Sept. 4, 2004
TRESSEL: Well, we were pleased with how hard our kids came out and played. It was a good, hot day for us, we haven’t had many of those, which was a plus. We came out against a physical team, a team that was excited to be here and a good football team. Made a lot of mistakes. We understand that. Came up with some good plays. We’ve got to grow from that and we’ve certainly got to clean up mistakes. Lost the turnover margin significantly and you usually don’t win a game when that happens. But all in all, we thought it was a good work.
REPORTER: Coach, your thoughts on the quarterback play, please.
TRESSEL: I thought that the quarterbacks did some good things. They got real life opportunities, which there’s no substitute for. Made some good plays. Made some errors, especially from a turnover standpoint, which we won’t be able to survive in the future. But if I had to bet, I’d say we probably won’t grade what I’d call a winning performance, but I thought it was solid.
TRESSEL: Individually, you know, Justin had a couple throws that we’d like to have back. One, he was going to Hamby and Hamby was open and his arm got hit and the ball floated out, the one that was picked about the five at the beginning of the second half. I thought Justin did some good things. I thought he was composed, in command, and that’s something we thought about a lot. I thought Troy was composed and in command. Made some plays. Didn’t have quite as many opportunities as Justin did, but I thought he did a good, solid job. And without watching every little step they took and every little decision they made on the film being able to play it back and play it back and talk about what were you thinking and all those kind of things, without the luxury of that, I’d say, you know, individually and collectively, something to build on.
TRESSEL: Ed, you probably don’t need one, but go ahead.
REPORTER: You played a lot of players. You threw a lot at the Bearcats. Was that part of your strategy or were you just simply changing themes as you saw it?
TRESSEL: We think a lot of guys have earned the opportunity to see how they’ll do on Saturday. I think we played seven or eight linemen on offense, seven or eight, maybe nine linemen on defense which was a plan. Multiple linebackers, probably six or seven DBs there and multiple receivers, multiple tailbacks, two quarterbacks, that’s what we plan to do.
REPORTER: Jim, could you talk about the complete effort on the defense, no touchdowns scored on you today and just the overall analysis of the defensive game.
TRESSEL: I thought the defense did a good job. I thought Donnie Treadwell at Cincinnati had a good plan. I thought he did some good things. I thought our guys adjusted to it well and played hard and broke up some balls and I think we were probably pretty good on third down conversion. I’m saying that without knowing. It just felt that way. And they answered every challenge. We left them down in bad territory at least twice and only gave up a field goal, I think, with two sudden changes, something like that.
REPORTER: Coach, if you could, get back to Hamby for a second. Talk about, he kind of had some big catches there especially in the second quarter, really kind of got you guys rolling offensively. First of all, how is a guy that big able to get that wide open? And, secondly, were those plays designed for him or was he a secondary receiver in that situation?
TRESSEL: We were sending five receivers out regardless and we were only protecting with five and the quarterback was going to have to throw off some people because we weren’t going to be able to protect. So it was really the quarterback’s ability to see him being open. Ryan did a nice job on one of those first ones he caught because really he was a clear receiver and there was an underneath guy coming and as he started to clear, there was no one there in the neighborhood and he turned and gathered himself and made himself available for the quarterback. But really, you have to tip your cap to the quarterback on finding him.
REPORTER: Jim, what came right with the running game especially in the fourth quarter there, what did you see that you really liked that they started doing?
TRESSEL: Well, when the score was, oh, gosh, whatever it was when we started that long drive, we talked in our little offensive huddle during the TV timeout we wanted to go down and run the ball the whole way down the field and just get better at running the football and I thought the guys executed. I thought both teams were a little tired at that point, but the running backs did some good jobs breaking some tackles so we were able to upgrade our run game, if you will, but we’re still a long way from where we need to be.
REPORTER: Jim, some young kids on the offensive line, Datish one of them, can you talk about how they came together?
TRESSEL: I thought Doug did a good job for a first start. He was a young guy that practiced the whole spring and preseason at left guard and then got thrown in at center for a little bit. Doug knows what we’re doing, he studies it hard, he’s a good athlete, he’s got excellent movement, he’s going to do nothing but get better and better. I thought we pass protected with some of those younger guys as time went on once they got the handle for it, but those young guys, Mike Kne is not a young guy, but he’s young as a starter, and right tackles, Timmy Schafer and Kirk Barton, newcomers, they hung in there and again without watching the film, I thought they did okay.
REPORTER: Coach, this game had so many story lines with the Buckeye connections at UC and you against Dantonio, can you talk about maybe the handshake and just the week and beating him and the impact of that.
TRESSEL: I think what I’m excited about is the game’s over. It’s like playing against family, you know. And Donnie Treadwell, I coached him when he was playing in college and coached for me all those years and on down the line to guys we worked with. I’m glad it’s over and we knew that they would be well schooled and thank goodness or players were prepared to get after them and obviously we’re happy we won, but I’m just as happy it’s over.
REPORTER: Good start for Lydell.
TRESSEL: It was excellent. I think someone said he had 141 yards or something. Probably if I had to guess, if you looked at the first quarter, we wish we were better running it, but I thought he stepped up at one time but, came back, Lydell is going to be good.
REPORTER: Coach, after the game, it’s something I haven’t seen in a while, all the players seemed to — not all, but the majority seemed to huddle at the center of the field. Is this some wrinkle that both the teams had planned or is that just something spontaneous.
TRESSEL: That happens in all the stadiums. When we play at home, there’s X number of people, you know, get together and share their appreciation for having been in the game and so forth and when we go away, it happens as well. So it was nothing new. It was nice to see how big it was, though.
REPORTER: Jim, it’s 10-6 and I think Justin had a couple interceptions and a fumble right in a row there. Would you just talk about how you left him in, he played through that and what you thought turned the game around at that point.
TRESSEL: You know, I don’t remember games that well, but one thing that sticks in my mind, let me say two things, that the defense didn’t allow them touchdowns, was one, and two, our kickoff return team got us in good field position, even after some things happened, maybe they kicked a field goal, whatever, we were back out to mid field. Those were two things in my mind that were momentum items and I don’t remember exactly what was going on when it was 10-6 and we had a couple turnovers. I know we turned it over way down in there on about the 5 and they drove it way back. Did they kick a field goal that time or no? I can’t remember, but we just were working on the next play, we weren’t thinking about the whole picture.
REPORTER: Coach, you talked about Ryan Hamby a second ago. How about Bam Childress, his play today?
TRESSEL: I thought Bam did a good job, he came up with plays when we needed them. He’s the kind of guy that can do that. He runs well after the catch, makes me nervous swinging that ball around like he does, but he makes plays and it’s exciting and he keeps getting better. I thought the last three games last year plus bowl practice, plus the bowl game and then on into this spring and preseason, you could just see Bam just growing and I hope he keeps doing it.