Ohio State traditionally struggles in their first road game of the season. Could you comment on that?
I'm not really aware of it, but I saw them play [last year] against Wisconsin. They played very well. They hung in there for awhile until that big play happened, but that's a part of college football. We paid attention to that... the fact that they were on the road and lost to them.
Could you talk about this game? The opportunity it presents for your program?
It's big for us... there's no question about it. If we go out there and perform the way we know how to perform we can move up a little bit.
Have you and Richard [Washington] re-lived that moment last year against Ohio State on kickoff returns? Have you talked about that at all?
Yea, it's a big joke in the lockerroom. This week everybody's saying, 'don't put Richard and Tramain back there on kickoff returns coach.' We joke about it, but we know that we've got to go out there and perform. It's comedy now, but when we go out there it's all seriousness.
How long before you could joke around about that play?
I gave it about three weeks. No one really wanted to talk about it but one person let it go.... Brian Clark, he let it go. I forget who we were playing against, but we were in a special teams meeting and he was like, 'don't put those two idiots back there.' It was kind of funny and after that we joked about it.
How often have you thought about that game?
To tell you the truth, it was a drive for me throughout the preseason. When I worked out that's what I thought about. The fact that all those overtimes and we lost by one yard. It was in the back of my mind.
Do you have to beat a team like Ohio State to keep getting the respect you want? Would you have to beat them or just play them close?
To take the program where you want to you have to overcome and win those close games... those big games. It will make your players respect the game more too.
What is it about Ohio State that allows those guys to win almost every close game?
I just think it's drive and fight. Those guys never give up. I was watching the Marshall game, and they never gave up and fought to the end. I think that's why they win those close games. There's never a doubt in their minds that they are going win.
Can you give a quick primer of the Ohio State defense?
Those guys look good all the way around. They never missed a beat from what I saw against Marshall.
I really like their linebackers. Their linebacker corps are real good. A.J. Hawk and the rest of that group comes to play. Real strong guys, and when they come to hit you they hit you.
How big of a loss will Dustin Fox be for Ohio State?
Fox was really important to them. He was a leader in their secondary, and I'm sure they've got someone to replace him. But the fact is he was a leader out there. Hopefully he gets well.
How close were you to going to Ohio State?
Pretty good. It was almost there. I really thought about it, and realized I needed to go back and finish what I started. A lot of times we run off and get away from our problems in life, so I wanted to come back and finish here at [NC] State.
How important is T.A. McLendon to this team?
He's tremendous. I'm glad he's back, and I'm happy that Andre Maddox is back too. Both of those guys impact this team and they can make plays... tremendous plays.
"This may be the last time we ever play these guys. I think these guys are going to come out here and play hard too. There's not a doubt about them coming out and playing hard. We just have to be ready." -- Tramain Hall