Practice Notes (9/10)

The Bucks were in action today preparing for Washington State, and Dave Biddle checks in with some observations.

The Buckeye offense was working mostly out of one-back sets today. In fact, a fullback only lined up with the first team for about 5 percent of the snaps. Expect a lot of three-receiver and two tight end sets against Washington State… And don't forget about the unbalanced "Clarke formation" where the Bucks have six offensive linemen (seven including the tight end) on the field at the same.

Speaking of Adrien Clarke, the big man was looking good today. I kept a close eye on him all practice since he missed the Kent State game with a sore back. As it turns out, Clarke probably could have played, but the coaching staff didn't want to risk it. Clarke will see the field a lot against the Cougars.

Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Marcus Green seems to be getting a little more work with the first-team D. However, the Bucks seem to be set on a six-man rotation of Will Smith, Kenny Peterson, Tim Anderson, Darrion Scott, David Thompson and Simon Fraser. I would like to start seeing more of Thompson. He is a senior and is the biggest of the linemen. Problem is, you aren't going to take Peterson and Anderson out for long with the way they are playing… Green is the seventh man on the line and frosh DE Mike Kudla rounds out the two-deep.

"Sleeveless" Troy Smith is the scout team quarterback again this week and continues to impress. So far this year, Smith has mimicked Kliff Kingsbury, Joshua Cribbs and now Jason Gesser. Although these are only scout team snaps, they are sure to pay big dividends for Smith down the road… Oh, and about that sleeveless thing. Smith looked like he was wearing a tank top out there after he rolled his jersey sleeves up. I was waiting for one of the coaches to say something to him, but they let him keep the Ted Kluzewski look all practice.

Michael Jenkins continues to catch everything in his area code.

The starting offensive line is still the same and the backups lined up like this today: LT: Rob Sims, LG: Clarke, C: Nick Mangold, RG: Andree Tyree, RT: Mike Kne

True frosh EJ Underwood has definitely established himself as the third cornerback. Harlen Jacobs and Bobby Britton are rotating in with the second team… Not sure what happened to Chris Conwell, he looked good last spring and early this camp. But Conwell is definitely the sixth-man in the group. Not bad if you are playing hoops, but he is far away from seeing any meaningful playing time.

My two concerns for the WSU game? 

1. The corners. They are probably better than most thought they would be, but they are probably going to have some rough afternoons. Hopefully they can hold their own against Gesser and Co. What makes you rest easier about this group is that they have arguably the best D-Line in the nation getting pressure on the QB. That will make any secondary look good. Having Mike Doss back there doesn't hurt either.

2. Craig Krenzel's deep ball. As we all know by now, Krenzel is a good decision maker and is excellent at checking off to his secondary receivers. But he needs to get better at the long ball. He seems to have far too many underthrows, even in practice. Washington State is going to treat the Buckeyes as a running team until they prove otherwise. Look for a lot of eight-man fronts and hopefully No. 16 will burn them a couple of times.

Chris Vance was practicing with a purpose today and will get his first action of the season on Saturday. You have to like the thought of Jenkins, Chris Gamble and Vance on the field at the same time.

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