Pitcock helps fill in at DT

Quinn Pitcock came to OSU in 2002 from Piqua, OH as one of the highest rated Ohio defensive tackles in several years, and Saturday against BG, he had a chance to get some extended playing time and make some big plays. Dave Biddle talked to him about his game and more.

With Darrion Scott out with an ankle injury, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock got the most playing time of his career during the 24-17 win over Bowling Green Saturday.

Pitcock (6-3, 300) responded with a sack and showed good push against the Falcons offensive line throughout the game.

Much as been said about the excellent depth on Ohio State's defensive line, and against BG, it was put to use. In addition to Pitcock, Marcus Green, David Patterson and Jay Richardson also got the most snaps of their careers.

"I thought us younger guys stepped in there and got the job done," Pitcock said. "The coaches always tell us to be ready and we were needed today. We have a lot of young players with confidence, and I think the coaches have confidence in us."

Even with the Falcons staging a late comeback, Pitcock was not worried that another overtime game was in store.

"Not really, I knew we could do it," he said. "We had plenty of guys to rotate through on the defensive line, so we were fresh."

But in the locker room, Pitcock admitted that the players and coaches were upset that the game was so close at the end.

"Yeah, it's very disappointing," he said. "We know we have areas to work on – both offense and defense. But at the same time, defense wins championships, so we've got to do better. We can't let teams hang around like that."

Scott was coming off the best game of his OSU career according to Tressel, so his absence could have been a big factor. But, the defensive line really didn't miss a beat with him out.

"That's one of the things our coaches stress," Pitcock said. "We may have eight guys on the front, all rotating through the defensive line, but we all have to act like a first-team starter. We can't think like second-stringers. We have to think like starters. You never know when someone is going to go down."

Pitcock was asked how many snaps he played against BG.

"I think I was around 20 or so," he said. "This was probably the most I've played. I played almost the same the first game against Washington, but I think I was in there a little more today.

"David Patterson was in there a lot too. He also had about 20 plays – maybe a little less."

Pitcock felt at ease playing so much. He is usually fairly nervous before each game, but getting on the field a lot against Bowling Green actually calmed him down.

"It made me more relaxed and comfortable and not so uptight," he said. "Being in there that much helped me feel comfortable. It was just nice to do something good for the team, be where I am supposed to be and make some plays."

Pitcock wants to see his playing time continue to increase, but he is not a selfish guy.

"I'm just trying to help the team out," he said. "We're all team players; we're all working together. I'm trying to make myself better and at the same time make the team better and we'll succeed that way."

But getting 20-plus snaps is a lot more fun than observing from the sidelines. Pitcock still isn't used to it, but he likes it.

"It's a big difference for me," he said. "Instead of watching and hoping that your players – D-line or whoever – is going to make a play, now you're the one in there having to make the stop and it's a big transition. Especially from not playing last year. I haven't played since high school, really. It's a big change and there's a lot of pressure, but that's what we're here for. You want to be in there with the game on the line and doing what you can to help the team."

We asked Pitcock to evaluate his performance against BG.

"I did better than the first couple weeks," he said. "I just tried not to make mistakes and just play hard. I haven't seen film yet, but I think I did a good part. There's always room for improvement. It's just a learning experience."

Last year, teams found it nearly impossible to score on the Buckeyes in the second half. But this year, there have already been some late comebacks and close calls. Is it because the Bucks lack a killer instinct?

"I'm not really sure," Pitcock said. "Defensively, I think we're improving in some areas, and in some areas we're just going down. We just all need to step up during the week and practice hard in all areas and keep it going and we'll get a good game sooner or later."

Is there a lack of intensity in the fourth quarter? Are the Buckeyes letting down once they have a 17-point lead?

"I think there's just some areas that we're not putting so much effort towards," Pitcock said. "We're a little up and down and we have to be consistent. Defensively, I think we need to do a better job of getting pressure throughout the game. Even when we have a big lead, we need to keep coming after the quarterback and not let him get comfortable."

But, whatever you want to say about OSU, it finds a way to win. Pitcock credits last year's senior class for instilling a winning attitude into the program. When the game gets close, the Bucks believe they are going to pull it out.

"Everybody has so much effort and will to win and pride for the team," he said. "So, I think it does play a role. People put us down for having close games, but we're not losing so far, so we're putting in all the effort we can. This came from the seniors before us and it's just a tradition that we're trying to keep alive."

Defensive line coach Jim Heacock is using about 10 players in his rotation right now. Pitcock says the ideal number is eight.

"Yeah, that's what we're going for," he said. "Eight is the number that coach (Heacock) always talks about. We want to keep everybody fresh. Go full-go and as hard as you can and if you need a rest, come out and someone else will come in."

Pitcock spends a lot of time watching and learning from senior DT Tim Anderson. He feels that their games are similar and tries to pick up as many pointers as possible from Anderson.

"I can learn a lot from Tim," Pitcock said. "I've been around him the last two years; he's been my roommate during camp twice. I'm always watching film with him and trying to learn everything from him. I just learn from my elders, and he probably did the same thing, so it's working out great."

Anderson probably doesn't appreciate being called an "elder," but Pitcock is never shy to ask him questions about the game.

"I always ask him questions about stuff and it just works out like that," he said. "We're all open to questions throughout the whole D-line."

After a stellar career at Piqua High School, Pitcock redshirted the 2002 season at OSU. He came to camp last year expecting to play, but looking back, he's glad he redshirted.

"I think it helped me a lot," he said. "Just learning the whole defense and then just getting used to playing at a different level with bigger guys and faster guys. It helped a lot. I was able to get stronger and improve my game. It's nice to know I have that extra year now."

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