Presser Notes: Purdue Week

By Chris Lauderback on October 8, 2008 at 7:00 am
Hey, Erin..Wanna see my 'Pistol formation'?

Putting a bow on the Wisconsin slugfest, Tressel noted 8 players graded winning performances with Beanie, Homan and Trapasso earning offensive, defensive and special teams players of the game.

Boone picked up the Jim Parker o-line award, Abdallah the Attack Force winner and Shaun Lane picked up the Tatum.

Moving on to Purdue, Tress briefly discussed the fact it is Ohio native Wilford Brimley's Joe Tiller's last visit to the 'Shoe and noted Kory Sheets is a highly versatile back serving as a solid complement to the forever overhyped Curtis Painter.

On the subject of Purdue's defense, Tressel expects a fair amount of blitzing from a Boiler unit that held PSU to 20 points last week but given up some big plays in other contests:

The thing about Brock Spack is he's seen everything and he'll have a plan and he'll have his people in place. And if they'll execute their plan is a good one. It puts pressure on you. He's not afraid to apply that pressure and put the heat on the quarterback. I thought they did an extremely good job on third down against Penn State. I think Penn State was like 4 out of 14 or something. I think Penn State missed three short yardages which if you get stopped on short yardage, that's not simply getting stopped, that's an emotional thing for your defense as well, so you add all those things together, they're a good defensive football team.

Now, they've had moments where they've had big ones hit out. Notre Dame threw a couple balls over their head and all of a sudden the tide turned. But you're right, all you need to do is watch the Penn State game and you know how good Penn State's offense is and Purdue was toe to toe.

I don't know about you, but I'd love to see Purdue attack the Buckeye offense because a blitz to the wrong side on running plays means big yardage for Pryor and Wells. Also, it will hopefully force Pryor to identify hot reads and execute on the fly.

Speaking of Terrelle, Tress was then asked about his hand injury which prompted a funny exchange involving the king of all Buckeye apologists (which I love) Earle Bruce:

Tressel: I think he got bumped and got a little goose type thing, you know, a little goose knob. What do they call those things? Back in the old days, we called that a goose knob. You're too young for that.
Reporter: I've never heard of a goose knob.
Tressel: Earle, help me.
Bruce: I've never heard of a goose knob, that's before me.

I love it, I can just see the puzzled look on Earle's face trying to figure out what the hell a goose knob is. Maybe I'm just having flashbacks of latching on to my first set of 'goose knobs' back in 8th grade...

Keeping on the topic of injuries, Tressel confirmed the obvious on Boom and Sanzenbacher and offered some updates on some other guys who are still banged up:

Well, we won't have Dane or Boom, because typically after head injuries, it's just at least eight days. Outside of that, we won't have lost, I don't think, anyone new. Shugarts will probably still be out. Spitler probably another game. Nicol probably another game.

Expanding on the dirty hit Boom received from Jay Valai, the Vest confirmed he sent tapes to the conference but, as expected, stopped short of calling the play for what it was:

Every week we send in, because they ask us to evaluate what things do you think maybe could have been called or considered a different way, that was one of them, and I'm not pointing fingers that the youngster was trying to do anything, et cetera, et cetera, but we're talking about how should the game have been called.

Asked whether it was helmet to helmet and if the refs missed it, he again took the high road:

Well, they didn't think so on the field. As you watched the film, it certainly were two head gears, actually in Boom's case it was a head gear and a chin, and the jaw creates some of the worst concussions, but, you know, again, that game is happening fast and I'm not sitting here saying the officials need to be perfect because the game happens fast and you've got to make split-second decisions and sometimes they get them and sometimes they don't.

After a dumb question about whether OSU is running more option than Tress envisioned at the start of the season, (No, reporter, Tress was gonna have Boeckman run a bunch of read option...) he was asked about the difficulty in preparing for a spread offense, then a smash mouth and now back to another spread attack. I think Tressel's response was dead on:

I think that's the hardest thing about coaching and playing defense in college football. I think that's where the NFL's kind of got it made. Every Sunday you turn it on and everything looks the same, but you turn on a college Saturday and there's 17 different offenses being run and those defensive coaches have to be prepared for that, the players have to understand conceptually what people are trying to do.

The good news is, we try in the spring and preseason to give them a smattering of all the concepts. In our early season scheduling, it turned out that we got a little smattering of the spread stuff and a little smattering of the power stuff, and so you hope in the middle of the year there's good callback on, this is what -- Troy did this and had some success, so Purdue lines up similar, they may go to that. So you hope the learning that took place has a little carryover.

I think that's a great point because so many offenses can be successful in college but certainly not in the pros.

I might be alone, but I've always loved how Tressel speaks of fumbling and when asked about any common theme in all the fumbles against Wisconsin he responded:

I think the only common thread you could say is if I have the privilege of touching this ball, no one is going to get this ball other than the official when the play ends and when that doesn't happen, that means you didn't have that thought process. So that's the common thread is whoever had their hands on the ball, that wasn't the most important possession in the world at that moment and that's the way we look at it.

Preach on Father Tress...

Assessing the D-line, he was kinda all over the map though that pretty much describes the play from this unit:

They've had to do a lot of different things, play a lot of positions. They've gone to spread things and we've moved guys inside, outside, so forth and so on. I thought they faced a couple of real good offensive lines in Southern Cal and Wisconsin. I don't know how many of those Wisconsin guys are seniors, but three or four guys that were pretty impressive to me as I watched the film from a technique and physical standpoint and those kind of things.

So I think they've been solid. I don't know that they've been out of this world and I think they know that, that we've got to get better, we've got to play lower, we've got to play faster, but it's still a team defense and I think it's not like we've had D linemen out of a gap or missed assignments or those kinds of things, but winning comes down to defeating the guy trying to block you and being in your gap and defeating the guy trying to block you and I'm sure we have to get better at that, but it's not been -- I wouldn't grade it down by any means.

Back to TP, Tressel was if there's a fine line between being a "baller" and being a quarterback based on the fact it appears sometimes Pryor is simply balling. Tressel's reply makes sense but it's even more cool because he uses the word "balling":

I think the fine line is the guy that wants to know what's going on and wants to know the coverage and wants to know how we're pass protecting, wants to know all those things, why are we running this route or whatever, that's the guy that's not balling. Now, when the ball is snapped, things don't always work right. That right guard was supposed to block that guy and it didn't get blocked and now put the chalk down because it didn't work and now you have to go and make something happen. And so within every play, there's a little bit of an analyzation and a little bit of instinctive reaction and so forth.

Damn. Tress is so gangsta.

Obviously, Pryor is more than a baller as evidenced by Tressel's response as to whether TP impresses with his ability to process coverages on the fly:

Yeah, he really has. Just take the first third down in that game. We were at an empty set, and the only time we had seen them use a certain blitz with a deuce coverage that's not used very often was in a different set. They happened to use that blitz against an empty and I mean from the snap, you knew he was going -- you knew where the hole was, he knew he could hit Dane from about 17 yards and I'm thinking, he never did that once in his life, I mean, we didn't rehearse that. Now, he'd seen it on film, so I think he does not only process when he's trying to learn, but he has a good feel for things around him.

Not much else to highlight from this week's presser. If you want to print the full transcript before tucking it in your sock and heading to the company restroom, click here.