In this case, the third-ranked Buckeyes will be hosting No. 24 N.C. State. OSU coach Jim Tressel was joined by seniors Adrien Clarke and Will Allen and junior Maurice Hall at today's weekly press luncheon.
Tressel addressed the lackluster showing against San Diego State in Saturday's narrow 16-13 win.
"You have to be willing, when things don't go like you want them, to check out yourself and check out who's doing it," Tressel said. "Then, you have to learn from those experiences.
"A lot more good things went on the first Saturday than the second. We hoped to have more improvement than we were able to show."
Tressel revealed that just six regulars on each side of the ball graded winning performances against SDSU.
"Another telltale sign is that we only awarded one Buckeye leaf on one helmet to one person in special teams," Tressel said. "That was to Bobby Carpenter for a tackle inside the 20 on a kick."
Allen was the defensive player of the game, Hall was the offensive player of the game and Clarke was the offensive lineman of the week.
"Adrien graded out at 91 percent," Tressel said. "He did an excellent job in there. We had a young center in the game in Nick Mangold and he gave us some stability in the right places."
Linebacker Robert Reynolds was the attack force player of the game, Roy Hall got the Jack Tatum hit of the week and the scout team awards went to Anthony Schlegel, Michael Roberts and Bobby Britton, a senior who worked at running back to help prepare the defense.
Tressel noted how his team and N.C. State, coming off a loss at Wake Forest last week, are probably in the same frame of mind.
"These are two football teams who many people think can be wonderful football teams, but they probably don't feel wonderful about their performance," he said.
"I am sure they will each come with great passion and intensity this week. N.C. State has some great talent. They are young in some areas, like we are."
Tressel discussed N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers.
"When you think of N.C. State, you think of Philip Rivers," he said. "He is a great quarterback. He threw for 433 yards in that ball game last week. There isn't a blitz he hasn't seen, a coverage he hasn't seen or a situation he hasn't been in. He gets the job done.
"He has great receivers and their skill people are very good. They do a great job of changing things up. I'm sure they'll have some things stored up that the Buckeyes haven't seen before."
Tressel revealed that Mangold would likely start in place of the injured Alex Stepanovich. Defensive end Simon Fraser will also likely miss the game, while tailback Lydell Ross is hopeful of returning.
"Alex Stepanovich will probably miss the ball game, at least according to the early week injury report," Tressel said. "Another guy who would probably miss is Simon Fraser.
"I thought a week ago when I was here that Lydell would be OK. I think he hopes to be at full strength."
Tressel asked Allen to discuss who may replace Fraser at end.
"We play a number of defensive linemen," he said. "They rotate probably every three or four plays. I think Joel Penton and Mike Kudla are guys who could be in there. They have both played a lot in the last couple of games."
Tressel added that Jay Richardson, who missed the SDSU game due to strep throat, and Darrion Scott, a former end now at tackle, could also take plays there.
The coach discussed the situation at tailback, where Hall had to go the distance against SDSU.
"We would like to have three guys ready at that position at all times," he said. "It was a case where Lydell couldn't go. The complexion of the game, in my mind, was that we needed to have a veteran in there.
"It wasn't a time for (freshman) Ira Guilford to come in and learn by doing. We would have liked for him to play some, sure. Would we have liked to lessen the load on Mo Hall, certainly."
Tressel talked about the struggles of quarterback Craig Krenzel against SDSU.
"He did have a hard day," the coach said. "The day started with an interception. That is a tough start for anyone, I don't care who you are. I'm not sure we were in great sync across the board. Sometimes you have through those things."
Tressel said there was "no discussion on the sideline" about pulling Krenzel.
The coach discussed his team's penchant penalties against SDSU.
"One of the late hits against the quarterback, I was able to see how it happened," he said. "Will Smith came off a block and one of our guys was on the quarterback. He was turned and he hit him. He felt bad about it and it was not a bad call.
"There were some close ones. Our guys get after people. You have to eliminate those mistakes, but you don't want to tell your guys to be less aggressive. They need to be smart and know when they need to pull off.
"On hitting the quarterback, they say one step is OK. More than one step is roughing the passer. The national officials said they would be calling that. It's real.
"In terms of roughing the punter, we got on the edge and got held a little bit and lost our control. But that's on us. You have to stay in control.
"And we all know there is a risk you take in rushing the punter."
The players were asked for their take on the nail-biter with SDSU:
* Clarke -- "We were very fortunate to get through last week. As far as us slipping through, I wouldn't say that. That game is over with. We need to build off of that."
* Allen -- "It was a tough win, but we made it through. Now we need to focus on N.C. State."
* Hall -- "We have to build off of last week. We didn't play how we wanted to play. We need to make sure we're ready to go this week."