January 1, 2011 - Ohio State Press Conference Quotes

OHIO STATE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JIM BOLLMAN

Opening Statement ...
"The Allstate Sugar Bowl people have been outstanding. I'd like to thank them for having us. We're very honored and privileged to be here. The guys seem to be having a great time and enjoying themselves. Most importantly, the people have been outstanding. We've been practicing over at the Dome every day, which is a little different than when we were here a few years ago. That has seemed to work very well so far."

On Terrelle Pryor's development and how he's dealt with distractions ...
"I think Terrelle [Pryor] has had an outstanding season. He's a great dual threat. He's certainly improved his passing skills this year. If you look at pure yards throughout the season, his production in the passing game has been pretty good, certainly more consistent. His passing efficiency is pretty good. He does a good job of not turning the ball over. I think all quarterbacks have a throw or two they'd like back every game, but by and large that's one of his strong suits. Much like any of the other players on our football team, he's a third-year guy. He's continued to grow up through the process and a lot of guys have come along with him. It's a fun bunch of guys to coach, a fun bunch of guys to be around every day."

On Terrelle Pryor "rising to the occasion" in last year's Rose Bowl victory ...
"He certainly had a - I would use the word productive - very productive game. He kind of flashed everybody in that game I guess. As far as preparation and getting ready for that game, I don't recall it being any different than it would be for any other big games. Certainly, this is a very big football game and I think everybody realizes that, and their preparation has gone accordingly."

On Terrelle Pryor's focus preparing for the Sugar Bowl ...
"Everybody's focus has been pretty good. It seems to me that everybody's been tuned in and trying to prepare. Everybody has had their own individual little quirks, how they get ready to go. I think everybody's getting ready to and expecting to play a very tough football game."

On the Arkansas defense ...
"They're tough. They're a crew that, at times, puts a lot of pressure on people. They're a pretty relentless outfit. At this point in the season, everybody's pretty experienced. Those guys are quick and they run well and, pretty much, I would say all across the board they're quick. Those defensive ends are pretty quick, good movement guys. They've got some guys in the middle and everybody else runs around pretty good, and flies around the football field. They'll disengage for some people. Sometimes guys look like they're blocking and all of a sudden they're getting off the blocks and running around making plays. They really play laterally very well. People trying to run around on them don't always have a lot of luck."

On what makes Terrelle Pryor an elite quarterback ...
"You have to say he's a special athlete. His ability to run the football is probably something that is very unique. He's very, very fast. He's much faster than he looks. There are a lot of guys who can probably throw the ball pretty well, and there are some guys who run the ball pretty well. I don't know many guys that do both. There are some, but I don't think there are a whole lot of them, and he's one of them. He doesn't go into all of his situations looking to run the ball. That's not his mindset, but at certain times when he feels like - we feel like - it's a combination of things where he's called upon to run the ball, he'll do a very good job of running the ball. But as you see when you watch him, it's not like he just goes back there to throw a pass and take off right away. His eyes are down the field; he's trying to make plays. There's always a fine line where you'd just wish he'd take off but he does do a good job of having a quarterback mindset of keeping his eyes down the field and looking for things."

On studying the tape from the Arkansas - Auburn game ...
"In any of those bigger games that Arkansas had, naturally you're going to look at some of those kinds of games. That was one of them. Obviously [Cam Newton] won the Heisman this year. He's a fine football player and a very fine athlete."

On the effect of having a month off for the team's health and J.B. Shugart's foot injury ...
"His foot injury was amazingly helped by our bye week. Up until that point, he was really kind of struggling with it. He had to lose some time during some games and Andrew Norwell was going in there and doing a really good job for him. But, the last three weeks of the season, he got much more of a groove going after that little rest and was able to take a lot more practice snaps, and made it through all the snaps in the games. That's been a similar situation during bowl practice. We tried to be smart and not overdo things, but he's got some light reps and I think he's going to be okay."

On how the run game and tailbacks are looking ...
"They took a break around finals and everybody is getting their legs back. We scrimmaged a reasonable amount. The guys look okay."

On Dane Sanzenbacher being named team MVP and earning the most inspirational award ...
"It's a vote by all of us, but that's the football team, the Ohio State Buckeye football. He was voted the MVP and most inspirational. It's the first time anyone has won that dual award since Coach Tressel has been the head football coach. He's a very special young man. He's always going 110 percent, if there is such a thing. He's going as hard as he can go. He always is a guy that somehow comes up making a big play. His production is outstanding. He's always doing a little bit more than you expect, on and off the field, and has obviously earned a great deal of respect from his teammates. He's certainly a guy we hate to see walk out the door after this season."


QUARTERBACK - TERRELLE PRYOR

On his preparation for the game ...
"I prepare the same as always. I think we've come to play. The best way to get into my focus zone has just been to practice. I'd be most stressed at home. Being on the field has been the least stressful place. I'm just looking it as, we've got a game to play, let's play it."

"You shouldn't worry about what other people say, but you do take a lot of what other people say into your mind. They're saying it for some reason. That's the hardest thing, I guess, is hearing people say some cruel things about you. You know what you did and you take the responsibility, but guys are still out there nailing you and talking about you. That's when my teammates have come in and had my back and told me that it's going to be all right."

"When bad things happen to you, that's when you want your family around you and, going through all of this, that's when you realize that Ohio State football is your family."

On how the suspension [of 5 games in 2011] has affected him ...
"It's not affecting me. I mean, there have been long days going through the process, but we all got through it. All of our teammates have had our backs. It was just a minor problem in the locker room that we had to fix."

"I think that [the seniors] just feel we're part of the team. I don't think they wanted to go without us. We've been part of the team the whole season."

"I've never sat out a game in my life, so I don't know how it's going to affect me next year yet."

Are you still planning on definitely coming back to Ohio State next year ...
"Yes."

On the Arkansas defense ...
"Some of the guys on that defense are quick, fast and aggressive. I think their total team defensive speed is pretty good. The four down lineman are tough, and their secondary and linebackers are really speedy. We've got a full game on our hands."

"We've got to be able to run the ball on them and control the clock."

"Watching them on film, there are a lot of different formations I've seen people try to use against them, but they're not all really in our plays. Still, I don't think I should try to do anything out of the ordinary, that's when you get into trouble. I'm just going to go out and play my game."

"Our offense needs to have a sense of urgency, keep moving the chains, keep putting points up."

On having prior bowl game experience ...
"I think we've got a lot of depth and experience. We've been in a number of different situations being down at some point or up at some point, in regular games and in bowl games, so going into this one, we've got to keep moving the chains as much as possible. [The Arkansas] offense is pretty good."

WIDE RECEIVER - DANE SANZENBACHER

On keeping younger players focused... is it a challenge ...
"Not really. I think the same as a lot of the seniors who put so much into this season do - and the whole team really. Knowing it's our last game doesn't make it very hard to have that as your central focus."

On the process of preparation...is there anything you are seeing late that may need changing, as the coaches mentioned "the long layoff" and avoiding trying to "put too much in"...
"I think there are always new things that pop up right up until game day and even at halftime you always do some kind of adjustment or something pops up late. I think, overall, that we've tried to avoid putting too much in, because you have so many weeks of practice and all this time to think about it. Everybody's got ideas about what they want to do and I'm sure the coaches had to run wild with things that aren't a part of the game plan, but I think the simpler we can keep it, the better."

On his scouting report on the Arkansas defense and perceived areas expectations ...
"I feel like they're a defense that's kind of been underappreciated, just because their offense has been so powerful and able to make so many plays. But, I mean, they're good. They're deserving of being in the Sugar Bowl. There is never a lack of effort in the secondary, from what I‘ve watched. As far as exploiting, I don't know...we'd like to think that we can run our offense and, if we can execute it, it doesn't' really matter what they do."

On not playing for a national championship or in the Rose Bowl and the team's motivation to win this game ...
"I always thought that the team could have one motivation, but individual players -I think - all have their own individual motivation to go out and play and I think those are, probably, more powerful than team motivation. You can hear as many speeches as you want, everybody's heard them before, to try to get you prepared - but everybody's playing for something different. These seniors, you know, it's our last time getting dressed, so we're motivated for it. These younger guys, I'm sure part of them is saying let's put these seniors out on the right note. On top of that, when you put so much time into something and so much effort, like we did this season - starting way back in the summer and through all that - when you have one last chance to put it on the field, that's pretty much all you focus on."

On facing an SEC opponent ...
"It didn't really matter to us. We definitely think it's a good challenge; we know it's a great conference and we're excited about it."

On noticing any difference in Terrelle Pryor...
"I haven't really noticed a difference with Terrelle [Pryor] or any of the guys. It's been business as usual."

FULLBACK - ZACH BOREN

On Terrelle Pryor ...
"He can do anything. He is a great player. His athletic ability is unreal. In any circumstance out on the field, he can get through it. He is a fighter and can make amazing plays that you just sit back and say ‘wow, how did he do that'."

On Terrelle Pryor's improvement as a passer ...
"He worked so hard in the offseason on his passing drills and he's out there every day during the offseason working on everything. Even in practice, if he makes a pass he knew he should not have made, he'll get mad at himself and he knows exactly what to correct."

 


On Terrelle Pryor's speed ...
"When Terrelle [Pryor] is running, you see guys who run 4.3 forties and no one can catch him. He's one of those guys that when he runs, no one knows how fast he is because his strides are long and he's just real smooth when he runs."

On OSU's bowl record against the SEC ...
"You don't let it bother you. I know a lot of these guys haven't been in an SEC game. Some of the older guys have, but we are just excited for the challenge. Arkansas is a great team and we're excited to just go out there and play. We know we just have to go out and play our game and whatever happens, happens. "

On Arkansas' defense being overshadowed by the offense ...
"Arkansas' defense is great. They are a great defense. They are the fastest defense I ever seen on film. Side to side, lateral movement, they are unreal fast. "

Do you have to play faster?
"You definitely have to play faster. In any game you have to play faster than what you really are, especially in a bowl game against an SEC team - BCS bowl - you have to be moving as fast you can go."

"In a BCS bowl game, a top bowl game - you have the best athletes in the world all competing against each other, so you're not going to go out there and expect the game speed is going to be slower. Any BCS game, any game like that where you face the caliber of athletes that you are going to face, you have to go out and play full speed and be that much faster than you really are. "

Do you change things to be able to handle the speed?
"No. You have to be mentally ready and go in and put that much more effort into film, because you can't be out there watching defense and be thinking at the same time. You just have to go out and play and know all your stuff and by not thinking you are that much faster."

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - BRYANT BROWNING

On being a veteran on the team and Ohio State's past against SEC teams ...
"The past is what it is; there is nothing you can do about that. But, this year is a new year. I was here for a couple of games and sometimes we were not performing at our best. This game, I feel that we have a veteran bunch and we are really ready to study hard and work hard so we can go out on the field and give it our best. I was here for a couple of losses to SEC teams. You are not trying to play your last game and lose."

On playing his last game and the emotion that goes with it ...
"I guess it is a little bittersweet. I am excited because my fire is there. I worked hard during my final year. I have some sense on and off the field. It is sad because I believe in my guys. Being a senior, I am separating and leaving the team. The guys, I feel like, tried to help me become a leader to go on and have success in this bowl game. It is a bittersweet feeling, but I am definitely trying to leave my last game with a good memory. We have to go out and play well."

On his experience in New Orleans ...
"So far, it has been pretty good. There has been a lot of good eating. I got to see Bourbon Street, a little, and see the surroundings. So far, I can't complain. Yesterday, I got to go out and get to meet some local people in the hospital and things like that. That was fun. So far, pretty good and I just hope next week that is keeps going good."

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - JUSTIN BOREN

On his last game at Ohio State and last time playing with his brother ...
"You think about it, but really it's the big picture. We're just trying to get ready with the rest of the team to play Arkansas, but really it is crazy that it's my last college game. It's been a great two years and privilege to play with Zach [Boren]. We cherish every moment."

On Terrelle Pryor and where his head is ...
"I think he has handled it great. His head, from what I've seen, is no different. He's ready to go and anxious to go out there, prove himself, and put this all behind him too."

On the five suspended players promise to return for next season ...
"I think they will honor that. They said they would. They are all good guys and I love them to death. They're our family. They're our team and they're going to do the right thing."

On playing at Michigan with Ryan Mallett ...
"Ryan [Mallett] is a good guy. We talked a lot when we both left and he has had a great career so far at Arkansas. He's a real good quarterback. I'm sure if he had to pick Ohio State or Michigan, he wouldn't pick Ohio State."

"I knew him real well. I was the center for him for a couple of games. He's a great kid. As you can see he's done a great job down here. We were close when we were at Michigan and we kept in contact for a little bit after we transferred. I haven't talked to him for a while, but he's very good."

"I think we both made the right decisions and we're happy with where we are. I haven't talked to him since right after we transferred, but he was happy then. So I'm sure, after the career he's had, I'm sure he's very happy with where he's at. "

"As a freshman, he came in and made some freshman mistakes and little things, but you could tell he was going to be one heck of a quarterback and it doesn't surprise me one bit where he's at right now."

On the Arkansas defense ...
"They bring a lot of fire zones, they blitz a ton, which is something you definitely have to practice for and they're all good. Every player on that team is very good, especially their front seven."