The Week that Was

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Last updated: 09/06/2013 8:42 AM
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Football
The Week that Was
By Rob Ogden

With one game in the books, the Buckeyes (1-0) will face San Diego State (0-1) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium. We look ahead to Saturday's game by looking back at the top story lines of the week.

The Return of Rod and Roby:

After serving suspensions during Ohio State's 40-20 win against Buffalo last weekend, cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith are set to return for Saturday's game.

How much playing time the pair sees is still unknown.

"It depends on how they practice," coach Urban Meyer said.

Meyer said he likely wouldn't make a decision on whether or not Roby will get the start until late in the week. As of Thursday afternoon, Meyer said he had still not made a decision.

This week's depth chart has the starting boundary cornerback listed as "Armani Reeves or Bradley Roby." Reeves got his first-career start in Roby's absence against Buffalo.

Smith wasn't listed on the two-deep at running back. Meyer noted on Wednesday that Smith is working with the special teams units.

Also set to make his season debut this week is safety C.J. Barnett. Barnett was back in practice this week after missing the Buffalo game with an ankle injury.

Bryant thrives in leadership role

With Roby's suspension and Barnett and Ryan Shazier's injuries, Christian Bryant played half of Saturday's game as the defense's only returning starter on the field.

Bryant embraced the role as leader, and tried to rally the troops after momentum began to shift towards the Bulls. 

He made an impression of redshirt freshman Tyvis Powell, who was making his first-career start.

"Christian's got like a passion for the game. That's what I really like about him," Powell said. "He wants to make sure everything's perfect. He makes sure you're in the right area. He provided the spark for us when we looked like we were down. He came to the sideline and said we were down so it basically brought energy."

Grant finding groove with linebackers

After just one game, starting middle linebacker Curtis Grant said he already feels much more comfortable than he was a year ago.

"Other people are counting on you," Grant said. "There's nothing like having your coaches and teammates counting on you instead of feeling like you don't have anybody."

Grant finished Saturday's game with a team-leading 7 tackles and .5 tackles for loss.

Despite missing half of Saturday's game, Shaizer also recorded seven tackles, though Meyer said Shazier is still not where he was at the end of last season.

Part of that might be because he's spent much of his time worrying about the guys around him.

"He's learning how to take his time and bring everybody along instead of him following somebody else," Grant said about Shazier. "There's others following him. He's stepped in trying to bring others along."

Shazier was bothered by cramping issues last weekend, and Meyer said they hope they have that issue fixed.

Meyer expects more out of offensive line

Meyer said he thought the offensive line played "okay". He said they didn't play poorly, but had some poor plays.

Senior right guard Marcus Hall said he thought the line let its foot off the gas pedal at some point, and said they're going to try to maintain consistent effort this week.

Meyer said that senior center and captain Corey Linsley would continue to be slowly worked back into the offense. Linsley is still recovering from a lisfranc foot injury he suffered last season, and played only 16 snaps against Buffalo.

Meyer places emphasis on special teams

Wondering why a certain player didn't see much of the field on Saturday? It's probably because he's not on special teams.

That's the key for anybody, Meyer said. It's the reason running back Bri'onte Dunn didn't record a carry against Buffalo and it's the reason freshman corner Eli Apple is behind Gareon Conley on the depth chart, Meyer said.

Before Smith can get his role back with the offense, Meyer said he has to contribute — you guessed it — on special teams.

Meyer said he was pleased for the most part with special teams play last Saturday. Though he did add that he would like to see longer punts from freshman Cameron Johnston.
 

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