Do As I Do
When Urban Meyer announced his retirement just days after the Big Ten Championship Game, he sent the entire football program into a brief moment of controlled chaos.
Everyone still had their jobs to do and the schedule remained the same, but there was also a sense of unknown about the future. Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith wanted things to continue along smoothly for the players’ benefit, so that was the goal of each assistant coach.
Of course, they were doing this while not knowing if they would have a job once the Rose Bowl that they were preparing for was over.
Such is life in the profession, but it’s a tough way to live.
“It’s not easy,” offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said. “No, but you have to. It’s the same thing we tell players when they’re not ready or when they ask, ‘Coach, what about my needs?’ Well, your needs are behind this team. We’re going to win games first and then worry about what you have to do. We’re going to develop you and put you in great spots, but what’s number one? The team winning. They have to understand that, so I think as men, so should the coaches.”
Safeties In Numbers
Jordan Fuller heard the criticism about the safeties all season long. The missed tackles and blown coverages opposite him at strong safety led to big plays and questions from media and fans. Eventually things got better when Brendon White was forced into the lineup, replacing the uneven rotation of Isaiah Pryor and Jahsen Wint.
White solidified the tackling in the second level. Granted, maybe the points allowed didn’t improve all that much, but the revolving door finally stopped and guys were able to settle into their respective roles.
“I think as safeties we’ve grown tremendously throughout the whole season,” Fuller said. “I know we’ve had different guys next to me all season, but we finally found somebody in Brendon White and just everybody in their role contributed tremendously.”
With White comfortable and playing well at strong safety and Fuller able to worry about himself at free safety, Wint and Pryor excelled on special teams, which was also key for the Buckeyes’ defensive success in 2018.
“Probably what a lot of people don’t notice, especially like on special teams and stuff like that, our room has contributed tremendously to this team, and I couldn’t be more proud,” Fuller said.
Game of Throws
Be honest, as an Ohio State fan, did you ever think you’d see the Buckeyes throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season like they did this past year?
Did you ever envision an OSU quarterback throwing 50 touchdowns in one single season? That’s double the number of the fifth-most in one season in school history.
With Ryan Day calling plays and Dwayne Haskins executing them, Ohio State turned into a passing offense the likes of which the Big Ten had never seen.
It was a very welcome sight to freshman Buckeye quarterback Matthew Baldwin.
“Dwayne can make plays with his feet, don’t get me wrong, but he’s more of a thrower,” Baldwin said. “He excels at that position. I’d say that’s what I am tailored towards too. I’m really happy to see this happen, and Coach Day has been so great all season. We started off this season knowing that this is going to be different than it has been and we’re going to throw the ball.”
Whoever wins the starting job in 2019 between Baldwin and Justin Fields better be ready to throw the ball because even though Haskins is gone, Day is back, and he’s got plenty of receivers back along with him.