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Today is Thursday, Sept. 22, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Tracy Sprinkle’s replacements shine
Ohio State’s defense lost a lot when it lost defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle for the season with a torn right patellar tendon. They lost a veteran on a very young defense, and lost a leader in the locker room.
— Tracy Sprinkle (@TSprinkle93) September 5, 2016
However, in the first three games of the season, the guys on the front have stepped up their game, according to defensive end Jalyn Holmes.
“They all are putting in their role to get better and fit in because Tracy [Sprinkle] was a big part of this team,” Holmes said. “Everybody is just trying to do their part to add on to him.”
It’s been the freshman who have stepped up the most up front. Robert Landers, Dre’Mont Jones and Nick Bosa, according to Holmes, have all helped fill Sprinkle’s void. He was not surprised by their playing ability either.
Was that Nick Bosa with the pressure that ultimately lead to the INT? We see you @nbsmallerbear
— john robbins (@johnrobbins29) September 18, 2016
DT was a question mark. Looks damn good. My man Robert Landers is a rhino in the middle
— jbook™ (@jbook37) September 18, 2016
“Nobody is a surprise because I have seen them and what they are doing in practice,” Holmes said. “I have so much faith in them. It’s not a surprise. It may be surprising you all, but nobody is surprising. They are doing what they have always been doing. They have the opportunity now to show you all.”
Bucks with an off week before Big Ten play
Coming out with a perfect record in their nonconference schedule, Ohio State gets a much-needed week off with a difficult conference schedule ahead of them, which includes games against four Top 25 teams in the latest AP poll.
Holmes feels as though the Buckeyes deserve this break.
“Coming off a big win, you have a break, and getting to watch the film and Coach (Urban Meyer) getting into us to humble us back down to earth,” Holmes said. “So I feel like this is a great time to have a bye week, getting ready for Big Ten.”
The players have different ways to spend their Saturday’s off. For H-back Curtis Samuel, his plan is simple.
“I really just sit down in my room listening to music while I am watching some of the games that are going on, just relaxing and talking to my family,” Samuel said.
Now for Holmes, he gets to spend some quality time with his new friend.
“I just got a dog, so I’m going to be kicking it with my dog Melo,” Holmes said. “He has an Instagram too. You can follow it.”
Joey Bosa is back
With his little brother making a name for himself as a Buckeye, Joey Bosa practiced for the first time in pads as a member of the San Diego Chargers.
Joey Bosa talks about returning to practice: https://t.co/XjcRS3Y2Jg
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 21, 2016
After being selected third overall by the Chargers, Bosa had a lengthy contract holdout and then has struggled through a hamstring injury that has kept in out of practice. This was the first time he had practiced with pads since the Fiesta Bowl back with the Buckeyes.
With a practice under his belt, he is one step closer to making his NFL debut. The Chargers need someone to be healthy after all.
How the Buckeyes avoid premature celebrations
When asked about if he had ever prematurely dropped a ball before he reached the end zone, Samuel had a concise answer.
“No. Never,” Samuel said.
In the Ohio State-Oklahoma game Saturday night, Joe Mixon, the Sooners’ kickoff returner, returned a kick 97 yards for a touchdown with 4:20 to go in the first quarter.
Or so we thought.
— Tino Bovenzi (@OSUTINO) September 18, 2016
As you can see, Mixon dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line for the score. If the play were reviewed, the touchdown would have been negated.
Fortunately, that touchdown did not end up costing the Buckeyes in their 45-24 win. However, this epidemic of premature celebrations has spread across college football like The Plague. According to an article by Slate, this has happened many times before.
Here is some evidence.
That’s absolutely ridiculous.
Samuel says that there is a solution to this epidemic. It comes from one of the wisest coaches in college football.
“We always make sure that we keep the ball high and tight,” Samuel said. “That’s Coach Meyer, keep the ball high and tight. After you score, get the ball to the official and go hug a big guy. That’s what we do.”
It’s a good fix. Other teams, like Cal or Clemson, should try it sometime.
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