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Tressel said Mike Adams is fine. This started last night, when Terrelle Pryor said Adams' shoulder "separated" then he changed it to "slipped out" on the play in which Adams was beaten badly and Pryor took a scary-looking hit to the knee. Adams sat out the next series, but returned on the following possession, so there's no reason to think it's anything serious. It definitely was NOT a separation. Dr. Pryor, your license is revoked.
I'm not a doctor, either, but when I covered the Cincinnati Bengals and got to regularly talk to the trainers, they informed me that players can suffer "shoulder subluxation" which is basically a temporary dislocation. Some people are more prone to this than others....the shoulder can slip out fairly easily. It also becomes more common once you've had a shoulder injury, which Adams has had, back in 2008. So this might not be the last time it happens. Source: Columbus Dispatch
Pryor's Knee Okay, Adams' Shoulder in Question September 30, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "The Buckeyes scored 10 touchdowns in Saturday's 73-20 win over Eastern Michigan, but only one of them left Ohio State fans holding their collective breath...it was the 31-yard touchdown pass from Pryor to wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on the team's second drive. It was the first of four touchdown catches for the senior from Toledo, but few watched him cross the goal line.
Just as Pryor released the pass, he took a blow to the left knee from Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Brad Ohrman, who had come through clean on the left side. He kept his eyes glued to his target, who was now celebrating in the end zone, but Pryor was a little slow to get up and center Michael Brewster rushed over to help him off the ground. "It's cool. It was a little sore after," said Pryor, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on that same knee during the off-season. "I'm just glad I had that knee brace on."
Maybe the most disturbing part of the play was that left tackle Mike Adams, the man in charge of protecting Pryor's blindside, didn't seem to block anyone on the play as Eastern Michigan got a free shot at Ohio State's star quarterback. On Wednesday, Pryor cleared the air about the missed block.
"I felt like it was a clean block, but what happened was Mike Adams separated his shoulder on that play," he said of his 2008 classmate. "Once you separate that shoulder, you can't do anything about that."..."His shoulder slipped out, so the guy got in free. It's football," Pryor said, shrugging it off. "He said sorry. He apologized and I accepted. It's not a big deal. Weird things happen. Something silly like that, a lot of guys get injured making cuts and stuff like that. It's a blessing to even be playing this sport so you just try to get back up and keep playing."...
Adams was replaced by senior Andrew Miller on the series after the Pryor hit, but returned to his left tackle spot on the following one. Miller, who had not played with the first-team offensive line in the first three games of the season, got at least one more series with the ones against EMU as he and Adams rotated much like they had during spring practice. Miller started the first three games last season at left tackle, but fell out of competition with Adams this fall because of an elbow injury that occasionally limited the strength in his left arm. "My elbow deal is pretty good. I practiced with an elbow brace and all that stuff throughout the week," the 6-foot-6, 290-pound tackle said...
That could leave the Buckeyes with two left tackles who are less-than 100 percent heading into Big Ten playóespecially with sophomore Marcus Hall taking a redshirtóbut Miller doesn't think the elbow will be a problem...The question, however, will be how much the shoulder injury slows down Adams, who had established himself as the fifth guy on an offensive line that returned four starters from last season..."
Multitalented Hall doing it all
September 30, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Running back is threat as a runner or passer, excels on special teams...Jordan Hall has to rank as one of Ohio State's best recruiting finds, considering the Buckeyes weren't even looking for him. Coach Jim Tressel and several assistants were at a Jeannette (Pa.) High School basketball game in the winter of 2008, wooing star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, when a 5-foot-9 whirlwind of a point guard caught their eye. "We were talking to the coach after the game, and I said, 'Man, that point guard is really good,'" Tressel said. "'He's just got eyes everywhere, he dished the ball off, he hit (three-pointers).' And he said, 'Yeah, that's the tailback,' and I said, ' That's the tailback?'" The tailback was Hall, and Tressel decided he had to have him. He arrived a year after his celebrated Jeannette teammate, in the summer of 2009, but Hall has since begun to make a name for himself, as well...
"Jordan can do it all," tailback Brandon Saine said. "I've rarely seen him drop a pass, he doesn't drop punts and he hits seams in that area. Apparently, he can throw, too." Tressel was simpler in his assessment: "Jordan is just a natural football player," he said.
This is no surprise to anyone in Jeannette. His uncle, Jeannette coach Roy Hall, said Jordan's father, Derrick, was a state champion wrestler. Jordan was a star with the Jayhawks, not only as a running back and returner, but as a linebacker and defensive back. "He was a devastating hitter," Roy Hall said. "He hit guys so hard they wouldn't even run to his side anymore."...
"Jordan is just a hard worker," Pryor said, "and he'll do everything in his power to not let anyone down and play the best he can."...He's doing that now. The question is whether Hall's role will continue to expand. Tressel sounds as if it could. He said Saine could be used more as a receiver out of the backfield, "so the more you do that, the more Jordan could maybe play some pure tailback."..."Some guys just have a savvy to them," Fickell said. "If you're a player, you're a player."..."
Jordan Hall at a glance:
Ohio State sophomore Jordan Hall is contributing in many ways this season:
Big Ten stock report: Week 5 September 29, 2010 Source: ESPN - "Who's rising? Who's falling? How are those awards races shaping up?...STOCK UP...STOCK DOWN...Ohio State's veteran RBs: I've gotten a bit annoyed by the incessant calls for Jaamal Berry from Ohio State fans, but maybe they have a point. Senior running back Brandon Saine had only 11 yards on three carries against Eastern Michigan, while junior Dan Herron had an OK day (12 carries, 55 rush yards, TD). Berry, meanwhile, had a 67-yard touchdown run, while Jordan Hall averaged 6.5 yards a carry and threw a touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor. Perhaps it's time youth is served..."
Pryor remains driven by debacle against Purdue September 30, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State is 10-0 since it lost last season at Purdue. That was almost a year ago, but for quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the No. 2 Buckeyes, it's like it happened last week. Pryor has made no secret that he has been driven by memories of the way he and the offense gave up five turnovers and he was sacked five times. "We hate losing; I hate losing," Pryor said yesterday. "I can't really explain it to you. I don't want to feel that way again. I never thought I would feel that way, but it's a sport. "We all hate losing."...
"Our focus is one game at a time, getting better in practice and just keep preparing," Pryor said. "That's our focus because we don't want to overlook anybody. The last time we overlooked somebody we lost, and we don't want that happening. "So every time we step on the field Saturday we have to look at it as a blessing, because it really is. You can't overlook that, because there's a lot of people that want to be in your shoes."..."Any Big Ten game, no matter who you're playing you have to be ready to play," Pryor said. "Like coach Tressel said earlier in the week, everyone is 0-0 in the Big Ten, everyone is out to prove something, everyone is out to stand up for their university. I just think we've got to go in there and have fun."
The Boren trilogy?: Jacoby Boren, younger brother of senior left guard Justin Boren and sophomore fullback Zach Boren, received a scholarship offer from Ohio State, according to their father, Mike. Jacoby is a junior offensive lineman from Pickerington Central whose stock has been on the rise this season. The Buckeyes already have four commitments to the 2012 recruiting class.
Tales from the road: In his previous sports life, Devin Barclay was an accomplished amateur and pro soccer player before becoming the place-kicker for Ohio State. As the Buckeyes prepare to go on the road for the first time this season, he was asked about the toughest trip he ever faced and how it affected the way he and a soccer team played. "Rome, Italy; it was a game with the U.S. U-23 (under 23 years old) national team against their U-23 national team," Barclay said. "And the Italians knew where our hotel was, and it was beeping horns, beeping horns, all night long. That was a cool experience." And how did the U.S. team play the next day? "I think we lost," Barclay said..."
Dane Sanzenbacher Talks EMU Win (Source: BigTen Network)
EMU Game 09/25/10:
Offensive Player of the Week: Dane Sanzenbacher, WR
Defensive Player of the Week: John Simon, DT
Attack Force Award: Jermale Hines, S
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Justin Boren , OG
Special Units Player of the Week: Drew Basil, K
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: TBA; Defense: TBA; Special Units: TBA
QB Terrelle Pryor did not earn a winning performance label from the coaching staff but did earn his highest grade since the start of his OSU career against EMU. He rushed for 104 yards Saturday, but Tressel says only one attempt was called by the coaches. "The more the QB understands the whole picture -- the better we protect ... Good protection allows what we call those step-ups," Tressel said.
"We lose many of the advantages we've had the last four games."
- Jim Tressel said as his team faces its first road game of the season.
Illinois game a 'big deal,' Tressel says September 28, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State on Saturday will begin its quest for a sixth straight Big Ten championship on the road at Illinois. Talk about stepping in against a fastball to start. Not only did the Illini have a bye last week during which they could zero in on No.2 OSU, but coach Jim Tressel reminded the media today that Illinois often has been a tough out for the Buckeyes.
"The guys in our locker room who are ages 18 to 22 or whatever, in their lifetimes we've played Illinois 19 times ... and the record is 10-9," Tressel said. "So in our guys' lifetime, they've known full well that the Ohio State-Illinois game is a big deal and there have been battles and they know we're heading on the road. They know we have to get to work this afternoon to prepare."
The games of late in Champaign especially have been battles, with several going down to the wire, the closest coming in OSU's national championship season in 2002, when the Buckeyes needed overtime to beat the Illini. And there was Illinois' upset of No.1 OSU in Ohio Stadium in 2007...
This is an Illinois team (2-1) that could be described as desperate in the sixth year under Zook. He has employed a new offensive coordinator in Paul Petrino, brother of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, and a new defensive coordinator in Vic Koenning...Tressel said the bye week gave them time to tinker...
"We've gone back and looked at film whence they came and those kinds of things, but you don't really know what they're going to do, especially with an open date the week before. I'm sure they'll be healthier than they've been and anxious to open the Big Ten schedule like we all are."
The Buckeyes should be healthier, too...Tight end Jake Stoneburner left that game with a high ankle sprain, and Tressel said his playing status will be evaluated as the week goes along.
The coach said he expects backup cornerback Travis Howard and backup linebacker Dorian Bell, a regular on kick coverage, to return after sitting out the EMU game, though specials performer Nate Oliver, nursing a hamstring pull, might not..."
Luncheon Day Notebook: More Love for Jordan Hall? & Still Blue Over Green September 28, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "...Justin Green was supposed to be a Buckeye, or at least that's the way Tressel sees it. Now a starting cornerback for the Fighting Illini, Green was originally committed to Ohio State up until National Signing Day two years ago. That is when he made a last-minute switch to sign with Illinois instead.
"It's sort of not fair, is it," Tressel asked rhetorically. "He's supposed to be playing corner for us." The younger brother of former Ohio State defensive lineman Marcus Green committed to play for Tressel back in the summer of 2008, but opted for Illinois after coach Ron Zook promised him a chance to play running back. Tressel and his staff had told the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Green from the start that he would play cornerback in the Big Ten. Today he is a starting corner for the Fighting Illini.
"He's a great kid. What are you going to do? You make decisions and handle the adversity and deal with what comes your way and that's obviously what he's doing and he's got great speed out there," Tressel said.
After playing a little bit of tailback last season, Green moved to the defensive side of the ball in 2010, where he ranks fourth on the team with 19 tackles through the first three games. He also has four passes broken up and one near interception that caught Tressel's attention. "He's got all the things that you would love to have in a corner and he had an interception in the game Saturday or two Saturdays ago against Northern Illinois, spectacular play, but he landed out of bounds," Tressel said. "He's a talented kid. It is what it is, I guess." ..."
(From the Press Conference: REPORTER: "And you guys were just up front with him that, hey, we think you're going to be a defensive back, is that pretty much how it worked out, that you told him he was going to be a defensive back in college?"
Dunn Joins Class Of 2012 - "Ohio State is running wild in its class of 2012. Less than a month after getting a verbal commitment from Columbus DeSales tailback Warren Ball, the Buckeyes got another today from Canton GlenOak star back Brionte Dunn. That brings Ohio State's 2012 class to four members, two of which are backs.
Dunn (6-1, 215) has had a fantastic start to the 2012 season both on and off the field. He has already topped 1,000 yards on the campaign, was recently named to the Scout 100 for 2012 and also received a coveted scholarship offer from OSU. Dunn also had offers from Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh and was and was receiving attention from others including defending national champion Alabama. Source: BuckeyeSports.com
GlenOak's Dunn says he will attend Ohio State: "I'm ready to be a Buckeye," Dunn told Tressel...Ohio State offered Dunn earlier this month. His uncle, Tony Dunn, played for Tressel at Youngstown State. "I just had to think about it and talk to my family and then make a decision," said Dunn, whose parents, Brion Dunn and Donna Hatcher, sat around him during the phone call. "I wanted a team with a winning spirit and national hype. I wanted a team that made my family feel at home." Dunn, who played at Alliance High School as a freshman, started to blossom last year under GlenOak head coach Scott Garcia. Dunn is a bruising back with deceptive break-away speed. He is 6-1 1/2 and about 220 pounds. He ran a 4.55 40-yard time at a Nike Combine in the spring. Dunn is the first Stark County running back to commit to Ohio State since Massillon's Travis McGuire did in 1992. The last Stark County running back to go to OSU and have a productive career was North Canton Hoover's Jeff Logan. He played behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and then started in 1976 and '77. "It has been fun watching him develop not only as a football player, but as a person," GlenOak head coach Scott Garcia said. "He has matured the last couple of years and he will continue to grow as a young man and he will continue to work on his skills. He has made academics a priority and he has done well." Source: FridayNightOhio.com
Scout.com Player Evaluation: Dunn is a big, powerful back that runs with surprising speed, but it's his vision, patience, and ability to break a tackle that make him a part of an elite group. He uses subtle feints to get a defender off balance and break a tackle. He's an instinctive runner that has a great feel for following and setting up his blocks. He's not a speed burner, but he has enough speed to take a run the distance - Scott Kennedy, Scout.com
Defense Knows it Has Work to Do After Saturday September 27, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "A 53-point win usually doesn't have many warts, but the OSU defense feels like the big win over EMU actually had 20 unsightly blemishes...The Buckeyes were favored by 44 points heading into their game against Eastern Michigan this past Saturday, but few people would have expected them to hang 73 points on the flimsy Eagles. Even fewer might have expected Ohio State's first-team defense to allow 20 points to one of the worst teams in FBS college football...OSU defense allowed three long touchdown drives to the 96th-ranked offense in college football.
It was a little frightening for Ohio State fans, who have their eyes set on another BCS National Championship, but defensive coordinator Jim Heacock is looking at it as a blessing in disguise. "I think it's nice to win a game and not play quite as well," he said after the game. "Now you get their attention and you can come back and get after it a little bit and realize that we've got a long way to go to be as good as we want to be or as good as we hope to be."
"When Chimdi went out that was obviously a concern," Heacock said. "Devon (Torrence) got a hip-pointer last week and wasn't able to practice a whole lot this week and then when Chim went out early we had to rely on some young guys early. They went out there and played well the majority of the time. They had a couple plays on them and we've got to make those plays." The Buckeyes replaced Chekwa with redshirt freshman Corey Brown, and the Eagles nearly scored a touchdown on his first play but Donald Scott couldn't hold on to the pass from Alex Gillett. "We were supposed to rotate on a couple and we didn't, but its stuff that can be fixed," said Brown, who moved from wide receiver to corner when he arrived at Ohio State last fall. "We were supposed to rotate in our zones but we didn't get our rotations right, but it's all fixable." The safeties were late getting over on two of Gillett's three touchdown passes..."
Success trumps style, Tressel says: Wins, not highlights, are goal going into Big Ten; Jim Tressel wears a sweater vest on the sideline, and when he makes a public appearance, he's usually in a coat and tie. When it comes to his attire, the Ohio State coach isn't looking for style points. So it comes as no surprise that he doesn't put much stock in style points in games, either. As the college football season turns to October and the race for the national title game picks up speed, Tressel says he thinks wins and losses speak for themselves.
"I suppose if someone isn't sold on your league, maybe (style points that come from lopsided wins) is something that you consider," Tressel said in the wake of his team's 73-20 win over nonconference foe Eastern Michigan last week, the most points by an OSU team in 60 years. "But we've always said that if we could be successful in our league, and obviously in our nonconference schedule, that we'll have enough style, and you'll see where you land. "But it's a whole different world when you go into conference play. There's not a whole bunch of style points. It's more a heavyweight bout than it is a style show." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Pete Fiutak: Boise State's schedule stinks, it's awful it's ... possible it isn't much worse than Ohio State's slate...The overall strength of schedule stats will always skew in the Big Ten's favor, but before you completely dismiss Boise State from the BCS Championship discussion because of its pathetic WAC slate, take a long, hard, honest look at the Ohio State schedule. Now open up your blue book and write ten pages (front and back) on why, exactly, the Buckeyes should deserve to play for the national championship more than the Broncos if both teams finish the year unbeaten...Winning the Big Ten title sounds neato, but Ohio State is playing a four game season surrounded by a big bowl of yuck... (Source: CollegeFootballNews.com) (Email: Pete Fiutak with your thoughts...)
Fiutak notwithstanding, CFN Ranks Buckeyes #1: Why Ohio State Is No. 1: Regardless of the opponent, it's hard not to be a little impressed by the one over par that Ohio State slapped on Eastern Michigan. The Buckeyes punted once, racking up six touchdown passes and well over 600 yards. Right now, it's a coin flip between the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide, and while the special teams are still a bit of a question mark, everything else is working at the highest of levels for OSU. Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State is one of the only teams left in the country that hasn't played a road game. Unlike the teams surrounding them, the Buckeyes have yet to play a tough game outside the Shoe. (Source: CollegeFootballNews.com)
College Football: My Problem with Boise State: I'm not trying to be a hater. I'll get to an argument about football and their schedule below, but I think I have a valid point...When the Broncos busted on to the scene, they were considered a gimmicky team that was a lovable underdog. Flash forward five years, and the Broncos, their fans, and ESPN analysts are telling me that is not the case anymore. They're all telling me we need to take Boise state seriously now, and they're not a cute little gimmicky team... in my opinion, it's just not fair to a team like Alabama or Ohio State to get bumped out for Boise. With their schedules, they simply have more hurdles to jump. I can't say for certain how Boise would fare in the SEC or Big Ten, but playing that schedule would give us a better idea how good they really are...(Source: Opposing Views)
It's a Totally Different Ballgame: "After reading Pete Fiutak's entertaining article comparing the schedules of Ohio State and Boise State (which Drew referenced in yesterday's post), I concede that he makes some good points. But while games at Illinois and Minnesota may look like patsies to the average sports writer, until you've been on the road in the Big Ten you don't know how tough it can be. This Saturday, ready or not, everything changes, as the Buckeyes enter conference play. And no matter where Jeff Sagarin or any other computer geek ranks the lower echelon Big Ten teams, there is no such thing as an easy victory on the road in college football's most physical conference. Let's consider this week's tussle with the Illini in Champaign as an example. There is simply no comparison between playing Illinois and taking on New Mexico State, San Jose State or Idaho. Why?..." (Source: Bleacher Report)
NOTE THIS: Devin Barclay was 10 for 10 on extra-point attempts, matching the Ohio State record set by Vic Janowicz against Iowa in 1950. ... Brian Rolle blocked an extra-point attempt in the third quarter, the first time a Buckeye has done that since 2004. ... Terrelle Pryor ran for a TD, passed for four and caught a touchdown pass. The last time a Buckeye scored three ways was Ted Ginn Jr. against Michigan State in 2004 (rushing, receiving and punt return). ( According to Ohio State, it turns out that Terrelle Pryor is the third Buckeye to score touchdowns by pass, run and reception in the same game. Gerald Krall did it in 1948 and Keith Byars did it in 1984.)... Ohio State is averaging 33 points in the first halves of games so far this season. ... The Buckeyes' six touchdown passes against the Eagles were one fewer than the school record. Ohio State passed for seven TDs in a 54-14 victory at Pittsburgh in 1995 (Bobby Hoying 5, Stanley Jackson 1, Tom Hoying 1 TD pass). (Source: Associated Press & Cleveland Plain Dealer)
OSU Insider September 27, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Who's hot?:
Terrelle Pryor. Coming off a game in which he accounted for six touchdowns (four passing, one running, one receiving) the junior quarterback is 13th in the nation in total offense (302-yard average) and 13th in passing efficiency. With nothing to lose but a 16th straight game, Eastern Michigan's defense came strong early and he responded with a dazzling 53-yard TD run. Then he threw four TD passes to Dane Sanzenbacher, who matched the school record with the catches, before Pryor capped his day catching a 20-yard TD pass from running back Jordan Hall.
What's not hot?: For an extended period against EMU, it was the Buckeyes' pass defense. The Eagles could put together a highlight video that could make quarterback Alex Gillett a Heisman contender from those three scoring drives. Under pressure he delivered some strikes. And on the backside, an OSU secondary playing with backup cornerbacks Corey Brown and Dominic Clarke because of the back spasms of starter Chimdi Chekwa, got beat by little-known receivers Kinsman Thomas and Donald Scott. It was a learning experience for all, including starting safety Orhian Johnson. But as defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said, pass defense is an 11-man effort, and a few sacks - not just pressure - might have changed things, too.
What went right?: The OSU offense. It was stopped just four times - by the clock at the end of the first half, by the EMU defense in the third quarter, by a lost fumble in the fourth, by the clock at game's end. Otherwise, it was most prolific display of OSU scoring since the Buckeyes put up 83 on Iowa in 1950. The most impressive of the 10 TDs was Jaamal Berry's 67-yard dash up the right sideline in the fourth quarter.
Back to the drawing board: The pecking order at running back. It's not going to change, with Brandon Saine and Daniel Herron staying at the top. But the coaches likely are pondering whether it should be a three-man rotation, as in whether Jordan Hall deserves earlier appearances and more carries because of the obvious spark he brings.
Dinged up: It was a long line going into Saturday, and tight end Jake Stoneburner joined it with a high ankle sprain. Chekwa left for an extended period in the game, but he returned to play later in the day. Whether Stoneburner and backups Travis Howard (cornerback), Dorian Bell (linebacker), Nate Oliver (safety) and Josh Kerr (offensive line) can return this week remains to be seen. Safety C.J. Barnett (knee) is out probably for the rest of the regular season, while freshman linebacker Scott McVey had his right arm in a sling on Saturday. Freshman QB Taylor Graham had arthroscopic knee surgery a little while ago.
Catch that?: Coach Jim Tressel's contention that the most important play in football is the punt is taking a beating. Ben Buchanan punted just once against EMU, for 39 yards, but it was returned for 27. As a result the Buckeyes are last (120th) in net punting (26.0-yard avg.). On the other hand, because of the blowout, Drew Basil kicked off 12 times, at an average of 66 yards per. Three went for touchbacks while EMU averaged just 18 yards returning the other nine..."
OHIO Game 09/18/10:
Offensive Player of the Week: Jake Stoneburner, TE
Defensive Player of the Week: Tyler Moeller, S
Attack Force Award: Ross Homan, LB
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Mike Adams, OT
Special Units Player of the Week: Not awarded
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Kenny Guiton; Defense: Dionte Allen; Special Units: Julian Vann
""It must be hard to do. We've been throwing the ball all over the place at Ohio State for a lot of years. (After pausing for a second of stunned silence, Tressel added) That's a joke."
-Ohio State, where Woody Hayes favored "three yards and a cloud of dust," isn't exactly famous for filling the air with footballs. No wonder coach Jim Tressel joked about Terrelle Pryor's completing a school-record 16 consecutive passes in a 43-7 rout of Ohio University (1-2) in Columbus on Saturday.
The Scarlet Leader September 20, 2010 Source: SI.com - "He may not be elegant, but as he showed against Miami, Terrelle Pryor knows how to direct No. 2 Ohio State. That's why he will be hard to beat for the Heisman
Upon entering Nick Siciliano's office after practice on Sept. 8, the Ohio State quarterbacks coach could not sit at his desk, it being occupied by Terrelle Pryor, who was winding down a conference call. Waiting for his star pupil to finish, the coach chatted with a visitor, who could not help noticing the raw excitement in Siciliano's voice as he discussed the breakthrough that he insists is just around the corner.
"It's going to happen any day now," he predicted. "And when it does, life is going to get a lot easier." He was talking, of course, about the progress he and his wife Analisa's 2Ĺ-year-old quadruplets are making toward becoming potty trained. "We're not there yet," reported Siciliano, "but we're close."...
Other quarterbacks will pile up many more passing yards, but Ohio State's self-described "gazelle" will amass more than his share of highlights with his arm and feet for a squad in serious contention for the national title. No candidate will have his fortunes so tightly linked to his team's. Should Pryor be effective (if not always elegant) and the Buckeyes roll, he's the man to beat. Think of his outing against the Hurricanes as his stump speech.
For the first time since 2007, Buckeye Nation found itself smiling after its annual, early-season nonconference epic. Back-to-back September losses to USC, coupled with three straight defeats in BCS bowls, had begun to erode Ohio State's self-esteem, feeding the perception that the team tends to come up small on the game's biggest stages. Saturday's win, coupled with last January's 26--17 Rose Bowl defeat of Oregon, officially reverses that trend.
While he remains prone to what he calls the occasional "brain fart" (his loss of four yards on an ill-advised, second-quarter scramble, for instance), Pryor can be counted on to quickly redeem those mistakes (his perfectly feathered, 19-yard pass to Dane Sanzenbacher on third-and-14 over the outstretched arms of cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke on the very next play). He won't wow voters with his downfield passing, but his unique blend of talentsóthe guy is a threat to score, by air or by land, every time he touches the ballómakes him, arguably, the most exciting player in the nation. Which should count for something.
Asked to evaluate his progress, Pryor instead uttered a quote he attributed to Drew Brees: "If I can keep getting one percent better, one percent better, one percent better [every day], we're gonna have success."
East Lansing connections: When Michigan State interim coach Don Treadwell played wide receiver at Miami (Ohio) in the late 1970s, Jim Tressel worked as his position coach. It was the start of a lengthy professional relationship. "When I went to Youngstown State, he was one of the first guys I called,c Tressel said. "Don is a special guy, and I know Mark Dantonio is very comfortable with the fact that Donnie will do whatever needs to be done." Treadwell worked as Tresselís offensive coordinator for six seasons in Youngstown.
In another connection between the two schools, Tresselís nephew, Mike Tressel, works as the special teams and linebackers coach in East Lansing -- he devised the fake field goal that beat Notre Dame in overtime last Saturday. (Source: AnnArbor.com)
If Terrelle Pryor throws for 200 yards on Saturday, it will be the fourth straight game reaching that mark for him. Only two other OSU quarterbacks have ever had more consecutive 200-yard games in the same season: Joe Germaine with 10 in 1998 & Bobby Hoying with 7 in 1995. Pryor would be tied with Troy Smith, who had 4 straight in 2005. In case you're wondering, there is no record listed for consecutive 200-yard games over multiple seasons, because of course, Pryor reached that in the Rose Bowl in January, as well.
And just to clarify a record Pryor set last week -- 16 straight completions -- yes, he broke Jim Karsatos' record of 12, against Wisconsin in 1985. The OSU record book lists three other QBs who completed 12 in a row, but not in the same game, which to me, is not as impressive. They were: Bill Mrukowski, 1961 (UCLA 9, Illinois 3), Mike Tomczak, 1983 (Oregon 10, Oklahoma 2) & Craig Krenzel, 2002 (Texas Tech 1, Kent State 11) (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Around the Big Ten: Monday morning Big Ten one-liners: Iowa, as a team, is putting the blame in their loss to Arizona on the Hawkeye special teams...If you throw seven incompletions in the first half, and that total is more than what you recorded in your previous two games combined...would you consider that impressive?..Penn State scored early against Kent State in their bout this past Saturday, but the Nittany Lions' offense died down quickly...Purdue received a scare on Saturday as quarterback Robert Marve left the game with an injury...Is Wisconsin flying under the BCS radar? (Source: College Football Talk)
More on the Buckeyes: What's hot?: The OSU defense. The Buckeyes lead the nation in turnover margin (average of plus-3.33 takeaways per game). The main reason is because Cameron Heyward, John Simon, Ross Homan, Tyler Moeller and company are running to the ball and plucking it when it's up for grabs.
What's not?: Special teams stock. OK, Devin Barclay has been good on eight of nine field-goal attempts, about the only bragging point for this third phase. In the first three games the Buckeyes have given up a kickoff return for a TD and a punt return for a TD (both against Miami), a blocked field-goal attempt that was returned for a TD by Marshall, and a blocked punt by Ohio U. Whatever is going on, special isn't the proper adjective.
What went right?: The OSU passing game, at least to start. Terrelle Pryor might have shown up three years ago as a bit of a scatter-arm, but his 16 straight completions in the first half against Ohio U. had never been done before by a Buckeye. Then he soured it with two interceptions on passes that never should have been thrown. Pryor, though, is 16th in the nation in total offense, averaging 293.33 yards, and is 23rd in passing efficiency.
Back to the drawing board: OSU experiemented with the wildcat package (with a direct snap to running back Daniel Herron), with just modest results. Whether it will stay on the board remains to be seen. But the Buckeyes, who ranged from the power I to five-wide empty sets on Saturday, are playing some offense this year. They are 16th nationally in scoring average (41.33 points) and 20th in total offense (460.67) in sectors paced by Oregon with 63.0 and 611.67 averages, respectively.
Dinged up: It was no party on Saturday for cornerbacks Travis Howard (shoulder), Donnie Evege (shoulder) and Devon Torrence (hip), and linebacker Dorian Bell (shoulder). All had to leave or be helped from the field. Howard's injury appeared to be the most serious. Depth on special teams could be affected, because all but Torrence are participants, and the Buckeyes obviously can't afford to lose any able bodies there.
Catch that?: The Buckeyes scored all seven times they reached the red zone on Saturday (five TDs, two field goals). Through three games, OSU is tied for the lead nationally with Oregon for most trips into the red zone (20). OSU is third in points scored once there with 98 (11 TDs, seven FGs), behind No.1 Stanford's 120 (16 TDs, three FGs) and Texas Christian's 107 (15 TDs, one FG). (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Ohio's Rufus the Bobcat attacks Brutus Buckeye during pregame, 9/18/10
Ohio University tucks tail for Bobcats mascot's behavior vs. Ohio State: Ohio University has apologized to Ohio State and its fans after the school's Bobcat mascot tackled the Brutus Buckeye mascot, touching off an impromptu wrestling match before Saturday's game at Ohio Stadium. Moments later, the Bobcat mascot climbed on the back of Ohio State's mascot and rode him to the ground. The two then tussled in the end zone while fans booed. In addition, the student who was dressed in the Bobcat costume has been banned from any further affiliation with Ohio athletics. The Bobcat first went after Brutus as the OSU mascot led the Buckeyes onto the field for the game. Brandon Hanning told The Post newspaper of Athens that "the whole reason" he tried out to be Rufus Bobcat was because "I knew we were going back to OSU this year, and I wanted to tackle Brutus." The Post reports on its website Monday that the 19-year-old Hanning dropped out at Ohio last year and now attends Hocking College. Bobcats coach Frank Solich tells The Post: "Obviously we needed to tackle the guy with the ball, not the mascot." (Source: ESPN &AP)
Still open for debateÖCan Terrelle Pryor make it as a QB in the NFL? A few moons ago, a site called "The National Football Post" had a rational football post on this question. Wes Bunting, their Director of College Scouting put it this way: "Well, what was particularly alarming to me about Pryorís game at this stage is the overall lack of development heís made both mechanically and as a decision-maker from the pocket. If heís ever going to take the next step and develop as a legitimate NFL-caliber quarterback prospect, it starts with his ability to decipher information more quickly in the pass game, learn/maintain proper mechanics through his lower half and become a more rhythmic passer. Now, in no way am I saying that this young man doesnít have the skill set needed to play at the next level. However, itís his ability to be a pocket passer and rely on attributes outside of his physical skill set that will be the key. Again, Pryor is only going to be a junior this season and still has a lot of development and maturing to do over the next couple of years. But based on what Iíve seen from him up to this point, heís going to need to improve tremendously from a mental standpoint for me to feel comfortable projecting him as anything more than a development quarterback/wideout prospect." One manís opinion but it doesnít sound like a vote for Terrelle to leave early. And we did get to see the best and the worst on Saturday! (Source: Bucknuts.com)
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio had a mild heart attack and was hospitalized Sunday morning; Mark Dantonio OK after heart attack. The 54-year-old Dantonio had surgery to put a stent in a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart. He's expected to remain in the hospital a few more days, and offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will lead the team during Dantonio's indefinite absence. (Source: ESPN)
Spartans beat Notre Dame: "Little Giants" - Fake FG Pass play to win the game in OT
Buckeyes Land Top Junior - "Ohio State grabbed their third commitment for the 2012 recruiting class when Lakewood St. Edward star offensive tackle Kyle Kalis pledged to the Buckeyes Friday (09/15/10) evening. Kalis, a member of the Scout Top-100 for 2012, received his offer only 24 hours earlier, and wasted no time accepting it. Ohio State landed their third commitment for 2012 when Lakewood St. Edward star offensive tackle Kyle Kalis accepted the Buckeye offer he had receiver a day earlier. Kalis, 6-foot-5, 305-pounds, is the second member of the Scout Top-100 for 2012 to pledge to Ohio State, following an earlier commitment by Columbus DeSales tailback Warren Ball.
"I did commit to Ohio State tonight (Friday)," Kalis stated Friday evening. "It seems like now is the right time for me, and it seems like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. Ohio State is just the right fit for me, and it's the only school I ever considered. After talking it over with my parents, we felt there was no reason to wait," he added. "I called (assistant coach) Taver Johnson tonight and told him I was committing to Ohio State, and I plan to speak to Jim Tressel later, to let him know of my decision." Source: BuckeyeSports.com
Kalis already had offers and interest Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Louisville, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, UCLA, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others
Special teams issues: The one negative the Buckeyes took out their big win over Miami was their poor play on special teams in terms of covering kickoffs and punts. It was the first time in OSU history that the Buckeyes allowed a kick and a punt to be returned for a TD in the same game. It was also a problem in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, as well as the season-opener against Marshall. Tressel and his staff are searching for answers.
"Well, the thing about special teams Ė not unlike offense and defense Ė is you need all 11 guys doing exactly what needs to be done," Tressel said. "The difficultly in special teams is that the field is so large and if you err on the offensive line as a right guard, thereís only about a two-foot, three-foot issue. If you err on a lane on a kickoff cover guy, thereís a 10-yard issue. And then if thereís a fast guy running through that 10-yard issue, everyone else is in trouble.
"So, weíve got to understand what the fundamentals are at every stage and thatís where I think special teams sometimes become difficult. Iím sure Randy (Shannon) is down at Miami having the same discussions with his guys about kickoff coverage. Because, interestingly enough, if you look at the drive-start analysis after kickoffs, we won that statistic. Now, one wouldnít think that, but itís true.
"And there are different spots on the field where technique has to change. The first-half of the kickoff for instance, you can avoid (a blocker) and get back in your lane. When you get to the second-half of the kickoff, you canít avoid. And in all three long kickoff returns Ė our two and their one Ė there were people in the second half of the play going around blocks Ė avoiding Ė as opposed to taking on blocks and maintaining gap integrity and so forth.
"So, what can you do? You can do it right, just like any other play. But itís really magnified in the special teams."
But itís not just on the 10 players covering the kickoff (or covering the punt) and true freshman Drew Basil has not looked good on kickoffs thus far
"Honestly Ė and our kickers wouldnít be mad if I pointed this out Ė really since the middle of last season until now, we really havenít had the hang time and placement (on kickoffs) that we enjoyed with Aaron Pettrey," Tressel said. "And weíve got to get there. Weíve got a young guy whoís got a ton of talent and thereís going to be a day when he might look like that Miami kicker (Matt Bosher) who I thought was extraordinary. I told him after the game that I was so happy that he was a senior. That guy is good and he does all three: kicks, punts and kicks off. So, weíve got to get better at everything to answer the question."..." September 14, 2010 Source: Bucknuts.com
MIAMI Game 09/11/10:
Offensive Player of the Week: Terrelle Pryor, QB
Defensive Player of the Week: Chimdi Chekwa, CB
Attack Force Award: Dexter Larimore , DT
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Justin Boren , OG
Special Units Player of the Week: Terrelle Pryor, K
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: Not awarded
Scout Team Champions: Offense: James Louis; Defense: Donnie Evege; Special Units: Chris Maxwell
Ohio State Focused On Fixing Special Teams
Ohio State discusses their struggles on special teams so far
Too many happy returns: Buckeyes turn focus to covering kicks September 14, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State might be No. 2 in the polls, but itís likely coach Jim Tressel and his staff zeroed in on being No. 113 in kickoff coverage this week as they started preparation to face Ohio University. Not that the Buckeyes should press the panic button, said Shaun Lane, even after giving up an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 79-yard punt return for a TD in the 36-24 win over Miami. "I donít think itís anything they really need to worry about, because I could see there were just two or three people out of position, which set up those plays," Lane said...
Senior linebacker Brian Rolle agreed. "I wouldnít even say itís a tackling thing; guys just have to know thatís an important play, as well," said Rolle, who was in on the punt return breakdown along with several other first-team defensive players. "Kickoff, punt, our punt return team ó every play is important, and I feel like guys kind of lost sight of that going into the game. With us being up a couple of points, guys didnít take it as seriously as we needed it to be."..."
Boarding House: Glow Basking Edition September 12, 2010 Source: Bucknuts.com - "...It is obvious from watching OSUís return coverage teams after two games there are two manifest issues. First, they simply have the wrong people going down there. Itís like they are throwing a bone to some of the long-time walk-ons or something to get them on the field. Itís real simple: You need athletes to track down athletes.
Make that you need properly trained athletes to track down athletes because the other obvious thing is technique. The guys who are going down there are losing their lane responsibilities trying to be heroes, trying to arm tackle and hit the returner to the ground and they are failing to break down when they get within range. By breaking down, we mean they arenít slowing down, bending their knees and preparing to make a proper form tackle.
We donít think Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, Penn State, Iowa or Michigan will be able to exploit these issues. But, certainly, a team like Alabama, Florida or whoever OSU may play in the last game will. You simply canít get burned for two special teams touchdowns. The Buckeyes can thank their lucky stars that Jacory Harris was in such a giving mood. The Buckeyes turned his four picks into two touchdowns and two field goals Ė 20 points.
Our guess is Taver Johnson, hat turned backwards, will be back out there Monday holding a clinic on how to properly cover kicks."
Jerod Smalley and Bucknuts.com's Steve Helwagen break down the Ohio State offensive performance against Miami (FL) Source: NBC4i.com
Ohio State Buckeye's Defense Against Miami U
Jerod Smalley and Buckeye analyst William White break down OSU's defense against Miami (FL)Source: NBC4i.com
"Guys at Ohio State, when it comes down to it, we just play football. We don't worry about swagger. We just play football and that's what we did today. We don't worry about how many wristbands we are wearing, how good we look, how we celebrate after a play. We just play smash mouth football."
-Buckeyes WR DeVier Posey
Pryor Talks Miami Win
Chekwa, Barclay win Big Ten honors: Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and kicker Devin Barclay were honored by the Big Ten today with player of the week awards, Chekwa as defensive player and Barclay as co-special teams player. Chekwa, a senior, had two interceptions in Saturday's 36-24 victory over the University of Miami, the fourth and fifth pickoffs of his career. The Buckeyes converted both turnovers into points, the first a touchdown to take a 20-10 lead, the second a field goal to take a 26-17 edge into halftime. Barclay, a senior, tied a school record with five field goals, including a career-long 41-yarder. He later missed a sixth attempt which would have given him the sole mark. It marks the second straight week an OSU player won Big Ten defensive honors. Tyler Moeller won the award last week. (Source: Columbus Dispatch))
Marshall Game 09/02/10:
Offensive Player of the Week: Brandon Saine, RB
Defensive Player of the Week: Brian Rolle, LB
Attack Force Award: Cameron Heyward, DE
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Mike Brewster, C
Special Units Player of the Week: Nate Oliver, CB
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: Tyler Moeller, S
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Kenny Guiton; Defense: Dan Bain; Special Units: Spencer Smith
Big Ten Scores & Recaps for Week 1: Marshall at Ohio State,
Minnesota at Middle Tennessee, Connecticut at Michigan, Purdue at Notre Dame, Illinois vs. Missouri, Northwestern at Vanderbilt, Wisconsin at UNLV, W. Michigan at Michigan State, Youngstown St at Penn State, Towson at Indiana, E. Illinois at Iowa
Pryor answered questions from reporters following the Marshall game.
Analysis: OSU offense changes for the better September 4, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Breaking with tradition is so rampant, it was surprising the Big Ten did not separate TBDBITL's four Script Ohios into divisions during halftime of the Marshall game Thursday. But sometimes pursuing progress is necessary and preferable. Case in point:
Tressel opens up the offense: Ohio State looked so impressively different in mixing it up offensively during a 45-7 win over Marshall that fans wondered if coach Jim Tressel had suffered heat stroke in the blistering evening temperatures...
Pryor plays with composure, command: Yes, this was Marshall. Yes, Pryor began his breakthrough in the Rose Bowl, but the junior quarterback looked more poised than ever against the Thundering Herd. He did not lock on to receivers early, showed pocket presence and gave no signs of "happy feet."...
Offensive line kills the jokes: It's never good when players with the biggest waistlines also provide the best punch lines...And average does not win national championships. The Buckeyes will go only as far as their linemen can successfully protect Pryor and open seams for Brandon Saine. Against Marshall, the guys up front did both. The running game averaged 6.8 yards per carry. No more O-line one-liners? Another tradition sent packing.
Of course, some customs - such as strong special teams play - are worth keeping, even if the Buckeyes seem intent on ending them. Ohio State had one PAT deflected, although it still made it through the uprights; one field-goal attempt blocked and returned for a touchdown and one kickoff returned 63 yards. Tressel will need to work out those kinks and restore order - the foot is the most important part in football - if Ohio State expects to run the table and return to its traditional national championship bowl location in Arizona..."
Warren Ball, one of the top junior running back prospects in the country for 2012 and one of Ohio's top juniors, committed to Ohio State after camp in June, but made his announcement public Wednesday evening. Ball is the second commit to Ohio State for the class of 2012, following Olentangy's Josh Perry. There really wasn't much question as to where Columbus (OH) DeSales 6' 2" 204 lb running back wanted to play his college football. And there really wasn't any question as to if Ball was good enough to earn an Ohio State scholarship. Ball already had offers and interest from Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and Pittsburgh among dozens of others.
Welcome aboard Warren! Sources: Scout & Rivals
OSU AD Gene Smith & Michigan AD David Brandon discuss the new divisions in the Big Ten
The Big Ten football division alignments will include a division featuring Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin, and a division featuring Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern. Each school will play the other five schools within its division and will also face three teams from the other division, including one cross-division matchup guaranteed on an annual basis. The guaranteed cross-division matchups are Illinois-Northwestern, Indiana-Michigan State, Ohio State-Michigan, Penn State-Nebraska, Purdue-Iowa and Wisconsin-Minnesota. Names for each Big Ten football division will be announced at a later date.
The Big Ten announced its divisional breakdown Wednesday night and Ohio State and Michigan will be in different six-team divisions when the league expands to 12 members in 2011...Part 1 above & Part 2.
The winners of each division will meet in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 3, 2011 at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.
2011 & 2012 Big Ten Schedules Each school will face the five other schools within its division while also meeting thre teams from the other division, including a guranteed matchup against a traditional cross-division rival.
The guaranteed cross-division matchups in addition to Michigan-Ohio State include Illinois-Northwestern, Indiana-Michigan State, Penn State-Nebraska, Purdue-Iowa and Wisconsin-Minnesota.