Tressel gets 200 wins, OSU beats up on UW
SEATTLE - Jim Tressel prefers Diet Pepsi.
At least, that's what he and his players were holding during the press conference. He also looked like he had a little down his back and that might be because they all poured something on him as time expired to celebrate their coach's 200th career victory.
"I'm not sure what it was they poured on me," Tressel said. "Water, Gatorade, muscle milk ... "
I think it was that crisp refreshing diet cola that Tressel got drenched with as the seconds wound down on OSU's 33-14 win over Washington.
Tressel's guys pretty much tore up UW. In the third quarter. The first 30 minutes were not the best football the Bucks have played, but they looked very, very good in the third. Boeckman's gorgeous 68-yard pass to Brian Robiskie alone would have made for a great third, but OSU's recovery of the kickoff fumble made the Buckeyes look like a totally different team.
Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis said halftime wasn't a bunch of screaming and yelling, surprisingly enough.
"We just talked about how we had missed a lot of opportunites to score and that we needed to fix that," Laurinaitis said.
"They had a lot of momentum going their way," said Tressel of UW going into halftime. "A lesser group could have folded."
Tressel's right -- the Bucks are very, very young and it takes a certain mental toughness to come back in that type of hostile environment. Every OSU player afterward commented on how loud the stadium was and Boeckman admitted that they got into his head a bit the first half.
"The first half was tough, but it's a huge win for us," said Boeckman, who finished the game with 218 yards on 14-25 with two TDs and no INTs.
Chris "Beanie" Wells finished with 135 yards on 25 rushes for the Bucks.
And now, on to the particulars:
Player of the Game: Maybe it's lame of me to pick Locker when he threw three INT but the kid is just so much fun to watch. I don't know how he does it, but he just slides right past defenders time after time. He is so hard to tackle. And it's crazy to think that he has three whole years left to continue to develop. He could be scary good.
Play of the Game: No doubt, OSU recovering UW's fumble on the kickoff return right after Ohio State had taken the lead. OSU's score had deflated the Huskies a bit, but that was a dagger in the heart. When Wells scored on a 14 yard run, the dagger had pretty much been twisted.
Next up: Both teams open league play next week. Ohio State takes on Northwestern at home (Tressel said he's very excited to get back to the students, but also pointed out that a lot of OSU fans traveled to Seattle, which was awesome.) The Huskies open Pac-10 play at No. 11 UCLA ... who will probably be out for blood because Utah just kicked the crap out of them, 44-6 (and with a back-up QB!)
The truth is that Ohio State came into this game needing to win and did exactly what they were supposed to, even if it got them awhile to get going. But I don't think UW fans have any reason to fret: the team is young, the QB is very talented, and even with this loss they shouldn't be hurting for confidence. Both of these teams should have successful seasons.
And now, it's time for the long, lonely stretch of I-5.