Shortly after the Buckeyes dispatched Illinois 30-0 on Saturday, a soaked Jim Tressel spoke with reporters. After the usual stuff about the second straight shutout, the offensive line's play and a couple of his decisions during the game, he said, "But our guys love a challenge, and they know the next one is a night game on the road, hotel an hour and a half from the game."
Yep, even though Ohio State's campus is only 212 miles from Indiana's campus, the Buckeyes are staying in Indianapolis -- 75 miles away from Memorial Stadium -- before Saturday's 7 p.m. game.
"It's a little bit different travel in that there's really nowhere to stay in Bloomington so, therefore, we're staying in Indianapolis," Tressel said. "And it's quite a journey into the game and it's at night."
Count K Aaron Pettrey among those who don't care where the team stays.
"Most of us haven't done that since high school," he said of the lengthy bus trip to the game. "It'll be fun. Hopefully I'll get my own seat. It would be nice to stretch out a little bit."
BY ANY NAME:
TB Brandon Saine is called "Zoom" by Tressel. Just about everybody on the team calls him BSaine.
So what does he prefer?
"Call me whatever you like," he said with a laugh. "They call me Brandon. They usually call me BSaine. That's about it."
He said when his mother is angry she also includes his middle name.
"Brandon Croft!" he cracked.
Ohio State DL Dexter Larimore says he most enjoys the game when he can just let his reflexes and animal instincts take over.
"I'd just rather them coming at me and if I get beat up, then I get beat up. But if I beat them up, then I have a good game," he said. "I don't like to be thinking and wondering what they're doing."
Asked if he prefers to not think, the finance major laughed and said, "I like to think in the classroom, but I'm a football player and on the football field, I'd rather just play football."
FOCUS ON OFFENSE:
TE Jake Ballard said the coaching staff, and the Buckeyes, have re-committed themselves to improving the running attack the past two weeks.
"The coaches last week sat down and watched all of our plays this year and really saw where we were doing some good things and maybe where we were lacking a little bit," he said. "They're trying to go towards our strengths a lot more than the beginning of the season. They're doing a good job of hammering those down during a game."
It's clear that running the ball has become a priority.
"The first couple of weeks we weren't showing how (good) of a running team we are," he said. "Last week we showed that we can run the ball and we can block people and we can get upfield when we need to. It was raining and we couldn't throw the ball very well, so we had to run the ball to win the game."
The Buckeyes rushed for 236 yards on 46 attempts against Illinois, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt while scoring on two runs.