Holmes Delivers After Difficult Week

Redshirt freshman flanker Santonio Holmes had two touchdown catches and set up a third as part of an eight-catch performance in Saturday's loss at Michigan. The game cane at the end of a tough week for Holmes, who was charged with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident on campus last Sunday. After the game, Holmes talked about the game as well as what happened last weekend.

OSU redshirt freshman flanker Santonio Holmes was in the news quite a bit in the days leading up to the Michigan game for his role in a fracas last weekend near a dormitory on campus.

But after such a trying week -- where some speculated whether Holmes should even be allowed to play against the Wolverines after he was cited for disorderly conduct -- he made headlines with his play on the field.

Holmes had eight catches for 121 yards and scored two of OSU's three touchdowns in the 35-21 loss to Michigan.

Holmes and junior cornerback Chris Gamble were held out of the starting lineup Saturday for their role in the incident which occurred early last Sunday morning near Morrill Tower. Redshirt freshman quarterback Troy Smith was also charged with disorderly conduct for his role in the incident, which reportedly involved five female students.

After the game, Holmes told reporters he was not sure when he would enter the game. He came in on OSU's second offensive series.

"Coach Tressel just told me to keep my composure and stay focused and my opportunity would come," Holmes said. "He just told me to stand beside him and he would tell me when to go in.

"Last night, I just got down on my knees and prayed to God. I was begging him for an opportunity. I just left it in his hands and went out today to play the best game possible."

Holmes shared what the coaching staff discussed with him in regards to the incident.

"The coaches said nothing good happens after 10," he said. "When you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, bad things can happen. I had to deal with it. Coach just told me to come out for the game and be ready."

OSU fell behind Michigan 21-0. But the Buckeyes rallied with a scoring drive just before halftime with Craig Krenzel's perfect 8-yard fade to Holmes for a touchdown.

Then, after Michigan moved ahead 28-7, Holmes struck again by catching a 13-yard fade for a score from Krenzel.

"They were both fades," he said. "They were trying to press me. The quarterback gave me a signal to look for the ball and that's exactly what I did."

Moments later, OSU drew closer as backup Scott McMullen, who had replaced an injured Krenzel, found Holmes for a 40-yard gain to set up Lydell Ross' 2-yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 28-21.

"That was a blown coverage by them," Holmes said. "I saw Scott scrambling. I just got open in an open area and made a big play."

McMullen added, "I saw a guy coming around the edge and just kind of stepped up. I saw Santonio waving his arm out there. He was wide open so I just got it to him."

Holmes said he dedicated the game to OSU's seniors.

"We were fighting hard for our seniors," he said. "They have worked hard all year. We knew coming into a hostile area it would be tough and we had to fight.

"They've been talking to me all week that play makers have to make plays. They put that label on me and that's exactly what I wanted to be, to take over the game.

"They were trying to double Mike Jenkins and they kind of left me stranded by myself. I had to make plays for our team. The quarterback found me open a couple of times and I was able to make plays.

"It was a big loss for our program and our seniors. We came out to work hard, but we came up a little bit short."

Reporters quizzed Holmes on his involvement in the incident. Details on what exactly happened have been sketchy.

He was asked if he would view his role in the fracas as a peacemaker. "I would say so," he said.

He was then asked if he was surprised he had been charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

"It doesn't really matter to me," he said. "I know what happened. Things happen and I just have to deal with it."

He was then asked if he was acquainted with any of the women involved.

"I don't know them personally," he said. "I just happened by. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

According to reports, one or more of the women may have sustained injuries in the incident. Holmes was asked if he knew how any of the women were injured.

"No, it was just a fight," he said. "That's all that I know."

Holmes' performance against Michigan capped a five-week performance that has been nothing short of sensational. He replaced senior Drew Carter, who suffered a knee injury in the Oct. 25 win at Indiana.

"Santonio Holmes is going to be a good player," Jenkins said. "He is a competitive guy. I think he's going to be a fine receiver for us. Unfortunately, some of his success has come at the expense of Drew Carter, who is injured. But to throw him into the mix so quickly and for him to be so successful, he's going to be a good one for us."

Senior split end Michael Jenkins, who had nine catches for 132 yards at Michigan, predicts that Holmes is OSU's next receiving star.

"He's going to be an outstanding receiver," Jenkins said. "You can see what he can do. To come out today and get two touchdowns against Michigan is amazing. I just want to watch him grow and become a great football player."

Holmes was asked if this series of games to cap the year could be a springboard for him heading into next season.

"It could be," he said. "But right now we are just focused on our team. There is no individualism on our team at all. Everybody plays together as a team and plays as well. We're going to try and go out and prepare and win one more game."

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