Buckeyes impressed with Rivers

NC State quarterback Philip Rivers came into Ohio Stadium with quite a reputation, and the Buckeye defense came away impressed.

When the last play was finally over at Ohio Stadium Saturday, the statistics compiled by Philip Rivers, the prolific quarterback for North Carolina State, didn't really give you an accurate gauge about how dominant a performer he really is.

But those on the Buckeye sideline that had to compete against him are well aware of the kind of prodigious talent the Wolfpack quarterback possess.

"My impression of Philip Rivers is that he's a good quarterback," Jim Tressel said. "He threw two costly interceptions that hurt them. We always evaluate our quarterbacks based on turnovers and decision making and whether you win or lose, but I'll tell you what, Philip Rivers is a good player, a good player."

Rivers was 36 of 52 for 315 yards with 4 touchdowns but threw 2 interceptions. A.J. Hawk returned one of his interceptions 55 yards to the seven-yard line that set up an Ohio State field goal while Brandon Mitchell's pick off resulted in a Craig Krenzel six-yard touchdown run.

"He can play," Hawk said. "I like how he seems like he has great command of his team and he knows what's going on and knows what checks to make, so I was impressed by him."

Dustin Fox was flagged and even beaten trying to cover the speedy receivers on the receiving end of Rivers' passes but he had no problem giving Rivers his due as one of the best quarterbacks he's ever faced at OSU.

"I think he's at the top at this point," he said. "We don't know what we're up against yet in the rest of our season, but to this point he's an outstanding football player and I think he's even a better person. You could just tell off the field what kind of guy he is and I respect him."

Mark Dantonio gave a coach's opinion of Rivers.

"I thought he kept his composure and took what was there. He found the open guy when he got pressured," he said. "He's a good football player and he's got a great future ahead of him."

And Will Allen was highly complimentary of the Wolfpack quarterback.

"He's one of the best quarterbacks that I've ever played against," he said. "I will compare him almost to a Drew Brees when he was in college. I remember my freshman year when I played against Drew Brees. Drew Brees just picked you apart; he stayed poised in the pocket, he knew where everybody was on the field, he knew how to dump it off when he was in trouble and that's what Philip Rivers did today.

"In the first half we kind of shut him down. In the second half he kind of got his poise back, he got that swagger back about him and he started making better reads and picking up what we were doing. In the first half I think we had him a little confused, a little frustrated and we had pressure on (him) but he started coming through in the second half."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories