Skull Session: Urban Meyer Shining As an Analyst, Justin Fields' Can Extend a Play, and Joe Burrow Dumps Texas

By Kevin Harrish on September 9, 2019 at 4:59 am
Justin Fields lays in pay dirt in today's skull session.
Ohio State Athletics

This weekend, I learned that Jim Harbaugh was the best man at Willie Taggart's wedding and it made a lot of things make a lot of sense.

Is it fair to assume Jeremy Pruitt was a groomsman?


Word of the Day: Hie.

 STUDIO STAR. Urban Meyer is the best college football analyst that's ever appeared on my television. I'm sure there's some homer blogger bias seeping into my enjoyment of his analysis, but I've just never seen anyone break things down the way he does.

And it sounds like I'm not alone there.

From Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune:

So there is life after burying the headset. A few weeks into his new gig, Meyer already is a must-watch studio analyst.

“We struck gold,” Fox Sports President Mark Silverman texted at halftime of the Army-Michigan game. “There is no one out there like him.”


Ratings have skyrocketed for Fox’s “Big Noon Saturday” game, which the pregame show precedes. Tool around on Twitter and you’ll see complimentary tweets from those who have despised him: “I never thought I’d say this, but …”

Meyer is connected enough to speak with firsthand knowledge about the likes of Texas coach Tom Herman (coordinated three of Meyer’s offenses at Ohio State), Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix (Meyer recruited him) and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (an OSU transfer).


“I want to stay away from the obvious: Boy, he’s a really good quarterback. I want to get the viewer in the huddle, the locker room,” (Meyer) said.

His first week, he broke down the exact play Justin Fields busted for a touchdown minutes later and explained how and his staff accidentally invented the RPO at Utah. This week, he talked about how to defend the flexbone with cover 2 and touched on how quarterbacks are often responsible for the pressure they face more-so than the offensive line because they don't set the protection right.

We're two weeks in, and he's already given a level insight I've never heard anywhere else that's totally understandable to anyone over 12 years old.

There's no way you could hate it. Unless, well...

But hey, he gives some good analysis of Michigan as well. Here, he swooned over Dylan McCaffrey's skillset for over five minutes.

... and still didn't refer to the school by name.

 SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. Last year, if nobody was open within about five seconds of the snap, the Buckeyes were pretty much boned because Dwayne Haskins ran like a rusty C-3PO.

Now, to Dwayne's credit, there were very few of those situations because he did everything right to get the ball out of his hands immediately. But it's still nice to know there's a contingency plan if things don't go right.

For example, peep this second throw:

Fields is so elusive and patient that the receivers are still getting used to it.

From Doug Lesmerises of

“Once it becomes live, now you find out what’s it like,” Day said, once again praising Fields for throwing the ball away when need be. “He created, too, because he can create. He can buy more time.”

In the opener, the Buckeyes felt like the receivers and Fields didn’t stay connected when he scrambled. So they practiced that. This was the outcome, though Day said he still wants to see this happen more often, as the receivers break off and operate in what Day called “the second part of the route."

“We’re still not where we need to be,” Fields said. “But I think we’re going to keep improving ... That particular play, the corner was playing off, and I think he pushed Chris out of bounds. But (it’s) really just finding an open space and getting open and just making a play.”

If what we say on Saturday is "we're still not where we need to be," God be with the Big Ten this season.

 HOLY JOE BURROW. To the (very few) people telling us to stop loving Joe Burrow since he's not at Ohio State anymore: No.

Watching the Amish Rifle carve up the other fraudulent-ass DBU like Bobby Flay on Thanksgiving to slap Tommy Texas with a fat L in primetime was one of the most enjoyable non-Buckeye college football things I've experienced in quite some time.

From Mark Schlabach of ESPN:

Burrow is only the third player to throw for 400 yards in a game in LSU history. His 471 passing yards are second most in school history to Davey's 528 against Alabama in 2001.

"That was awesome," Orgeron said. "Man, he was fired up. The kid is a baller. He lives for that moment, and I'll tell you what, those were some tough plays. It was loud out there, and he got it done."

Burrow's biggest throw was his last one. On third-and-17 from the LSU 39, he threw down the left sideline for Justin Jefferson, who hauled in the catch and broke loose for a 61-yard touchdown. Burrow's two-point conversion pass to Ja'Marr Chase gave LSU a 45-31 lead with 2:27 to go.

"[Texas] was playing so well on offense, we knew we were going to have to score again to win," Burrow said. "I kept telling the guys, 'Forty and we'll win.' We had to stay aggressive."

"Threw down the left sideline" is hilariously underselling the sorcery Burrow had to perform to even get that ball out of his hand with any sort of forward motion.

Burrow was named the nation's offensive player of the week by Walter Camp after he finished 31-for-39 for 471 yards and four touchdowns (and one pick on a batted ball).

All against "DBU" (we're not going to act like LSU did anything to solidify their claim to the title either, giving up 401 yards to Sam Ehlinger).

Joey B looked good, good. It wasn't just the gritty "will my team to win" kind of good, or the "outsmart you because I'm a coach's son" kind of good – on Saturday, he was also the surgical "I belong on an NFL roster" good.

I mean:

I know he's not wearing the good and correct jersey anymore, but I'm a gigantic Joe Burrow fan and I have the cleanest of consciouses about it. He's an Ohio State graduate who's still beloved by his Buckeye brothers and his former coaches and continues to give back to his home state and his home town.

Now, when he has to play my team after both the Buckeyes and the Tigers inevitably go undefeated and meet in the College Football Playoff, I hope he throws seven picks, gets folded across Chase Young's shoulder and the Buckeyes win by 62.

Until then, I will continue to blog Tweet and post about him, because he is more Buckeye than most Buckeye fans, good at football, an extremely likable individual, entertaining as hell, and I like him better than people who complain about me liking him.

If that bothers you, this video is for you:

 GO OFF THEN, KELSEY. Y'all may not know this, but I was a women's basketball writer for most of my 11W days. And that meant three years of watching Kelsey Mitchell splash threes from anywhere past half court.

I've never seen a better shooter – male or female – come through Ohio State in my life. Shit, I'm not sure I've seen a better shooter in person, period.

She broke the NCAA record for made threes in a single season as a freshmen, set the all-time NCAA record for made threes in her career, and holds the NCAA record for most consecutive games with a three-pointer, and shot over 40 percent from behind the arc her senior year.

So I was completely unshocked when Twitter told me she was NBA Jam on fire on Sunday.

She finished with a franchise-record 38 points and hit a WNBA record nine threes in the game, because of course she did.

She's also one of the most humble, down-to-earth human beings I've ever talked to, to the point that it seemed like a facade. But through three years of covering her, and talking to folks off the record, I learned that it wasn't. That's just how she is.

From me, of Eleven Warriors:

I'll never forget at the end of my first season covering the team during the 2015-16 season – Mitchell's sophomore season – we had a media opportunity to talk to the players about their Big Ten recognition. Mitchell had just been named the Big Ten Player of the Year for the second-straight time. But she had no idea.

"I'm sorry, which accolades are you referring to?" She asked genuinely and innocently after the first question.

Shortly after, Cait Craft explained to me that they don't usually even bother to tell her things like that anymore because they know she doesn't care. She said she's usually the one who gets excited on Kelsey's behalf, though.

I would hope she celebrated splashing nine threes though. At least a little bit.

 JUG MACHINE. Chase Young let a chance at glory literally slip through his gigantic hands on Saturday, but he's making sure it doesn't happen again.

He should probably come back for his senior season to work on his hands, in my opinion. That drop tells me he's still quite clearly a work in progress and definitely not ready for the NFL.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. How a crime reporter went from covering murders to solving them... Is instagram ruining architecture?... Vinyl will outsell CDs for the first time since 1986... High tides bring a manatee into a women's yard... Man driving stolen vehicle caught with rattlesnake, uranium, whiskey and firearm (dad?)... A guy breaks into a house, cooks breakfast and tells the homeowner to "go back to sleep"...

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