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Oct. 12, 2002

Recap| Box Score| Notes| Photo Gallery

OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel
On defense:
“(Our defense) was huge for us. We need to be plus-two or three (in the turnover margin) in order to be a good winning football team. I thought our defensive guys, even in the first half when San Jose State was moving the chains a little bit, were smacking them good and hard. I have a lot of respect for San Jose State’s scheme. They did a good job getting ready for us and gave us a lot of situations where there was a sharp gun and they threw the ball very, very quickly. But I thought our defense kept hanging tough.”

On zero yards rushing by San Jose State:
“Like we have talked about before, a lot of guys are going to throw a lot of passes on us because no one to date has established a run. Now of course that will be tested very strongly next weekend in Madison.”

On getting a lot of players in the game:
“It is neat to get a lot of people out there. What is great is that the older guys enjoyed seeing the younger the guys and some of the walk ons getting in the game. It is it obvious that they care about one another.”

Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent
On missed extra point attempt:
“The way I see it you can have a perfect game all the way up to the fourth quarter like today. I think it was just a wide snap and Andy Groom had to lean over to hold it. I knew that he knew what he did and I just feel that that is something that we can work on.” On tying field goal record:
“It’s just great to see (Vlade Janakievski) alive and see him every week. He always tells me that he wants me to break that record and I’m going to try and do it for him. To be honest, whenever I find out about a streak, it is normally after the game. None of the guys on the team come up to me and say ‘you have to make every one, you don’t want to miss out on your streak.’ Its good that people don’t mention that. You hear it a few times now and then, but mostly you just hear it after the game and it feels good to hear.”

On his improvement from last season:
“Its basically all goes back to confidence. I’m almost more nervous now (talking to the media), than I am going out to kick a field goal. I just go out there and try to be relaxed. It is good that I have a lot of experience from last year. Also because of our offense this year I’ve been getting on the field a lot more than last year and that helps a lot.”

Ohio State middle linebacker Matt Wilhelm
On the team’s 7-0 start and the upcoming game at Wisconsin:
“We feel we have gotten to where we want to be. A lot of people talked about the Washington State game. If we got over that, we’d be waiting for Wisconsin and we’re there. They are going to be the first challenge of many in the Big Ten. We have got to prepare. Everyone needs to understand what’s at stake every time we play.”

On getting a win on homecoming:
“The homecoming game is important to people. It’s important to the alumni that come back. It is important to the students who prepare their floats for the parade. Its important to the administration who puts so much into the experience of a homecoming weekend, so to cap it off with a victory is great.”

On his tackle on 4th down in the first half:
“The coaches put me in a read blitz where I just go and make something happen. The coaches have given me the opportunity to just flow and be a linebacker and not think too much. It enables me to make a play. Its easy to make a play when you don’t have to think too much.”

On San Jose State’s fumble in the second quarter:
“Cie (Grant)’s hit and Mike Kudla picking up the fumble was the turning point of the game. It is 17-7 and they’re moving the ball down the field, as they did throughout the first half. They’re a big play away from a touchdown and it would have been a totally different ball game.”

On Ohio State’s defense:
“They came out and tried to established the run. We were applying pressure on the quarterback and the hits wore him out a bit. On the back end, we’ll take zero rushing yards and 250 passing yards with them only getting into the end zone one time.”

Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel
On pass to Ohio State’s Chris Vance:
“We were going no huddle so the play still came in from the sideline. We gave them a look as if we were going to run but it just so happened that we passed. Chris Vance ran a good route and made a great catch.”

On making big plays:
“(Not being able to make big plays) is something that has been frustrating us all year considering we have so many big-play guys. We’ve work hard to get better at it. It just took time to do it and today it came together.”

Ohio State linebacker Cie Grant
On quarterback sack:
“I was supposed to let the defensive end clear then get up in the gap. For the most part when my number was called today the plays were working and I got great help from the defensive line at times.”

On momentum shifts:
“I thought (the sack) was one of many momentum shifts throughout the game. I’m just proud to be a part of it. I believe that a lot of other guys on defense could be credited for momentum shifts.”

On second-half adjustments:
“For the most part, we didn’t do anything differently in the second half. The only thing the coaches stressed was to make the tackles. San Jose State changed the game. They started running the ball. The whole first half they were basically passing the ball. So, if anybody did, they were the ones who made the adjustments.”

On San Jose State’s 257 passing yards in the first half:
“It was a little concerning, but people have been passing against us all season. Basically we shut down the run, so we knew the pass is coming. I thought we all went and played very hard today and we were flying around the ball. We put up good numbers.”

Ohio State strong safety Mike Doss
On OSU’s performance:
“We have to continue to keep playing like we have. San Jose State had 260 (yards) passing and zero rushing at halftime. They finished the game with about 270. We knew our defense was eventually going to step up and we made some plays. The offense put points on the board”

About today’s performance and the upcoming schedule:
“We feel pretty good. Today was a nice tune-up to get back into this Big Ten season. We have six straight Big Ten games, a couple on the road, and we have to get ready to play every week because it is going to be a war every Saturday.”