Skull Session: Buckeye Defense Limits Big Plays, Lydell Ross Talks '02 Relationship With Maurice Clarett, and Ohio State Pass Rushers Dominate NFL

By Kevin Harrish on October 20, 2021 at 4:59 am
The Buckeye defense is lockdown in today's skull session.

Nothing says Fall quite like The Best Damn Band in the Land paying tribute to The Best Damn Autumn Gourd in the Land.

Related: the primetime Halloween Eve halftime show is going to absolutely rule. I can feel it.

Word of the Day: Intrepid.

 WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS? It's become a reoccurring theme at Ohio State that even though guys compete for starting spots and playing time, they still stay close to each other personally.

Turns out, that was true even back in 2002 when Maurice Clarett took Lydell Ross' starting spot.

On one thing that maybe Ohio State fans don't know about Lydell Ross or that 2002 season

“Me and Maurice Clarett got along. Me and him got along really well. A lot of people questioned that because I was set up to be the starter my sophomore year, but we had a really good off-the-field relationship, on the field too. There was no bitterness or anything like that with that situation between me, between everybody. I just wanted to see everybody succeed, I want to see the team win. That was my thing.”

My favorite recent example of this is Evan Pryor and TreVeyon Henderson. They aren't just cool with competing with each other for the next couple of years, the lower-ranked player actually recruited the guy who's going to be starting over him for the next few years.

That's a special kind of unselfish.

 LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE... After those first three games, I'm not sure my brain could comprehend the thought of Ohio State being anywhere near the top of any positive list related to defense.

But three games after that, here we are with the Buckeyes cracking the top-15 in explosive defense.

To add a little context here, I turn to my good pal Johnny Ginter, who is definitely a big-time college football stats knower and certainly not just a mere words-typer who makes far too many Simpsons references.

Johnny pointed out that the Buckeyes are currently tied for 85th in the country on plays allowed of 10+ yards, which would seem to directly contradict this stat. HOWEVER, they jump all the way up to No. 22 on allowing plays of 20+ yards.

So basically, you can get 10 yards on a play against this defense. You can probably get 15 yards on this defense. Hell, you might even be able to get 18 or 19 yards. But no more than 20!

I jest, but I'll take this 1,000 times out of 1,000 over the Break-But-Don't-Bend 2018 defense where every defensive snap was a game of Russian Roulette with multiple bullets in the chamber.

 NOT ONE, NOT TWO... In honor of Ohio State landing its first defensive line commit of the 2022 class yesterday, I'd like to remind you what happens to Buckeye pass rushers when they leave Ohio State.

And it's not like it took long for them to get there, either. All three were top-three picks, all three earned defensive rookie of the year honors, and all three were Pro Bowlers in either their first or second seasons.

That sort of thing happens once, it's merely an occurrence. It happens twice, you could write it off as a coincidence. But three times; that's a pattern.

And looking at a roster that currently features the two highest-rated defensive ends Ohio State has ever signed, I'm holding out hope we'll see four or five in the near future.

 FUN STATS! If you needed any more proof that college football is the stupidest most amazing sport on Earth, Space Coyote has you covered with a glorious thread of some of the most absurd records and oddities in college football history.

The whole thread is nine Tweets long and each one is absolutely incredible, but these ones are particularly mind-numbing.

Bookmark these Tweets for next time you want to complain about Ohio State in any capacity.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Do You Believe in Magic" by The Lovin' Spoonful

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