Skull Session: How Texas Can Topple Oklahoma, Dwayne Haskins Snubbed By Walter Camp Award, and Buckeye Assistants on the Move

By Kevin Harrish on November 29, 2018 at 4:59 am
Urban Meyer cracks a smile in today's Skull Session.

The Buckeyes lost to Syracuse last night, but at least we got to see a kid drill a half-court shot and potentially meet the love of his life while dressed in a hot dog suit.


Word of the Day: Natter.

 HOW'S TEXAS GONNA DO IT? The bad news is, Ohio State probably needs a win and an Oklahoma loss to make the playoff. The good news is, Texas has beaten Oklahoma before, and could be built again.

As Connelly points out – and we all know – Oklahoma's defense is a dumpster fire, and Texas had no problems moving the ball against it, especially with its two huge receivers Collin Johnson (6’6, 220) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6’4, 225).

The Sooners made a change at defensive coordinator after the Longhorns hung 48 on them last time, but things gotten far, far worse as Oklahoma hasn't held a team to less than 40 points since before Halloween – so the move kinda backfired.

Oklahoma's offense is undeniably lethal, but that's where Texas' style of play comes in.

From Bill Connelly of

The Sooner offense is great, mind you, first in Off. S&P+ by a wide margin. But any mistake — a single turnover, a single dropped pass — is magnified when you’re not making stops.

And if your opponent is good at shrinking the game down and limiting your possessions, said mistake feels downright crippling.

Texas’ offense has its own set of issues. With a middle-of-the-road tempo, a skill for avoiding negative plays, and almost no big-play prowess, the Longhorns are built for ball control, for better or worse.


Against OU, though, big plays are almost counterproductive. They only get you closer to giving the ball back to the Sooner offense. In Round 1, with Ehlinger smashing between the tackles for a few yards at a time (he had 18 non-sack carries for 84 yards and the three short scores) and Johnson and Humphrey around for third-down bailouts, Texas was able to snap the ball 75 times to OU’s 58, 48 to 24 in the second half.

So, the game plan: Score on every possession, force a turnover or two, and milk the clock.

Ok cool. Hook em.

 DWAYNE HASKINS SNUBBED. Dwayne Haskins was named the the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Quarterback of the Year yesterday, but that just offsets an enormous snub from a national award.

The guy put Ohio State's single-season passing record through a paper shredder with 4,081 yards and 42 touchdowns through the air completing a nice 69 percent of his passes. And even though it absolutely ain't his thing, he rushed for 127 yards and four touchdowns.

How does that not earn you a spot as a finalist? What the hell else is he supposed to do?

The obvious answer is just not lose to Purdue, but more than half the fellows on this list lost two or more games. And you'd think nuking the nation's top defense would do something to offset that.

What do I know? I'm just a guy with a laptop.

 MY CAUSE, MY CLEATS. This weekend, a few NFL players will be donning special cleats to promote causes that are dear to them. Denzel Ward is one of them, wearing his to promote heart health awareness after his father died of a heart attack in 2016.


“Representing this cause is in my dad’s name. Before he passed away in 2016 from a heart attack, he had a motto he used to always say: ‘Make them know your name.’ Either on the football field, or in the world, impacting people in a positive way and doing things to make the world know your name.”

“I want to bring awareness to heart health, preventing heart attacks and educating people on using things like an AED (automated external defibrillator) to help resuscitate people who may be going through a heart attack. My dad had his heart attack during a spin class, and there was actually a defibrillator there at the facility, but it was sitting on the wall and no one used it. So, more training, more devices and more educating people on how to use a defibrillator. It’s not very hard to use it, so just educating people and giving them confidence so they’re not afraid to use it. If someone would have used it on my dad, he could have had a chance to still be alive.”

“My dad motivates me every day. That was my best friend, someone who I wanted to make proud throughout life. He was a school principal, so that’s what he was all about, giving back and doing whatever he could to change peoples’ lives. I remember that his funeral was packed with all the people he had impacted—the kids he had worked with, teachers, friends. He made people know his name, and that’s what motivates me.”

The cleats themselves are pretty fantastic:

Denzel Ward's cleats

Back in the olden days, they used to fine players for wearing cleats that flashy. Now, they're promoting it as a cause. I sure ain't mad about it.

 COACHES ON THE MOVE? This offseason, the spotlight will be on Ryan Day and where he chooses to spend next season, but it looks like a few other Buckeye assistants are looking for head coaching gigs of their own.

According to Chris Vannini of The Athletic, running backs coach Tony Alford also interviewed for the position. Obviously, neither one got the job because Bowling Green hired Scot Loeffler instead, but it's interesting to know that they're both out there looking.

I'm downright fascinated to see what happens to this staff this offseason. If feels like there could be some historic turnover.

 THAT'S MY QUARTERBACK. For Dwayne Haskins, it seems the grind absolutely never stops.

Listen, you can't say he's not dedicated to his craft.

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