Talkin' Tressel: Thursday Edition

OSU head coach Jim Tressel brushed aside various atmospheric concerns - both from Mother Nature and wild Nittany Lion faithful - this weekend, and he gave updates on a few of the Buckeyes' walking wounded in anticipation of a night-time clash with Penn State on Saturday.

Neither noise nor rain concerns Jim Tressel Saturday night when his Buckeyes travel to Penn State.

Wind? For the Ohio State head coach, that could be another matter.

"Being the golfer I am," he said with a chuckle. "Wind affects your golf game a lot more than rain, and it's probably the same thing in football. Gosh, that wind blows and you can't throw the ball, you can't punt the ball."

Wind even affects which goal his team might elect to defend.

"Rain? Typically they do a good job of keeping the balls dry and all those kind of things but it doesn't really change what you go into because it's not like the weathermen are right every time."

A BuckeyeSports.com check of the forecast for State College on weather.com shows a 20 percent chance of precipitation and expected winds of 8-10 miles per hour Saturday night.

Along with the weather, the prospect of another "White Out" at Beaver Stadium is not keeping Tressel up at night, either.

"I don't know that we'll change anything," he said in relation to preparations for the last trip to Happy Valley, a 17-10 loss in 2005 that ended Ohio State's national title hopes.

The wild atmosphere has since reached near-legendary proportions.

"There's only so many ways to approach things," Tressel said today. "It's going to be loud, just like it's loud here, and you better be able to communicate or you'll have errors. But nothing was earthshaking that you say, ‘Oh my gosh, if we're ever in this environment again we'll do this or that.'

"To me, and I felt this way two years ago, you need to draw from that energy, not worry about the energy."

The news on the injury front was mostly positive.

The coach said Todd Denlinger, out since Oct. 6 with and upper leg injury, is more than 90 percent healthy and should be ready to go for Saturday night. How much the sophomore tackles is used, however, remains to be seen.

Along with Denlinger, the team will have reserve safety Aaron Gant back from an unidentified injury and might gain the services of kicker Aaron Pettrey for the first time this season.

Pettrey was able to kick the past two days and how he performs at practice today will determine if it is the Pettrey or Andrew Good who accompanies the team to Happy Valley to help out with kickoff duties.

The news was not all positive, however. Although Ross Homan has been out for more than a month with a toe injury, he is not yet healthy. Tressel said there are no plans to redshirt him at this time.

"I think by rule he could redshirt, but it is way too early in the season to consider that," Tressel said. "When he is healthy, he could really help us."


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