Joe Looking Forward To Alamo Bowl

Senior fullback Branden Joe came through with one of the biggest games of his OSU career against Michigan. Now he is looking forward to ending that career in the Alamo Bowl. Click here for more.

For Branden Joe, Ohio State's fifth-year fullback, bowl trips are old hat.

Joe has been to two Outback Bowls in Tampa and two Fiesta Bowls in Phoenix as a member of the Buckeyes. He will round out his career with a trip to the Alamo Bowl as OSU will tackle Oklahoma State Dec. 29 in San Antonio. The team will convene to head south on Wednesday.

"It's exciting," Joe said. "I've been fortunate to go to five bowl games. We've had warm cities and great hotels and we're going to another warm city and a great hotel."

As a player, Joe helped OSU go 3-1 against Michigan. A win in this bowl game would give he and the outgoing seniors a similar record in postseason play.

"A winning bowl record is something to brag about," said Joe, a product of nearby Westerville South High School. "You can tell people down the road you had a winning percentage against Michigan and in bowls. Those are lifelong bragging rights."

After injuries had curtailed much of his career, the 6-0, 235-pound Joe had hoped for a fine senior season. But once again he battled ailments much of the year.

However, just as he had a year ago against Kansas State at the Fiesta Bowl, Joe came through with one of the best games of his career when it mattered the most. Working out of a single-back set in several drives coming off OSU's own goal line, Joe got some tough yardage for the Buckeyes. He ended up with 52 yards on 14 carries.

"All season, I was aiming to be contributor, whether it was carrying the ball or blocking," Joe said. "In the Michigan game, it happened to be carrying the ball. I ended up getting it 14 times. I was running downhill and I wasn't planning on moving out of the way for anybody. That was my mind-set when I was getting the ball. It ended up being productive and helping us. I was just thankful for that."

Joe nearly doubled his output for the season. Going into the game, he had carried the ball 23 times for 53 yards.

Speaking during OSU's bowl practice in Columbus, Joe was talked about the importance of participating in the postseason.

"It's like a trial for the young guys," he said. "It's pushing them into next year slowly. It's an audition for these guys. The older guys, we get our reps here and there but this is definitely to get them experience and put them in situations and see how they're going to react."

Joe is approaching the end of his college football career with a positive attitude.

"I heard (Georgia's) David Pollack say on the ESPN awards show, `I'm not going to cry because it's over. I'm going to smile because it happened,' " Joe said. "You can't put any better words on it than that. It's an exciting time in our lives. We're fortunate to be at a wonderful university. I'm 47-15 or something like that. It's been nothing but blessings. We're all grateful for that and we're just looking forward to winning another one."

Joe provided a scouting report on what the Buckeyes expect to see from Oklahoma State.

"They run more of a 4-2-5 package, something we haven't seen all year," he said. "They walk that safety down in the box. It will be like a 190-pound linebacker down there in the box. They are physical guys. They have a lot of tackles-for-loss and a lot of sacks. It's going to be an exciting game. In no way shape or form are they a step down in terms of physicality. They play in a physical conference."

Joe makes it clear that he wants to end his career on a high note.

"It's about how you finish, for our season, for our seniors and looking forward to next year," Joe said. "We want to go down to Texas and play for Ohio, for the fans who have supported us all of these years. We look forward to the challenge."

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