Tuesday, August 31, 2010

JAAMAL BERRY READY TO PLAY

Photo of Jaamal Berry by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell

COLUMBUS — The much anticipated debut of Ohio State tailback Jaamal Berry will take place on Thursday night, according to Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel.

Berry may get a his share of looks in the backfield, but most of his action will come in the return game, as Tressel announced Monday that the red-shirt freshman from Miami will pair with sophomore tailback Jordan Hall deep on kickoffs.

"My suggestion to Coach (Darrell) Hazell was for the kickoff, Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry," Tressel said.

Senior tailback Brandon Saine, who roomed with Berry during camp said the young runner is excited and ready to deliver in any way that he can for the Buckeyes in 2010.

"I think that he knows now the coaches trust him giving him a starting role, even if it is a kick returner," Saine said. "I was talking to him and that's definitely one of the things he wanted to do. He's really excited."

Berry, who was one of the most exciting runners in the nation coming out high school in 2009, was expected to come in last season and contribute early as a freshman. However, injuries prevented Berry from ever getting on the field.

Saine said that Berry did get a little down last season because he was unable to get an opportunity, but added that his head didn't hang low for long.

"Yeah, he's progressed a lot," Saine said. "He's a really good guy. He's still kind of young, so I was able to help him out with the playbook. Last year he was a little down sometimes, but he didn't stay there he just worked hard and moved past the injuries. He's definitely ready."

TRESSEL ON BARNETT ... When Ohio State released its depth chart last week many were surprised that C.J. Barnett was named as the starter at strong safety, despite running behind Orhian Johnson during all of the spring and most of fall camp.

Barnett started in the jersey scrimmage while Johnson sat out with a calf injury. When the announcement came that Barnett had won the job, most wanted to know if he received the nod because of his play, or because Johnson missed valuable time at the end of camp?

"I think it was a little of both," Tressel said. "Just like anything else, if you get the opportunities and you have a chance to get more reps and things like that and you impress ... C.J. has been very impressive. That doesn't mean Orhian is not in the thick of a battle. But like anything else, if one guy is in there doing the work and he's getting better and better, and the other unfortunately missed ... I'm guessing it makes it more difficult.

"But good competition will continue at that position.

Terrelle Pryor
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
WILL PRYOR BE ALLOWED TO RUN? ... With Tressel stating that quarterback Terrelle Pryor could throw the football 30-plus times per game this season, would that mean the head coach would have any qualms if his signal caller decides to take off running instead?

"I don't have any qualms as long as he gets up fine," Tressel laughed. "Just being honest."

Tressel knows bottling up Pryor would only help the opposing defense.

"We're not going to design 25 runs a game for him. We've got guys that we design things like that for," Tressel said. "Will we design some things for him? Sure. We think that puts more pressure on the defense."

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

TBT VIDEO: OSU OFFENSIVE CAPTAINS

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State football captains spoke to the media on Monday afternoon at the Fawcett Center in Columbus.

Below is The Buckeye Times interview footage with OSU offensive captains Dane Sanzenbacher and Bryant Browning (Brandon Saine coming soon) ...

Dane Sanzenbacher
video

Bryant Browning
video

TBT VIDEO: OSU DEFENSIVE CAPTAINS

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State football captains spoke to the media on Monday afternoon at the Fawcett Center in Columbus.

Below is The Buckeye Times interview footage with OSU defensive captains Brian Rolle, Cameron Heyward and Ross Homan ...

Brian Rolle
video

Cameron Heyward
video

Ross Homan
video

Saturday, August 28, 2010

HOLLIDAY PRAISES PRYOR, HEYWARD; HERD TO START ANDERSON, BOOKER

Photo of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor
by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — When asked how he intends to stop Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor during Thursday night's season opener against the Buckeyes, Marshall first-year head coach Doc Holliday said that he will turn to a higher power.

"Hope and pray, I guess," Holliday laughed while speaking to the media on Friday about his preparation plans against Pryor.

Holliday admitted though, that even prayer may not prevent the Buckeye star from making his defense miserable.

"I'm not sure you can totally contain him," Holliday continued. "He is going to make his plays. Teams like to try to keep him in the pocket and make him beat you with his arm, but with that being said, he has beaten teams with his arm towards the end of the season a year ago.

"He has the ability to do that and he has the ability to get out of the pocket and beat you on the ground. He is a great challenge for us."

The Herd head man said he is quite aware that Pryor will create some major challenges for his defense, especially when he gets out of the pocket and begins ad libbing.

"Where he created a major issue is when he gets out of the pocket and improvises," Holliday said of Pryor. "I was watching some game tape today and he gets out on the the perimeter. He's a man. But he has become a great quarterback, too. If you look at that Rose Bowl game last year, he is good at all phases now. He sits in the pocket and throws it, and when he takes off on his feet he is dangerous.

"He is going to create a major issue for every team that he plays against this year."

Holliday, who used to be a defensive assistant at Florida (2005-07), said that Pryor is quite similar to former Gators quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, in the fact that you just can't line up and blitz him all day.

"You better get him if you blitz him," Holliday said. "Because if you don't then you are one-on-one out there on the corners with their great wide outs. What happens when you blitz, when teams would blitz us at Florida with Tim Tebow, they would miss a tackle and then Tebow would throw it 80 yards down field to Percy Harvin.

"So when you blitz Pryor you better get him to the ground. But the trouble with Pryor is that he is tough to get to the ground. He is big, physical and strong. If you go to blitz him and he breaks a tackle that creates an issue for you leaving your corners out there one-on-one. But we just have to mix it up. We can't do everything all the time, but we will have to get after him and see what we can do."

Cameron Heyward
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
HOLLIDAY ADMITS HE'S GETTING OLD ... While being an assistant at West Virginia (1979-1999), Holliday tried to recruit a star player named Craig "Iron Head" Heyward. The big kid passed on his offer and went to the University of Pittsburgh instead, where he became a star and an eventual first round NFL draft pick.

More than 25 years later, Holliday will facing the late-Heyward's son — Cameron Heyward — this Thursday night in Columbus, making the new Marshall coach feel a little seasoned.

"What makes you feel old is when you recruit the sons of the players you have recruited," Holliday laughed.

He added that when he was at Florida he tried to recruit "Baby Iron Head" as well.

"We recruited Cameron Heyward when I was at Florida," Holliday said. "Heyward is projected to be a top ten pick in the NFL draft. He's not only an excellent player but he's an excellent kid, too. He plays extremely hard. They don't have to move him around much because they don't have to.

"(Heyward) lines up and kicks the heck out of everyone anyways. So he will be a great challenge for us."

Brian Anderson
(WVMetroNews)
ANDERSON, BOOKER NAMED STARTERS ... Marshall released its depth chart for the Ohio State game and one of the biggest questions going into the season was on who the Herd's starting quarterback would be? Well, it'll be the same as they had last season — senior Brian Anderson.

Anderson beat out Clemson-transfer QB Willy Korn, who many experts thought was going to win the job. Korn, after being switched to safety, left the team and will play at Division II North Greenville. Anderson had an up-and-down season in 2009, finishing with 2,646 yards passing (58 percent completion rate), 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Also, sophomore running back Andre Booker was named the starter over Martin Ward, who was the Most Valuable Player of the Little Caesars Bowl last season.

The Herd likes the quickness of the 5-foot-10, 180 pound Booker. They compare him to West Virginia star tailback, Noel Devine.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A FEW SURPRISES ON DEPTH CHART, FIVE TRUE FRESHMEN IN TWO-DEEP

Photo of Ohio State sophomore Orhian Johnson (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell

COLUMBUS — Ohio State released its 2010 football depth chart on Friday and there were definitely a few surprises.

The first surprise came at strong safety where sophomore C.J. Barnett is listed as the starter over Orhian Johnson, who had been running as the No. 1 all through spring and most of fall camp. Barnett played with the first team defense during last Saturday's jersey scrimmage, but that was because Johnson was unable to go with a calf injury.

Either Barnett has really impressed the coaching staff or Johnson's injury is a little more serious than we originally thought. Barnett is a quality player who possesses good speed, decent size (6-0, 190) and solid coverage skills. The Clayton Northmont product can also deliver a big hit.

Andrew Sweat
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Another surprise — although not as big as the one at strong safety — was junior Andrew Sweat getting the No. 1 spot at strongside linebacker over Etienne Sabino.

Again, Sabino ran as the first team SAM backer during all of spring (Sweat didn't participate, however) and seemed to have gained the praise from his veteran teammates and coaches, especially after his solid performance in the spring game where he led the way in tackles with seven and even recorded a force fumble.

Sabino also ran most of fall camp as the No. 1, but during the jersey scrimmage Sweat was given the nod. Sweat's performance solidified his status, as he displayed no ill-effects from the knee injury which kept him sidelined six games last season and all of this past spring.

What makes everything more surprising is that Sabino isn't even listed as Sweat's backup, as sophomore Jon Newsome is listed as the No. 2 SAM backer. Sabino will be senior Brian Rolle's backup at middle linebacker.

Ready for another surprise? Sabino is sharing that role with sophomore Storm Klein.

NO SURPRISE ... Senior Taurian Washington is the No. 3 wide receiver according to the depth chart. Washington has been a major play-maker during the offseason, looking as if he's going to be quarterback Terrelle Pryor's top target downfield.

In the past two weekend scrimmages, Washington hauled in three touchdown receptions (all from Pryor). One was a 75-yard score on a deep reception down the middle in the kick scrimmage, and another came on a 25-yarder that sealed the win for the offense in last Saturday's jersey scrimmage.

The No. 4 receiver spot will be shared by red-shirt freshman Chris Fields and true freshman Corey "Philly" Brown.

Below is the entire two-deep depth chart (starter in bold)...

OFFENSE
QUARTERBACK
Terrelle Pryor 6-6, 233, Jr.
Joe Bauserman 6-1, 233, Jr.

TAILBACK
Dan Herron, left, Brandon Saine
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Brandon Saine 6-1, 219, Sr.
and Dan Herron 6-2, 202, Jr.


FULLBACK
Zach Boren 6-0, 252, So.
Adam Homan 6-2, 238, So.

WIDE RECEIVER
DeVier Posey 6-2, 213, Jr.
Taurian Washington 6-1, 181, Sr.

WIDE RECEIVER
Dane Sanzenbacher 5-11, 180, Sr.
Chris Fields 6-0, 185, RFr.
and Corey Brown 5-11, 170, Fr.

TIGHT END
Jake Stoneburner 6-5, 245, So.
Reid Fragel 6-8, 260, So.

LEFT TACKLE
Mike Adams 6-8, 300, Jr.
Justin Boren
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Andrew Miller 6-6, 288, Sr.

LEFT GUARD
Justin Boren 6-3, 320, Sr.
Connor Smith 6-4, 313, Sr.

CENTER
Mike Brewster 6-5, 293, Jr.
Corey Linsley 6-2, 298, RFr.

RIGHT GUARD
Bryant Browning 6-4, 313, Sr.
Jack Mewhort 6-6, 288 RFr.

RIGHT TACKLE
J.B. Shugarts 6-7, 297, Jr.
Andrew Norwell 6-5, 308 Fr.

Nathan Williams, left, Cameron Heyward
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)




DEFENSE





END

Nathan Williams 6-3, 260 Jr.
Solomon Thomas 6-5, 255, Jr.

TACKLE
Dexter Larimore 6-2, 310, Sr.
Johnathan Hankins 6-3, 335, Fr.

TACKLE
John Simon 6-2, 270, So.
Garrett Goebel 6-3, 281, So.

END
Cameron Heyward 6-5, 288, Sr.
Adam Bellamy 6-4, 295, RFr.

WILL LINEBACKER
Ross Homan
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Ross Homan 6-0, 227, Sr.
Dorian Bell 6-1, 225, RFr.

MIKE LINEBACKER
Brian Rolle 5-11, 218, Sr.
Etienne Sabino 6-3, 240, Jr.
and Storm Klein 6-2, 230, So.

SAM LINEBACKER
Andrew Sweat 6-2, 238, Jr.
Jon Newsome 6-3, 219, So.

CORNERBACK
Chimdi Chekwa 6-0, 190, Sr.
Travis Howard 6-0, 190, So.

FREE SAFETY
Devon Torrence, left, Jermale Hines
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Jermale Hines 6-1, 216, Sr.
Aaron Gant 6-0, 206, Sr.

STRONG SAFETY
C.J. Barnett 6-0, 190, So.
Orhian Johnson 6-2, 205, So.

STAR
Tyler Moeller 6-0, 210, Sr.
Jermale Hines 6-1, 216, Sr.
and Christian Bryant 5-9, 178, Fr.

CORNERBACK
Devon Torrence 6-1, 200, Sr.
Corey Brown 6-0, 189, RFr.

SPECIALISTS
PLACE KICKER
Devin Barclay, left, Drew Basil
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Devin Barclay 5-10, 204, Sr.
Drew Basil 6-1, 206, Fr.

KICKOFF
Drew Basil 6-1, 206, Fr.
Devin Barclay 5-10, 204, Sr.

PUNTER
Ben Buchanan 6-0, 195, So.
Derek Erwin 5-10, 203, So.

LONG SNAPPER
Jake McQuaide 6-3, 234, Sr.
George Makridis 5-11, 236, RFr.

HOLDER
Joe Bauserman 6-1, 233, Jr.
Derek Erwin 5-10, 203, So.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

THIRD RECEIVER DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A WIDEOUT; BIG DEX LOOKS GREAT

Photo of Ohio State tailback Brandon Saine by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell

COLUMBUS — Ohio State wide receivers DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher provide the Buckeyes with perhaps the best duo of pass catchers in the Big Ten.

Each player brings superb talent and much needed experience to the position that should benefit quarterback Terrelle Pryor this season. Remember, OSU head coach Jim Tressel plans on letting the Heisman Trophy candidate put the ball in the sky more often this fall — possibly 25-35 times a game.

So obviously, if you're going to chuck the rock at that rate, then your team must have more than two reliable pass catchers, right? Hence why the competition for the Buckeyes No. 3 receiving spot is one of the most talked about battles going on during fall camp.

Senior Taurian Washington appears to have the edge at this point in time. Washington has shown his big-play abilities during scrimmages the past two weekends, hauling in a combined three touchdowns (all from Pryor), including a 75-yarder. Washington has been known for his dominance during camps in the past, but inconsistent hands have prevented him from making an impact during the regular season.

With young receivers like Chris Fields and Corey "Philly" Brown also turning heads in practice, the competition for the three spot is still very much in effect.

Washington stated that the receivers don't look at it as a competition, though. They are using it as a way to get better as a unit.

"I think the biggest thing is just the grind for all of us," Washington said. "It's not really a competition thing. I don't see us as wide receivers in a competition with each other, I think it's more of a competition going with the DB's. We basically need to help each other out to get better."

Some pundits are questioning whether the Buckeyes can put the ball in the air with great effectiveness, seeing that they are so inexperienced and unproven outside of Posey and Sanzenbacher.

But Pryor has a different outlook on the No. 3 receiver position than most do, basically saying that it doesn't always have to be a wide out hauling in his throws.

"T. Wash always makes plays, Chris Fields, Corey Brown ... " Pryor said. "But think of the other receivers we have. (Tight end) Jake Stoneburner could be a possible third receiver, depending on the grouping. (Tailback) Brandon Saine could have maybe 30-40 catches this year. That's our goal ... getting Brandon a lot of catches and Stoneburner 40 catches, and also DeVier, Dane and those guys.

"So if someone steps up to be the third receiver, that's great. Obviously we need three receivers, but we also have Jake Stoneburner and we have (fullback) Zach Boren who can catch the ball, as well.

"We have some weapons to tell you the truth," Pryor ended with a smile.

Look for the opener against Marshall on September 1 to have a bit more passing than usual, especially for a first game where Tressel usually hides his game plans for a mightier opponent.

The Buckeyes must find which receivers — or tight ends, tailbacks, or fullback — can reel in the throws when the lights are on and the real bullets are flying.

Chances are, whomever has the best production in the opener will gain a major leg up going into the rest of the season.

Photo of Dexter Larimore by
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
IT'S GOOD TO HAVE BIG DEXTER BACK ... Senior defensive tackle Dexter Larimore has been a force during fall camp, eating up everything that has come his way.

After missing four games last season due to a knee injury he suffered against Indiana midway through the year, Larimore has come back bigger, stronger and more intense. He has been a beast on the defensive front, especially getting to the quarterback.

Senior offensive guard Justin Boren said Larimore can do it all.

"Dexter's a great bull rusher," Boren said. "He's 315 pounds at the nose. He can plug the run, you know, and when he's healthy he definitely helps us out on defense."

During last Saturday's jersey scrimmage at Ohio Stadium, Larimore recorded a sack of the elusive Pryor.

Of course, he didn't take much credit for it.

"It's because of our defensive ends getting good penetration on our stunts," Larimore said. "A lot of that has to do with those guys really getting penetration. Cam (Heyward) and Johnny (Simon) and (Adam) Bellamy really getting in there so I can come around free. So anytime I come around free it's probably attributed to our defensive ends."

So, does it ever happen because of his greatness?

"Maybe ... sometimes," Larimore smiled. "It's mostly guys doing their job, and me doing mine."

BREWSTER ON RIMINGTON WATCH LIST ... Ohio State junior center Michael Brewster was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list on Thursday.

The trophy is awarded to the nation's top collegiate center.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

OSU CAPTAINS NAMED WEDNESDAY

Cameron Heyward is one of six seniors named as captains of the Ohio State football team on Wednesday. (Photo by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State announced its captains for the upcoming 2010 football season on Wednesday.

Below is a statement issued to The Buckeye Times by the university ...

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Seniors Bryant Browning, Cameron Heyward, Ross Homan, Brian Rolle, Brandon Saine and Dane Sanzenbacher were elected as 2010 captains of the Ohio State football team, as announced to the squad today.

This is just the second time in Ohio State's 121-season football history that six Buckeyes will serve as season-long leaders for the squad. In 1982, Glen Cobb, Jerome Foster, Joe Lukens, Marcus Marek, Tim Spencer and Gary Williams served as captains; the Buckeyes elected five captains for the 1974, 1989 and 1990 campaigns.

"I'm very happy. I really felt honored when it was announced," said Browning, an offensive guard from Glenville High in Cleveland with 27 career starts. "I have tried to be a leader throughout my career. I hope this shows that my teammates appreciate what I have done. Now I am hoping to be one of the leaders of a great team, a championship team."

"A leader has a responsibility to take care of business, so now I have to step up to the plate," said Heyward, a product of Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Ga., and a preseason All-American on the defensive line. "This is one of those honors you think about since you were a kid, being captain of your team. It's a tremendous feeling."

"I'm excited and humbled," said Homan, a linebacker from Coldwater High in Coldwater, Ohio, who was the Buckeyes' leading tackler last season and has 215 career stops. "But because I'm a captain, my role won't change. I want to still be the same hard-working person."

"When I look at the other seniors on this team, this is such a great honor," said Rolle, a linebacker from Immokalee, Fla., who has recorded 134 career tackles at Ohio State. "It's quite an honor to think that my teammates recognize how hard I've worked. I'm looking forward to a great season."

"I was surprised to hear my name called," said Saine, a tailback from Piqua High in Piqua, Ohio, who has rushed for 1,071 career yards as a Buckeye. "I just want to lead by example and try to do things right."

"It's a real honor to be mentioned among these great leaders," said Sanzenbacher, a wide receiver with 69 career catches from Toledo Central Catholic in Toledo, Ohio. "I don't think it will change much for me; I just want to continue to contribute to this program any way I can."

The 2010 Buckeyes open the season Thursday, September 2, hosting Marshall in a 7:30 p.m. game at Ohio Stadium. That contest will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

TBT VIDEO: LARIMORE, J. BOREN

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times post-scrimmage interview footage with senior defensive tackle Dexter Larimore and senior offensive guard Justin Boren ...

Dexter Larimore
video

Justin Boren
video

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NORWELL COULD SEE SOME PT; BATTLE STILL GOING ON AT LT


(Photo of Justin Boren, left, and Andrew Norwell
by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)


COLUMBUS — Ohio State freshman offensive tackle Andrew Norwell may be getting on the field sooner rather than later.

With the announcement that sophomore tackle Marcus Hall will be red-shirting in 2010 (academics), Norwell has been pushed up to the two-deep at right tackle, and could see some action behind junior J.B. Shugarts as early as the season opener against Marshall on September 2.

The 6-foot-5, 310 pounder from Cincinnati has been catching the eyes of not only his coaches, but his teammates, as well.

"Norwell's been doing really well," OSU senior offensive guard Justin Boren said. "I've been impressed with the way he's playing. Hopefully if he keeps on improving he'll compete for some playing time."

Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel has also taken notice of his true freshman tackle.

"It's going to be interesting to watch Andrew Norwell, I've been very impressed with him," Tressel said. "He was working a good bit with the second group (during the jersey scrimmage), and for a young lineman he's been very, very impressive."

With Mike Adams and Andrew Miller battling on the left side, and Shugarts locked in on the right, Norwell is hoping to be the fourth tackle in mix. As we all know, especially early in the season when temperatures are warmer, the Buckeyes usually platoon offensive linemen in and out during games. The main question is: Will the Buckeyes have enough faith to put a true freshman in over the likes of a veteran?

Tressel said that is something that he and his staff are going to have to figure out soon.

"Will (Norwell) be able to be that fourth guy? We'll see," Tressel said. "Or do you have to go with (guard) Bryant Browning if you need a fourth guy? To me those are some of the decisions I'm not sure that we can answer quite yet. But we're going to have to start answering them."

BACK TO THE LEFT SIDE ... As stated earlier, Adams and Miller are locked in a battle for the left tackle spot. Adams appears to have the lead in the fight, but right now Miller has been dealing with a bad elbow which has prevented him from getting more reps in practice.

"Well Mike Adams has been fortunate to be a little healthier," Tressel said. "Andrew Miller missed a little bit of a time, he's been a little bit banged. But I've been pleased with both those guys, I think they're both coming along. And we're going to need them both.

"We're fortunate that we have a little competition going on there. We just need to get Andrew a little healthier. He's going to help us a bunch this year."

Boren said that Miller's elbow could be a factor in which player gets the nod.

"Andy's elbow is bothering him a little bit, so that's one of the reasons that Mike took more reps (during the jersey scrimmage)," Boren said. "But they're both doing good. I know it kills Andy to sit out there. His elbow ... it's just killing him."

So when will a decision be made on which player takes the No. 1 spot on the left side?

"That's probably something that's going to play out here in the next week," Boren said. "We'll see more going into Marshall week. You know, the starters will definitely be taking most of the reps."

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

BUCKS-BUFFS TO PLAY IN 2011


COLUMBUS — It is now official, Ohio State and Colorado will do battle at Ohio Stadium during the 2011 football season.

The following press release was sent to The Buckeye Times on Tuesday from OSU football SID Shelly Poe ...

Ohio State and Colorado will meet on the football field Sept. 24, 2011, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, the two schools announced today.


"This will be a great contest between two outstanding BCS teams that share an excellent football tradition," said Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith. "I know our fans will enjoy this opportunity."


"The matchup with the Buffaloes gives Buckeye fans just another reason to anticipate the 2011 season," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "Our players certainly enjoy games where they can test themselves against the other conferences nationally."


Ohio State will pay the Buffaloes $1.4 million for the one-time matchup.


"Colorado has always recognized the significance of playing marquee opponents in the non-conference portion of our football schedule," Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said. "This is a tremendous opportunity on the national platform to schedule a game with Ohio State, which has been one of the nation's premier programs and whom we have a lot of respect for. We're looking forward to what will be CU's first trip to the 'Horseshoe' in 25 years."


Ohio State's 2011 non-conference schedule will be: Sept. 3 vs. Akron; Sept. 10 vs. Toledo; Sept. 17 at Miami (Fla.); Sept. 24 vs. Colorado.


The two schools last met in football in 1986. Ohio State leads the all-time series by a 3-1 margin.


— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

FRESHMAN PHILLY BROWN 'FAST' BECOMING A NAME TO REMEMBER

(Corey "Philly" Brown photo by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State freshman wide receiver Corey Brown has been turning heads during fall camp, and at the speed he's moving, the youngster could be causing quite a few cases of whiplash.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound true freshman from Philadelphia is a game breaker, and he's been showing flashes of his brilliance ever since he arrived on the practice field earlier this month.

When describing Brown's abilities there seems to be a common theme — the kid has some quicks.

"Corey Brown is fast, I can say that much," OSU senior cornerback Devon Torrence said.

"Corey Brown is fast," Buckeyes junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor added. "I call him DeSean Jackson. He's good, he's good."

It's definitely not easy making a name for yourself at Ohio State as a true freshman, especially when you share a name with another Pennsylvania product on the roster — red-shirt freshman cornerback and Pittsburgh native, Corey Brown.

"We call him Philly Brown," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said about the receiver. "When somebody asks us about Corey Brown we kind of think of Pittsburgh Brown."

However, Tressel said that Philly Brown is making his own name.

"We think Philly Brown is going to be a great player," Tressel said. "He's gotten a lot of reps this summer because Dane (Sanzenbacher) was out a good bit. So Philly has had a lot of reps, a lot of opportunity, he's shown that he can make plays. He'll help us this year."

With DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher locked in at the No. 1 and No. 2 receiver spots, and senior Taurian Washington leading at the No. 3, Brown may not see a whole lot of time on the field as a receiver this fall. But that doesn't mean Brown's not going to make an impact as a freshman this season.

"I would say that if we had a game tomorrow you might see Philly and Jordan Hall back on punts as much or more as you might see DeVier and Dane," Tressel said.

During the OSU kick scrimmage a couple weekends ago, Philly Brown dazzled as a punt returner, taking one for 46 yards while displaying his great speed and escape ability on the jaunt.

Look for the Buckeyes to utilize Brown similar to the way they did Ted Ginn Jr. during his freshman season in 2004, by giving him some reps at receiver, returner and perhaps even a reverse or two. They actually used Brown on an end around during Saturday's jersey scrimmage, so the Ginn looks are definitely a possibility.

Tressel said that Brown looked like that (Ginn) type of player coming out of high school, and thus far, he is living up to those expectations.

"We thought he was a special guy," Tressel said about Brown coming out of high school. "He had great speed, comes from a very good program. I don't know, he was second or third in the state I think in the 100 meters. On film he looked electric.

"You just don't how guys are going to adjust being away from home and picking up new systems, but he's done a good job. Again, because he got those extra reps, all of a sudden when you know what you're doing and your physical abilities can take over."

If his physical abilities do take over, then the name Corey "Philly" Brown could "fast" become one to remember.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

TBT VIDEO: COMPLETE TRESSEL POST-SCRIMMAGE PRESSER

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times complete post-scrimmage press conference footage of Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. The presser took place on Saturday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus ...

Tressel Part 1
video

Tressel Part 2
video

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.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TBT VIDEO: B. ROLLE, R. HOMAN

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times post-practice interview footage (Tuesday) with senior linebackers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan.


Brian Rolle
video


Ross Homan
video

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BUCKEYES DEALING WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS; NEW NIKE GARB

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

COLUMBUS — High preseason rankings and even higher expectations have become a way of life at Ohio State during the Jim Tressel era.

It seems that every season begins with the Buckeyes residing near the top of the polls. The 2010 campaign is no different, as the Buckeyes are ranked No. 2 in the first coaches poll. More than likely the Buckeyes will be rated the same in the Associated Press version which comes out this weekend.

With all of the hoopla surrounding the Buckeyes this season — from being picked to win their sixth straight Big Ten title to being forecasted for a date in the desert in early January — it would seem difficult for an Ohio State football player not to start feeling the press clippings.

Well, that's not the case at all.

Ohio State senior defensive end Cameron Heyward explained what he does when he reads a newspaper or magazine article about the Buckeyes high rankings and BCS title predictions.

"Just throw it in the trash," Heyward laughed. "If we start believing it we're going to get beat real quick."

Ohio State senior linebacker Brian Rolle stated that football isn't won on paper, it's won on the practice and game fields.

"We don't really talk about it much because the polls haven't played anybody, they just go off of what we've done previously," Rolle said. "We know that we have to get our practice on, and at the end of the day our play is going to determine where we are ranked."

Of course saying it and doing it are two totally different things. It's difficult not believing you're great when everyone is offering up lofty predictions and writing about how your team could be the best in the nation. It's just human nature to develop feelings of entitlement.

However, Ohio State senior linebacker Ross Homan said they don't need to read about or hear about their high expectations because it's just a part of being a Buckeye. Those high expectations are a perennial thing and it starts in-house.

"We really do shut it out," Homan said. "We try to shut out all outside sources, media sources. We just try to focus on our defense, and more importantly, the whole team. When we come out here we don't think about that stuff. We watch our film and try to get better from that.

"We always expect high results," Homan continued. "It doesn't matter what year it was or what year it is, it is a challenge that I know we're looking forward to and I think we can do it."

The Buckeyes have a pretty demanding schedule this season as they play four teams which are ranked in top 14 (according to the coaches poll), with two of them (Iowa and Wisconsin) on the road.

But just like last season, where the Buckeyes were upset by a 1-5 Purdue team, they know that they must bring it every week no matter who they're playing against because that target on their back is as wide as the midwest — and it's growing by the day.

"That's how it is," Homan said. "Every Saturday, every given Saturday you have to bring your A-game or you're going to get beat. No matter who you play."

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who is also being touted as a Heisman front-runner, said it best when talking about how the Buckeyes need to deal with the preseason rankings and high expectations.

"We could go about it a couple of ways," Pryor said. "We could go into the season thinking we're going to run all over everybody and take it to Marshall and guys like that. Or we can go into it slowly, taking it one day at a time. Starting tonight by getting our rest, then getting up tomorrow, eating well, going to watch film, everybody resting up, everybody paying attention, getting better, going to practice. And then after that, we do the same thing over and over.

"(With the first option) we could just let it all go to our heads and lose our one or two games like we've been doing. I would rather go with the second option I gave you."

NEW NIKE UNIFORMS AGAINST MICHIGAN ... Just like last season, the Buckeyes will be wearing a different uniform in their regular season finale against Michigan.

According to a statement from OSU Football SID Shelly Poe, the Buckeyes are one of 10 teams that will wear a uniquely designed Nike uniform for one game this season.

The uniforms will be unveiled on September 1 in New York.

JERSEY SCRIMMAGE ON SATURDAY ... The Buckeyes annual fall camp jersey scrimmage will take place this Saturday at noon inside the Horseshoe. The event is closed to the public.

The Buckeye Times will be on hand for complete coverage.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FACT OR FICTION: SEC DOMINANCE


FACT OR FICTION: The brand of football played in the Southeastern Conference is far superior to the football that is played in the north?

For most the verbal reflex to that statement is fact. When I posed that question to a bunch of my football crazed buddies most of them didn't hesitate with their response.

"Without a doubt the SEC is better," one said. "By a mile."

"Why?" I asked.

"Are you kidding me?" he said. "Look at the records."

So I did. What I found was that the SEC is not as dominant as my friends assumed they were. And I'm willing to bet my findings will surprise you, too.

The research I did is as follows: I took the top five programs in the SEC (Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee) and examined their records against non-southern teams since 2002.

Because I took the top five SEC teams, I chose to include in the research only games against other good northern teams. For example, I threw out wins the SEC had against the Citadel, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. At the same time I did not comb through the records of SEC doormats Vanderbilt, Mississippi State or Kentucky.

The spirit of the research was to determine how the best of the SEC fared against the best of the northern teams they played. Also, I note how far the SEC team traveled north each season. What I found is they definitely do not like to go north of Kentucky.

Ever.

Enjoy.

SEC record against northern teams since 2002: 12 wins, 14 losses.

Alabama (1-2 overall vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @ Tennessee
2003 – did not go North of their own campus
2004 - @ Kentucky (L to Minnesota in bowl)
2005 - @South Carolina
2006 - @Tennessee
2007 - @Vanderbilt
2008 - @ Tennessee (L to Utah in bowl)
2009 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech)

Florida (3-3 overall vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Tennessee (L to Michigan in bowl)
2003 - @Kentucky (L to Iowa in bowl)
2004 - @Tennessee
2005 - @Kentucky (W over Iowa in bowl)
2006 - @Tennessee (W over Ohio State in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (L to Michigan in bowl)
2008 - @Tennessee
2009 - @Kentucky (W over Cincinnati in bowl)

Tennessee (1-5 vs. north, farthest North: Notre Dame)
2002 - @Vanderbilt (L to Maryland in bowl)
2003 - @Kentucky
2004 - @Vanderbilt (L to Notre Dame)
2005 - @Notre Dame (L to Notre Dame)
2006 - @Vanderbilt (L to Penn State in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (W over Wisconsin in bowl, 21-17)
2008 - @Vanderbilt
2009 - @Kentucky (L to Va Tech in bowl)

Georgia (4-1 vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Kentucky
2003 - @Tennessee (W over Purdue in bowl, 34-27)
2004 - @Kentucky (W over Wisconsin in bowl, 24-21)
2005 - @Tennessee (L to West Virginia in bowl)
2006 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech in bowl, 31-24)
2007 - @Tennessee
2008 - @Kentucky (W over Michigan State in bowl, 24-12)
2009 - @Tennessee

LSU (3-3 vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Va Tech (L)
2003 - @South Carolina
2004 - @Georgia (L to Iowa in bowl)
2005 - @Vanderbilt
2006 - @Tennessee (W over Notre Dame in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech, W over Ohio State in bowl)
2008 - @South Carolina
2009 - @Georgia (L to Penn State in bowl)

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NOTES FROM TUESDAY'S PRACTICE

(Photo of Dexter Larimore by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

COLUMBUS — Below are some notes from Tuesday's practice at The Harmon Family Football Park in Columbus.

IT'S WON IN THE TRENCHES ... It appears that Ohio State will have one of the better offensive and defensive lines in the country this season. Each side has talent, skill and experience, and both are preparing the other greatly for the upcoming 2010 campaign.

Ohio State senior defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said that going against the Buckeyes' first team offensive line everyday in camp will prove beneficial this season.

"The guys I go against (in practice), Browning, Brewster and Boren, you know, you're probably not going to see too many guys like that," Larimore said on Tuesday after practice. "So, if you can practice against them everyday, you're going to get better.

"This is one of the better offensive lines that I've seen," Larimore continued. "Usually you get one or two guys who are weak, but this year across the board we have a very good offensive line."

The defensive line isn't too shabby itself. With Larimore and sophomore John Simon on the inside, junior Nathan Williams at one end and perhaps the best DE in all of college football, Cameron Heyward, on the other side, the Buckeyes are going to be in the opposing backfield pretty regularly this season.

OSU senior middle linebacker Brian Rolle also said that the Buckeyes defensive front is brutal and even touted one of his young teammates.

"Young guys like Johnny Simon are doing a great job up front," Rolle said. "I said the first day he got here that he would be an all-American. He's definitely raising the expectations of mine. He'll be one of the great defensive linemen to play here."

Below is The Buckeye Times post practice interview footage with Larimore and Heyward ...

Dexter Larimore
video

Cameron Heyward
video

NATHAN WILLIAMS INJURY UPDATE ... Early in Saturday's kick scrimmage at Ohio Stadium, OSU junior defensive end Nathan Williams was helped off the field after suffering what appeared to be a serious left knee injury.

Early on in Tuesday's practice, I was able to chat with Williams for a few moments about the injury, and he informed me that even though it was incredibly painful, it "wasn't too serious."

He said that he will basically rest and rehab the remainder of this week and go from there. My feeling after talking with him is that he will definitely be back before the opener on September 2.

Williams is one of the best pass rushers on the team and will be greatly needed this season if the Buckeyes are to challenge for the national championship.

Junior Solomon Thomas filled in for Williams at the starting defensive end spot opposite Heyward.

T. WASH LOOKING LIKE THE SOLID NO. 3 ... Coming into fall camp, one of the biggest questions for the Ohio State offense was who would step up and become the third receiving option behind junior DeVier Posey and senior Dane Sanzenbacher?

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

With just 16 days until the Buckeyes open the season against Marshall it's beginning to become clear as to whom that player will be — senior Taurian Washington.

Washington has looked impressive all through camp, and appears to be quarterback Terrelle Pryor's favorite target down field. During Saturday's kick scrimmage, Pryor hooked up with Washington on two touchdowns, including one for 75 yards.

On Tuesday, Washington continued to run as the third wide out and was on the receiving end of quite a few Pryor throws.

Others who have caught my eye are red-shirt freshman Chris Fields and true freshman Corey Brown. Pryor said Brown reminds him of Philadelphia Eagles star receiver, DeSean Jackson.

HIT OF THE DAY ... Although there were no bone-rattling hits, one did grab my attention and it came from a usual suspect.

During a game scenario drill, OSU senior safety Tyler Moeller laid a pad-popper on tailback Brandon Saine, after he hauled in a reception from Pryor in the right flats.

Moeller hasn't shown any ill effects from his head injury during camp. He also broke up a deep pass down field from Pryor to Dane Sanzenbacher.

BUMPS AND BRUISES ... There were quite a few players in the non-contact yellow jerseys on Tuesday. Although there were none that were serious, the notable players in yellow were Williams, safety Orhian Johnson, tailback Carlos Hyde, defensive end Melvin Fellows and wide receiver James Jackson.

— To discuss this story or any others involving Ohio State football, click here.