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Today is Thursday, Oct. 27, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
The thankless job of an offensive lineman
Being an offensive lineman is a thankless job. If they do their job well, their deserved attention will likely go to the top rusher or the quarterback. If the O-line struggles though, like Ohio State’s Slobs did Saturday night in the loss to Penn State, it’s all you hear about.
Except for H-back Curtis Samuel, who had a huge 74-yard carry, the rushing game struggled on Saturday. Running back Mike Weber only averaged 3.4 yards a rush while quarterback J.T. Barrett only averaged 1.5 yards per rush.
That was not all of the pressure that the Penn State defensive front was going to give Barrett that night.
Ohio State has struggled protecting J.T. Barrett in recent weeks pic.twitter.com/g1oEYVJMw7
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 26, 2016
With all that pressure, Barrett was sacked a whopping six times, losing 38 yards. Offensive lineman Pat Elflein was shocked with the line’s performance on Saturday. But he’s also not going to dwell on it. It’s on to Northwestern.
“We were not expecting that,” Elflein said. “We were not expecting to go out and play like that. We were pretty stunned, but, like I said, you see those Northwestern signs everywhere, so we are tunnel vision on that.”
Although protection in the offensive line is a group effort, it was easy to see that sophomore offensive lineman Isaiah Prince had a tough time in protecting the quarterback.
Ohio State RT Isaiah Prince allowed 14 QB pressures vs Penn State—the highest number we have recorded for an individual single player.
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 26, 2016
Prince’s poor performance was not lost on Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the rest of his coaching staff. However, he still has faith in one of the younger members of the Slobs.
Meyer on Isaiah Prince: "He didn't have a good day. We aren't giving up on anybody."
— Colin Gay (@ColinGay17) October 26, 2016
“Everybody needs to get better,” co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said. “Isaiah [Prince] is working on the things that he needs to get better at. We have addressed those. He is not the only person that has areas they need to improve, but we just didn’t do enough good things.”
For this group as a whole, they will have to do a better job at protecting Barrett if the offense wants to take advantage of the Northwestern secondary. Elflein thinks they are getting there.
“We are on a good track,” Elflein said. “We had a couple of hiccups against Penn State, but I think we have had a great week of practice so far and we are back on track to where we want to be and where we want to go.”
Back to work
Ohio State’s mentality coming into Saturday’s game against Northwestern is posted all around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) October 24, 2016
The leaders of this Buckeyes team have created a sense of urgency around this game. According to veteran linebacker Raekwon McMillan, they needed to prepare like this was any other game.
“We came in and got back to work like I said last week after the game,” McMillan said. “It’s the same demeanor we have always had. We are always playing intense. We are going hard every day in practice. It’s about coming back and doing what you are supposed to do.”
The Northwestern offense attack is no easy task to take on either.
“They have a great running back,” McMillan said of Justin Jackson. “I think he is first in the Big Ten in rushing yards, second last year to Zeke in All-Big Ten. They have a great receiver, a quarterback who runs the show. They have a great offensive attack and we’ll see what happens Saturday.”
Senior Joe Burrow’s message to his teammates was simple, yet very powerful.
“Right now it is a one-game season,” Burger said. “We have to beat Northwestern.”
Ohio State baseball prepares for 2017
You can say that the Ohio State baseball team had a pretty successful season in 2016. After finishing third in the Big Ten with a record of 15-9, the Buckeyes, after losing to Iowa in the second round, came back to win the 2016 Big Ten Tournament.
A wall #ForTheBoys. ⛏
That's too much sauce. ? pic.twitter.com/0iUrnZRjzi
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) October 20, 2016
After Ohio State’s successful 2016 season, six Buckeyes were selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, including outfielder Ronnie Dawson, who was drafted in the second round by the Houston Astros.
However, this new-look Ohio State team looks to improve after finishing 1-2 in the NCAA Tournament last season. It’s only October, but coach Greg Beals explains why their 2017 schedule will help them prepare.
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) October 26, 2016
Paris Campbell, the cornerback?
As he prepares for this Saturday’s game against Northwestern, wide receiver Paris Campbell practiced running routes and catching passes. However, it was not as a receiver. It was at cornerback.
— Nick McWilliams (@NickM_OSU) October 26, 2016
Look at that one-handed grab. He is probably trying to find new ways to exploit the statistically poor Northwestern secondary. Ohio State fans should cross their fingers and hope to see a play like that in the game.