OSU Notebook: Bollman, Jenkins Speak Out

We clear out the notebook from the aftermath of the Penn State game with more comments from offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, split end Michael Jenkins, head coach Jim Tressel and others.

In today's OSU Notebook, we clear out the quotebook from the postgame of Ohio State's come-from-behind 21-20 win at Penn State.

We begin this edition with comments from offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, who was asked about the play of backup quarterback Scott McMullen in leading OSU to the win.

"He's had that experience from playing a couple of games earlier," Bollman said. "He has some real obvious strengths. One of the things he does really well is that empty (backfield) set. He does real well with that.

"He has a quick release. Any time when you're throwing and you have to anticipate some things, you can get burned on some things. I think he does a pretty good job of seeing some things and getting the ball there really quick. When he's doing that, it puts a lot less pressure on the line to block and less pressure on everybody."

Bollman believes the offense has made steady progression since OSU tasted defeat Oct. 11 at Wisconsin.

"There were some things that happened from our loss," Bollman said. "I think we've improved a little every week. Even in the Iowa game, there were some things we improved on. It was obvious last week and again (at PSU). That turnover was a killer for us. Up to that point, two of the three times we had the ball, we were moving it. It's always nice to build all of our confidence to come from behind like we had to."

Bollman also extended props to tailback Lydell Ross, who went over 100 yards for the second week in a row with 24 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown.

"He looks like he was running really well today, like he was last week," Bollman said. "He's carrying the load and it was great to see him do that. There were some good tough yards, too.

"I think that's good for the offense in general, to feel like you're contributing. It's a lift for everybody to think you're doing something helpful."

Bollman was asked whether McMullen's performance merited a start this week against Michigan State.

"In one game? I can't answer the question, either," Bollman said. "I'm not going to make that decision, nor would I consider making that decision right now. Would you do that?"

The reporter quizzing Bollman said he would probably start Craig Krenzel, provided he was healthy. But the reporter then added that fans will wonder why McMullen doesn't start.

"The fans will ask anything," Bollman said. "Some people should ask the fans questions."

Jenkins Finds End Zone

Early in the year, it looked like senior split end Michael Jenkins would put up some huge receiving stats this season. Jenkins had 23 catches in OSU's first five games. But in recent weeks, Jenkins has found it hard to get the ball. Teams have doubled him, while flanker Drew Carter -- prior to his injury at Indiana -- was seeing more balls his way.

In the three games before the PSU game, Jenkins had seven grabs. His line at Penn State was not all that impressive, either, as he caught three passes for 20 yards. But two of those were touchdowns, including the 5-yard game winner from McMullen with 1:35 left.

"It's called a fade, but it was thrown kind of low," Jenkins said. "We do practice that in practice. He just needed to put the ball where I could catch it and I came down with it. It was a good ball by Scottie."

Prior to the drive, with OSU trailing 20-14, Jenkins knew the Buckeyes had to get it in gear.

"I knew we got the ball when there was six or seven minutes left," Jenkins said. "The next time I looked up, there were under two minutes left. Santonio Holmes made some big catches. So did Ben Hartsock. We were moving the ball well. It was a great drive.

"We needed the ball back and once we got it we just wanted to go down and put some points on the board."

Jenkins said McMullen did a fine job of stepping in for Krenzel in the second half.

"There was really no difference," he said. "They both play hard. Scott's going to find the open man just like Craig does and I think he did a good job of that tonight.

"You can see what he can do when he comes into the game. Last week (at Indiana), he was 5 for 5. This week, he came in for Craig and did a great job, He led us down the field for the winning touchdown."

OSU-PSU Quotebook

Here were more notable comments after the OSU-PSU game:

* OSU head coach Jim Tressel on leaving PSU 1:35 on the clock at the end of the game: "As it turned out to be, thank goodness they had already burned all of their timeouts. As good as their kicker was, yes, 1:35 was too long. In fact, when it was first-and-goal on the 4, a couple of the guys on the headphones were saying, `Maybe we ought to run a couple, then score a touchdown.' I said, `I'm glad you're son confident. I may need four tries.' "

* OSU offensive guard Alex Stepanovich on PSU kicker David Kimball, whose 60-yard field goal on the final play was just short and wide right: "This guy came out of nowhere. It seemed like he had a 400 pound foot on the end of his leg. He did a good job."

* Tressel on Kimball‘s huge leg: "Did you see his kickoffs? I thought for sure if they got the ball across the 50, we were in trouble. Man, he got under it."

* Jenkins also on Kimball: "He had been booming kickoffs through the goal posts. I'm just glad he missed it."

* Tressel on using cornerback Chris Gamble, who had a carry and two catches, on offense: "We wanted to play Chris Gamble a little bit on offense and we did early. But Penn State had some long drives. I don't know if he got more than 10 or 12 plays on offense. Chris had to play a lot of defensive football. Santonio had to step up and I think he did."

* Tressel on throwing the ball in the first quarter, a decision that led to Alan Zemaitis' 78-yard interception return for a touchdown: "We were hoping to get single coverage (on Jenkins). As I look back, it was a poor call. It was third-and-2 ½ or 3. Lydell had banged it up in there a number of times in a row. But it turned out to be a poor call."

* Tressel on Ross' second consecutive 100-yard game: "Someone said he had 100 yards, 110? That's darn good. I thought he did a nice job of running the football and catching it. They blitzed a lot, so he did a good job of picking up some blitzes."

* Ross on why he has been able to run the ball effectively: "The biggest difference is I have choices now. I have different lanes I can run through. That's the big thing."

* Ross on the tension of OSU's late game-winning drive: "It's an awesome feeling to know on that drive that if we don't get it, we're not going to win the game."

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