I'm pleased to announce I have a new editor. His name is Elliott and he will receive nothing but respect around these parts.
My new son. pic.twitter.com/CYAAPzStSv— Kevin Harrish (@Kevinish) September 29, 2018
- EJ Liddell explains his Ohio State decision.
- House Money: Our weekly picks against the spread.
- Across the Field: Q&A with Indiana beat writer Zach Osterman.
- Ohio State's receivers have made a big impression with their blocking.
- L'Christian Smith and Xavier Johnson lose their black stripes.
- Ohio State's slumping rushing attack could use a boost.
- Ryan Shazier wins a bet against his teammates.
Word of the Day: Sapient.
RASHOD BERRY BLOCKS ALL OF PENN STATE. There were a lot of unsung heroes in Ohio State's comeback win over Penn State, but Rashod Berry might be the biggest.
Berry had a huge drop that led to a Penn State interception early in the game, but I'd say he made up for it on this play.
I did notice Berry downfield delivering that block, but I kind of wrote it off. I mean, he's a tight end, blocking is what he's supposed to do. I did not realize he was in pass protection before that and just how much ground he covered.
Watching the play over again, I'm still baffled at how he did it. Did he teleport in front of Victor?
FORMER BUCKEYE ON FORMER BUCKEYE CRIME. Joe Burrow is looking to drop his third top-25 team this weekend as he and his Tigers roll into the Swamp to take on No. 22 Florida.
Burrow's been rolling. He has yet to throw an interception, has thrown for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns, and is coming off the best start of his career, Florida receiver Trevon Grimes – who knows Burrow's game from their time at Ohio State – sounds unimpressed.
From Thomas Goldkamp of Swamp 247:
"I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do against our defense and if he can make those plays, but I’m sure he won’t be able to," Grimes said. "I’m excited to see what they can go out there and do and come out victorious once again."
The Gators held the Bulldogs to just 202 total yards last week, completely putting the clamps down on dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Grimes thinks there's more of the same in store for Burrow. Has the Florida defense reached out to him for any sort of insight into Burrow's game?
"No, they haven’t. Honestly, I don’t think they’re too worried," Grimes said. "I see every day in practice, they go up against, in my opinion, a better quarterback. So they’re not too worried about him. They’re going go out there and play their game, play physical and come out victorious."
"Joe’s one of my good friends from back up when I was at Ohio State," Grimes said. "We talked often. But I think he’s a good player. I haven’t really seen any improvement of him, but I’m not really focused on him right now. I’ll let the defense handle him."
I know you want to be loyal and confident in your team, but damn, that's a bit cold. "I'm sure he won't be able to" and "I haven’t really seen any improvement of him" – Trevon, are you sure you were friends?
Regardless, Grimes is wrong. Burrow's already beaten two defenses better than Florida's and the Gators are this weeks SEC team that has no business being in the top-25. I don't care if it's at the Swamp, LSU's going to roll Florida.
TURNS OUT, PICKING BUCKEYES IS GOOD. Denzel Ward is trying to make it three-straight years a former Buckeye wins the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Joey Bosa took it home in 2016 and Ward's former BIA counterpart Marshon Lattimore nabbed it this year. It's early, but Ward's making his move in 2018.
Denzel Ward is another Browns draft pick who is currently the highest graded rookie at his position. pic.twitter.com/6nDc0sFHax— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 4, 2018
If Ward can snag it this year, I have faith in Nick Bosa keeping the trend going the year after. It's almost like drafting Ohio State players is a good idea!
“I TOLD YOU SO.” That's what Kentucky running Benny Snell wants to tell Urban Meyer with his dominance at Kentucky.
Snell grew up in Westerville, less than 20 minutes from Ohio Stadium, and absolutely dominated as a high school running back, but as a three-star prospect rated just No. 876 in the country, he didn't even get an offer from the Buckeyes.
From Kyle Tucker of The Athletic ($):
She’s pulling out old photos and newspaper clippings of her two beloved Bens, when one jumps out from the pile: There’s 10-year-old Benny, wearing a replica Ohio State uniform, kneeling in front of that signature silver helmet, with a football tucked securely into the crook of his right arm. All of his childhood dreams are written right there across his chest, the block-lettered “BUCKEYES” and the No. 10, just like Heisman-winning Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith.
“Every kid wants to be the hometown hero,” Snell Jr. told The Athletic. “And I want to say this: If Jim Tressel was still the coach, I feel like I would be. I’d be at Ohio State. I know how Jim rocked — Jim rocked hometown — but Urban Meyer came in, and everything was different.”
About four years ago, the way Benny sees it, Meyer essentially took that treasured photograph and all the hope it represented, balled it up and tossed it into the trash without so much as a second thought. But Snell can’t stop thinking about it: The Ohio State University, whose iconic stadium is just 18 miles from Westerville Central High School where Benny bulldozed his way to almost 4,500 yards and 56 touchdowns in his final two seasons, didn’t want him.
No matter how much good fortune has followed, the sting of that rejection remains.
“It’s forever in my heart,” Snell said even now, as he’s rewriting Kentucky’s record book, leading the SEC in rushing, basking in the glow of an undefeated start for the 13th-ranked Wildcats and mounting a dark horse Heisman campaign with the launch of his own website. What would be the best thing about getting invited to New York as a finalist for college football’s most prestigious award? “To have a big, fat, ‘I told you so’ to everybody – the doubters, the haters, Ohio State. I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘I told you so.’ ”
I get it, I really do.
It sucks that he was probably talented enough to realize his childhood dream and couldn't, and I really would have loved to see him in a Buckeye uniform, especially since the back Ohio State took instead transferred before the start of this season.
But welcome to big-time college football.
Ohio State can only take 25 players a class and only one or two running backs. God forbid they try to find some of the nation's best instead of just snagging a local kid.
You just can't really argue Urban Meyer's recruiting success or evaluation of talent, and I'm not even sure Meyer would regret not taking him, even at this point. It's not like the Buckeyes are currently hurting at running back with two 1,000-yard rushers and a pair of freshmen waiting in the wings. And the guy he got instead was talented too, and is currently averaging more yards per carry at another Power 5 School.
And I love how he brings up Jim Tressel as if he did everything the way it should be done. Maybe you like the way Tressel recruited Ohio – hell, I even think it's admirable – but if your job is to win football games, the national approach is undeniably better.
We saw a team made up of Tressel's local approach versus Meyer's national approach. And it wasn't pretty.
DODGED A BULLET THERE. Hey, remember when Ohio State almost hired Greg McDermott to replace Thad Matta? Seems like the Buckeyes might have dodged a bullet there.
Brian Bowen Sr. told the jury today that Christian Dawkins conveyed the following offers for Brian Bowen Jr. to commit:— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) October 4, 2018
Oklahoma State: $150,000, $8000 for a car, money for a house
Texas: help me with housing
Creighton: $100,000 and a good job
Bowen eventually signed with Louisville for an alleged $100,000, which leaves me wondering, is Stillwater, Oklahoma that bad?
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