Skull Session: C.J. Stroud Tells Teammates to Suit Up, Ohio State Has the Nation's Best Offensive Line and the Big Ten Network Will Chronicle an Infamous Michigan Moment

By Chase Brown on September 2, 2022 at 5:00 am
C.J. Stroud

Here it is, folks — the last Skull Session of the offseason.

Tomorrow morning, a gameday Skull Session will be live on the website at 5 a.m., and Eleven Warriors will be off and running covering Ohio State as it hopes to win the program's first national championship since 2014.

Let's have a great Friday, shall we?

 SUIT UP. C.J. Stroud surprised the Ohio State football team earlier this week with $500 gift cards to Express, a Columbus-based fashion retailer, telling them he wanted everyone to wear brand new suits to Saturday's game.

Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba became brand ambassadors for Express in April as part of a name, image and likeness agreement, which undoubtedly plays a factor in Stroud's decision to sponsor his teammates for their suit purchases.

Still, it's touching that Stroud doesn't want his teammates walking from the Blackwell to the Skull Session at St. John Arena and into Ohio Stadium looking "raggedy and ridiculous" in front of thousands of Ohio State fans.

Raggedy and ridiculous aren't my words, by the way. That phrase was coined by legendary T.C. Williams High School head coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) in "Remember the Titans."

Maybe Stroud has seen "Remember the Titans," or perhaps he hasn't (he needs to if the latter is true). Either way, he would be making coach Boone proud by having his teammates show up to the Horseshoe on Saturday dressed to the nines.

Cheers to Stroud for his generosity and for spreading his wealth with the rest of the team. That's class.

 MOUNTAIN MOVERS. The Ohio State offensive line will return three starters from last season – Paris Johnson Jr., Luke Wypler and Dawand Jones – and welcome Donovan Jackson and Matt Jones into the mix.

With the Buckeyes' assortment of talent up front, Max Chadwick of Pro Football Focus felt confident enough to rank them as the No. 1 offensive line unit in college football ahead of 2022.

Chadwick expects Johnson and Dawand Jones to be among the top offensive tackle prospects in the 2023 NFL draft after standout 2022 seasons. Chadwick and the rest of the PFF staff also liked what they saw from Wypler and Matt Jones last year.

Four of Ohio State’s starters rank inside the top 20 of PFF’s preseason rankings. The lone absence is sophomore guard Donovan Jackson, a former five-star who was rated as the top interior offensive line recruit in 2021. Right tackle Dawand Jones boasts a monstrous frame at 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds with a 7-foot-5 wingspan. He put that freakish size to good use en route to a 90.6 run-blocking grade last year, fourth-highest among Power Five tackles. He and Paris Johnson Jr. both rank among PFF’s top five offensive tackles, the only duo to even crack the top 10.

According to PFF, Ohio State has the No. 4 quarterback, No. 4 running back, No. 2 receiving corps and top-ranked offensive line in the nation ahead of 2022.

Stroud falls behind Alabama's Bryce Young, USC's Caleb Williams and South Carolina's Spencer Rattler in the quarterback rankings. TreVeyon Henderson is fourth after Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn, Texas' Bijan Robinson and Michigan's Blake Corum in the running back rankings.

 A B1G MOMENT. On Oct. 17, 2015, one of the greatest plays in college football history occurred. Even more, Michigan was the team on the short end of the stick.

First-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was a routine punt away from beating rival Michigan State. The Spartans were the No. 7-ranked team in the nation and – barring a miracle – were ready to accept their first defeat of the season.

But then, if only for a moment, Michigan punter Blake O'Neill lost focus.

"Oh, he has trouble with the snap! And the ball is free!" ESPN play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough screamed into his headset. "It's picked up by Michigan State's Jalen Watts-Jackson! And he scores! On the last play of the game! Unbelievable!"

On Oct. 24, the Big Ten Network will look back to this moment in Michigan history with the return of “The B1G Moment” on Monday nights this fall. The feature episode will tell the story from several unique perspectives, including that of Watts-Jackson, who scored the game-winning touchdown for Michigan State.

Click here to learn more about Watts-Jackson's experience in one of the wildest plays ever seen. And as always, Buckeye fans, you may relish in Michigan's misery and its most significant failures.

 OLYMPIC VILLAGE. Ohio State women's basketball announced the program's full non-conference schedule for the 2022-23 season on Thursday.

The Buckeyes will open their regular season with a highly-anticipated matchup with the Tennesee Volunteers on Nov. 8. Their next two games will be on the road against Boston College on Nov. 13 and Ohio on Nov. 17.

Ohio State will then return to Columbus to host McNeese State on Nov. 20, Wright State on Nov. 23 and North Alabama on Nov. 27. Head coach Kevin McGuff's squad will end November in Louisville, where it will face the Cardinals in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 30.

In December, the Buckeyes will host New Hampshire on Dec. 8 and Albany on Dec. 16 before traveling to California for the San Diego Invitational, where they will take on South Florida on Dec. 20 and either Arkansas or Oregon on Dec. 21.

Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell return to Ohio State this season as one of the most feared backcourts in college basketball. Sheldon averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 assists and 1.9 steals last season, earning first-team All-Big Ten and defensive All-Big Ten honors for her efforts. Mikesell contributed 18.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and two assists per game and connected on 47.5 percent of her 3-pointers to also earn first-team All-Big recognition last season.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Script Ohio” and “Carmen Ohio” by The Ohio State University Marching Band.

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