Captain's Corner: Michigan State Thoughts

The 1998 Ohio State-Michigan State game got plenty of play this past week, but perhaps nowhere saw as much as the OSU locker room. OSU head coach Jim Tressel made it a point to remind the team about what happened in 1998 and prevent a repeat incident. Jerry Rudzinski discusses it in the latest Captain's Corner.

Yet another dismantling. This Ohio State team is scary at home and just plain freakish on the road. Michigan State is struggling, but they are not struggling that bad. OSU's defense completely confused the Spartans and the offense is living up to the hype.

Coach Tressel gave me the privilege of being the honorary captain for the game. I mean it when I say it was a privilege. The ‘98 debacle against the Spartans made it very easy for me to find a few words for the team. By the time I spoke to the team, I think the players were sick and tired of hearing about ‘74 and ‘98. They were reminded the entire week.

Coach Tressel's motivation tactics were well thought out… "Let's remind the players of the ‘74 and ‘98 game until they are ready to throw up." By kickoff, the players wanted to win big just to shut everyone up about those games. Actually, Coach Tressel's motivation tactics are much more sophisticated than that, but there is some truth to what I mentioned. He made sure the players were well aware of the past.

Troy certainly had some Heisman moments. Will there even be other guys they can invite to NY or should they just bring Troy in to accept the award? As of this week, there is not much suspense.

I know Ginn is fast, but I think that might have been the fastest I have ever seen him run on that punt return. He had such a swagger from the first snap to the last. He just looked different. He looked like he owned the stadium and the game being played. Ted picked up right where he left off with Spartan Stadium in 2004. Ginn and Gonzalez were some pretty decent cornerback recruits. That is why you recruit speed and figure the rest out later.

Just a terrific victory against a bad Spartan team, but an average college football team. Quite honestly though, the game is an afterthought after watching Coach Tressel in action for an entire weekend. He is magical in front of the camera, and he is even more magical behind the scenes.

When he opens his mouth in front of that team at a critical moment, every time I thought to myself, "Now that guy knows what he is doing. I can see why he has so many National Championships." Every last detail is buttoned up. The preparation is there. The confidence is there. The class is overflowing. The humility is also there. Everything adds up to him being like nobody else in college football. Please have some pity on whoever has to follow that man.

Buckeye Leaves…

Ted Ginn, Jr.

James Laurinatis – Football player. Leader. Having a ton of fun between the white lines every Saturday. Oh yeah, and he made all kinds of big plays in that first half.

Joel Penton – Great job filling in for Patterson. He'd be starting every week for a whole lot of teams other than OSU.

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