Rob Report: Ohio State

Senior writer Rob Howe reports back from Columbus with news and observations from a tough loss to the Buckeyes. There is an injury update, some interesting news on who made the trip and who didn't, and other notes from The Shoe in this premium feature.

DRESSED, UNDRESSED:

Mo Brown and Nate Kaeding were the first Hawkeyes to come on the field on Saturday. Nate was checking the wind in the stadium. Mo was walking around in his sweats looking like he would do anything to get on the field. Mo and Brian Ferentz both took in the game from the sidelines in their street clothes.

Iowa dressed 10 offensive linemen for Saturday - Mike Elgin, Ben Cronin, Peter McMahon, Lee Gray, Eric Rothwell, David Walker, Kory Borchers, Mike Jones, Sam Aiello and Robert Gallery. Blake Larsen, Chris Felder and C.J. Barkema did not make the trip.

True freshmen Albert Young and Champ Davis were dressed and participated in pregame warmups. Neither of them played an offensive snap, and Young still has his redshirt preserved.

Ohio State dressed Marcel Frost, a tight end out of Lyndhurst, Ohio, who verbally committed to the Hawkeyes before signing with OSU.

INJURY REPORT:

Tight end Mike Follett injured his ankle after making a catch in the first quarter. He tried to return on a couple of occasions. The last time came in the fourth quarter, where he hobbled badly to the sideline following the rep. Coach Ferentz said they will know more later.

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux lay on the field in pain during a first half play where teammate Howard Hodges recorded a sack. Babineaux was buried by OSU senior center Alex Stepanovich on the play. The Iowa junior remained on on all fours until trainers, at one point ripping his helmet off. He was assisted to the sideline, where Jermelle Lewis and George Lewis - two guys that have torn their ACL - came by to console him. babineaux was taken off of the field on a motorized cart with his leg in a cast. Coach Ferentz indicated that Babineaux had broken his (right) ankle.

Ed Hinkel played throughout the game, but rode a stationary bike frequently when he was on the sideline to keep his injured groin loose.

Nathan Chandler injured his right ankle in the third quarter. He scrambled out of bounds and sustained the injury when the sideline grass gave way to concrete.

Jovon Johnson spent much of the second half on the Iowa sideline with ice on his left ankle and did not play after halftime. He injured his ankle during the Michigan game two weeks ago.

Walker was able to complete only two practices during the two weeks of preparation for the OSU game, Coach Ferentz said. He has been slowed by a knee injury.

RT Sam Aiello limped off of the field after a first-half play, but returned on the next series and finished out the game.

NEWS, NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:

Jim Tressel spent time visiting with both Ken O'Keefe and Kirk Ferentz on different occasions during the pregame warmups. Tressel and Ferentz seemed to be sharing a few laughs.

The Capital One Bowl (formerly known as the Citrus Bowl) attended Saturday's game. The event will pit a Big Ten team versus one from the SEC on Jan. 1 at noon central in Orlando.

Dallas Clark took in the game from the Iowa sideline. His Indianapolis Colts teammate Mike Doss served as Ohio State's honorary captain on Saturday.

True freshman Eric McCollom did not play on Saturday despite O'Keefe pulling him aside and talking with him in the pregame. Classmate Scott Chandler entered for one play. Unofficially, true frosh James Townsend was in on 10 offensive plays. He played little if at all after falling down on a play run to him midway through the game. Sophomore receiver Matt Melloy took three offensive snaps. All of the other receiver reps went to Calvin Davis, Ed Hinkel and Ramon Ochoa.

Iowa had -8 rushing yards in the third quarter.

Grant Steen and Edgar Cervantes were in position to make tackles but missed them during Michael Jenkins' punt return for a touchdown.

Jermelle Lewis was visibly frustrated waiting to get in on the action in the first half.

Tony Jackson and Cervantes both appeared to be guilty of holding on the touchdown run by kicker Nate Kaeding. Kaeding gave Ohio State's Chris Gamble a high five after the score. They know each other from all-American functions they have attended.

Reserve tight end Ben Gates saw action on Saturday in the absence of Follett. He threw a key block on play where Iowa ran a three-TE set.

Matt Neubeaur received most of the reps in the absence of Babineaux. Derreck Robinson also saw plenty of action on the D-line.

Abdul Hodge enjoyed a fine day racking up tackles, and Bob Sanders just plain racked up Buckeyes. He looked like the Sanders of old, flying around the field and delivering monster hits. On a touchdown pass attempt to Carter in the 3rd quarter, Sanders knocked the helmet off of the OSU flanker.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:

BOB SANDERS on how the team will respond to a tough loss...

I mean, it hurts. And you have to deal with it. But after 24 hours, it's over. We want to move on, and we want to correct our mistakes. We've got a lot of football left. We're not going to give up. We're not going to lay down because we had a tough loss today. I think that we're going to come out harder and stronger to push ourselves even more.

ROBERT GALLERY on injuries and inexperience hurting the offensive line...

I don't worry about that. The guys out there aren't trying to make mistakes. Nobody's out there trying to let somebody come through them. We're giving out best effort. It's just sometimes we do little things that hurt us, and we can't do those little things. I know how it feels to be where they are. We've got to clean things up. I've got to clean things up. The whole team needs to do that this week.

DE Howard Hodges on the defense's confidence in the offense...

Yeah, we're not scoring as much as we did last year. But those guys showed they could do it against Michigan. They still have the potential to win. I don't know if it's a lack of confidence on away games because these guys can do it. I'm still going to take this offense. And I still feel like we can win out with this offense. There's nothing wrong with this offense. I mean, Iowa is doing better than what people thought we would do. The beginning of the year, they probably didn't think Iowa was going to win two games. We're still giving the fans something out there. Yeah, we lost. We lost by (nine) points. We're not getting blown out here. It's not like you're watching Iowa with a 1-10 record. We're doing what we can do.

K Nate Kaeding on why he was involved in some word exchanges with OSU's Chris Gamble...

I knew him from a couple of All-American things we were involved in last year and the Playboy thing. So, we kind of had a little bit of a relationship. And he was heckling me before the start of the second half there saying, "Kick the ball to me on kickoffs." So I kicked it 10 yards over his head and said to him, " I kicked it to you. You've got to catch it." So, after the touchdown I kind of gave him a hard time, a little high five. It's fun to come out here and play against competitors like that in games like this. That's what it's all about.

Coach Kirk Ferentz on his team rebounding from the OSU defeat...

We just have to keep working at it. We knew we had a tough six-game schedule. Now, we have a tough five-game schedule. We have a lot of good things ahead. I thought this a month ago, as the season goes on, we'll get better. I wasn't quite counting on the mix of things that are going on right now (injuries). But we'll just keep working. We'll get better. We'll be Ok. We're not ready to pack it in yet. I'll promise you that."


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