Skull Session: Archie Griffin's Buckeye Breakdown, Tate Martell's Role, and Joe Burrow Makes Competition Rage Quit

By Kevin Harrish on August 15, 2018 at 4:59 am
Chase Young welcomes you to the Wednesday Skull Session.
Ohio State Athletics

Today, I am moving out of the campus apartment where I've lived the past four years.

It's bittersweet, but mostly sweet because I legitimately cannot imagine spending another month here. It's small, old, smells bad, is falling apart everywhere, hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in decades, collects water in the basement and to top it all off, is extremely expensive!

See, you don't miss everything about college.


Word of the Day: Bereft.

 ARCHIE BREAKS DOWN BUCKS.  Normally, the media gets a few peeks at the team and many opportunities to talk to players and coaches before the start of the season, but the whole Urban Meyer situation kind of put a damper on that.

But I can't envision a world where Ohio State refuses to let the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner observe practice. And thankfully, Archie Griffin was benevolent enough to share his observations with the masses. 

From Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch:

“Absolutely this is a talented team, you see that from the way they were working and their skills,” he said. “The offensive line is a good size and moves well. The defensive line I think is going to be awesome.

“Certainly when you look at their skill positions on offense with the running backs and receivers, you see talent. And though he has a lot to prove, (quarterback Dwayne) Haskins showed us what he could do at Michigan.”

He referred to last year’s game at Michigan when Haskins entered late in the third quarter for an injured J.T. Barrett and led the team to a come-from-behind win.

“Hopefully he can take that same attitude into the season and really shine, that would be great,” Griffin said. “It won’t be easy for him. There are some great teams in the Big Ten, and some other tough teams to play.

“They’ve just got to focus on what’s important and take it one game at a time, as they always say.”

TL;DR, everyone looks extremely good, which is probably a fair takeaway considering the Buckeyes just signed their two best recruiting classes of all time in consecutive years to bolster any position not already occupied by a proven veteran.

Also, I'm glad Archie and I are on the same page because I too believe the future No. 1 overall pick, the best pass rushing defensive tackle in the country and The Predator incarnate will make up an awesome defensive line. Glad to hear it passes the eye test.

 THE MARTELL PLAN. One of the big questions of the offseason was how much Tate Martell will play this season and in what capacity. In reality, we're probably not much closer to answering those questions than we were a few months ago, but that doesn't keep us from trying!

Bill Landis of is the latest to take a stab at projecting how Martell will fit into the offense this season:

"I've had thoughts about punt returner, I've had all kinds of thoughts," Meyer said. "But you jeopardize your whole program if you do that. That exact conversation has been had 50, 60 times. How much can you really use him if he's the No. 2, and the No. 3 is a true freshman coming off a bad knee injury?"


There was a time where I thought he could be a gadget-type weapon, playing different positions like we've Penn State do with its backup quarterback Tommy Stevens. I've backed off that with this new setup, but you'll see Martell get packages at quarterback, particularly in short-yardage red zone situations. That will also be better managed than the similar setup we saw with Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett in 2015, because Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson are better coaches than the guys running the offense back then. 

Haskins gets the majority of the first-team snaps, but Martell is part of the plan because he's too talented to be left out. 

I appreciate the hell out of Landis' bluntness about the current offensive coaches versus the staff in 2015 because well, he's absolutely correct.

Martell will play more than a traditional backup quarterback would this season, but it will by no means be a two quarterback system. Unless he comes in and lights the world on fire...

 AND THEN THERE WERE TWO. When Joe Burrow arrived in Baton Rouge, he was one of four scholarship quarterbacks fighting for the starting spot. A couple of weeks later, it looks like there will only two.

Narcisse announced his transfer shortly after this tweet was tweeted, and McMillan is presumably next (UPDATED: Yes, he's gone, too).

Personally, I love the thought of Joe strolling into Baton Rouge and making two dudes rage quit when they realize they've got no shot to beat him out.

Poor souls thought they were safe coming to LSU. The Tigers haven't had a competent quarterback in years leading these fellows to believe they had a shot against anyone on the current roster.

Then Burrow came along.

 PRAYERS UP, JEROD. If you haven't heard, NBC4's Jerod Smalley, one of the best television reporters in the business and an even better human, suffered a stroke earlier this week.

Jerod, of course, made light of the whole situation, addressing it with humor and wit and almost making you forget how serious a medical concern this is.

The gravity of the situation wasn't lost on one particular former Buckeye, who can empathize with a health scare more than most, and rushed to Jerod's side as soon as he heard the news.

Continued prayers for Jerod, and a big shoutout to William White.

 MARK WAHLBERG, CREW SAVIOR? If Anthony Precourt ever decides to sell The Crew, we've found a buyer: Mark Wahlberg.

When asked if he'd be interested in purchasing the team – if it were even for sale – Wahlberg, who already owns a car dealership in Columbus, said certainly.


“Actually, you know what, I certainly would," Wahlberg told ABC6. "My dear friend Bob Kraft has not only (owns) the (New England) Patriots, but he owns the New England Revolution as well. I have a bunch of people who are involved.

"I think that may be something we need to discuss. I became a huge, huge soccer fan. This World Cup really got me.”

I love how he talks about purchasing a professional sports team the way I talk about getting a new video game.

"You know, I really would like to buy FIFA. My good friend not only owns Madden, but he owns FIFA as well, and I've really been on a really big soccer kick since the World Cup."

 THOSE WMDs. Did an innocent man die in prison for a murder committed by the Golden State Killer?... A $16,000 college application boot camp... Lunch lady sisters accused of stealing nearly $500,000 from school cafeterias... Seven of the deadliest infrastructure failures throughout history...

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