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Hoarse C.J. Stroud Takes Responsibility For Ohio State’s False Start Penalties In Loss To Michigan

The redshirt freshman signal-caller felt ill and lost his voice earlier this week, leading to communication issues.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud entered Saturday’s game at Michigan as the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. But much like the Buckeyes’ Big Ten title and College Football Playoff hopes, his candidacy went out the window in the 42-27 loss to the Wolverines.

That’s not to say Stroud played poorly. In fact, he completed 34-of-49 passes for 394 yards and two touchdowns. But he was also sacked four times and the offense was penalized seven times, including five false starts and two holding calls.

After the game, a hoarse Stroud noted he was feeling ill and lost his voice earlier in the week. He felt that had an impact on communicating with his offensive line in front of 111,000-plus fans and took full responsibility for the false start penalties.

“Whenever you get yourself off schedule like that, it’s not a good feeling,” Stroud said. “A majority of the time, we just kind of put ourselves in a hole, we kind of just beat ourselves.

Like you can tell – and I’m not trying to make an excuse – but I lost my voice earlier in the week and I can’t really yell. I’m trying my hardest to yell, so I don’t really blame my line. I blame it on me for even getting sick. I tried my hardest to be as loud as I possibly could, but when you get yourself out of whack like that, it’s hard to bounce back.

“I don’t know what type of sickness I have, but I’ve been sick all week. I’m just trying to get right, trying to get my voice back. There’s not really too much to explain. Sometimes you’ve got to play sick.”

This marked the first loss in the series for Ohio State since 2011, when interim head coach Luke Fickell and then-freshman quarterback Braxton Miller fell to Michigan, 40-34. And just like it did then, the loss will serve as motivation for Stroud and the Buckeyes throughout the entire offseason.

“At the end of the day, this is the worst feeling we could possibly have,” Stroud said. “I know people probably hate me for it, but I know deep down in my heart, I put everything I possibly could to win this game on the line.

“Whatever happens, happens. Just know that I love this team. I love Ohio State. I love Buckeye Nation. Every single day, I am going to keep grinding to get this win back.”

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