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Josh Perry - Former Ohio St Linebacker / NBC Big Ten Analyst

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The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2023 6:10 pm

Josh Perry - Former Ohio St Linebacker / NBC Big Ten Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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November 22, 2023 6:10 pm

Josh Perry joins the show to preview The Game & give his thoughts on how the Buckeyes will fare at the Big House vs Michigan.

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Download Instacart, add life to cart. Terms apply. See site for details. Let's go out to the guest line right now and welcome in a national champion linebacker from The Ohio State, now a superstar in the media world for NBC, and that is our pal in Joshua Perry. Josh, always appreciate the time. Thanks for doing this. Happy Thanksgiving. And how are you?

Hey, happy Thanksgiving to you as well. I'm doing well. A lot of anticipation.

You know how this thing goes. I'm super excited for the game this weekend. So you're usually pretty good at keeping it neutral and you've been afraid to call out Ohio State.

You've been afraid, you know, haven't been afraid to call out Michigan throughout the years. But with all that has transpired in the last few weeks and the build up to this game and how there's just more layers that unfold day by day, as Ohio State guy, just what are you feeling about this game this time before Michigan goes out on the field against Ohio State on Saturday? Well, first off, man, the fan bases are at each other right now in a way that we haven't seen in a while.

That makes social media a little bit fun is some parts of the new X Twitter, as it was known, that people should probably avoid in the lead up to this game. But I think about the locker rooms at a time like this. And for Michigan, it's a very unique situation with Jim Harbaugh available to coach throughout the week, but not there on game day. I'm sure those guys have an extra layer of motivation that they probably didn't need anyway going into that game. And I'm curious to see how they will leverage that. And then I think for Ohio State is, you know, they've heard it for two years now. You're not tough enough. You can't beat Michigan.

They've got your number. Now they've got to go on the road with the quarterback who's never played in this rivalry and get the job done. And so I think for either one of these teams, there's plenty of motivation.

I also think that there are some points where they're looking at one another and saying, OK, we're going to have to overcome in this one if we're going to be successful and get the win. We all know the improvement the Ohio State defense and the changes that the Ohio State defense has made this year. And it's the strength of this team. The last two years, they got dominated in the trenches by Michigan.

It's no secret. But what are you seeing this time around from the Ohio State defense that maybe gives you confidence up against still a very good and lethal Michigan offense? Well, I think they're confident personally. I think they have a different expectation this year. I think last year they were really trying to feel their way through a new defensive system and they were giving up plays. And they'd line back up.

And I'm not exactly sure they truly believed what they were running. And I think this year they really believe that. I can also look at a lot of positions where it feels like they've upgraded. And I don't think that the the edges are as good as people would have anticipated in terms of sack numbers. But they're guys that get a ton of pressure on the interior of the defensive line. They've been extremely disruptive all year long. And I think the secondary is where the biggest change has come. They're going to be down late and ransom in this game. And I think that's huge at the safety position.

But Davidson had been no sins, a guy who maybe a little too aggressive and covered sometimes when he plays with an edge that wasn't there before. Denzel Burke is back to looking like a first round pick. And I really like what Sonny Styles provides in terms of some versatility on the defense there.

And so I think it's a combination of personnel upgrades, but also a combination of the belief that they have in what they're doing now. This has been Joshua Perry, a very open year for the Heisman Trophy, usually at this time of the year, you have an idea of who's going to win it. I personally think that if Washington or Oregon wins the Pac 12, whichever one, whoever the quarterback is, Pennix or Knicks of the winning team in the Pac 12 will get the Heisman Trophy this year. We've seen a big push for Jayden Daniels out of LSU. I looked at Marvin Harrison Junior. He's so important to that team.

He is their identity on the offensive side of the ball. Harrison goes off for, let's say, 150 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday. You still think he has a chance to go win the Heisman Trophy?

Yeah, he's in it if that's the case. And I'm not exactly sure he should win if I'm being completely honest about it. I think that his resume has spoken enough to him being a guy who should have an invite to New York.

I'm not a Heisman voter, but if I was, I'd have Jayden Daniels at the top of my list. And I don't I really don't care about his team record. It's not his fault that he doesn't play defense, right?

Like I don't give a damn about the way that they have looked. What he has done this year has been remarkable. It's a similar thing for Marvin where people try to knock him. So like, oh, you know, in the Notre Dame game, he didn't his numbers weren't great. Well, he was busted up for part of that game. They used him as a decoy for a lot of the end of that game. It's like, well, against Minnesota only had three catches for 30 yards.

I'm like, well, you know, they blanket cover him. Quite frankly, you know, if he if he had a Heisman quarterback thrown to him, maybe the conversation is a little bit different right now. And I think when you distill it down to watching the tape and seeing what he does, he's one of the best players in the country without a doubt.

So I'm not exactly sure it's his trophy, but I do think that he's earned the right to be in New York. We know that Ryan Day has only lost six games as the coach of the Buckeyes. You, though, lose this game on Saturday.

That's three straight to Michigan. You already heard some of the conversation last year. Maybe they need to move on from Ryan Day. I don't think he's in danger of losing his job. But with that being said, maybe he starts to look elsewhere.

We've seen crazier things happen before in the sport. What would you say to the Ohio State fan on Saturday if they lose? That's ready to move on from Ryan Day. Yeah, I mean, it's going to be tough, right?

I don't think you're going to be able to really break through to anybody. But you mentioned it right. Be his seventh loss would be only his third Big Ten loss. And the hard part is all three Big Ten losses would have come to University of Michigan.

But I don't know where you're going to go and find an upgrade. Like, I don't think you're going to go out in the market and find a coach that is better than Ryan Day. This is a program that's still recruiting.

Well, they're nationally relevant. And I would also take a look to next year where things kind of change a little bit. And you're going to have a path to the college football playoff every year.

And once you get there, you never know what happens. They were a missed field goal away from beating Georgia last year. And so I think the idea is as long as your program is nationally relevant, it'd be really difficult to make that move. Now, if you see recruitings taking a nosedive and the quality of play on the field is getting to a point where you think next year, it might be that three, four or five loss type of team, then maybe you try to get ahead of it and make a change. But the way I see things going right now, it's really difficult to entertain any conversations that Ryan Day shouldn't be the head coach of Ohio State. How much do you think the sign stealing scandal impacted the results of these games the last two years in Ohio State and Michigan? I'll break it down like this is I think that Michigan found value in Connor Stallions and whatever his work was because he had access to the head coach and the two coordinators on game day.

It's not something we typically see of a person, his role. I also do think that the ability to know what somebody is getting ready to do can help. If you know that there's an edge pressure coming, you're not going to roll a run a roll out right in the edge pressure. If you know a team is getting ready to run, then you're probably not going to call double coverage on their best wide receiver. Those things are apparent. I also flip on the tape from the last two years and guys running in and out of gaps like they were doing for Ohio State when Donovan was breaking all those long runs, then come from stop the sign stealing like there's nothing to me that indicates that they knew what was coming.

Ohio State's players just didn't execute. And I think there has to be an educated balance when we talk about this. People are up in arms because there is an advantage.

That's why people try to decode signs the way that they do legally. And to step over the bounds of that certainly would bother me, but I'm not going to be the guy to sit here and try to make everybody feel better by saying, well, the only reason that ain't the truth is just not reality here. And I think people need to get over that part as well leading into Saturday and understand that the best team on the field on Saturday is going to win the football game. Who wins the game on Saturday? I got Ohio State winning and I think it's going to be an extremely close one, but I've seen a different demeanor from Ryan Day this year. I know we all joke about the Lou Holtz thing, but he's coached with a lot more emotion.

I think he's actually been much harder on guys in public when we can see the cameras on him than he's been in the past. And I think the play design has been on point pretty much all season long. I also think there's an opportunity for Ohio State's defense for the last two years of what they've heard coming out of this game. Michigan's offensive line maybe isn't as good as we had imagined and JJ McCarthy just hasn't looked like himself and I think they've got a plan for that. I think it's a really close game.

I heard you talking about it in the last segment. I don't think it even gets to 27. I could be completely wrong about that, but I'm looking somewhere in the range of, you know, like a 21 to 17 type of game hard-fought two teams that I believe are our national championship contenders that are running head first into each other on Saturday. Yeah, I really think this game comes down to the big play and can Ohio State stop the big play this year?

Cornelius Johnson, Colston Loveland. We know what quorum could do and it's his birthday. Donovan Edwards and last year to McCarthy's credit.

There was a lot of questions. Can he elevate up against Ohio State and last year? He did and he kind of put the team on his back and they didn't have quorum last year. Yeah, it was definitely the case there and like you can even boil it down to I'm glad you mentioned the big play. JJ McCarthy 50% completion in that game. And typically when you hold a quarterback, especially as talented as he is you win 50% completion you win, but it was the idea that they couldn't get guys on the ground.

They let the ball go over their head and they can't do that. Wrapping up with Josh Perry right now. Let me just get a few thoughts from you from the rest of the games this weekend. Alabama Auburn Auburn just lost last weekend. You look at Alabama if they win the SEC, they win the Iron Bowl then they go on to beat Georgia. Do you think they're a lock to be the one of the last four teams standing in the college football playoff?

They got to be if they win the SEC, they got to be in and this is what I keep telling people. Well, I was a part of one of these teams. I lost the game in week two the year. I won a national title in 2014. We lost the Virginia Tech team.

That was not very good just over 500. And if people held against us the idea that we lost in week two, we would not have been in the playoff picture. And I think that teams evolve and change and I'll do this just to make it as simple as possible beginning of the year coming in. Quinn Ewers Heisman Trophy candidate now toward the end of the end of the year. I don't think anybody thinks Jalen Milrose going to win it but there are odds out for him to win that award because these are teams that are different and he's playing at a much higher level and that defense is playing with much more confidence in Texas.

Looks a little bit different right now as well. I would just say that we would have to great Alabama on what we've seen over the back half of the year. And if they can beat Georgia, everybody thinks that Georgia's got a chance to win their third title in a row. You'd have to put them in but if Bama gets in does that mean Texas should also get in because Texas like you said did beat Alabama back in week two, and they beat him in Tuscaloosa by 10 points. So if it comes down to Bama or Texas, both won losses both winning their conference champions. Let's just say do you think Alabama still gets in over Texas? I would have to see how they did it.

Right? Like how good did Texas look in a conference championship game? And I think that would be the deciding factor.

I believe in head-to-head matchups to a degree and people are like, oh, why do we even play the games? I understand that week two was a long time ago. Yeah, a lot of things have changed since then and that's that's my biggest point about it is you would have to grade Texas right now. If you think that they're one of the four best teams you put them in if you think Alabama is a better team in Texas right now, and then I think they got to go in there. What about Florida State because they just lost their quarterback Jordan Travis.

I don't know how to evaluate them. But if they win the next two weeks and they and they take down top 10 Louisville in ACC Championship, which I think Louisville is a good program, but no one thinks they're a great team this year. And you look at it Florida State with the committee really keep out an undefeated team going into the playoff. That's in the ACC. Yeah, it'd be really difficult. Like I could see a scenario where you know, they beat Louisville and it's a 10-7 game and they would be like this team is not it. Yeah, while everybody else played really well in that last weekend, right? Like I think that could be a realistic possibility. But once again, I don't think that we should hold the idea that Florida State is going to be playing with a backup quarterback against them because my year Cardale Jones third string guy, right? Like I didn't he wasn't there for school. We all know that we remember that great line tell you that from a personal experience with Cardale, but you know part of part of how we got into though was the fact that we won 59 and nothing against Wisconsin the Big Ten Championship those top 15 team at the time, right?

Like I test really matter to those people. So all the picture that I'm trying to paint is we need to take a realistic snapshot of what each of these teams are after that last weekend. And then we have to pick who the four best teams are. Well, let me ask you this then last the gosh, Joshua Perry and we had Oregon State Oregon this weekend, right the Pac-12. We all want to see Oregon and Washington again, the pack told championship one of the best games is not the best game of the college football season. Who do you think the way this plays out the next two weeks that will be the last four team standing?

Wow, it's a really good question. I think that if there's one team that could be Georgia would be Alabama, but Georgia is absolutely rolling right now. So I got a roll with them. I picked Ohio State to win this weekend. So Ohio State is going to be in no doubt. It's hard for me because Oregon has not really played a tough schedule down the stretch, but they've looked really good doing it.

And if I had to put my money in I would certainly put it there on Oregon. And then this is a the tough spot is do we like a Texas or do we like a Florida State the way that's that things stand and I would have to lean Florida State if they're able to get the job done and they've got some aliens on offense to that can give people a lot of issues even with a backup quarterback. So it's going to be a unique picture here man. Like I can't wait to see what this thing looks like because we got some opportunity for chaos here.

And that's the thing. I love the chaos and going to 12 teams next year put some bumpers up on this game where even though no one wants to lose Ohio State Michigan, you could afford to lose and back your way in in a 12 team playoff. Yeah, that's the the idea that I think is troubling for a lot of people is the feeling that it doesn't matter as much but I would tell people and I think it's an obligation for some of us who cover the sport is it matters as much as we want to make it matter. It matters as much as we want to talk and celebrate it. And so for that game, I know it's always going to matter like the SEC Championship if it's two teams that are legit national title contenders. I think it really matters for a lot of people.

But yeah, it's definitely going to be different because we don't get to opine about the chaos scenarios and less content for the shows. I guess Joshua Perry appreciate the time keep on kicking ass and taking names for NBC really enjoyed the coverage with this booth this year. Thank you. Hey, I appreciate you guys.

Take care. There you go. Joshua Perry joining us. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio.

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