Adams' Return Should Boost Offense
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — What was once building as a triumphant return for Ohio State’s week-six trip to Nebraska has become the latest heartache in what seems to be a never-ending saga in Columbus.
The Buckeyes won’t have senior wide receiver DeVier Posey for their trip to Lincoln. They won’t have tailback Boom Herron either.
Even defensive end Solomon Thomas may be limited in his return after undergoing off-season surgery to repair a broken leg suffered in the spring game.
It is not exactly the cavalry riding in to save the day for an Ohio State team that has already suffered twice as many losses through the first five games of this season as it did all of last year.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The new wasn’t all bad this week, however, as the Buckeyes will have senior left tackle Mike Adams back from his five-game suspension to start the season.
“It really helps getting Mike back,” center Michael Brewster said after practice Tuesday.
“I’m kind of excited to see how getting him back in there is going to affect things. I know he’s ready and he had a great year last year and I expect the same thing this year, so I expect that we should play well on Saturday.”
That is a bold prospect after the way the OSU offense performed against Michigan State this past weekend. The Buckeyes averaged just 2.8 yards per play offensively and the quarterbacks were sacked nine times by the Spartans in a 10-7 loss at Ohio Stadium.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but there’s definitely things we need to clean up,” Brewster said after watching the film.
“Maybe now after a game like that, we’ll be more ready. I’ve never been blitzed that much since I’ve been here. I think if any thing we’ll be ready for teams to blitz more often.”
Ohio State’s offensive line was overwhelmed by a Michigan State defense that was bringing the house all afternoon long. There were a lot of things that went wrong up front, and the Buckeyes know they need to get a lot better this week against a Nebraska defense that also likes to pressure the quarterback.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Sophomore Andrew Norwell has done an admirable job filling in for Adams through the first five games, but Brewster thinks having a veteran presence back at left tackle will help tremendously.
“He started every game last year. He was first-team all-Big Ten, he played very well against (Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn) and a bunch of those guys,” Brewster said of his classmate.
“Getting that experience back and that talent, I think it’s really going to add a lot.”
While they added one key player to the mix up front, they also lost another. Along with Posey and Herron, redshirt sophomore Marcus Hall will miss Saturday’s game due to suspension.
Hall had started the first five games at right guard, but he was rotating with third-year sophomore Corey Linsley for the past three games.
The addition of Adams at left tackle will allow Jim Bollman to shuffle his rotation up front to accommodate for the loss of Hall. That starts with Norwell. The 6-5, 308-pound sophomore out of Cincinnati Anderson will slide over to left guard, where he practiced some back in the spring while Adams was still in the rotation with the first group.
“It’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment for him, but he fought his butt off in those first five games,” Brewster said with obvious admiration for the job Norwell has done.
“He played as well as he could for a second year guy who’s starting. Sometimes I might have to get him on the same page as me, but at the end of the day I know he’s going to fire off and hit somebody.”
Linsley will continue to rotate at right guard, but now the redshirt sophomore out of Youngstown Boardman will be behind classmate Jack Mewhort.
Mewhort started the first five games of the season at left guard, but he is probably the most versatile player on the offensive line, having the rare ability to play all five positions if necessary.
“Left guard and right guard, it’s a little adjustment for him but nothing too crazy,” Brewster said.
“He said he might as well just move over. Norwell’s been playing on the left side and Jack’s had one more year in the offense, so it’s probably a little easier for him to just move over and comprehend that side.”
Mewhort Making Progress
Photo by Dan Harker
At 6-6, 303 pounds, Mewhort looks like a tackle but moves like a guard. He’s a got a mean streak and he has already made some impressive progress in his first five games as a starter.
“He’s starting to hit mid season form. He’ll be playing over on the right side now, but I know he can do it. He’s athletic and he’s got the knowledge,” Brewster said of his roommate.
“Last year watching myself from game one to the bowl game, you grow so much. We were talking the other and (I told him) ‘you’re just going to keep getting better.’ If you want to keep improving during the season, you want to look back at game one and say I don’t even know who that guy was.”
Mewhort was more than happy to make the switch to accommodate the team’s all-conference left tackle.
“Mike Adams is a great player. Having him back is going to help the line, no doubt about it,” he said.
“It’s going to help the depth and its great to have him back.”
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