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What they said: Ohio State DC Jim Knowles talks loss to Michigan

Get an annual subscription to M&BR for only $22! Use code RIVALS22 On whether Michigan did anything to surprise himI thought he did a good job of making some throws under pressure. We knew he would throw the ball on the move.

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On whether Michigan did anything to surprise him

I thought he did a good job of making some throws under pressure. We knew he would throw the ball on the move. I just thought he played well when he had to.

On what got away from them defensively

You just go into halftime and say, hey, we’re on it. We’re doing well. We had things defended in the run game in the first half. Just a couple big plays. You just tell the guys, hey, we just gotta keep it going. We’re on top of the run. We gave up a couple bad plays, nothing to get panicked about. The second half when they hit a couple, obviously there at the end they hit a couple of big runs. That’s just disheartening. I obviously have to take the blame for that and I should. Just gotta do a better job. Story of explosive plays. I thought we matched well. Nothing well in a loss like that but we matched through the course of the game. Too many explosives and that’s disheartening for not just the defense but the team, the fans. I have to take responsibility for that.

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On whether there’s anything he has to change philosophically

Yeah, you have to evaluate the explosives when they go for touchdowns. They become a different story. Typically, the course of my career, you preach the explosive plays and you have a chance to get the guy on the ground and then you recover. But when they go for touchdowns, certainly that’s something that falls on me and, you’re right, I have to look at.

On anything he wishes he did differently on the explosive plays

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Yeah, I mean, of course. I haven’t watched the film but any call that goes for an explosive you have to look at. You take responsibility for. You can’t sit there as a coach and say, well, we were in the right place or this guy just did that or he just did that. You gotta look at it conceptually. You gotta evaluate it. You gotta evaluate the call from top to bottom and the gameplan. The whole deal. That falls on my shoulders.

On how he responds to what happened and what needs to change

Just take responsibility. That’s all I can do. Say, hey, I didn’t do a good enough job and I need to do better.

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On how stunning the loss is

Stunning. I don’t know, it’s football. It’s a hard game. All those things you mentioned, you just have to take responsibility. The players are hurting much more than me and I’m crushed. They’re young men who put their heart and soul into it. They’re the ones that I have to be able to look in the eye and talk about all those things that you said. Scheme, technique, fundamentals. Everything that goes into it has to fall on my shoulders.

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