Emeka Egbuka Ohio State Buckeyes Receiver
Football, Uncategorized

Kyle McCord, Cody Simon, Emeka Egbuka Discuss Win Over Notre Dame, Open Week Scouting

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State football team may not be playing a game this weekend, but media requirements never take a break. Quarterback Kyle McCord, linebacker Cody Simon, and receiver Emeka Egbuka met with reporters on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the win over Notre Dame, the most important things to get done during the bye week, and much, much more. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Kyle McCord

  • What was Sunday like for you? “It was surreal.” They went back and watched the TV copy of the game. His heart was pounding watching it like he didn’t know how it was going to end. “Proud that we were able to pull it out.”
  • Marvin Harrison returning from injury is a sign of toughness that people may not have known about before. But that’s who he is. “That gives you everything you need to know about Marvin.” When 18 is on that field, he’s going to give you everything he’s got.
  • What did people learn about McCord? Toughness, physical and mental. Being 10-of-13 on third down was good. Making plays at the end was huge. The team rose to the occasion, not just him.
  • What was he like in those biggest moments? Calm. That starts with having success in practice. That gives you confidence against everybody. Executing a two-minute drive means reverting back to the training.
  • “We were good” after the first two incompletions on the final drive. They were in four-down territory. Once they got that first completion, he knew they were good.
  • What was his favorite pass on the final drive? The throw to Julian Fleming on fourth down. They talk about it all the time in practice, “the quality of the throw” and the throw has to be on time and leading the receiver, which it did.
  • It’s tough not to hear people doubting you. You open your phone and it’s there. There’s nothing like being down four points and needing to put a touchdown on the board. That’s the best way to test yourself.
  • He had all the confidence in the world in the offense that 1:26 would be enough time. “If we got the ball back I knew we were gonna go down the field and score. There was no doubt in my mind.”
  • On Ryan Day’s comments after the game and defending his players: “It means a lot. Every single guy on this team has Coach Day’s back, and he has ours.” It fired the guys up a lot. You don’t normally see coaches do that for their players.
  • When did they identify that ND only had 10 guys on the DL? On the first play, but they had already called the sprint out. But after that, it was seen by the coaches in the box and they called the run to the soft left side.
  • It’s a surreal experience watching the last drive on television. It seemed so fast on TV compared to the slowness that he experienced on the field.
  • Notre Dame was the best secondary they’ve seen by far. They did a great job bracketing Marvin Harrison. But that’s the problem with doubling him, it opens up other guys. Defensively, they gave him different looks throughout the game. They tried to disguise things pre-snap.
  • On doubling Marvin Harrison, “it’s kind of pick your poison.” If you double him, you’re leaving other guys singled.
  • On his 21-yard pass to the 1-yard line, Notre Dame dropped eight. Nobody was really “wide open” but they felt that soft spot in the defense. He threw it with that anticipation. Emeka Egbuka felt that as well. Their WRs have football IQs through the roof, so it’s easy to trust that they see the same things he’s seeing.
  • His pre-snap process is keying on different things defensively. “Players that won’t lie to us. Keys that won’t lie to us.” There are really only two or three guys that give them a good idea of where the defense is going.
  • He knew going into this season that they wouldn’t be getting as many one-on-one situations with Marvin Harrison as they got last year. The impact that Harrison had on that game is larger than the stats he produced. He drew penalties, he blocked, he made big plays.
  • You have to visualize big moments to be able to execute during them when they happen.
  • Any suggestions for a memorable name for the final drive? “Shoot, maybe ‘Third-and-19’ or something like that.”

Emeka Egbuka

  • The third-and-19 play is something they practice every week on Friday, so you have to be ready to step up in that moment. That play just happened naturally.
  • What does it do for the team to come through at the end like that? It doesn’t do much unless they continue to win. That’s not the last top-10 opponent they’re going to face this year.
  • “I’m kind of past Notre Dame right now. I’m on to Maryland.” “We’re not anywhere near where we need to be, and that win doesn’t really mean anything if we lose to Maryland.”
  • They have emphasized toughness throughout the offseason and it showed up in this game.
  • You have to be able to get open against defenses that may not be what you’re expecting to face. The quarterback is expecting him to get somewhere, so he has to find a way to get there.
  • “It’s just math, really. If you put two guys on one person…” somebody else is going to be single covered. Notre Dame took some risks with some double teams and it bit the defense at times, like the big play to Xavier Johnson.
  • His chemistry with Kyle McCord goes back to when they were freshmen. They have always worked together. They talk about all of the possibilities in every play. They prepare for whatever can happen.
  • If the offense is every shaky, they can always look at Kyle McCord and he’ll be the most calm guy in the room. That’s who he has always been.
  • Chip Trayanum has always been a leader and super mature here. He’s always been a hard worker. If they had a fourth captain this year, it would probably by Chip. You know he’s always going to get his job done.
  • It was good to see Kyle McCord “talking his stuff” after the game. Nobody has ever questioned how much McCord cared about the team. It’s great to see that happen for a friend. Being cool, calm, and collected helps on third down. Even when they get penalties, he’s still unwavering.
  • They all support Ryan Day and whatever he wants to say.
  • Where does the offense need to get better in the next week? Execution. Staying on schedule. Limiting negative plays and penalties because the new clock rules will shorten the game. They only had eight possessions in this game. They had seven possessions in a half against Georgia.

Cody Simon

  • On his fourth-down stop of Sam Hartman he was pretty confident he got him out in time.
  • “I was fortunate to be in that situation.” Always big to leave the field not giving up any points.
  • How does he stay ready to get on the field? It comes down to preparation. He is prepared to take every snap in a game. They had a plan in place and he expected to play more in this game.
  • On his fourth-down stop, he had to make a decision on coverage or coming up to stop the runner. “I felt like I just had to make a play. Luckily it worked out our way.”
  • He’s been in the situation to make that play last year and didn’t get it done.
  • When teams play Ohio State, they also give the Buckeyes new looks and different issues and problems that arise.
  • Ryan Day was fired up. The whole team was. They knew the stakes of the game.
  • Embracing Ohio against the world: “It’s a level of pride. We know that we’re going to get the best against everybody. When we’re together, no one can beat us beside ourselves.”
  • The locker room reaction to Ryan Day’s comments? “We felt his love for us.” He always has their back and they always have his.
  • Did the players feel like they had a point to prove? Every game is a new battle. That’s the hard part about being at Ohio State. Every team is going to give you their best shot.
  • Tyleik Williams is playing really well. He’s violent with his hands. He’s hard to block. He is in the backfield almost every play. He saw this coming when Williams was a freshman. Happy that it’s coming out for all to see now. As a true freshman, Williams didn’t know where he was going but nobody could move him. He gives a lot of effort. He’s tired after the games.
  • Chip Trayanum is 100% a team player. What he’s done isn’t easy. “All he cares about is Ohio State and the Buckeyes.” So proud of him that he was able to make that play. He is showing the world how much he’s worked to get to this point.
  • Lathan Ransom is super explosive and super tough. He’s going to go as hard as he can on every play.
  • Bye weeks are about getting back to the basics. Being violent with your hands. Being simple.
  • Sonny Styles and Lathan Ransom’s stop on fourth down was instinctual. They seemed to know it was going to happen.
  • That was one of the best atmospheres he’s ever been a part of. There was definitely a deep breath after the game. It helps having a bye week to collect your emotions. But now everybody will watch the film and know they have to follow it up week after week after week or else it won’t mean anything.
  • “We made sure we celebrated that one. That was probably the most electric the locker room has ever been after a game.”
  • It’s so important for the linebackers that the defensive tackles are taking on blocks and creating havoc. They are either cleaning it up for the linebackers or making a tackle.
  • There will be some self-scouting this week as well. “You want to see what other teams would see from you.” They do that individually and positionally.
  • What is different about this defense from a year ago? They are able to expand on what they did last year. They were new to it all last year but now they understand what Jim Knowles is thinking.
  • A win at Notre Dame means a lot. It goes back to the offseason and the pain that they felt from last season. They were so close. They understood that all it takes is one inch and you never know when that inch is coming. So you have to be as perfect and tough as you can be on every play.
  • On Day’s comments regarding Lou Holtz: “I don’t really worry about when he’s calling people out.” They know Day has their back. He wears the shield every day for the players.

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