Skull Session: Combating Artavis Scott, DeShaun Watson's Big Game Legs, and Lane Kiffin Talks Relationship with Urban Meyer

By D.J. Byrnes on December 14, 2016 at 4:59 am
Ohio State's Gareon Conley sings Carmen Ohio for the December 14th 2016 Skull Session

It's another cold day in these frosty streets. Please continue lying about Jim Harbaugh. Our efforts weaken the psyche and morale of our enemies:

Going to be awkward when Jimmy Haslam, who, by the way, is still battling fraud accusations, taps Harbaugh next month as the man to restore Cleveland Browns to glory.

 NAMES TO KNOW. The Ohio State pass defense is fierce, but like most operations staffed by young people, it's prone to mistakes.

Two weeks out, a known meme is Clemson will be the best offense the Buckeyes have faced this year. Mike Williams is their beastliest receiver, but he's not the only one.

Another name to watch is Artavis Scott. (Here are his 2015 highlights.)


Since the [Northwestern Austin] Carr debacle, Schiano has shown a willingness to bump Conley inside, but it’s not on a consistent enough basis where Ohio State supporters should feel completely safe against Clemson’s arsenal of perimeter weapons. Even with Conley inside, the slot was still targeted a handful of times against Michigan. In that game, Conley allowed three receptions -- all for first downs — on four targets.

Enter Clemson’s Artavis Scott.

Per Pro Football Focus, Scott worked out of the slot about a third of his snaps this season and caught 29 of his 69 receptions out of that position. Deshaun Watson likes to get the ball to him quick (5.8 yards per target) and let him run (481 yards of his 579 yards came after the catch). He’ll carry the ball on jet sweeps -- which hurt Ohio State against Wisconsin — and they find creative ways to get the speedster into space. Even though Clemson has a beast on the perimeter in Mike Williams, one could argue that Scott presents the greatest mismatch for the Ohio State defense.

A guy who runs jet sweeps and chews up the chains with YAC — sounds like every receiver that's killed the local team in the last decade.

And here's a sleeper to watch, via the indomitable Savage Tiger: 5'10" redshirt sophomore Hunter Renfrow.

If Scott chews up the local team, so be it. If it's death by an engineering major named Hunter, I will wake up on New Year's Day in the Miami County jail. 

 THE OL' DUAL THREAT. Few things worse in college football than facing a dual-threat dynamo. They can run or switch to a throw—sometimes twice in the same play.

Deshaun Watson makes his bones in the pocket, choosing to run only when flushed. During big games, however, he torches teams on the ground.


“He always starts running in big games,” Virginia Tech defensive end Ken Ekanem said.

And that poses a real problem for defenses, Alabama included. The Crimson Tide had no success corralling Watson in last season’s national championship. And as for Ohio State, the most rushing yards they allowed to a quarterback this season came against Penn State.

Against the Hokies, there were 17 designed rushes for Watson. To go up two scores early in the second half, Watson ran the ball on four of the drive’s nine plays. On their next possession, he ran it on three of four plays. The game-clinching touchdown came after the Hokies crashed the line to stop Watson’s feet, which left Hunter Renfrow wide open on the run-pass option.

The good news is the specter of the Browns having a No. 1 pick will loom in the back of Watson's mind after every big play. If he balls too hard, the NFL could sentence him to five years of hard labor on the frozen banks of Lake Erie in front of 800 hollowed husks of humanity.

No championship or sack of gold is worth that. 

But jokes aside, I plan on throwing at least three tantrums about Watson's guile escapes. Hopefully, it's just three. It better just be three!!

 KIFFIN AND MEYER: OLD PALS. Lane Kiffin committed one of the better self-owns in college football history when he violated conference rules by turning in Meyer for a non-existent recruiting violation.

Kiffin is down at Florida Atlantic, the only school he could get drunk enough on tequila shooters to take his skeevy ass home when Hooters kicked them out:

Kicker: 2009 wasn't eight to 10 years ago.

 CALL PLAYS FOR THE KNIGHTS. Chris Ash stole Drew Mehringer, then a Houston wide receivers coach, and made him an offensive coordinator at Rutgers. Tom Herman stole the 28-year-old back to Texas, where he'll coach Longhorn receivers.

Which means Rutgers needs someone to call plays.


It's a full-time position, with standard hours of 37.5 per week. But it's safe to assume that there's some unrewarded overtime that comes with that half-million dollar salary.

As an overview, the ad points out that Rutgers is a member of the Big Ten, calling it "the premier academic and athletic conference,'' and it also notes that Rutgers is known as "The Birthplace of College Football.''

"Rutgers hosted Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869 in the first intercollegiate football game, with RU earning a 6-4 victory,'' the listing states without any mention of the ensuing 147 seasons of action.

Condolences to the sap Rutgers hustles into that job. Half a million isn't enough to put yourself in a car crash.

 VICTOR SEES SNOW. This is why I dream of playoff games on college campuses. These Southern boys can't handle snow:

What they don't realize is the snow is our super power. Tolerating high temperatures of 8 degrees actually makes you a better human.

 THOSE WMDs. The sickening business of wellness... Franklin County paying farmers $30,000 to keep corn up as snow fences... A tribute to WWE's Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler... Finding Marlow... The woman who might find us another Earth... Frankenstein's mother.

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