"The Buckeyes had a tough ball game this past Saturday afternoon with San Diego State. San Diego State came to Columbus and played very, very well, was well-prepared, was a hard fought ball-game. We don't feel we played as good as we need to play and as we're capable of playing, and that's the good news because we have the chance to face a great, great team in North Carolina State this Saturday at Ohio Stadium, and I know all of our guys are looking forward to that."
Although Ohio State struggled this weekend, they still won the football game, a feat NC State didn't accomplish against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Does that make this game that much more important for the Wolfpack?
"I think this: our guys have tremendous respect for NC State and what Coach Amato his staff and players have done in the last few years. Our guys feel that this is very, very important. Firstly, of course, because we've got to become better and secondly of course because we're going up against such a great team. I know from this camp, we don't think it's any more or less important for either team. It should be a great college football game."
Considered Ohio State's best player, DB/WR Chris Gamble has yet to make a catch on the offensive side of the ball. His impact has not been felt yet from an offensive perspective and Coach Tressel gave his comments regarding Gamble and his status at Wide Receiver.
"Chris is still playing wide receiver. We've had some warm-weather games, and we've got a twelve game schedule in front of us. One of the decisions you have to make with two-way performances (is) just how much are you going to ask of them? He's on our special units as a punt returner and kickoff returner; he plays defense; we faced two real good passing football teams these first two games, so he's had a lot of duty there. He's played a bit of wide out. We've had some routes called, hoping that perhaps we got it to him. We have not gotten him the football through the air, I think we handed it off to him once for a pretty good gain, but Chris Gamble's a guy that we just have to see how the flow of the game's going and how many plays is he playing on defense and special teams. Really our third priority for Chris's talents is offense. Even though my offensive coaches don't like that, that just happens to be the way we're doing it."
As stated, the Buckeyes have already played good passing teams in the Washington Huskies and the Aztecs and will face another this weekend in NC State. Will Gamble and the defense have to be ready for the Wolfpack?
"Absolutely. This is a great passing team. Phillip Rivers... look at the records. He knows what's going on, he knows how you line up, he knows who to attack, he knows the system inside and out, I'm sure their coaches give him a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage, because there's not a coverage he hasn't seen, there's not a blitz he hasn't seen, there's not a situation that he hasn't experienced. So, absolutely, Chris Gamble and his teammates will have their hands full."
NC State and Ohio State have butted heads off-the-field in recent years, on the recruiting trail. Does Coach Tressel consider NC State a threat in recruiting?
"NC State I think does a fabulous job of recruiting. They recruit that Eastern Seaboard fairly well, they recruit Florida extraordinarily, and they do a good job in Pennsylvania. Those are three really good areas for football, and of course, we're going to be involved in those areas as well along with our recruiting heavily here in the state of Ohio, but we think that NC State does a great job with recruiting assessment and personnel selection, and they have a lot to offer. NC State's a great school. They've proven that they're a great program... We think we're in good company; when a kid says he's interested in NC State, that means we're probably picking the right guy."