Good morning friends, and welcome to The Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Aug. 31.
We hope you’ll start your day with us here at Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
Let’s get started.
Ohio State’s depth chart provides some answers, some questions
We’re three days from the start of the 2016 football season and, with that, the first official — well, unofficial — Buckeyes depth chart has been released. Ohio State will host Bowling Green on Saturday, and they’ll go into the game with one of the country’s youngest, and most talented, football teams. How young?
#OhioState's depth chart features ZERO senior starters on defense and 31 freshmen/sophomores on the team's 2-deep.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 30, 2016
Most of the depth chart is what you’d expect, although there are a few positions with the awkward “or” where you may not expect it, including running back, where redshirt freshman Mike Weber and junior Curtis Samuel are listed as co-starters. Defensive end Sam Hubbard, who was singled out by Urban Meyer as a starter just a week ago, also has a co-starter listed alongside him, Jalyn Holmes.
There are a few things worth watching moving forward. Such as:
- It’s somewhat surprising that redshirt sophomore wide receiver K.J. Hill isn’t listed. He’s been regularly praised by the Ohio State coaching staff going back to last year and that hasn’t changed at all recently.
- Defensive back Cam Burrows, coming back off a foot injury that cost him most of 2015, is not on the depth chart and has been passed by true freshman Jordan Fuller. Burrows was discussed by Greg Schiano two weeks ago as one of four players fighting for a starting spot with Malik Hooker, Erick Smith and Dame Webb. Today, he’s nowhere to be seen, and you have to wonder what’s happening with the fourth-year junior.
- As Meyer announced on Monday, walk-on kicker Tyler Durbin will be handling field goals, extra points and kickoffs this weekend in place of Sean Nuernberger.
Are there any surprises on the depth chart that stand out to you?
Joey Lane, Jim Jent get scholarships from Thad Matta
Thad Matta and the Buckeyes basketball team welcomed two new scholarship players to their roster for the 2016-17 season.
— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) August 29, 2016
That is sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle welcoming walk-ons Joey Lane and Jimmy Jent to the good life of a scholarship player. Lane has become a fan favorite off the bench the last few seasons, embracing his role as a human victory cigar and emerging as one of the school’s most entertaining Twitter users. It’s a well-deserved honor for a player who has put his blood, sweat, and tears into the Buckeyes program during the last two seasons.
— Joey Lane (@JoeySmoke11) August 29, 2016
Jent, the son of Ohio State assistant coach Chris Jent, played six games at Wofford last season.
Michigan can break its B1G title drought how?
To break the hold that Ohio State and Michigan State have had on the Big Ten and to win their first conference title in 11 years, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan will have to do something that no Big Ten team has done since 1964 — and that’s win at Michigan State and at Ohio State in the same season.
According to CollegeFootballTalk.com, the Wolverines won’t do that – the site predicts Ohio State to best Michigan again – but they will be in the college football playoff, somehow.
Many think next year will be The Year for Michigan. Jim Harbaugh doesn’t like working on other people’s timelines. I like this year’s team to lose to Ohio State but still reach the College Football Playoff.
So, despite being picked second in the Big Ten East, Michigan will make the playoff ahead of Ohio State? There’s no justification for the choice and no analysis provided, but it’s hard to see how the Wolverines can get into the CFB playoffs if they’re not playing for a Big Ten championship, which, in this scenario, they wouldn’t be doing.
Billy Price, Pat Elflein have to lead the way for Buckeyes offense
While there’s certainly no panic from the Ohio State coaching staff, it’s hard not to notice the lack of experience on the Buckeyes roster, as mentioned above. That’s why three-year starters like Billy Price and Pat Elflein are more important than ever for Meyer and his football team. That pair, with almost 60 combined starts between them, were on the field when Ohio State’s offensive line collapsed under the weight of the Virginia Tech “bear” defense in September 2014.
According to Price, that’s not going to happen again.
“As an older guy, I’ve got to make sure these young guys stay calm,” said Price, who was one of four new starters on the OL in 2014. “Against Virginia Tech, they started flying so fast, and if you can’t get control of the situation and the chaos early, then one thing leads to another and another.
“A lot of guys have taken control of the accountability aspect we are trying to push. We may be young on paper, but you really can’t tell.”
During Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches conference call, Meyer called Price the “face of the program,” something that would not have been the case in the last few years. Price has matured considerably, becoming a vocal leader of the offense. Because of that, he’s uniquely qualified to help lead young guys like Isaiah Prince, Jamarco Jones, and Michael Jordan, all of whom will be making their first college starts on Saturday. An intense fall camp had a purpose, to get those young guys game ready.
“You’re going to be under a lot of scrutiny. It’s part of being here at Ohio State. Don’t let the outside world start rolling too fast that you can’t control it. … Football makes you mature very fast,” Price said. “You have to handle your business, otherwise you have meltdowns as a player, and that’s not what you want to see.
“It’s been a very strenuous work camp, and that was the goal, to develop players to be ready to go in front of 108,000 (fans).”
What group of new faces are you looking forward to seeing the most against Bowling Green?
Nebraska welcomes back their black shirts | Northwestern sophomore Jayme Taylor ends his football career | Which Big Ten coaches are on the hot seat? | Iowa looking toward youth movement in 2016 | Russell Wilson weighs in on Colin Kaepernick controversy | Mark D’Antonio shares touching video in memory of Mike Sadler | Michigan has its starting QB but won’t tell who it is