Skull Session: Buckeyes Kickoff Coverage in Shambles, Taylor Decker Went to Michigan (Says Announcer), and More Kevin Wilson Allegations

By D.J. Byrnes on September 19, 2017 at 4:59 am
Johnnie Dixon's hamstrings are sore for the September 19 2017 Skull Session

If the "Sim Week" button were real, I would press it this week. Playing a 40-point underdog like UNLV is about as enticing as matching socks.

At least families can score cheap tickets.


Word of the Day: Destitute.

 IS THERE A KICKER IN THE HOUSE. For three games this season, freshman kicker Blake Haubeil handled kickoffs and redshirt senior kicker Sean Neurnberger handled PATS and field goals.

That could soon change, with Neurnberger taking over all duties.

From the Ohio State beat G.O.A.T., Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

He has seen disappointing results the first three games from freshman Blake Haubeil on kickoffs. And an embarrassing try for quick fix went awry to start the second half against Army when walk-on Bryan Kristan shanked one that “almost went in the seats,” Meyer recalled on Monday.

That’s why fourth-year junior Sean Nuernberger, who handles extra points and field goals, could be pressed into kickoff duty on Saturday when the Buckeyes host Nevada-Las Vegas, Meyer said.

Ohio State is 53rd nationally in kickoff coverage, giving up an average of 19.0 yards per return. That number is exacerbated by the Buckeyes’ usual ploy of trying to have the kickoff be a popup fielded inside the 5-yard line and to Ohio State’s left, so as to corner the return man and try keep the runback from reaching the 20.

Place kicking has always been an adventure with Meyer's teams. Makes you think, for sure. I understand his kickoff philosophy, but it always seems more trouble than it's worth.

Haubeil's struggles, though, would be easier to tolerate from a freshman if Michigan's Quinn Nordan wasn't killing it up north.

 HERE WE GO AGAIN. One of the worst parts of working in media is all your mistakes are public, and pointing them out for some people has similar affect as heroin.

Go on Twitter. Tweet 10,000 times and get three favorites. Tweet something wrong, however, and people will line up to tell you what a miserable piece of shit you are. (They're closer on some days than others.)

Unfortunately for ESPN Monday Night Football (people are still watching Monday Night Football, apparently) announcer Sean McDonough committed treason by saying former Ohio State offensive lineman Taylor Decker went to Michigan.


And during Monday night’s Lions-Giants game, ESPN’s Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden were talking about Decker’s injury hurting Detroit’s offensive line, when McDonough referred to Decker being a former first-round pick “out of the University of Michigan.”

I can envision multiple ways something like this happened. Unfortunately, McDonough must be executed.

Hopefully Decker was being facetious about calling for somebody's job for a benign mixup on Monday Night Football.

 MORE WILSON ALLEGATIONS. Multiple former players accused Kevin Wilson of abuse at Indiana. The Hoosiers did not fire Wilson for those, but rather "philosophical differences." 

Gene Smith and Ohio State investigated the matter and obviously came away satisfied.

But the issue is back in the headlines again with former Hoosier WR Coray Keel going pubic with new allegations yesterday.


Keel said he suffered a concussion during his first preseason, in 2014, the result, Keel said, of being made to engage in one-on-one contact drills with a teammate over and over again.

“I was doing board drills with the (defensive backs), and I was the second guy up. At this time, I’m a freshman. We’re going one on one with a senior, and I end up beating him,” Keel said. “Kevin Wilson gets mad and yells at his DB, and we just kept going.

“It was to the point where, I was like, ‘My head is hurting,’ so I just let him win.”

Not the kind of news Ohio State needs as it looks to resurrect its offense before opening Big Ten play next week. (I offer platitudes because I have no idea what to make of this case, other than I hope Smith was rock solid in his probe.)

 SPIELMAN'S SON IN HOT WATER. Chris Spielman's son, Noah, plays defensive line at Wheaton College. But probably not for much longer.

Monday afternoon, DuPage County Judge Joseph Bugos signed arrest warrants for Spielman and four teammates. They stand accused of vicious hazing.


The freshman told investigators that he was placed in the back seat of a teammate's vehicle and held down by at least two players while others piled into the vehicle. After the vehicle began moving, the players played Middle Eastern music and made offensive comments about Muslims, according to the victim's account.

At one point, the players suggested to the freshman that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, the teen told investigators. They patted his foot and suggested he would be their "goat" for the evening, the records said.

The freshman told investigators that his teammates restrained him with more duct tape during the drive, pulled down his shorts and underwear, then repeatedly tried to insert an object into his rectum. After the freshman yelled at them to stop, he was beaten, he said.

Sounds like Noah should be thankful his dad is rich. That case will get uglier if it goes to trial.

 YOUR NEW FAVORITE PLAYER. Ohio safety Javon Hagon is my new favorite player. His is also yours, too.


During Ohio’s game against Kansas in Week 3, there was a pretty hilarious moment at the end of a play. When it was blown dead, Ohio safety Javon Hagan straight up stole Kansas receiver Quan Hampton’s towel from the back of his pants. The best part — we know this because Hagan outed himself by posting a video of it on his Twitter account.

The best part is Hagan has been doing this since 2016: 

That's most swagger Ohio's football team has had since its quarterback was named "Boo."

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