The depth chart for the first football day of the rest of our lives is out. The one change of note comes a week late, but could hardly be considered news at this point in time. Jermale Hines saw the majority of the minutes at free safety, though Anderson Russell does deserve credit for doing such a good job you didn't even notice he did anything at all.
The offensive line, who deserve considerable praise for one of the most inspired performances from an Ohio State o-line in the last 3 years, are back in the same configuration we saw the first two weeks. Conspicuously Mike Adams remains unlisted on the two deep leaving his indefinite suspension still very much, well, indefinite. Given the hype surrounding Adams as potentially the next Orlando Pace, it'll be interesting to see if he can bounce back from his self imposed trip to the doghouse and provide what would be a luxury of depth at the tackle position. JB Shugarts' listing as the backup left tackle would seem to indicate his rehabiliation from injuries that kept him sidelined from last Saturday's contest appears to be progressing nicely. Should the Buckeyes manage to avoid playing down to Toledo, it's a very real possibility we'll see the Linsley's and Mewhort's of the world towards the 4th quarter.
The two Jake's look to pick it back up from a disapointingly quiet showing last weekend after nearly halving the entire production from the tight end position from the previous season in the Navy game alone. With Terrelle Pryor all but certain to be facing less pressure from the Rockets' front four, he should be able to take better advantage of each of these weapons. Boom Herron and Brandon Saine return as the only listed tailbacks, only further raising the question of whether or not we'll get to Jordan Hall or Jamaal Berry anytime soon.
After seeing extended action both at wide receiver and punt returner, Ray Small's playing time with the Buckeyes should continue to grow. After seemingly only being on the field at the end of one of the most discombobulated, ineffective 2-minute drills you'll ever see, hopefully Duron Carter's growth at wide receiver can pick back up where it left off against the Naval Academy. Great Dane and DeVier should continue to be the top two options at receiver for the Bucks.
Speaking of the previously mentioned special teams, Sanzenbacher is still curiously listed at the top spot for punt returns, though reality dictated more action for #82. Posey being listed at the third spot is no joke as we saw what the man could bring to the table in a post-safety free kick return situation.
The most freakishly talented defensive line corp this side of Gainesville, FL look to continue to get better with the same principle players reprising their roles from the last 2 games. With Johnny Simon already serving as a spiritual leader of sorts for the group, the possibility for some minutes to help him become the kind of player to match could present itself should things proceed as planned. A quick tip of the hat to the linebackers as well, who aside from a few difficult out-of-position mistakes really managed to leave it all out on the field.
Devon Torrence's award winning breakout performance in the nickel position could put some real stress on both Chimdi Chewka and Andre Amos. If nothing else, the increased heat should motivate all three to continue to up their games. The venerable senior leader Kurt Coleman returns to continue handling his business in center field.
In what's sure to be a hot button issue to some, ESPN's principle Big Ten observer Adam Rittenberg seems unconvinced a return to a BCS Bowl would be the best thing for Ohio State and the Big Ten as a whole. Despite making the point that Pryor's progression and growth would be the absolute key to the season, he appears unwilling to connect the dots that in that scenario, this team could very easily possess the tools necessary to at long last be able to seal the deal. While the possibility of exercising some pent up frustration on the 3rd best team in the SEC is certainly appealing on one level, should Pryor take the proverbial next step, squaring off with the champions of the Pac 10 or another BCS conference could prove even more conducive to generating the most national title momentum for the 2010 season.