Oct. 12, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes continued preparing Tuesday for their first-ever Leaders Division game, a 3:30 kickoff against unbeaten and nationally ranked Illinois Saturday in Champaign. Braxton Miller was leading the offense. Dan “Boom” Herron wasn’t on the scout team any longer. And the defensive coaches were busy getting the team ready for an explosive Illinois offense that features talented quarterback Nathan Sheelhaase, receiver A.J. Jenkins.

Comments from some of the Buckeyes who met with the media after practice Tuesday are below. Click on the above link to see an interview with cornerback Bradley Roby.

Jake Stoneburner, junior tight end
Previewing Illinois

“They are well coached and have a lot of athletes on each side of the ball. We can’t take any team lightly and we need to play against them like they are a national championship team. We need to execute more consistently throughout the entire game.”

On team mood during practice
“We always go into a practice with the same attitude – we are hungry to get better. I think we were energetic and were ready to play. It doesn’t matter what our record is and we will continue play hard for our coaches and fans.”

Garrett Goebel, junior defensive lineman
On playing in native state Saturday vs. Illinois
“I’m really looking forward to playing this weekend. It will be a big challenge for us and they have a solid offense. We need to play as a unit with all 11 guys swarming to the football and defend on both sides of the field.”

On Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase
“He poses a big threat offensively and can make a big play at any point during the game. Momentum is huge when you’re playing in these big road games and we will really need to focus on executing and finishing off plays.”

Mike Brewster, senior center
On Braxton Miller’s status

“I thought Braxton looked really good in practice today. He didn’t show any signs of injury and I think he should be fine for the game Saturday.”

On having Dan “Boom” Herron back
“You are always going to get better as an offense when you have a 1,000-yard rusher return to the huddle. He really knows how to hit the holes and I think he is more powerful and stronger than last year. He is the vocal leader for this team and I’m really interested to see how he does Saturday.”