State receiver Ted Ginn, Jr’s,
performance against the Florida Gators in Monday night’s 41-14 loss in the BCS
National Championship Game began and ended abruptly. Ginn fielded the opening kickoff and raced 93
yards to the end zone giving the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead, their last of the game.
“I told my guys I was going to take it to the house,” Ginn
Following the play, Ginn injured his left foot while
celebrating with teammates. In the
locker room after the game, the junior said medical personnel called the injury
a sprain, but he will know more after returning to Columbus.
After realizing he wasn’t going to be able to play the rest
of the night, Ginn tried to help his team anyway he could.
“I just couldn’t push off,” Ginn said. “I tried to do my thing on the sideline by
trying to keep the guys into it. I just
tried to be a leader. I tried to relate
to the coaches and the players what was open.
It just hurts.”
Without Ginn in the game, OSU was only able to put up
another seven points the rest of the contest.
In fact, the Buckeyes totaled just 82 yards on only 37 plays. Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Troy Smith
connected on just 4-of-14 passes for 35 yards with no touchdowns and an
interception. Smith’s rushing stats were
even worse. He carried the ball 10 times
for 29 yards in losses, giving him a total offensive output of six yards for
Smith, who remained positive after the game, took more than
his share of responsibility for the loss.
“My seniors, I want to apologize to them because I wasn’t
able to send them out on the right note,” Smith said. “I think I could have played better.”
While not taking anything away from the Gators, Smith noted
that he and the rest of the team played its worst game of the season at the most
“I have to say it’s a lack of execution on my part as a
quarterback,” said Smith. “Simply
because I am the one guy out there who pretty much can control everything. I didn’t do a good enough job of controlling
what was going on.”
do some great things defensively, but nothing we couldn’t handle. I have to take all the blame in the world for
Never one to make excuses, Smith begrudgingly admitted that
the loss of his former Glenville
School teammate, Ted Ginn, took its toll on the
“It was very noticeable, but even at that we were getting a
lot of positive publicity during the year about how deep we were with different
guys,” the Heisman Trophy winner said.
“So that’s not an excuse. I’ve
never been a believer in things like that can take us out of a game.”
Smith believes when one player goes down,
State has enough talent that
someone else should have been able to fill Ginn’s shoes.
“When we’re on the sideline, he gives us a boost and a
lift,” Smith said. “Not having him in
spirits definitely took a little bit away from the team. But we can’t harp on that simply because we
have great guys coming up in the ranks.”
Sitting in the OSU locker room after the game with his
crutches next to him, Ginn insisted he has not yet made a decision on whether
he will return to Columbus for his
senior season. He did not give a firm
date for when he will make that decision, saying he wants to return home to
discuss the decision with his family.