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Oct. 26, 2002

Recap| Box Score| Notes| Photo Gallery

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel
On the game:
“Our kids played hard, our coaches coached hard and our fans yelled hard. There was a bunch of energy out there.

On dominating the game, with 37 ˝ minutes of possession and allowing 179 yards:
“We’ve got a good, tough defense. We’ve had a lot of good tests this year. Our defense has been tested and has been getting better. They played well today. They’ve communicated well and they do a good job making adjustments. They played hard.

On the importance of depth:
“(Maurice) Clarett got banged up early. Everyone talks about the need for depth in college football because playing in 13 games is physical. They get pounded and that’s why Maurice Hall is just as important as anyone else.

On the importance of special teams:
“You need every point in a game like this. I’m really proud of our guys for protecting for (placekicker Mike) Nugent and Andy Groom and for holding and snapping well. You have to win special teams to win games like these.”

Joe Paterno, Penn State head coach
On the loss:
“We couldn’t make a play when we had to. We couldn’t come up with a catch or (Penn State quarterback) Zack (Mills) was a little off. A couple of times, we had some running room and we got tripped up. It’s a lot of little things and that is a good football team. (OSU) is a very good defensive football team.”

On quarterback Zack Mills:
“He just had one of those days. I think Ohio State is a better defensive team than they were last year. Obviously, they didn’t know as much about (Mills) last year as they do now. I think it was just a combination that they played very well and we just couldn’t make the play.”

On the injury to Maurice Clarett:
“Maurice (Clarett) is a great back, but we were just as worried about (Lydell) Ross and (Maurice Hall) because they are both so quick. We didn’t change our game plan at all when (Clarett) went out of the ball game.”

Zack Mills, Penn State quarterback
On what cost Penn State the game:
“We had more than one opportunity to win this football game and we didn’t take advantage of it. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot throughout the entire game. We made too many mistakes mentally, but give Ohio State credit. They had a great game plan and played a heck of a game.”

On Chris Gamble’s interception and trying to force plays:
“The interception for a touchdown was just a terrible pass. I wasn’t trying to force anything there. Maybe a couple of times, I personally tried to force some things, but I was just trying to make a play.”

Tony Johnson, Penn State wide receiver
On the team’s loss:
“We had plenty of opportunities to score. It took a series or two to adjust. (Ohio State) didn’t do anything differently that we hadn’t seen on film. It was just a lack of execution on our part.”

Larry Johnson, Penn State tailback
On the loss:
“We didn’t execute. Our offense was ridiculous. Our defense played their hearts out. All we had to do was make one or two more blocks and it’s a different ball game. Their defense played outstanding. We just beat ourselves today.”