It was a very long week between the Texas and San Diego State games for tight end Ryan Hamby and he couldn't wait for an opportunity to redeem himself.
"I needed today's game and that's what I was fighting the most. I needed today's game," Hamby said. "When Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday rolled around, Saturday couldn't come fast enough."
But there was nowhere for Hamby to hide when he dropped that first pass thrown his way against SDSU after dropping that would-be touchdown pass against Texas a week earlier.
"I just wanted to crawl in a hole and go away. And that's just the way that I felt last Saturday," Hamby said. "But luckily Coach Tressel knew that he could still count on me and I got the ball two times, three times. And once I caught that first one it was kind of like ‘thank God.' I just had to look up and say thank you. And once that happened, I was confident."
The fans in Ohio Stadium rose in unison when Hamby finally held on to a Troy Smith pass to let him know they were still behind him as well. And Hamby admittedly was plugged into that.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn't because I was, and it felt good," he said. "It just felt good to have the people of Columbus behind me, the ones that care and the ones that matter behind me, and just supporting me."
Hamby had received threatening e-mails during the week because of the pass he dropped from Justin Zwick in the end zone in the loss to Texas. But that didn't bother him nearly as much as the actual dropped pass itself.
"I've played that play over in my mind a couple of times and nine times out of 10, 10 times out of 10, I'm going to catch that ball, there's no doubt in my mind," Hamby said. "But you've got to move on. This Saturday couldn't have came fast enough and I just tried to play and get it out of my mind."
And after Hamby dropped his first chance against the Aztecs, he wanted another one to come his way sooner rather than later.
"I wanted one right away and Coach Tressel came up to me and he was like ‘Ham bone it's all right.' " Hamby said. "And the next drive he came right back at me and I caught two in-a-row and that, to me, just shows me that he cares. And I just got back in there and just tried to play football the best way that I know how to.
"I have confidence that out of everybody on this team that I'm up there with the top three guys in best hands, there's no question in mind and that's how I approach every game. I think last Saturday against Texas is just one of those things that athletes go through. So hopefully it helps me grow and get stronger."
As the season goes on, however, and the victories pile up for Ohio State, his ‘Jackie Smith moment' will forever linger on in his mind in one form or another.
"As life goes on that memory is always going to be there. It's just a part of life," Hamby said. "That's just way it is. You've got to deal with it. It's a part of life."
Hamby had three catches in the game for 19 yards and now has 10 receptions on the season for 61 yards.