Monday, January 3, 2011

JUSTIN BOREN IS ONE BUCKEYE WHO HAS TASTED VICTORY VS. THE SEC

Justin Boren
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — Ohio State may be 0-9 in bowl games against teams from the Southeastern Conference, but Buckeyes senior guard Justin Boren is 1-0.

As a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Boren — who started for the Wolverines at left guard — helped the maize and blue to a 41-35 upset victory (in the 2008 Capital One bowl) over Tim Tebow and Florida, the same team that waxed Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game a season prior.

Boren would transfer to Ohio State following the bowl win over the Gators, after the Wolverines replaced longtime head coach Lloyd Carr with Rich Rodriguez. Boren sat out the entire 2008 season — due to NCAA transfer rules — before he was able to play for the Buckeyes in 2009.

Well, 25 games, 22 wins and a Rose Bowl victory later, the senior Boren is ready to walk away from college football 2-0 against the SEC.

"You think about it," Boren said, about Tuesday's Sugar Bowl being his last collegiate football game. "But it's really the big picture. We're just trying to get ready with the rest of the team to play Arkansas."

Boren said that he'll be savoring every second of his final game with the Buckeyes, especially with it being the last time he and his younger brother — sophomore fullback Zach Boren — will be on the field together as teammates (unless they would play on the same team in the NFL someday).

"It is crazy that it's my last college game," (Justin) Boren said. "It's been a great two years and a privilege to play with Zach. We cherish every moment."

Boren not only understands how to win against the SEC, but he also knows a thing or two about Arkansas star quarterback Ryan Mallett. He and Mallett were teammates at Michigan in 2007 and both transfered the following season when the Wolverines hired Rodriguez away from West Virginia.

Boren said he and the Razorback signal caller were pretty tight during their days in Ann Arbor.

"I knew (Mallett) real well," Boren said. "I was the center for him a couple games. He's a great kid. As you can see he's done a great job down (at Arkansas). We were close when we were at Michigan and we kept in contact for a little bit after we transferred."

Boren stated that he and Mallett certainly made the right decisions to leave Michigan.

"I think we both made the right decisions and we're happy with where we are," Boren said. "I haven't talked to him since right after we transferred, but he was very happy then."

Of course if Boren has his way, Mallett won't be too thrilled come Tuesday night.

YOUNGER BOREN READY TO GET IT ON ... When asked about being 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games, OSU fullback Zach Boren essentially said that he and many of the other Buckeyes have never even played a game against that conference, let alone losing nine times.

"You don't let it bother you," Boren said, about all the 0-9 talk. "I know a lot of these guys haven't been in an SEC game. Some of the older guys have, but we are just excited for the challenge."

Boren said that the Buckeyes know what they need to do to snap the slide against the SEC, now it's just a matter of getting out there and doing it.

"Arkansas is a great team and we're excited to just go out there and play," Boren said. "We know we just have to go out and play our game and whatever happens, happens."