Monday, August 31, 2009

OSU DEPTH CHART ANNOUNCED FOR SEASON OPENER AGAINST NAVY

Ohio State released its depth chart on Monday for their season opener against Navy this Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

Listed below is the offensive and defensive depth chart — two deep (starter in bold):

OFFENSE
QUARTERBACK:
Terrelle Pryor
Joe Bauserman

TAILBACK:
Dan Herron
Brandon Saine

FULLBACK:
Zach Boren
Adam Homan

WIDE RECEIVER:
DeVier Posey
Duron Carter

WIDE RECEIVER:
Dane Sanzenbacher
Taurian Washington

TIGHT END:
Jake Ballard
Jake Stoneburner

LEFT TACKLE:
Andrew Miller
J.B. Shugarts

LEFT GUARD:
Justin Boren
Corey Linsley

CENTER:
Michael Brewster
Jack Mewhort

RIGHT GUARD:
Bryant Browning
Andrew Moses

RIGHT TACKLE:
Jim Cordle
Marcus Hall

DEFENSE
DEFENSIVE END:
Thaddeus Gibson
Nathan Williams

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:
Doug Worthington
Garrett Goebel

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:
Dexter Larimore
Todd Denlinger

DEFENSIVE END:
Cameron Heyward
Lawrence Wilson

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER:
Ross Homan
Andrew Sweat

MIDDLE LINEBACKER:
Brian Rolle
Tony Jackson

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER:
Austin Spitler
Etienne Sabino

FREE SAFETY:
Anderson Russell
Jermale Hines

STRONG SAFETY:
Kurt Coleman
Orhian Johnson

CORNERBACK:
Andre Amos
Devon Torrence

CORNERBACK:
Chimdi Chekwa
Travis Howard

Friday, August 28, 2009

USC WILL START TRUE FRESHMAN AT QB; BUCKEYES NAME TEAM CAPTAINS

Southern California head coach, Pete Carroll, announced on Thursday that true freshman Matt Barkley will be his starting quarterback this season over sophomore Aaron Corp.

That means a player who just last season was popping pimples and tossing 18 interceptions under the Friday night lights, will be leading the Trojans into hostile Ohio Stadium on September 12 for a primetime mega-tilt with the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Boy, talk about pressure.

After losing his offensive and defensive coordinators, his starting quarterback (Mark Sanchez), as well as his entire linebacking corps. (Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews, Brian Cushing), making a true frosh the leader of your team is asking quite a bit and seems a little desperate. I mean, you're talking about a team in USC that has future NFL first rounders on their practice squad.

Why start a freshman?

I'm sure nobody in Columbus is complaining about Carroll's decision.

Los Angeles Times writer, Chris Dufresne, agrees. Click here.

COLEMAN, SPITLER, WORTHINGTON NAMED 2009 CAPTAINS

On Friday it was announced that Seniors Kurt Coleman, Austin Spitler and Doug Worthington were elected as captains of the 2009 Ohio State football team. An offensive captain will be selected each week.

It is of note that the last time OSU had selected only defensive players as permanent captains was in 2002 — the year they won the BCS National Championship.

Each captain issued a statement on Friday about the great honor.

"This is an honor," said Coleman, a four-year safety from Dayton, Ohio.. "I'm so blessed to be in this position. It's not just a title. I want to lead our team the best way I can to make sure we reach our potential."

"It's a blessing to be able to represent this team," said Worthington, a fifth-year defensive lineman from New York. "I'm just an extension of the seniors and coaching staff. It's a great honor."

"I'm honored and truly grateful to be in this position," said Spitler, a fifth-year linebacker from Bellbrook, Ohio. "I want to lead this team to the best of my abilities. Hopefully, we'll go far."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

PREVIEW: 'NO-NAME' BUCKEYES MAY HAVE THE BIGGEST NAME OF ALL

Last January in the Fiesta Bowl, the Ohio State Buckeyes were just 16 seconds away from getting the BCS monkey off their back and accomplishing what many think they have become incapable of doing — winning a 'big' game.


Well, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's crossing route to Quan Cosby dashed the Buckeyes hopes of winning a 'big' game and getting over the BCS bowl hump. That 26-yard Texas hook up successfully transformed the "monkey" into a 10,000-pound gorilla.


Entering the 2009 season, the expectations are again very high in Columbus. But as for the rest of the country, the Buckeyes are considered non-contenders, "overrated" — a punching bag for the nation's elite.


They are looked at as having no big names — other than quarterback Terrelle Pryor — and not enough talent and speed to contend with the big boys.


Simply said — the Buckeyes just aren't sexy enough for the national pundits.


Perhaps the underdog role is just what the doctor ordered for the Buckeyes this season. I mean, it did work wonders for the team in the 2003 National Championship Game (Fiesta Bowl), when they upset the heavily favored Miami Hurricanes, arguably the greatest college football team ever.


OSU defensive end Thaddeus Gibson loves the underdog, no-name role which has been bestowed upon his team this season.


"Like coach (Jim Tressel) said, 'this year we're going out there with no names,'" Gibson said. "You can call us a no-name team if you want to, we love it. We love the fact that they don't think we have anybody on this team. It's cool. Once the season's over they'll know who we are."


Of course, not all of the players on the team are "no-names."


Pryor, who will be going into his sophomore season, has as big a name as any player in the country. The 6-6, 240-pound quarterback will be looked at as the leader of the team — the catalyst in the Buckeyes' pursuit to kill the "10,000-pound gorilla."


Last season as a true freshman, Pryor led the Buckeyes to an 8-1 record as the team's starting quarterback and displayed those flashes of brilliance that made him perhaps the most highly touted prep prospect of all-time.


However, there were also signs that he was far from living up to the hype and needed to work on his quarterbacking skills, most notably his poor passing mechanics and inability to read defenses.


The star player from Jeannette, Pennsylvania knew that he would need to work diligently on these things during the off-season.


"It just disgusts me," Pryor said about watching last season's film of himself. "I can't believe I didn't know that, but now I do. If I would have known these things I know now, it would have been so much easier. Once you know what the defense is doing, it's a whole different ball game. And that's how I look at it right now."


Pryor's mechanics this summer look light years ahead of where he was last season. However, he understands that it takes more than one off-season to perfect his skills. In fact, he knows that perfection is unattainable.


"I always try hard to get better after each game and I think I've done a good job (this offseason) getting better as a quarterback," Pryor said. "But, I hope I don't let everybody down because I'm not going to be perfect. No one's perfect.


"I'm still working like I'm a fourth string quarterback. Just to make sure I can keep my position. I don't want that to happen to me. I'm working as hard as I possibly can and competing as hard as I can. All of us are."


Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel stated that Pryor has grown tremendously since last season.


"Experience is invaluable. Terrelle is so much more comfortable (this season). More comfortable with his surroundings, more comfortable with the offense, more comfortable with his teammates, more comfortable with the strength coaches and more comfortable with the academic rigors," Tressel said. "He's just more comfortable with knowing that he can excel and achieve. It won't be without its bumps and so forth. He's a true sophomore, but you can really see from Day One to whatever number day it is now, his great growth."


Although it's a lot to ask from a sophomore, Pryor's leadership skills will be more critical to the Buckeyes success this season than his big arm or 4.3 speed.


The Big Ten Preseason Offensive Player of the Year knows and accepts the importance of his leadership.


"People always talk about the quarterback being the leader, whether you're a freshman or a senior. I've always tried to be a leader," Pryor said. "These guys right here are my brothers, I'd die for them. There's nothing like being a team, being with these type of players, I sweat with them, I bleed with them."

Be sure to read the complete Buckeye Times 2009 Preview in Thursday's edition of The Bryan Times.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BUCKEYES URGING FANS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO NAVY ON SEPTEMBER 5

When Ohio State hosts the Naval Academy on September 5 to kickoff the 2009 college football season, the biggest concern from many Buckeyes fans is how the Midshipmen will be received by the OSU faithful.

Sure, it seems foolish that 105,000 Buckeye fans would give their typical "booing" welcome to the Midshipman — a group of men who are serving our country and protecting our freedom as Americans — but hey, nothing surprises me these days.

C'mon, prior to the 2006 showdown with Michigan when the stadium was holding a moment of silence for former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, who had died the day before, you could hear the "boos" cascading throughout the stands. And don't give me this nonsense that they were chanting "Bo." I can tell the difference between "Bo" and "Boo."

Buckeyes quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, said that no matter how the fans react to the Midshipmen, he is giving them their due respect.

"You know that they're going to be tough," Pryor said about Navy. "They serve our country. You have to appreciate that. They serve our nation and protect us. I have a lot of respect for them and what they do."

The concern for how the Midshipman will be received has even inspired a group to circulate a video titled "Ohio State's Take the Field Tribute for Navy Sept. 5." You can find the video by clicking here.

The Description of the "Take the Field" reads: "On Saturday, September 5th over 105,000 Buckeye fans can show our appreciation with a simple, yet powerful gesture ... RISE TO YOUR FEET AND CHEER for the US Navy football team when they Take the Field just as loud as you do for Ohio State! "

It seems like a great idea and an honorable way to pay tribute to men that are fighting and dying for our freedom.

Let's face it, there are some things bigger than football.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OSU FOOTBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Due to cost cutting measures by the Ohio State athletic department, the annual OSU football media guide will not be available in a print format for the 2009 season.

However, the university has created an online media guide for the 2009 season with the same information that has always accompanied the annual publication.


The entire 2009 OSU Media Guide can be found by clicking here.
(This is a 25 MB file that may take some time for some users to open)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BUCKS RANKED SIXTH BY AP

The Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked No. 6 in the first Associated Press college football poll, released Saturday.

Listed below is the entire AP Top 25 (first place votes):

1. Florida (58)
2. Texas (2)
3. Oklahoma
4. USC
5. Alabama
6. Ohio State
7. Virginia Tech
8. Mississippi
9. (tie) Oklahoma State
9. (tie) Penn State
11. LSU
12. California
13. Georgia
14. Boise State
15. Georgia Tech
16. Oregon
17. TCU
18. Florida State
19. Utah
20. BYU
21. North Carolina
22. Iowa
23. Notre Dame
24. Nebraska
25. Kansas

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BUCKEYES NEW RECEIVING CORPS READY TO SILENCE CRITICS

One question mark coming into the 2009 season for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team will be the new receiving corps. Who are these guys? Can they play up to the standard OSU has become accustomed to at the position?


Just because none of the receivers are household names like Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Cris Carter, Joey Galloway or Brian Robiskie, doesn't mean that they won't be by season's end.


OSU sophomore quarterback — and Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year — Terrelle Pryor, stated that the receiving corps, led by DeVier Posey, Dane Sanzenbacher, Taurian Washington, Ray Small and Lamaar Thomas, will definitely catch some people's attention — and hopefully plenty of touchdowns.


Here's what some of the notable players said about this season's receiving unit, starting with Mr. Pryor:


Pryor: "I love all six, seven of the receivers. They all come in here and fight everyday. The walk-ons come and fight everyday — I love them, too. Whoever I'm on the field with, I'm comfortable."


"T. Wash has been making some big catches this summer and in the spring game as you've seen. We add Ray Small and DeVier Posey, Dane (Sanzenbacher) and Lamaar Thomas, we've got a pretty good unit. They can do things with the ball, maybe give them a little hitch route and go maybe 60 yards with the ball. So, we're looking toward working hard and being great."


Sophomore receiver, DeVier Posey: "It's definitely a big step up for me. I feel like it's not just exciting for me but for our whole corps because a bunch of us really didn't get to play too much (last season). You only saw action from a couple of us guys — me, Dane (Sanzenbacher) and Ray (Small). We're all excited to show our talents because we came to this school to play and now we get the opportunity to show what we can do."


"We're a really good group. A lot of people really don't know our names, but there's definitely going to be time for that in September, October and November for a lot of people to get to know how good this receiving unit is and will be and we're looking forward to showing our talents."


Junior receiver, Taurian Washington: "I'm ready, I've been working extremely hard. I tell myself everyday that I don't want to be known as just a big spring game player. I've been doing everything I have to do to step up. I'm an upperclassman, it's about that time now."


"A lot of people are sleeping on us. We're not really an old group as receivers, we're still young. We have the potential to be great. I know we're going to do it. By the end of the season, all the doubts should be erased away."

Friday, August 14, 2009

OSU MEDIA DAY THOUGHTS AND QUOTES

Here's a few thoughts and quotes I picked up on Thursday in Columbus, during Media Day at Ohio Stadium.

— Freshman running back, Jaamal Berry, was the player who created the most buzz at the event. Every player that I spoke with had nothing but praise for the talented runner from Miami. In fact, quarterback Terrelle Pryor already labeled Berry as "great." Berry spoke about his arrest and vowed to keep his life on the right track.

— Ohio State linebacker, Tyler Moeller, was on hand and although he didn't speak to reporters, he seemed to be in good spirits horsing around with his Buckeye teammates, even though he had a very visible row of staples in his head from the surgical procedure done last week in Columbus.

Lamaar Thomas has taken over for Alex Boone as the team's class clown this year. The speedy sophomore from Maryland was going around during player interviews, cracking jokes and having fun with his teammates. OSU wide receiver, DeVier Posey, even fought back by saying that Thomas was "overrated." Of course, he knew that Thomas was right behind him when he said it. You can tell that the players really love Thomas.

— Seniors' Doug Worthington and Kurt Coleman have taken over for James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman and Malcolm Jenkins as the hands down leaders of the defense. They love the fact that they are the elder statesmen of the group.

Terrelle Pryor did run a 4.3 in the 40. In fact, according to head coach Jim Tressel, the speedy time was clocked electronically.

— Wide receiver Ray Small may join the team again on Friday after missing all of camp so far for academic reasons. OSU head coach Jim Tressel said Small may have some in-practice punishment coming the next few days, yikes! (read below).

Here's a few quotes I landed Thursday ...

Terrelle Pryor on his love of Ohio: "This is where I live now. This is my home. It's in my blood now. I love Ohio State football, Scarlet and Gray, and getting wins."

Pryor on his golf game: "My lowest score? I don't know — 84, 85. Me and Andrew Sweat went and played the Scarlet and Gray, and I shot about a three or four-over on the Scarlet and we skipped over and played (the back) nine on the Gray. I hit a bunch of pars on the Scarlet, but I kept screwing up on the back."

Pryor when asked if he would be a great golfer if he dedicated his full time to the game: "Oh yeah. If I really played, I'd be Tiger Woods."

Pryor on how he feels about speaking to the media: "I've been going through it since the tenth grade in high school, ninth grade in high school. It's just second nature now. I'm starting to get a little better talking to you guys right now, I don't know if you can see it? But, I'm more relaxed and laid back a little bit and I can just talk about things with you guys. I'm used to it. I like talking to you people."

Jaamal Berry when asked if he could make an impact this season: "I'm pretty confident. I feel like I can make an impact on the college level as a freshman. It's just a matter of me knowing my plays. When I have that down, then I'll make an impact."

Berry on what he learned after being arrested in June: "I just learned that I need to pick my friends wisely and just hang around the right people, positive people. I need to move forward."

Doug Worthington on being a leader: "I feel that a lot of things are brought to me and I'm trying to take it as best as I can being a leader. I mean, we have a lot of great leaders on this team and the defensive line is a group that a lot of people look forward to being one of the premier groups on the team. I take pride being the leader on the defensive line and a leader on the team."

Worthington on playing Navy in the season opener: "We know that this isn't your typical season opening game. (Navy) is a great team with a lot of potential. They've been the No. 1 rushing team over the last four years. You know they're going to bring in a powerful offense and they're going eager and willing to play us come September 5th."

Kurt Coleman on the Buckeyes overall team speed: "We've had speed in the past, but honestly, I think this is the fastest team I've been around. It's the fastest team I've seen."

Michael Brewster on last season's freshman class: "Everyone knows that we're not short on talent. The only maybe is that we're short on experience. We came here for a reason, we didn't come here for it to be easy. A lot of guys are going to need to step up and have breakout years. I'm excited for guys like Jake (Stoneburner), DeVier (Posey) and Lamaar (Thomas) to get a lot of minutes on the field and see what they can do."

Coach Tressel on Pryor running a 4.3 in the 40: "It doesn't matter whether it's 4.33 or 4.38 — he's fast!"

Tressel on Ray Small returning to practice after academic issues: "He probably wont be doing much of any of that in the next few days, punt returning or wide receiving."

So what will he be doing says Tressel?: "Some activities."

I'm thinking those "activities" will include lots of cardio and calisthenics.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BUCKEYES LINEBACKING UNIT RECEIVES CRUSHING BLOW — MOELLER DONE FOR THE SEASON

It was confirmed on Tuesday by Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel that starting strong-side linebacker, Tyler Moeller, will miss the 2009 season because of a head injury he suffered while vacationing in Florida with his family last month.

There's no denying that the loss of Moeller is a huge blow to a Buckeyes linebacking unit trying to replace longtime starters' James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman.

Moeller's speed and intensity will be greatly missed, especially against USC on September 12, where the Trojans' quickness seemed too much to handle for the Buckeye linebackers in last year's meeting in Los Angeles.

Now, the question is, who will fill the bill?

Senior Austin Spitler is currently running with the first team at strong-side backer, but the Bellbrook-native is cut from the old mold of bigger, more physical OSU linebacker. You know, the type that dominates the Big Ten, but has problems against teams like USC, Florida and Texas — squads with tons of speed.

Look for sophomore Etienne Sabino and true freshman Dorian Bell, to emerge as the top guys once the season gets cranking. Both players are fast, athletic and give the Buckeyes the best chances to combat the quickness outside of the Big Ten.

Please read Wednesday's Bryan Times for more on Moeller.

Monday, August 10, 2009

MOELLER, SMALL, ROSE ABSENT; HERRON, COLEMAN ON AWARD LISTS

During Sunday's player check-in at the University Plaza Hotel in Columbus, three prominent members of the Ohio State football were missing.

Defensive lineman Robert Rose and wide receiver Ray Small, both of whom had academic issues this summer are apparently ineligible because of grades. The third missing player, junior linebacker Tyler Moeller, is currently at the OSU Medical Center in fair condition after suffering a head injury last month, according to reports.

The cause of the injury is still unknown with multiple stories floating around about how the accident occurred — from falling on a family vacation, to being punched in a fight.

Moeller's absence is a huge blow to the Buckeyes, who were counting on his speed and tenacious style this season at strongside linebacker. It is still unknown if or when Moeller will return to the team.

HERRON ON DOAK WALKER LIST — Buckeyes sophomore tailback, Dan "Boom" Herron, was placed on the 2009 Doak Walker Award watch list, announced on Sunday by the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum. The Doak Walker Award is given out each year to the nation's top collegiate running back.

Herron, who will be replacing Beanie Wells in the backfield this fall, had his moments in 2008, rushing for 439 yards and six touchdowns in a limited role.

The winner of the award will be announced live on December 10 during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

COLEMAN ON THORPE LIST — OSU senior safety, Kurt Coleman, was among those listed on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list Sunday. The Thorpe Award is given out to the nation's best defensive back.

Coleman finished third on the team in tackles last season (78) and led the Buckeyes in interceptions with four.

The award will also be announced on ESPN December 10.

Friday, August 7, 2009

GATORS NO. 1, BUCKEYES NO. 6 IN USA TODAY COACHES POLL

On Friday morning, the USA Today College Football Top 25 Coaches' Poll was released and the Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked sixth, behind defending national champion and No. 1 Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC and Alabama.

The Buckeyes are the top rated team in the Big Ten, but they are not the only squad from the conference debuting in the top 10, as the Penn State Nittany Lions came in at No. 8.

The Buckeyes will face two teams this season in the top 8 (No. 4 USC, at No. 8 Penn State).

Iowa is the only other Big Ten team to post a top 25 ranking (No. 21). Other Big Ten teams which received votes were Michigan State (No. 27), Illinois (No. 35), Wisconsin (No. 44), Northwestern (No. 46), Minnesota (No. 58) and Michigan (No. 59).

Listed below is the entire Top 25 poll: (first place votes)

1. Florida (53)
2. Texas (4)
3. Oklahoma (1)
4. USC (1)
5. Alabama
6. Ohio State
7. Virginia Tech
8. Penn State
9. LSU
10. Mississippi
11. Oklahoma State
12. California
13. Georgia
14. Oregon
15. Georgia Tech
16. Boise State
17. TCU
18. Utah
19. Florida State
20. North Carolina
21. Iowa
22. Nebraska
23. Notre Dame
24. BYU
25. Oregon State

Monday, August 3, 2009

PRYOR ON DAVEY O'BRIEN WATCH LIST

Just a week after being named the 2009 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten, Ohio State sophomore quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, was given another huge vote of confidence on Monday, as the 6-6, 240-pound Buckeye star was named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list.

The award is given each year by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to the top quarterback in the nation.

Pryor, who helped lead the Buckeyes to an 8-1 record as a starter in 2008, is one of 33 collegiate signal callers on the list of nominees.

Semifinalists will be announced on October 26; Finalists November 23; and the winner December 10. The O'Brien Selection Committee is asked to evaluate each candidate on the criteria of quarterback skills and athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player, character, leadership and sportsmanship.

The award will be announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN (Dec. 10).

The past three winners of the award — Ohio State's Troy Smith (2006), Florida's Tim Tebow (2007) and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford — have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy in their respective year's.