It’s a big week for Ohio State Football. Wednesday marks the beginning of the Early Signing Period for the 2021 class, while the team is obviously still preparing for Saturday’s Big Ten Championship matchup against Northwestern. On top of all that, the Buckeyes hoops team is scheduled to play its biggest game of the year thus far when it takes on No. 22 North Carolina on Saturday as well.
With so much going on, let’s jump right into today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
From around the gridiron...
To nobody’s surprise, Justin Fields has taken home Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as well as Big Ten Quarterback of the Year for the second year in a row. Despite playing in just five games, Fields was the obvious choice for both awards, throwing for over 1,400 yards with 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions while rushing for an additional 239 yards and five scores.
For the fourth time in the last six seasons, an Ohio State offensive lineman has taken home the Rimington-Pace trophy, as Buckeyes guard Wyatt Davis has been named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. A projected first-round NFL Draft pick, Davis has been the anchor on an offensive line that leads the B1G with 251 rushing yards per game.
With just the offensive side of the ball being announced today, Ohio State had nine different players get named to All-Big Ten teams — six of them First-Team selections. Fields, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson all made the First Team, while the entire starting offensive line received B1G honors. Davis, Josh Myers and Thayer Munford all made the First Team, while Nick Petit-Frere was named to the Second Team and Harry Miller to the Third Team. Master Teague joined Petit-Frere on the Second Team.
Brian Hartline has made the cut as one of the 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s best assistant coach. Hartline has done an incredible job with Ohio State’s wide receiver room, both on the field and in the recruiting game. The 34-year-old is the only semifinalist who is not an offensive or defensive coordinator.
Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline is one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) December 15, 2020
Hmm... there seems to be some kind of trend going on here.
Highest-graded rookie edge defenders since 2012:— PFF (@PFF) December 15, 2020
1. Khalil Mack (2014) - 86.9
2. Nick Bosa (2019) - 86.7
3. Joey Bosa (2016) - 86.6
4. Myles Garrett (2017) - 80.0
5. Chase Young (2020) - 79.8 pic.twitter.com/BUAYWBPLT4
Jeff Okudah’s tumultuous rookie season has come to an end, as the Detroit Lions cornerback underwent a core muscle procedure that will sideline him for the rest of the season. Okudah never really got to show his stuff this year, battling injuries all season long and appearing in nine games while starting six. He did, however, finish his degree at Ohio State.
Everyone can stop freaking out now about Michigan “ducking” the Ohio State game.
Sources: Michigan's game at Iowa on Saturday has been cancelled. Michigan still has lingering COVID-19 issues. Michigan's season is over.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 15, 2020
Furthermore, all those who were upset that the Big Ten changed the minimum games requirement for Ohio State can now take solace in the fact that this would have resulted in 3-5 Penn State competing for the conference title. Still mad now?
NEWS: Purdue and Indiana jointly announce that their scheduled football game in Bloomington on Friday will be canceled due to COVID-19 testing results at both schools.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 15, 2020
Bummer, but not too surprised. Had been tentative all along after their cancelation last week.
Ohio State’s assistant coaches are getting PAID. Also, Mickey Marotti is worth every penny.
Ohio State has four of college football's 20 highest-paid assistant coaches:— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 15, 2020
12. Kerry Coombs ($1,400,000)
18. Kevin Wilson ($1.200,000)
19. Greg Mattison ($1,133,000)
20. Larry Johnson ($1,133,000)
Mickey Marotti ($801,150) is college football's highest-paid strength coach. https://t.co/igZttmI1NY
From around the hardwood....
We got some injury updates from head coach Chris Holtmann on Tuesday, as we learned a little bit more about the statuses of E.J. Liddell and Seth Towns. According to the TV broadcast last time out, Liddell is dealing with mono, and Holtmann says the forward is still day-to-day as he continues to rest and get healthy. Meanwhile, Towns continues to practice and get himself up to game speed.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said Seth Towns has been practicing and got in a skill workout before last Sunday’s game.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) December 15, 2020
EJ Liddell is day-to-day and being evaluated on how his body responds after some rest.
While it seems to be mostly good news on the men’s front, things are not going so well with the women’s team. As a result of an increase in positive COVID-19 tests within the program, Ohio State’s game against Iowa on Saturday has been postponed. The two schools will try to reschedule for a later date.
The decision to pause and postpone was made jointly by the Ohio State Athletics and its sports medicine staff, in consultation with the Big Ten Conference. Both institutions will work with the conference office to identify potential rescheduling options later this season. (2/2)— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) December 15, 2020
From everywhere else...
Cardale Jones. Cardale Jones. The whole state of Ohio, is counting on Cardale Jones.
Saturday is the 10th #B1GFCG in history, and @CFBONFOX's Gus Johnson has called every single one.— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) December 15, 2020
He has a lot of great memories, including a third-string @OhioStateFB QB making his first start on the way to a national title.
You know what we're talking about, @CJ1two pic.twitter.com/llvKhxjWBk
We got great news out of Florida on Tuesday, as the Gators mens basketball program announced that Keyontae Johnson is in stable condition and breathing on his own after collapsing on the floor during the team’s game against Florida State on Saturday. Johnson was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was in critical condition, but has seemingly taken a huge step in his recovery. The diagnosis is still unknown at this point.