Folks, at publishing time, we will be exactly 15 days, 17 hours, and 29 minutes until the Ohio State Buckeyes take to the field for the first time in 2020. This fall hasn’t yet felt completely like football season to me, but as we inch closer to a Big Ten season becoming reality, it has slowly started to feel more real.
It also helps that as the big day approaches, we are talking more and more about actual football things, and less and less about pandemic stuff. So, let’s run through everything we learned today in Thursday’s edition of Buckeye Bits.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Tia Johnston, LGHL
In yesterday’s version of Bits, Tia ran through everything we learned from Larry Johnson and some of his defensive line stars. It gave a really good look at what that unit will be like without a Bosa or Chase Young for the first time since 2012.
“It’s time to add a new achievement to the Washington Hall of Ineptitude.”
Caleb Houser, LGHL
Seriously, at this point, who wouldn’t want to join #DBU and become one of the #BIA?
Gene Ross, LGHL
The 2014 game against Michigan State was epic, and Gene’s look back brought up a lot of feels. Unfortunately, so did this tweet from our “friends” at The Only Colors... it was just a different type of feels.
Brett Luwiczak, LGHL
As I wrote about earlier this week, I don’t think that OSU needs a stud running back to reach its national championship goals. However, if Trey Sermon or Master Teague turns out to be a stud worthy of replacing J.K. Dobbins, then that can only help their chances.
From around the gridiron...
Patrick Murphy, 247Sports
As they did for the past two Saturdays, the plan is for the Ohio State Buckeyes to again scrimmage in Ohio Stadium this weekend. While the scrimmage will allow the team to get more intense reps as 1s will go against 1s throughtout, the scrimmage will also allow the team, coaches, and game day personnel to practice for the new normal.
Day mentioned ongoing discussions with the Big Ten in terms of how much canned noise will be acceptable during games. He said that while he understands that it shouldn’t be a distraction for either team, he does feel like it will add to the atmosphere. And that will be a bit more important this year, because the team won’t be able to go through the normal pregame festivities.
Ryan Day said although Ohio State will miss participating in pregame traditions like the Skull Session and walk to the stadium this year, it could be a better situation for pregame preparation that they'll able to do more at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center before games this year.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 8, 2020
Day said that they will consider this weekend the end of the official training camp, however, they won’t be in complete game week mode starting on the 12th. They will instead blend camp and regular practices until the 18th when it officially becomes time to focus on Nebraska.
Moving on to the field, the head coach said that safeties Josh Proctor and Marcus Hooker have been stepping up, however, he also mentioned that Marcus Williamson and Ronnie Hickman are playing well behind them. That brings up the question of just how many safeties the Buckeye defense is going to run with this fall, as Williamson especially has been rumored to be playing more in the “bullet” hybrid/third corner position.
This relates to one of the questions I asked at the beginning of camp. Last year, it was almost exclusively single-high safety and three cornerbacks for the OSU defense. However, with the return of Kerry Coombs as a defensive coordinator, the program is being very cagey about their defensive plans. Could it be that they are planning on at least incorporating more of the traditional two-safety set? It sure sounds like it.
As Brett mentioned in his article above, Day also discussed the fact that sophomore running back Marcus Crowley suffered a setback in his rehab from his ACL injury suffered against Maryland last November. Similarly, Taron Vincent is still looking to get back to full strength from the shoulder injury that sidelined him all season in 2019, and of course Haskell Garrett has yet to be cleared to return to practice following being shot in the face. However, Garrett was seen at the Buckeyes’ practice in The ‘Shoe last Saturday.
Stephen Means, cleveland.com
This is a really interesting piece as Stephen Means spins forward what we all assume will be a two-headed running back approach this year to what it might mean for the future when five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson and four-star running back Evan Pryor get to campus following this season.
Ohio State has employed a tandem RB approach before, most recently with Dobbins and Mike Weber. With all due respect to the latter, the duo of Henderson and Pryor has the potential to push this new pair past their most recent predecessors, so seeing how Day and the offensive staff approaches the backfield this year should be very informative for the future.
Now this is what you call a glow up!
How it started How it's going pic.twitter.com/ibkfebceG7— BuckeyeXtra.com (@BuckeyeXtra) October 8, 2020
Austin Ward, Lettermen Row
We saw flashes of explosiveness and athleticism from Cameron Brown in his limited duty last year. Depending on which schemes the defensive staff chooses to run this fall, Brown could have an opportunity to contribute significantly in his third season in Columbus.
Ohio State football parents have virtual meeting with coaching staff to discuss... football
Ohio State parents had a zoom meeting today with Ryan Day and guess what it was all about A FOOTBALLL SEASON! After all these months of Zoom calls about Covid-19, player responsibility and Not having a football season.. God is Good And This is how we felt after the meeting pic.twitter.com/HQIiwYEtAt— Randy L Wade % f@❌ℹLy..... (@gslsff) October 8, 2020
Also, I know that a lot of folks who live/work in — or travel to — New York City hate it when this type of freestyle dancers start busting moves on the subway. Well, they are all wrong. These guys are amazing; tip them if you see them.
From around the hardwood...
Steve Helwagen, 247Sports
Duane Washington Jr.’s trajectory from freshman sharpshooter to more well-rounded, sophomore scorer has been fun to watch, but now that he is officially an upperclassman, he is looking to take his game to the next level.
In 2019-20, Washington was second on the team in scoring, behind only Kaleb Wesson, but with the big man off to the pros, Washington will be called upon to shoulder a bigger chunk of the offense when Chris Holtmann’s team takes to the floor late next month.
Ohio State and Carmen’s Crew Legend is Heading Back to Make that Overseas Bank
Back to Japan— RAV (@e_rav24) October 8, 2020
From everywhere else...
Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press
LOL. This should go over well amongst the fanbase.
Just what I always wanted: A 6-foot-11 wide receiver!
And now for something completely different...
The next Spider-Man sequel is getting Strange.
Now, this is just my comic book nerd speculation, but in the comics’ version of “Civil War” (which varies greatly from the film version), Peter Parker reveals himself to be Spider-Man, and his life changes, putting his wife Mary Jane, Aunt May, and the rest of their family in danger. But then, Dr. Strange puts a spell over the world to force everyone to forget who is behind Spider-Man’s mask.
Given how “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ended last summer, we could very well see a similar storyline play out in your next friendly, neighborhood blockbuster.
After some unexpected start and stops, I am back to posting a column every single day from preseason camp until whenever Ohio State’s football season ends. Some days they will be longer and in depth, some days they will be short and sweet. Let me know what you think of this one, and what you’d like to see me discuss in the comments or on Twitter. Go Bucks!