Khalid Hill, Wilton Speight, Kenny Allen
Wilton, what was the preparation process like for you going into this game?
“Same amount of preparation as any game in terms of football. Just had more recovery stuff to get back for this game.”
At this point, you had them, seemed to be on the ropes, just a couple mistakes--
WS: “Yeah, that’s pretty disappointing. Game of this magnitude, the fight that we’ve put in as a team together since last January after the bowl game, it all came down to this game. The Game. The way it played out, incredible game, but came up short.”
Khalid, describe what you were a part of here today. You had two touchdowns. Just describe what this game was like for you.
“I struggled. Got stopped on the goal line, then Coach called on me again to go do it again. Just shows the trust he has in his players. It’s not about my success, though. We wanted to get it done as a team and fell short. Got to keep our heads up and keep moving.”
A lot of self-inflicted wounds today. What do you guys take out of that and what do you make of it?
WS: “Yeah, I made a couple mistakes in the game. Unfortunate to get my hand hit when I was throwing out of the end zone, which resulted in a pick-six. Then trying to force another ball into too tight of a window. But yeah.”
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What was the mindset after you guys scored in the first overtime to come back and tie it? What’s going through your minds then?
WS: “That we just need to do that again in the second Overtime. We were not able to do that. Kenny made a good field goal. Pretty sure the defense made a stop, but they didn’t according to the replay. Just came up a little short.”
Did the shoulder make it tougher to throw as the game wore on?
WS: “Coach has a strict policy about not talking about injuries. The trainers and the doctors and everyone did their part to get me ready to go for this game.”
Can you put a percentage on what you were today?
WS: “No. I don’t look into that. I don’t think about that.”
Do you all believe you played well enough to win today?
Do you feel like you won? Feel like you got a little robbed on the spot?
KH: “I mean, it happens in a game. Same calls are not made. Some plays you think, oh, we won it, and then the ref calls something different, but it happens in every football game. Got to be able to play the next play. But like I said, fell short as a team and we’ll get past it.”
Wilton, did you want to go for two after the touchdown [in OT]?
“Yeah, it crossed my mind. I flashed the two up; you guys probably saw that. Probably the smarter play to go for one.”
Wilton, you guys were up 17-7 and seemed to be in control of the game. How difficult was this to take knowing you were in control of the game for such a long time?
“Yeah, uh, it’s a bummer. I feel like I let the defense down for the game that they played. It stings. But we had opportunities throughout the rest of the game and we were able to capitalize on in the first overtime. In the second overtime…I’m not going to get into the calls that the refs were making. I’ll leave it there.”
You guys lost to Ohio State last year as well, but circumstances feel different this time with you guys in the top five. Does the loss feel different or is it the same?
KH: “It always sucks to lose to Ohio State. It’s a rivalry game. You want to come out on top, but, I mean, we lost.”
Kenny, did you take anything away from that? The performance, the way the team played, how you pushed [?] them?
“Yeah, when my name’s called upon I think I have one job so go out and do it. I know we didn’t capitalize on every single punt, but the team fought today. I’m proud of them. Like Wilton said, we lost and we had chances to capitalize where we didn’t.”
Wilton, it looked like Grant was grabbed and almost tackled on the last [offensive] play in the second overtime. What did you see on that?
“I’m sure a lot of people saw that, but…yeah.”
Wilton, are these the two best teams in the Big Ten?
“Yeah, absolutely. With Alabama, maybe in the country. I don’t know how it’s all going to shake out with the committee and all that. I’m sure our chances are slim to none now, but it’s a bummer that we don’t get another shot at those guys this year.”
Do you think you deserve a playoff shot?
WS: “Definitely believe that. You saw Iowa turn it around; they beat Nebraska yesterday. That was just a weird game, a weird night. Then you see two heavyweight teams go into double overtime. I think that speaks volumes for a chance at the playoffs.”
On the fumble, Wilton, did you just pull out too soon?
WS: “Yeah, I mean, I think there was a little miscommunication with the crowd noise. I should have stayed in there longer knowing that there might be problems with how loud it was, so yeah, that’s on me.”
How do you characterize the season now? Is it a failure now or is it still a success?
KH: “I mean, we work hard as a team. The work we put in as a team doesn’t amount to one loss. You can’t have one loss be your season. We lost to Iowa and we moved on. We lost to Ohio State today and we’ll move on. We won’t let one loss define us. Yes, it sucks losing to Ohio State, but one loss will not define us as a team.”