Dienhart: Buckeyes now must focus on bowl game
INDIANAPOLIS — Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was dejected as he stood in the postgame interview room. His Ohio State Buckeyes had just lost the Big Ten title game, 34-24, to Michigan State. The loss ended a 24-game winning streak. Worse: It killed OSU’s chances to play for the BCS national title.
Was this the best team the Buckeyes had faced in the last two years?
“Yes, I think so,” he said.
Urban Meyer also felt the pain.
“I just feel we’re all very blessed and fortunate to have these kids on our team,” he said. “I love that locker room. I don’t know. You know, it’s going to haunt all of us I imagine for a little while, but that’s part of the game.”
The Buckeyes now must focus on the postseason, which figures to include a trip to the Orange Bowl to play Clemson.
“I really wanted these guys to experience something special,” said Meyer. “And we are. I imagine there’s a chance we’ll get invited to a great bowl game. If we do, they’re going to get a very good Buckeye football team that’s going to stick together and try to win a game. If you’re asking me to measure the levels of hurt, I’m not sure I can do that.”
How will Ohio State move on from its first loss in over two years?
“We hurt right now,” said running back Carlos Hyde. “We will let this one sink in and move and get ready for our bowl.”
The failed fourth-down call in the fourth quarter was a debated topic in the post-game aftermath. What did Carlos Hyde think?
“I thought it was a great call,” said Hyde. “A guy came off his block and he made a great play.
Guard Marcus Hall was booted from last week’s game at Michigan for fighting. Upon ejection, he made an obscene gesture to fans. He didn’t play today, which was Ohio State’s decision.
“He’s fine,” said Meyer. “Disappointed with his actions. The good thing is, that’s not who he is at all. Repeat offender, done some stupid things in the past, he hasn’t. He’s great. I just feel it wasn’t right to play him.”
The Buckeye pass defense has taken some body shots during the season. The unit entered the game No. 11 in the Big Ten (255.8 ypg). MSU passed for 304 yards.
“Disappointed with our pass defense,” saidMeyer. “We have to get this fixed. We’re going to get back to work.”
“We just had some miscommunication,” said Shazier. “We just have to do better and rally up.”