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 Thursday, Nov. 3, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Ohio State’s No. 2
There is no doubt who the top Ohio State receiver is and, to be honest, it’s not even close. H-back Curtis Samuel leads the Buckeyes with 44 catches. Who holds the second spot? That would be Noah Brown, a sophomore receiver with big play abilities that Ohio State has seen in short spurts.
With 24 catches, Brown’s expectations to be the guy at receiver is not too big for him, especially since his game is way bigger than just catching the ball downfield. It’s hard to forget the day that Brown burst onto the scene. In Ohio State’s 45-24 win against Oklahoma, he scored four touchdowns on five receptions.
It’s hard for a player to keep that kind of success going. Although he hasn’t had another game like that, Brown’s last three games have been solid. Averaging 12 yards per catch, he has 144 receiving yards on 12 catches with a touchdown reception.
Brown doesn’t worry about his personal stats. He just trusts the system.
“That’s just part of keeping your patience and trusting the coaching,” Brown said. “I think on a team like this, it could be anybody in any game. You saw in the Oklahoma game, it happened to be me with four touchdowns. We have so much explosive power that it could be someone different each game.”
When he is not getting the ball, Brown is still making plays. He was named one of coach Urban Meyer’s offensive players of the game last week, not for his receiving skills — he had five catches for 51 yards — but for blocking.
No matter what he is doing, Brown knows he is doing all he can to help his offense.
“I try to take pride in every play I play at wide receiver,” Brown said. “Even if I am not getting the ball, I want to let the DB know that I am here and he’s going to have to play every play. I feel like in the blocking end, it’s a chance to do that.”
Even Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs has seen improvement from the young receiver.
“Noah, I think,at the top of his routes, really has shown tremendous improvement,” Coombs said. “Snapping his routes out, getting his head around, getting the ball caught. He has tremendous hands. But you have to be open and he has done a great job at the top of routes, finding space and creating separation from the corners.”
Coming off of a broken leg, Brown’s future as a Buckeye seems to be bright.
“I definitely feel like I have my feet back under me now,” Brown said. “I feel like I am where I was at before I left. From this point on, I have a chance to get better and I am very confident going forward.”
A look at Nebraska’s defense
It’s a tale of two defenses for Nebraska, who is ranked No. 10 in the first College Football Playoff poll. Statistically, the No. 4 defense in the Big Ten is solid in defending both the run and the pass. The Cornhuskers give up an average of 136.8 rushing yards per game and allow an average of 205.4 passing yards. However, their last couple of games, Nebraska has lost its identity as a defense.
In the Cornhuskers’ 27-14 win over Purdue, their rush defense was stellar, limiting the Boilermakers to only 24 yards on 22 carries. However, the pass defense was close to nonexistent. Purdue quarterback David Blough threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns.
However, in the 23-17 overtime loss to Wisconsin, the pass defense excelled. Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for only 71 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The combination of running backs Dare Ogunbawale and Corey Clement is what killed the defense. The duo rushed for 202 yards, averaging 6.73 yards per rush.
No matter which defense Nebraska brings out Saturday night, it have some players that Ohio State needs to watch out for. Defensive end Ross Dzuris has been wreaking havoc for opposing running backs and quarterbacks all season, with eight tackles for loss, including four sacks.
— Yert (@tfoster42) October 13, 2016
In the secondary though, it’s hard to pick one guy. The Nebraska secondary leads the Big Ten with 15 interceptions. Safeties Nathan Gerry and Kieron Williams have eight of those picks combined.
The Big Ten's top 3 players in INTs (with 4) will all be on same field Saturday: Kieron Williams, Nathan Gerry (Neb) and Malik Hooker (OSU).
— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) October 31, 2016
There is a lot that Ohio State is going to have to watch out for, especially in the passing game with those high turnover numbers.
Obligatory World Series post
Ohio came together to cheer on Cleveland for another championship.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 2, 2016
Unfortunately, the combination of Urban Meyer and LeBron James couldn’t do the trick.
LeBron James was jacked up after Rajai Davis' game-tying HR. https://t.co/c2twbVaaGq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 3, 2016
The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series after a thrilling Game 7 in which the Cubs beat the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings.
Meyer is a huge supporter of all Ohio sports, especially if they are revolved around The Land. Maybe he can be the next coach to bring another championship to the state of Ohio.
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) October 25, 2016
The lids are lit
One part of these throwback uniforms is getting a lot more attention than the other parts. It’s the helmets.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 2, 2016
They may look cool, but free speaking offensive lineman Billy Price really does not care about what he wears on the football field.
“You can put me in pink and I’m going to play,” Price said. “Uniforms really don’t matter to me. If I worried about uniforms, I would have gone elsewhere.”