Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TBT Q&A: FORGET ABOUT THE 2011 BUCKEYES BEING MICHIGAN OF 2008

The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Just a few days until the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes kick off their 2011 campaign against Akron, and the flood of questions about the team in my inbox isn't receding whatsoever.

Ok, I will nix the formalities this week so I can answer a few more than questions this time around from my gracious, and in one case, delusional readers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BUCKEYES' OFFENSE WILL BE STEERED BY AN 'OR' SATURDAY

Joe Bauserman, left, and Braxton Miller (5) have been listed as the starting quarterbacks for the Buckeyes' season opener Saturday against Akron. (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam)
COLUMBUS — When 18th-ranked Ohio State kicks off the 2011 football season this Saturday afternoon against Akron, the Buckeyes' offense will be guided by an or.

No, not to be mistaken with an "oar" that is used to steer a boat, but an "or," which will be used to steer an offense from under center.

According to the Buckeyes' official depth chart released on Tuesday, the starting quarterback against the Zips has been listed as "fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman or true freshman Braxton Miller."

Monday, August 29, 2011

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS YOU CAN ACTUALLY RELY ON (MAYBE)

The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
It is officially game week at THE Ohio State University, as the 18th-ranked Buckeyes will host the Zips of Akron this Saturday afternoon at THE Ohio Stadium.

Now, I could break down the Zips' roster for you and formulate a scenario where the boys from the northeast shock the world in Appalachian State-style fashion, but let's be real here, the chances of Akron taking down the Buckeyes Saturday in Columbus are about as likely as Harold Camping's Oct. 21 prediction of the rapture coming to fruition.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

TBT Q&A: DOES OSU OFFENSE LOOK AS GOOD AS MANY ARE SAYING?

Boom Herron
TBT/Darla Dunkle
With the college football season ready to kickoff in just a little more than a week, there are continuing questions that need to be answered in regards to the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

How do I know this, you ask? Because my Twitter and e-mail accounts are jammed up like a fat guy in a Smart Fortwo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BUCKEYES SENIOR ANDREW SWEAT EMBRACING NEW LEADERSHIP ROLE

Andrew Sweat
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State begins the 2011 college football season as a member of the new Big Ten Leaders division.

Interesting, huh?

I mean, the Buckeyes did lose team Most Valuable Player Dane Sanzenbacher, linebackers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, defensive end Cameron Heyward and cornerback Chimdi Chekwa to graduation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BROWN, RECEIVERS READY TO ERASE ANY DOUBT IN THE PASSING GAME

Philly Brown
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — There's no question that the offense for the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes has gone through quite a bit of change since last season. Mix in suspensions with graduation and Ohio State's offense might even look brand new come the season opener on Sept. 3.

The obvious change will be at quarterback — a race between senior Joe Bauserman and freshman Braxton Miller — but who is set to be on the receiving end is just as big of a dilemma for the Buckeyes.
Sophomore wideout Corey "Philly" Brown believes it's totally reasonable for there to be skeptics on the new-look passing game.

Monday, August 22, 2011

WHO WILL START AT QB? MILLER READY TO LEAD OFFENSE IF CHOSEN

Braxton Miller
COLUMBUS — Going into the third week of fall camp, the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are beginning to make their stretch run toward the season opener against Akron Sept. 3, and there are still some major questions that have yet to be answered.

Obviously, quarterback is the main focus for every Ohio State fan these days. In fact, it's become such a daily soap opera in Columbus and around Ohio that people — fans and media alike — are becoming overly critical of every pass thrown in camp. Was the throw on time? Did it have a tight spiral? Was it against the first or second unit? Was it on the first read or on a check down?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

MILLER IMPRESSES AT OSU JERSEY SCRIMMAGE; FRESHMEN STEPPING UP

Braxton Miller at practice this week.
AP/Terry Gilliam
COLUMBUS — If Saturday's Ohio State jersey scrimmage was any indication, true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller is going to see the playing field early and often this fall for the Buckeyes.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder from Huber Heights (OH) displayed those much heralded abilities which made him one of the most highly touted prep signal callers in the country last season, irritating the Buckeyes' defense continuously on Saturday with both his arm and his ultra athletic feet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THURSDAY CAMP: BAUSERMAN, MILLER STILL TOP TWO AT QB

Bauserman, left and Miller
AP/Terry Gilliam
COLUMBUS — Ohio State head football coach Luke Fickell insists there isn't a quarterback depth chart in place as of yet, but once again on Thursday morning it was fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller who were manning the first and second units in practice.

"No!" Fickell grinned Thursday, when asked if there's any particular pecking order going on under center.

Perhaps the first-year coach was meaning he doesn't have a starter at this point. Although Joe Bauserman ran the most reps with the first-team offense on Thursday, Miller was used a little more with the starting unit and even led the ones in the final two-minute drill of the day.

THURSDAY PRACTICE BREAKDOWN: RECEIVERS HAVE UPS AND DOWNS

T.Y. Williams
AP/Terry Gilliam
COLUMBUS — The pigskin was flying around during Thursday morning's practice at Ohio State, and for a couple of young Buckeye receivers, it seemed difficult at times to haul them in.

Freshmen Devin Smith and T.Y. Williams had multiple drops throughout the morning session Thursday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BIG HANK NOT AS BIG, BUT READY TO MAKE A HUGE IMPACT FOR BUCKEYES

Johnathan Hankins
COLUMBUS — Ohio State defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins — known by his Buckeye teammates as "Big Hank" — has shed some serious pounds during this past offseason.

He's withered himself down to enormous.

Although the sophomore from Detroit has dropped nearly 30 pounds since last season, the big man is looking to make a huge impact on the Buckeyes defensive front — both inside and on the edge.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

THOUGHTS ON TUESDAY'S PRACTICE: OSU QB PICTURE BECOMING CLEARER

Braxton Miller (right) and Joe Bauserman.
AP/Terry Gilliam
COLUMBUS — Although Ohio State head football coach Luke Fickell won't admit it, the Buckeyes quarterback picture is becoming clearer, or so it certainly appeared on Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller seem to have separated themselves from the pack, running with the first and second offense during practice Tuesday, while Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham split reps with the third unit.

TBT VIDEO: OHIO STATE TAILBACK JAAMAL BERRY POST-PRACTICE TUES.

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times video footage of Ohio State tailback Jaamal Berry speaking after practice on Tuesday, Aug. 16 ...

TBT VIDEO: OHIO STATE HEAD COACH LUKE FICKELL POST-PRACTICE TUES.

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times video footage of Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell speaking with the media after practice Tuesday, Aug. 16 ...

Monday, August 15, 2011

BOOM EMBRACING SIDELINE ROLE WHILE PREPPING FOR OCTOBER

Dan Herron
TBT Photo/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Though Dan "Boom" Herron will not see the field until the Ohio State Buckeyes enter Lincoln, Nebraska for a huge Big 10 matchup, the tailback is having a ball on the practice field.

Herron, who is suspended the first five games of the 2011 season by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits, hasn't let his off-field issues with eligibility affect his passion for the game of football. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior is keeping a smile on his face while handing out advice to anyone who'll listen. Through the first week of fall camp, Herron has constantly been in the ears of fellow backfield runners Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith and Jordan Hall.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM WEEK ONE OF OHIO STATE FALL CAMP

TBT/Joe Stueve
COLUMBUS — The first week of fall football camp is now in the books at the Ohio State University and there certainly isn't a shortage of news-worthy observations.

Sure, I could begin by writing that there's a different feel to camp this year without Jim Tressel roaming the turf at the Harmon Family Football Park, but to be quite honest, I haven't noticed much change in environment under new head coach Luke Fickell.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TBT VIDEO: OHIO STATE SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK TYLER MOELLER

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times video footage of Ohio State senior defensive back Tyler Moeller answering questions after fall camp practice on Aug. 11 ...

Friday, August 12, 2011

RED-SHIRT FRESHMAN VERLON REED TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY

Verlon Reed
TBT/Darla Dunkle
COLUMBUS — Opportunity is knocking ... and Verlon Reed is answering.

With Ohio State losing team MVP Dane Sanzenbacher to graduation — and DeVier Posey for the first five games of the regular season — the Buckeyes receiving unit has a couple openings at the top of its depth chart and the red-shirt freshman from Marion-Franklin (Columbus) is definitely stating his case to be one of them.

TBT VIDEO: OHIO STATE'S MICHAEL BREWSTER THURSDAY FALL CAMP

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times video footage of senior center Michael Brewster answering questions Thursday at Ohio State fall camp ...

TBT VIDEO: OHIO STATE FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK BRAXTON MILLER

COLUMBUS — Below is The Buckeye Times video footage of Braxton Miller answering questions after practice on Thursday (8-11-2011) ...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MOELLER MAKING ANOTHER RETURN; QB BATTLE STILL GOING STRONG

Tyler Moeller
TBT/Darla Dunkle
COLUMBUS — My apologies to Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, but no player or coach at Ohio State has gone through more trials and tribulations in the past two years than senior defensive back, Tyler Moeller.

Two summers ago while on vacation in Florida with his family, Moeller suffered a major head injury after being brutally attacked inside a sports bar in Treasure Island. After being sucker-punched from behind by the attacker, Moeller hit his head hard on the ground and had to spend three nights in a hospital near Tampa.

HALL FINDS HIMSELF IN A WILDCARD ROLE WITH CROWDED OSU BACKFIELD

(From left) Jordan Hall, Dan Herron and Rod Smith
TBT/Joe Stueve
COLUMBUS — It's a crowded backfield for the Ohio State Buckeyes going into the 2011 season. Even with starting senior Dan "Boom" Herron suspended for the opening five games, Ohio State's stable of running backs aren't a cause for concern.

Plenty of talent resides in Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith and Jaamal Berry as each have seen a lot of action while running with the starters during the first week of camp. But Jordan Hall is playing the role of the wildcard, according to receivers coach Stan Drayton.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

HOWARD'S NEW ROLE; QB BATTLE CONTINUES IN DAY TWO OF CAMP

Travis Howard
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Junior cornerback Travis Howard is well-aware that it takes more than a couple of days to get accustomed to the grind of Fall Camp.

"We've got a lot of young guys who doesn't really understand what's going on," he said. "It's their first practice and it's basically a slow day."

Howard and the rest of the Ohio State Buckeyes defense didn't take it very slow on Tuesday at the Harmon Family Football Park. Though no shoulder pads were used in the making of this practice, the defense was flying around the ball.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FICKELL'S FIRST DAY, QB DERBY AND MORE FROM OSU FALL CAMP MONDAY

AP/Terry Gilliam
COLUMBUS — The Luke Fickell era at Ohio State has officially commenced.

The new head coach stepped onto the practice field for the first time as the Buckeyes' mentor on Monday morning, leading the team in its first session of fall camp at the Harmon Family Football Park in Columbus.

Fickell admitted that his excitement for the first practice Monday prevented him from getting much sleep the night before, as if he were a child awaiting Christmas morning.

'ENOUGH TALK' AS OHIO STATE HITS THE PRACTICE FIELD FOR FALL CAMP

Luke Fickell
TBT/Joe Stueve
COLUMBUS — Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell is through with speculating on the upcoming 2011 season. After conducting his first day of fall camp as Ohio State's main man, Fickell said his players are ready to take action.

"We've had enough talk," he said. "I think that's probably the biggest thing that we get into. You go to media days and you go to all of those things, it's just what you do ... To me, it's going to be about actions."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

TRUE FRESHMAN LINEBACKER CURTIS GRANT IS READY TO PROVE A POINT

Curtis Grant
COLUMBUS — When Ohio State freshman linebacker Curtis Grant is in your midst you have no choice but to take notice.

Not only is the native of Virginia a physical specimen, he also has a personality that's towers above his 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame.

"He's a guy with great charisma," Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell said of Grant. "When he walks in a room, he's the type of guy who takes over the room."

BUCKEYES RANKED 16TH IN USA TODAY PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Ohio State begins the 2011 college football season as the No. 16 team in the country, according to the USA Today preseason coaches poll released Thursday morning.

Four of the Buckeyes' opponents debuted in the Top 25 (ranking): Wisconsin (10), Nebraska (11) Michigan State (17) and Penn State (25). Ohio State will play all of those teams — except for Nebraska — at home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

HEUERMAN LOOKING THE PART; GRANT DUO BEHIND FICKELL

Jeff Heuerman
TBT/Joe Stueve
COLUMBUS — Ohio State freshmen took to the microphones on August 3 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for a formal introduction to the entire class of 2011. Each of the newly-minted Buckeyes were given a few minutes to take questions from the media and to talk about how they fit in with football season less than a month away.

HEUERMAN READY TO ROLL ... At 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, tight end Jeff Heuerman looked quite the specimen as he stood at the podium. Back in February when Heuerman was first introduced as part of the 2011 class, the Florida native was a fraction of what he is now. Heuerman said he's put on 30 pounds since he arrived in Columbus.

HUGE PRESSURE ON NEW QB MILLER, HOPEFULLY THE KID CAN HANDLE IT

Braxton Miller
TBT/Joe Stueve
COLUMBUS — The moment former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor announced that he was done playing football for the Buckeyes back in June, it seemed as if all of Columbus had turned its attention toward Braxton Miller so quickly and intently that a record number of whiplash cases were reported at the OSU Medical Center.

Seriously, you would've thought the incoming freshman quarterback was Charlize Theron attending a prison social. 

All who reside in Buckeye Nation are drooling over the prospects of Miller's greatness at Ohio State. Many are billing him as the heir apparent to Pryor. Some are saying he's a bigger, more athletically gifted Troy Smith. Others are proclaiming Miller as the next OSU Heisman Trophy winner.