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Buckeye Bits: Updates on defense, linebackers from Greg Mattison, more hype for Jameson Williams, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

People are hating on Ohio State fans again. It feels good to be back.

But I mean... don’t we have the right to be cocky? Has the Big Red Cobcast seen our schedule? Have they seen our quarterback?! (In all seriousness, our Matt Tamanini hosted the Big Red Cobcast host, Pat Janssen, on Monday’s “In Conversation” episode, and he’s super great).

Alright people, three days until Ohio State hosts their first opponent of the year in an empty ‘Shoe. Keep scrolling for all of today’s headlines and updates from inside the Woody Hayes facility, and then leave your score predictions in the comments! (You will win nothing but bragging rights for guessing correctly.)

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

How will playing in an empty stadium affect Ohio State?

Meredith Hein, LGHL

With a roster like that, an empty stadium is neither here nor there.

A look at which recruits will be in town for Ohio State’s “Buckeye Bash”

Gene Ross, LGHL

Members of the 2021 class have organized a get-together in Columbus called “Buckeye Bash,” and while the players will not be able to speak to coaches or tour the facilities, the plan is for them to all watch the game together. Gene has the list of who will be in attendance.

Podcast: Hangout in the Holy Land is back to preview Nebraska

Gene Ross and George Eisner, LGHL

You read that right. Our infamous Hangout in the Holy Land podcast is back with two new hosts, Gene and George. In this season’s premiere, the duo previews Nebraska, discusses their expectations for this year’s team and somehow manages to end the show by bringing up 2015 Michigan State, as only true Buckeye fans would.

The ABCs of the 2020 Ohio State football season

LGHL Staff

I’m not proud of my contribution to this staff project.

From around the gridiron...

Yesterday, we heard from the offensive powers that be, Ryan Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. Today, we got to hear from the other side of the ball, as co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison met with the media for the first time this year, along with a few players – middle linebacker Tuf Borland, left tackle Thayer Munford, cornerback Marcus Williamson and wide receiver Chris Olave — to preview their opponent and give an update on how the Buckeyes are looking defensively.

Per usual, Eleven Warriors’ Dan Hope did a great job of posting the interview via Twitter thread, so I grabbed all of the main takeaways from there.

First, an update on defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, who Mattison said is still day-to-day.

Mattison then gave some updates on Ohio State’s linebackers, calling them “a special group,” with specific praise for Pete Werner, Tuf Borland and freshman linebackers Cody Simon and Mitchell Melton.

In regards to the addition of Kerry Coombs as his co-defensive coordinator, Mattison said he primarily focuses on the front seven while Coombs focuses on the back end, since those are their specialties.

Next at the podium was Borland, who, like the rest of last year’s team, is out for vengeance after last year’s Fiesta Bowl loss.

While that game sits in the back of their minds (and my mind tbh), Borland emphasized that the team’s focus is solely on Nebraska, especially since they don’t have a few games before Big Ten play where they can work out their kinks.

Arguably one of the biggest challenges Ohio State’s defense face as they prepare for Saturday is that the Cornhuskers have two eligible starting quarterbacks, but Borland said they’re prepared for any scenario.

Next up was cornerback Marcus Williamson, who will replace Shaun Wade as the slot corner while Wade will play on the outside. Williamson said he “can’t say enough” about how much Wade has been helping him learn the position.

Williamson said wide receiver Garrett Wilson, now playing slot receiver, is an “amazing athlete” and that he “brings a different level of speed that you don’t always see on the inside generally.” You can read more about that, and how it translates to his responsibilities against Nebraska, here:

Thayer Munford had a lot of positive things to say about sophomore right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, saying he’s “a lot bigger than he used to be.”

Munford said watching his film from last year motivated him to work on becoming more powerful in the run game and more fluid as a pass blocker.

“You’re going to see a different Thayer,” he said. You’re going to see a different offensive line, too ... we are a force to be reckoned with right now.”

Last but obviously not least, wide receiver Chris Olave, who said Shaun Wade is “probably the best corner in the country,” and that, besides Wade, Sevyn Banks and Cam Brown are the toughest cornerbacks to go up against in practice.

Also, this is the final call for jumping aboard the “The Juiceman” train.

As for his own talents, Olave said he’s “just trying to be consistent,” and “trying to be the best in the country at what I do,” which should be easy for him because, well for one thing, he’s just a crazy good receiver, but also...his quarterback is Justin Fields.

For more quotes and insight from the Buckeyes above, check out Eleven Warriors Presser Bullets:

Watch this if for no other reason than the chemistry lesson at the end.

Day’s face is like “you seriously have to ask?”

Honestly not the list I expected. What do you think?

Around the hardwood...

Ohio State requested to allow Bucknell transfer guard Jimmy Sotos to play immediately in the 2020-21 season, but the NCAA said “nope.” Sotos has only one year of eligibility remaining.

How do we feel about these new unis?

From everywhere else...

Florida has shut down its program as over 20 players and staff have tested positive, including Dan Mullen.

We just have to hope and pray that the same doesn’t happen to Buckeyes, even though the state in which they reside is doing a piss-poor job at keeping numbers down.

Look, it’s not the SEC’s best news day.