What They Said: Ohio State DC’s Jim Knowles previews Michigan

About the rivalry

It’s a privilege to be a part of it. If you’re a guy working your way up to get to this point, hopefully now won’t be time to think, someday. Just to be a part of that, I think when you’re young and in the profession you see it as the pinnacle of the competition. It’s a privilege to be a part of it.

How the rivalry develops

There’s the same thread running through every rivalry in every rivalry I’ve ever been associated with. It’s the biggest stage there is, so you take all of that and boost it by 1000. They go from there. You do whatever it takes to stay focused and get work done in the middle because there is work to be done.

About JJ McCarthy and his scrambling ability

I think we have a attacking, aggressive defensive line and I think whenever you have guys that really want it, scrambling can be a problem. We’re still working on it, I guess I’ll say. We’ll keep practicing, you know what I mean? It’s definitely a problem when you have guys who can take on the quarterback, though, and I’m glad we have them. Now it’s my job to fix it.

About Michigan’s rushing attack

Kansas State in the Big 12. At Duke, I certainly had my share of option football with the Army, Navy, and Georgia Tech. It’s difficult to simulate the way they run the ball. You just have to get back to your habits and training. Put the boys back in a great position. Make sure everyone knows that everyone has to lend a hand. I think that’s a mentality, everyone has to tackle because they’re going to put corners, fuses, everybody, they’re going to put different people in positions where you have to make the tackle. It’s really a mentality. They plan something against it. Difficult to practice. It’s just a matter of habits and everything you’ve worked for up to this point, all your weight training and all that extra work you’ve put in over the summer, which all comes into play when it counts.

About balancing the run and Michigan’s passing

They’re a total offensive, and they challenge you in many different ways. You need to have different things to go to at different times to try and unbalance the offense, that’s the only way the question can be answered. Those points that you mentioned, the things they do and do well, you just have to counter them. We’ve been working on that all year.

He feels the weight of the game

The job is the job like I said, the process is the same for me. Only the expectations are different. You keep your process and your habits, because that’s what leads you to success. You’d have to be stupid not to feel it, you feel it. You are focused on the moment and what can I do to give us an advantage? That’s the only thing that comes to my mind. Feeling this or that gives me no advantage. I always strive to find ways to give our defenses an edge.

On Blake Corum

We don’t spend time investigating whether he’s playing or not, just assuming he will play. He’s an exceptional back like you said. Very talented. It has a lot to do with discipline and understanding perspectives. Take your shot when you have it, but at the right angle. Play hard within the scheme. This has a lot to do with discipline because if you’re out of place, he makes you pay for it.

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