Reports emanating from today’s kick scrimmage shed some light on the depth chart and injuries sustained to date. Let’s get to it.
Aaron Pettrey shored up his status as the top placekicker with a 9-for-12 performance, including 48-yarder in the rain. There has never been as much substance to the kicking competition as there has in years past and this scrimmage was evidence of that.
The punting competition, however, is still ongoing. Jon Thoma and Ben Buchanan kept that battle alive tonight, but it sounds like Thoma had the better day, if only slightly, with an average of 40.1 ypp to Buchanan’s 39.1 ypp. Neither number is terribly impressive for a scrimmage, much less a game.
Considering head coach Jim Tressel’s proclamation about the most important play in the game, perhaps we should all be a little more concerned about this situation.
Devon Torrence worked exclusively with the first-team defense. Senior Andre Amos was his backup.
This is an interesting development as the runner-up in this cornerback competition stands to see very little of the field this fall.
When OSU goes into a nickel alignment, they always bring in a safety or hybrid player like Jermale Hines. Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock and co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell have generally not felt the need to add a true cover man in that defensive set.
What’s up on the offensive line?
In what can only be termed a curious development, J.B. Shugarts was the left tackle with first teamers. Meanwhile, erstwhile walk-on cum starter Andy Miller saw action at left guard today.
Obviously, this is the result of Boren’s injury, but I had assumed Jim Cordle, the left guard last year, would slide over and Shugarts would get a shot at right tackle.
Super-recruit Mike Adams was never with the first team today.
While it is impressive to see the flexibility of the linemen, it would be more comforting to see consistency and chemistry building amongst the core group…whoever that may be.
That was fast
It did not take long for Ray Small to reassert himself after another reported scrape with textbooks (and Tressel).
Small played with the first-team wideouts this evening and was the punt returner of choice for Tressel and Co.
Robert Rose rotated appropriately with the backups on the defensive line.
The heavy depletions suffered by the linebacking corps led to a first-team linebacker group of Brian Rolle, Andrew Sweat, and Etienne Sabino.
Count me in as someone who believes Sabino will solidify a starting position this fall.
Highly-touted freshman Dorian Bell was working with the third team.
There were several Buckeyes sitting out with apparent or documented injuries. While that is not news, their respective levels of activity while on the sidelines certainly is noteworthy.
First things first, two of the main injury reports to date have been Austin Spitler and Justin Boren (Tyler Moeller, being the third, is totally out).
Spitler only watched and did not participate in any drills. Boren, on the other hand, had a lot of activity tonight, including limited running and other assorted drills.
This is undoubtedly a good sign as Boren’s is perhaps the most welcome development in fall practice (preceded, of course, by one of the worst).
Ross Homan was felled by an undisclosed injury after being inside a pile. He hobbled off the field and the training staff looked at his left knee. He never made back onto the field, but he was walking on his own after that.
The other interesting non-participant was Jaamal Berry. I assume his absence is due more to the increased pounding he is surely taking at the college level. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume Berry is fine.
Finally, Storm Klein, Jake Stoneburner, Zach Domicone, and Melvin Fellows were out with undisclosed injuries.