Friday the 13th Skull Session: Covering Husker Receivers, Scouting Tanner Lee, and Bucks Should Replicate Bucky

By D.J. Byrnes on October 13, 2017 at 4:59 am
Tracy Sprinkle throws a lightning bolt at the October 13th 2017 Skull Session

Piqua Football got back in the playoff hunt Thursday night against Vandalia Butler. 

Tied 27-27 with 2:14 left in the game on the Aviators' 30-yard-line, Indians quarterback Austin Davis found Hayden Schrubb on 4th and 7 for a game-winning touchdown strike.


But that might not have been enough without future Ohio State walk-on linebacker Ben Schmiesing, who also handled platoon running back duties, ending the Aviators' penetrating rebuttal drive with a game-ending strip of Jake Demoss.


Schmiesing will make an impact in Columbus. (Fave this tweet.)


Word of the Day: Cyanosis.

 NO FLY ZONE. Urban Meyer slipped a moment of candor into the end of yesterday's call-in show that featured no callers.

"I think [Nebraska] is going to come down to if we can cover them," Meyer said. "Because they're going to have to take some shots over the top [to win]."

So let's look at the Husker receivers, which are a respectable crew. (Remember, Damon Arnette will miss the first half, likely shoving five-star freshman Jeffrey Okudah into a starting role.)


There’s a very clear top receiver in junior Stanley Morgan Jr., with 27% of targets and 510 yards (17 yards/catch). De'Mornay Pierson-El is another strong option, and a few others have chipped in, including freshman JD Spielman and tight end Tyler Hoppes. With Arnette suspended for the first half and Okudah likely receiving the majority of his playing time, the first half especially might be a challenge for Ohio State’s pass defense.

At least Nebraska does have multiple receiving options outside of Morgan Jr. to potentially target Ohio State’s backups in the secondary (alternatively, Okudah turns out to be every bit as good as he’s looked and was rated as a recruit, and we hardly notice Arnette’s absence).

The passing game is really how Nebraska would pull an upset here: not throw interceptions, get a lead going into halftime while the Ohio State secondary is a little undermanned, and get some explosive plays from Morgan Jr. and Pierson-El.

This is about as well-designed test as you could come up with for Ohio State's secondary before it faces Penn State's attack in two weeks.

I respect the Husker receiving corps, but I have more respect for the swagger the secondary developed over the last month. Though, I reserve right to switch my opinion based on Saturday night's outcome.

 LOOKING AT LEE. Tanner Lee, a three-star 2016 prospect from New Orleans, entered the 2017 with the hype usually attached to an unproven yet talented prospect at a big school.

He hasn't lived up entirely to those expectations. He's still the best quarterback the Buckeyes have faced since Baker Mayfield.

From Kyle Morgan of

Tanner Lee (#13)
6’4” 220

A member of the preseason “All-Hype” team, Tanner Lee has failed to live up to early-season expectations. He has thrown 10 interceptions thus far, but looking at the game film and not the box score shows some bad luck has contributed to a number of interceptions.

Lee has a solid frame and strong arm who will push the ball downfield. He is a risk taker and trusts that his arm strength will ultimately prevail. Has above average mobility but is not a threat to take over a game with his running ability, instead uses his mobility to extend plays and move out of the pocket.

He struggles with poise as his footwork will escape him when the pocket gets messy and is inconsistent with accuracy on all levels. He puts a lot of air under his deep throws and will be late to deliver on time.

I don't care if the Huskers are unranked and the Buckeyes are favored by 24. We're going to learn some things about our favorite team this weekend.

 RUN THE ROCK. Nebraska hosted Wisconsin last week. They lost by 21 at home, but were tied 17-17 in the third quarter. But then Bucky got rolling on the ground, and the Huskers had no answer.

Ohio State should follow that strategy. It has more depth than Nebraska (and Wisconsin), and will wear them down.


Wisconsin had four possessions in the final 25 minutes of the game. From that point on, it had more touchdowns (3) than passes attempted (2).

The Badgers pounded away at Nebraska’s gassed defensive line. It didn’t matter that everyone in the building knew a run was coming. Jonathan Taylor did his best Melvin Gordon imitation and ran all over the Huskers to put away an easy 38-17 victory.

Was it boring? Yes. Did it take the air out of the building? You bet.

If J.K. Dobbins starts getting lose, it's curtains for the Huskers. Opponents don't beat Urban Meyer without dominating his offensive line.

 CORSO REMEMBERS WOODY. Patriotic American Lee Corso recently sat down with a local football historian and dropped a funny anecdote about facing Woody Hayes in Bloomington in 1978.

From Jack Park of

Even though his team was defeated, Corso has fond memories of that particular afternoon and his relationship with Hayes. Corso’s good friend and avid Hoosier fan, Al Carpenter, attended all the games and most of IU’s practices. Carpenter, a teenager with cerebral palsy, watched most of the games from the IU bench.

As the Ohio State squad warmed up that afternoon, Carpenter asked Corso if it might be possible for Carpenter to meet Hayes. When the two head coaches met at midfield, Corso told Hayes about Carpenter and recalls how Hayes gladly went out of his way to talk with him. “It was heart-warming,” Corso remembers. “He autographed Al’s program and took such a sincere interest in speaking with him. Al could not have felt greater.”

After Hayes finished, Carpenter graciously thanked Corso, who in turn kidded Carpenter by saying, “Al, I’ve known you for several years, and you’ve never asked me for my autograph.” “That’s right, coach,” a joyous Carpenter replied, “but then, you’re not Woody Hayes!”

That sums up everything you need to know about Hoosier football: Their coaches idolize Ohio State's coaches and their super fans want their autographs.

Buck-I-Guy, the Patron Saint of Ohio State football, would never debase our #brand like that.

 MEDIA RISES UP. Fans want reporters to ask haymakers every time. In a perfect word, they would. But pressers are actually tightly controlled environments by universities with credentialing authority.

But an FBI probe is rocking college basketball and questions linger over coaches from coast to coast. It's helped tip the scales back the other way. Now, media peasants check the sport's kings.

Oh yeah, nothing to see at Kentucky! John Calipari, the guy chased by NCAA allegations at every stop of his career, ain't sweating as people with jailing powers burrow their way through the seedy underbelly of his sport. 

Despite Louisville being 80 miles away, there's clearly nothing to see in Lexington.

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