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BCS Quotes Extra: Quotes from the Enemy Camp

Written by data entry, January 4, 2007, 0 Comments,
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Quotes from various OSU players and coaches from this morning’s media luncheon in Phoenix, Arizona.

Q. What are your impressions of Florida’s offensive line? Does anyone stand out? Do you think you will be able to get pressure on Chris Leak and Tim Tebow?

QUINN PITCOCK: As a whole, they work so well together. There is not one person that really stands out. I think they understand it is a team effort. They can pass off any blitz or anything like that. As a defensive line, it is going to be a challenge, you know. There is a reason why they are playing national championship game just like we are, too. So, I mean, it starts up front. It will be a challenge between the big uglies up front (laughter).

Q. Quinn, your brother won that state title—your little brother wins a state title, scores a touchdown in the game. What does that mean to you? He has been looking up to the big brother who is a superstar at Ohio State, number one team in the country? What did it mean for you for him to have a big game and win that title and maybe expound on your relationship?

QUINN PITCOCK: It is exciting. At first, I actually called him, left a voice mail. I gave him a hard time. Then I called him right back and felt bad because I was so proud of him. I was jealous at first. It is exciting because now at times I will see random people on the street that just start talking to me, they don’t want to talk about me, they want to talk about my brother and his state championship game and his touchdown.

It is very exciting for myself and the family. I know he is coming in today to watch me this week. So it is just a great time that he’s doing so well right now.

Q. For Quinn and David, can you guys just talk about Chris Leak and how you have to contain him?

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, Chris Leak is a great quarterback. He can throw well on the run. He really gets the ball to the playmakers and a position to make plays. He throws a beautiful ball. He has one of the most tight spirals I have ever seen. He does a lot of things well.

He can stand up in the pocket and deliver the football. If he needs to take it down and get some yards, he can do that also. We just have to be very conscious of him because he is a great quarterback with a lot of different skills.

QUINN PITCOCK: Leak, again, I think he is a great quarterback. He gets the job done. If the O line gives him time, he is going to find a receiver. He is going to throw that tight spiral. If he needs to get away, he will get out. He’s not considered a running quarterback. I have seen him run and make some plays.

He is just all around a great leader on the team. If he has a good day, the team will have a good day.

Q. Quinn and David, after losing so many starters from last year’s defense, you guys are statistically superior in most categories this year. Why?

QUINN PITCOCK: I mean, I think it comes down to it is going to be a team defensive effort, you know. All 11 guys. Last year considering everybody talked about so many top draft picks and NFL guys, you still need 11 guys working together, and I think they sometimes got in trouble trying to make a big play to impress people for the NFL.

We got guys who are just trying to make the starting lineup. The team effort, us working together, is really what has become a better team.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, after last year, we looked at our team and we looked at our season that our defense had and we saw that there were a lot of things that we could improve on. We saw that we were near the end of the line as far as turnovers, and we knew that was a big thing that our defense could do to improve.

Going into spring ball and going into fall camp, we really stressed turnovers and getting the ball out, causing fumbles again, interceptions, putting pressure on the quarterback, forcing them to make bad decisions. We have some of the great defensive backs like this guy sitting next to me, Antonio Smith, that we’re getting our hands all over the ball when it was in the air and just helped us improve on that.

Q. David, with so much time between games, have you had a chance to play this game in your mind and what does it look like?

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I have. I have thought about it. But most of the time when I think about a game, it doesn’t turn out that way because I think about myself getting the pick and taking it 108 yards to the house (smiling). I don’t think that’s going to happen unless I get some serious blocking. I think it is going to be a physical game. I think it is going to be a great game. I think the fans will enjoy watching because you got two great teams that are going to go at it and play hard.

Q. Antonio, you have to prepare for two quarterbacks essentially with Tebow and Leak who kind of do different things. Does that make it a particular challenge for you guys in the defensive back field?

ANTONIO SMITH: I wouldn’t say a challenge. Our coaching staff has done a great job preparing us and they—both quarterbacks do different things. They both can run the ball exceptionally well as well as throw the ball.

Each of them does it a little bit differently. So we have been doing a great job preparing for each one of them and what they do great and what they don’t do so well.

Our coaching staff has done a great job preparing us for this game and getting ready to play.

Q. Antonio, can you describe your injury and how it happened in practice and how you feel now and what it is going to take to play Monday?

ANTONIO SMITH: I had a shoulder injury in practice. I fell on it awkwardly. Never a concern of playing, and just getting it better each and every day and it is doing well and getting ready for the game.

Q. Well, it is about the seniors playing in their last game in a Buckeye uniform. What does that mean to you guys?

ANTONIO SMITH: Well, for me it quite hasn’t hit me yet. I am sure after the game and after we get back to Ohio and Columbus and don’t have to go to those meetings anymore or put on a scarlet uniform, that’s when it will hit me and affect me the most.

For me, it has just been a great experience for me, all five years. And I am just happy and honored—it is an honor to be part of this university and this team and play in such a great game.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I feel like it is kind of bittersweet just because we do have a chance to play in a national championship for our last game. But after that, I am no longer a part of this great team I have been a part of for four years now.

I am no longer going to be in that locker room with those guys and joking around and having fun and just being around the guys that I’ve grown close to and just spent so much time with over the years. When you come to college, you leave your family at home and you get a new family with Ohio State. We spend so much time with each other and it is going to be a weird thing not being around these guys as much.

QUINN PITCOCK: I think for myself, I have talked a lot to past players and they say you will never realize how much you will miss them until you are gone. And I keep every day trying to realize how important this game is and how important these two guys are. I am going to miss them. And I think just like Yow said, I probably won’t know until I won’t have to be at the team meeting after the game. No responsibility with the team after that is when I think it is going to hit me that I am not—I am a part of the Buckeye family but not on the current roster which is going to be difficult.

Q. For all three players, Coach Tressel going back to his days at Youngstown State and won four national championships. What makes him such a good big-game coach?

QUINN PITCOCK: I think him being such a good big-game coach is—he plays very passive. But at the time he needs to be aggressive, he does. You have to take that approach into big games, knowing when to take the chance and not always sitting back and let the game control its own destiny like in regular season games.

DAVID PATTERSON: Preparation I think is a key for that. I think Coach Tressel does a great job in preparing in each game. He is best at drawing up schemes. Since I have been here, there is only maybe one game we haven’t been in a position to win it at the end. We have lost games. But every game we lost except for one we have been in a position to win it. He is great at managing games and decision-making and managing the clock and calling the right plays when they need to be called.

ANTONIO SMITH: Again, just what Quinn and Dave said. First it is composure and his approach to each and every game, also his preparation in his coaching staff and his ability to prepare us and get us ready. We have been doing a great job, our time off preparing for Florida. Our coaching staff has done a great job in preparing us and getting us ready. Just ready to play.

Q. For David and Antonio, Florida is known for their playmakers and receiver. Have you guys gone against a group of receivers like this and what’s your overall impression of how tough it is to face these guys?

ANTONIO SMITH: We go against great receivers each and every day in practice. We are a team and our team in practice goes number one offense against number one defense every day. And I think that gives us an advantage and gives us an edge.

We are facing one of the best offenses in the country and some of the best receivers in the country. And going against them each and every day in practice definitely helps us out and prepares us for Florida and anything we may face.

DAVID PATTERSON: Yeah. Just to hit on what Antonio said, at practice, that’s when we really got to look. You guys can mark this down in your books right now. There is a guy named Ray Small. He will be the next great one at Ohio State. He gives us a tremendous look every day. He plays Percy Harvin for us. He can do that cutting that Percy Harvin does. He can catch the ball. He can line up in the I formation, line up in the shotgun, take the snap and do a lot of different things well. When you are getting that look every day at practice, you can’t help but get better.

Q. Quinn, follow up with what Dave said, would it be a dream for you to return a touchdown against the Gators in this game or would it be a nightmare the fact you had to run 108 yards?

QUINN PITCOCK: I would run 108 yards all day long. I mean, I know for both of us in any D line, I mean, that’s—you always lay in bed thinking about getting the interception or fumble or pick for a touchdown. I mean, I had an interception, two, three years ago and after that catch, I had tunnel vision and it broke real quick. I got hit from behind. I can’t remember the play it happened so quick.

So, I mean, it has always been a dream to take one back. We have one more chance and most likely won’t happen, but you are always still dreaming for it the one time.

Q. For any of you, DeShawn Wynn from Cincinnati, did you play against him in high school or know of him in high school or anyone in your defense?

DAVID PATTERSON: He was my host when on my visit to Florida. He was a pretty cool guy.

QUINN PITCOCK: I mean, I have met him before. No real close relationship with him.

Q. Quinn, back to your family. Is that your grandmother here and can you talk a little bit about that and is she a big fan? What’s it mean for you to have her here?

QUINN PITCOCK: Yes. My grandma, Catherine Kitty-Church (phonetic), is here. She actually lives right next door here. She is my number one fan out here in the west. I mean, she now gets the DirecTV, watches all my games for the past couple years. It has been a blessing that I have been able to come out here to the Fiesta Bowl to see her pretty much every year. It is difficult with my schedule to come out west and, you know. She is proud of me no matter what I do.

I am glad to see her because I grew up with her. She used to live in Cincinnati and I saw her all the time. Now I get to see her almost as much, once a year which is a lot compared to some people seeing their family.

Just blessed to see her and I know she is blessed and happy to see me. It is a great time for us and our family.

Q. For all three players, guys, what do you think the public perception is of Coach Tressel outside Ohio? And what’s the team’s perception?

ANTONIO SMITH: Outside Ohio, I mean, he is an idol, I guess you could say. People are talking about his trend and fashion and his sweater vests and a lot of people look up to him as one of the greatest coaches in college football.

Our team, you know, we just have a lot of respect for Coach Tressel and what he does for us as players. We go in, come into Ohio State as young, teenage adults, 18 years old, 19 years old.

He really instills values in us and we come out as men.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, when Coach Tressel first came to Ohio State, I don’t think that many people around the country knew who he was. He was a very successful coach at Youngstown State, which is Division IAA or Division II school. I think now people all over the country as well as the world know who Jim Tressel is because he has come to Ohio State and he has done very well.

He is a class act. You just can’t help but respect him.

QUINN PITCOCK: In Ohio, I think a lot of people say, you know, “in Tressel we trust.” He is considered as God. I mean, outside of Ohio, I think everybody does have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a mentor. I think I have sat down and talked to him before. He said he went to school for education and he is here to educate young men first and then to coach football. So he is a father figure and mentor to us first and then a coach.

Q. The one thing about you guys that we can tell, you guys got off the bus at the team hotel. Quinn’s hair is this big. Antonio, obviously great ‘do. A lot of the guys have personality on the defense. Laurinaitis with his dad. There is so much character on the defense. Quinn, talk about your hairstyle and how you manage all that. And secondly about that personality, does that fuel you as a defense? Does that fuel your energy, pride in each other, the way you guys can have it—you are kind of warriors but you are also kind of clowns in a way, you can do both roles?

QUINN PITCOCK: I picked my hair out the other day. It was an afro. I don’t know, it was a good size, very big. I do that to see people’s reactions. We kind of get under Coach Heacock’s skin. We get stressed out. I think everybody has to find their little dumb, stupid little thing that’s just kind of funny to us and kind of keeps us going and keeps us sane. It is all for fun.

ANTONIO SMITH: I would say the different personalities in our defense, it makes it fun and unique. We can all come together and play together as a unit and play together as a team and have the success that we’ve had, that’s what really brings joy to each and every one of us. We can all bring our personalities together and put that together and make a great defense or make a great team.

It really means a lot.

Q. This one is for David and Quinn. Guys, a lot has been made of Antonio’s sort of journey from walk-on to scholarship player. What are your perceptions of his accomplishments and what has it meant to you to watch him do it?

DAVID PATTERSON: It has really meant a lot to me because Antonio, we call him Yow. He is just a great person. He comes from a great background. His grandmother is a tremendous lady. Coach Tressel always talks about you get what you deserve. You will never find someone that works harder than Antonio Smith. He is a man of God. He loves the Lord and he is someone the team can look up to.

He carries himself in a great way, with a lot of class. You can’t help but respect this guy also.

QUINN PITCOCK: I love this guy. I came in with him to camp. He is a hard worker. We took classes together. We have been on the scout team together. We have been together since day one. He has always been a hard worker. He is going to get a degree for mechanical engineering. Stayed all these years and earned a scholarship. Everybody knows the stories.

He is just the true, humble guy who does the job and doesn’t need all the media or all the attention. He is just proud of himself. He just needs his grandma, a pat on the back and he is happy with that. He is going to have a bright future ahead of him.

ANTONIO SMITH: Thanks, guys (smiling).

Q. Antonio, one of the wide receivers, Jemalle Cornelius, looked forward to man-to-man coverage and viewed it as a challenge. As a cornerback, do you feel the same way?

ANTONIO SMITH: It will be a challenge and a fun time playing Florida. We have been preparing well, extremely hard in practice and focusing and doing the things that we need to do to get ourselves ready.

I don’t look at it as a one-on-one battle. Again our defense has been playing extremely well together this season. That’s one advantage, we have been playing all season and doing a pretty good job at that. Again, if our defense and each player on our defense can focus on his responsibility on each and every play, we should be successful.

Q. You guys, I think, are all Ohio guys, if I am not mistaken. Was there ever any question where you would go to college and what about Ohio State is so attractive?

ANTONIO SMITH: For me, college decision is a long process. For me, it probably was a little different than these guys, Dave and Quinn. More academics was my main focus and had some scholarships from other schools. Once I decided and once I knew what type of engineering program Ohio State had to offer and growing up from right there in Columbus, being a hometown guy, it was a great fit for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I have always wanted to come to Ohio State growing up, watching Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Orlando Pace and those guys and being from Ohio, you dream of coming to Ohio State, you know. It is very rare that you get that opportunity because there is only a select few, the best of the best can come to Ohio State.

I took my official visits around to different schools, but the whole time I knew that I was going to be a Buckeye.

QUINN PITCOCK: Myself growing up, you know, I didn’t really watch much football as some may know. It was all a new experience for me in general. I just kind of took visits to the best programs and at the end of the day, I just felt comfortable with Coach Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes. It was close to home. It just really fit my personality, my family and I am happy with my decision. Yeah.

Q. Antonio, how tough is it to manage your school work, having such a tough major with being a successful major college football player?

ANTONIO SMITH: It is definitely a challenge. It is the choice I made. It is hard to juggle both academics and athletics. Again, I wouldn’t compromise either one for the other and, you know, going to mechanical engineering, definitely a tough responsibility and focusing in those classes and competing with those guys, it doesn’t quite have the obligations and responsibilities that I do outside of class.

It is a challenge and I am up for the challenge. I love challenges and, you know, when it is all said and done, I can be successful in both areas. It definitely brings a smile on my face.

Q. Quinn, who is—how has the Princess game room changed and who is leading the league over there?

QUINN PITCOCK: I haven’t actually been there much. I kind of realized that yesterday that Joe and I have not played Connect Four. I have not played a single game of Connect Four. I notice there are a lot of spades games going on. A lot of people playing pool. I haven’t been over there. I have been taking my naps and watching film.

Plus, I don’t like being in there because I am always eating chips and dip so I try to stay away (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

Q. Jim, when you look at this Florida offense, concerns and—any concerns coming off what happened in Michigan with the number of points, yardage, all that?

COACH HEACOCK: We are concerned ourselves from the Michigan game. We felt like we had a couple of breakdowns and gave up some big plays, a few more big plays we had than in the course of the year. I think those are things we are trying to correct ourselves and focus in on. We talk about Florida and obviously a lot of things concern you. They do a lot of different things.

They are very multiple, as you know. And a lot of receivers, a lot of good athletes. They got a senior group down the middle. Their seniors—their center is a senior. Their quarterback is a senior. Their tailback is a senior and two wide receivers are seniors. So they have an experienced group out there. Obviously Leak is playing well. As he played better over the course of the last couple years, they have become more multiple in their offense and it gives you a lot of problems in trying to stop everything.

Q. The big play, do you think that’s the main concern that you have to eliminate? They talked about if they are to have any success, they have to hit the big play?

COACH HEACOCK: Well, as we went through the year, we kind of looked at each game and after each game we try to identify what our situation is and where we can get better and try to make some improvement. After the Michigan game, I think that’s the area we zeroed in on, it is not that we didn’t zero in on it all year. We felt like to be successful we have got to not give up big plays and we have to execute and carry out our assignments and responsibilities and do a good job with that. To say that that’s a one-game thing we are trying to correct, I wouldn’t say that. We did it all year long and that was a real emphasis we put on our defense, that we will make absolute certain that we put great effort in not giving up the big play.

They have had a lot of big plays this year. You look at the stats and the number of big plays, run and pass they have had this year has been impressive.

Q. Jim, can you talk about Chris Leak and what concerns you mostly about their offense?

COACH HEACOCK: I think like I said, it is not like you have to stop the run or you have to stop the pass or you have to—there is any one area. I don’t know. I guess probably the thing that concerns you about the offense is the multiplicity and the number of things they can do and the ways they get their receivers the football. They have a lot of different schemes that they use.

Chris Leak, you know, right now is playing, I’m sure, as well as he has, he is making good decisions right now. He is moving the football team. Looks like he is getting the right play called. I mean, it just looks like he is a senior quarterback that’s doing what they are asking him to do and probably has mastered the offense to a point where they feel comfortable that they can do a lot of different things with him.

Q. For Jim and for Malcolm. You guys lost nine starters coming into this season. How would you compare last year’s defense to this year’s?

MALCOLM JENKINS: This year, you know, like you said, we lost a lot of people last year. So we all were pretty much starting off fresh. I think this year, we are so young that we are all very coachable. We pay attention to everything the coaches say and try to do everything that they want us to do.

I think this year, you know, we are hungry and we are more coachable than we were last year. Last year we had a lot of veterans. So it is only so much we can coach them. They already know everything. They did everything they wanted to do.

This year, I think we have a lot of young guys who are starting for the first time and rotate a lot of people early and I think we are all just doing a good job of trying to do everything the coaches ask of us.

Q. For Brandon and Malcolm, given some of the things that happen in the Michigan game, I know you guys weren’t happy with some of those things. How anxious are you to get back on the horse to play another game?

COACH HEACOCK: We won that game, right (smiling)?

BRANDON MITCHELL: For me, as a senior, you want to be remembered for your last game, you know. And the game we played against Michigan, obviously we weren’t very happy with our performance as far as giving up big plays and probably more passing yards than we really wanted to. This game, we just kind of want to get back to the fundamentals and do the little things that got us here and made us have a successful season. I think that’s what we have been placing the big emphasis on throughout Bowl practice.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I mean, you know, we won the game, that’s the main thing. But we didn’t perform like we wanted to. And I think we lost some respect that we had been trying to gain all year. And, I mean, basically back to what it was in the beginning of year anyway. Nobody really thought we could, you know, come as far as we did. So for us, it is just coming about and being as good as your last game. This is our last game, so, you know, all they are going to remember from here on out is how we play this weekend—or Monday.

Q. This is for the players. Guy Tressel yesterday talked about the fact that Florida is the fastest team you all will have faced this year. Considering the emphasis on speed that Florida has in their offense, you guys as defensive backs would probably be the most pressed in that situation. How have you looked forward to this challenge and maybe hearing all that talk about speed, has that been a little bit of a rallying point for the guys in practice?

BRANDON MITCHELL: I want to say I wouldn’t consider it a rallying point. I think their speed does create problems and I know in practice we have been constantly talking about keeping them inside of us and in front of us. And I think that goes along with giving up big plays. We know that we have to be ready for their speed and very prepared for it. But we go against fast guys every day in practice.

I think we look at the practice reps and try to look at those and consider them game reps so we get used to the game speed.

MALCOLM JENKINS: Yeah, I mean, he pretty much covered it. We go against Ted Ginn, Tony Gonzalez—Anthony Gonzalez and Ray Small every day in practice I think we get a good sense of their speed. I am pretty sure it is going to be a lot faster come game time.

But I think we get good quality reps in practice and it is definitely something we are paying attention to on film. We see it and hear it all the time.

I think we will be ready for it.

Q. For the players, they are known for their playmakers at receiver. Have you guys seen a group of receivers or played a group of receivers that are like them and what’s your overall impression of the kind of guys they have on the outside there?

BRANDON MITCHELL: Well, I think they are unique because they play four or five guys at receiver. And any one of those guys, you know, not necessarily left open but when given the ball in the open space, whether it is a 10-yard pass or 380-yard bomb, they can turn those into big plays. I think that’s really unique because, you know, usually you have to stop maybe one big-play guy or two big-play guys.

With this team, they spread the ball out so evenly that you know you have to be, I guess, on your Ps and Qs for every day and you have to stay focused for every possession because you know at any time if there is a lack in focus, they can break home.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I think they are doing a good job of getting their playmakers the ball in different ways. They have different ways of getting Dallas Baker the ball and as far as everybody else, they have different packages and sometimes they use screens, sometimes they use D balls and things like that.

They do a good job of spreading the ball around. I think it is something we definitely have to focus on this weekend and try to stop.

Q. Coach, Florida’s offense is unconventional and multiple. How hard has it been to replicate their offense with your scout team?

COACH HEACOCK: Well, that’s probably been the most difficult thing we have had to do. Here again, we talk about how much they do, the different things they do and I think like Malcolm alluded to, I think we have done a lot going against our offense because I think we get a pretty good look with our receivers and probably the best look we can get is with them.

Back home and first few days out here we spent a lot of time going against—ones against ones or good against good just to get—trying to simulate the speed we will be seeing. When we go with the scout team, it is a little bit more difficult. Not only simulating the speed but they do a lot of misdirection plays, a lot of option, a lot of reverse, a lot of trick plays and that’s what’s really hard to simulate and make it look good.

In order for that to happen, you have to block the front. That’s been a little bit difficult. I think as we have gone, luckily we have had more than a week to prepare. We have been preparing for some time. We have a chance to get the scout team to run those things and give us a decent look.

Q. Brandon, Malcolm, there is a perception that teams from Florida or the West Coast have all the speed. Is there an advantage—does either team have an advantage speed-wise?

BRANDON MITCHELL: I think that perception just goes along with wherever you are from you may think those players the best. Even if you look at this game, most people from the Midwest think Ohio State is the greatest team ever and we are going to kill them.

As most people from the South—me being from Atlanta, when I went home all I heard, “Florida is going to beat you all. You probably won’t score a point.” I think it is a regional bias. Everybody thinks they have the best players. I think that’s what it is. I don’t think the players feed too much into it. We know our own abilities. I don’t think that really factors much into how we think.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I just feel, like he said, different people have different opinions. I guess we won’t know who is faster as a team until we play on Monday.

Q. You mentioned their offense and all the exotic stuff they do. What’s the key for you defensively when facing a team like that?

COACH HEACOCK: Probably any Bowl game, execution. I think we have to execute. We have to carry out responsibilities and we talk about 11 guys doing their job and I think it is going to be important that we are disciplined and do what we do and like any other game, the team that tackles and gets off blocks and does all the fundamental things is probably really the key.

Q. Jim, as a defensive guy, you went down to Florida in the spring and checked things out. What did you guys gain out of that visit and are you going to open it up to them at all this week?

COACH HEACOCK: I don’t think we will open it up to them (laughter). Some of our staff went down and visited with them and that happens a lot during spring practice, before or after. We travel around the country and meet with other teams and get some ideas, share ideas.

It just so happened that Florida is where our defensive staff went down and visited with them. They had a chance to practice down there. I think they saw the speed and the athleticism and the types of players they had and obviously the organization.

But, you know, that’s probably overrated a little bit in what you really learn. You go down there and share ideas and maybe out of all those ideas you may try to tweak your defense just a little bit and use something they use or they might use something—I mean, our defensive coaches shared with them what we do as well as them sharing with us what they do. So it was an exchange of ideas, and I think it is probably overrated, really, in what the advantage anybody got out of that.

Q. Coach, four years ago one of the keys to your guys’ victory over Miami was the front four being able to get pressure and stop the run. How important is that going to be against Florida to be able to get the front four to get a pass rush without maybe having to blitz some?

COACH HEACOCK: I don’t think there is any question. Of course, I’ve—when you always coach the defensive line for all your life, you kind of get a little bit biased and think that they are really important.

I really do think that most football games comes down to the trenches and the battle in the trenches and who is controlling the line of scrimmage. Shoot, I think it is very important. I think it is critical that our defensive front plays well and I think it is important that they are able to get pressure and at least control part of the line of scrimmage.

If you don’t do that, if you can’t control the line of scrimmage, whichever team that can’t is probably in trouble.

Q. Jim, you have Ohio ties and Urban does as well. Can you talk about your relationship with Urban?

COACH HEACOCK: Actually was the head coach at Illinois State when Urban was a graduate assistant at Ohio State. I had a part-time job opening. I know Urban was just getting out in the coaching field and I had a part-time opening and hired Urban so he was kind of like a part-time coach for me. And he stayed with me until Earl Bruce got the job at Colorado State and he went with Earl as a full-time coach.

I know Urban pretty well and not surprised at all with his success and where he is at right now.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

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Quotes from various OSU players and coaches from this morning’s media luncheon in Phoenix, Arizona.

Q. What are your impressions of Florida’s offensive line? Does anyone stand out? Do you think you will be able to get pressure on Chris Leak and Tim Tebow?

QUINN PITCOCK: As a whole, they work so well together. There is not one person that really stands out. I think they understand it is a team effort. They can pass off any blitz or anything like that. As a defensive line, it is going to be a challenge, you know. There is a reason why they are playing national championship game just like we are, too. So, I mean, it starts up front. It will be a challenge between the big uglies up front (laughter).

Q. Quinn, your brother won that state title—your little brother wins a state title, scores a touchdown in the game. What does that mean to you? He has been looking up to the big brother who is a superstar at Ohio State, number one team in the country? What did it mean for you for him to have a big game and win that title and maybe expound on your relationship?

QUINN PITCOCK: It is exciting. At first, I actually called him, left a voice mail. I gave him a hard time. Then I called him right back and felt bad because I was so proud of him. I was jealous at first. It is exciting because now at times I will see random people on the street that just start talking to me, they don’t want to talk about me, they want to talk about my brother and his state championship game and his touchdown.

It is very exciting for myself and the family. I know he is coming in today to watch me this week. So it is just a great time that he’s doing so well right now.

Q. For Quinn and David, can you guys just talk about Chris Leak and how you have to contain him?

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, Chris Leak is a great quarterback. He can throw well on the run. He really gets the ball to the playmakers and a position to make plays. He throws a beautiful ball. He has one of the most tight spirals I have ever seen. He does a lot of things well.

He can stand up in the pocket and deliver the football. If he needs to take it down and get some yards, he can do that also. We just have to be very conscious of him because he is a great quarterback with a lot of different skills.

QUINN PITCOCK: Leak, again, I think he is a great quarterback. He gets the job done. If the O line gives him time, he is going to find a receiver. He is going to throw that tight spiral. If he needs to get away, he will get out. He’s not considered a running quarterback. I have seen him run and make some plays.

He is just all around a great leader on the team. If he has a good day, the team will have a good day.

Q. Quinn and David, after losing so many starters from last year’s defense, you guys are statistically superior in most categories this year. Why?

QUINN PITCOCK: I mean, I think it comes down to it is going to be a team defensive effort, you know. All 11 guys. Last year considering everybody talked about so many top draft picks and NFL guys, you still need 11 guys working together, and I think they sometimes got in trouble trying to make a big play to impress people for the NFL.

We got guys who are just trying to make the starting lineup. The team effort, us working together, is really what has become a better team.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, after last year, we looked at our team and we looked at our season that our defense had and we saw that there were a lot of things that we could improve on. We saw that we were near the end of the line as far as turnovers, and we knew that was a big thing that our defense could do to improve.

Going into spring ball and going into fall camp, we really stressed turnovers and getting the ball out, causing fumbles again, interceptions, putting pressure on the quarterback, forcing them to make bad decisions. We have some of the great defensive backs like this guy sitting next to me, Antonio Smith, that we’re getting our hands all over the ball when it was in the air and just helped us improve on that.

Q. David, with so much time between games, have you had a chance to play this game in your mind and what does it look like?

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I have. I have thought about it. But most of the time when I think about a game, it doesn’t turn out that way because I think about myself getting the pick and taking it 108 yards to the house (smiling). I don’t think that’s going to happen unless I get some serious blocking. I think it is going to be a physical game. I think it is going to be a great game. I think the fans will enjoy watching because you got two great teams that are going to go at it and play hard.

Q. Antonio, you have to prepare for two quarterbacks essentially with Tebow and Leak who kind of do different things. Does that make it a particular challenge for you guys in the defensive back field?

ANTONIO SMITH: I wouldn’t say a challenge. Our coaching staff has done a great job preparing us and they—both quarterbacks do different things. They both can run the ball exceptionally well as well as throw the ball.

Each of them does it a little bit differently. So we have been doing a great job preparing for each one of them and what they do great and what they don’t do so well.

Our coaching staff has done a great job preparing us for this game and getting ready to play.

Q. Antonio, can you describe your injury and how it happened in practice and how you feel now and what it is going to take to play Monday?

ANTONIO SMITH: I had a shoulder injury in practice. I fell on it awkwardly. Never a concern of playing, and just getting it better each and every day and it is doing well and getting ready for the game.

Q. Well, it is about the seniors playing in their last game in a Buckeye uniform. What does that mean to you guys?

ANTONIO SMITH: Well, for me it quite hasn’t hit me yet. I am sure after the game and after we get back to Ohio and Columbus and don’t have to go to those meetings anymore or put on a scarlet uniform, that’s when it will hit me and affect me the most.

For me, it has just been a great experience for me, all five years. And I am just happy and honored—it is an honor to be part of this university and this team and play in such a great game.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I feel like it is kind of bittersweet just because we do have a chance to play in a national championship for our last game. But after that, I am no longer a part of this great team I have been a part of for four years now.

I am no longer going to be in that locker room with those guys and joking around and having fun and just being around the guys that I’ve grown close to and just spent so much time with over the years. When you come to college, you leave your family at home and you get a new family with Ohio State. We spend so much time with each other and it is going to be a weird thing not being around these guys as much.

QUINN PITCOCK: I think for myself, I have talked a lot to past players and they say you will never realize how much you will miss them until you are gone. And I keep every day trying to realize how important this game is and how important these two guys are. I am going to miss them. And I think just like Yow said, I probably won’t know until I won’t have to be at the team meeting after the game. No responsibility with the team after that is when I think it is going to hit me that I am not—I am a part of the Buckeye family but not on the current roster which is going to be difficult.

Q. For all three players, Coach Tressel going back to his days at Youngstown State and won four national championships. What makes him such a good big-game coach?

QUINN PITCOCK: I think him being such a good big-game coach is—he plays very passive. But at the time he needs to be aggressive, he does. You have to take that approach into big games, knowing when to take the chance and not always sitting back and let the game control its own destiny like in regular season games.

DAVID PATTERSON: Preparation I think is a key for that. I think Coach Tressel does a great job in preparing in each game. He is best at drawing up schemes. Since I have been here, there is only maybe one game we haven’t been in a position to win it at the end. We have lost games. But every game we lost except for one we have been in a position to win it. He is great at managing games and decision-making and managing the clock and calling the right plays when they need to be called.

ANTONIO SMITH: Again, just what Quinn and Dave said. First it is composure and his approach to each and every game, also his preparation in his coaching staff and his ability to prepare us and get us ready. We have been doing a great job, our time off preparing for Florida. Our coaching staff has done a great job in preparing us and getting us ready. Just ready to play.

Q. For David and Antonio, Florida is known for their playmakers and receiver. Have you guys gone against a group of receivers like this and what’s your overall impression of how tough it is to face these guys?

ANTONIO SMITH: We go against great receivers each and every day in practice. We are a team and our team in practice goes number one offense against number one defense every day. And I think that gives us an advantage and gives us an edge.

We are facing one of the best offenses in the country and some of the best receivers in the country. And going against them each and every day in practice definitely helps us out and prepares us for Florida and anything we may face.

DAVID PATTERSON: Yeah. Just to hit on what Antonio said, at practice, that’s when we really got to look. You guys can mark this down in your books right now. There is a guy named Ray Small. He will be the next great one at Ohio State. He gives us a tremendous look every day. He plays Percy Harvin for us. He can do that cutting that Percy Harvin does. He can catch the ball. He can line up in the I formation, line up in the shotgun, take the snap and do a lot of different things well. When you are getting that look every day at practice, you can’t help but get better.

Q. Quinn, follow up with what Dave said, would it be a dream for you to return a touchdown against the Gators in this game or would it be a nightmare the fact you had to run 108 yards?

QUINN PITCOCK: I would run 108 yards all day long. I mean, I know for both of us in any D line, I mean, that’s—you always lay in bed thinking about getting the interception or fumble or pick for a touchdown. I mean, I had an interception, two, three years ago and after that catch, I had tunnel vision and it broke real quick. I got hit from behind. I can’t remember the play it happened so quick.

So, I mean, it has always been a dream to take one back. We have one more chance and most likely won’t happen, but you are always still dreaming for it the one time.

Q. For any of you, DeShawn Wynn from Cincinnati, did you play against him in high school or know of him in high school or anyone in your defense?

DAVID PATTERSON: He was my host when on my visit to Florida. He was a pretty cool guy.

QUINN PITCOCK: I mean, I have met him before. No real close relationship with him.

Q. Quinn, back to your family. Is that your grandmother here and can you talk a little bit about that and is she a big fan? What’s it mean for you to have her here?

QUINN PITCOCK: Yes. My grandma, Catherine Kitty-Church (phonetic), is here. She actually lives right next door here. She is my number one fan out here in the west. I mean, she now gets the DirecTV, watches all my games for the past couple years. It has been a blessing that I have been able to come out here to the Fiesta Bowl to see her pretty much every year. It is difficult with my schedule to come out west and, you know. She is proud of me no matter what I do.

I am glad to see her because I grew up with her. She used to live in Cincinnati and I saw her all the time. Now I get to see her almost as much, once a year which is a lot compared to some people seeing their family.

Just blessed to see her and I know she is blessed and happy to see me. It is a great time for us and our family.

Q. For all three players, guys, what do you think the public perception is of Coach Tressel outside Ohio? And what’s the team’s perception?

ANTONIO SMITH: Outside Ohio, I mean, he is an idol, I guess you could say. People are talking about his trend and fashion and his sweater vests and a lot of people look up to him as one of the greatest coaches in college football.

Our team, you know, we just have a lot of respect for Coach Tressel and what he does for us as players. We go in, come into Ohio State as young, teenage adults, 18 years old, 19 years old.

He really instills values in us and we come out as men.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, when Coach Tressel first came to Ohio State, I don’t think that many people around the country knew who he was. He was a very successful coach at Youngstown State, which is Division IAA or Division II school. I think now people all over the country as well as the world know who Jim Tressel is because he has come to Ohio State and he has done very well.

He is a class act. You just can’t help but respect him.

QUINN PITCOCK: In Ohio, I think a lot of people say, you know, “in Tressel we trust.” He is considered as God. I mean, outside of Ohio, I think everybody does have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a mentor. I think I have sat down and talked to him before. He said he went to school for education and he is here to educate young men first and then to coach football. So he is a father figure and mentor to us first and then a coach.

Q. The one thing about you guys that we can tell, you guys got off the bus at the team hotel. Quinn’s hair is this big. Antonio, obviously great ‘do. A lot of the guys have personality on the defense. Laurinaitis with his dad. There is so much character on the defense. Quinn, talk about your hairstyle and how you manage all that. And secondly about that personality, does that fuel you as a defense? Does that fuel your energy, pride in each other, the way you guys can have it—you are kind of warriors but you are also kind of clowns in a way, you can do both roles?

QUINN PITCOCK: I picked my hair out the other day. It was an afro. I don’t know, it was a good size, very big. I do that to see people’s reactions. We kind of get under Coach Heacock’s skin. We get stressed out. I think everybody has to find their little dumb, stupid little thing that’s just kind of funny to us and kind of keeps us going and keeps us sane. It is all for fun.

ANTONIO SMITH: I would say the different personalities in our defense, it makes it fun and unique. We can all come together and play together as a unit and play together as a team and have the success that we’ve had, that’s what really brings joy to each and every one of us. We can all bring our personalities together and put that together and make a great defense or make a great team.

It really means a lot.

Q. This one is for David and Quinn. Guys, a lot has been made of Antonio’s sort of journey from walk-on to scholarship player. What are your perceptions of his accomplishments and what has it meant to you to watch him do it?

DAVID PATTERSON: It has really meant a lot to me because Antonio, we call him Yow. He is just a great person. He comes from a great background. His grandmother is a tremendous lady. Coach Tressel always talks about you get what you deserve. You will never find someone that works harder than Antonio Smith. He is a man of God. He loves the Lord and he is someone the team can look up to.

He carries himself in a great way, with a lot of class. You can’t help but respect this guy also.

QUINN PITCOCK: I love this guy. I came in with him to camp. He is a hard worker. We took classes together. We have been on the scout team together. We have been together since day one. He has always been a hard worker. He is going to get a degree for mechanical engineering. Stayed all these years and earned a scholarship. Everybody knows the stories.

He is just the true, humble guy who does the job and doesn’t need all the media or all the attention. He is just proud of himself. He just needs his grandma, a pat on the back and he is happy with that. He is going to have a bright future ahead of him.

ANTONIO SMITH: Thanks, guys (smiling).

Q. Antonio, one of the wide receivers, Jemalle Cornelius, looked forward to man-to-man coverage and viewed it as a challenge. As a cornerback, do you feel the same way?

ANTONIO SMITH: It will be a challenge and a fun time playing Florida. We have been preparing well, extremely hard in practice and focusing and doing the things that we need to do to get ourselves ready.

I don’t look at it as a one-on-one battle. Again our defense has been playing extremely well together this season. That’s one advantage, we have been playing all season and doing a pretty good job at that. Again, if our defense and each player on our defense can focus on his responsibility on each and every play, we should be successful.

Q. You guys, I think, are all Ohio guys, if I am not mistaken. Was there ever any question where you would go to college and what about Ohio State is so attractive?

ANTONIO SMITH: For me, college decision is a long process. For me, it probably was a little different than these guys, Dave and Quinn. More academics was my main focus and had some scholarships from other schools. Once I decided and once I knew what type of engineering program Ohio State had to offer and growing up from right there in Columbus, being a hometown guy, it was a great fit for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DAVID PATTERSON: Well, I have always wanted to come to Ohio State growing up, watching Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Orlando Pace and those guys and being from Ohio, you dream of coming to Ohio State, you know. It is very rare that you get that opportunity because there is only a select few, the best of the best can come to Ohio State.

I took my official visits around to different schools, but the whole time I knew that I was going to be a Buckeye.

QUINN PITCOCK: Myself growing up, you know, I didn’t really watch much football as some may know. It was all a new experience for me in general. I just kind of took visits to the best programs and at the end of the day, I just felt comfortable with Coach Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes. It was close to home. It just really fit my personality, my family and I am happy with my decision. Yeah.

Q. Antonio, how tough is it to manage your school work, having such a tough major with being a successful major college football player?

ANTONIO SMITH: It is definitely a challenge. It is the choice I made. It is hard to juggle both academics and athletics. Again, I wouldn’t compromise either one for the other and, you know, going to mechanical engineering, definitely a tough responsibility and focusing in those classes and competing with those guys, it doesn’t quite have the obligations and responsibilities that I do outside of class.

It is a challenge and I am up for the challenge. I love challenges and, you know, when it is all said and done, I can be successful in both areas. It definitely brings a smile on my face.

Q. Quinn, who is—how has the Princess game room changed and who is leading the league over there?

QUINN PITCOCK: I haven’t actually been there much. I kind of realized that yesterday that Joe and I have not played Connect Four. I have not played a single game of Connect Four. I notice there are a lot of spades games going on. A lot of people playing pool. I haven’t been over there. I have been taking my naps and watching film.

Plus, I don’t like being in there because I am always eating chips and dip so I try to stay away (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

Q. Jim, when you look at this Florida offense, concerns and—any concerns coming off what happened in Michigan with the number of points, yardage, all that?

COACH HEACOCK: We are concerned ourselves from the Michigan game. We felt like we had a couple of breakdowns and gave up some big plays, a few more big plays we had than in the course of the year. I think those are things we are trying to correct ourselves and focus in on. We talk about Florida and obviously a lot of things concern you. They do a lot of different things.

They are very multiple, as you know. And a lot of receivers, a lot of good athletes. They got a senior group down the middle. Their seniors—their center is a senior. Their quarterback is a senior. Their tailback is a senior and two wide receivers are seniors. So they have an experienced group out there. Obviously Leak is playing well. As he played better over the course of the last couple years, they have become more multiple in their offense and it gives you a lot of problems in trying to stop everything.

Q. The big play, do you think that’s the main concern that you have to eliminate? They talked about if they are to have any success, they have to hit the big play?

COACH HEACOCK: Well, as we went through the year, we kind of looked at each game and after each game we try to identify what our situation is and where we can get better and try to make some improvement. After the Michigan game, I think that’s the area we zeroed in on, it is not that we didn’t zero in on it all year. We felt like to be successful we have got to not give up big plays and we have to execute and carry out our assignments and responsibilities and do a good job with that. To say that that’s a one-game thing we are trying to correct, I wouldn’t say that. We did it all year long and that was a real emphasis we put on our defense, that we will make absolute certain that we put great effort in not giving up the big play.

They have had a lot of big plays this year. You look at the stats and the number of big plays, run and pass they have had this year has been impressive.

Q. Jim, can you talk about Chris Leak and what concerns you mostly about their offense?

COACH HEACOCK: I think like I said, it is not like you have to stop the run or you have to stop the pass or you have to—there is any one area. I don’t know. I guess probably the thing that concerns you about the offense is the multiplicity and the number of things they can do and the ways they get their receivers the football. They have a lot of different schemes that they use.

Chris Leak, you know, right now is playing, I’m sure, as well as he has, he is making good decisions right now. He is moving the football team. Looks like he is getting the right play called. I mean, it just looks like he is a senior quarterback that’s doing what they are asking him to do and probably has mastered the offense to a point where they feel comfortable that they can do a lot of different things with him.

Q. For Jim and for Malcolm. You guys lost nine starters coming into this season. How would you compare last year’s defense to this year’s?

MALCOLM JENKINS: This year, you know, like you said, we lost a lot of people last year. So we all were pretty much starting off fresh. I think this year, we are so young that we are all very coachable. We pay attention to everything the coaches say and try to do everything that they want us to do.

I think this year, you know, we are hungry and we are more coachable than we were last year. Last year we had a lot of veterans. So it is only so much we can coach them. They already know everything. They did everything they wanted to do.

This year, I think we have a lot of young guys who are starting for the first time and rotate a lot of people early and I think we are all just doing a good job of trying to do everything the coaches ask of us.

Q. For Brandon and Malcolm, given some of the things that happen in the Michigan game, I know you guys weren’t happy with some of those things. How anxious are you to get back on the horse to play another game?

COACH HEACOCK: We won that game, right (smiling)?

BRANDON MITCHELL: For me, as a senior, you want to be remembered for your last game, you know. And the game we played against Michigan, obviously we weren’t very happy with our performance as far as giving up big plays and probably more passing yards than we really wanted to. This game, we just kind of want to get back to the fundamentals and do the little things that got us here and made us have a successful season. I think that’s what we have been placing the big emphasis on throughout Bowl practice.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I mean, you know, we won the game, that’s the main thing. But we didn’t perform like we wanted to. And I think we lost some respect that we had been trying to gain all year. And, I mean, basically back to what it was in the beginning of year anyway. Nobody really thought we could, you know, come as far as we did. So for us, it is just coming about and being as good as your last game. This is our last game, so, you know, all they are going to remember from here on out is how we play this weekend—or Monday.

Q. This is for the players. Guy Tressel yesterday talked about the fact that Florida is the fastest team you all will have faced this year. Considering the emphasis on speed that Florida has in their offense, you guys as defensive backs would probably be the most pressed in that situation. How have you looked forward to this challenge and maybe hearing all that talk about speed, has that been a little bit of a rallying point for the guys in practice?

BRANDON MITCHELL: I want to say I wouldn’t consider it a rallying point. I think their speed does create problems and I know in practice we have been constantly talking about keeping them inside of us and in front of us. And I think that goes along with giving up big plays. We know that we have to be ready for their speed and very prepared for it. But we go against fast guys every day in practice.

I think we look at the practice reps and try to look at those and consider them game reps so we get used to the game speed.

MALCOLM JENKINS: Yeah, I mean, he pretty much covered it. We go against Ted Ginn, Tony Gonzalez—Anthony Gonzalez and Ray Small every day in practice I think we get a good sense of their speed. I am pretty sure it is going to be a lot faster come game time.

But I think we get good quality reps in practice and it is definitely something we are paying attention to on film. We see it and hear it all the time.

I think we will be ready for it.

Q. For the players, they are known for their playmakers at receiver. Have you guys seen a group of receivers or played a group of receivers that are like them and what’s your overall impression of the kind of guys they have on the outside there?

BRANDON MITCHELL: Well, I think they are unique because they play four or five guys at receiver. And any one of those guys, you know, not necessarily left open but when given the ball in the open space, whether it is a 10-yard pass or 380-yard bomb, they can turn those into big plays. I think that’s really unique because, you know, usually you have to stop maybe one big-play guy or two big-play guys.

With this team, they spread the ball out so evenly that you know you have to be, I guess, on your Ps and Qs for every day and you have to stay focused for every possession because you know at any time if there is a lack in focus, they can break home.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I think they are doing a good job of getting their playmakers the ball in different ways. They have different ways of getting Dallas Baker the ball and as far as everybody else, they have different packages and sometimes they use screens, sometimes they use D balls and things like that.

They do a good job of spreading the ball around. I think it is something we definitely have to focus on this weekend and try to stop.

Q. Coach, Florida’s offense is unconventional and multiple. How hard has it been to replicate their offense with your scout team?

COACH HEACOCK: Well, that’s probably been the most difficult thing we have had to do. Here again, we talk about how much they do, the different things they do and I think like Malcolm alluded to, I think we have done a lot going against our offense because I think we get a pretty good look with our receivers and probably the best look we can get is with them.

Back home and first few days out here we spent a lot of time going against—ones against ones or good against good just to get—trying to simulate the speed we will be seeing. When we go with the scout team, it is a little bit more difficult. Not only simulating the speed but they do a lot of misdirection plays, a lot of option, a lot of reverse, a lot of trick plays and that’s what’s really hard to simulate and make it look good.

In order for that to happen, you have to block the front. That’s been a little bit difficult. I think as we have gone, luckily we have had more than a week to prepare. We have been preparing for some time. We have a chance to get the scout team to run those things and give us a decent look.

Q. Brandon, Malcolm, there is a perception that teams from Florida or the West Coast have all the speed. Is there an advantage—does either team have an advantage speed-wise?

BRANDON MITCHELL: I think that perception just goes along with wherever you are from you may think those players the best. Even if you look at this game, most people from the Midwest think Ohio State is the greatest team ever and we are going to kill them.

As most people from the South—me being from Atlanta, when I went home all I heard, “Florida is going to beat you all. You probably won’t score a point.” I think it is a regional bias. Everybody thinks they have the best players. I think that’s what it is. I don’t think the players feed too much into it. We know our own abilities. I don’t think that really factors much into how we think.

MALCOLM JENKINS: I just feel, like he said, different people have different opinions. I guess we won’t know who is faster as a team until we play on Monday.

Q. You mentioned their offense and all the exotic stuff they do. What’s the key for you defensively when facing a team like that?

COACH HEACOCK: Probably any Bowl game, execution. I think we have to execute. We have to carry out responsibilities and we talk about 11 guys doing their job and I think it is going to be important that we are disciplined and do what we do and like any other game, the team that tackles and gets off blocks and does all the fundamental things is probably really the key.

Q. Jim, as a defensive guy, you went down to Florida in the spring and checked things out. What did you guys gain out of that visit and are you going to open it up to them at all this week?

COACH HEACOCK: I don’t think we will open it up to them (laughter). Some of our staff went down and visited with them and that happens a lot during spring practice, before or after. We travel around the country and meet with other teams and get some ideas, share ideas.

It just so happened that Florida is where our defensive staff went down and visited with them. They had a chance to practice down there. I think they saw the speed and the athleticism and the types of players they had and obviously the organization.

But, you know, that’s probably overrated a little bit in what you really learn. You go down there and share ideas and maybe out of all those ideas you may try to tweak your defense just a little bit and use something they use or they might use something—I mean, our defensive coaches shared with them what we do as well as them sharing with us what they do. So it was an exchange of ideas, and I think it is probably overrated, really, in what the advantage anybody got out of that.

Q. Coach, four years ago one of the keys to your guys’ victory over Miami was the front four being able to get pressure and stop the run. How important is that going to be against Florida to be able to get the front four to get a pass rush without maybe having to blitz some?

COACH HEACOCK: I don’t think there is any question. Of course, I’ve—when you always coach the defensive line for all your life, you kind of get a little bit biased and think that they are really important.

I really do think that most football games comes down to the trenches and the battle in the trenches and who is controlling the line of scrimmage. Shoot, I think it is very important. I think it is critical that our defensive front plays well and I think it is important that they are able to get pressure and at least control part of the line of scrimmage.

If you don’t do that, if you can’t control the line of scrimmage, whichever team that can’t is probably in trouble.

Q. Jim, you have Ohio ties and Urban does as well. Can you talk about your relationship with Urban?

COACH HEACOCK: Actually was the head coach at Illinois State when Urban was a graduate assistant at Ohio State. I had a part-time job opening. I know Urban was just getting out in the coaching field and I had a part-time opening and hired Urban so he was kind of like a part-time coach for me. And he stayed with me until Earl Bruce got the job at Colorado State and he went with Earl as a full-time coach.

I know Urban pretty well and not surprised at all with his success and where he is at right now.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

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