Ohio St. Football, October 20: Urban Meyer Press Conference

The Ohio St. Buckeyes, with an eye towards getting back into the Final Four college football championship talk, face off this Saturday against Penn St. Coach Urban Meyer discusses the upcoming game at his press conference today.

 

COACH MEYER: I just read somewhere we’re leading the nation in attendance. I never want that to go unappreciated. Drizzly rain out there, everybody was having a great time. We appreciate our Ohio State fans.

Once again was the quick start. I thought our coaches did a good job getting that going, and most importantly the players did. Champion efforts were wide receivers. Offensive champions, Evan Spencer. Hard for me to say he’s not one of our MVPs the way he’s playing for us. I know statistically sometimes it might not show up because we spread the ball so well right now, but he starts on kickoff now. He was one of our main guys on punt against Maryland when we had the tackle, that punt return, I just trust him with everything. It’s to the point we’re trying to find ways to reward him. That was the one time we threw to him three times, that was all me trying to reward a person that is selfless. Just love who he is right now.

Jalin Marshall is much improved, graded a champion. Tight ends, Jeff Heuerman, graded a champion. Nick Vannett, he must have had some missed assignments. Offensive line, Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, and Jacoby played well.

 

Player of the game was our tailback Ezekiel Elliott. J.T. Barrett, was he conference player of the week? He could have played a lot better. So I love when our coaches do that. There’s nothing quite like a guy that thinks he played great, then a position coach jumps right in the middle and says, This is what we could have done better.
Offensively you evaluate it against a team we have a lot of respect for. We consider them a 6-0 team coming into our home stadium. But offense we could have played a lot better. That was not one of our great days. But we expect more.
Defensively created three turnovers. Again scored a touchdown. Our third-down defense was excellent. The negative is we gave up some hits on a zone play. There was no excuse for that. I think they ran the same play and we didn’t adjust well, made some mistakes.
The champion efforts were Mike Bennett. Played very well. Joey Bosa. Tyvis Powell. Josh Perry. The guy that played his best game was Doran Grant. 98%. 12 opportunities, made 11 of them. His best game as an Ohio State Buckeye.
Special teams, one punt, went for a 53 net. Kickoff we didn’t do as well. We have some injuries we’re dealing with. Devan Bogard, still don’t know the final analysis on him. Dante Booker was pulled out of the game. I’m thinking someone else on kickoff I lost. So we’re going to have that conversation today about how we’re going to fill that most important unit, that very important unit.
I’ll answer your questions for you.

Q. You’re halfway through the regular season. Given the injury to Braxton, all that you’ve had to deal with, how happy are you with the team is right now?
COACH MEYER: I love coaching this team. When I look at our champions, I see Nick Vannett, J.T. Barrett, I want that mentality. If our expectations are higher than the players themselves, that’s a problem. That happens a lot. When you see a great player, we think you should be that, the player doesn’t think he should be that. The player disappears or doesn’t become a great player.
The good thing about J.T. Barrett, they had the conversation yesterday, but I wasn’t a part of that. But I like the way when coaches say, Okay, you’re Big Ten player of the league, but you didn’t play very well. Here is what you can do better. As opposed to, Great, job, great job, when it really wasn’t. I love the players the way they’re being coached, I love the responses. Enjoy coming to work every day when you have a team like that.

Q. Scouting report on Penn State?
COACH MEYER: Number one rush defense in the country, rush defense. Very well-coached up front. Good personnel up front. Tough guy Borland, tight middle linebacker. Real active. I think he leads the team on tackles. They do a very nice job. Number one in America against the run.
On offense, obviously we got a lot of respect for that big quarterback, Hackenberg. Tremendous player. Statistically came out of the chute high, high completion percentage. Struggled a little bit. But he’s playing very well.
Then they got just a boatload of tight ends. They try to play them all. It is a lot of 12, one back, two tight ends; 13, three tight ends, which in the past has given us a problem as far as run fits. They don’t run the ball particularly well right now, but they are a very good throw team.

Q. Could you elaborate on J.T., what is it that y’all saw Saturday that he wasn’t doing well?
COACH MEYER: Whenever you see illegal procedure, that’s the quarterback. That’s the leadership of the quarterback. It happened one time earlier in the year. I like the way he started. Someone told me he went nine for nine or something to start the game. We like that. That’s obviously very good.  But he misfired on a couple balls. Threw a ball behind Evan Spencer, missed on Dontre Wilson on a touchdown. A couple plays. But that happens.

When you see ‘graded down’, you don’t grade a guy down, you coach him up to throw the ball better. ‘Graded down’ is just the quarterback position. I think Tom will give you some insight more when you visit with him.

Q. We ask you every time you go on the road. How comfortable are you taking him into the white shirts, all that kind of stuff on Saturday night?
COACH MEYER: More comfortable now than several weeks ago. We did go on the road once, but obviously 110 is different than 50 some. We were there. I remember Shelley and I are both like, That’s one of the top five atmospheres we ever played in. We can expect that same type of reception. We’ll be ready.

I’m more comfortable than I’ve been. We have a new center who is not a new center anymore. He’s playing pretty good. By the way, I know he rolled his ankle a little bit, but he should be fine. More comfortable than we’ve been, but still glad we have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to get ready for it.

Q. Particularly on that 33-yard run, a screen call, they jumped it. He makes all these decisions and goes 33. What does that tell you about the way he’s come along as a decision maker, keeping his cool?
COACH MEYER: That might be as good an example. A lot of times quarterbacks on a drop-back pass, when it’s not there, a lot of times you will scramble. That’s kind of instinctive. When a screen is not there, that’s when you see guys twitch, panic. If you throw it down the field, it’s a legal man downfield. There’s all kinds of issues.

I credit Tom Herman. That’s not by accident. Those are well-coached players that understand the game. That was an impressive play. They dropped eight guys into coverage right to the screen. He put his foot in the ground and went north/south. That’s good stuff.

Q. Different strokes from Mike to Larry. Two ends of the spectrum personality-wise, maybe the way they coach. How has that worked out? Does that mean maybe you’ve changed a little bit as well?
COACH MEYER: The only thing I’d say is on the surface, that might seem so. I think they’re very similar guys. High-end character people, family-oriented guys that you want leading your players.

Mike is a former NFL guy. Those two guys are very similar. Larry is a very intense individual. His practices are very meticulous, like Mike was. I’d say they’re more similar than different.
Mike might let some colorful, I don’t want to use ‘language’, phrases or whatever, but other than that they’re very similar guys.

Q. Larry more fatherly?
COACH MEYER: I would say that. I don’t know, though. Mike did a heck of a job now. They’re very similar guys. They’re good coaches. I love who they are. I love what they stand for. My job is to make sure I have someone standing in front of them that are high, high end people that take care of them. Both those guys do.

Q. You talked a lot last year about wanting to have young guys ready to play because of injury. You talked after the game about a second team not being where you want it to be. The most important position on the field, when you lost your guy, Braxton, you had a young guy ready. The other positions, is it not where you want it to be?
COACH MEYER: It’s getting closer. The one area of concern is the defensive line. Larry, if you saw, we played 10 defensive linemen. All 10 didn’t play great. But we’re pushing it as hard as we can. We had a team meeting and addressed that. I had a couple guys stand up that weren’t doing their deal. As you get deeper into the year, we know it’s week seven, our goal is to compete for a championship in November. If you keep playing, you might have a chance to do that. That’s why everybody has to have value.

Certain positions, right now you have Curtis Samuel and Rod Smith. We don’t mind playing them at all. Wide receivers, your backups are darn near as good as your ones. Who is our starting receiver? Right now, I couldn’t tell you. I like to see rotation. Our two tight ends, very minimal difference.
So there are some positions. I pushed that as hard as I can. We actually played some guys in the game Saturday. Mike Hill did show something. Larry Johnson feels better about him right now.
That’s the essence. When you see teams win championships, that’s why. You lose your quarterback, J.T. Barrett, he’s been here for a while, he takes it very serious, Tom Herman does a very good job with it.
The ones that fail are the ones where the kids are not ready. That’s the coach’s fault. The kid has to be put in those situations. It’s also got to be an honest, hard conversation if he’s not ready.

Q. You’ve talked about your offensive line, how it’s coming along. Maybe the level of competition of defensive lines you faced wasn’t as good as what you saw with Virginia Tech. Rutgers you thought would be a step up. What did you learn about the offensive line? Is Penn State a step up?
COACH MEYER: Rutgers was a step up. I think Maryland, Rutgers, you’re getting better and better. Once again, I don’t want to say they didn’t have a good defensive line because they certainly did. The last two weeks, we haven’t played as good offensively up front as we expect. That will really surface this week. We have to play better on the offensive line than we did Saturday.

Q. You’ve been praising your staff for their preparation and game planning for your quick starts. As a team, are you also recognizing an improvement in mid-game adjustments? Is that something that’s been consistent?
COACH MEYER: That’s pretty consistent. I think that’s easy for a coach to do. I don’t want to use the word ‘fun’ because that sounds kind of silly. A coach that coached for 30 years, you see something on the field, you make adjustments, you’re expected to do that.
It’s uncomfortable sometimes to make sure your players are jump-started from the get-go. That’s cheerleading stuff, the heart-to-heart talks, the weekly motivation during the week getting ready for the game.
Anytime a team and a unit comes out and plays well early, because I’ve challenged them, that’s really, really challenged them, talking about our coaches, and they’ve responded.

Q. You admitted being stingy with praise for your assistants. I think I’m using your words. What is it that they have done so exceptionally that you recognize them even after the game Saturday?
COACH MEYER: If a coach makes an adjustment during a game, you’re supposed to do that. You’re getting paid a lot of money. You’re at Ohio State University. For me to pat a guy on the back, say that was really cool. No, you’re supposed to do that. As a matter of fact, we have an issue if you don’t.
It’s the other thing. To me, what’s not easy is the motivation of 18, 19, 20-year-olds with all this chaos going on in the world to get them to put their foot in the ground and get them to go as hard as they can right from the get-go. That’s what I’m seeing our coaches do.

Q. The offensive line, skill players, inexperienced first few weeks, did you all as a staff feel limited offensively? How does that compare to what you can do now?
COACH MEYER: You just look at the play sheet against Navy compared to now. That’s 70% greater than what it was. Number one, quarterback. Number two, offensive line. Number three, skill players. Two new tailbacks. One that never played college football. He got hurt for a while. The other one, Rod Smith, didn’t know he would be here. That position has really grown.
I think the quarterback, offensive line, receiver has opened up the playbook because they’re much more mature. They’ve grown up fast.

Q. Seems like there were things you put into the bye week. How much room is there to go as you get more experience?
COACH MEYER: The better your checkers, it’s endless. Dontre Wilson, we went to a zero one grouping where there’s no tailback, a tight end and four-wide outs. That was a result of having good four-wide outs that we emptied and started doing some things. You want to be able to keep them when you do that. I shouldn’t tell you too much. You keep them in a nickel or dime situation, now go run the ball real fast. That’s the reason we do that. As long as you have good checkers, you can keep going and going. That’s where you have to keep going.

Q. How is Wilson?
COACH MEYER: He’s fine. He’s clear.

Q. You dealt with your bye weeks. You mentioned how unusual that was. Penn State had a bye, a game, another bye. Preparing for them, does that change anything?
COACH MEYER: Prepare for something unusual. I don’t think they’re holding anything because they’ve had a couple big games. But we spend four or five minutes talking about that, move on. Rutgers had a couple things they never showed. That bye week gives you a chance to work on some things. They have a base, but there will be something new we have already had that conversation about.

Q. You talked two years ago when you played there, the environment. I remember two years ago you talking about you guys couldn’t play a whole game, they couldn’t, yet the environment was what it was. Two years later, with the NCAA making their decision that they made, are you happy about that, Penn State is allowed to play in a bowl game?
COACH MEYER: I’m into it for the players, like I’m sure Coach Franklin is, like Coach O’Brien was. I thought that was an incredible atmosphere, which is a credit to Penn State’s fans. I thought it was even credit to the players on their sideline than ours. I’ve been in some national championship games, and you can’t say they played any less on that day at Penn State two years ago. I have a lot of respect for it. I knew a lot of those Penn State players that did nothing wrong, nothing wrong. A lot of those kids did nothing wrong, yet they’re paying the price. I’m not saying that’s wrong. That’s part of the deal.
I think it needs to be a shout out to our kids. That was unbelievable, the effort you gave. At the end of the day you have to pay a price for someone else’s mistakes. I think that’s a credit to both teams.

Q. Last time you played these guys you averaged eight yards a carry, 400 yards on the ground. Changes they made, more personnel?
COACH MEYER: Good question. I have a hard time remembering last year. I think we played very well that day, started rolling downhill on them. It’s a much different defense right now. That’s really good rush defense we’re facing.

Q. You touched on this after the game. Michigan State won by the exact same score you did. There’s no consideration that some of your players might (indiscernible)?
COACH MEYER: I think if you play a really bad team, that happens. You try not to let that happen. Going on the road in front of 110,000 people, knowing we didn’t play great on Saturday, we expect to play great. When I read this, I didn’t really think about this, when I see Nick Vannett and J.T. Barrett not grade champions, that’s tough coaching, and I like that.
Thanks, guys.

Notre Dame Football: Coach Brian Kelly Discusses Florida St., Penalty At Sunday Press Conference

For a brief moment, Notre Dame had knocked off the defending national champions. And then we saw the flag. An offensive pass interference penalty wiped away a go-ahead touchdown against Florida State, and a 34-31 victory turned into a heartbreaking 31-27 loss. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talked about the penalty and the game at his press conference on Sunday.

Q. Wondering if after watching the film you had any more clarity or an explanation as to why the penalty was called at the end of the game?
COACH KELLY: Actually, I have less clarity. I guess it was actually called on Will Fuller, not C.J. Just adds more uncertainty as to the final play.
Again, the play itself in terms of what we ask our kids to do, it was pretty clear what happened on the play. Florida State blew the coverage and they got rewarded for it. So it’s unfortunate.

Q. In your estimation was there anything that Will could have done differently on it?
COACH KELLY: No. I mean, I think he’s working back inside. He did not go out of his way to impede the defender. The official that was furthest from the play that had the ability to see it saw it differently. That’s the way it goes.

Q. I think you have run that play a couple previous times in the first quarter. Against Michigan you ran it. Are you going to have to go back to the drawing board and do anything differently with that play now that it has been called against you?
COACH KELLY: No. I mean, all these analysts that say it’s the same play, it’s not the same play. We ran it out of a bunch formation. It’s a different play that was run earlier for a touchdown. The one ran for Michigan was a different play. This is a totally different play, one we had not run before.
We’ll continue to run our offense. Those are parts of it that we think are still effective plays.

Q. Coach, I’m curious, sometimes when you go into these games and expose some flaws, it also exposes some strengths. What were your takeaways from the game in those two areas?
COACH KELLY: Well, I think we’re starting to gain some consistency on the offensive line. We made that big move on our first bye week. It’s a big move to make when you’re coming off a big win against Michigan, but one we needed to make. I think that’s starting to show itself.
We continue to show we’re very, very good against the run. I think if you have those two things working for you, you can control the line of scrimmage, those are really big things to take with you from this game.

Q. In terms of trying to build momentum, I know it’s a loss, but do you talk to your team about playoff possibilities? Do you work on your stuff and not talk about it? How do you approach that as a coach?
COACH KELLY: I think a little bit of both. I think they’ll see that they’re respected nationally for the kind of team they are, but yet there’s a number of things that we needed to do better in the second half to put this team away.
I mean, you got to take the belt from the champion. You can’t leave it up to a decision that’s made at the end. We’ll talk about. If we’re in this situation again, you got to close, you got to finish. I think we’ll do a little bit of both.

Q. I believe last night you mentioned you thought Everett was fine. How was he today? Was it just maybe dehydration that led to the cramps?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it was just dehydration. We put him in, gave him an IV in between series, and came back, he was fine. He checked out fine this morning.

Q. Personnel things. With Jarrett Grace, are you to the point where you’re going to have the same kind of discussions with him that Austin Collinsworth is having with his folks about a potential sixth year? Also, as far as some of your redshirts that haven’t played, are you getting to the point where they’re out of play for the rest of the year?
COACH KELLY: Jarrett’s situation is where he has two years remaining. He would have consecutive years back-to-back where he would have the ability to appeal for an additional year.
Austin’s is a little bit more immediate. I think Jarrett will continue to go from week-to-week and see how that goes.
As it relates to the potential redshirt kids, I think we’re going to continue to do what we can. We took Jhonny Williams with us. We took those young kids with us to give them the sense and feel to keep them ready. We don’t want to play them unless we have to.
If it comes down to getting into the playoffs and winning, we would play them, but it would have to be that kind of scenario.

Q. I would imagine this is a big recruiting week for your staff. Are you going to be part of that effort? Will you be able to get out on the road, as well?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we’ll go Tuesday. The entire staff will be out by Tuesday night. I’ll be on the road on Thursday, recruit Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Q. After last night, what is your take on the game? I know you came up on the short end, but what do you think about the game?
COACH KELLY: Well, I just loved our guys, their mentality going on the road in a hostile environment. It really did not affect them. They played physical, controlled the line of scrimmage. We made plays against a team that had won 22 in a row. You love that about your team, its psyche, the way they went into the game. So all those are huge things.
You’re still disappointed you didn’t come out with a win because of all those things you had working for you. I think if we take something from this, when you get a team like this, you outplay them, you got to put them away. You can’t leave it up to a decision at the end of the game. You got to make sure that you put them away, and we didn’t do that.

Q. I know you have a bye this week. How are you going to get the team mentally focused for the game against Navy? You don’t want a letdown against Navy.
COACH KELLY: Well, we need to give our kids a break. They’ve been going since June. Our first bye week we kept them here to stay on top of their academics.
We’re going to give them a little time off. But we’ll come back recharged, ready to go. We know we have a great history with Navy. We know how difficult an opponent they are. Our guys won’t take Navy lightly because we’ve got, as I said, a long history with them and know how difficult the games are with Navy.

Q. David Robinson’s son, the wide receiver for you guys, how great to have him on the other side of the ball. Is it a new wide receiver combination with him and Golson?
COACH KELLY: No, he’s always been a piece. He was focused a little bit more in some timely situations. But it could very easily have been Will Fuller or Chris Brown or C.J. We have some depth at that position.
Certainly when you look at Corey, he’s a great sized kid. He’s got range. Everett got him in some matchups that we really like. I think you’ll see we’ll continue to move the ball around to all of our receivers.

Q. Brian, Ben’s status?
COACH KELLY: He was ruled out of the game because of a concussion that he received on the last play of the North Carolina game defending the on-side kick.

Q. In terms of the way Florida State approached the penalty play, is your feeling the way C.J. was engaged or had contact with the defender, that that would negate him being called for that? I’m curious what your take was on how Florida State approached the play.
COACH KELLY: So he was on the point. We were in a bunch situation. First of all, it’s my understanding now that Will Fuller was called for the penalty, not C.J. So C.J.’s job is to get into the end zone and turn around and be a big target.
He was immediately grabbed at the line of scrimmage. He’s trying to get depth into the line of scrimmage, into the end zone, so Corey can clear a path. As that contact was being made, it was seen – I guess, I don’t know who saw it as interference – but you’ve got two guys that are trying to fight for space. We saw it as such.
He’s supposed to find space, sit down and be a target. Again, it’s a play that is a pretty common play in NCAA football where you’re setting a point, the guy turns around, the ball is thrown. The ball was thrown quickly.
C.J. didn’t even have a chance to turn around, which may have led to some of the optics that people were talking about on TV, that was blocking. But he was simply trying to get his space in the end zone. Then, of course, now we’re hearing it was actually called on Will Fuller. It’s hard for me to really put it all together.

Q. (Question regarding Florida State player throwing helmet for a penalty.)
COACH KELLY: They said they missed a call. They said they just missed it.

Q. Your players have had different reactions to wins and losses. This one is probably as stunned as they’ve been. What do you want them to take away from that? How do you think they should be feeling coming out of this one?
COACH KELLY: Well, there’s great disappointment. You never want the let the game be decided by a referee. You want to control the game yourself.  What happened at the end was out of our control. We feel like we did the things necessary. We’ve got to be able to control finishes. That means make a couple more plays. If you got the champ, you can’t win by split decision, you got to knock him out. I think that’s what we want to take away from this.

Q. Given that Corey has never had 25 to 30 touches a game, is that something you have to monitor and watch so he doesn’t wear down later in a game?
COACH KELLY: No. I’m not as concerned about that. We’re not really a 25- or 30-carry offense. We try to spread it around the best we can. He’s clearly playing great football for us. I anticipate him to continue to get a number of carries.

Q. Just wanted to clarify. You say it’s now on Will Fuller. Is that based on something you have been told from the officials after the fact or was that when you went back and watched the tape, you saw that was the call on the field?
COACH KELLY: No. The officials announced that, in fact, was the call. I think it was incorrectly relayed in the play-by-play. The officials announced on the field that it was Will Fuller.

Q. But you haven’t gone back to double-check in case they didn’t make the wrong call on the field?
COACH KELLY: We’ll have our conversations with the supervisor of officials for the ACC here a little bit later this afternoon. I’m sure we’ll get even less clarification.

Kansas Stays Winless in Big 12: Clint Bowen’s Press Conference

The Kansas Jayhawks suffered fourth straight conference defeat this year, losing to fellow bottom-feeder Texas Tech 34-21 on Saturday. Interim coach Clint Bowen, in charge of the team since Charlie Weis was fired on September 29th, remains in search of his first win. But it wasn’t enough for Kansas, which has won just one conference game in its last 34 outings. Bowen spoke about the game at his post-game press conference on Saturday.


Q. Coach, the underneath routes and those things they did out of the slots seemed to really be troubling, especially early on. Something you expected or just they out executed it?
COACH BOWEN: There were a few of them. They were different every time. Some of them, in that case, it’s a tough matchup for us on the inside with the No.11 and No.4 on the inside. They’re quick, and that’s what Texas Tech does. They find some matchups, and they take advantage of them.

You work hard to try and get a plan against it, and sometimes it works. I did have a couple of plays we made against them, but they all weren’t the exact same situation, but it’s a tough matchup with the little peanut inside.

Q. You obviously knew the second half shutout streak for the defense wasn’t going to last forever. Is that it, though? You talked earlier in the week about their challenging offense and all the different looks and all the different things they can do. Was that the reason they were able to get some points on you today?
COACH BOWEN: They did. I’m disappointed we didn’t adjust to a run play that they hit us on a few times. We knew what they were doing, and they kept doing it, and we kept messing it up.

We gave DeAndre Washington quite a few yards. I don’t want to take credit away from the kid. He runs hard and plays nice, but we knew the play they were running, and we didn’t stop it.

Q. What’s the situation with Tony Pierson?
COACH BOWEN: I do not know.

Q. How’s Ben Heeney as a football player?
COACH BOWEN: He’s obviously a special player. 21 tackles, along that line, unbelievable performance. The kid goes out and plays as hard as he can. True leader of our team and really exactly what you’d want to see any football player on any team play like. The guy plays the game with his heart and soul. We’re lucky to have a guy like that.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Tech’s defense and what they were able to do?
COACH BOWEN: It looks like they lined up in their four-man front. They’ve got the two big kids in the middle that obviously plug some things up in there. Stayed over the top for the most part in the deep passing game.

They had the one interception, and on the other occasions, we were able to make plays by staying on top and forcing the underneath rows. Looked like they lined up and played pretty sound.

Q. What do you think your offense did well?
COACH BOWEN: Later on, we obviously hit some passes. I know Nigel had– we were able to connect on the one big pass. The tight end, Jimmay, caught some balls. So we were able to move the ball at times.

Q. The third downs continue to be a struggle, especially third and short. Is that just execution up front that puts you guys in a bad spot there?
COACH BOWEN: I don’t know exactly what the situation was. Obviously, we had two– I think a third and one and a fourth and one that– you know, the percentage is in your favor. Those are situations that you have to win.

Q. How do you recruit going forward for this team?
COACH BOWEN: We just continue to talk about the things that we’re building this team about from the beginning. Dr. Zenger and myself all started, had a plan of what we wanted the rest of the season to look like, and that plan dealt with building a foundation of the way we’re going to play at Kansas. Dr. Zenger and I were in agreement from the very beginning.

Our kids, we’ve talked to them about it. They understand it. We have a plan. We have a blueprint on that foundation, what our team’s going to be. Our kids are on board with it, and we’ll continue to improve.

Q. Obviously, Tech gets credit for that, but each time you cut it to six there, 20-14, 27-21, they hit you back right away. Were you disappointed in the way you responded?

COACH BOWEN: Absolutely. That’s your chance to win a game. You come down from 17-0, you get it to a one-possession game, you’ve got to go out on defense and get a stop. That’s what the game is about. Both times Tech goes down and scores a touchdown and ball game. You got to go out on defense when you’ve got the momentum and get one stop, get the offense back on the field, and see if you can flip the score.

Q. What did you think of Michael today? You said all along, ever since he took this thing over, that you have to take shots down the field. He did hit some. He threw into double coverage a couple of times too. Is that something he’s just going to keep learning as he goes?
COACH BOWEN: I hope so. From what I saw out there, which is not a ton all the time. You know, I kind of catch the situations. But only thing I’m always happy about Mike, the guy competes. He plays hard. You can tell he’s out there giving it everything he has. He leads that offense. He has a presence about himself that other guys can rally around.

Q. Getting back to Tony real quick too, did he let you guys know that something was wrong, or did somebody recognize it?
COACH BOWEN: I honestly have no idea what happened to him.

Q. You might have addressed this, but what did you think about your start and maybe what you guys wanted to do in the first quarter, the way you guys performed early?
COACH BOWEN: Oh, not very good. They take the opening possession down and score three on a missed tackle, big play to Grant.

We expected that they were going to come out with some energy and some tempo with a few things we probably hadn’t seen, and we knew we were going to have to match it early, and that was one of the emphases of the game, find out what they’re going to do early, find out how we’re going to have to adjust to it, and we weren’t able to stop that first drive, which we really wanted to keep the field position going.

I think it was 10-0 at the end of the first, I believe. We did kind of battle back and settle down a little.

Q. Glad you have the bye week coming up?
COACH BOWEN: Yeah, it allows us to do a lot of things that I think are important for this team. We need to focus on improvement in all areas– offense, defense, special teams, everything. It will be a good fundamental improvement week.

Ohio St. Rolls Past Rutgers: Urban Meyer’s Post-Game Press Conference

Ohio State’s offense continued to dominate its opponents, this time taking Rutgers to the woodshed with a 56-17 victory over the Scarlet Knights. The Buckeyes 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big 10, have averaged 56 points in a four-game win streak since losing at home to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6. Urban Meyer talks about the game at his press conference on Saturday.

COACH MEYER: Thanks for coming. As always-not really. I don’t want to take them for granted. But I want to thank our student body and our fans for being there and showing up, hanging out when it got a little drizzly. We appreciate that.

Also we had a lot of respect for Rutgers. They came in, 5 and 1. Really could have been 6 and 0, other than the slam pass that the Penn State receiver caught against them.
So pleased with the get-out, that we got out of the locker room fast, 14-0, that’s a good sign of several games right in a row. Questions?

Q. I think a lot of us were wondering why was J.T. still there in the fourth quarter if you were up 56 whatever it was, and what was the thinking. And you guys did take a bit of a beating injury-wise?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, the one that really hurt was Jacoby Boren. And Joel Hale hurt his back. And we put Gaskey, a young man, great kid, was a walk-on. Real depth– Brady Taylor hurt his shoulder. Marcelys wasn’t allowed to play today.

And right now we’ve got a little depth issue. J.T. Barrett, that’s a conversation I had with Tom and I can’t remember the conversation, other than once again he’s still a freshman trying to get as many game reps as he can.

Q. Jalin touched it a few times, touchdowns. Seems like every week you’re adding to this offense and still growing. Does it feel that way to you as well, like you’re adding more pieces even with the players?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, it sure does. Sometimes like Evan Spencer, we had a couple of plays designed because he’s probably practicing our best as a wide receiver. But the one thing about our style of offense and really everyone’s style of offense nowadays, in the spread sets, you don’t say throw the ball to him because if they take him away something else is open. That’s where J.T. is so good at whatever the defense gives you, giving the ball.
So we have a lot of pieces right now that deserve maybe a few more, but you can’t really control that in the way we do our business.

Q. You came into this week, saying you wanted to improve on the red zone offense. Your six trips there, five touchdowns, another game where you had over 500 yards of offense, more than 50 points. Is there anything that you feel like you guys can’t do offensively right now?
COACH MEYER: I still grade us down offensively. When your quarterback has to scramble on the fourth down in the red zone, that’s a good play by an individual. Actually, we were trying to get Evan isolated on the Mike linebacker and we did. We didn’t score. We have a little chat about that tomorrow and get better at that.
So I still consider our red zone offense not as good as it should be. So that gives us something really to work on tomorrow.

Q. You guys have scored more than 50 points in four straight games now. You’ve coached a lot of good teams, but what do you need to do when you’re playing like this now to make sure you keep playing at a high level the second half of the season? How do you keep a team rolling?
COACH MEYER: I don’t feel for one minute because I’m grinding the coaches pretty hard and on headsets. The good thing is that I don’t feel like there’s a complacent attitude. Complacency is awful in this business and with the players, because when you watch the film, we could actually have played a lot better in certain situations.
Our defense, you credit that, you can take the first half and that’s a credit to our defense. They took a team that threw 400 plus yards against our rivals and really played well, creating turnovers once again and getting the ball to the offense rather quickly.

So I think there’s a lot of things to work on offensively. The second half I was not pleased with our deep. We gave up some runs, and when a 2 gets in the game there can’t be that big of a drop-off. And right now we all saw what happened, there’s a significant drop-off when our 2s got in there.

Q. Does this defense now deserve to be called Silver Bullets? Is this a defense you’re proud of? And is this in any way kind of a statement nationally or do we know how good Rutgers is? Barrett seems to be moving up, as do you.
COACH MEYER: Yeah, I think to come out like we did on a national televised game. Next week we all know what’s coming down the barrel, prime time game, in a stadium with 110,000 people. That’s going to be a great evaluator. This was a home game against a team that we had a lot of respect for. We considered, our whole talk all week, they were a 6 and 0 team.

That’s the way we approached it. I think you can tell the way our guys came out that there was a lot of respect for that team. It was earned respect by what they did a couple of weeks ago when they beat our rival.
I don’t know if I answered your question or not. I think we are. I think we are-and I’m sure you’re asking me to, someone will blog it out and say here’s Coach Meyer ranting and raving again. I’m not. I don’t really watch the other teams, but I think we’re playing at a pretty high level right now.

Q. Was there one thing before the game that you really wanted to see and did you see it?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, get out fast and play good a pass defense against a team that was on fire throwing the ball. And most improved quarterback I think in the country, a year ago. Because we went back, watched some film last year, and that was a much improved offense.

So jump start, quick start, started off by kicking game and then the opportunity to play some good pass defense.

Q. You said you prepared this team as they were playing a 6 and 0 team. And this was pretty expensive from you guys. I think it was 56 to 10 halfway through the third. And you get the guys all fired up for that. What’s the message post-game when you guys put it on a team like you did, is this one where the guys can pat each other on the back and say job well done, any of that?
COACH MEYER: No. I don’t feel that yet. There will be a time for that. It’s usually in January. It’s not now. It’s a time to, first of all, develop depth. We could go on and on about the mistakes that were made today.
But enjoy the win tonight, go see your families, do what you gotta do and come back ready to go. The good thing this is a really good team to coach right now. They’re as hungry as our coaching staff and that’s a good sign.

Q. What about Devan Bogard, heartbreaking?
COACH MEYER: He’s walking around. We’re saying our prayers tonight for him. Every pink game he’s sat. I didn’t realize that. He’s hurt his knee. He’s a wonderful kid. Prayers with him. Thanks.

Royals Sweep: Ned Yost’s Post-Game Press Conference

The Kansas City Royals, backed by strong defense and a top-notch bullpen, finished off their domination of the American League with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City has now won eight straight playoff games this year, a MLB record. Ned Yost talks about the win and season in general at his post-game press conference.

Q. You talk about grinding throughout the season as far as just taking one game at a time, not letting various moments get to you. Can you talk about how this team continuously being relaxed, being able to grind away?
NED YOST: They grind away. They have a lot of confidence in themselves. They’re a very loose group. Right from the beginning of the playoffs, I don’t know what clicked for them, but something clicked and they were totally used to this atmosphere. There was no pressure. They were loose. They were on the attack and very, very confident club.

Q. Can you speak to just how many different people contributed in this series. I know there can only be one MVP, but there seemed like there were a lot of candidates.
NED YOST: The starting pitching was phenomenal. The bullpen was unbelievable. Herrera, Davis, Greg Holland. Clutch hitting. We had clutch hits by just about everybody up and down the lineup. Moustakas had a phenomenal series. Hos had a phenomenal series. Lorenzo Cain, phenomenal. Salvador did a great job of handling the pitching staff. It was just a whole team effort.

Q. When the postseason started you mentioned about taking tons of abuse over time. Do you feel at all vindicated?
NED YOST: I don’t need vindication. I’m real you know, I’m comfortable with who I am. And everything that I look at, I don’t look at much. But I’m the dumbest guy on the face of the earth. But I know that’s not true. I am smart enough to hire really, really good coaches and use them. But I’m real comfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel like I need vindication. I’m not looking for it, don’t care for it.

My whole goal none of this was ever about me. To winning a championship was all about this city, our fans, and these players. I’ve been there six times before, I know how special it is. And I wanted my players to experience it. I wanted the city of Kansas City to experience it and our fans. We’re going to do that here next week.

Q. After the last out there it looked like I saw a big group hug and then did I see you run on the field into that mob and it almost looked like you were skipping on the grass.
NED YOST: That was not me, it was probably somebody else, but it wasn’t me. I stood back. Again, I’m very fortunate to have phenomenal coaches with phenomenal baseball minds; Don Wakamatsu, Pedro Grifol, Dale Sveum, Mike Jirschele made a big impact, Dave Eiland, Rusty Kuntz, the best first base coach in baseball. They have helped me unbelievably through this postseason. And a lot of the credit for what we’ve done definitely goes to them.

Q. When you stood back, what were the feelings going through you as you watched what was going on?
NED YOST: I just wanted to see their enjoyment. I wanted to see their satisfaction. I wanted to see them celebrate together out there because I know what this means to them.

These kids, from the minute you saw them you knew they were going to be special. Then they won championships in A ball together and they won championships in Double?A together and they won championships in Triple?A together. And then their goal was to get up here and win a championship, and today they accomplished that.

Q. How many hits and how many runs did your defense take away, not only in this series, but throughout the playoff run? Can you see it having a deflating effect on the opposite team?
NED YOST: It absolutely does. When you range as far as we range in the outfield, Alex Gordon making another spectacular catch today. Especially when these games are as tight as they are, you just feel like you’re never going to get a break, because our defensive guys are absolutely everywhere, and it is a bit deflating.

You get through the sixth inning and you’re down a run, and all of a sudden here comes Herrera, here comes Davis, and here comes Holland. That’s a little bit deflating, too.

Q. Does it feel like this whole postseason has been an opportunity for America to kind of learn some of your players, particularly in the case of Cain, who obviously is the MVP?
NED YOST: Absolutely. This is a wonderful time for America to watch our team. And I think what they’ve done is they’ve fallen in love with our team. They love our athleticism. They love our energy. They love the way these guys play hard and enjoy each other. And they love the way that they stand up and get clutch hits and make fantastic plays. And everybody is tipping their cap to each other. They love speed.

I think they just love the way we play the game. And I think it was a great experience for our players, but I think that we’ve made a bunch of new fans throughout the country.

Q. You’ve been so good about being able to change the channel, as you put it, and just shrug off stuff, but there were times there were loud boos in the postseason during that Wild Card game. How do you manage that?
NED YOST: Because they didn’t really understand the situation, but I did. I knew what we were doing there. This was the game plan, it just didn’t work out.

That was not the boo they were booing me, but more than anything else it was their frustration of 29 years of losing that prompted that. And I understand that. I understand the frustration in that. And I knew that even though it was directed at me, it was the frustration there.

So I’ve got to say it’s just like water off a duck’s back. I don’t really pay no attention to it because I understand what we’re trying to do. I understand the thought process behind it. And when it doesn’t work out, I know you’re going to be criticized, that’s just the way things go nowadays. And you get criticized when things go right. So what does it matter?

Q. From everything I read and heard it seemed to be the consensus that the Divisional Series and the Championship Series were going to be both tightly contested affairs. What is your thought on winning them?
NED YOST: They were tightly contested affairs. Every game in this series could have been changed by one swing of the bat by either team. It just happened that we were the team that got that one swing of the bat. They were all tight games. They were all close games. They were all nip and tuck games. We just found ways to win baseball games.

Dangerous Times For Bodog? Founder Calvin Ayre Talking Settlement With Feds

Calvin Ayre is still on the run. And for good reason. According to the Baltimore Sun, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Kay still wants him extradited to the United States to answer to charges filed in February 2012 against Ayre and three others associated with Bodog.

There is hope for Ayre, however. The Sun is reporting that Ayre’s attorneys have talked wth US prosecutors in an attempt to settle the case.

In the court filing on Friday, Kay said that he and one of Ayre’s attorneys had reached an initial agreement to settle the case, but never finalized the deal. “The parties intend to continue to try to find a resolution that will not require extradition of the defendants, but, in the meantime, I am pursuing extradition,” he wrote.

The detals of the proposed settlement were not mentioned in the court filing. It is a dangerous time for Bodog customers, however. When an online gambling company is in the cross-hairs of the United States government, bad things happen. PokerStars, Ultimate Bet, and Fult Tilt customers know this all too well. PokerStars was able to survive its run-in wth the feds; not so Ultimate Bet and Full Tilt.

The indictment against Ayre was returned on Feburary 22, 2012. It states:

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

“Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the internet without regulation.”

“Today’s indictment of Bodog Entertainment Group S.A. and its founder and operators sends a strong deterrent message to those that facilitate illegal online sports betting operations and commit crimes against our nation’s financial system,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge of ICE HSI in Baltimore. “The proceeds from illegal Internet gambling are sometimes used to fuel organized crime and support criminal activity. ICE HSI, together with our law enforcement partners, will disrupt and dismantle organizations that commit these crimes, regardless of their location, whether here in the United States or abroad.”

The two count indictment alleges that from at least June 9, 2005 to January 6, 2012 the defendants conducted an illegal gambling business involving online sports betting. The defendants and their conspirators allegedly moved funds from Bodog’s accounts located in Switzerland, England, Malta, Canada and elsewhere to pay winnings to gamblers, and to pay media brokers and advertisers located in the United States. The conspirators directed payment processors to send at least $100 million by wire and by check to gamblers located in Maryland and elsewhere.

According to the indictment, the conspirators allegedly caused a media broker to execute an advertising campaign to attract gamblers in the United States to the Bodog.com website. From 2005 to 2008 the conspirators allegedly paid over $42 million in costs for the advertising campaign.

“Internet gambling, along with other types of illegal e-commerce, is an area of great interest to IRS Criminal Investigation,” said Acting IRS Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton. “Laundering money from illegal activity such as illegal internet gambling is a crime. Regardless of how the money changes hands – via cash, check, wire transfers or credit cards – and regardless of where the money is stored – in a United States financial institution or an offshore bank – we will trace the funds. IRS Criminal Investigation will vigorously investigate and recommend prosecution against the owners and operators of these illegal enterprises to the fullest extent possible.”

According to the affidavit in support of a seizure warrant, an ex-employee of Bodog stated that Bodog has hundreds of employees located in Canada and Costa Rica who handle the daily operations of taking bets, tracking sports events, customer service, website development, advertising and financial transactions. The ex-employee also identified Bodog’s top level officers and directors.