Fox Hits Wide Range Of Topics

OSU junior cornerback Dustin Fox met with the media earlier this week to discuss the upcoming game with Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Fox was also asked about the future of his corner counterpart Chris Gamble as well as his plans for the holidays.

OSU cornerback Dustin Fox met with the media earlier this week to discuss a wide range of topics.

He talked about what the team has been focusing on in Columbus.

"We're just trying to work on fundamentals and all of the little things that we don't get a chance to work on during the regular season, when the focus is usually on the opponent," Fox said. "We do a lot more individual work."

Fox was asked if Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson resembled the style of play shown by Bowling Green's Josh Harris.

"He's not like Harris because Harris wanted to pass first," Fox said. "He's different than Harris because Roberson is a running quarterback. Roberson is definitely just a running quarterback. I don't think we've faced anyone like him this year. He's very unique at what he does and very good at what he does.

"I didn't say he can't make plays throwing the ball. But as far as scouting him, he loves to run the ball."

With Chris Gamble absent from interview sessions, reporters grilled Fox on whether his counterpart at corner is pondering an early jump to the NFL.

"I really can't respond to that because I'm really not that close with Chris as far as that goes," Fox said. "I hope he comes back. I would sure love to play with him again. He's a great player and a great guy."

Reporters then asked if the perception that Gamble had a "down" year has any validity.

"I think maybe last year it was such a phenomenon that he was a two-way player," Fox said. "Anytime he did something, it just shot out at you. I think he made a lot of great plays this year. He did a good job of handling the spotlight. It's hard for a player, especially at cornerback, to go out there and have millions of people looking at you, trying to see if you make a mistake. That's tough to do. But I have tremendous respect for him and I think he's a great player.

"Everybody is not perfect. A guy like Chris Gamble, people kind of put him up on a pedestal. That's tough because you have to respond to that. You think, `Now I have to make every play.' Especially as a defensive back, guys are going to beat you. That's the nature of the game. Otherwise, nobody would score and it would not be an exciting game. That's how it works."

Talk then drifted to OSU's return engagement to the Fiesta Bowl.

"It's not like going back to the Outback Bowl or someplace we don't want to be," he said. "It's a BCS bowl, so we're happy about it. They do a fabulous job giving us a great experience. They treated us just unbelievably. I thought it was a great bowl trip last year.

"It's a different opponent. I don't feel bad that we're going back there. I'm happy about it."

Fox said the defense, scorched by Michigan in its last game, is just eager to get back on the field.

"We're just excited that we get to play again," Fox said. "We weren't happy about our performance against Michigan. That left a sick feeling in our stomach. We're taking that attitude into bowl practice and we want to get back out there and play again. Hopefully, we will play like we did more consistently over the season.

"This game is as big as any game we've played. I know the defense feels we have something to prove to get back to where we were for the first 11 games. This is a Big 12 opponent that just beat the No. 1 team in the nation. I think there is a lot of excitement around this game. It's going to be a great game."

Fox was asked if the players have noticed a different feeling -- at least among OSU fans -- for this year's Fiesta Bowl.

"We were undefeated last year at this time. Buckeye fever was crazy," he said. "This year, we had these incredible expectations. I don't feel people are looking down on us. We obviously didn't do the things we wanted to do to be where we wanted to be. It's not the same. If we were going back to the Sugar Bowl, I'm sure people would be rah-rah. But I think our fans are pretty supportive of us. I can't complain.

"We knew it was going to be a tremendous task for us to get back to the championship game and have an opportunity to play for the championship. The Big Ten schedule is just so tough and everybody beats up on everybody. Consistency is the key. We had our shot and we lost and we still had a shot. It's just tough."

Like many of the players, Fox will go home for the holidays Friday afternoon. The team will then reconvene Dec. 26 in Tempe.

"It's fun to be around family," he said. "We usually go to grandma's house for Christmas. They have lived in that house for 50 years. It's the same house my mom grew up in and my uncles as well. It's fun to go back there. Grandma doesn't miss a game. She loves the Buckeyes."

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