a hat on those guys?

Yeah. They're going to be moving around. They've got to make their plays but we've got to move the ball down the field and get a hat on a hat. That's about it.

Is that especially true when they are on blitz and you have to pick up a block? Are you prepared to take on these beasts this weekend?

I wouldn't call them beasts. It's just another man out there. Another football player. Once you are in the position to make a play and do something for your team, you've got to take advantage of the opportunity that you have and we started preparing ourselves for that today.

You said you want to forget about the Michigan game but how important is it to come back home and play a big-time opponent after you took a bump on the road?

It's very important. It's film that we can watch and learn from. That's in the past. It's a whole different scene and a whole different scheme, whole different defense we are playing against. We have to prepare ourselves a whole different way. It's going to be good to be having our Badger fans on our side. Our line is great, very energetic and very motivated. When we play here, it's going to be a good thing for us.

From a player's perspective, how much do you look forward to playing a night game here?

I love playing night games here. It's not early and you actually get everybody here (the students) on time and cheer for us. It's a great environment. It's even louder but once we are on that line, you got to play and perform well because a lot of our family and friends are going to be here. You want to perform for them, your teammates and the coaching staff to show that you have prepared yourself.

Are you aware how successful you have been in night games recently?

(laughing) Yeah. Yeah.

Is there a reason that you guys have been successful the last 20-some night games?

I don't know the reason. I think the whole environment helps us out a lot too. It gets us pumped up because the whole stadium is filled up around the time we step out on to the field. It's not early and you get that blood rushing, get more time for warm ups to get yourself right and your mind right and get yourself ready to play.

Going forward, what's the biggest thing this offense needs to do to find that steady rhythm and get some points on the board?

It's a bunch of different little things. It's all about execution. Once a play is called out there, we've got to be able to execute. We've been up and down with that but it's all about being prepared and preparation. It's about every man doing their job and once every man is doing their job, we execute.


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