We hope you’ll start your day with us here at Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that 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.
Today is Tuesday, Nov. 15, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Tyquan Lewis leads line
The Ohio State defensive line as a whole has been solid. It has been a huge part of limiting opponents to 12.7 points per game and only six points combined in its last two games. Even Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan has been taking notice.
“My D-line this year has done a great job,” McMillan said. “They’ve really done a great job every year I’ve been here at getting in the backfield, making plays as a D-lineman and not just holding at the point of attack, but getting depth in the backfield and creating a new line of scrimmage. They’ve been doing a very good job of that all year.”
One of the main forces on that defensive line may not get a lot of attention. However, according to Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis is one of the best players on the entire defense.
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) November 14, 2016
“I think he is one of the most important players on the defense because he is so unselfish,” Hubbard said. “He doesn’t make as many plays as a lot of nose guards, but he’s the best at what he does in the country at taking on double-teams and squeezing down the center so other guys can come free. He doesn’t complain about it. He doesn’t talk much about it, but he does his job.”
Lewis has quietly had a very good season for the Buckeyes. He has 24 tackles, including six sacks, and has forced a fumble as the nose guard.
— Buckeye SloopCast (@SloopCast) October 30, 2016
Even though he has put up solid numbers, Lewis is all about the team element and his teammates on the line.
“We playing at a really high level,” Lewis said. “The focus has been very good. Guys are doing the little things more and it means a lot more, especially in the month of November. You can see things are kind of bonded together. Guys are coming closer together when everything really counts.”
C.J. Jackson is fantastic
In Ohio State’s 69-63 win over North Carolina Central Monday night, transfer guard C.J. Jackson wasn’t flashy and didn’t lead the team in scoring or rebounding. However, in the first two games of the regular season for the Ohio State basketball team, Jackson has been the X-factor off the bench.
In the Buckeyes’ win, their second in four nights, Jackson only had three points in 23 minutes. However, he led the team with eight assists and tied with leading scorer and rebounder Jae’sean Tate for the team lead in steals with two.
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) November 15, 2016
Jackson is the type of guard that coach Thad Matta had in Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott. He is the pass-first guard who can make a difference in transition with his turnover capability. He also gives opponents a different look at the point off the bench, because starter JaQuan Lyle, at 6-foot-5, is more of a slasher and a scorer than Jackson would be. Lyle and Jackson split time pretty evenly in the win, with Lyle playing one less minute than Jackson.
With a plethora of big guards at his disposal, Buckeye fans will see how Matta uses his prototypical point guard off of the bench through the course of the season.
Odds are good
After another convincing 62-3 win and a crazy weekend of college football, Ohio State is back into the thick of things. Even though they might not have a great shot at a conference championship, the Buckeyes still have a shot to win a national title.
Ohio State has the second-best odds to win the national title behind Alabama pic.twitter.com/l3kZbFTxxI
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) November 14, 2016
The Buckeyes, behind Alabama obviously, are now the No. 1 Big Ten team in odds of winning the College Football Playoff. It’s still relatively early in the playoff race, but Buckeyes fans should be happy with their position.
Rooting for Michigan?
Because Michigan lost to Iowa last Saturday, Ohio State will not make the Big Ten championship game if Penn State wins out. This may have huge implications for the College Football Playoff because the selection committee has made it clear in the first two years that they like conference champions. So far, all eight choices had won their league in 2014 and 2015.
That may have been a good reason, just this once, for Ohio State fans to cheer on Michigan against Iowa. Did the players root for the Wolverines? No way.
“I just don’t like those guys,” Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “To root for them, I’m not going to do that.”
He wasn’t the only one either.
Pat Elflein said he wasn't rooting for Michigan on Saturday, even though he knows the B1G scenarios: "I'll never root for those guys."
— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 14, 2016
Is an Ohio State football player capable of rooting for Michigan, even if it helps the Buckeyes? Billy Price: "No. No. No. Not at all. No."
— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 14, 2016