Helwagen Chat: Nov. 17 Archive

We have excerpts from Thursday's Chat with Steve Helwagen. Remember, Gary Housteau will Chat at 11 a.m. Friday and Bill Conley will recap The Game with a Chat at 1 p.m. Monday.

keato (Nov 17, 2005 1:05:24 PM)
Steve, looks like we are close to signing D. Johnson have you had a chance to see this kid? They are talking athlete but with only one reciever signed I would not be surprised to see him there.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:06:29 PM)
Johnson? Where's he from? I'm slow today.

keato (Nov 17, 2005 1:08:08 PM)
Youngstown Mooney!!!

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:09:49 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:09:53 PM)
I'm an imbecile.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:10:24 PM)
Yes, Derrell Johnson from Mooney. Great looking prospect. Gary has seen him several times and loves him. Versatile guy has played QB and receiver.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:10:52 PM)
He's been to a game or 2 this year. He was hurt, but he's come back strong. He could lead them back to the championship this year.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:11:15 PM)
The moderation is on, send questions when you like.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:11:58 PM)
I only have until 2 p.m. This is a moderated Chat. All questions come to me and I post them as I get to them.

keato (Nov 17, 2005 1:12:49 PM)
Steve, do you see Haw getting some more action this week?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:14:11 PM)
Possibly, they say Pittman is 100 percent and ready to go. But they are getting Haw ready, no doubt. He got 8 carries last week and moved the pile nicely. I like what I am seeing out of him. He is becoming a more complete player -- running inside and outside and handling his blocking and catching duties.

JimC (Nov 17, 2005 1:14:19 PM)
Hi Steve, Will we take any borderline recruits this year (ie Gibson)? I thought we always took 1 or 2.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:14:45 PM)
Oh jeez, there seems to be a real emphasis on admissions. I think the standards are only getting tougher every year ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:15:40 PM)
The problem is kids ask their guidance counselors what they need. They shoot for that, but it's short of OSU's admissions standards now. The coaches and support staff need to get the word out there that they are shooting for higher academic profiles ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:15:43 PM)
Doggone it ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:15:50 PM)
I go back and forth on this ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:16:43 PM)
I see what some say -- this school's mission as a land grant university was to take all comers. But I'm not sure aspiring for higher academic profiles is such a bad thing, either. I am really torn on this one, but I see the direction is going toward tougher standards.

Poz79 (Nov 17, 2005 1:16:52 PM)
Steve, what's the latest on Donte Whitner's shoulder?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:18:11 PM)
I think Donte should be OK. Obviously, we get NO meaningful injury reports. Coach Tressel said the injury report this week was short. If he can't go, they'll put Mitchell in there. He would be a great loss, but I expect him to play most of the game.

keato (Nov 17, 2005 1:18:17 PM)
Steve, I'm not much of a betting man but for some reason I see OSU 10pts better on Saturday. What are your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:18:25 PM)
That was my pick, 34-24 ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:19:01 PM)
Keato, you know my brother-in-law. He says OSU 34-17. So, in a moment of weakness, I took his score as the gospel, adjusted it a bit ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:19:29 PM)
But I don't remember if OSU has ever won there by double digits (not in the last 20 years ... ha ha). Maybe I'm off base.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:19:50 PM)
But doggone it (sorry to borrow that again Woody) ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:20:31 PM)
Ohio State has been more consistent and, truthfully, superior to Michigan on offense, defense and in the kicking game all year. They appear to be the better team. But, like last year, the better team does not always win.

JimC (Nov 17, 2005 1:20:37 PM)
What do you think of Lloyd whining about the bag check from last year. He really seems upset!! Is he just trying to fire up his players?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:21:09 PM)
Yeah, they are playing the lack of respect card, and I don't blame them. You use whatever you can to get that psychological edge. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:21:17 PM)
We don't really know where the truth lies ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:21:37 PM)
Geiger said they checked everybody last year, although none of their other opponents knew about it ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:22:02 PM)
The checks were typically done at the hotel, maybe only the equipment manager knew it from the other schools. I don't know ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:22:54 PM)
OSU's story is Michigan was late getting the bags down, so the search was conducted at the stadium. That did not go down very well as the players were subjected to catcalls from the fans outside the stadium, etc.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:23:43 PM)
Really griped Michigan that they were "singled out." Again, I don't think we'll ever get the whole story. They say they will not "retaliate." I think the whole thing was a bad miscommunication ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:24:15 PM)
How bad was it though? UM led 10-0 or 14-0 to start the game. Tressel said they need to get better dogs next time -- that was off the cuff, not serious.

stone cold buckeye (Nov 17, 2005 1:24:24 PM)
So who is hurt for the big game with SCum!

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:25:05 PM)
Tressel said the injury list will be very light. I think Pittman is fine. Whitner could be a question. Otherwise, I think they're fit and ready to go.

Poz79 (Nov 17, 2005 1:25:21 PM)
I don't know if you've made your picks for this week yet, do you think Michigan State will be able to handle Penn State and give Ohio State the Big Ten BCS berth?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:27:07 PM)
No, I can't see that. I picked PSU to win by 3. They are just too good. This is their biggest game in like 10 years. MSU has really folded its tent. But it would not surprise me. MSU needs the win to get a bowl bid. But I'd consider it a major upset. Stanton gives them a chance, but you know the PSU defense will be amped to deliver the win. Tamba Hali was just named as a Nagurski Award (top def player) and A.J. Hawk missed the final 5, for whatever that is worth ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:27:50 PM)
Amazingly, OSU, UM and PSU all have BCS aspirations going into the weekend. If PSU wins, they go. But if they lose, the OSU-UM winner gets the automatic bid. Huge stakes -- even beyond the pride of winning The Game.

rbuck (Nov 17, 2005 1:27:54 PM)
Hi Steve, Sorry late. Contingent we win on Saturday. Is BCS in our future?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:28:37 PM)
Yeah, they have to win, obviously. As I said, I don't see PSU losing -- even in East Lansing. But I think OSU would have a great case for a BCS bid. Here's how ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:29:00 PM)
ND wins these last 2 and they are in the Fiesta Bowl automatically, almost, as the first choice in the rotation ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:29:14 PM)
The Orange would declare hometown Miami as its host school as the ACC champion ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:30:15 PM)
Then, the Orange could pick PSU or OSU or Va. Tech to face Miami. (Keep in mind, it would help OSU's cause if Auburn deals Alabama a second loss at home this week.) ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:31:17 PM)
My feeling is they would not pick VT to face Miami in a rematch. They could take either PSU or OSU. OSU is a great storyline rematch with Miami, while the PSU-Paterno storyline would be big, too. Either Orange picks PSU or OSU, the other team goes into the hopper for the Fiesta's next pick ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:31:55 PM)
Let's say Orange takes PSU. It's between OSU and VT to meet ND. I think ABC and Fiesta go with OSU. It would simply be a bigger game nationally.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:32:28 PM)
But that's what I see. If OSU and PSU both win, the Orange will have to make the call on which one it wants and both would be incredible choices.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:32:45 PM)
We may have some BCS bowls worth watching this year ... except the Sugar, of course.

buckohfive (Nov 17, 2005 1:32:48 PM)
Steve, do you think there will be any surprise player to step up and have a big day for either of the teams on Saturday?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:33:46 PM)
On the OSU side, maybe Anthony Gonzalez, like he got loose last year. Maybe Malcolm Jenkins on defense. For Michigan, backup TB Kevin Grady is a load at 227 pounds. You don't want to see him bouncing off guys in the secondary.

Guest (Nov 17, 2005 1:34:04 PM)
Steve, I asked earlier on the recruits. If we were to sign the top remaining seniors from Ohio do you think it would be a top 10 class nationally?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:34:23 PM)
keato asks if OSU signs the remaining seniors if this would be a top-10 class ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:36:15 PM)
Yes, I think so. Gibson is the wild card. The crack down on admissions may catch him in the crossfire, I dunno. He'd help the ranking if they're able to take him. Certainly, Rose and Small carry some cache. Would be nice to get just 2 top-100 players from OOS, too. But, yeah, they're on their way to a top-10 class (again).

whistler (Nov 17, 2005 1:36:18 PM)
From what E. Haw displayed in his limited reps. I'm very impressed. More so than M. Wells. Do you think what he displayed may earn him more reps in Mich. game. And earned his way out of the dog house.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:38:12 PM)
Yes, Haw is emerging at the right time. Bowl practice and spring practice will be huge for him making his case. They got have 3 or 4 good to great TBs next year. I will not get down on Wells. Jeez, he had 75 yards last week, albeit against NW. He is a situational player. He has the ability to be a star if used properly.

Guest (Nov 17, 2005 1:38:25 PM)
hey i was just wondering, what is up with marcus freeman? hes been my favorite player ever since he was in high school and i hate thats he's hurt

Guest (Nov 17, 2005 1:38:28 PM)
hey steve whats up with marcus freeman?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:38:41 PM)
go bucks asks about Marcus Freeman ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:39:27 PM)
Freeman played in the first game or 2 and then went on the shelf. He has not played since and will now be redshirted. He'll be a soph and have 3 years left next year.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 1:39:30 PM)
I got here late - what's the story with D'Andrea?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:40:58 PM)
Don't really know his status. He was in street clothes last week. The week before, Luke Fickell told us his knee was bothering him. Put 2 and 2 together and you just think it might be best if they shelve him and get him ready for 06.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 1:41:02 PM)
Isn't this the first time the Michigan game hasn't started at like 12:15pm? I always remember it being a noon game.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:43:06 PM)
No, that's a misnomer. For about 15 years it was always a noon game. But it has been a 1 p.m. game in recent years because ABC shows golf afterwards from 4:30-6:30 or 7. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:43:29 PM)
2002 was a 12:15 start, actually. I think last two years have been 1 p.m. and I think 2001 was as well.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:44:28 PM)
The ABC affiliate in Cols. has clearance to preempt the golf for a local postgame show. I should be on there after the game with them. Check it out if you can.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 1:44:33 PM)
How long is it going to be before we start seeing guys dressed like "The Animal" (Laurantis) in the stands at games :) They show that picture of his dad dressed up in his wrestling outfit.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:45:08 PM)
Yeah, that would be something to see people coming to the games like that. I think Laurinaitis has got a chance to be a good one.

boulderbuck1 (Nov 17, 2005 1:45:11 PM)
steve sorry if this has already been asked, but the offensive explosion of late, is that just situational i.e, four or five bad defenses, or do you believe that there is or was a leap forward by this team? i believe that they have taken a big leap forward now that tress has all of his players in place. Your thoughts, thanks

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:46:30 PM)
Combination of things: Great special teams play gave them shorter fields and, yes, these defenses they played were 3-4 of the worst on the schedule. But it does help to make plays, score points and gain confidence. They have shown they can run the football, first and foremost. That's the biggest thing to me and the biggest thing they have missed on a consistent basis since Reecie left at the end of 2002.

PuertoRicanBuck (Nov 17, 2005 1:48:17 PM)
Will we able to run like we have lately in 2006 and who do you think will make up our 2006 offensive line.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:49:33 PM)
Yeah, I think so. They lose Sims and Mangold up front. My line would be Boone and Barton at tackle, Datish and Downing at guard and Cordle at center. Or Datish at center and Rehring at guard. I'm sure you will see various combos during the spring and preseason camp. But, yeah, the running game and the offense should keep chugging, plus they add Chris Wells to the mix.

whistler (Nov 17, 2005 1:49:46 PM)
Do you feel that with the emergence of m. jenkins and if we can possibly get a.j. wallace that it will lock up ginn for offense the rest of his carrier.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:50:22 PM)
Probably. There is no need, as things stand, for Ginn to play defense. Hopefully, Youboty will come back and they'll have 2 outstanding corners with Youboty and Jenkins.

whistler (Nov 17, 2005 1:54:26 PM)
I notice that in 2002, with wells and ross, tressel rotated running backs quit a bit. Why with the exception after a long bust does he not do it as much this year?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:56:47 PM)
They didn't think Wells or Haw were ready. Wells is a true freshman and Haw just wasn't ready, they didn't feel. Plus, Pittman was solid.

rbuck (Nov 17, 2005 1:56:50 PM)
Steve, if you are in the top 6 in the Final BCS standings are you guaranteed a BCS bid?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 1:59:05 PM)
No, that is a misnomer. The rules are convoluted, but only teams in the top 4 are typically assured of BCS at-large bids. And 4 is not automatically guaranteed if 3 is an at-large.

Poz79 (Nov 17, 2005 1:59:15 PM)
As the offseason is rapidly approaching, is this going to be a year with no changes to the coaching staff?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:00:02 PM)
Yeah, I don't see any changes. I think Tressel is very comfortable with his staff. Maybe one of them will come to him and say they are ready to leave/retire. But I see no inclination of that.

beattheblue (Nov 17, 2005 2:02:02 PM)
Speaking of RB's, I think Pittman should be utilized instead of a rotation; I loved using Ginn as a decoy, freezing the backside end on the up the middle runs to Pittman; worked every time agains NW. Do you see any trick plays, eg, Ginn throwing, fake punts with AJ TRepasso running it like in HS?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:02:47 PM)
Agreed on the Ginn fake reverse. That's worked great. Don't see any trick plays. They've run a few this year and they just don't ever seem to work.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 2:02:58 PM)
I've read where Pittman is a little nicked up. Is that true and if so, doesn't that say that he won't be looking at 25 carries? Either Wells/Haw/Smith will be picking up the slack or they going to have to be throwing the ball, don't you think?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:03:38 PM)
I think Pittman is OK. I doubt you see anybody else run the ball on OSU's end of the field. They don't want to risk a bad turnover there.

PuertoRicanBuck (Nov 17, 2005 2:03:42 PM)
So Pete Carrol doesn't want to poach Bollman?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:03:48 PM)
Now now ... be nice.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 2:03:52 PM)
I'm ready to see them give Ginn the ball on the end around after they fake it into the line. They've been handing the ball off for weeks now it seems. Thoughts on getting TD the ball on Saturday?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:05:14 PM)
Maybe that is the plan for Ginn to take it this time. Forcing the ball into Ginn has not been working. They need it to come within the flow. If he can get 6-7 touches on offense and 2-3 great return opps, you may have something. I think M kicks to him.

aarons (Nov 17, 2005 2:05:46 PM)
With the year that Pittman is having and the spark that M.Wells showed on Sat. do you see C.Wells redshirt next year or will all three backs share time?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:06:45 PM)
No, Chris Wells would not redshirt. (I think Gary and Duane would have a heart attack if that was suggested ... ha ha.) He's too good. If he can pick up the offense right away, he needs to be in there early and often. He is a rare commodity.

wwt (Nov 17, 2005 2:06:53 PM)
I think Heacock has been a pleasant surprise at DC. Seems I've read that he has them attacking more than last year. Why do you think he is just now getting a chance as a DC?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:08:38 PM)
He was the head coach for 8-9 years at Illinois State. I don't think he was the DC at Washington before that. The opportunity never really presented itself at OSU until last year. But Heacock was cool with Snyder and Tucker sharing it. Then when Snyder left, Tressel was in a lerch. He went to Heacock and he accepted it. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:09:48 PM)
I agree, I think he has done a fabulous job. They didn't "lose" either game, in my opinion. Maybe Texas with the winning TD pass, but that was one play after the offense blew TD chance after TD chance.

spout (Nov 17, 2005 2:12:17 PM)
Steve , late to the chat and probably off subject, but where does A. Spitler stand for next year? Not hearing much about him when talk of filling LB comes up.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:05 PM)
He's still in their plans, definitely. It will be an open competition for the LBs in the spring. Should be fun to see who rises to the challenge and is most consistent over the spring. Those will be your starters. He is on equal footing with everybody coming back, IMO.

boulderbuck1 (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:09 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:31 PM)
I said 34-24, but I can't remember the last time OSU won by 10 or more up there. I'll have to look that up.

buckohfive (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:34 PM)
Steve, are you going to any high school games this weekend? I am going to catch the Patrick Henry/Bucyrus Wynford Friday Night in Tiffin and then head to Ann Arbor. Saturday Night I will be back to watch Coldwater and Homan take on Huron. I am definitely looking forward to the weekend.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:50 PM)
Maybe the Coldwater game on the way home, but not if I get stuck in the two A's,

aarons (Nov 17, 2005 2:13:54 PM)
Do you think AJ Wallace comes to OSU and will A. Youboty come back?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:14:23 PM)
I think Youboty is back. Wallace will give OSU a strong look. I think they have a 40 percent chance there. But Neb. and FSU and others will make their push.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:15:22 PM)
See you on the other side.

spout (Nov 17, 2005 2:15:33 PM)
NOL grad,SBC & MAL follower. Don't count Huron out.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 17, 2005 2:15:41 PM)
I am sure that will be a great game.

EDITOR'S NOTE -- If you like what you see here at Bucknuts.com, we urge you to subscribe today. At the least, take a one-week free trial and you can enjoy it all during what should be a special week.

This is the time to subscribe and enjoy all of the benefits of Bucknuts.com. Each day, we bring you the latest on what is happening with Ohio State football, basketball and recruiting.

This is the time to subscribe ... or at least take a one-week free trial! Start a new subscription by Nov. 15 and you will be on the mailing list for our January edition.

Bucknuts.com has become the leading Internet site for coverage of Ohio State athletics, football and football recruiting. Now is the time to act. You have read the rest; now come and stick with the best!

Membership has its privileges. A one-year subscription ($99.95) gets you access to all premium news content on all of the Scout.com sites in the network. You also have access to our three premium message boards on this site. Plus, you receive the next 10 issues of Bucknuts The Magazine -- our glossy 80-page magazine devoted to OSU athletics and recruiting.

That's quite a bit for $99.95. Remember, that members have access to Chat sessions with Steve Helwagen, Bill Conley, Duane Long, Kyle Lamb and Gary Housteau.

Click here for information on subscribing or starting a free trial:

Subscription Information

Buckeye Sports Top Stories