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Oct. 8, 2002

Coach Tressel
on the Northwestern game:
“When you have good guys like: Maurice Clarett, Craig Krenzel, Mike Doss, or Donnie Nickey that really care about their performance, I ‘d like to think they would grow from any mistake on the field,” Tressel said.

on the road trip
“We had a challenging trip to Northwestern to face what we knew was an improving football team that was going to play hard. We played extremely hard. As we progress and set our sights on doing some great thing, we not only have to play hard but we have to play well in every phase of the game. When you’re on the road you have to be superior in the special units. We did some stuff in that area of the game that you cannot do if you want to continue moving forward. You cannot have turnovers and we had turnovers.”

on the defense
“The defense handled the sudden change situations as well as I have ever seen. They were suddenly put on the field in five situations. They handled that well. We consider winning those situations as forcing field goal attempts. In the five sudden change situations, we won all five. A large part of that is due to the leadership on that side of the ball. When your defense is challenged and the older guys step up in the huddle and on the field, you have a chance to overcome some of the deficiency we had in key areas.”

on the offense
“On the offensive side, we did seize tempo of the game. It was great to see the consistency of Craig Krenzel. Our effort was solid. Now we have to take the next step and improve our play.”

on San Jose State
“In the Illinois game they won the turnover margin 3-0. Their Stanford game was 28-26 going into the middle of the third quarter and they already had three or four takeaways,” Tressel said.

“San Jose State has great speed. When you have speed two things are going to happen. One, you are going to knock the ball loose and you are going to be the guy that gets to it or two you will break on the ball and make plays on the ball from there,” Tressel said.

“Watching San Jose State on film you can see that they have progressed. Many people do not think much of Northwestern just like they don’t feel San Jose State is a good team, but they have excellent speed,” Tressel said.

“Part-time starters for San Jose State from last year are getting the chance to start and have really grasped on to what they are doing. Their speed is what I feel is their plus. Their receivers have extraordinary speed and Charles Pauley was rated tops in the country for awhile,” Tressel said.

“The speed that they bring at you on the offense is excellent. On the defense side of the ball I have seen them line up against SMU who was ahead of them 20-3 but they continuously ran up to the ball. The SMU cornerbacks were pressured to play man and San Jose State waited for a mistake to happen. The score was then 20-14 another big play came and kept rolling guys in on defense and in they won the game,” Tressel said.

“Pauley is very talented and fast and you have to watch their entire team to understand the speed and agility they posses, ” Tressel said.

“They are road warriors this year, they went to Illinois, Stanford and SMU and won. They almost beat Washington until the fourth quarter. They are an excellent team,” Tressel said.

“They go out and battle the odds and they do it with speed. You have to respect what they do and the road that they have traveled when you watch them on film,” Tressel said.

Safety Mike Doss
“We are comfortable, we know what we can do, and we must not allow them to make any big plays. I am definitely looking forward to playing them on Saturday,” Doss said.

“For me all I worry about is the win and loss columns. It does not matter how many rushing yards anyone gets, it’s all about wins and losses,” Doss said.

“Just looking at San Jose State’s turnover margins lets you know that these guys are ready to play, so we are ready to go out there and play to win,” Doss said.

“When everyone does their job there are no let downs or trick plays on the field. That is something you look forward to something different,” Doss said.

“I am very happy with how we are playing and where we are as a team,” Doss said.

“Being at home is a factor when playing. This is our homecoming game and I have been here for three years and we have never won a homecoming game. So I look forward to a possible win on Saturday,” Doss said.

“This game is a challenge and we are looking forward to the competition and hopefully I can get some picks at it,” Doss said.

Safety Donnie Nickey
on San Jose State
“We started playing Big Ten football and we are going to continue. I think the key is to let the receivers know that when they catch the ball, we are going to hit them. They beat Illinois and they are talented. They defiantly have our attention. You have to respect this team; they play hard.”

on yards per game allowed
“We are aware that we are giving up too many yards. Granted, we have faced teams that are primarily spread teams that use the pass as their primary attack. Also, we have taken away the run in most of the games and that only leaves the pass.”

on the team’s progress
“We have seven games left. Let the ranking be taken care of at the end of the season. You never stop in the middle of the season and say that we are great. I’m not going to ever think that we are a great team until we are 13-0 heading for the Fiesta Bowl.”

on the road
“You have to be able to adapt. In both of the road games we have faced adversity right off the bat, which makes it harder to play our game.”

Quarterback Craig Krenzel
on improving his performance
“Honestly in the Cincinnati game I was not that consistent. I did not make a lot of plays or a lot of my check downs. Yet, with every game I am more comfortable and with every game-time experience I feel that I am getting better,” Krenzel said. “I am a perfectionist. It is just my nature. I know that we can get better and I know we need to improve a lot. We talked about the deep ball, and we need to work on that a lot. We have not been very successful at it this season. A lot of that is on me, whether it is throwing a better ball and letting those guys make the plays that much easier. We need to improve upon that so defenses play us a little more honestly. However, at the same time we need to keep that level of play consistency that we have used all year.”

On talking to Coach Tressel
“I am more of a laid back kind of guy,” Krenzel said. “We obviously talk and communicate a lot during the game and talk about possibilities. He asks me what I saw out there and about the check downs I need to make.”

On Clarett’s performance
“Obviously we were surprised. It is something he has not done much of all year. Again, it is something that he cannot do any more of this year. He knows that, he has done a great job of securing the ball all year. At the same time, things like that can happen and realistically they will happen. It is how we respond to them and come back. We ended up putting 27 points on the board. Statistically, I think like over the past eight or nine years, when we score more than 24 points we win something like 96 percent of the time. We have to accept the fact that we are probably going to turn over the ball again sometime this season. We just have to hope that the defense comes up big like it did and hold the team to some field goals and even get the ball back to us like they did in certain situations.”

On his own performance
“I am happy as long as we take the win. Things could have been a lot different this past game if we had hit some of those deep balls. Statistically, I would have had a much better game if I had completed some of those deep balls and put a couple more touchdowns on the board,” Krenzel said.

On San Jose State’s defense
“They thrive on creating turnovers, whether it is the defense returning balls for touchdowns or putting their offense in at good field positions. We take pride in the passing game that we have not made a lot of turnovers. Yet, we have to realize that we will continue to see better fronts all season and a better secondary,” Krenzel said.