I am happily watching the replay of Ohio State’s spring game, happy because I finally have some actual football to sink my teeth into.
Of course, it’s impossible to separate this afternoon’s game from the shitstorm my football team has been involved with for the past few months, and much of the discussion during the broadcast — and many of the thoughts I have about what transpired today — touch on the suspensions and how the Buckeyes deal with them in September.
- I’m kind of digging the camo helmets.
- Announced attendance was around 45,000. Product of the weather forecast or are people still irritate about the Tressel situation?
- (To answer my own question — I think I’m pretty much the only one who’s still irritated about the Tressel situation.)
- I wish Joe Bauserman had stepped up to lead the race to replace Pryor in the season’s first five games; he’s put in the time, he;s a senior, he’s been the backup for two seasons. But I didn’t see it today.
- I’m not willing to anoint him yet, but Braxton Miller, pictured above, show flashes of why we should be excited having him in Columbus. He throws a good ball — although he needs to learn a little touch — and once he has a better sense of being in the pocket, he’s going to run as well as Troy Smith or Terrelle Pryor.
- Like Bauserman, I was hoping to see more from an experienced quarterback like Kenny Guiton. He had one excellent touch pass for a touchdown, and a bunch of clunkers.
- The Graham kid? Terrific arm, but just about zero sense in the pocket. Think he got sacked 38 times during the game.
- The quarterbacks struggled early, in part, because the offensive line was shaky, especially against the defensive ones. For me, that underscores what I think will be the biggest loss of the Tat Five suspendees — left tackle Mike Adams. How Ohio State does in September will depend on finding a replacement.
- Boom Herron’s out for the first five games too, but running back is the least of my concerns. Jordan Hall looked exceptional running and catching the ball, and Rod Smith looks like a keeper.
- Wide receiver: who are these guys? They look young, but I think we’ll see a couple develop into clear-cut starters by the fall. I hope T.Y. Williams is one of them, because his size will be a challenge for opposing corners; I hope Philly Brown is the other, because how can you not root for a guy named Philly Brown?
- Defense is tough to judge, especially if we’re talking about the DBs and all the injuries that unit has dealt with this spring. Front seven? No worries, at least not for me.
As I’ve stopped dwelling on the whys of the suspensions and started thinking about actual football, and I’m feeling better about September. The road game at Miami isn’t as scary as it might sound — new coach, and a half-full stadium — which means we may not see a really tough test until the fifth game, against Michigan State. I think Miller’s going to be starting at quarterback by the second game, and if the O-line is OK, the team will be OK as well.