Lots of things to catch up on… Some of this has been around for a bit, but we’re not all edgy and trendy and stuff.
The Story Of The Week
Although it’s not really sports related, the capture/death of Osama Bin Laden did have some ripples throughout Buckeye nation and the sports world, particularly on the twitterverse:
Strong linebacker play has been a trademark of Ohio State football for decades. While another school may have been given the title ‘Linebacker U’, few teams have matched the consistent excellence Buckeyes have brought to the position.
At the start of the season, Ohio State had two sure things at linebacker in Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, and one pretty big question mark on the strong side. Given recent history at the position and the talent waiting in the wings, however, there was little question that the Buckeyes would successfully fill the void.
Determining exactly who would fill that void was one of the more interesting stories of the off season. Etienne Sabino appeared to have the spot locked up following the spring, but Andrew Sweat returned from injury in the fall and quickly passed Sabino on the depth chart.
In a surprise move by the coaches, Sabino went from the presumed starter to taking a redshirt year. Saving Sabino’s eligibility will benefit depth in the future, but made him a non-factor for the 2010 season.
Even with Sabino out of the picture, Ohio State still had plenty of talent and depth in 2010. Here’s a look at how the Buckeye linebackers performed this season. Read More
No press conference this week, but we do have Tress’ thoughts from after The Game and so forth
Michigan is among the elite programs and will be and their record will reflect that in the course of time but, you know, we all have our ups and downs in a period and so forth and it’s highly competitive. It’s going to become more competitive because we’re adding Nebraska. The world changed when we added Penn State. The world changes even more when we add Nebraska. The world changed when Dano (Dantonio) went over to Michigan State. There’s constantly changes, but Michigan will be back, we don’t have to worry about that.
REPORTER: Jim, obviously you talk all the time about you want to get better over the course of a year. To be 11-1, where do you feel like this team is in achieving this goal and just how good of a team do you think you are at 11-1 at the end of the season?
COACH TRESSEL: Not good enough to be the outright Big Ten champions and automatic bid to the Rose Bowl and all those things that you shoot for, but we’re pretty fair, and I believe we’re a top ten football team and probably going to get to play a top ten football team and see if we’re allowed to stay in the top ten is what I would guess, but I think it goes beyond that.
Sometimes the ball bounces funny and you end up undefeated or you end up losing however many, and our guys just kept working and whatever came their way, they handled it and pressed on and handled adversity and handled success as it came. They need a little break and they need to take a deep breath and then they need to think about playing against one of the top teams in the nation wherever we play, whoever it is. We’ve had — really we’ve had 13 games in 2010. We played a pretty good Oregon team on the first day of the year, so it’s been a lot of fun.
But who cares what I think. See ya
Short press conference today, including Coach Tressel being honored by the National Guard.
Well, the thing that’s made Penn State good over the years is they’re so steady. They’re never going to be too high and they’re never going to be too low. When it’s 21-0, they’re not going to fold the tent. That’s just not how they’re made. When they end the game winning 35-21, they’re not going to say, hey, we have arrived and we’re now the new kings of college football. They’re going to go to work and get ready for Ohio State, and within the course of our game, they’ll never get too high or never get too low and it will be one of those, you’re going to have to play 60 minutes to compete with them.
REPORTER: Because you are his peer, I’ve heard him refer to you as Little Jimmy on more than one occasion. How do you take that?
COACH TRESSEL: You know, I’m starting to like it more and more. When you’re young you don’t like it, when you’re old you start liking it, someone thinks I’m Little Jimmy. It’s been a special relationship with him in that I did have a chance to visit with him when I was aspiring to become a coach and I was one of those kind of guys, I didn’t end up being with him, but I ended up staying in touch with him, and then all of a sudden when I became a head coach just three hours down the road from him, we had a chance to interact a little bit more and connect in different ways and so now coaching with him for 10 years, you know, in the same Big Ten meetings and so forth, it’s really spanned quite a distance, but I’m sure he looks at me no different than — there have been times he’s called me Lee, so –
Give me no turnovers or give me death. That’s the way we paraphrase Patrick Henry.
As promised, updates from Tressel’s press conference and other college football news:
And now we need to go on the road and play better than we’ve played on the road. We head to Minnesota and it will be the first time for any of us on our team to ever have seen the stadium let alone play in it, so that will be exciting for us. And it’s an evening primetime game, and our guys will get excited about that. So now we’ve got to go back to work and understand that we’re facing a veteran quarterback in Adam Weber. We had him in youth camp. I thought he was outstanding then, and 10,000 yards later I think he’s still outstanding. And I think the school career passing record for us is a little over 7,000 and he’s got 10,000, just to put it in perspective what he’s been able to accomplish and he’s a heck of a player. He’s a competitor. He’s a senior. You can just hear in his comments that he doesn’t want to hear about coaching transition or this or that, this is still the 2010 Minnesota Golden Gophers and still the same team it was at the beginning of the year who has a passion to get some good things done, and through his leadership, you can be sure that they’ll never stop, and that’s the kind of leader that you want to have. And he leads a young group of receivers who I think are getting better and better and they’ve done a good job of giving you a lot of different formation looks, a lot of different personnel groupings.
Over on their defensive side, they were very young when they began, now they’re eight or nine games into it and they’re no longer — you no longer talk when you talk about a team of so and so had this many starters returning because that’s irrelevant now because they’re going into this point in the season.
And they seem to have dialed up a little bit more of their pressure package in this last game or so than they did earlier in the year. They did a similar amount against us a year ago, so it’s not like we haven’t seen it. It’s not like it’s anything brand new, but they are bringing good pressure. I think they’re playing a little bit loose and getting just excited to go out and hit somebody and see if they can create turnovers and so forth, so it will be a great challenge for us.
Special teams, we always say, is the key when we go on the road and I think if anyone has an interest in Big Ten football and doesn’t think that the special teams had maybe the biggest impact on last weekend, Wisconsin’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. Michigan State’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. I think Iowa missed a field goal, which was big, and an extra point, perhaps. The Cleveland Browns, I didn’t see it, but the little reverse pass or whatever they did was huge in their game, and on and on and on. Missouri, I think, didn’t they bring the opening kickoff back?
So special teams is something that we’ll never stop talking about and you’ll never be able to convince me of its relative impact on the emotion of the game, and football is an emotional game. And so we’ve got to make sure that despite the fact that we’ve had to go with a lot of different lineups due to injuries in the linebacker and DB areas, we’ve got to get better at special teams, especially on the road. It’s a huge impact. Purdue found that. Go full circle, Purdue found that out, coming over here, you can’t make two big special teams mistakes and think you’re going to win in someone else’s stadium.
I apologize. It was disguised as a pooch.
I think the other reality is that the Buckeyes never quit. The Buckeyes played and played. I thought we did a good job of putting ourselves in position to have a chance to get back in the game and perhaps take over the game and, again, to their credit, they put together a nice drive which was keyed by a couple key third-down conversions that they did a nice job with and those really are the realities in the football game.
Well, there aren’t any other issues, other than being in your lane and taking on blockers and everyone being where they’re supposed to be. So, yeah, they’re the exact same
To me the key will be, what kind of students are we, because if you’re being taught through adversity, how well are we learning from it, and that will be the fun of attacking the practice field. Because what’s interesting is Purdue really doesn’t care about the difficulty of the challenge or the adversity or the disappointment of maybe letting someone down. Purdue has had their own adversity. They lost their quarterback early. They lost a running back in preseason. They lost a great receiver. And to their credit, they just rolled up their sleeves and have gotten better and better and better and find themselves by doing so, sitting at the top of the Big Ten, 2-0, playing well, young quarterback coming in and the staff, I think, is doing a great job with that young quarterback. He’s a very, very good runner and a very good passer. I think they’re doing the things that conceptually he understands and keep adding a little bit as he goes and in terms of our situation, Purdue doesn’t really care about our adversities, they’ve dealt with their own, they just care about getting better. And what we have to make sure when we take the field this afternoon is that we’re most concerned with getting better at what we need to do. Our players and coaches spent just as long on Sunday watching the film together as they normally do, and someone asked me on the Big Ten call, well, how were our guys this week. Well, Sunday they were tired. They were sore. They were disappointed, but they went to work and went to do what they had to do. Yesterday was their day off and there were lots of them roaming around the building, watching more film, lifting weights and doing all the things they do on an off day, but in my mind, the measure of how we confront that adversity and what kind of students we are of adversity will be determined by how we hit the practice field and how we take the field on Saturday and, you know, life is tough.
REPORTER: Both Illinois and Wisconsin came out hard charging out of the gate and I’m wondering if there was a common denominator in those games, are those experiences something you could learn from that would help you be more productive earlier in games?
COACH TRESSEL: You mean not get behind?