Linebacker Curtis Grant celebrates a stop by the Buckeyes.
BALTIMORE -- Ohio State survived a sluggish start to its 2014 season, but redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett directed three second-half scoring drives as the Buckeyes slipped past Navy 34-17 today in M&T Bank Stadium.
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett, seen here going after Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, will lead a revamped defense. Though the scheme promises to be more aggressive, Navy’s triple-option offense will require patience and discipline.
They had eight months to revamp their defense. They had two weeks to come to terms with the loss of their star quarterback. The Ohio State Buckeyes begin their 2014 season today against Navy in Baltimore, and they insist that they are ready.
There could be a Texas connection with big-play possibilities headed Ohio State’s way in the 2014 season opener. Most folks already know J.T. Barrett, a redshirt-freshman from Wichita Falls (Rider), Texas, is scheduled to make his first collegiate start at quarterback. But some might have forgotten that hybrid back Dontre Wilson of DeSoto, Texas, is ready to try to launch again in his sophomore year.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been in the sights of the Ohio State defense for months, and for good reason. “He’s their guy,” linebacker Joshua Perry said. He was the No. 1 option in the Midshipmen’s triple-option offense.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his first list of the top 25 NFL prospects for 2015 yesterday, and Ohio State’s Michael Bennett is listed as No. 15.
For eight months, Ohio State has been trying to overhaul what coach Urban Meyer has called an “abysmal” pass defense. Meyer hired Chris Ash as co-defensive coordinator to install a scheme that emphasizes attacking the pass. There are four new starters among the back seven, including safeties Tyvis Powell, and Vonn Bell or Cam Burrows.
Saturday’s opener for Ohio State against Navy in Baltimore has the potential of being another Buckeyes “rome” game — on the road, but a lot like home.
These are the good old days at Michigan State, where the Spartans are primed to build upon an historical run of success under Ohio native Mark Dantonio.
Cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, left, of the Colts and Bengals receiver Colin Lockett each grab a handful of facemask in the first half of Cincinnati’s victory.
Browns 33, Bears 13: Brian Hoyer drove Cleveland’s starting offense to a touchdown last night before turning things over to rookie Johnny Manziel in host Cleveland’s victory over Chicago in its final exhibition game.
The Cleveland Browns are not supposed to be as bad as they have been for as long as they have been, but they have managed it.
The Latest From
The Locker Room
Ohio State Buckeyes, we are told, don’t give a darn for the whole state of Michigan.
But that’s only true in the same way that liberals don’t give a darn for conservatives, and yet spend entire shows carving up Rush Limbaugh; and conservatives don’t give a darn for liberals, yet seem obsessed with some guy named Barack Obama.
Unfortunately, “We’re actually constantly driven to outdo the whole state of Michigan in every way, shape and form,” makes for an awfully clunky song lyric.
Judging by ticket sales, it is even possible that some Ohio State fans are more interested in Michigan’s game this weekend than some Wolverines supporters are.
Reminded that the Maize and Blue will be playing Appalachian State, OSU linebacker Joshua Perry, for instance, admitted he’s familiar with the history there. “That would be something to see. I remember a few years ago, when they went down to those guys.”
Obviously, he’s hoping for a repeat, right?
“I doubt that they’re going to let that happen again, and I want them to play really well, so that when we play them, it’s going to be a big game.”
While he’s not pulling for the upset, note that Perry doesn’t refer to Michigan. He doesn’t even call them the School Up North. He just calls them, “them.”
Buckeye tight end Jeff Heuerman, on the other hand, is cheering for a Mountaineers victory. “My high school coach is the linebackers coach at Appalachian State, so I’ll be obviously rooting for him,” Heuerman said. “I’ll wish him luck before the game, as he always does to me.”
Buckeye Defensive lineman Chris Carter has another perspective still. Once Ohio State’s game with Navy wraps up, he’ll have more pressing things to do than to check in on the Maize and Blue.
“The first thing I’m going to do is call my brother, who’s in his eighth year in the Navy, and he’s stationed in Djibouti,” Carter said. “And my father, who’s a Navy vet.”
After those phone calls? “Then maybe I’ll find out the score,” Carter laughed.
So if you ask an Ohio State fan on this, the eve of their college football season, if they’re also eager to know the outcome of the Wolverines game, they might tell you, “Frankly, I don’t give a darn.”
But tomorrow is another day.