The Quarterback of the Future?
Ask the average Ohio State football observer, and they may not even know who Tate Martell is. Ask the avid Ohio State observer, and they’ll know who he is, but they may also tell you that they don’t ever expect him to start a game at quarterback for the Buckeyes.
To put it another way, Tate Martell has his doubters. At 5-foot-11, he always will. Fortunately for Martell, he has the right guys believing in him.
“I’m so proud of the way he’s been the last month,” quarterbacks coach Ryan Day said this week. “He has just gone to work every day and worked on getting better. It doesn’t matter whether he wants to go on scout team, he is a competitive kid and I’m really proud of his approach.
“All he’s focused on is getting better right now and trying to help out the team. He was highly recruited, and with that comes a lot of different things. But I cannot say enough about the way he has worked in the last month. He is going to have a really good career here. If he keeps working, he’s going to keep getting better. The sky is the limit for him as well.”
Everybody Likes Terry
On first-and-10 from the OSU 33-yard line, J.T. Barrett dropped back and found Johnnie Dixon down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown. Or so everyone thought. A penalty flag for offensive pass interference negated the play.
It wouldn’t be the last 15-yard penalty on that drive for the Buckeyes.
Terry McLaurin was blocking for J.T. Barrett on a run and picked up a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which cost the Buckeyes 30 more yards. The drive ultimately ended in a touchdown, and the Ohio State offense amassed 120 yards on that one single drive.
The question for Urban Meyer on Monday then became how McLaurin could grade out a champion with two huge penalties like that.
“It was a head coach’s decision because I like Terry,” Meyer said to a room full of laughter. “That’s true. If I didn’t like him, he wouldn’t have graded champion.
“We don’t condone that. And I had a little chat with him, but you guys probably know Terry. He’s everything you want. And don’t do that. But that was a cheap shot on him early in the game, bad one. A tough guy like that, it carried with him for a while.”
Right Down the Middle
If you happened to notice defensive ends Sam Hubbard or Chase Young lining up at middle linebacker throughout last week’s game, you weren’t seeing things.
“We’re just trying to build our Rushmen package,” said Larry Johnson on Tuesday. “We’re just trying to change it up so teams don’t get a feel for what we’re doing. So it’s just a part of what we’re doing right now.”
Is there more to come?
“We hope so,” he said.
But don’t overlook the fact that sometimes coaches put stuff on the field just so upcoming opponents have to waste time preparing for it.
“We try to make sure teams work on what we’re doing, so we give them something to work on during the week,” he said. “Yeah, that’s always part of the process.”