Oklahoma

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 10-09-2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — After dismantling Ohio State on the road Saturday night, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield sprinted around the field waving a Sooners flag before stopping to emphatically plant it in the middle of the huge block “O” at midfield as his teammates cheered.

Mayfield figured he owed it to the Buckeyes, who beat up the Sooners in Norman last year and then stuck around to embarrass them by singing the Ohio State alma mater on the field. This time, Mayfield flipped the script, looking the part of a Heisman Trophy candidate in leading the No. 5 Sooners to a 31-16 thumping of the sluggish and mistake-prone No. 2 Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium.

“We should have won by more,” Mayfield said.

Ohio State’s title hopes didn’t evaporate, but the Buckeyes (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten) will have to solve myriad offensive mistakes and play much better to get back in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. True freshman J.K. Dobbins again was a bright spot for the Buckeyes, rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown, but quarterback J.T. Barrett couldn’t hit the big passes when he desperately needed them to extend drives. He often resorted to pulling the ball down and taking off himself.

Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in shifting the Sooners into overdrive and piling up the yards in the second half as the Buckeyes’ offense sputtered. Oklahoma (2-0) took its first lead of the game near the end of the third quarter and cruised in the fourth, giving first-year head coach Lincoln Riley an early signature victory.

“We never got down, even with the ebbs and flows of the game,” Riley said. “We just stayed in it. We competed at a high, high level. We expected to win this game.”

A week ago, Mayfield was 19 of 20 passing and threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns in one half of work as the Sooners beat up on UTEP. He was sharp again against Ohio State, hitting 27 of 35 passes and tossing TD passes to Dimitri Flowers, Lee Morris and Trey Sermon.

Meanwhile, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett couldn’t hit the big passes when he desperately needed them to extend drives. He often resorted to pulling the ball down and taking off himself after not finding an open receiver.

“It was awful,” coach Urban Meyer said. “We got beat by a very good team and a quarterback that was dynamic. I thought our defense hung in there against, like I said, a very good player.”

Oklahoma avenged the Buckeyes’ 45-24 win in Norman last year. Barrett didn’t look anything like the quarterback who tossed four touchdown passes in that game, as Ohio State lost at home Saturday for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015. He was 19 for 35 for 183 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Oklahoma: The Sooners staked a legitimate claim as a national championship contender. Oklahoma’s experienced offensive line won the battle of the trenches, and Mayfield picked apart the young Ohio State secondary.

Ohio State: History shows that an early season loss to a top five team doesn’t always spoil playoff hopes, but the Buckeyes face a much tougher road to get back there. They showed they are still susceptible to killer mistakes that need to be corrected if they expect to win out.

“We’ll grow from it,” Barrett said. “Nobody points fingers. Own up to it and get to work tomorrow.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS:

Oklahoma: The Sooners will move up at least one spot.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes will drop, but should stay in the top 10.

PLENTY OF BLAME

Ohio State was plagued by the same problems with the passing game that has tripped it up since last season. Receivers had trouble getting open and when they did, Barrett couldn’t get the ball into their hands. He was intercepted by Parnell Motley in the fourth quarter, allowing the Sooners to score a minute and 40 seconds later on a 3-yard run by Jordan Smallwood to make it 31-13. Meyer said there was plenty of blame to go around.

Indiana

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 01-09-2017

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — J.K. Dobbins wanted to give his fans back in Texas something to cheer about.

His Ohio State teammates and Buckeyes fans jumped right on board.

The freshman broke a 15-year-old school record by rushing for 181 yards in his college debut, J.T. Barrett threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Ohio State managed to pull away in the second half for a 49-21 victory over Indiana on Thursday night.

“I’m probably the only good thing going on in my town right now, so I just thought of it as bringing my city up,” Dobbins said after spending the past week watching the flooding in the Houston area. “That’s why I came out and played hard like that.”

This was more than just a coming-out party.

Dobbins carried 29 times and broke Maurice Clarett’s previous debut mark of 175 yards set in 2002. Afterward, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer even compared Dobbins to former Ohio State star Ezekiel Elliott.

That’s a pretty good start for the guy who missed all but one play last season at LaGrange High school and started in place of Mike Weber, the Buckeyes’ top runner in 2016, who sat out with a hamstring injury.

“Not surprised at all,” Meyer said. “I had kind of tempered my emotions with you guys early on, but we’ve seen that since spring practice.”

Dobbins didn’t just put up numbers.

His long runs in the second quarter finally got the slow-starting Buckeyes moving and his ability to sustain those runs in the second half helped Ohio State score the last 28 points to put away their 23rd consecutive win in the series.

He also ruined Indiana’s big plans for what had been billed as the biggest opener in school history — a nationally televised game with ESPN’s “College GameDay” crew in town.

The Hoosiers controlled most of the first half and led 21-20 late in the third quarter. But they couldn’t finish the upset in Tom Allen’s first home game as the Hoosiers head coach.

“The bottom line is that for 2 1/2 quarters, we went toe-to-toe with them,” Allen said. “We were leading and weren’t able to finish, so that’s on me. We can talk about breaking through and I’m not going to quit talking about it because breaking through is not one game.”

Barrett overcame a slow start to finish 20 of 35 for 304 yards. He added 61 yards rushing and another score to move within two touchdowns of matching Drew Brees’ Big Ten career record for total touchdowns (106).

But Ohio State didn’t reach the end zone until Antonio Williams’ 1-yard plunge with 5:17 left in the first half and couldn’t retake the lead until Barrett’s 2-yard scoring run midway through the third quarter. Parris Campbell’s 74-yard TD reception form Barrett made it 27-21 and, thanks to Dobbins, the Buckeyes never trailed again.

“I kind of knew I was going to do what I did,” Dobbins said.

Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow was 40 of 65 with 410 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also broke Ben Chappell’s school record for pass attempts of 64 set in 2010 against Michigan, and finished with the school’s second-highest completions total in one game.

THE TAKEAWAY

Ohio State: The Buckeyes avoided a double dose of danger — winning a rare conference opener in Week 1 and getting a road win, too.

Indiana: No, the Hoosiers didn’t end the losing streak. But it wasn’t a total loss. They sold out Memorial Stadium and were competitive on an entertaining night.

KEY NUMBERS

Ohio State: Meyer is 16-0 all-time in season openers. The Buckeyes finished with 596 total yards, 292 on the ground, and forced three turnovers. Campbell had six catches for 136 yards.

Indiana: The biggest problem was rushing, where the Hoosiers had 27 carries for 17 yards. Receiver Simmi Cobbs Jr. had a career-high 11 catches for 149 yards and one TD. Luke Timian had 10 receptions for 72 yards.

After a video played and he was presented with a plaque, the players gathered round and hoisted him on their shoulders. Corso coached the Hoosiers from 1973-82 and led the Hoosiers to their first bowl win — 38-37 over No. 9 Brigham Young in the 1979 Holiday Bowl. He was inducted into school’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Demario McCall

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in Big Ten News, Buckeye News | Posted on 05-04-2017

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Found at ESPN:

Replacing Curtis Samuel might not be a one-man job. But at Ohio State, that’s not exactly an issue when the line to slide into his role started forming the day the star H-back declared for the NFL draft.

Filling the void left by one of the most versatile, dynamic offensive weapons in the country isn’t supposed to be easy, and there also isn’t supposed to be so many seemingly perfect, ready-made candidates on hand to take over such a prominent role. The amount of options might actually provide some challenge for the Buckeyes as they try to identify the best way to move on without Samuel, but as far as problems go, that’s obviously a good one to have.

“I think we’ve got some guys who can do that — a plethora of guys,” running backs coach Tony Alford said. “Listen, we don’t lack for playmakers. Can they get better? Absolutely. But they’re here, they’re running around this building somewhere. There’s a few of them.

“I think we can spread it out. You don’t just say, I’m going to take all this pie [from Curtis Samuel] and now he gets to eat all the pie. No, everybody has to help fill that role and play their role.”No matter how the Buckeyes slice it up, Samuel’s heavy plate last season leaves a sizable production void that will have to be filled to keep the power-spread attack humming. And after seeing what Samuel could do in Urban Meyer’s vaunted H-back position a year ago while turning his 97 rushing attempts and 74 receptions into more than 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns, Ohio State had a bunch of hungry receivers and running backs jockeying for a shot at his job.

Veteran wideout Parris Campbell has emerged as an early leader in that battle this spring, and he’s earned rave reviews as he’s flashed back to show some of the tailback skills that he hasn’t really used since high school. K.J. Hill and converted defensive back Eric Glover-Williams have also given the Buckeyes more options to consider, though running back Demario McCall might wind up being the best fit by the time the season kicks off in August.

Like Samuel a few years ago when he was trapped behind Ezekiel Elliott on the depth chart at running back, the incredible potential McCall flashed off the bench as a true freshman is likely still going to be blocked for now by Mike Weber at his current position. But his electrifying moves, blazing speed, versatility and a frame that has added 20 pounds of muscle since arriving on campus are also all reminiscent of Samuel.

The only thing missing now? Actually getting some reps at H-back.

“Yeah, I talked to Coach Alford about it,” McCall said. “In spring camp, he wanted me to get the running back stuff down first and then probably in summer they’re going to put me in the slot, catching those little swing passes and routes and then we’ll go from there.

“I actually haven’t got any reps at H-back this spring. But the tailback stuff that we do, it goes along with the H-back stuff. It’s like I’m learning them both, but I’m not actually in the slot yet.”

That move seems inevitable for the Buckeyes, who have already proven they can’t resist getting McCall involved early in his career.

In his limited opportunities last season, McCall posted some Samuel-like numbers by racking up 270 rushing yards on 49 carries, averaging 21 yards on his four receptions and scoring four touchdowns.

And while he’s still focused on a role primarily in Ohio State’s backfield, working to improve his pass blocking and maintaining that he feels most comfortable at tailback, McCall might soon find himself in a different line for reps. And whether he’s working as part of a group or jumps to the top of the depth chart, it’s already clear McCall isn’t intimidated by the challenge of becoming the next Samuel.

“No, not at all,” McCall said. “I mean, I’m a natural.

“Whenever they tell me to go out in the slot, I’m going to go out there and do what I do.”

With so many candidates for the job on hand, maybe there’s a chance that call won’t come for McCall. But whether replacing Samuel takes one man or several, it’s safer to expect to see his name on the list.