COACH TRESSEL: Well, I don't know where to start with our seniors, what a special bunch of guys that just worked and worked and led and led and everyone told them beginning last spring that we couldn't be a great team because we lost so many great players and these seniors just decided that they were going to do whatever it took to lead a football team to reach its potential. The amount of love that's evident between our players and this senior group is amazing. What I've appreciated about them the most is that they just continue to be humble and just look for ways to get better and just anything we've ever asked, they've done. They've fought like crazy and everything hasn't been perfect, but they haven't given up. Michigan is a great football team. Everyone saw that. They weren't going to give up because that's the way they're built, and I can't say enough about them either, but these guys up front right here, Troy and Quinn and David and Doug, they're extraordinary at what they do. It's really amazing. And the crowd was out of this world and I'm sure the TV audience enjoyed it. That's it.
PATTERSON: Sup? First, I'll just take my hat off to Michigan. They're a great football team that really battled us hard out there. They played physical, they played hard, but this is -- I can't even explain it, the feeling I'm having right now, this is the happiest moment of my life, we put in so much hard work with these guys, these young guys, in summer workhouse, and all the film study, it's just great. It just feels so great when you work really hard for something and everybody's all together. We've been stretching this whole year, the whole agenda, it wasn't just a phrase, we had just one agenda, all the guys, we loved each other and I just thank God, I just thank Jesus.
PITCOCK: It goes back to just all the seniors, you know, seniors and Coach Tressel, I think, us coming in in '02, Dave was the only one who wasn't there with us, a few walk-ons, but we learned a lot from the '02 team. They had so much heart and character throughout the years, we've grown as men through Tressel and his teachings. I think he tries to do that first and foremost before being a football player. I think that's what the love and the character of our seniors have really brought together this preseason. And like David said, just one agenda. We set our mind on what we were going to do and we've done it. And I still can't really believe that we're 12-0. Michigan, it was a battle today, man! They are one of the toughest teams -- it is the toughest team we've played all year, hats off to them. They were unbelievable, they were not going to let down at all. One of the best, Hart, best back we've faced, just in the pocket, just knew when to hit, throw a perfect ball. They're a good team and they represent the Big Ten well.
DATISH: First off, hats off to Michigan. They really gave us everything that we thought they were going to give us and they played hard, like we said going into this game, it'd be the most physical battle we've faced all year and it definitely lived up to that reputation. This game as a whole as you look at the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, the judgment day goes on, it typifies what the rivalry really is. This is the most fun I've ever had playing a football game in my life. It was just an incredible feeling. I'm just so proud of everybody on the team. This has been the single-most team effort that's gone on through the week of practice, on into the game. There was guys, kickers, everybody, those guys weren't standing by the heater vent, they were out there waving the towels around, getting the crowd going. The fans were electric. This was a great atmosphere to root for Ohio State and we were just super excited to get that outright Big Ten title. The guys can look at that sign, like I have for five years, they have it for 2006, I'm just super proud of everybody. It was great.
SMITH: What more can I say, man? Hats off to the University of Michigan. It was a hard fought battle down to the last second, but, man, I -- I'm at a loss for words right now. I was downstairs with my teammates and the overall feel of everybody is unparallel. You wouldn't be able to understand it unless you ran the gases that we ran, ran the hills that we've ran, pushed the sleds that we've pushed, played powerball. We've got a game called powerball, too, we play a lot. When that heat and that sun is beating down on your back in the summer, the commitment and the focus -- focus was the key word for us today, and everybody focused in. Words can't express how I feel right now. I'll probably be wearing this smile for the rest of this week. I love every single one of my teammates with the deepest passion you can probably have for another person. Our staff did a great job today putting us in the right calls and the right situations. You've got to fight though, persevere, and the 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes did just that, outright Big Ten champs, baby!
REPORTER: Coach, I know everybody out here tried to make it a National Championship kind of game. I know you kept talking about this is about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry in the Big Ten conference. Just put it in perspective what that meant for you guys to be the champions of the Big Ten and this rivalry, one of the better games in the Michigan rivalry?
COACH TRESSEL: The number one thing in our minds was our seniors and making sure that their last game in this building was a great memory and obviously would lead to the outright Big Ten Championship which we have not had since 1984, and I guess the sideline of the whole thing is it's going to lead to bigger and better things. But the seniors and the outright Big Ten Championship, that was our focus. Troy mentioned that word focus. Paul Warfield talked to our guys this morning and he talked about those championship teams he was on and they had the ability to concentrate and focus and he really challenged our guys to have that ability amongst all this hoopla and I thought, like they always do, they will listen.
REPORTER: Jim, 42-39, I think most people thought this would be a fairly low scoring game, could you talk about the offense and just about the fact that 81 points were scored today?
COACH TRESSEL: There were a lot of good playmakers out there today and some of the points Michigan scored, we gave them the ball down there pretty darn close, but guys stepped up there and made plays. It was a fast game the whole time and there were two minutes left in the first half and we were going down like it was the end of the game, and you knew you had to play that way. Sometimes it goes that way, and sometimes it goes the other ways, but those were two good offenses, two good defenses, two good football teams.
REPORTER: Coach, maybe Troy, if you could talk about the long runs by Pittman and Wells, they weren't supposed to be able to run like that on them.
COACH TRESSEL: Pittman and Wells were good, those guys blocking for them did a good job. I think Beanie's run, he broke a tackle right in the line of scrimmage and everything else was blocked, and he was gone, and he didn't stumble like he did last week. And then Pitt's, he hit a crease, I don't know if anyone got a glove on him. Those guys have another gear and our guys will know how to block.
REPORTER: For Jim and all the guys, did this game feel like a National Championship game? Did it have that feel like a heavyweight title fight out there?
SMITH: For me, I was overwhelmed just by the fans' support, being my last game in the Horseshoe, it meant pretty much everything to me. Some things didn't go the way we wanted them to offensively and constantly I was reminded by teammates that we follow you. We pretty much react to the way you react. And that meant everything in the world to me because no one on the sideline was going to let me get into a situation to where I was going to be down for a second. It had the implications of a huge game and that's as far as seniors, and our team, but the National Championship is something aside, something different than this. This is the Ohio State University-University of Michigan game, the biggest game in college football, and today the best team won.
REPORTER: Jim, the last touchdown drive, Troy took a couple vicious hits, in fact, he was taking vicious hits all day and I'm wondering if you can talk about Troy's toughness and also, Troy, if you would talk about those two hits and then three plays later your pass for the touchdown.
COACH TRESSEL: Well, I've said for however many years we've been talking about Troy that his number one quality is his toughness. If you want to be a champion as a quarterback, toughness is number one. And he is that, and he stands in there and he knows that's part of the game and he pops back up for the next one. But you can't be a championship quarterback. You can't be what I think is the All-American quarterback without being tough.
SMITH: For me, I live and I play through everybody else. I come back to the huddle, when I stare at 10 guys in the huddle, eyes wide open, alert, and ready to dominate the opposing team, I come to the sideline and there's 105 plus guys, eyes wide open and ready to do everything and anything they can in support of our team. So there's no way that I can get into a situation where I feel as if my legs hurt, my knee is hurt, my elbow is hurt, and limp up or act like something is wrong with my body, because I've been in situations where I've seen scout team players constantly beat their bodies up, play and play and play after play, so I could never shortchange any of my teammates.
REPORTER: On that, Jim, I just want to get a good view of it, did you feel like it was a legitimate call, and Troy, did you feel like that was a helmet-to-helmet hit?
COACH TRESSEL: What play was that?
REPORTER: The personal foul.
COACH TRESSEL: Oh, on the sideline?
COACH TRESSEL: I think it was an out-of-bounds hit is what it was called, three or four yards out of bounds, in fact, Coach Hazell got decked on that hit.
SMITH: I just wanted to see that Robo made the catch. I just wanted to get back up and see what happened, that's what I was most concerned with, getting our team down the field.
REPORTER: Jim, you were a little undecided earlier this week when we asked you whether there should be a rematch. Based on the fact it was 42-39, do you think that could happen? Do you think Michigan deserves another shot?
COACH TRESSEL: I was asked that right when the final tick went off the clock, so you're late, but right now, quite honestly, the only thing on my mind is the joy of winning the Ohio State-Michigan game and the joy of being the Big Ten Champions and the joy of having the chance to go back out to Phoenix and be with the wonderful people from the Fiesta Bowl. And I guess we'll worry about -- there's football to be played and we don't usually worry about things until all the football is being played and I think Michigan is a very deserving football team. There can't be many teams in the nation better than Michigan, but I'm not going to get into it. My opinion doesn't have a vote. The guy from the BCS is here. He has all the votes, I don't have them.
REPORTER: Troy, can you talk about what it means to you to beat Michigan three times now?
SMITH: I've said it time and time again. It's not me beating Michigan. It's the team that is lined up and took the field every year that I got to start as quarterback that beat Michigan. They're also 3-0. We all have three sets of golden pants that means the world. You know, that first one, when I first got them, just a little small, little, like a Christmas tree ornament, and it didn't mean that much to me at first, but now it means the world because you have to go through situations and games like that today to earn those golden pants and the teams that I've been able to play, we've been privileged to play with, deserve that, just that, to be 3-0.
REPORTER: Jim, do you think Troy clinched the Heisman Trophy today? You can talk about it now that the regular season is over. And number two, Troy, were you excited, when you saw the game playing, were you going to throw the ball 40 or more times?
COACH TRESSEL: Well, I would think he clinched the Heisman Trophy, I don't think there'd be any question about that. But I don't know how excited he was about the game plans, I think he's the best player in college football.
SMITH: I think the Heisman Trophy is a team award. If we go into a situation, I don't care who you are, you can be hands-down the most electrifying player in college football and lose two or three games and you're out of that. It's a team award first and foremost because our team is 12-0. I owe them everything in the world. If it wasn't for them in these situations, I wouldn't even be here for any of the accolade that I do receive and all the credit in the world goes to my team and my coaching staff.
REPORTER: Were you excited about the game plan? Follow up on that.
SMITH: The game plan? I can't buy into the plays that are called. We try to run them to the best of our abilities and if it's a pass, we have to complete a pass. If it's a run, we have to get four plus yards. So that's the way I look at it and hopefully that's the way the team looks at it. Some games you run a little bit more than you pass, it doesn't matter, as long as you get the win.
REPORTER: Troy, can you talk about on your final touchdown drive, you guys had a 4-point lead at that point, did you feel like you had to score a touchdown there with what Michigan's offense had been doing and can you talk about the throw to Robiskie for the final touchdown?
SMITH: Every time we get the ball, we want to score a touchdown. There's not a situation or a time during the game where we have possession of the ball that we don't want to put points on the board. Robiskie just made a great catch. It was an adjustment that he made that not too many people could make. The offensive line did a great job of holding those guys which they had been battling with the whole game and Robiskie came back and made a Division I college athlete play on the ball, and I have them to thank for everything.
REPORTER: For Doug and Troy, can you just talk about the fumbled snaps and maybe, Troy, how you said you were a little down there and your teammates picked you back up, just talk about that a little bit.
DATISH: The first one, obviously, was high, I didn't see it. The second one got caught in a divot on the field, the ball got stuck on the divot. There's no excuse, that's my sole and first huge duty on the field is to give Troy the ball and I didn't do very good on that on those two particular plays, but I'm proud of my teammates for not coming after me and really supporting me with everything that was going on. I'm just glad we won.
REPORTER: How much did you want to run, and your use of Beanie, it looked like not only his touchdown, but it looked like they sold out entirely on the play fake to Ginn.
COACH TRESSEL: You know, that was a play we'd been working on for a while, and Beanie, when Beanie comes in, he's our short yardage back, and it was only a second and one, but we thought maybe we could bait them into thinking we were just going to get the first down, and great execution, the offensive line did a great job protecting and Beanie did a good job of jumping up there and Troy kept his head down, and Teddy's fast. And someone asked Troy about the game plan and so forth and how much do we expect to run and I think you have to see things unfold before you can really know how they're going to play you, I think what's true in our situation is we never see the same team on the field as we see on the film. Everybody plays Ohio State better than they are, so I think you have to wait and see the tempo and the feel and so forth. So I don't know how many yards we rushed for, but it seemed like it was okay and it seemed like we threw it a good number, but again, I don't know what it was, but I thought -- I thought we had a decent balance against a defense that was good and I was proud of the way our kids played and the way our coaches planned