"I hadn't heard that," Kenny Peterson said after practice. "I didn't realize he wasn't out there today. Well, that's too bad. Shane's been playing well. But we have some guys that can step in for him like Rob Sims."
Peterson was correct. Today at practice, Sims was inserted at left tackle and Ivan Douglas moved down to right tackle. Mike Kne also worked in with the first team on a few plays. Kne came in at RT, allowing Douglas to stay on the left side… While Sims and Kne have both been pleasant surprises this year, the Olivea injury comes at a bad time. The Bucks will be facing an excellent Penn State defensive line this week.
Cie Grant dressed for practice today, but did not take part in any drills. Grant is listed as questionable for the game with a high ankle sprain. A.J. Hawk lined up with the first-team defense in place of him… Bobby Carpenter is still backing up Rob Reynolds, but did get some snaps with the 1's today.
Will Smith (sprained knee) did take part in drills today. Not all of them, but he was out there and seemed to be running just fine… Darrion Scott (shoulder) also practiced, but did not take part in all of the drills.
The first-team defensive line changed as practice went on. There was the usual line of Smith, Tim Anderson, Kenny Peterson and Darrion Scott, but when Smith and Scott went out, Simon Fraser came in at end, David Thompson came in at tackle and Peterson shifted down to end.
Chris Gamble did practice a little bit with the DBs today, but spent the majority of his time with the offense. E.J. Underwood is still running with the first-team defense and everyone knows this is a big week for Underwood. If he can hold his own against Zack Mills and the PSU passing game, his career might be ready to take off. Underwood just needs to get his confidence up and a big game against the Lions will take care of that.
The Buckeye offense worked on quite a few screen passes to Maurice Clarett today. One play they worked on several times went like this: Craig Krenzel gets the snap and rolls left. Right guard Bryce Bishop and center Alex Stepanovich pull to the left and Krenzel throws back to the left to Clarett… This play looked like something straight out of the Michigan playbook and I am all for it. Clarett can give the Bucks a nice boost in the passing game.
During 11-on-11 drills (first-team offense vs. first-team defense) Krenzel worked out of the shotgun and was throwing mostly short passes. Quick hits to the tight end, wide receiver screens, things like that. Krenzel looked sharp today and was accurate on the few long balls he attempted. The catch of the day was a fingertip grab from Gamble on a fly pattern during 7-on-7 drills.
As for the scout-teamers, Justin Zwick is playing the role of Zack Mills this week and Troy Smith is Michael Robinson. Both frosh QBs continue to look very good… The scout team defense was playing bump-and-run on the corners and was blitzing a lot, so obviously the Buckeyes are expecting an aggressive Penn State defense. Look for man-to-man coverage on Michael Jenkins and Gamble and hopefully the Lions will get burned a few times.
Jim Bollman was extra intense and extra loud today. And if you know anything about Bollman, that is saying a lot because he is plenty intense and loud to begin with. Bollman got in the face of just about every O-Lineman on the team at some point today. He seemed especially concerned about the pull blocks. Bollman wants to see his linemen get out there a lot quicker than they have been.
As always, the Bucks opened practice with special teams drills. They worked a
lot on kickoff and punt coverage. The kickoff coverage team did a very nice job
against Wisconsin and seems to be improving… It looks like Mike Doss' days
of returning punts are over. Not that he was used very much in that role anyway,
but Gamble is the first option and Chris Vance is his backup… Andy Groom and
Mike Nugent continue to put on a show at all times. They might just be the best
punter-kicker tandem in the history of OSU football.