Saturday, August 21, 2010

SCARLET JERSEY SWITCHING SIDES (UPDATED WITH INTERVIEW FOOTAGE)

(Photo of Taurian Washington by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

COLUMBUS — Terrelle Pryor's 25-yard touchdown strike to senior Taurian Washington sealed the deal for the Ohio State offense in Saturday's jersey scrimmage, as they topped the defense, 53-48, under a light rain at Ohio Stadium.

Pryor, who finished the scrimmage 10-of-21 passing for 142 yards, threw for the only touchdown of the day when he fired a laser shot down the middle of the field to Washington, who coasted into the end zone untouched for the score.

Washington was shocked at how wide open he was on the play and how quickly Pryor delivered the football to him down field.

"It was actually kind of weird," Washington laughed. "I thought I was going to get hit after the play. I was blessed to get open and score ...

"It actually shocked me, it got there extremely fast," Washington continued about Pryor's bullet. "But it was a terrific throw and I was just glad that I was able to catch it and get up field and score the touchdown."

This is the first time the offense has beaten the defense in three years. The jersey scrimmage is played twice a year — once in the spring and another in the fall — and the winner gets the honor of wearing the scarlet jerseys during practice.

Ohio State senior defensive end Cameron Heyward, who recorded a sack of Pryor early in the scrimmage before leaving with a minor injury, said that he isn't too pleased about relinquishing the scarlet jerseys to the offense.

"We're mad," Heyward said with a half-grin. "I haven't lost the (scarlet) jersey since my freshman year."

Ohio State senior linebacker Brian Rolle, who guaranteed he would finish his career with the scarlet on his back, said it will be strange going to practice sporting the grays.

"There's a bitter taste in my mouth," Rolle said. "I've had my scarlet jersey since the spring of my freshman year, so it'll be weird not to be wearing it."

Below is The Buckeye Times post-scrimmage interview footage of Cameron Heyward and Brian Rolle ...

Cameron Heyward
video

Brian Rolle
video

DEFENSIVE FRONT LOOKS GOOD ... It wasn't as if the defense didn't play well, in fact, they looked really solid up front recording seven sacks during the scrimmage. Freshman defensive tackle Adam Bellamy led the sack party with three, including two on Pryor. The newbie from Aurora played with both the first and second team defense on Saturday.

Dexter Larimore, Heyward, Melvin Fellows and Johnathan Hankins each added a sack on Saturday.

T. WASH HAS SOME UPS AND DOWN ... For the past couple seasons, Washington has shown signs of super stardom, but inconsistent hands have prevented him from taking a bigger role in the Buckeyes offense.

Saturday was much of the same, as the senior dropped two easy passes during the scrimmage.

However, Washington made up for it with the 25-yard touchdown reception later in the day that eventually gave the offense the win.

Washington looks to be the team's clear cut No. 3 wide receiver behind DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. But the inconsistent hands still seem to be an issue going into the regular season.

(Below is The Buckeye Times post-scrimmage interview
footage of Taurian Washington)
video

TOTING THE ROCK ... Ohio State had some success running the football on Saturday, as the top four tailbacks on the depth chart — senior Brandon Saine, junior Dan Herron, sophomore Jordan Hall and red-shirt freshman Jaamal Berry — totaled 160 yards rushing on 38 carries (4.2 YPC).

(left, Berry by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

Berry led the offense in rushing with 63 yards on 15 carries, while Hall recorded 40 yards on 10 totes. Herron added 35 yards on eight carries, including a powerful run of 18 early in the scrimmage, while Saine went for 22 on five touches.

POSEY IS IN MID-SEASON FORM ... Posey definitely showed why he is the team's top receiver on Saturday, hauling in five receptions for 64 yards and providing a clinic in acrobatics.

(left, Posey by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

Midway through the scrimmage, and the offense facing a third-and-12 at their own 32, Pryor dropped back and put a high fade pass down the right sideline to Posey who jumped high above cornerback Travis Howard for the theatrical catch. The play gained 27 yards and ended with Posey jumping to his feet and giving out a huge scream in triumph.

I GUESS THERE IS A BATTLE AT SAM AFTER ALL ... Just when it appeared junior Etienne Sabino was locking up the strong side linebacker position, Andrew Sweat showed that he wasn't.

Sweat, who has been running behind Sabino this fall at the SAM spot, got the start with the first team on Saturday and fared extremely well. Sweat showed great instincts and athleticism on the outside, recording a fumble recovery and also breaking up two passes on the day.

Sabino filled in for Ross Homan on the first team later in the scrimmage.

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said that the battle at the SAM spot is just getting started.

DIDN'T PLAY ... Cornerbacks Devon Torrence and Chimdi Chekwa, wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, tailback Carlos Hyde and safety Ohrian Johnson, didn't participate in Saturday's scrimmage due to minor injuries.

Defensive end Nathan Williams remained out with a knee injury. He should be able to return before the Marshall game on September 2.

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