REPORTER: Is there something that stands out in your mind as being an area you can point to the most?
BOECKMAN: Probably the turnovers. I can’t be throwing three interceptions like that. We just didn’t come out playing as good as we wanted to and they had a great game plan and we’ve just got to go out there and play better football.
REPORTER: As you have a game like that where there were three interceptions and some tough moments in the game, as a quarterback, though, you always try to be the most confident guy on the field. Has that in any way gotten to you a little bit as you try to get ready for this game?
BOECKMAN: You really can’t dwell on the past. You can’t worry about what happened in the last play. You’ve got to take it one play at a time. I’m the leader of this football team. I can’t be looking down if something goes wrong, I’ve got to stay positive, keep on fighting and do your best each and every day out there.
REPORTER: How do you try to shake off a bad game? Do you have any routine?
BOECKMAN: This is the first game I’ve lost, so I don’t know. I’ve just got to keep on fighting, not dwell on the past because we know we have a battle this week. Michigan is a good football team and we’ve got to go out there and stay strong and stay positive.
REPORTER: How do you keep that edge you’ve kind of had the last several weeks with what happened with those interceptions Saturday, how do you keep that from taking away a little bit of that edge, what are you fighting in your mind right now about it?
BOECKMAN: To be honest, I’m not even worrying about it. Like I said, Michigan is a good football team. We can’t think about what happened versus Illinois, we’ve got to think about Michigan, because this is one of the greatest rivalries in college football. We’ve got to bring our A Game because we don’t want the same thing to happen this time.
REPORTER: You got to stand on the sidelines at a lot of these games, what in your mind is expected from a quarterback in this game? What is expected?
BOECKMAN: Coach Tress (Tressel) always gives us the big three with I-A also, which is toughness, great decisions, no turnovers and big plays, I think all four of those factor in this week. You’ve got to have serious toughness to play in this game because it’s a battle out there. As you see in the last three years, I think Troy (Smith) had all those qualities, that’s why we were so successful.
REPORTER: You talked about dreaming about being the Ohio State quarterback, and maybe part of that dream was playing in this game. Is it weird it’s now coming to fruition? What does it feel like?
BOECKMAN: Definitely it’s a dream come true to be in an atmosphere situation like this because, as I said, this is one of the biggest games in all of college football. I’m excited about it. Our teammates are excited about it and we’re going to be ready to go.
REPORTER: Just talk about the position you guys are in and some of your goals.
BOECKMAN: Definitely we know the National Championship is out of the picture, there’s maybe a possibility of getting in there if a few teams lose, but we’ve got an opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl, outright Big Ten champions, that’s an honor, that’s great, it’s a great chance for us to actually win it three years in a row because I think two years ago we were the co-champions so we’ve got an opportunity to be actually three straight Big Ten champions and that’s an honor.
REPORTER: Talk about Michigan’s defense, I know they were struggling a little bit in the year, talk about what you’ve seen out of them so far.
BOECKMAN: They’re a good football team. Their defense especially is too. They mix it up a little bit. I’ve seen a little bit about them, what they do, how they handle things. The first two games were tough for them, but I think they’re coming on here. They’re coming together as a team, put things together, they’re doing some good things out there, we’re looking forward to a great match-up.
REPORTER: What caught your eye in that game, they came after Tyler Donovan on Saturday against Wisconsin, kind of beat him up a little bit, what do you see there?
BOECKMAN: Shawn Crable first of all is a great player, he’s all over the place, he lines up at defensive end, linebacker, they mix him around. We’re looking forward to the battle, I really haven’t seen too much of them yet, I’m going to go back and look at it a little bit today but we’re looking forward to it.
REPORTER: As you sat and watched Troy Smith prepare for these games and go out and have some of the best games in the history of the series, are there things that you recall of his preparation that you might adopt yourself?
BOECKMAN: This is just a huge week in general. You’ve got to get in the film room, study them each and every game, every snap, every play. Try to get a great feel for what they do because this is going to be a battle out there. He was just such a great leader. He led by example, he led by watching film, doing little things like that. I’ve got to be in the film room, knowing hopefully every snap what they’re going to do, when they’re going to do it and things like that.
REPORTER: You’ve had some great games on the road this year, particularly Penn State when you came out and took it to a team in their environment with a big crowd. What were some of the things you relied upon when you go into a road environment?
BOECKMAN: You can’t be too worried about the atmosphere, the noise factor, stuff like that. We know almost everybody in that stadium is against you and I think we kind of like that situation knowing everybody’s against you. We get an opportunity to shut them up a little bit, just the crowd noise and stuff like that. Just go in there and keep fighting and battling, knowing everybody’s against you, it’s kind of nice to go out there and put a few points on the board and quiet them down a little bit.
REPORTER: Coach Tressel talked about that feeling in your gut, he talks about feeling it on Sunday, for you as the quarterback, your first time heading into this as a starter, what’s that like for you, are there nerves on Monday?
BOECKMAN: There’s always going to be nerves, especially the game week of Michigan. After that game last Saturday, we started thinking about Michigan right away because we knew we had an opportunity to win the Big Ten title this year, and it definitely starts that first day, that first Sunday, so we’re looking forward to it.
REPORTER: Is it nerve racking that people might remember more what you do — might remember more last Saturday or this coming Saturday, instead of those 11 wins?
BOECKMAN: You can throw out the records every year. I think it’s really only what you do versus Michigan that people remember and that’s an honor to us and our seniors are leading us, our captains are leading us and we’re realizing the importance of the game and I think our young guys are too.
REPORTER: The Ohio State quarterback, before you got here, what do you remember of watching that game, you thinking, hey, I want to be him that day? Do you remember a name, was it Bobby Hoying.
BOECKMAN: Ever since I can remember football, all of them, Bobby Hoying, Craig Krenzel, Joe Germaine, Troy Smith, being a quarterback is a tremendous job to stay focused an be tough, like I said. I remember all those guys doing great things in this game. This could define your.
REPORTER: Some of Troy’s best place were some he pulled out of his back pocket. You watched him the last couple years. Can you go into a game knowing you’ve got to make those plays or do you have to just let it flow?
BOECKMAN: You’ve got to make plays all the time. You have the ball in your hand each and every play you never know what to expect. Some plays something could break down and before you know it you’re throwing the ball 50 yards down the field or Beanie’s breaking off tackle, whatever it is. You’ve got to go out there and realize you have the ball in your hand each and every time and you never know what can happen.
REPORTER: Talk about the privilege of being the next quarterback along that line. The quarterbacks in the Ohio State/Michigan game are remembered and they’re remembered for a long time. What’s that like for you to have that privilege?
BOECKMAN: It’s definitely an honor because I’ve always wanted to be the quarterback of this football team and let alone play in an Ohio State-Michigan football game. I’m looking forward to it. I know a lot of guys’ names pop up, you see Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, the guys I’m familiar with, they had great games in these games. It’s an honor to be a part of that and hopefully I can lead on that tradition.
REPORTER: What’s it like at St. Henry, I know there are great players from St. Henry that come in, what’s it like in that town this week?
BOECKMAN: Well, it’s crazy each and every week when they get a homegrown guy from a small town like that to get an opportunity to go play at Ohio State and everybody’s looking forward to it each and every week, my mom gets calls, dad, everybody. People want to be a part of this because it’s a great honor to be a part of this coming from such a small town where everybody has your back and wants to see you do well.
REPORTER: Let’s put those two questions together, small town kid from St. Henry, Ohio, quarterback in the Ohio State/Michigan game, is that something you fantasize about as a young kid?
BOECKMAN: Definitely, I’ve always fantasized about being a quarterback here and now that I have the honor to do that and actually play in Ohio State/Michigan game it’s something special. Having known Bobby Hoying for quite a while now, I kind of having a feeling what it’s like, he’s been a great leader, great mentor towards me and somebody I can always look up to.
REPORTER: Has the team been able to get its focus back after the loss?
BOECKMAN: After watching the game yesterday, it was tough. I think after we watched it, I think we kind of blocked it out of our minds. We were ready to go, ready to fight because that was a tough loss for us, but you’ve got to get that out of your head and get it over with, because this is going to be a battle this week, this is what it’s all about.
REPORTER: Ohio State/Michigan are playing for the Rose Bowl theoretically in this game. Growing up, did you watch the Rose Bowl when you were living in St. Henry? And in this BCS era, has the Rose Bowl lost a little of its specialness?
BOECKMAN: I don’t know if it’s lost its specialness because it’s the Rose Bowl, it’s what we always wanted to be a part of. Last time I think we played there was maybe in ’97 with Germaine leading the way. I remember games like that. People do all the time. It’s an honor. We’re looking forward to it. We can’t look past that. We’ve got to play Michigan first here and have a shot at something special.
REPORTER: How excited are you about this game this week? I mean, it’s big.
BOECKMAN: I’m ecstatic, I can’t wait for it actually. After a tough loss we had this past weekend, it’s something special to know that you have an opportunity to go out there and win the outright Big Ten title first, Michigan.
REPORTER: You’ve never played up there, have you, before?
REPORTER: What do you expect, what do you think of the atmosphere, the Big House, all that stuff?
BOECKMAN: I know it’s going to be something else. I’ve been there in ’05. I kind of have a feeling what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be crazy up there. The fans are going to be everywhere, yelling, screaming, everything against you, it’s going to be something special.
REPORTER: Is it hard to control your emotions when you’re in these situations with these huge games, do you just keep it simple and go forward?
BOECKMAN: I don’t think so. I think Coach Tressel and the staff are going to put a good game plan together, keep us kind of down to earth because we know it’s going to be a battle and there are going to be some people out there saying some things. We’ve got to go out there and keep our level head and play the game.
REPORTER: Did you go there recruiting or anything?
BOECKMAN: I went there in ’02 actually, did we win up there in ’02? Or was it ’01? Yeah. I was actually being recruited by Michigan and Ohio State.
REPORTER: You had an Ohio State tee-shirt on?
BOECKMAN: I sat on the side, I think we were the only ones in the stadium rooting for Ohio State.
REPORTER: What do you think about Beanie’s nickname?
BOECKMAN: I don’t even know what it means, to be honest. It’s not a big deal. As long as he keeps on producing, we can call him whatever he wants.
REPORTER: The seniors have an opportunity to win against Michigan four times in a row, what do you think about that?
BOECKMAN: Coach Tressel’s record is 5-1 against Michigan, that’s something else. Seniors have something special to do here, we could make history at Ohio State.
REPORTER: Adding the rush to your repertoire the last couple of games, what’s been the main reason for that and do you see it continuing in this game?
BOECKMAN: I don’t know, I guess just trying to take what the defense is giving me. Just take what they’re giving me and if they’re going to open up and drop guys deep, I’m going to drop back and get those extra yards because I’m not afraid to pull that ball down and take off.
REPORTER: Is that something that becomes more important when a game is getting tighter and closer late in the year like this?
BOECKMAN: I think so. Coach Tressel always says step-ups and throw-aways are very important because the throw-away could be the best throw of the day and step-ups could break a defense’s back when they’ve got so many other things to worry about, the receivers, the running game, if a quarterback steps up and makes some big gains, that could help the team.
REPORTER: Why have you guys been so successful since you’ve been here against Michigan as you’ve watched the observed these games, what do you take from that? Why have you guys been so successful?
BOECKMAN: I think we just realize the importance of the game, just knowing that this game can define your season and it’s not about what you do the other 11 games, it’s about what you do during this game. That’s how you’re seeing it throughout the whole season.
REPORTER: How would you characterize this rivalry, Alabama is a hate game, is this a respect you have with a Michigan team or is it hate as well?
BOECKMAN: There’s not hate. We have so much respect for that team. They’re a great football team led by a great coach. They have so many special players up there, as do we. So it’s going to be a battle and we respect them very much because they do so many great things.
REPORTER: Does Coach Tressel act the same this week as he does any other week?
BOECKMAN: I don’t know if we’re that much different, we just realize the importance of the game and if you walk through our facility here, we’ve got signs up all over the place, just little sayings, little quotes about how important this game is, everybody has to step it up a notch because it’s going to battle. It’s definitely nice to see alumni and guys like you said, Eddie George, it’s nice to know that they care for us and support us and do some great things out there.
REPORTER: Have you been able to completely put last week out of your mind or does it still linger as you prepare?
BOECKMAN: Yesterday we finished up watching the film, the game film, and I think once that game was finally over, we finished watching it on tape, it was pretty much out of our minds. It was a tough loss for us. We can’t dwell on the past, we’ve got to look forward. We know this is going to be a battle this week and from this point on we’ve got to stay focused towards Michigan.
REPORTER: Is there more danger in a Michigan team that lost two at the start of the season really banking on this as a savior to their season?
BOECKMAN: I don’t think there’s more danger just because this the Ohio State and Michigan football game. If we or they lose six or seven eight games in a year and they win this football game, that makes the season for anybody. If we — we’re 10-1 right now and we win this game, it’s going to make the season for us. It’s the Ohio State-Michigan football game.
REPORTER: What traditions do you like most about this week?
BOECKMAN: There’s so many that you can’t even describe. I guess on Thursdays when we do the Senior Tackle, that just means so much to our coaches, families, players, everybody. Just to see them go out there for the last time of the season, I think that’s something special.
REPORTER: How about the Thursday students jumping in Mirror Lake, are you familiar with that?
BOECKMAN: That’s something else, I’ve been down there once kind of from a distance to see what it’s all about, there’s so many crazy fans out there, it’s a sight to see.
BOECKMAN: Definitely cold, I wouldn’t want to jump in that.
REPORTER: How about the gold pants tradition?
BOECKMAN: I think I have three pairs of those, so it’s something special to get those gold pants knowing that you forever have those and know that you did beat Michigan, it’s an honor.
REPORTER: Is this a hard week, though, the fact that you almost just wish the game was tomorrow?
BOECKMAN: Well, first of all, I don’t know if we’d want if to be tomorrow because I think everybody’s still a little sore from last Saturday, but we definitely want to get out there and play because we have a tough taste in our mouth from last week but we’ve got — we want to get out there and play but even though we have to wait five more days to get out there, it’s going to make practice that much better.
REPORTER: Can you talk about Hartline and Robiskie?
BOECKMAN: Those two are always together, they know each other inside and out, they know how to handle themselves on the field and off the field. I expect better things out of them in this game.
REPORTER: Is the buildup, the rivalry, the game itself, what’s the best part?
BOECKMAN: Just the rivalry in general. This game has been going on for quite some time and we’ve just got to hope to keep our alumni, our nation, Buckeye Nation proud just by doing the right things. Go out there, playing hard, playing fast, playing strong, playing tough, and we know it’s going to be a battle, we’re looking forward to it and this is one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football.
REPORTER: If you look around, all the success Ohio State has had the last couple years, if you look at it from their perspective, they have seniors that came back this year just to win this game so they didn’t go 0-4 against Ohio State, can you even think how unglued your side might be at this point knowing that that was at stake and what it means to them.
BOECKMAN: We know it means a lot to so many people, we know it’s not just those guys, whoever came back. It means a lot to us, our seniors, our whole football team, their whole football team, all their alumni, coaches, fans, families, vice-versa with us. It means a lot to so many people and like I said, you can throw the records out because it matters what you do during this game to define your season.
REPORTER: What did this game mean to you as a kid?
BOECKMAN: I definitely watched it every Saturday. Not just this game, every game. We had family parties. We were huge Buckeye fans, our whole town, my family. We always got together, watched the football games because it’s something special to see.
REPORTER: Have you thought about hey, I’m getting the ball this Saturday?
BOECKMAN: It really hasn’t sunk in yet, I’m worried about how we’re going to handle things, watching films, I really haven’t thought about it, but maybe after the game after it’s all said and done, I may realize that I just took part in one of the greatest rivalries in sports. They’re a tough team, they mix it up a little bit, I haven’t seen too much yet, I think after today I’ll probably have a better idea of what at the do. I know they mix it up. Crable is all over the place, he lines up, linebacker and defensive end, I know they mix it up a little bit.
REPORTER: Do you think since that you’ve had a tough time analyzing their team?
BOECKMAN: I don’t think so, because I know they have great guys who step up and are capable of filling those spots. Just like us, we know if somebody goes down, we have guys that are able to step in and do the same thing and not even have that much of a dropoff so we know they’re definitely going to be a challenge for us and we’ve got to go out and play our game.
REPORTER: Can you tell me a little bit about the environment up there and how it might affect your play?
BOECKMAN: I think we like going into situations like this, it’s a lot of fun knowing that everybody’s against you and maybe we only have a couple thousand people up there. It’s going to be fun. We’ve had an experience up at Happy Valley, just kind of an idea. But this is going to be magnified even more just because of what’s at stake.
REPORTER: Is there still that desire to kind of prove people wrong who maybe didn’t have your back all this way, waiting for the No. 1 to slip up? But now is there more so that feeling, to finish this off the right way, do what we have to do?
BOECKMAN: I know there were so many people against us, and so many people with us in our rankings, we’re not too worried about that at all, we’ve just got to do our business, do our job, and it will all take care of our self. Wherever we are after this game, if we win this game, hopefully we will, it doesn’t matter what bowl it is, if we beat Michigan, it will mean a lot.
REPORTER: So often times you say, this is just another Saturday, clearly this is not just another Saturday. Once this game is over and you get into preparation, is it very much like every other Saturday compared to the rest of the season?
BOECKMAN: I think the intensity is going to rise big time knowing it’s the last game for the seniors, and that it is Michigan, I think everybody’s intensity level is going to rise so much, because of what’s at stake and how big a football game this actually is.
REPORTER: Are there other quarterbacks you talk to to get advice on a game like this?
BOECKMAN: I don’t know if there’s advice. I know we’re going to have Coach Bruce in today, so you see him all fired up like that, I think that’s enough advice, he’s a great speaker, he tells us how it is. I know we’ll have some guys coming in this week just like we always do. I don’t know if there are former quarterbacks you’d want to talk to. I know they wouldn’t mind if I’d get ahold of them or if they’d get ahold of me so we’ll see.
REPORTER: Is there anybody you’ve thought about talking to?
BOECKMAN: Not yet. Maybe later this week, guys like Craig Krenzel and Troy Smith who’s been through it, who’s seen how it’s done, what’s happening, what to expect, maybe in the next couple days, maybe I will, but if not, it’s no big deal.
REPORTER: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from Troy?
BOECKMAN: Two things, I think, leadership and toughness. He had both of those qualities and he portrayed them at the very best each and every game. He was such a great leader and he was tough and he did the things the right way on the football field.
REPORTER: Can you talk about the year Robiskie’s having?
BOECKMAN: He’s a great football player. He does so many great things for us. He leads by example. Even when he’s not getting the ball, he’s making that extra block, he lets his body out on the line. He does so many great things out there and he’s not afraid to get the football.
REPORTER: Talk about Brian Hartline as well.
BOECKMAN: They’re the exact same, they’re inseparable, they make plays, like I said, they’re not afraid to lay their body out on the line for another guy to make that huge block that we need or go up and get the football.
REPORTER: Hartline was disappointed he did not get to throw the ball, what did you think of that play call?
BOECKMAN: Once I tossed him the ball, I told him, Robiskie’s not your only option, I’m out there too. He’s been waiting for that call all year. We’ve had that in our play book for quite some time and we had an opportunity to do it and he made a great decision by pulling it down and running.
REPORTER: How much do you practice the jump ball in practice? Is it an exciting play?
BOECKMAN: We do a lot of one and ones, and you just want to throw it up because you’ve got the guys that are capable of going up and getting the football. I think just in practice and games you get confidence and a feel for what they do best and I think we have some guys that will go up and get the football. I guess you’re reading a defender, seeing where he’s at, maybe throw it a little ahead of him, or if he’s behind him, throw it up, but let them have the opportunity to go up there and go get it, just by reading where the defender and the secondary’s at.
REPORTER: Is either one any more exciting?
BOECKMAN: It doesn’t matter, as long as the ball gets completed, it’s fine with me.