Things can’t go much better than they did in 2014 for Ohio State football, the winner of the national championship despite having to change signal-callers before and during the season, but this was not even the first season in which a senior watched while a sophomore led Ohio State to the promised land. Continue reading Replacing senior QB has gone better than you might expect for Buckeyes
Johnny Manziel has only been a Cleveland Brown since May, but he seems to be doing a good job of getting in good with the stars of some of the state’s other teams in relatively short order.
First there was LeBron James (even before he returned to the Cavaliers), now it is Braxton Miller. Continue reading Johnny Manziel on Braxton Miller
The first game week of the season brings with it the first 2014 edition of my “Cus Words” column at BuckeyeSports.com.
After an eventful offseason that took a surprising turn toward the end, where do the Buckeyes stand heading into the Navy game?
I am curious to see the effects of Urban Meyer’s intense efforts to remake the culture of the program. Although he took responsibility, I think at least some of it is residue from the Jim Tressel era. That’s not to say it is from something Tressel was doing wrong but rather that these two coaches were not necessarily looking for the same attitude in a recruit.
So, Ohio State is going to play the 2014 season with a new starting quarterback despite starting an underclassman the previous season. This might seem unusual, but it has happened for the Buckeyes what seems like a rather remarkable five times in the past 50 years. The reasons have varied but don’t include the previous season’s starter going pro (at least not for positive reasons).
Braxton Miller is the first one to be replaced because of injury. He ended up being the starter in 2011 after Terrelle Pryor left school in June amid questions about additional NCAA violations (he was already facing a five-game suspension for violations previously admitted). Like Miller, Pryor became a surprise true freshman starter in 2008 after senior Todd Boeckman struggled early in the season.
You might have already known about those circumstances, but what about the three that came before? Continue reading Previous Ohio State surprise starters have performed pretty well
Cleaning out the reporter’s notebook from another day on the Ohio State football beat…
The always interesting Tom Herman, Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, told us quarterback Braxton Miller did not throw in the morning practice but ran the offense as they concentrated on the running game.
He agreed with a questioner who asked if the reps have been good for backup quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones and added that the mental reps have been good for Miller too even though they would prefer not to be doing things this way. Live reps have been great for the young guys.
Barrett has moved ahead of Jones for the No. 2 quarterback job because the offense moves better when he is running it. He probably would have better stats, too, if you broke it all down, but that’s really the bottom line. Continue reading Overheard at Ohio State football Aug. 18
Ohio State’s senior quarterback and head coach worked to quiet concerns Braxton Miller’s surgically repaired shoulder will hinder him at the start of the regular season.
Ohio State did not allow media to watch any part of day two of preseason football practice, but the school published a YouTube video of highlights.
Because this is the Internet and pixels cost little compared to ink and paper, here are about 30 seconds worth of takeaways from two minutes of clips:
- Braxton Miller can still throw, and Devin Smith can still make one-handed catches.
- Cardale Jones can throw interceptions. Related: fellow Cleveland Glenville alum Marshon Lattimore can catch interceptions. Lattimore is a youngster to keep an eye on defensively.
- Also making an appearance: Super talented redshirt freshman Jalin Marshall, a receiver who had his first season wiped out by injury and could be a big-time player for an offense that figures to be somewhat retooled.
- Cornerback Gareon Conley, another redshirt freshman the Buckeyes probably could have used something from last season, makes a diving interception on an out pass by Miller.
- And in what can only be read as a nod toward Jim Tressel, the video concludes with a punt.
So there you go for now. We’ll be allowed in Wednesday afternoon for day three, so be sure to check back for details here, on Twitter and at BuckeyeSports.com.
The dawn of another Ohio State football season is upon us, and 2014 figures to be an unpredictable year with so much change on both sides of the ball.
Most indications are the DNA is going to be different with the offense and the defense, one change being personnel-driven and the other caused by extreme struggles of a year ago. Both ways, Ohio State is going to have to count on a new cast of characters to carry out what is in all likelihood a plan that is at least somewhat different than it was last year, for better or for worse.
Offensively, Ohio State has the best player in the Big Ten back to trigger an attack that is probably going to look more like Urban Meyer and Tom Herman intended it to when they arrived than it has for the past two seasons. They want to have playmakers all over the field, not strictly smashing people up the middle.
Joey Burrow is on track to buck one trend but Ohio State fans will be happier to see him turn another of its head in the future.
Burrow, a four-star prospect from Athens, verbally committed Tuesday and is set to become (in February) the first Southeast Ohio signee since Drew Basil of Chillicothe in 2010 and the 10th Buckeye recruit from the region going back to Buster Howe in the class of 1988.
But maybe more daunting is the recent quarterback legacy he is signing up for. Continue reading Can new Ohio State QB commit beat recent odds?
Evaluating the offense the same way as the defense is hardly fair considering all of the injuries that beset the Ohio State scoring unit, but there were some lessons to take away from the spring nonetheless.
For one thing, the depth the Buckeyes were thought to have at running back is real. Ezekiel Elliott showed he brings a very enticing package of size and skill to the position. A smooth runner, he seems like the perfect back for this offense. I like the way Warren Ball keeps his feet moving and slides through holes, and Bri’onte Dunn leaves no doubt the physical ability is there if he can bring consistency to the table. Ditto Rod Smith, who could be the best of all of them but can’t seem to keep himself on track.
Then of course there is Curtis Samuel. Even with the unprecedented success of Carlos Hyde last season as a power back, Urban Meyer does get enamored with little guys who can go, doesn’t he? Samuel runs strong for his size, but speed and agility are the name of the game for him. It will be interesting to see if they carve out a role for him this fall.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman mentioned at one point the staff has come to like having a power back, which was new for Meyer’s offense since it was developed at his previous coaching stops, so you can bet they want to maintain that facet, but it’s alway nice to have options. Continue reading Ohio State spring football reactions: Offense