The Versatility of the Rushmen
When it was announced on Saturday that Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones wouldn’t be able to play against Rutgers, that meant that one of Buckeyes’ many defensive ends would likely start in his place. That ended up being Jalyn Holmes, who played well like he always does.
There were also times when defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Chase Young stood up as quasi-middle linebackers. Overall, it was an interesting look at a group of guys who all play the same position, but also have their own strengths and skills, which leads to being used in different ways.
Not every one of those ends can handle playing defensive tackle, however. Holmes obviously can, because we saw him do it.
“Tyquan can do that as well,” Urban Meyer said. “We play him in there sometimes. They’ve got the body type. (Nick) Bosa, you probably don’t want to get him in there. Sam Hubbard, you wouldn’t want to get in there. It’s a grown man position in there. You can print this, say ‘Bosa and Hubbard aren’t tough enough to get in there.’ Say (OSU sports information director) Jerry Emig said that.”
“That’s not true, of course,” Meyer laughed. “But I just think — to answer your question, Jalyn and Tyquan have got the strength and the body type to get in there.”
Nothing But Respect for D.J. Durkin
Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin was once a graduate assistant under Urban Meyer. He was so good at his job that Meyer tried to hire him very early on at a full-time position. The timing was never quite right to make that happen, until 2010 when Meyer hired Durkin to coach linebackers in what turned out to be his final year as the Florida head coach.
“Coach Durkin was my graduate assistant — I met with our staff a minute ago,” Meyer said on Monday. “He coached with me at Bowling Green. He was a GA that I was ready to make full time when he was 21 years old. I tried to hire him a couple of other times. Then we got him at Florida. He was an impact coach.
“I think of all the guys I’ve had he’s one of the top two or three I’ve ever had on our staff. And you see — I just got done watching special teams. And it’s a typical, extremely well-coached team, where the guys go as hard as they possibly can. He’s one of my favorite coaches we’ve ever had and one of the best coaches.”
Ryan Day Planner
One of Urban Meyer’s new assistants — who also happens to be a former graduate assistant — is now making a similar impact with the Ohio State offense.
Ryan Day was brought to Ohio State to improve the quarterbacks and the passing game, and so far things are going quite well.
After five games last season, the Buckeyes were averaging 214 yards passing per game with a 16-3 TD:INT ratio. After five games this season, Ohio State is leading the Big Ten with an average of 323.8 yards passing per game. The 16 touchdown passes also lead the B1G, and the two interceptions are second to Iowa’s one.
Before you simply chalk that up to Ohio State’s schedule, the first five games each of the last two years have featured Oklahoma, Rutgers, and Indiana. The only differences were that Bowling Green and Tulsa were changed out for Army and UNLV this year.
There are a number of new aspects that Day has brought to Ohio State, including the route concepts that sprung these two touchdown catch-and-runs by Johnnie Dixon. As you’ll see, two receivers cross in the middle and Dixon stops and waits for the football in the vacated zone. He then does the rest of the work, just as the play is designed.
“Ryan Day brought that whole package to us,” Meyer said. “It’s been dynamic. It started against — the big hits we had against Indiana were the same package. So now about seven, eight different concepts off of that. He’s made — a lot of times they get questioned about when you hire a coach, do you let them enhance your offense, Ryan Day enhanced our offense. It’s been very successful.”