Jason Parkhurst, Peach Bowl

Six Buckeyes took the podium at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Tuesday as the first day of in-person Peach Bowl press conferences began in Atlanta.

Ohio State offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, CJ Stroud and Emeka Egbuka were first up to the microphone to discuss Peach Bowl preparations and Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Georgia, and Marvin Harrison Jr., Paris Johnson Jr. and Chip Trayanum followed after that.

Eleven Warriors took notes on everything each Buckeye said below:

Kevin Wilson

  • Wilson says Ryan Day was “adamant” about getting game planning wrapped up by the end of the recruiting cycle and says this is “playoff” week, not “bowl” week, and that is a big difference.

  • On Georgia’s tight ends, Wilson says “both groups will be huge on Saturday night as both teams attack each other.”

  • On Jalen Carter, Wilson says Georgia “has a lot of great players, they always have” and it starts with the job the coaches do in recruiting and in developing players. Wilson says Ohio State has its hands full “not just with him” but with several Bulldogs. Wilsons says it’s going to be “an attack game both ways.”

  • Wilson says “the game’s not a game of perfect” and the Buckeyes’ best game is still ahead of them. “Not trying to be perfect… but it’s got to be all we got.”

  • Wilson says Miyan Williams had “the most work he had to date” in practice yesterday after battling through injuries in the back half of the season. Wilson says the Buckeyes need more than one running back against Georgia, though.

  • On juggling responsibilities with his new job at Tulsa, Wilson says he’s had to “recruit his own team so everybody doesn’t jump in the portal.” Wilson says “70%” of his time has been dedicated to OSU’s bowl game, and that much of the extra work for Tulsa has taken place “late at night.”

  • On being an underdog, Wilson says the Buckeyes haven’t necessarily talked about that a whole lot, but says the team is “chasing greatness.”

CJ Stroud

  • Stroud says playing for a national championship “has been a goal of mine since I’ve been in school.”

  • Stroud says it’s nice not to have to deal with the cold weather in Columbus or in the Big Ten and thinks “the atmosphere will be cool” at the Peach Bowl.

  • On his recruitment to Georgia, Stroud says there’s “nothing but respect from both sides” and that the Bulldogs came second in his recruitment.

  • Stroud says Wilson has done the same thing in bowl prep that he’s always done. Says there’s “no confusion” about his role after he took the head coach job at Tulsa and thinks Wilson will do a great job at Tulsa. Stroud says Wilson has the “aura of a head coach.”

  • Stroud says OSU has to play “Buckeye football” and not worry about what LSU did against Georgia. “I’m pretty sure that they’ll have a plan for that.”

  • Stroud says whenever he’s in the practice facility at OSU, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Egbuka are either “there or coming.” Stroud says their “dog mindset” has paid off this season.

  • On being an underdog, Stroud says “it’s football” and that he hasn’t thought too much about it. Stroud says talking to players about Georiga, “it’s respect.”

Emeka Egbuka

  • “I’m very confident in the talent we do have on offense” and says the Buckeyes will “look to exploit it in every way that we can.”

  • “We have to play a complete game in terms of not just pass catching but run blocking, making sure there’s little to no mistakes.” Egbuka says Buckeye wideouts have always stepped up to make big plays in big games and that the group “likes to be those guys in those scenarios.”

  • “I feel more locked in, feel more focused” than he did in last year’s Rose Bowl. Egbuka says “it’s gonna be a hard-fought game until the fourth quarter.”

  • Egbuka says he knows Ohio State will face adversity at some point in Saturday’s game.

  • On being an underdog, Egbuka says “you can look at the past and see what the last No. 4 Ohio State team did.”

  • “We’ve been counted out before, so it’s nothing new with us.”

Marvin Harrison Jr.

  • Harrison says he “had a lot of fun this year” although the Buckeyes “didn’t complete any of our goals.”

  • Asked about his father, Harrison says “I’m my own player first and foremost. My dad did great things but I’m just trying to be myself.”

  • Harrison says the Buckeyes are going to “worry about ourselves” and not place too much stock in what LSU did against Georgia.

  • On being underdogs, Harrison says “it’s always kinda been Ohio against the world.” Harrison says he “likes being the villain and the underdog” going into a game, and he likes playing Georgia in Atlanta for that reason.

  • Harrison says the Buckeyes have emphasized physicality all season and that the team “hasn’t done anything different” to prepare for Georgia in terms of physicality.

  • Harrison says Kyle McCord is “getting better every day” and still has to stay ready in case anything happens to Stroud.

  • Harrison says he’s “definitely proud of Coach Wilson” for getting a head coaching job. “He’s gonna do great things at Tulsa.”

Paris Johnson Jr.

  • “They have a strong defensive line and I believe that’s probably one of the strongest units” on the team. “It’s not anybody on their line that you overlook in terms of doing your preparation for.”

  • On studying the Georgia defensive line, Johnson says he usually likes to look at the last five games, games against their best opponents or if they went against a specific offensive tackle. But Johnson says he’s been able to look at almost all of Georgia’s games in the leadup to the CFP.

  • On the LSU game, Johnson says he learned “great lessons” for the offensive line room heading into the Peach Bowl.

  • Johnson says this game exemplifies the mantra “Ohio against the world.”

  • Johnson says physicality is “the biggest factor in this game by far” and that he’s glad that’s the case as an offensive lineman. “That’s what it’s gonna take to beat them.”

  • Johnson says he hasn’t thought about any SEC vs. Big Ten rivalry “once” since the matchup was announced.

  • Johnson says Kevin Wilson coached his dad at Miami (Ohio) and wants to see Wilson have success and be happy at Tulsa. “When he took the job and he came back to practice you just see the smile and the juice that he had because this is his final run at Ohio State.”

Chip Trayanum

  • Trayanum says “we believe we have to have our best game on offense” and says the OSU offense looks like it’s on track to do that based on the practices the unit’s been having.

  • “I think everybody counts us out,” but says that’s why you put on the Buckeye uniform.

  • Trayanum says playing linebacker has helped him become a better running back. “Ever since I’ve been back on offense I’ve been getting nothing but praise from my teammates.”

  • Trayanum says all the mat drills and winter workouts have made the Buckeyes comfortable with the physicality that will take place on the field Saturday.

  • Trayanum says “we’re not worried about bragging rights” when it comes to SEC vs. Big Ten talk.

  • “There’s only one trophy that matters at the end of the day.”

  • Trayanum says he “doesn’t even really get nervous anymore” because he feels so proud to play in his home state of Ohio.

  • Trayanum says he’s known Kevin Wilson since his sophomore year of high school and that he was happy to see him get a head coaching job.