Quoting Ohio State @ Postgame News ConferenceHead Coach Jim Tressel
I’m so proud of this group, especially our seniors who took over a young team in August and had high expectations and had some tough moments. But they never wavered and they never questioned the direction they were going to end up and the young guys came along and improved as we went. Our second half of the year was pretty solid and they prepared extremely hard for this football game. In fact, they prepared so hard that we didn’t even practice on the 30th or the 31st because they were ready.
I’m so proud of them. Kurt Coleman led that defense, Terrelle Pryor did a great job leading that offense and making plays. I’m proud of the coaching staff, our fans showed up a long way from home, and just a great night for the Buckeyes.
Just talk about them obviously passing a lot more than you guys had for most of the season. What’s the reasoning behind that? We felt that we needed to be balanced against this team. The passing game begins with protection, and we’ve been a little healthier in the back half of the year up front, and it obviously helped our running game. We were in some games where we felt what we needed to do was control the clock and run the ball and this game we felt like we really needed to come in flinging it around and being as balanced as we could. We felt like as long as we were doing it well, we’d have a chance to keep doing it.
I thought TP (Terrelle Pryor) made good decisions. He not only made good decisions as to who to go to, he made good decisions when to throw it away and when to step up and run. He was engaged in the game, talking in the game between series, knew what they were doing and why they were doing it.
Any time you get a month to work to get better, it’s like having a whole spring practice or something. I felt like we got better.
They gave you some trouble early on with some stunts. How did you counteract that strategy? Well, they’re a blitz team. They love to bring people off the edge, they love to apply pressure. That’s what they do on offense. They apply pressure, that’s what they do in their special teams. Their M.O. is that they attack. I thought our offensive line did a good job. I thought that in some of our quick game early on, Terrelle had some key third-down conversions on our quick read when they were bringing a lot of folks.
You knew going into this game you were going to get pressure. If you thought they were going to sit back there and play soft zone defense or something, that’s not the way Oregon plays.
What did you do on the 30th and the 31st, because obviously you worked: We just had walk-throughs and meetings. The 30th was a little bit rainy, and the fields weren’t in wonderful shape with the rain. And then on the 31st, which was like our Friday, that’s typically a walk-through day for us anyway. So we just felt like we were ready. We had been working hard. We had been working since the first couple days of December.
Talk about the importance of that last field goal at the end of the first half, and also, talk about the fact were you a little bit surprised on 4th-and-1 where they went for the field goal late? Well, getting the points at the end of the half was important. Chip (Kelly) was calling timeouts before the half while we had the ball because he wanted it with a minute to go to try to get points for them. It was that kind of game that you knew every possession, every opportunity was going to be key. We happened to come up with a turnover, and then our guys moved it down and got those three points.
As far as going for the field goal at the end, that kicker was like 14-for-16 or something crazy this year. They were going to need a field goal at some point, so they figured because it was a nine-point game, why not get it now. I think if he would have made that field goal, it would have looked like a very, very sound decision. When you miss that put the pressure on them.
We’ve seen Masoli play all year, and he hasn’t had any kind of game this season like he had today. What did you guys do to keep him from having control of the game? Well, I thought our guys prepared extremely well, and we were going to make sure that he wasn’t running scot-free. He did get in the end zone, and he did break a couple in there. I thought he made a couple nice throws. But we played our defense. Our kids prepared extremely hard on defense. We’ve been saying that all year long. They really put the time in and the effort in. They play together, and they’re a tight bunch. They can put pressure on you, and if you can put pressure on the quarterback, especially in Oregon’s system, as good as he is, if you can keep a little heat on him, it’s going to give you a lot better chances, just looking at the stats, to hold them to 12 first downs. That’s incredible. So our defense got it done.
Jim, as far as Terrelle Pryor, how close is he to reaching his potential, or is he just scratching the surface? We have ongoing discussions as to how we’re progressing. We felt like that this was a pivotal game because it marked the end of the first half of his career and that we felt like we needed to progress a little bit more. I think we did. I think we have to watch the film and look at the whole situation just to see how close we are to where we want to go. But we have some very definitive goals as to how good we would like to be and how good he would like to be at his craft. I thought tonight was a good step.
Safety Kurt Coleman and Quarterback Terrelle Pryor
Defenses were embarrassed on film this year where defenders were going one way and Masoli is going another way. What did you guys do to maintain the discipline to keep him and really the offense in check?
KURT COLEMAN: For us it was playing our assignment football. We felt like if we could keep someone in his face and make him make quick decisions it would play into our hands. They tried to throw some formations at us, and we felt like we could run with them from sideline to sideline.
Terrelle, when you were recruited by the Buckeyes, you said you wanted to help them get over that little hump in the big games. Is this what happened tonight?
TERRELLE PRYOR: I don’t know how to answer. I’m just so glad to be a part of this team, with how hard we work and where we want to be, and these seniors, we needed to come out and win for these seniors. The offense did a great job to help out the defense, because our defense, they’ve been carrying a lot this year sometimes, and we’re just glad we got out there and tried to help them out as much as we could, and we did pretty good.
Terrelle, when you first saw the game plan about coming out passing like you did, what was your reaction to seeing that, and how would you rate your performance tonight?
TERRELLE PRYOR: I was very excited when Tressel said we were coming out to win it. We knew what we could do. Sometimes we have to run the ball and let the clock out because we have control of the game. That’s what happened when Ohio State is having those 60-yard pass games. Without the linemen blocking just so well like they did today, it’s crazy how well they did. You wouldn’t recognize it.
Sometimes it’s my fault when they get in because it’s good protection and I have to know who’s coming, but they really didn’t let anyone get to me today. The receivers caught the ball well, what was it, 23 completions or something like that? We’re just going to keep on getting better, and the linemen played great.
Kurt, Oregon scores on the first possession in the second half. What was done or what was said to inspire defense to shut them out the rest of the way?
KURT COLEMAN: As soon as we came into halftime we knew they were going to get the ball back first. One of our big sticklers about this whole year has been not coming out in the second half and being table able to stop the offense. They had a long kickoff return, which put them in good field possession.
We talked about we had a couple of thirddown conversions, and I think they had a fourth down on that drive. That was kind of the biggest thing or the only knock out say on our defense this game is we couldn’t get off the field at critical times. We went down and scored and came back and said it’s a close game, it’s a tie game and we’ve got to get back after that. It was 0-0 and we had to get back out on the field and pressure the QB and get after those guys.
What do you think this victory does for the perception of Ohio State and maybe the Big Ten?
TERRELLE PRYOR: We needed it, just for the Big Ten as a whole in general because I know we battled them all year long, but we’re also playing for each other because it’s a rep. We’re playing for each other, and when schools like Penn State are playing in other Bowls. It’s a reputation for us. It was huge for us to get over that hump and win this game, and we’ve just got to keep on winning.
Kurt, kind of speaking for all of the seniors and the empty feeling after the last few years, what’s it mean to play your final game and go out with a win?
KURT COLEMAN: It’s been such a great win. These four years have been great, and I think after every loss that we’ve had at the end of every Bowl has been a learning experience, and last year we were so close to winning, and I think that was one of our biggest motivation factors going into the off-season. Throughout this Bowl preparation we’re not going to win starting from the scout team all the way to the coaches. We put in the hard work, and it paid off, and I think everyone just let it all out on the field today.
Being around for four years, you’ve been around a lot of big game losses. What do you think it means for this program going forward to finally get that big game win?
KURT COLEMAN: I’ve been saying all along that we’re good enough and we can compete with anybody in the nation. There are some games that we just didn’t execute, and I think you go back to National Championship games we just didn’t execute well enough.
Today we played our best ball I think throughout the whole year. That’s what you have to do. We came to show up in this game, and we have the talent to run with anybody, but today we showed up and we played our brand of ball.
Terrelle, how close do you think you are to reaching your potential?
TERRELLE PRYOR: You know, really for myself it’s probably the sky is the limit. Without my teammates, I mean, I can’t do anything, without DeVier laying out four catches and catching the ball and Dane and the linemen just sweating, fighting for five seconds or what not, however long it takes to get the ball. Without them, I need everybody to work the ball with me. I need everybody to come together, and the defense, too, just keep playing how they always play and giving us a chance to get the ball.
We had some drives today, about 15 plays, 20-something plays, if we just keep on moving like that, I’ll be successful, everyone on the team will be successful. It’s not really about me. I’m just thankful to have the teammates I have.
How long have you been waiting to kind of have a game like this?
TERRELLE PRYOR: I don’t know, just — it’s hard to say, you know, because I thought I could have a game like this any time. We have a great defense that causes turnovers and causes the points on defense, and then our offense, we end up scoring, giving the ball to B sane or running down the field and we break another touchdown run or something like that. Sometimes we don’t need to throw the ball.
I mean, I’ve gotten a lot better in this Bowl practice, a lot better, just in and out, smart, and just meeting with Coach Tressel all the time, about ten minutes a day, staying in the film room, studying the film a lot more, and it helps a lot.
Do you sense that you’ve earned more of his trust?
TERRELLE PRYOR: I think you need to earn the head coach’s trust and even your teammates‘ trust in throwing the ball. Throwing the ball is a big thing. I had ten turnovers this year, but it was somewhat of forcing stuff. You know, you think you’re at a certain level and you can just sit in the pocket and throw the ball, but I was waiting a little bit too long, going through four or five reads, and that’s where my picks were coming from. I had a meeting with Coach Tressel and he calmed me down, and he knew what I was going through because I was trying to force too many throws trying to prove to everybody that I’m a quarterback and I wasn’t taking off when I could run and stuff like that. I need to use what I have, my feet, and try and throw the ball, so I need to use both.
What was your mindset on that 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter? Obviously that was probably the drive of the game for you guys:
TERRELLE PRYOR: I mean, starts up front, linemen blocked well. They were tired, but they just had fire in their eyes. I was just telling our guys, keep on, keep on, we need to get on top here. I think we were up by two, and if we kept at it, I knew for a fact our defense would get motivation from us because of how hard they work. I knew they’d get motivation and stop them, which they did, and DeVier made a great catch.
We’ve been practicing this throw for a while, and I finally got it after watching all the tapes and film from Peyton Manning and stuff like that and trying to get the footwork and getting the ball out. It’s was great execution on offense and as a whole.
Two things, Terrelle, it looked early on that run that you came up limping a little bit. Was that bothering you for a while?
TERRELLE PRYOR: Yeah, I mean, it was bothering me. I had a little PCL injury, and I was just trying to hide it a little bit and trying to ignore it. But sometimes it shows up. People see it, sometimes I start limping and stuff like that. I mean, it hurt. That didn’t matter. For these seniors, we wanted to send them out. It was four losses in a row, and we just wanted to send the seniors out with a win.
The other question is were you frustrated at all by the way the offense kind of went into that running mode the last part of the season, and were you anxious to have a game where you could come out and pass?
TERRELLE PRYOR: Don’t get me wrong, as a quarterback you don’t like running the ball. It’s kind of like being selfish, but you know, that’s not what we need. This is a big-time organization, Ohio State, and if you have to run the ball to win the game, that’s what you do. We have great running backs and they want the ball, too. So I had to get talked to a little bit. Whatever we need, I’ll take it for a W. If we’ve got to throw the ball, like today when coach said the game plan is we’re throwing, and we’re throwing the ball, I’m going to try to the best of my ability to do it, run the ball and to a run fake and take it to a defender. That’s what it’s about, offense. We’re just going to keep getting better and better. I just thank God I have the teammates like Kurt and the seniors, and I wish them all well.
Quoting Oregon @ Postgame News Conference
Head Coach Chip Kelly
I don’t know how many passes Pryor threw, but if you had known going into the game that he was going to throw as many as he did, would you have liked your chances and was it surprising they threw as many as they did? It was surprising to us. We felt watching their last couple of games where they didn’t throw it very much and were rather conservative, they came in and opened it up, and obviously Terrelle beat us.
How much did the clock figure into trying to get the field goal first at the five-minute mark? It didn’t. I mean, it’s not a clock issue. We’re down two scores so you need a touchdown and a field goal. It doesn’t matter which way you get it, if you get the touchdown or you get the field goal. We needed both. We felt we could kick it. He is a very good kicker for us, and at that distance we felt confident he was going to put it through.
Time of possession is not a big deal for you guys, but do you think maybe it mattered some more this time with how much more time Ohio State had the ball? No, time of possession, I was not worried about. I was worried about Terrelle Pryor.
What was the main problem with Masoli today? It was an uncharacteristic game for him: Yeah, they did a great job of taking him away and not letting him run a lot of our read stuff. They had a guy assigned to the quarterback, so he has to hand the ball off, and that’s what they wanted us to do, and we handed it off. Part of trying to defend us is you have to take something away, and they tried to take away the quarterback.
Chip, Jeremiah didn’t seem like he really got in sync passing the ball tonight. What was going wrong in the passing game? It’s always a passing game, it’s a combination of whether it’s a protection breakdown or getting to the right depth, the right routes. We had a drop or two that we thought we could convert late so he just kind on sat down, but we just missed it. We weren’t on the same page.
You mentioned that Terrelle hadn’t thrown the ball a lot lately, but was more the guy you saw recruiting him out of high school, just the more complete quarterback? No, when I saw him in high school he was a man amongst boys, and at times tonight he looked like a man amongst boys. He’s a lot bigger, stronger and more physical. He looks like a defensive lineman. He’s an impressive player when you see him up close. He certainly beat us on how he threw the ball.
What happened on the Blount fumble? There was a fumbled exchange. I don’t know exactly until I watch the replay, whether it was too high in the handoff, or we didn’t have the good pocket. I can’t tell you that until I look at the tape.
Did that have any deflation on the sidelines for you that play because it seemed like it was kind of a turning point: No, on our sideline we always felt like we were in it until kind of when the field goal was missed. We’ve still got a shot if we can stop them. But I don’t think at that point in time that that changed our mindset at all.
Can you blame not being on the same page on not having played in four weeks? No, those are excuses, and we don’t use them.
Can you talk about Kenjon’s play today in the return game, the run game? Kenjon’s special. We moved him over last spring. He was a great high school running back from down here, and we felt like when we recruited him that he was a defensive back, and we moved him over last spring. It only took a couple of plays when I knew he wasn’t going back.
He’s just a dynamic player with the ball in his hands, whether it’s in the return game or running the ball or catching the ball. You know, the great thing about tonight, and I know there’s a lot of negatives about tonight, and obviously losing to a very, very good football team, but I get to spend three more years with Kenjon.
Running Back Kenjon Barner and Defensive End Kenny Rowe
Kenjon, was there something you saw on their special teams tape? You obviously dominated them in special teams?
KENJON BARNER: Not really. It was just a matter of my teammates making good, holding their blocks, and making me a hole to run through. That’s pretty much all it came down to.
There was so much talk about LaMichael and LeGarrette, you kind of slipped through the cracks. Where do you kind of fit in there and did that bother you that you were not getting talked about much?
KENJON BARNER: Not at all. I’m not one of those kids that needs to be in the limelight. I’m just fine where I am. I’m making plays to help my team win, and that’s all that matters to me.
Kenny, what is it like trying to bring down Terrelle?
KENNY ROWE: It’s pretty tough. He slipped away a couple of times. He runs pretty hard. He’s got a good stiff-arm, too.
Kenny, how tough was it when they kept converting on third down? You just didn’t seem to get them off the field?
KENNY ROWE: It was pretty tough because every time we’d get late in the game and they’d get a third down. It was kind of frustrating.
Kenny, what was your reaction when they came out and basically stuck six straight passes. They don’t throw the ball a lot?
KENNY ROWE: Well, the plan was to make him throw the ball, but when he threw it that good, the plan didn’t go well.
Kenny, you take a 17-16 lead there in the third quarter and then Ohio State goes down and gets a field goal and retakes the lead. How did that change the momentum for your team, especially defensively?
KENNY ROWE: It didn’t really change momentum. We held them to field goals rather than touchdowns. We’ve just got to get them off the field on third downs late in the game.
Kenjon, looking back on the season, what do you feel making it to the Rose Bowl meant for you guys?
KENJON BARNER: This was a big thing for us. We’re a young team, and to be where we are with everything that we went through the injuries and all, I think that’s pretty impressive for your team.
It was good for us to get a taste, you know, get a taste of this Rose Bowl and get that feeling. Kind of tough to deal with this loss, but also get that hunger for next year, come back and want the National Championship, want everything, come back and fight.
Kenjon, coach said that they tried to take Jeremiah away from you and make him hand off. Had you faced a defense that was anything similar to what you faced today?
KENJON BARNER: You know, they did a great job. We can’t take anything away from them. They did a great job of staying contained, had their backer flowing, defensive backs. They did a great job of us. They studied well.
Kenjon, you said it’s great to get here, but how disappointing is it to lose this game? It’s a big game:
KENJON BARNER: You know, it’s tough to lose any game, but to get here to this stage, it’s extremely tough. It hurts. I don’t think any one of my teammates likes the feeling that we have right now, but this just gives us time to grow, time to come closer together, and just get back at it next year.
You mentioned it was nice to get a taste of this. Was that spoken to at all in the locker room after the game?
KENJON BARNER: No. Amongst us we felt that we deserved to be here. This is something we looked forward to all season, something that we played for, and to get the opportunity to play here, it was a great experience. But what I meant by getting a taste was just this game and how it’s played and everything that goes on with the Rose Bowl. They put on a great, great, great show for you, and just to come up a little bit short, it puts a sour taste in your mouth.
ONE-LINER QUICKIES Today’s attendance of 93,963 was the highest since 2006 (second highest in the last nine years) … This was the fourth straight Rose Bowl game (RBG) decided by two or more scores (and eighth in the last 10) … Ohio State now leads the all‐time series with Oregon by a 8‐0 count (first meeting since 1987, second Rose Bowl match with OSU winning the first 10‐7 on 1/1/58) … Ohio State’s appearance today was its 14th in the Rose Bowl, tying Washington for the third most all‐time (USC 33, Michigan 20 are leading); the Buckeyes are now tied for third in wins with Washington (7), behind USC (24) and Michigan (8) … OSU is now 77 in the Rose Bowl (first win since 20‐17 over
Arizona State in ’97), while Oregon is now 13 … The 26 points were the third most OSU has scored in 14 RBG games … Ohio State came into the came second in the nation in forcing the opponent into ‚three‐and‐outs” with 5.92 per game (71 total); the Buckeyes forced ‚only” three today, but at a 30% clip as
Oregon had just 10 possessions … Ohio State had 10 or more plays on five of 11 possessions, leading to a bowl TOP record (41:37) … The Buckeyes came into the game 13th in the nation in 3rd Down Efficiency defense (31.6%) and limited Oregon to 2‐of‐ 11 on the down … Ohio State scored 21 or more points for the seventh straight game against the Ducks … Despite five Oregon second half possessions starting on average at its 47, the Ducks scored only 7 points; by contrast, OSU started 7 of 11 drives at or
inside its 20 … OSU’s 11 third down conversion makes tied for the second most in RBG annals … OSU’s 419 yards of total offense was its fourth most this season, and the highest in five games
against ranked teams (previous best: 353 at No. 10 Penn State) … The Buckeyes held Oregon to its second fewest yards on offense (only Boise State in the opener held the Ducks to fewer than the
260 they had today—152).
FAST STARTERS Ohio State’s 10 first quarter points marked just the fourth time in 64 Big Ten Conference team appearances that a league team scored twice in the first quarter. They join
Michigan (17‐0 over Stanford, 1902; and 10‐7 over Washington, 1993) and Iowa (14‐0 over Oregon State, 1957) as the only teams to do it. Since 1992 (19 games), only two non‐Big 10 teams made
the scoreboard click twice, Washington (14‐0 over Purdue, 2001) and USC (14‐0 over Illinois, 2008).
HALFTIME The team leading at halftime has won eight straight since the last time there was a rally (Wisconsin over Stanford in 2000; the other two occasions the game was tied). Oregon was
trying to become the first Pac‐10 team trailing at halftime to win since Arizona State rallied over Michigan in 1987.
PLAY DIFFERENTIAL Ohio State ran 89 plays, third most in RBG history, while Oregon ran just 53, the eighth fewest; the difference of 36 is the second most in RBG history (Michigan held a 90‐24 edge over Stanford in the very first game in 1902).
ROSE BOWL GAME RECORDS BROKEN OR TIED
Most Field Goals Made— 3, Devin Barclay, Ohio State TIED RECORD Record: 3, by four others (last 2005, Garrett Rivas, Michigan)
Most Quarterbacks Sacks— 3, Kenny Rowe, Oregon TIED RECORD Record: 3, by three others (last 2004, Kenechi Udeze, USC)
Most Time of Possession—41:37, Ohio State RECORD Old Record: 37:53, UCLA vs. Illinois, 1984
Did you know?
•JR DE Kenny Rowe tied a Rose Bowl record and set the Oregon single-game bowl mark with 3.0
•Rowe also had a UO bowl-best 4.0 tackles for loss.
•Ohio State set a Rose Bowl record for time of possession at 41:37.
•Oregon’s bowl winning streak was snapped at two.
•The Ducks are 1-4 all-time in the Rose Bowl Game and 0-3 against Big Ten schools.
•UO’s 260 yards of total offense was its second lowest total of the season (152 at Boise State).
•Oregon’s 81 passing yards were a season-low.
•The Ducks‘ 12 first downs were their fewest in a bowl game.
•FR RB LaMichael James had his streak of 100-plus yard rushing games snapped at seven.
•SR RB LeGarrette Blount scored points in all three of his appearances this season, including
touchdowns in consecutive games to end his career.
•SR PK Morgan Flint moved up UO’s single-season scoring list and into a tie for fourth place
with 104 points.
•Flint missed a field goal for the first time in 13 tries, dating to Oct. 3 vs. Washington State.
•Kenjon Barner’s 37-yard run in the first quarter was the second longest of his career behind a 48-
yarder also in the Rose Bowl at UCLA this season.
•The Ducks failed to score first for the eighth time in 13 games this season.
•The crowd of 93,963 was the fourth largest to ever see the Ducks play.