The Wake-Up Call: OSU picked to win Big Ten, Mike Weber’s year of growth and more
Welcome to The Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.
We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – six days a week – 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 and we look forward to sharing it all with you.
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Can Ohio State win the Big Ten?
Count Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports among the believers in the Buckeyes.
Michigan is favored by many to win the Big Ten (and likely earn a playoff berth) because of its experience advantage and vaunted defense, and there are certainly plenty of factors working in favor of the Wolverines. Mandel, however, believes the Buckeyes might be able to spoil those hopes in a manner similar to the way U-M tormented Ohio State in the 90s.
It’s not hard to see a scenario where Ohio State struggles early but peaks in time for its all-important last two games at Michigan State and, on Nov. 26, at home against Michigan. In fact, we’ve seen Meyer’s teams follow that script many times before. His 2006 and ’08 Florida teams and 2014 Ohio State team that won national championships all looked ugly at times early (and all lost games) before turning dominant by season’s end.
This Ohio State team is not likely to win the national championship — at 11-2, as I’m projecting, it won’t likely even make the playoff — but winning a Big Ten championship after blowing last year’s to Michigan State would be deemed quite the successful season given the circumstances.
It’s not often these days that winning a Big Ten title is enough at Ohio State, but one has to think that if it came at the expense of Michigan, Buckeye fans would find a way to be OK with it even if a trip to the playoffs didn’t come with it.
Bad news for opposing offensive lines
Ohio State opponents were probably relieved to be rid of No. 3 overall pick Joey Bosa, but don’t expect those good feelings to last for very long.
OSU head coach Urban Meyer has said multiple times that true freshman defensive end Nick Bosa walks, talks and acts just like his older brother Joey. He even wears the same No. 97.
It doesn’t end there, either. According to Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, the younger Bosa also bears a resemblance to his older brother in style of play.
“Sometimes when I turn on the videotape in the back, I just shake my head,” the Ohio State defensive line coach said. “His body type, his demeanor, the way he walks, he’s just so close to the way Joey was — until he turns around. Then I think they’re really different.
“He’s Nick. What his brother did, we’ll watch videotape and use that as a teaching tool. But what we do now is work on him, and that’s the way I’m going to approach it. I told him, ‘I’m going to try really hard to never call you Bosa. I’m going to try really hard not to call you Joe. I want to have your individuality and who you are as a person.’ But I think if he handles that, the expectations are high because of what his brother did.”
Weber credits Elliott for his growth
If Ohio State is to reach its potential this season — especially on offense — it will likely need a big year from running back Mike Weber, who is slated to replace Ezekiel Elliott as the Buckeyes’ starting running back.
While Weber admitted that he arrived to college as an immature 18-year-old, he said he made peace with the decision to redshirt him and eventually took advantage of the opportunity to learn from Elliott.
Weber suffered a torn meniscus in fall camp and didn’t see a carry as a result. When the decision to redshirt was made, he was “satisfied.” Weber instead chose to latch on to Elliott. They roomed together at fall camp and before the Fiesta Bowl win against Notre Dame. In a way, Elliott was preparing Weber for this opportunity.
“He kind of put me in the playbook,” Weber said. “Get my head in the playbook to make things easier for me.”
If he produces big numbers this season, his appreciation for the year of growth will only increase.
Tim Beck mic’d up
Ever wander what practice is like for the Ohio State quarterbacks? Here’s a one-minute glimpse at Tim Beck’s coaching style via the Ohio State football Twitter account.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 16, 2016
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