Skull Session: Previewing Maryland, Scouting Ty Johnson, and Sprinting Kerry Coombs

By D.J. Byrnes on October 6, 2017 at 4:59 am
Jerome Baker sharks the October 6th 2017 Skull Session

Today, I will fire my agent because he's not half as good as Rick Pitino's.

From Andrew Woofson of The Louisville Courier-Journal:

When University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich announced a new $160 million, 10-year deal with athletic apparel giant Adidas on Aug. 25, a reporter asked him if some of the proceeds would be shared with the university.

“It’s for the athletic department,” Jurich replied. “It’s for these student-athletes. It’s been earmarked for them.”

In fact, under the current deal with Adidas, which expires July 1, 98 percent of the cash provided by Adidas goes to one person: Rick Pitino, the now-suspended head coach.

Rarely has the black heart of amateur basketball been splayed open for the American public to gawk at. 

Pitino will go down as one of the biggest grifters in sports history. And what's hilarious is it was always going to end this way. The writing has been on the wall for years, and despite having millions of dollars in the bank¹, he continued working his marks.

Amazing. I'm going to clap in respect as I watch federal employees escort him to prison.²


Word of the Day: Cogitation.

 MARYLAND: NOT RUTGERS! It's a change of pace for the Buckeyes this week as their opponents are respected members of the Big Ten working class, as opposed to unemployed wine drifters like Rutgers.

And while they have wins against Texas and Minnesota, they're still flawed in an area Ohio State is looking to grow. And they haven't faced a player like J.K. Dobbins.

From Edward Sutelan of The Lantern:

Maryland has been especially porous when it comes to its pass defense. The Terrapins have been picked apart through the air, having allowed an average of 248 passing yards per game, 37th-most among FBS teams. Though its defense has intercepted five passes, this still could be a mismatch for Maryland because Ohio State appears to have found its stride in the passing game.

Maryland’s lone defensive bright spot has been its ability to slow the run. The team’s defense ranks 48th with only 131.8 rushing yards allowed per game and opponents average just 3.85 yards per carry against the Terrapins. Only six of the 16 offensive touchdowns opponents have scored against Maryland have come on the ground.

The key to Maryland’s ability to limit the run has been linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. The senior was named to both the preseason Bednarik and Butkus award watch lists after finishing seventh in the Big Ten with 8.5 tackles per game in 2016. Carter is leading his team in total tackles (29), tackles for loss (4.0) and sacks (2.5). Though his numbers don’t jump off the page when compared to others in college football, Carter has been a steady presence for the Terrapin defense.

Crazy to think on another timeline Keandre Jones, whom Meyer said may be the gem of the 2016 class, could be leading the Terrapin linebackers.

Meyer said on his call-in show Mike Weber is pain free for the first time since July. We'll see Saturday if that's true, but Ohio State is going to look to pour on the points. As much as we'd like to think the offense has grown since Oklahoma, the offense still needs the reps.

 MARYLAND HAS ACTUAL PLAYERS. Rutgers faced Ohio State without its top playmaker. Maryland is missing its top two quarterbacks. But unlike Rutgers, Maryland has more than a single playmaker.

Meet junior Terrapins running back Ty Johnson.

From Kyle Morgan of

Ty Johnson (#6)
Junior RB
5’10” 208

Good all-around athlete who has good vision and breakaway speed. Is utilized out of the “Wildcat” as he shows good ability to read blocks before turning up field as a runner. Will be used in the passing game out of the backfield as well and shows a solid ability to be effective in pass blocking situations. Very good kick returner due to his aforementioned vision and running style.

I have a soft spot for Johnson, because he humbled P.J. Fleck, my nemesis, last week. Minnesota feasted on weaker competition and Johnson gave him a dose of reality.

Fleck responded by putting ceramic geese around the facility. Let's hope he doesn't break Meyer's psyche in a similar fashion.

 RUN KERRY RUN. Kerry Coombs is old enough to sit at home and drink Scotch six nights a week while collecting a robust pension check. Instead, he's erected an cornerback pipeline to the NFL and spends his weekends racing men half his age down the sidelines of Ohio Stadium.

From The Toledo Blade:

COLUMBUS — When an Ohio State return team finds a crease, or a Buckeyes defensive back has a promising alley on an interception return, the most excited man in the stadium is not on the playing field.

One only needs to watch the Buckeyes’ sideline, which often is as compelling as the play itself.

The man with the ball is headed toward the end zone — and assistant coach Kerry Coombs usually is running right with him, tearing down the sideline alongside the play.


“Oh come on, it’s so much fun,” Coombs said.

 LEACH DUMPS AUZTEN. Mike Leach has been around the world. He's seen some things and done some stuff.

He acknowledges Oregon has the loudest stadium in the Pac 12. He also wants you to know that ranks for about 36th nationally.

TIL: The Kentucky Wildcats and first-year offensive coordinator Mike Leach³ beat Alabama, 40-34, in 1997 for the first UK victory in the series in 75 years.

 BEER WE GO, DANTONIO! This is a correct take. If Michigan State is to rise up against the mediocrity to which it's traditionally been condemned against Michigan, it must beat Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines on Saturday night.


For nearly 40 years, this thing was a dud. There's a reason why kids who grew up outside this state knew almost nothing about the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry; it didn't exist. From 1970-2007, Michigan had 30 wins to Michigan State's eight. 

Then Mark Dantonio rolled into town and changed everything. Michigan left the door ajar and Dantonio, a fiery coach who knew how to turn frustration into results, blasted a cannonball into it. Those eight wins over four decades? Dantonio has seven wins in one.

For Michigan, terrifying. Officially terrifying. 

But now, here comes Saturday. When a rivalry that's appears to be at another turning point. If Dantonio can score that eighth win, he's one giant step closer to restoring MSU's program identity after a nightmarish 3-9 finish in 2016 and an uglier off-season. 

I don't think Michigan State is very good. But I'm not sold on Michigan being good, either. I'm hoping Dantonio can cook up some magic if only for the Jim Harbaugh and Forlorn Michigan fan reaction GIFs.

 THOSE WMDs. Piqua Marine who saved woman's life in Vegas says he's no hero... Death at a PSU fraternity... 2017 Photomicrography competition... Vince Wilfork's high school highlights... Glorifying women's selflessness a way to make them do all the work... Did Nick Saban break LSU?

¹ Assuages thousands of inconveniences with the mistress (◕‿◕✿) 
² Fight ya for that milk carton, Lil Ricky! (ง'̀-'́)ง
³ His QB? The Immortal Tim Couch (▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿)

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