Ohio State Practice Insider: Offense has Walk to Remember
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a long walk back to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for Drew Basil and his offensive teammates, but there was a bounce in their step as they left Ohio Stadium for the third time in four days.
The defense may have prevailed in Tuesday’s kick scrimmage when Basil’s 49-yard field goal try hit the left upright, but they could smile knowing they had come away victorious in Saturday’s jersey scrimmage.
Photo by Dan Harker
“The coaches let us know this week that the offense won,” Basil said with a smile.
Keeping the scarlet jerseys for the rest of the fall was more than consolation for the missed field goal try by Basil, who was a perfect 5-for-5 Tuesday before the final miss.
“You feel good about all the makes, but you never want to let your teammates down,” said Basil, the sophomore kicker who will take over field goal duties for Devin Barclay.
It was Head Coach Luke Fickell who made sure Tuesday’s kick scrimmage came down to one final play. With the time winding down, Fickell called for Basil attempt a “game-winning” field goal from 49 yards out.
Fickell told the team whoever wanted to side with Basil could and whoever wanted to side against him should stay on the opposite sideline. Naturally, the defense rallied against Basil, while the offense stood behind him.
The defensive coaching staff called a timeout to ice him before the big kick, but Basil still thought he had hit a great ball to win the scrimmage.
“If you ask any of the offensive linemen out there, it looked like it was going right down the middle,” Basil said.
The defensive players were whooping and hollering as Basil went into his windup, but he wasn’t about to give them any of the credit for the miss.
“No, that didn’t have any affect on me,” he said.
“If I can’t kick in front of them, how am I going to kick in front of 106,000 people?”
Basil may have missed the biggest kick of the fall Saturday, but it wasn’t for a lack of leg. The ball hit the goalpost about three-fourths of the way to the top.
According to both Basil and his coach, Dick Tressel, he has had about as impressive a fall camp as anyone could have hoped. Tressel, who now coaches the special teams for Fickell, said that they may have misused Basil last year when they had him focus only on kickoffs and long field goals.
Basil was overexerting himself and it led to some shaky kicks, both on kick offs and field goals. He has been much more accurate this fall, and said he came into Tuesday’s kick scrimmage having made 52 of his 59 field goal tries in practice.
Berry Still Ailing
Photo by Jim Davidson
As far as the kick return game goes, Jaamal Berry is expected to be back there with Jordan Hall again this fall. The problem right now is that Berry is still dealing with a hamstring issue. He missed Saturday’s jersey scrimmage and was not out there on the field again Tuesday because of the injury.
With Berry out, senior tailback Boom Herron and freshman receiver Devin Smith both joined Hall on the kick return team. Doc Tressel also mentioned Corey “Philly” Brown and Chris Fields as two guys who could help them on both kick and punt returns this season.
Freshman Evan Spencer also got a chance to do some punt returns Tuesday, but he had a shaky fumble that could keep him out of that job this fall.
The Braxton Watch
It was not a spectacular day for the quarterbacks by any means Tuesday, but Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller continue to separate themselves from the other two.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Braxton actually took the first snap with the starting offense during 7-on-7 drills, but Bauserman definitely got more time with the first group. He seems to be the most comfortable throwing the ball downfield, which he displayed on a perfect pass to Philly Brown.
Brown had gotten a step on cornerback Travis Howard down the right sideline and Bauserman put the ball right on his hands. Philly bobbled the catch but managed to hang on for what would have been a huge gain.
Miller still looked hesitant to get rid of the football, but he makes up for it with his quick release.
Posey Back with a Bang
Photo by Jim Davidson
One of the biggest additions to Tuesday’s practice was the return of DeVier Posey. The senior wideout had missed a week of practice with a sore hamstring, but his return was felt immediately.
Even though he was working primarily with the second-team offense, Posey hauled in two of the best catches of the day.
The first one was an outside-in route that completely fooled cornerback Dominic Clarke. It was the kind of route that will get him open in the NFL. The second catch was a great grab in the end zone against cornerback Bradley Roby.
Verlon Reed—the man taking Posey’s spot for the first five games—also had a good day catching the ball and the same can be said for freshmen Evan Spencer and Devin Smith. Surprisingly, Spencer actually seems to have pulled slightly ahead of Smith in the competition to play this fall, but both worked with the second-team offense Tuesday.
Redshirt freshman T.Y. Williams fell to the third and fourth teams and even that didn’t seem to help. As painful as it is to report—because you have to feel for the kid—Williams struggled to catch the ball again Tuesday. He dropped at least two balls that hit him right in the hands.
Moving Fragel Rock?
Posey wasn’t the only key player who returned for the offense Tuesday. He was joined by sophomore tight end Reid Fragel, who was battling an infection in his right leg. Fragel gives the Buckeyes unprecedented depth at tight end, but he is also a guy who could move over and play some tackle.
Tight ends coach John Peterson said that Fragel could be used at offensive tackle in a pinch, but could he have a future there? Ohio State will be thin at offensive tackle after this fall—when they lose Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts—and it’s not uncommon for big tight ends to make good offensive tackles. Peterson said that Fragel is 6-8, 280 pounds and looks like he weighs 230 pounds. He could add some serious weight to his frame if they ever decided to move him inside.
Speaking of movement, there was seismic shift on the offensive line Tuesday, but not in terms of impact. The earthquake in Columbus may have been caused by 370-pound Chris Carter moving from right tackle to left guard.
Carter was abused by Steve Miller and the other defensive ends in Saturday’s jersey scrimmage, and the coaches decided to get him off the edge. He traded places Tuesday with fellow freshman Tommy Brown, who had been playing left guard with the second-team offense. Brown moved back out to right tackle with the third-team, where he was playing in the spring.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.