Five Things: Florida A&M

By Chris Lauderback on September 22, 2013 at 2:30p
16 Comments
Warriors

Ohio State wrapped up the non-conference slate yesterday with a 76-0 thrashing of FCS foe Florida A&M. 

What's crazy is that score could've been far worse had the Buckeyes even bothered to attempt a forward pass in the 2nd half after backup quarterback Kenny Guiton shredded the Rattlers in the opening half, throwing for 215 yards and a school record six touchdowns. 

Against such an inferior opponent it is virtually impossible to draw any conclusions or further evaluate the development of players, strategy and the like but it was good to see Carlos Hyde back in the fold and though WR James Clark appeared to suffer a serious leg injury, players in the regular rotation escaped injury free. 

Urban Meyer has already turned the page on this laugher, advising his team it's time to move on to Wisconsin. Ohio State welcomes the Badgers to Columbus for a showdown in prime time next Saturday night but before we move on to conference play, let's take one last quick look at a handful of happenings in yesterday's spanking. 

SWAN SONG?

Kenny Guiton recorded his 2nd straight – and possibly last – career start and knowing full well his extensive playing time will come to a close barring another significant injury to Braxton Miller, the senior captain made the most of it. 

Guiton completed 24/34 passes for 215 yards with a school record six touchdowns – all in the 1st half– to set the school record previously shared by Bobby Hoying and John Borton. 

Smooth jazzHas Guiton made his last collegiate start?

It appeared as if Meyer was keenly aware of the record and was purposefully throwing Guiton a bone by ensuring he'll always be remembered not just by current fans but also in the record books. 

Why else would the Buckeyes attempt 34 passes in a half when they hadn't reached that number in any of the first three games (Buffalo 23, SDSU 30, Cal 32) and the team has two stables of running backs all chomping at the bit to get carries including the "welcomed back" Carlos Hyde who recorded just five totes? Ohio State ran the ball just 13 times in the 1st half.

With all day to throw, Guiton had a field day shredding the worst secondary in the history of organized football. Kenny found 10 different receivers but frankly he wasn't as sharp as he was the previous week in Berkeley. 

Guiton threw two picks on the day though only one stuck. He forced a pass in the end zone on Ohio State's opening possession but was bailed out when Patrick Aiken had multiple brain farts, attempting a return even though he was nine yards deep before coughing up the football at the three yard line. Later, up 41-0, Kenny overthrew a tight end down the seam for an interception but defensive holding negated the play. 

The captain did launch his fair share of pretty throws, most notably a perfect toss to Devin Smith on a fade for a five yard touchdown to make it 34-zip. 

Props to Guiton for making the most of his opportunities and also in giving the team loads of confidence should he have to re-enter at any point with the outcome of a particular game in doubt. And that could very well happen considering Braxton's history of injuries and the fact he's the type of thoroughbred – for better or worse – that must be clicking on all cylinders to play. 

JUST DESSERTS

I'm not sure if Meyer did it as a reward to the players or to simply give the Badgers more to prepare for – or hell, maybe it's both – but it was great to see both Jeff Heuerman and Evan Spencer so heavily involved in the aerial assault. 

Meyer spent a good bit of time earlier in the week showering the duo with love thanks to the dirty work they've done the last few weeks. Heuerman has been blowing up linebackers all season, paving the way for Jordan Hall and the rest of the crew to break long runs while Spencer has been a beast in the art of downfield blocking defensive backs, without holding. 

Spencer and Heuerman came up big Saturday.

Against the Rattlers, Spencer led the team with four catches for 50 yards and a pair of scores and Heuerman was hot on his heels with four grabs for 43 yards and a touchdown. 

Beyond the fact it was great to see these two rewarded, this is yet another instance of Meyer putting another wrinkle on tape for opposing defensive coaches to digest. With Heuerman's four catches and another two by Nick Vannett, the tight ends combined for six receptions yesterday after totaling just six over the first three games. 

I love seeing the tight ends more involved as attacking the middle of the field with those guys can put linebackers on their heels, further opening up the opportunity to pound teams with the run, something that will be much more important in league play once the weather turns. 

EZE-DUZ-IT

So, it looks like Ezekiel Elliott could be a hell of a running back for Ohio State in the coming years. 

Sure it was against a pathetic opponent but Elliott rushed for an impressive 162 yards on on 14 carries, good for 11.6 a pop, with a pair of touchdowns. In the 3rd quarter alone he ran it 10 times for 121 yards and those two scores with everyone in the stadium fully aware Ohio State was not going to throw the football. 

EZE DOES IT

His first touchdown came on a 16-yard jaunt capping a nine-play, 65-yard drive but his 2nd series was even more impressive as he accounted for all but 18 yards on a 90-yard scoring march featuring a nifty 57-yard run. 

The run showed off all of his talents including the ability to make people miss thanks to sharp cuts, great balance and a dangerous blend of speed and power. What I liked best about the run, however, was that at the end of it, he bounced right back into the huddle. No unnecessary celebration or drawing attention to himself. He acted like he's been there before and that maturity will serve him well over the long haul. 

With Hyde finally back, further crowding the backfield, it's hard to see Elliott receiving too many carries outside of mop up duty this year but as he continues to learn the ropes and develop his body, the kid is going to be fun to watch down the road. 

SLOW YOUR ROLE

While a host of reserves enjoyed the benefits of playing a miserable team, other players were smacked in the face with the harsh reality that they likely won't see the field this season, barring a rash of injuries.

Thomas is headed for a redshirt.Sadly for Thomas, spring hasn't transferred to fall

Freshmen Jalin Marshall and Mike Mitchell, in particular, were two ballyhooed recruits who many thought would contribute on some level in year one but that seems extremely doubtful after neither saw action in yesterday's rout. 

Eli Apple and Gareon Conley are names that were also thrown around as potential year one contributors especially after Apple was pretty active in the spring game and Conley saw reps with the ones early in training camp as Bradley Roby took up residence in the dog house. Both of them never left the sidelines either. At this point, it seems pretty obvious all four of these guys are being fitted for redshirts and Urban even said as much yesterday, backing away from his previously constant talk about not believing in the practice. 

The situation with a few sophomores is even more intriguing after yesterday. Bri'onte Dunn and Michael Thomas have also yet to see the field and they seem like locks for second-year redshirts. Dunn was leapfrogged by Elliott in the pecking order after already trailing Hyde, Hall and Rod Smith. 

Thomas had another strong spring but has been an afterthought ever since and when Kato Mitchell saw time yesterday, it was made pretty clear Thomas is not in the 2013 plans. 

With both on the outside looking in, you have to wonder if transfer talk won't emerge at some point in the coming months. 

AND SO IT BEGINS

Having successfully navigated one of the worst non-conference schedules in recent memory, the Buckeyes can finally turn their attention to league play. Though the conference is largely a joke once again, the Buckeyes do face two of their three toughest opponents right out of the gate with this Saturday's clash against Wisconsin before taking a trip to Northwestern. 

Obviously, no matter how good you or I think Kenny Guiton is, Braxton Miller is the team's best player and he will be needed to run the table. All signs point to him being back this week and while the concerns about rust or tentative play are certainly valid, I take solace in the fact he's been there before. By that I mean he's dealt with the scenario of coming back to the field after an injury that has scared him a bit and also from a game experience standpoint. Rust is inevitable but this a guy with a ton of starts under his belt. So, while it would've been nice to see Braxton get a series or two yesterday, the risk wasn't worth the reward. 

At running back, I truly hope Meyer is planning on giving Hyde the carries he deserves. I love what we've seen from Jordan Hall and I don't have any issue with him touching the football but Carlos Hyde is the team's best running back and therefore he deserves the most carries. If you think differently, go look up that 21-yard run he had yesterday during the drive that made it 48-0. He's simply the most physically gifted running back on the roster and when running between the tackles becomes increasingly necessary the next few months, I want Hyde doing the heavy lifting with Hall and Wilson playing to their strengths as runners and receivers on the edges. 

16 Comments

Comments

chicagobuckeye's picture

I don't think that Urban is going against his statement about not believing in the practice. I think in general he thought of the practice as useful if they weren't good enough to see the field, i.e. weren't on the two deep. I do agree however that it isn't useful to burn that ability to see 5 - 10 snaps in a year.

razrback16's picture

Yep exactly. It's not that he's backtracked on his philosophy (which I love, btw) --
If you're not good enough to play right out of the gate, then you will be redshirted.  You will not be redshirted just to save a year of eligibility. If you're good enough to play and make a significant contribution, then you'll play.
What Urban is saying with these other guys is that since they are right on that bubble of maybe being good enough to play a little bit, Urban is going to lean on the side of caution and do what's best for their careers and save them a year of eligibility rather than burn a year for them to get 5 snaps in garbage time, etc.

Killer nuts's picture

I think all the pass plays was also a way to keep Kenny G healthy. Nearly all of our designed runs have a QB keep option. By calling all the passes you can trust your pass protection to keep Guiton untouched and healthy and allow him to get some work

Idaho Helga's picture

Listening to Urban since Kenny G has been in, he has said at least twice that Kenny is an "excellent game manager".  I think we'll see him in (not starter of course) all the upcoming games.   He runs the option fabulously.  Brax is very good, but to date Kenny sees the field.  
What. A. Luxury. To. Have.
Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, additional dentists from across the country have been called in to deal with the damage being caused by all the gnashing of teeth....

Seattle Linga's picture

UFM will eventually have a problem that all football coaches would love. DEEP Depth at every singe position. Biggest problem is getting everyone touches and making sure they are all happy.

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

I have thought for a while that at least 1 or 2 RBs transfer. I can't really blame them. Although we lose both Hyde and hall after this next year, there's still too many quality starters on the team for everyone to remain happy. As for the redshirts, it just goes to show that no matter how ballyhooed a recruit is, it's an uphill battle for freshman to really contribute in a significant way. That's why I always laugh when people expect freshman to fill a void on the team. 
 

CC's picture

If you lose Hyde and Hall that's about 90% of the carries the last 2 years.  Hopefully the younger guys see this as an opportunity.  EzE looked great.  He's way more physical than I expected him to be.  For some reason I expected a skinnier EzE.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I as at the game yesterday.  After the first quarter the game basically turned into a practice session.  The Bucks were too dominant for FAMU.  A lot of guys go in which was good.  They could have easily scored 100 or more if they really wanted to.  Kenny G proved again how valuable he is.  He is a special player to have at the backup role.  If we need him later in the season he can get the job done.  Wisconsin and NW will be a big upgrade in competition.  The Bucks needs to focus on two good teams the next couple of weeks and take care of business.  We'll know a lot more in the next 14 days about how good this team really is!
Go Bucks!!

SweetBabyJames's picture

i think elliott is ready to go...say what you want, but he has the best balance of all of these backs...and he is faster than the upperclassmen too..
his first significant playing time and he gets 100 yards and 2 tds??? 
i understand the competition, but dont sell the kid short....i think he could be another dynamic playmaker this year...him and wilson....get it in thier hands...

hit_the_couch's picture

Is it just me or does Elliot kinda look and sound like Pryor? I hope he continues to produce like this when he plays against better teams.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

buckeyepastor's picture

I think Guiton will start at least one more game this year, because I think Miller will aggravate the knee injury at some point in the year.   But now we know when that happens, we're in very good hands.  
 

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Can't say I am surprised by Thomas not seeing the field.  The two memories I have of him last season were NOT good ones, as both resulted in drive-killing Personal Fouls.  It was really good to see Cardale Jones get some reps.  That kid a a hulking beast of a young man.  Surprised Mike Mitchell hasn't played though.  Many had him pegged as the freshman that would contribute the most in an Evelen Warriors poll not too long ago if I'm not mistaken.  I wisely chose Bosa... 

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

InHartWeTrust's picture

As the season weighs on, it'll be interesting to see if Dontre or Bosa become the biggest freshman contributor.  I'd agree with you that it will be Bosa (although I love Dontre), just due to the nature of the positions and opportunities to make impacts.
Mitchell is way too raw to play, that was quite evident in his high school highlights.  What worked in high school won't work in the college game, he just needs to continue to develop soud technique and he will be awesome.  A lot of people were blinded by the insane physical attributes he has.

MN Buckeye's picture

And it should be ok that some guys need a year to develop. Everyone grows at a different rate, so I believe there is no shame that some of the freshmen may need to redshirt. With that in mind, I can hardly believe how strong Bosa, Wilson, and now Eze have looked so far this season. We will need this depth as the season goes on with the physical conference schedule.

Seattle Linga's picture

Cardale had some Quick to him on some runs that reminded me of TP.

Balkestud's picture

to me EZfuckinE has the look of gio bernard..same style, same jets and balance..by the time he is a junior, i fully expect him to be in the hunt for the heisman..awesome vision as well

It gets kind of rough in the back of my limousine,
Sean Balke