Pitcock Ready For Badgers

OSU defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock is among the many who are ready to move past Northwestern and focus on the future. He talked with the media today about the upcoming game and what is to come.

Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock was named attack force player of the week by head coach Jim Tressel at the weekly press luncheon.

Inquiring minds want to know exactly what that means.

"From my understanding, that's just someone who plays all out and goes hard every play," Pitcock said. "May not be making a lot of plays at times, but just going as hard as you can the whole play and just disrupting the offense and everything. Just playing hard."

Not just defensive linemen and linebackers are eligible for the award.

"I think everybody on the defense is," Pitcock said.

Although the sophomore played a solid game in the loss to Northwestern, it was not his best performance of the season.

"No, I don't think it was," Pitcock said. "I know I can always do better. I didn't think I'd grade out as high as I did this week. I don't think I had a great game at all. I think I graded at 81 percent and 80 is supposed to be a winning performance."

Pitcock is ready to turn the page and focus on the strong team that Wisconsin will bring to town.

"I played against them a little bit last year and I know how they play," he said. "They play with great effort and we just have to be ready to get down in the trenches and go at them."

It's no secret that the Badgers are going to pound the running game until they are stopped. But that does play into Ohio State's defensive philosophy.

"As an offense, they are going to try and run straight down your throat and that's the biggest thing with our defense," Pitcock said. "Always our first goal is to stop the run with any team. Even with a passing team, stop the run. Our main goals this week is to work hard and stop the run and worry about the pass later."

Senior tailback Anthony Davis rushed 27 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 24-7 win over Illinois. It was his first game back from an eye injury and he obviously wasted no time in proving he is still one of the best backs in the country.

"I think he's a great player and it will definitely be a challenge," Pitcock said. "There's a different player each week and each one plays different. I think we'll be ready for the challenge."

If the Buckeyes are going to achieve their goal of winning an outright Big Ten championship, they have to win the Wisconsin game.

"I think every game is a must-win situation," Pitcock said. "I think we're definitely going to do the best of our ability to win this game and work hard."

The Badgers snapped Ohio State's 19-game winning streak last year in Madison and Pitcock says that memory will help motivate the Buckeyes this week.

"I think definitely," he said. "With me, I have a little revenge back from last year's game. It was a tough loss for me, even though I got a few plays in. I think with everybody, it's going to be a big game. Somebody said it could be like a national championship game. That's how we've got to start approaching every game: like the biggest game of our year. We may not have been, but I think that's how we need to approach every game now."

Pitcock admits that the Buckeyes were not as focused as they should have been last week at Northwestern. It was a young team playing a conference road game at night and they weren't ready for it.

"I think it was a big deal for us," Pitcock said. "Some might call us a young team, but as coaches say to me, I might be young, but I played a lot last year. I don't think we're as young as most people think. But (the Northwestern game) was the first time really a lot of us played in the Big Ten as starters - or playing a lot more - I think it was a big emphasis that we need to get in our head that all teams are going to be great in the Big Ten and we've just got to get that fixed and keep going forward."

Pitcock knows the Buckeyes are in for a long week of practice. Tressel won't take any ideas from "Junction Boys" but the team will put in some extra work this week.

"We've already been told that this week's practices are going to be hard - as hard as camp - and it's going to be tough," Pitcock said.

Pitcock was asked if the Buckeyes' confidence took a hit with the loss to Northwestern.

"I don't think the confidence took a hit, I think it was more people were disappointed with themselves knowing that they could have done better, but they didn't play to their full ability," he said. "I think in a way it's going to help everybody this week just to work harder on themselves for the group to get better."

Over the last three years, Ohio State's defense has faced several spread teams that rely on short passing games. But for some reason, the Wildcats were able to be much more successful than anyone else with the dink-and-dunk attack.

"Not really sure," Pitcock said when asked what went wrong in Evanston. "I think just at times as a defense as a whole a lot of us weren't doing our job. Things that we've done millions of times and have had success with. Everything just wasn't falling into place and it hurt us big time during the game."

Pitcock knows the pressure is on the young defensive players to make players. There are no battle-tested veterans like Tim Anderson, Darrion Scott and Will Smith around anymore.

"As a defensive line, we don't have as many seniors to step up and make plays," Pitcock said. "Now we're the ones that are going to make the plays. I think that's the biggest deal. Everybody needs to realize that they're the ones that have to make the plays to win these big games throughout the season. It's a great responsibility that everyone has to take a hold of."

Pitcock has more than held his own so far this season. He's drawing double teams at times, but has made 19 tackles (8 solo), including three tackles-for-loss and one sack.

"I've played all right, but I can play better," he said.

The biggest bright spot of the defense has been the play of linebackers Bobby Carpenter and A.J. Hawk. They were expected to play well this year, but have even exceeded expectations… if that's possible.

"Those two guys are great players," Pitcock said. "They know the defense well; play with great effort. They run to the ball all the time. I can see a lot of their plays are just pure effort. That's the biggest thing with them. They play the whole game like special teams do. They're running around on the field with their heads cut off, you know, making plays. They play with great effort and a lot of heart and I think that's what makes them great players."

Pitcock knows the responsibility is on the defensive line to control the line of scrimmage so the talented linebackers are free to run around and make plays.

"Definitely. I think that's the biggest thing," Pitcock said. "It starts with the defensive line making plays up there and then if someone breaks through, the linebackers make plays and the defensive backs. So, definitely, if the defensive line can create plays, it will make it easier on everyone."

Pitcock admits that the defensive line has not played up to par this season.

"I think we've played below expectations," he said. "We have the highest expectations as possible and I think we have not had a game yet that shows our potential that we've been showing in practice, or camp, or even the potential that we think we should have. So, I think we still have lots of work on transitioning practices to games and showing our true talent."

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