‘I never won The Game.’

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was shell-shocked after the Buckeyes’ 45-23 loss to Michigan.

“Actually, I simply do not know learn how to really feel proper now,” he stated. “It occurred so quick.”

Stroud’s numbers towards the Wolverines – 31 for 48 passing, 349 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions – had been first rate, however opposing sign caller J.J. McCarthy was arguably extra impactful with 263 yards and three touchdowns on 12-for-24 passing and plus a further dashing TD.

So, how did Stroud assume he carried out?

“That is an incredible query,” he stated. “I feel that I positively performed with as a lot coronary heart as I may. I positively tried to do something I probably may to win this sport. However on the finish of the day, man, it is on me. I am the quarterback.”

He is keenly conscious that he was additionally the quarterback throughout final season’s 42-27 drubbing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when he accomplished 34 of his 49 makes an attempt for 394 yards and two touchdowns. That is very true given the very actual chance this was Stroud’s final go-round towards the Wolverines. Throughout his postgame media availability, the third-year quarterback in his second 12 months as OSU’s starter actually made that sound just like the case.

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“Persons are going to say I by no means gained The Recreation, and I perceive,” Stroud stated. “Persons are going to say I by no means gained a Large Ten championship. I perceive. On the subject of that, I simply need to eat it.”

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Nonetheless, he believes he has come a great distance since his “first sport taking part in in The Shoe being booed, folks not saying very good issues about me.”

Certainly this season, he has posted a completion share (66% on 235-for-355 passing) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (37:6) that has him within the Heisman dialog. His 3,340 yards are down from final 12 months’s complete of 4,435, when he additionally tossed 44 landing passes, however in 2021 he had Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to throw to earlier than they went within the first spherical of the NFL draft. And Stroud has performed the vast majority of this season with out star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

That is why Stroud continues to be listed as one of many prime, if not the highest, draft-eligible quarterbacks amongst those that make such projections.

Rely coach Ryan Day amongst Stroud’s believers.

“I believed he competed,” Day stated. “I believed he performed laborious all the way in which to the top, made some good throws, and there is no one who needed to win greater than C.J. Stroud at this time.”

That is to not say the coach and quarterback had been on the identical web page all afternoon. At one level, OSU’s Donovan Jackson was known as for holding, and after the play, Gee Scott Jr. was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving the Buckeyes in a first-and-35 state of affairs within the third quarter.

The Buckeyes battled to the Michigan 43-yard line, dealing with fourth-and-5. When Day despatched on the punt crew, Stroud lingered on the sector wanting towards the sideline, seeming dissatisfied.

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Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) consoles quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) following an interception within the Buckeyes’ 45-23 loss to Michigan.

“I needed it,” Stroud stated. “I needed to go for it actually dangerous. I feel I am nonetheless the most effective gamers within the nation, and I feel that I could make that play. In these varieties of moments, I would like the ball.”

It is unlikely that any extra of these moments can be taking place in Columbus. OSU now waits its postseason destiny, and Stroud’s remaining phrases on the podium Saturday sounded very very similar to a goodbye.

“It has been a blessing,” he stated. “Love y’all.”

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This text initially appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: CJ Stroud does not know learn how to really feel after Ohio State loss to Michigan