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  • The Overlap Of OSU Football & Hoops

    With college football’s regular season now complete and basketball season well underway, it is time to sweep up the loose quotes that remain – but didn’t slip through the grasp of SportsRappUp.com.

    This edition is heavy on extra quotes from the second half of the Ohio State football season, which included the Buckeyes’ rally from a loss at Wisconsin, another strong closing run in November as well as a seventh straight win over Michigan and sixth straight Big Ten title.

    Meanwhile, the OSU men’s basketball team opened in the top five of the rankings and quickly moved up to the No. 2 spot, much like Jim Tressel’s football squad. Thad Matta’s hoopsters posted a pair of big wins in the Sunshine State, at Florida and Florida State, thanks to outstanding play from veterans such as David Lighty and eye-opening contributions from freshmen Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft.

    Also, as usual, a few injuries came to light, most notably Tyler Moeller on the football team and yet another NBA season-ender for former Buckeye Greg Oden.

    Not every entertaining quote made it into the many SportsRappUp.com articles that accompanied those events, but thankfully we still have reason to unveil those missed bites here in Quote Me. They follow:

    Matta on if he sensed a buzz about the Buckeyes after they dominated No. 9 Florida –
    “You guys would know that better than I do. Starbucks, the Schottenstein Center and my house is really all I see. I hope there is. I hope people are excited as we are, as our guys are.”

    Lighty on if the team will be able to replace popular walk-on and blogger Mark Titus – “No, not at all. That’s a legend right there. Mark is going down as a legend. It’ll be a while before someone replaces him.”

    Dallas Lauderdale on if the basketball squad goes out to eat as much now that Evan Turner is departed – “Our whole team likes Genji. We really don’t do Waffle House. That was definitely Evan.”

    Zach Boren after his older brother, Justin, played in his last home game for the Buckeyes – “It’s kind of tough. We’ve still got one more, the bowl game, so I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. But he’s a great guy, the best big brother you can have. He’s always looked out for me and helped me so much since I’ve been here with getting to know the offense and stuff like that. I know we’re going to miss him next year.”

    Matta on what he said via phone to Oden the day before the 7-0 center left for Vail, Colo., for yet another season-ending surgery – “It’s hard to say … you don’t know what to say. It’s only the fourth time I’ve called him at a time like that in a couple years. You hate to see that happen to anybody, but a great kid like Greg, I just want him to get healthy and get a chance to do what he wants to do, and that’s play in the NBA. When he left here I had no doubts he was going to be at this time, four years in the NBA, one of the best centers in the league. It’s unfortunate. He was in great spirits. He was more excited that we won the night before, as only Greg would be. Eventually it may weigh on him, but it’s what he has to do to get where he wants to go. You look last year he was averaging 12 points, 9 and a half rebounds, four blocked shots a game before he went down. Then he has the injury. So it’s there; it’s just a matter of getting him healthy.”

    Miami (Ohio) basketball coach Charlie Coles on Matta, who served two stints as an assistant under Coles – “They’ve got a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful coach. Me and Sean Miller used to always say when we see each other, you talk about all the guys and Thad’s name would come up, we’d say, “Aw, gawd, everything that guy touches turns to gold.’ I don’t know if there’s a coach that’s had his type of success at different places. That guy went to Western Carolina and they went to the (NCAA) tournament – and they were about 9 and 50. For three straight years he went to the tournament as an assistant. It was like eight years, and in his ninth year he had a team that didn’t go to the tournament because of probation. So he’s one of the greats, and I’m not just saying that because I know him. He’s just one of the greats. I mean that. Ohio State’s great and he just recruits his butt off, and he coaches his butt off, too.”

    Matta on the Buckeyes practicing on Thanksgiving – “Thursday we’ll practice, I’m not sure what time, and then they’ll come out to my house for dinner, so I’ve got to start cooking early. Hopefully we’ll have a better practice than we had a couple years ago. I think my wife left 19 voice mails saying, ‘Where are you? Where are you?’ but we weren’t getting practice the way we wanted, so we stayed for four hours and we were a couple hours late for dinner. The veteran players will remember that, that’s for sure.”

    Lighty on the same subject – “We might eat at the gym.”

    Tressel on announcing to the football team that Moeller’s request for another year of eligibility had been approved by the NCAA – “It was a neat thing. He’s had a couple tough things happen and he’s persevered, and usually when you persevere good things happen. So he has an opportunity to play more football, which he loves.”

    Lighty on the idea of quarterback Terrelle Pryor joining the basketball team – “He was a good player. I played against him in AAU. I think we could find a spot for him. I think Coach Matta probably wouldn’t mind that at all. You know, give up a couple fouls for us and play a little defense. I don’t think Tressel will let him so it probably doesn’t matter.”

    Matta on dealing with freshman apprehension – “It’s like the time Greg Oden called me right before he was getting ready to come to college and he says, ‘Coach, what if the other guys on the team don’t like me?’ And I said, ‘Well, they won’t be here then.’ ”

    Tressel on the contrast of the first half against Penn State as compared to the result of the second half – “I remember we were down 17-3 in the national championship game when I was at Youngstown and we came back and won. That was a contrast. I probably wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t won.”

    Justin Boren on hearing boos at the end of the first half against PSU – “They’re our fans. They probably just weren’t happy with what they saw. To be honest with you, I don’t blame them. We didn’t execute very well.”

    Defensive lineman Dexter Larimore on OSU rallying from a 14-3 deficit against the Nittany Lions and winning 38-14 – “It’s a little scary when it’s happening but it is a lot more fun when you win those kind of games because you’ve shown yourself you can handle those adversities. That’s what it’s kind of all about. As a team, if you can come together, understand what’s going wrong and be resilient and come through with a victory, that’s a lot more fun after the game than just pounding a team.”

    Larimore on Tressel’s impassioned halftime speech that afternoon – “Since it’s so uncharacteristic it really gets you pumped up and ready to go. He can kind of came out and said, ‘Hey, we need to play with some heart. We need to come out and attack. We need to get after these guys,’ and he’s speaking loud. It’s a little bit different than what he kind of normally does. I think it helped give us a spark.”

    Co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on interest from other schools – “Am I being recruited? The Arena League called me about seven or eight years ago about long snapping.”

    Linebacker Brian Rolle on if the Buckeyes were ho-hum about winning a sixth straight Big Ten title – “Winning doesn’t get old. It doesn’t get old at all. And if they say that, I don’t know what sport they’re playing.”

    Matta on freshman point guard Aaron Craft, who wasn’t even a top-100 recruit according to some services – “I think Aaron is going to be a heck of a basketball player. I don’t know if he’s a one-and-done. I hope he is.”

    Tressel on good friend and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio lobbying for a spot in the BCS, which would have come at the expense of Ohio State – “I’d be disappointed with Mark or Michigan State as a whole if they didn’t stand up and say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, what about us?’ ”

    Tressel at his Dec. 5 press conference on if he received any special gifts for his 58th birthday that day – “Yeah, the Sugar Bowl. How many people got a Sugar Bowl for their birthday? That’s pretty cool. I haven’t been home yet. I’m hoping to get maybe a tie.”

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  • Midseason Football Goodies

    With college football’s regular season now more than halfway complete, it is time to sweep up the loose quotes that remain – but didn’t slip the grasp of SportsRappUp.com.

    Ohio State has suffered a loss at the hands of Wisconsin but the journey to that point has been eventful as the team has dealt with high expectations, injuries to key players, constant questions regarding the development of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, rankings, etc.

    Even during the Buckeyes’ 6-0 start, there were challenges and some personal moments of doubt. And there were interviews sessions – lots and lots of interview sessions.

    Not every entertaining quote made it into the many SportsRappUp.com articles that accompanied those events, but thankfully we still have reason to unveil those missed bites here in Quote Me. They follow:

    Former Michigan and current Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talking about UM on the “Mad Dog” radio show – “If you can’t beat Ohio State it’s a waste of a season as far as I’m concerned.”

    Pryor upon hearing that Michigan QB Denard Robinson was injured over the weekend – “Hopefully he recovers very soon, hopefully he doesn’t have a lot of pain and he’s back on the field this weekend. He’s electrifying. That’s the word I would come up with when you bring up Denard Robinson.”

    OSU defense end Cameron Heyward on Robinson’s impressive start – “He’s definitely been explosive. He’s running up and down the field. No one’s been able to stop him.”

    Senior defensive back Tyler Moeller on why he would apply for a medical redshirt after another painful, season-ending injury – “Why would I want to keep playing football? Because I love it. People look at my situation and feel sorry for me and a lot of people have been through worse than me.”

    Wide receiver DeVier Posey on his daily motivation – “The guys I get dressed with in the locker room every day are some of my best friends. Those are some of the guys what are probably going to be in my wedding one day. Anytime you can add that element into it, having a friend play next to you, it just gives you that extra edge. It makes you want to fight for your teammate. I really feel like that’s the difference, how close we are.”

    Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock when asked to explain how Eastern Michigan QB Alex Gillett was able to hit some big passing plays against the Buckeyes – “But if you watch the film from last week, if you’d seriously sit down and watch it … or if you called him and asked him, he’d say he got hit pretty good.”

    Center Mike Brewster, a Florida native, just days before the Buckeyes were about to host the Miami Hurricanes, explaining his decision to attend Ohio State – “I caught a lot of stuff from people like, ‘Why are you going to go there? They can’t beat the big SEC teams. They can’t beat Florida. Why don’t you just go to Florida?’ I just went with my gut instinct and got as many good guys around me as I could. I surrounded myself with a lot of great talent, which added into the talent that was already here – we’ve all just kind of jelled as a class this year – it’s paying off right now.”

    OSU head coach Jim Tressel on Brutus Buckeye being attacked by Rufus Bobcat – “That was a different one. I was standing at the National Anthem and I heard some of our guys talking, ‘Hey, did you see that mascot?’ And I’m thinking, ‘You’re thinking about the mascot?’ I didn’t know it was live mascot week (as in live tackling). And I saw Brutus over at the Block O event last night and asked him if he was going to be ready for Saturday, and he’s probable from an injury report standpoint.”

    Posey on the prospect of facing his brother, Julian, a cornerback for Ohio University – “I remember last time we played my freshman year he told me he was going to line up and hit me in my face for all the times he left the living room and I stole the remote or I took his seat when we were at the dinner table or something.”

    Posey on the matchup after the game – “I was hoping I could have gotten him on the ground. That would have been something nice that I could have bragged about. And I wanted to give him a stiff-arm because he thinks he knows all my moves and I wanted to bring something new.”

    Offensive guard Justin Boren on wanting to win the battle up front with the Bobcats – “Some of our offensive linemen are getting absolutely killed, and that’s something where you can’t take it for granted. I don’t think you need motivation. We watched the film, we saw what happened in ’08, and we know we can’t let that happen this year.”

    Cornerback Devon Torrence on how teammate C.J. Barnett immediately dealt with news that he would be lost for the season with a knee injury – “C.J., he’s a cool kid, man. He’s not down or anything like that. He’s a happy, joking guy all the time, so he’s not really down. He’s doing all right. We’ll keep our prayers with him and he should be back soon.”

    Tressel on Heyward’s 80-yard interception return against Miami (Fla.) – “That play was extraordinary because it was down in the red zone. I was shocked how far he got. I kept thinking that someone was going to catch up to him and strip the ball a la (Maurice) Clarett and Sean Taylor because he was swinging it out there. The other impact it had is he was tired for about 15 minutes. That was a long run for a big guy.”

    Linebacker Brian Rolle after the win over the ’Canes – “We’ve got a little swagger ourselves and I feel like our defense out-swagged theirs.”

    Brewster on how much he considered going to Miami before opting for OSU – “In ninth grade I really wanted to go there. Then they fired all their coaches. Obviously things change.”

    Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on where he was when the Buckeyes beat Miami in January 2003 to claim the national championship – “I was in seventh grade, I want to say, and I was at my friend’s house back in Toledo, Ohio. You’re not in junior high sitting there on the couch watching Mike Doss and all those great players thinking, ‘Oh, yeah, that could be me one day as well.’ ”

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OSU ended the season with two straight losses, allowing 34 points in the B1G title game with Michigan State and 40 more vs. Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The D needs work, but what should Urban Meyer fix first?

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Quote Me

From time to time, we will take a look back at some of the more interesting remarks we came across, funny quips or meaningful statements that may have been bypassed. Here is a sampling:

 
 
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