Ginn Humble About Big Ten Award, Record

As Ohio State heads into its stretch drive, it appears that sophomore wide receiver/punt returner Ted Ginn Jr. may be getting into the flow. Ginn had 220 return yards, including a 62-yard punt return touchdown, and also had four catches for 59 yards in OSU's 41-10 win at Indiana Saturday. Click here for more on Ginn.

It's hard to keep a good man down.

Ted Ginn Jr. proved that for Ohio State on Saturday at Indiana. Ginn was named as the Big Ten special teams player of the week for his play in OSU's 41-10 win over the host Hoosiers.

Ginn broke loose for 220 return yards in the win over IU, including a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown that helped Ginn equal the Big Ten career record for punt return touchdowns with five.

"That's great," Ginn said. "I think I played hard. It's an honor. I've always said that records are made to be broken. Somewhere down the line, somebody will come along and break mine. There will be another great player."

Ginn returned four punts for scores as a freshman a year ago. He had a punt return called back due to a penalty earlier this year, then had a 98-yard kickoff return for a score at IU dialed back to a 73-yarder because of a penalty. Still, the punt return allowed Ginn to equal the record of five punt return scores set by Iowa's Tim Dwight.

"I look at that and just say I'm grateful," Ginn said.

Does Ginn ever emulate Dwight or any of the other accomplished return men?

"No, I don't really study anybody because his methods may not work for me," he said.

Ginn, still only a sophomore, figures to have at least another 18 games – maybe more if he stays through his senior season in 2007 -- to try and establish the record on his own. But his relative touchdown drought from this season – he scored eight over the final seven games of last year and only has three through seven games this year – tells him it will not be easy.

"It's going to be kind of hard because people know about you and they will kick away from you," Ginn said. "I just have to go out and not try to press things. I just have to go out and have fun."

OSU stumbled on a successful formula for punt returns a year ago as Santonio Holmes was used as a second deep man to run interference for Ginn. Holmes still stands back with Ginn this year, but only on punts when OSU is setting up the return.

"There is a big difference with him back there," Ginn said. "You know that guy is going to come over. You've got support back there. He's going to get the first guy who will be a threat. You just have to believe in each other and have fun back there.

"He says, ‘You, you, you.' If he doesn't think he can get the threat, he'll say, ‘Fair catch' or something like that."

There was no fair catch on that fourth quarter punt return on Saturday. Ginn caught the ball, made a move or two and was gone. He even down-shifted toward the end because he had outrun all of the Hoosiers.

"There wasn't anybody in sight," he said.

As OSU dropped early season games to Texas and Penn State, there was a hue and cry to get Ginn the ball. Even after catching four passes for 59 yards against Indiana, Ginn still only has 24 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

But Ginn said he isn't getting caught up in numbers or touches.

"I just want to go out and play football and have fun and win for my seniors," he said. "This is their last time. I want to play hard for my coaches and myself and my family. I guess if somebody gets pleased out of that, I did something good.

"Everything is designed. Sometimes the quarterbacks get pressure and they throw a bad ball. You have to be able to catch a bad ball."

There was hope that Ginn's 57-yard touchdown grab from Troy Smith would be the thing that gets him going.

"There is probably stuff there that wasn't there before," Ginn said. "It's a different game every game. You see different things. You just have to keep your eyes open and look for cutbacks and just play ball."

Of Ginn's 11 career touchdowns, an amazing eight of them have gone for 57 yards or longer.

"I just want to be a team player," he said. "Touchdowns put points on the board and help the team win. But if I can't do it, then somebody else does it. That's just like me doing it."

One scoring play Ginn would like to have back was his fumble from last week. A pair of IU defenders stood Ginn up after a pass catch over the middle. IU linebacker John Pannozzo then stripped him of the ball and headed the other way 57 yards for a touchdown.

"I think I should have been called down," Ginn said. "I try to have two hands on the ball, which wasn't the case right there."

Some have wondered if the rigors of the college game have worn Ginn down.

"I believe the little hits are the ones that you feel," he admitted. "You just have to bounce back and go. You're going to get banged up and feel some dizziness. You just have to come back the next play and go."

Ginn was asked if he was excited about playing on a supposedly fast track at the Metrodome this Saturday against Minnesota.

"I guess I like to play on grass," he said. "I grew up playing on grass. I like to get dirty. But going up there will be something new. It will be my first time up there. I have played in the dome before, but we know it will be a lot louder inside. We just have to go up there and be ready.

"It's going to be great to play on a field a pro team plays on. We just have to go out and adapt and have fun."

Tressel's Take

OSU coach Jim Tressel and his staff also named Ginn as the team's special teams player of the week.

"Obviously we had the two long returns with Teddy's punt return touchdown and his kickoff return should have been a touchdown and we made a mistake," Tressel said. "But he gave us great field position and turned out to be a 73-yard return.

"We've got to make sure that we take another step in the special teams. It's good to see Teddy get in the end zone. He's one of those guys where it might look a couple times like it's just an average return and then the third or fourth time it might go to the house, and we're real proud of the way that he brings that to us."

Tressel was asked to comment on the personal foul penalty charged to walk-on linebacker Trever Robinson, who apparently unleashed a big block 25 yards behind Ginn as he was about to score.

"It shouldn't have been done and when you do something you shouldn't do, you should be penalized," Tressel said. "It was just a poor decision and we were penalized. Hopefully the lesson learned is that usually when you do something individually that's not right, it affects your group, and it did."

According to Tressel, a memo was circulated to college coaches before the year and they were told then that hits on players clearly out of a play would be penalized.

"Player safety is huge, and that's in big letters," he said. "And so if they said they're going to emphasize it, fine, but what's important to me is this: We did something we shouldn't have done, and when you do that, you should be penalized."

For his part, Ginn was not upset about the lost touchdown.

"Everybody is doing their part," he said. "You want everybody to go 110 percent. You really can't get mad at a guy if he makes a mistake. You have to try and eliminate them."

He was relieved, however, when he finally got to the end zone and there were no yellow hankies on the field.

"Getting to the end zone with no flag, that's great," he said with a smile.

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