Preview and postgame sections for the 2009-10 season here.
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Kick competition August 15, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Freshman Drew Basil is pushing senior Devin Barclay, a veteran of Major League Soccer, for the top job. While Devin Barclay wants to take ownership of every kick that matters for Ohio State this fall, Drew Basil is trying hard to put his foot forward for playing time as a freshman. "I think that's everybody's goal," Basil said. "I'm not trying to be smart about that, but nobody comes here to redshirt. Everybody comes here to play."
Basil enrolled in spring quarter after graduating early from Chillicothe High School. His pursuit of some of the kicking chores picked up steam with his strong showing in the spring kick scrimmage. It maintained momentum yesterday in the preseason version. He was good on 11 of 12 field-goal attempts, including a 37-yarder on his last try, which wound up being the winner in the Gray's 33-30 victory. Barclay made 10 of 12. His second miss came from 37 yards. But for Barclay, it was a strong performance after a dismal spring scrimmage.
"It was good for my confidence," said Barclay, who became the Buckeyes' kicker through the last five games of last season after Aaron Pettrey was injured.. "In total, we only missed three kicks today (as a team), and I'm not too focused on the end result, obviously. It was the older guys vs. the younger guys, and I will probably get a little bit of crap when I get back to the locker room, but that's all in good fun."
Tressel said before camp started that there was a chance Barclay would handle extra points and field-goal attempts from roughly 42 yards and in, while Basil might handle the kickoffs and try field goals longer than 42 yards..."I don't think any kicker wants to share the responsibilities, kickoffs or any of the field goals," Barclay said. "So my mind-set is I want all of those jobs." Yesterday, he and Basil's kickoffs were pretty much comparable, but Basil made the longest field goal of the day, a 47-yarder, while Barclay was right down the middle but about 4 yards short on a 58-yard try..."
The only negative for the Buckeyes was starting defensive end Nathan Williams going down with a left leg injury during the portion of practice that preceded the special teams scrimmage. He had his leg elevated much of practice and by the end of the day, his leg was wrapped from thigh to ankle. No update was available on his condition...
Return game: Receiver DeVier Posey appeared to remain the No. 1 punt returner, though the Buckeyes were putting two returners back together more often than in recent years. Others back for punts included running back Jordan Hall, who seems to have a natural shiftiness in the return game, receiver Chris Fields, freshman cornerback Bradley Roby and freshman receiver Corey Brown, who ripped off a 45-yard return.
Fielding kickoffs were running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron, Hall, Brown, Fields, running back Jaamal Berry, receiver Taurian Washington and freshman cornerback Christian Bryant, who showed a nice upfield burst."
Breakout Year Candidates: Defense August 14, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...As we saw last year, Ohio State ran eight or nine guys deep on the defensive line, keeping the unit fresh at all times and making it one of the most dominant front fours in Jim Tressel's time at Ohio State. Similar rotations are employed elsewhere on the team, but the defensive line, where the constant bashing and battering from corn-fed Big Ten offensive lines wears on even the most well-conditioned lineman, is where it arguably has the greatest impact. Thus, some of these "breakout year" candidates seem like old news, having already seen success in their time at Ohio State. However, in their first full year as starters, we'll finally be able to see whether they're flash-in-the-pan talents, future NFL draft picks or something in between...
Johnny Simon made an impact in limited time as a true freshman last year, something rarely seen along the front four of any BCS bowl-bound team. Apparently the only lineman on the team with a six-pack, according to coaches, Simon's burst, strength and precocious decisiveness on the line of scrimmage made him a beast to defend...
Nathan Williams...has a had a "breakout game" here or there over his first two years ...He was 3rd on the team in sacks last year...in his junior season, he has a genuine shot at establishing himself as one of the conference's leading pass rushers....at the end of the season, I wouldn't be shocked if it was Williams with the team sack title and not Heyward. No slight on Heyward, as I think any team worth its salt will be blocking him with three dudes, giving Williams plenty of opportunity to get after the quarterback.
Orhian Johnson...one true dark horse in here...The 2nd-to-last addition to the 2008 recruiting class (ahead of only TP himself), nobody, aside from the staff quite knew where Johnson would fit in on the team. Was he a safety? A cornerback?...He has big shoes to fill in the wake of Kurt Coleman, who I maintain was the soul of last year's defense. Johnson coud have a breakout year merely by doing many of the same things Coleman did: make game-saving interceptions, tipped passes and touchdown-saving tackles when no one else can...
Etienne Sabino...is entering his junior year at Ohio State, and to date, his most memorable play was a touchdown on a blocked punt, good footage of which I could not find on Youtube. Thus, we'll settle for this (video)...It seems like he knocked himself a bit woozy on that play as much as he did Stonum, but the point stands: Sabino is known for his tackling ability, drawing comparisons to Ray Lewis coming out of high school... This team needs a big hitter beyond the front four aside from Rolle and Hines, and hopefully Sabino will bring that same intensity to his play.
Dominic Clarke/CJ Barnett/Corey "Gateway" Brown/Jamie Wood Perhaps the second-most questioned non-special teams unit on the team, behind the ever-questionable offensive line, is the secondary. Torrence and Chekwa seem pretty competent, but it's tough to say either has developed a stranglehold on the starting job, seniority notwithstanding. Even if those two do retain their spots on the depth chart, JT's rotational philosophy will probably let quite a few younger guys see time, enabling one of the aforementioned players to impress as an underclassman..."
Marcus Hall moves to left side of Ohio State Buckeyes' offensive line for chance to compete August 14, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Marcus Hall did enough as a true freshman at Ohio State to earn playing time, including one start at right tackle last season, backing up J.B. Shugarts. That's not easy for a freshman lineman. Now, Hall is 30 pounds lighter, dropping from 325 pounds to 295 during summer workouts, and the Glenville grad is the wild card on the offensive line. On one hand, Hall nearly put himself in a bind with some academic problems this summer, admitting he wasn't as focused as he needed to be, which threatened to put his eligibility at risk. But he worked through that and made it to preseason camp, where he now has a new home.
"Instead of working with the second- team offensive line at right tackle, where senior Josh Kerr was taking most of the second-team reps early in camp, Hall said he asked in the spring to be moved to left tackle. With Shugarts potentially locking down the right side for the next two seasons, entering an open competition on the left side might be the quicker route to consistent playing time. He's another option behind the Mike Adams-Andrew Miller battle, though he knows he might be a bit of a long shot at this point.
"If I said I couldn't do it, I feel like I'd be cheating myself," Hall said. "It's definitely a tough fight." Hall said he wasn't looking to drop that much weight but he feels the difference on the field. "I'm quicker and I don't get tired as easily as I did," Hall said. "I don't feel like I'm getting thrown around because I weigh less. I just feel quicker."
Position battles are heating up as fall camp shifts into high gear. And this week junior running back Dan "Boom" Herron stopped and shared his thoughts on that very topic, his role with senior Brandon Saine and Ohio State's depth at the running back position.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg Ranks Big Ten QBs: #1 Buckeyes Terrelle Pryor...; #2 Hawkeyes Ricki Stanzi...; #3 Badgers Scott Tolzien...; #4 Spartans Kirk Cousins...; #5 Hoosiers Ben Chappell...
Ohio State Buckeyes' offensive line has a lot riding on it from the start August 13, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "This isn't the year when Ohio State's offensive line can take a few weeks to figure itself out. But with 93 career starts among the top six linemen, there's no reason the Buckeyes can't come firing off the line from the first whistle this September (see OSU schedule).
Ohio State's showdown with Miami in the second game of the season on Sept. 11 could come down to the Buckeyes handling one of the best defensive lines in the country. Led by All-Atlantic Coast Conference left end Allen Bailey, the Hurricanes' defensive line is ranked No. 4 in the nation by college football analyst Phil Steele. It's one of three top-10 defensive lines on Ohio State's schedule, along with Iowa at No. 3 and Penn State at No. 9. Good thing Steele has Ohio State's offensive line ranked No. 3 in its own right..." (with videos)
Berry Expects Big Plays, Touchdowns in 2010 August 13, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "Running back Jaamal Berry might be small in stature but he brings big play ability to the Buckeyes...Jaamal Berry knows he probably won't start a game for Ohio State in 2010, not with the Buckeyes returning their top three backs from a year ago. That hasn't done anything, however, to taper his expectations for the upcoming season...
Having to share the backfield with so many talented backs—not to mention a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback in Terrelle Pryor—might intimidate most young players, but not Berry. "I don't think having a lot of running backs is a factor to me. It is not in my head," said the Under Armour High School All-American, who came to Ohio State in 2009 as one of the top-rated running backs in the country.
"We're all good backs and we are all going for the same thing, but it is just going to come down to who is going to make the play when they have the opportunity, and I plan on doing that." As one of the most elusive running backs in the country, Berry did that a lot in high school. He came to Ohio State looking to put his ability to use right away, but realized he would face plenty of competition as the Buckeyes signed two other tailbacks in his class, and another in 2010 when they landed Rod Smith..."
Mel Kiper Jr. talks about which team could win it all, biggest difference-maker and his sleeper team...gives props to Buckeyes Source: ESPN
Buckeyes Aiming To Air It Out August 13, 2010 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Ohio State fans frustrated by the lack of a passing attack last season have hope for more fireworks this fall. In this update, find out how much the Buckeyes might throw the ball this season and where some of those passes might be headed...
Prior to the start of fall camp, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said he expects quarterback Terrelle Pryor to throw the ball 25-30 times a game this season. When word of that comment made its way to junior wide receiver DeVier Posey, his eyes widened. "That makes me smile," he said. "I'm a receiver. That's what I do: I just catch passes and I block. For the receiving corps, we've just been trying to make sure we can prepare ourselves for that. We made sure in the offseason that we caught 1,500 balls a week. We made sure we got 250-300 in a day. We made that a priority that we wanted to make sure we got better."
Now the hope is that the coaches will entrust their players with more responsibility to move the ball through the air. Although the Buckeyes actually attempted 14 more passes in 2009 than in 2008, they closed out the regular season with Big Ten victories against Penn State, Iowa and Michigan by throwing the ball 17 times in each of those contests. In those three games, OSU accumulated 285 passing yards. In a week three victory against Toledo, the Buckeyes attempted 32 passes and threw for 275 yards.
Things turned around in a Rose Bowl victory against Oregon that saw Pryor complete 23 of 38 passes for 266 yards as the Buckeyes employed the potent offense fans had hoped for all season long. Although he had eight catches in the game and Dane Sanzenbacher had nine, the junior wideout said he can barely watch film from that game. "We saw a lot of room for improvement," Posey said August 8 at photo day. "I was joking with Dane yesterday that we were watching some Rose Bowl highlights in the film room and we started laughing like, ‘Wow, we look so bad.' The end of the season is always hard because you're banged up. We have a lot of room for improvement. There were a lot of missed opportunities in that game. We can definitely get better."..."
2010 Ohio State Buckeyes Movie Trailer - The Num8er Eight
Brandon Saine Post-practice Interview Source: Big Ten Network
Time to put it all on the line August 13, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Offensive tackle Adams knows he hasn't distinguished himself in two problem-ridden seasons...Teammates say Mike Adams, of Dublin Coffman, is in top shape. He says he has recovered from foot, knee and shoulder injuries...
It is now late summer in the growing season of Mike Adams' career. There's still time to produce, but he's also in danger of withering on the vine. Injuries and off-field issues have made a mess of his first two years, preventing the offensive tackle from making the impact at Ohio State that many expected from the former Dublin Coffman star.
The cold truth is that if the second half of his career mirrors his first, he would be considered a bust. Adams seems to realize that. Entering his junior season, he's getting a second chance to seize control of the open spot at left tackle. He sounds more determined this time - hardened. There is an edge in his voice.
"There's been a lot of misconceptions," Adams said. "There's a lot of things I'd like to speak on, but I'll just wait to play this season out and see how everyone likes it." Durability has been the main issue for Adams. He had shoulder surgery in the spring of 2008, and after playing five games as a backup that season, his season ended in October because of a foot injury..."
Coverage Teams a Major Focus this Offseason August 12, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "The Buckeyes are trying to address what was a glaring weakness on the 2009 team, a weakness that got worse last year as the season went on...
The Buckeyes won 11 games last season, but it wasn’t always as easy. In fact, Ohio State found itself a handful of special teams plays away from a nine-win season, which is why they are talking major changes on the coverage teams this offseason..."Last year was one of those things where as the year went on, guys got injured and our special teams didn’t do as well as we hoped," said senior Brian Rolle, who was once a special teams standout for the Buckeyes before sliding into the starting lineup last season...
"I love it. I’ll play special teams and defense for 60 plays a game if I have to," said Rolle, who also expects to see starting cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence join him on the kick off team. It’s not an ideal situation for the Buckeyes, who would rather have young linebackers and defensive backs fill their special teams than starting seniors on their defense, but Rolle says some young guys need a change in mentality before they’re ready to contribute on coverage teams..."
Junior Michael Brewster, a third-year starter at center, recently stopped and talked to OhioStateBuckeyes.com about his expectations for the offensive line, team goals for the season and going after a national championship.
Dispatch sports reporters Tim May and Ken Gordon talk about Ohio State's high preseason ranking and their early observations of the team.
Injured Knee Kept Pryor from Throwing on Run August 11, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "Terrelle Pryor guided the Buckeyes to a strong finish last season, an impressive feat in view of an injury that significantly limited his game..."When I injured my knee against New Mexico State there was a lot of pain," said Pryor, who tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last October.
"It held me back sometimes from escaping and getting out of the pocket. Some throws I couldn't make off the run and stuff like that. It limited me in a way."
Today Pryor feels like a new man. After throwing the ball a career-high 37 times against Oregon in Pasadena, Pryor underwent knee surgery to repair his torn PCL in the off-season. He still wears a brace, and likely will all season for precautionary measures, but he has regain his mobility, and just as importantly, he has regained his ability to make throws like the one he made to Posey on Tuesday. "I really feel like a quarterback. I feel like I can be a complete quarterback, but I can also run the ball," said Pryor, who enters his third season as the starting quarterback at Ohio State..."
Tyler Moeller talks about getting back on the football field, Jermail Hines explains why he thinks Terrelle Pryor is the most impressive player in camp and Michael Brewster explains how good the offensive line can be. August 11, 2010 Source: The Ozone
Buckeyes Tackle Heat, Teammates on Tuesday August 10, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "The No. 2 (USA Today Coaches Poll) Ohio State Buckeyes worked out for over two hours in full pads Tuesday morning at the Harmon Family Football Park practice facility adjacent to the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.
Practice started a little past 9 a.m. on a day when the Big Ten Network was in town taping interviews and practice footage for its Big Ten Football Preview show that will air at 8 p.m. Aug. 17. Football studio hosts Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith were on hand, interviewing Coach Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Saine and Cameron Heyward, and tweeting away with comments like these from Revsine:
"Pryor threads the needle to Posey on a really nice TD pass vs. the 1 "D" after being flushed out of the pocket."
"The level of intensity is really impressive. There is no entitlement here. Also - Ross Homan just made a great hit in a 1 on 1 drill."
"Wouldn't worry about the LT spot with Mike Adams. He looks great - Gerry and Howard raving about him too."
"Can already see a difference in Pryor as a leader - just turned around during a drill and said to everyone, 'no balls on the ground.'"..."
During their fifth practice of preseason camp, the Buckeyes worked out for the first time in full pads, and they were drenched after a hot morning on their two turf practice fields. There was a lot of action between the first-team offense and defense, second-team offense and defense and down the line. It began with several goalline plays, then ran through other scenarios set up by Jim Tressel.
The first team offense was the usual, with Mike Adams working at left tackle today. The defense saw Travis Howard replacing Devon Torrence at one corner, with Torrence nursing a hamstring injury. And Andrew Sweat stepped in for Brian Rolle, who missed much of practice with what team spokespeople said was a class. He arrived later in the day. Sweat had been moved to strongside linebacker this camp after playing weakside and middle linebacker in the past. Though Storm Klein has been the middle linebacker with the second team, I think this showed that, if he's not starting, Sweat is clearly the No. 4 linebacker and will step in if any of the three starters go down. Now the play..."
Tyler Moeller enjoys return and praises QB Terrelle Pryor August 11, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "They're the two most-watched Buckeyes in preseason camp, and on Ohio State's first practice day in full pads Tuesday, Tyler Moeller made a point about Terrelle Pryor that had to be taken seriously. Pryor, the Buckeyes' third-year quarterback with the enormous potential, had already said it about himself, but it carried even more weight coming from Moeller, the fifth-year safety with limitless desire.
Sunday, Pryor admitted he'd been a little arrogant early in his career and said he'd been humbled, ready now as a junior to be a better teammate. Tuesday, Moeller was the first Buckeye to really confirm that. It means little to say you've changed if no one explains how far you had to come.
"Terrelle is a great player," Moeller said, responding to a question about Pryor's claim that he'll return to Ohio State as a senior in 2011. "It's a huge difference from when he first got here to now, his maturity and how he became a leader. "I think when he first got here, I don't think too many people liked him, really. He was kind of a punk. But now I have the utmost respect for him. He's a great player and a great leader and I'd follow him into battle any day."..."
Five Questions: Training Camp Edition August 11, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...WHO WILL BE THE 3RD WIDE RECEIVER?: ...Duron Carter leaves at wide receiver behind DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. Taurian Washington is the favorite right now, but questions continue to surmount around the new Mr. April’s ability to get it done in a real game. We are hearing good things about T-Wash’s work ethic this off-season and DeVier Posey said Sunday that the senior was catching 250 balls a day this summer...
HOW WILL OSU COMPENSATE FOR LOSING KURT COLEMAN AND ANDERSON RUSSELL?...Jermale Hines steps in at one safety spot with plenty of experience, having played both at safety and at the STAR position the last three years. The other safety position is the question mark, where Orhian Johnson seems to be the man stepping up to the plate...
WHO WILL BE THE RETURNERS ON SPECIAL TEAMS?...The frontrunners to take over on punt return duty appear to be the sure-handed receivers in Posey and Sanzenbacher, but after watching spring practice, I think Jordan Hall will be the one to emerge from the group...
HOW WILL OSU FIND ENOUGH CARRIES FOR THE RUNNING BACKS?: Last year Ohio State ran the ball 43.3 times per game. This year, with a more mature group and a better offensive flow, I expect that number to increase by about 5-7 carries per game...
WHO WILL REPLACE PETTREY AND THOMA?: For the first time in many years, the Buckeyes aren’t completely sure of their kicking and punting specialists heading into the season. Devin Barclay is the head-on choice to be the everyday kicker, but in the past he has shown trouble with field goals ranging past 40 yards..."
Terrelle Pryor ready to lead; feels time is now
Fall Camp Insider August 10, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "The Buckeyes conducted their first practice in full pads in sweltering heat today...The ball snapped and Mike Adams went to engage his man, only he wasn’t there. Defensive end Cameron Heyward had already burst through the line and was in the backfield in time to stuff running back Brandon Saine for a three-yard loss.
The stars of the day, however, were quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Joe Bauserman. Pryor had one of his best practices ever passing the ball, at least of the ones open to the media. He did throw a pick to safety Jermale Hines during scrimmage with a lot of pressure in his face. Other than that, he was on the money today, throwing a lot more over the top with his delivery...Bauserman had his best day passing the ball which we’ve seen, in a long, long time...
Here’s a look at some other (eleven) important items from Tuesday’s practice..."
Predicted Record: 11-1
Why Ohio State Should Be No. 1: Nine starters return to an offense that should have the Tressel Ball game down to a T. Terrelle Pryor doesn’t have to make the next-level jump to Vince Young status for the Buckeye attack to go, but if he can keep the interceptions down and if his line has a more consistent season, the Heisman could be waiting for him. Seven starters are back from the nation’s No. 5 defense.
Why Ohio State Isn’t No. 1: Are you 100% convinced that Pryor is about to be the transcendent star everyone is waiting for him to become?...The pass rush has to be far better, while the kicking game has to get back up to Ohio State standards...
Key to the Season: Running for 100 yards a game....The Buckeyes are 20-0 over the last two seasons when rushing for 125 yards or more, while rushing for 71 against USC and 61 against Penn State in the 2008 losses and 88 against USC and 66 against Purdue in 2009.
Relative Strength: Quarterback, Linebacker
Relative Weakness: Secondary
What to watch for on offense: Terrelle Pryor’s consistency. When he was on, he was one of the most dangerous playmakers in America...However, he also went 5-of-13 against Wisconsin and 8-of-17 against Penn State...but it can’t win the national championship unless he he’s on each and every week...
What to watch for on defense: The young prospects. The defense was a rock against the run throughout last year failing to allow more than 186 yards in a game...while the secondary came up with a strong year. The D will be strong again, but the difference between being great and national title-good could be the play of some of the top young prospects...John Simon is a great-looking...redshirt freshman linebacker Dorian Bell, sophomore safety Orhian Johnson, and junior Nathan Williams are just a few of the new faces...
Fun Stat: Fumbles lost vs. Purdue and Illinois: 5 – Fumbles lost in the other 11 games: 2..."
Pryor showing maturity of a leader August 9, 2010 - Bob Hunter writes in the Columbus Dispatch: "Two years ago, reporters marveled at a mature freshman quarterback named Terrelle Pryor on Ohio State's football media day. The consensus No. 1 high school recruit in America handled reporters as if they were an aggressive, blitzing defense, or so it seemed. He was the picture of cool, mature beyond his...
Make no mistake: Pryor has grown up. He seemed mature beyond his years two years ago, but the junior quarterback seemed much more grounded yesterday. It almost goes without saying that the Jeannette, Pa., native knows more football. He also seems a lot smarter about life..."
Buckeyes Hold Annual Media/Photo Day August 8, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - " It was hot on the FieldTurf practice fields outside of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Sunday, but that didn't keep the Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked No. 2 nationally in the first USA Today Coaches Poll, from conducting a spirited 90-minute-plus workout in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets.
By the time the team arrived on the FieldTurf field of historic and venerable Ohio Stadium a couple of hours later at 4 p.m., all decked out in its game attire - scarlet jerseys, gray pants and full pads for its official phtos/media day, clouds rolled in and created a remotely comfortable atmosphere. Scores of reporters, photographers and videographers were on hand for this most-important day of the preseason, a day in which all the Buckeyes are available to be interviewed.
Photo/media day includes the taking of an official team photo, group photos of the coaches and the various support staff units, groups of player photos by position and literally hundreds of interviews for future stories and notes gathering..." Player Quotes from Media Day August 8, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "Jake Stoneburner, sophomore tight end on his role in the passing game: "I know we want to throw it more this season, so I would expect that if we have 25 to 30 passes a game, at least a couple will come in my direction."...
Michael Brewster, junior offensive lineman on expectations for the upcoming season: "I know we have the talent to beat everyone on our schedule. We just have to take it one game at a time and remember that our first priority is Marshall."...
Etienne Sabino, junior linebacker on his familiarity with the defense as a junior: "Everything just feels like second nature to me now. I feel much more comfortable in my role in the defense and much more confident in my abilities..."
OSU football: Previewing Camp Tressel August 8, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Interesting, but the buildup to this Ohio State football season has seemed rather subdued, considering the Buckeyes are No.2 in the first USA Today coaches poll.
Maybe it's because OSU fans have been through this a few times before in the first nine years of the Jim Tressel era. Or perhaps it's because they know that as stacked as the 2010 Buckeyes seem to be, there are questions that must be answered in this preseason camp. Dispatch beat reporters Ken Gordon and Tim May take a look as the Buckeyes dive into the first full week of practice:
May: My larger questions concern the unproven but promising depth on the defensive line, the replacement of both starting safeties and whether the kicking game will be up to snuff in all phases, especially in coverage...
Gordon: I agree that too much emphasis is placed on how a team finished and how many players return. Nobody takes into account the emergence of younger players. The Ohio State defensive line is an interesting example of that. There are several relatively new faces who could make a big difference..."
Offensive Reformation August 8, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "If there’s one thing coaches have it’s goals. One of the Vest’s offensive creeds is to throw for 250 yards, rush for another 200 and score at least 40 points. It has either long been forgotten by many or ignored by most because, the fact of the matter is, the trifecta is rarely achieved, perhaps only a handful of times since in his tenure...
Those who want more passing may be getting their wish. As we know, Jim Tressel set scribe’s pens afire last week with the unleashing of a new intention – passing the ball 25 to 35 times per game. This may just be another far fetched goal but it’s notable for many reasons not the least of which is how it signals a shift in offensive playcalling. Johnny did a nice job earlier in the week disecting what this means in terms of balance but what has caused the change for Tressel to publically announce the intention?
For me, it breaks down to three main reasons: Philosophical Change...Relieve Defensive Pressure...Trust Earned..."
The Ozone: We had the opportunity to sit down with the Ohio State representatives that attended the Big Ten media conference on Tuesday. In this installment, we bring you Defensive Lineman Cameron Heyward and Head Coach Jim Tressel.
Opening camp: Ohio State August 6, 2010 Source: ESPN - "Schedule: Ohio State's first preseason practice takes place today in Columbus.
What's new: Not that much. Jim Tressel's staff remains intact, and Ohio State returns 16 starters, including 10 on offense. The only spot that sees a decent amount of turnover is safety, as the Buckeyes lose both Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell. They also will have a new look along the defensive line, although Cameron Heyward is a familiar face, one opposing offensive linemen won't be happy to see.
Sidelined: Ohio State is healthy entering camp, although the Buckeyes are down a running back as Jermil Martin will transfer. The Scarlet and Gray will have incoming freshman running back Rod Smith on the field after Smith met his academic requirements.
Key battle: Let's start at kicker, a position that always means a lot to a Tressel-coached team. Aaron Pettrey departs, and Devin Barclay needs to rebound after struggling at times this spring. Punter Ben Buchanan and freshman Drew Basil are possibilities if Barclay can't hold down the top job. The other key battle takes place at left tackle, as junior Mike Adams tries to lock up a starting spot ahead of Andrew Miller and others.
New on the scene: Ohio State isn't deep at wide receiver and could find room for James Louis and Corey Brown. Defensive back Christian Bryant will have a chance in the secondary, and linebacker David Durham also might make an early impact. Carlos Hyde could work his way into a crowded mix at running back after enrolling a year later than expected. Basil will be a factor on special teams.
Back in the fold: Tyler Moeller is cleared for full contact after suffering a head injury last summer as an assault victim. Moeller played linebacker early in his career, but was on track for a possible starting job at safety in the spring of 2009. As Ohio State looks to replace Coleman, Moeller might be the answer.
Breaking out: Everyone is raving about sophomore defensive lineman John Simon, a weight-room superstar who saw some action last season. There also was some buzz this spring about linebacker Etienne Sabino, who should join Ross Homan and Brian Rolle in the starting lineup. Ohio State needs a No. 3 wide receiver, and watch out for redshirt freshman Chris Fields.
Quotable: "We're a very capable team. I think we should be a team that's being targeted. I know we'll be a team that's being targeted. And we'll always get everyone's best shot. And with that in mind, we better make sure our best shot's ready each Saturday. But it's just part of the deal." -- head coach Jim Tressel."
Iron will to be great guides OSU's Heyward (with video) August 6, 2010 Source: News-Herald - "Cameron Heyward wants to be great. He doesn't need to be in an NFL training camp this month to achieve that goal...Following the path paved by former OSU teammates Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis, Heyward shunned the temptation to skip his senior year with the Buckeyes for the glitz, glamour and fat paycheck of professional football.
"The NFL can wait," Heyward said. "There are no guarantees in the NFL." He wanted other guarantees. The guarantee of spending another year with friendships he has forged in Columbus. The guarantee of being a leader on a team that contends for a sixth straight Big Ten Championship. The guarantee of being a key force in a team that hopes to contend for a BCS national championship.
So is his presence on a defensive line that lost Lawrence Wilson, Doug Worthington, Thaddeus Gibson, Todd Denlinger and Robert Rose. He is slated to line up at defensive end opposite Nathan Williams and next to tackles Dexter Larimore and John Simon. Tressel didn't mince words when talking about Heyward's importance. "(Him leaving) would have made a significant difference because we had lost four guys naturally and one (Gibson) because he left early," Tressel said. "If you throw Cameron in there, too, that would have put us back a significant step in experience."..."
Tressel wants Boren to do more than just his line assignments August 6, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "On the surface, Justin Boren fits the stereotype of an offensive lineman - big and thick, usually with a scowl on his face that says, "Go away." The guard certainly is talented enough physically. After transferring from Michigan and sitting out a year, he started 12 games at left guard last season for Ohio State. But there's more to playing the line than that.
"I think Justin has really got to improve from a communication standpoint," coach Jim Tressel said. "Justin likes to just go block somebody, and sometimes he forgets there's 10 others. So he's got to get better at that."
In other words, Boren needs to be fluent in a language other than grunt. Maybe that's why Tressel chose Boren as one of six players to chat with reporters yesterday as players reported to preseason camp (practice starts today). "I guess that's something I'll work on this camp," Boren said..."
Balance August 6, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...Jim Tressel has recently said that…he expects [Ohio State] to be a "25 to 35 passing team..."
Which is pretty hilarious, and I am mostly confident in telling you that this is very unlikely to happen. For a variety of reasons. Most notably, in the past five seasons (which include the Troy Smith "watch me do this ridiculous thing and be totally nonchalant about it" years), there have been ZERO seasons in which a Buckeye QB has averaged more than 25 passing attempt per game. The last group to do it over the course of one season was the 2004 team, which for the first pass happy half of the season was Tressel’s absolute worst squad offensively.
In addition, Pryor threw for approximately 160 yards per game last year, the lowest full season average since, well, the year before that, where he and Todd Boeckman combined to throw 150.2 per game. In fact, if you look at the Big Ten from last year, Ohio State was not just the worst passing team in terms of frequency throwing the ball, but averaged a full 20 yards less per game than the team occupying the number 10 slot, Illinois..."
Buckeyes Report for Fall Camp August 5, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "Football is back! And so are the Buckeyes. With just 28 more days until the Buckeyes kickoff the 2010 season, the Ohio State football team reported for fall camp Thursday with its first practice scheduled for Friday morning at the new Harmon Family Football Practice Park. Practice is closed to the public.
Ohio State is gunning for its sixth straight Big Ten title this season, something only the Buckeye teams from 1972-77 have accomplished before. With nine starters returning on offense and six on defense -- including probably the two most important pieces on each side ball in Terrelle Pryor and Cameron Heyward -- the Buckeyes are once again favored not only to win the Big Ten, but once again compete for a national title.
Head coach Jim Tressel is beginning his 10th season on the sidelines with a 94-21 record. Under Tressel, the Buckeyes have recorded at least 10 wins in each of the last five seasons and have a chance to become the first team in Big Ten history to record six straight 10-win seasons. The only other Big Ten team to have this long of a run of double-digit victories was Michigan from 1901-05...
Ohio State opens the season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 vs. Marshall at Ohio Stadium, where the Buckeyes are 52-5 (.912) since the start of the 2002 season. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network."
LB Brian Rolle talks to reporters Thursday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Source: OSU Official Site
Kicking Game Has to Improve, Tressel Says August 5, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "Jim Tressel is worried about his kicking game, and not just because of last year. With his Buckeyes picked to repeat as Big Ten champions as the consensus preseason No. 2 team in the country, Tressel could not hide his concern for the 2010 season during the Big Ten Media Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago Tuesday.
"No. No, we're not good enough or where we need to be," Ohio State’s 10th-year head coach said when asked about his kicking and punting games heading into the start of fall camp Thursday. A long-time believer in the importance of special teams, Tressel knows it takes all three legs of the tripod to make a championship team stand strong...
The one area that never quite seemed to come around for the Buckeyes in 2009 was their special teams. They finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten in field goal percentage, punt average and kick return average..."
Five Worst of 2009 - 5 Glaring Weaknesses August 5, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "Usually when a team goes 11-2 with a conference championship in and a BCS Bowl win there aren’t a lot of things to talk about that went wrong. Certainly a lot went right for the Buckeyes in 2009, but there were some things that were a-typical of a Jim Tressel-coached team and a few that were pretty consistent in the complaint department. In part two of our Best and Worst of 2009 series, we take a look a few areas that weren’t championship caliber for Ohio State last season with an eye on how those areas are shaping up for 2010.
Five Worst for the ’09 Buckeyes: Red Zone Offense – ...Only Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana failed to reach the end zone on fewer of their red zone trips last season, making this the No. 1 area for improvement for the offense in 2010.
Field Goals – Another reason the Buckeyes struggled to score points in the red zone was their shaky place kicking a year ago. Senior Aaron Pettrey connected on only 70 percent of his field goal attempts, and backup Devin Barclay was no better when Pettrey went down with a knee injury late in the season...
Penalties – ...(2009) marked the fourth straight season, and the fifth time in six years, they have ranked in the bottom half of the conference in penalties
Passing Offense – ...Ohio State finished second-to-last in completion percentage and dead last in passing yards, 103rd in the country..."
Five Best of 2009 - Can the Buckeyes Do it Again? August 4, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "A lot of things went into OSU's football success last season. Brandon Castel has looked at the five things they did best last year with an eye toward whether they can continue to do those things this year...In a two-part series, we take a look at the five best and five worst areas for the 2009 Buckeyes with an eye on how those areas are shaping up for 2010.
Five Best for the Buckeyes: Total Defense...They finished second in the Big Ten in passing defense (171.5 yards per game) and third in rushing defense (90.77 yards). They return six starters from that defense and should be stout again on defense in 2010.
Third Down Defense...It might not seem as important as some of the other defensive statistics, but it’s actually one of the most telling stats in the game. Teams that get off the field on third down are almost always the more successful ones...
Turnover Margin...Not only were their 35 takeaways the most in the Big Ten, but they were the third most in all of college football behind only Texas and Ohio University...
Scoring Defense...Only three teams scored in the 20s against an Ohio State defense that finished second in the Big Ten and fifth in the country in scoring at 12.5 points allowed per game...
Rushing Offense...With Brandon Saine and Boom Herron leading the way, Ohio State averaged 195.92 yards per game on the ground, including 236 in the month of November against two of the top defenses in the conference in Penn State and Iowa. They finished second in the Big Ten and 18th nationally in rushing..."
We had the opportunity to sit down with the Ohio State players that attended the Big Ten media conference on Tuesday. In this installment, we bring you Offensive Lineman Bryant Browning
Jim Tressel's opening press conference at Big Ten Media Days
Tackling Expectations August 4, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "With expectations soaring as the Buckeyes prepare for the opening of camp, the key question marks are found on special teams, in the secondary and on the offensive line...
Like many, I assert this team will go as far as the offensive line will take it. Going a step further, it could very well come down to how far the offensive tackles can take it. Sure, the offense features versatile depth in the backfield, a Heisman Trophy candidate under center, a freakish pass catching tight end and the steady combo of Posey and Dane on the outside but without an offensive line producing holes, protecting the QB and preserving timing in the passing attack, those weapons are greatly diminished.
Feeling as I do about the interior, the pressure is squarely on tackles Mike Adams, J.B. Shugarts and Marcus Hall with Andrew Miller and Andrew Norwell possibly in the mix. Its been assumed that Shugarts is the clear cut right tackle starter with Adams getting first crack at left tackle however his position is seemingly far less secure than his RT counterpart. Tressel said as much earlier this week when he surmised Adams would be with the 1st team during Friday’s practice but that another guy, most likely Miller, would run with the ones on the second day. From my vantage point, it seems Tressel is once again trying to challenge Adams to put a stranglehold on his spot but will he finally step up?..."
New dates on the horizon for Ohio State-Michigan? August 3, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The Ohio State-Michigan game isn't going away. On that everyone in the Big Ten agrees -- the Buckeyes and Wolverines must play every year. OSU coach Jim Tressel explained Tuesday, however, exactly how he could understand if the game moved from the end of the regular season when the Big Ten splits into two divisions for 2011. Ohio State has finished the regular season against Michigan every year since 1943.
"In my lifetime, it has been at the end of the year, so that's what I know," Tressel said. "But if you have 106,000 or 109,000 there and the place is berserk, I don't care when it is. It could be in July and you'd enjoy it."...So his suggestion is that teams play divisional games for the last three games of the regular season to ensure that a cross-division matchup wouldn't be immediately repeated. It's a reasonable point, but it would require an Ohio State-Michigan shift if the teams aren't placed in the same division.
"It wasn't always the end of November, if you go back in history," Tressel said. "It wasn't always when it is now and it's not always going to be when it is now. That's the way it is. But they'll figure it out. I think change is exciting." Tressel understands that part of the allure is the buildup to the game and the idea that each week both teams are trying to improve in order to be at their best for their rival..."
Ohio State kicks off fall camp this week and head coach Jim Tressel addressed reporters Tuesday at the Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago. BuckeyeSports.com continues its coverage with this video clip of Tressel talking about the team's running backs, players named Corey Brown and more.
Head Coach Jim Tressel had a lot to discuss with the media on Monday, from Big Ten expansion to a miss-reported "incident" on campus.
Jim Tressel Speaks: Buckeye Challenges Source: ESPN
Media Day Notes, Quotes, Sights & Sounds August 2, 2010 Source: OSU Official Site - "Everything is massive at the 2010 Big Ten Conference football media days, which kicked off Monday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. Ohio State football is represented by head coach Jim Tressel and seniors Bryant Browning, Cameron Heyward and Dane Sanzenbacher. Director of Athletics Gene Smith, the Athletics Development team and a few additional administrators are also on hand...
Over 400 credentialed media are on hand, a rather massive number that includes 15-to-20 media who regularly follow the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This is one of the larger media turnouts in several years, according to one Big Ten representative...
Dressed for Success The Buckeyes dress up nicely. Dane Sanzenbacher wore a gray, three-piece pinstriped suit with a gray tie. Bryant Browning also went with a suit; a solid black suit with white shirt and black print tie. Cameron Heyward opted for black pants and a black, v-neck sweater over a white shirt with a gold tie. Coach Jim Tressel wore a dark gray sports coat with gray pants, white shirt and paisley-like gray-on-white tie.
ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Adam Rittenberg discuss Jim Delany's latest news, Paterno's health and coaches under fire at Big Ten Media Days.
More from ESPN: Wrapping up Day 1 of Big Ten media days: Delany Dishes On Big Ten's Future, Paterno Plans To Keep On Coaching, Tale Of Two Coaches (Ron Zook and Rich Rodriguez), Purdue's Hope Floats Around Marve, Osborne Gets Early Big Ten Baptism
Ohio State earns favorite's role in Big Ten, but rivals are determined to dethrone Buckeyes August 2, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema almost couldn't take it any more after last season's loss to Ohio State, his third straight as coach of the Badgers. "I hate losing to those guys," Bielema said after that 31-13 loss in Columbus, when the Badgers outgained the Buckeyes by nearly 200 years but gave up two defensive touchdowns and another on special teams. "If you want to be considered a player in this league, you've got to beat Ohio State. And that's something I'll definitely be able to personally think about for another year."
It's been almost a year. Thinking is almost over. The Buckeyes are still defining what it means to win in the Big Ten, announced as the conference favorite Monday, picked to win a six straight Big Ten title. But maybe Iowa, picked second, and Wisconsin, picked third, are closer than they've been in several years, as OSU coach Jim Tressel is convinced the Big Ten is as experienced and as tough as in any of his 10 years with the Buckeyes.
For the first time since 2005, there's a good chance the Big Ten will have three teams in the top 12 of the preseason polls. "I think we do have a number of teams that can compete against anyone in America," Tressel said. He wasn't bothered that his team comes first on that list. "I think we're a very capable team," Tressel said. "I think we should be a team that's being targeted."
Iowa and Wisconsin have pulled their arrows from their quivers. Over the past four seasons, beginning with Bielema's Big Ten debut, both the Hawkeyes and Badgers have beaten every team in the Big Ten at least once, except for Ohio State. Against the Buckeyes they are a combined 0-5. Bielema obviously believes his team isn't far away. "You saw my postgame press conference," he said, referencing last season. Throw in Wisconsin's last-minute home loss to the Buckeyes in 2008 and Iowa's overtime loss in Columbus last year, and the Buckeyes' two top challengers have proof that they're close and have reasons for revenge when Ohio State visits both teams this season..."
ESPN Joe Schad: Big Ten Media Days New Perceptions
Jim Tressel Hallway Interview at 2010 Big Ten Media Days August 2, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors
•Jermil Martin has not been working out with the team and will not report to camp.
•Rod Smith is close to having his grades squared away, with the thought he’ll be good tomorrow.
•Marcus Hall is good to go, contrary to earlier rumors that he could be an academic casualty.
•The NBC4 report on Storm Klein and Nathan Williams was "inaccurate" and NBC4 has since filed an retraction.
•On Pryor: "He doesn’t want to let anyone down, that’s just his nature."
•If we had a game tomorrow, "Paul Haynes would say (Moeller) would be back at Star with Hines at safety."
•The battle for the 2nd string quarterback is alive and well. Reading between the lines, it appears as if Joe Bauserman and Kenny Guiton would be 2A and 2B, but Taylor Graham is also in the mix.
•Justin Boren has to improve a bit from the communications standpoint — sometimes he "just wants to go block somebody".
•Left tackle is still open. Adams will likely be running with the ones on the first day of camp, but in the second practice, "it’ll probably be somebody different."
•Corey Linsley will stay at center and Jack Mewhort will play guard.
If you missed Tressel’s remarks earlier in the day, video and transcript are after the jump..."
Pryor, Buckeyes Again Pegged As Tops August 2, 2010 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Once again, Ohio State has been tabbed for big things this fall within the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have brought home some more preseason hardware -- and hype -- as the 2010 Big Ten Football Media Days got underway in Chicago...
And the expectations remain high for Ohio State. For the second consecutive season and the fifth time since 2001, the Buckeyes have been picked as the preseason favorite to capture the league crown. OSU, which have been in the top three of the preseason vote in every one of those seasons, also boast the league’s preseason offensive player of the year in junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Picked to give the Buckeyes the most serious challenge as they attempt to capture a share of a record-tying sixth straight Big Ten title are Iowa and Wisconsin, which were picked to finish second and third, respectively. The Buckeyes have road contests with both the Hawkeyes and Badgers.
Since 2002, the Buckeyes have had a player be named either the offensive or defensive preseason most valuable player. Pryor landed the honor for the second consecutive season, giving OSU four of the offensive nominees in the past five seasons. He did not bring home the postseason version of the award, however..."