Nov. 8, 2003

Recap| Box Score| Notes| Photo Gallery

Santonio Holmes, freshman receiver
On his touchdown reception in the second quarter
“Whenever I have an opportunity to play, I always try to make the most of it. I beat the defensive back inside and Craig (Krenzel) hit me with a nice throw for the touchdown.”

On the win
“This win really gives us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can get on a roll. Coach Tressel came up to the receivers this week and told us that we had to make some big plays and I think we did that today.”

“I think everyone on this team is very focused. The quarterbacks are making plays, our running game is doing great and the defense is playing well. This win gives us a lot of momentum heading into the last two games.”

Bobby Carpenter, sophomore linebacker
On pressuring MSU quarterback Jeff Smoker
“It really feels great knowing that we were able to put pressure on Jeff Smoker. Smoker is a great quarterback, but they also run the ball very well, so our main focus coming into today’s game was to shut down their running game so we could focus on their passing attack.”

Lydell Ross, junior running back
On today’s game
“I was little dinged up from a stinger I had this week during practice, but as the game wore on I felt stronger. It feels good to get over 100 yards today and hopefully I can continue to run over 100 yards during the next two games.”

On the offensive performance
“A game like this really does a lot for our confidence offensively. We have two games left this season and we need to focus on having another strong offensive performance.”

Ben Hartsock, senior tight end
On the offensive performance
“I think it’s a good sign for this team. We are continuing to progress and we are peaking at the right time.”

A.J. Hawk, sophomore linebacker
On Tyler Everett’s interception in the second quarter
“The interception in the second quarter was a big momentum swing for us. Whenever you can create a turnover on defense that really does a lot for the confidence of an offensive unit.”

Dr. Randy Pearson, Michigan State team doctor
On the status of injured Michigan State player Stefon Wheeler
“Stefon had a CT scan (CAT scan) and it was negative. He has no broken bones in his neck and the sensation has returned to his arms. He is in stable condition and he will remain at OSU Hospital (The Ohio State University Medical Center) overnight for precautionary reasons.”

On the injury to Stefon Wheeler
“Stefon had tingling in his toes when he left the field and by the time he got to the hospital he had tingling in his arms and feet.”

Michigan State head coach John L. Smith
General comments on the game
“We got beat by a real good team today. They’re big and physical. They’re not the defending national champions for nothing. I give our guys credit, though. I’m proud of how hard they played. There were chances, but we just have to go out and make plays.

“We made a lot of mistakes out there today. We had a lot of penalties and you can’t afford those against a good team like that. We have to be more focused and more determined and continue to work to get to the caliber of where we want to be. I think we’re trying as hard as we can try, but sometimes our focus isn’t as good as it needs to be. We can’t make stupid mistakes and expect to win. We had to play a near-perfect game to beat these folks.”

“We have two games left and we have to get back to work to try to make this season even more special than it already is.”

On Michigan State’s inability to run the football
“You’re playing against one of the best defenses in the country out there. They have some good guys out there – not everything you try is going to work. For us to be the team we want to be, for us to be a championship team, we have to rush the ball, but we weren’t going to beat these guys running the ball.”

On MSU quarterback Jeff Smoker’s mistakes in the game
“Now remember they have some pretty good guys out there coming at him, but he gives us the best opportunity to win right now.”

On the injury to Stefon Wheeler
“He said he got hit on the top of the head, that’s all I know. Anytime you see a player (lying on the field) that still it is very scary, but by the time he left the field I saw him move his feet and I felt a lot better.”

Junior kicker Dave Rayner
On going for the touchdown, instead of the field goal
“You always think you can make it. You want to try to get seven instead of three. I thought I would make it.”

On special teams
“Our special teams (are) different from game to game. I don’t think we played bad on special teams. We can play harder. We have to look at the film.

Juniour cornerback DeAndra Cobb
On playing Ohio State
“It wasn’t difficult. We had a hard time executing. Our mind was somewhere else. Ohio State played outstanding. They just had the momentum. First time in a game you are always anxious. We just have to bounce back next week.”

On the Ohio State interception in the fourth quarter
“It didn’t deflate us. A couple of our leaders said it was time to make a play and fight and claw our way back into the game.”

On how much Ohio State passed the ball
“I was surprise by how well they played. OSU is a championship team for a reason.”

On safety Eric Smith not playing
“He is our backbone of the defense and he tried his best to give his input in from the sideline.”

Senior offensive guard Paul Harker
On first half
“We came in so upset with ourselves. We were stopping ourselves getting penalties. We could have done so much more than we actually did.”

On Michigan State penalties
“On one side you can say we were playing well because we were anxious to perform well. You have to give credit to Ohio State fans for making sure you could not hear.”

On Stefon Wheeler’s injury
“Mainly, I was hopeful he would be alright. I was concerned definitely, but coach said he would be alright and that is good news.”