Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Photo of Jordan Hall by Darla Dunkle-Hudnell

COLUMBUS — Call him Dr. James Patrick Tressel.

During Tuesday's press luncheon at the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus, Ohio State head coach, Jim Tressel, talked about the Buckeyes' Big Ten opener this Saturday against Illinois, freshman tailback, Jordan Hall, and even gave some advice on how to prevent one's self from getting the flu.

When asked about punter Jon Thoma — who missed Saturday's game against Toledo with a case of the flu — Tressel gave an update on his health, as well as some ways to avoid becoming ill.

"Yeah, (Thoma) was here yesterday and feels better," Tressel said Tuesday. "What you do to prevent (getting the flu)? Wash your hands a lot, you know, and try to stay away from (others). They did a little seminar in athletic department meeting the other day ... "

Tressel then picked out a reporter and gave an example on how to greet a person in a more health conscious way.

"Instead of shaking hands ... " Tressel said. "you go like this ... "

Tressel bumped elbows with the reporter, then he continued "that's the way, you're supposed to elbow bump, that's the newest thing. So, you can go back to the office, give a little 'what's happening,' you know.

"So wash your hands a lot and elbow bump, stay rested and stay hydrated."

The Buckeyes will need to be hydrated this Saturday, as they open up the Big Ten campaign with a showdown against a very speedy and athletic Illinois — a team that defeated OSU the last time they visited Ohio Stadium just two seasons ago.

Although Illinois is just 1-1 in 2009, Tressel understands what kind of athletes the Fighting Illini possess and what sort of damage they can do to your season hopes.

"I felt going into the Big Ten year that Illinois probably had as good a personnel as anyone in the league," Tressel said. "The explosive ability they have over on the offensive side, the uniqueness they have over on the defense. They've got a big, strong front on defense. They have a coverage scheme that's something we don't face other than once a year against Illinois."

The "explosive ability" that Tressel is referring to is none other than senior quarterback Juice Williams and junior wide receiver, Arrelious Benn — two players who were part of the Illini's upset over the Buckeyes in 2007.

"Arrelious Benn and Juice Williams, and their tight end (Michael Hoomanawanui) who's a heck of a player and (Jeff) Cumberland out wide and (Jarred) Fayson out wide and all those running backs. I think our defense is going to have a tremendous challenge," Tressel said.

One player that Tressel spoke about Tuesday with great confidence was Jordan Hall, a true freshman tailback that looked quite promising in limited action last Saturday against Toledo.

Look forward to seeing more of No. 29 in the coming weeks.

"Jordan's been impressive ever since he's been here," Tressel said. "He's a hard-nosed kid, studies the game, has done well running the football every chance he's gotten, so now that we've seen him in a game, obviously it makes it easier to put him into a game ... he's going to be a good player.

"He's tough — oh, he's a tough kid."

Hall finished the Buckeyes' 38-0 victory last weekend with 44 yards on seven carries, including a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter that set up a Terrelle Pryor to DeVier Posey touchdown pass.

GAME BALLS — Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher and linebacker Ross Homan, were named the offensive and defensive players of the week (for the Toledo game), respectively.

Ben Buchanan, who filled in for the ill Jon Thoma, was named special units player of the week.

Scout team champions were Chris Fields (offense), Jordan Whiting (defense) and Tony Harlamert (special units).

The "attack force" award went to defensive lineman Cameron Heyward and the "Jim Parker lineman of the week" award went to Bryant Browning.