The Buckeye offense worked on a lot of passing today. The majority of the reps came out of the no-huddle, shotgun formation with three or four receivers. Just like we saw in the Kent State and Indiana games, quarterback Craig Krenzel called the plays at the line of scrimmage today. Krenzel looked pretty sharp for the most part... The Bucks also worked on throwing to the backs quite a bit. And most of the passes were not your traditional screens in the flat. Instead, the backs were catching several passes in the middle of the field, about seven yards past the line of scrimmage.
Tim Anderson (calf), Mike Stafford (leg) and Ivan Douglas (ankle) did not practice today. Anderson and Stafford are questionable for the Northwestern game, while Douglas is probable. In fact, I talked with Ivan after practice and he said he will be full-go for practice tomorrow and will definitely play against the Wildcats. He said missing today's practice was more a precaution than anything else. Douglas was expected to be in the lineup last week against Indiana, but he failed a pre-game stress test on his ankle.
The starting offensive line looked like this today: LT: Rob Sims, LG: Adrien Clarke, C: Alex Stepanovich, RG: Bryce Bishop, RT: Shane Olivea… Sims continues to impress with his quick feet, balance and strength. This guy is going to be a major factor the rest of his career… I also continue to be impressed with Bishop. You don't hear his name mentioned much and in the world of an O-Lineman, that usually means the job is getting done. Like most of the other Buckeye linemen, Bishop still needs to improve on his pass protection, but he has developed into a very solid, reliable player.
The Buckeyes worked on a ton of punt block drills today. Tight end Ben Hartsock was quoted earlier in the week as saying, "We probably work on special teams more than any other team in the nation." Not sure if the people at Virginia Tech would agree with that, but it was still nice to hear. How often do you see special teams win or lose a game?... Also during the special teams drills today, Andy Groom ran a couple of fake punts. Not sure if he's replaced Donnie Nickey as the designated runner on fakes, but the former high school quarterback was looking pretty quick with the ball today. Groom is definitely one of the more athletic punters you are ever going to see… Oh, and from the "only at OSU category," Groom was actually signing autographs during practice (he had a break and was walking from the practice field to the inside of the WHAC when a couple of fans tracked him down). Only at OSU would the punter even get asked for his autograph, especially during practice.
Maurice Clarett was wearing a sleeve on his right knee today, but was running around very well.
There are a lot of things that stand out about Chris Gamble, but one of the main things you notice is how smooth he is. No matter what Gamble is doing (catching a pass, returning kicks/punts, playing DB), he always looks smooth. We're talking Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana smooth… And no, Gamble did not work with the DB's today. I'm guessing we won't see that again until maybe the Penn State and Purdue games.
Rich McNutt is still working with the first team defense. E.J. Underwood and Harlen Jacobs were the second team corners today. Will Allen and Tyler Everett continue to be the backup safeties.
With Anderson out, Darrion Scott is lining up at tackle and Simon Fraser is starting at end… Tackle David Thompson was rotating in and out with the first team today (Scott would shift back to end when Thompson came in)… Both of the freshman tackles, Marcus Green (redshirt frosh) and Quinn Pitcock, are going to be good players before it's all said and done. Both of them play very low and always seem to get good push. Neither of them are contributing much this year (Pitcock will likely get redshirted), but I like what I am seeing out of these two. Big run-stuffing tackles are hard to come by these days and it's nice to have two waiting in the wings.
Branden Joe left practice about 40 minutes early to attend a class.
Practice Report (10/1)
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