This is the 60th in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
Sixty daily posts. What an amazing accomplishment. They said it couldn’t be done.
“No way you can post a daily countdown for more than 59 days,” you said.
“The internet doesn’t even have room for a 60-day countdown, let alone 100 days,” you cried.
“I accidentally stepped in the toilet an hour ago and my socks aren’t yet dry so now I’m having to wear wet socks with my new shoes and I’m getting toilet water all over my new carpet,” you bellowed.
But here we are. Sixty days. Tom and I couldn’t have done this without each other.
Well, either one of us could have done it alone, but it would have been twice as much work.
Just thinking about it makes me cringe.
What doesn’t make me cringe, however, is this segue to today’s topics.
We look at a former All-American defensive tackle, an interesting game that you shouldn’t ignore, a brand new rule that could be a lot of fun, and doppelnamers.
If you missed yesterday’s edition, you’ll want to remedy that by reading it here.
Now please join us as we continue our countdown of the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We will also preview one of the 100 most exciting games on this fall’s college football schedule, and one of the 100 things we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#41 Quinn Pitcock, 2002-2006
Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock was part of Ohio State’s amazing 2002 recruiting class that also featured Troy Smith, Maurice Clarett, A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, and many others. He redshirted as a true freshman, but played in every game in 2003 as a redshirt freshman, starting once.
Pitcock earned a full-time starting job in 2004, and finished seventh on the team with 49 tackles.
His numbers dipped essentially in half in 2005, but he responded in 2006 with 39 tackles, 8.0 sacks, and 12.0 tackles for loss. Pitcock was a disruptive force on the interior the entire year. He was named First-Team All-Big Ten and First-Team All-American following the regular season.
Against Cincinnati in 2003, he had a 3-sack game, which is still tied for second-most in a game in Ohio State football history.
Pitcock finished with 14.0 sacks in his career, which is tied with John Kacherski (1988-91) and Greg Smith (1989-92) for 20th in OSU history.
Best Games This Fall
#41 Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma
Lane Kiffin vs. Lincoln Riley in week one. Before you dismiss this game, keep in mind that Florida Atlantic is the reigning Conference USA champs and this year they return most of their defense and much of their offense.
They don’t yet know who their quarterback will be, as sophomore Chris Robison and De’Andre Johnson battled all spring long for the job. Robison actually transferred from Oklahoma and sat out last season. He was suspended for a pair of rules violations while in Norman, hence the transfer. This past spring, however, he was suspended by Kiffin for a couple of days due to another team rule violation.
But there’s a reason to remain patient with Robison — he was the No. 7 quarterback in the nation according to Scout. Of course, Johnson was no slouch in the 2015 class. He was ranked the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the nation per the Composite. He originally signed with Florida State, but was dismissed from the program for punching a woman at a bar. Johnson missed most of last season with blood clots in his arm.
The focus, however, will continue to be on FAU running back Devin Singletary, who rushed for 1,920 yards and 32 touchdowns last season
Defensively, the Owls return their top 12 tacklers and 18 of their top 20. They’ll need every last one of them to deal with Oklahoma’s offense.
This is a trendy upset pick already, and if it happens, you may start seeing some of Lincoln Riley’s luster dull a bit.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#41 More Freshmen Playing
The NCAA passed a rule yesterday allowing football players to play in up to four games without losing a year of competition. This means you should get to see freshmen that you normally wouldn’t get to see. Had the rule been passed last year, quarterback Tate Martell could have played. This year, once he is healthy, quarterback Matthew Baldwin can play in a handful of games.
Basically, coaches can put true freshmen on the field up to four times and it wouldn’t burn their redshirt.
Remember the Buckeyes’ 2015 class that only featured four or five true freshmen playing? Under this rule, all of them could have played a bit without losing eligibility. Perhaps getting some time as true freshmen would have made the class more productive than it ended up being.
Now, a player like OSU freshman H-back Jaelen Gill, who has a loaded depth chart to work into and doesn’t necessarily need to burn a year of eligibility, can have an opportunity to make some plays and show that he is ready to play this year. Or, he can get those early snaps and apply them to his development as he ultimately redshirts.
There are going to be freshmen all over the nation getting opportunities, and some of those puppies are gonna bite. This is gonna be fun.
Matchup To Watch
#41 Brandon Bowen, TCU DE vs. Branden Bowen