breaking news

How will you be impacted? Everything to know about the government shutdown

DEs show promise; offensive line not yet set


Ohio State defensive ends Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence turned the Ohio State spring game at times into a sack fest. And while coach Urban Meyer was excited about those budding stars, he was vexed by the play of his right tackle candidates.

Vandalia product Taylor Decker couldn’t contain Spence, who had three sacks, and converted defensive end Chase Farris was whipped by Washington, who had four.

The Buckeyes led the Big Ten in scoring last season and figure to be the pace-setter again after losing only right tackle Reid Fragel and third-leading receiver Jake Stoneburner. But Meyer believes they won’t have a prolific offense without the emergence of a suitable replacement for Fragel.

“The one glaring weakness is that fifth spoke of the offensive line. We have a legitimate concern who that player is,” Meyer said. “I feel good about four of the five starters. But unless we get that fixed, there goes the best offense in the Big Ten because you can’t play with four linemen.

“One of those young guys has to step up, and they haven’t this spring. (They’re) showing signs. ….To be the best offense in the Big Ten, you have to have five guys up front, which we had last year.”

Meyer, though, had high praise for Washington, a Cincinnati native who made a big splash during his homecoming.

“He has really raised his level of play. He’s a legitimate player,” Meyer said. “You saw him today just have his way at times with our offensive line.”

The Buckeyes have to replace all four starters on their front four, but Washington and Spence lessen some of those concerns.

“I just went out there and played football,” Washington said. “I did what my coaches told me to do, and it just happened that I got four sacks today.”

As for what he gleaned as a freshman last season, Washington said: “I learned that in college, everybody plays hard every play. That surprised me a little.”

Safety net: Meyer is looking for more from senior safety C.J. Barnett, who could end up being a captain. He had one tackle in the scrimmage.

“C.J. Barnett is a guy who had an up and down season last year,” Meyer said. “He’s a very good leader. He’s on our leadership group. He’s a guy I’m counting on to have a tremendous year, and he did have a tremendous spring.”

The Buckeyes have to replace seven starters on defense, but the Northmont grad sees plenty of talent in the ranks.

“I think we made great strides this spring,” Barnett said. “There were a lot of questions coming into this season, especially on the defense with guys like John Simon graduating. It was important to see guys like Adolphus Washington step up and make some plays.”

Spring star: Lanky receiver Michael Thomas had a game-high seven catches for 79 yards. He had 12 receptions for 131 yards in the spring game as an early-enrollee freshman last year, but that didn’t carry over to the season.

The nephew of former NFL No. 1 pick Keyshawn Johnson finished 2012 with three catches for 22 yards.

“He’s one of those guys who just makes these great plays and then makes mistakes,” Meyer said. “It’s a lack of either focus or just inconsistency, which great players don’t have.”

Queen City welcome: On a brisk but sunny day, the Buckeyes drew 37,643 fans in 65,535-seat Paul Brown Stadium. They’ve averaged a robust 71,661 spectators for the last seven spring games in Ohio Stadium, including an NCAA spring game record of 95,722 in 2009.

Still, it was considered an impressive turnout in a region that’s not rabid Buckeye country. The University of Cincinnati averaged 29,138 fans for seven home games last season.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

East-West Shrine Game 2018: Rosters, time, TV channel
East-West Shrine Game 2018: Rosters, time, TV channel

East-West Shrine Game 2018 is set for Saturday, Jan. 20. Find the rosters, game time and TV channel information below. The game features college football stars competing in an all-star game. Players and coaches also visit local Shriners Hospitals during the game week. 1 QB ...
Notre Dame-Clemson basketball: Game time, TV channel, watch online (1/20/2018)
Notre Dame-Clemson basketball: Game time, TV channel, watch online (1/20/2018)

Notre Dame will travel to South Carolina to face No. 20 Clemson in a clash of two teams looking to bounce back from mid-week losses on Saturday, Jan. 20. Find the game time, TV channel and how to watch online below. Time: 4 p.m. ET Date: Saturday, Jan. 20 Location: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, South Carolina The Notre Dame-Clemson...
Tennessee basketball vs. South Carolina: Time, TV channel, how to watch online (January 20, 2018)
Tennessee basketball vs. South Carolina: Time, TV channel, how to watch online (January 20, 2018)

Tennessee is coming off a loss against Missouri on Wednesday and will try to bounce back Saturday. The Vols travel to South Carolina in an attempt to get back on the right foot. Tennessee has struggled on the road this season and the 12-6 Gamecocks will present a challenge. The Vols needs better guard play moving forward. Jordan Bone and...
Iowa-Purdue basketball: Time, TV channel, how to watch online
Iowa-Purdue basketball: Time, TV channel, how to watch online

Arkansas basketball vs. Ole Miss: Preview, how to watch, stream (January 20, 2018)
Arkansas basketball vs. Ole Miss: Preview, how to watch, stream (January 20, 2018)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The panicky will become the panicked if the Arkansas basketball team loses to Ole Miss on Saturday. The Hogs are 2-4 one-third of the way through the SEC season. Not exactly what was anticipated after a dynamite nonconference slate. Solace can be taken, though, the last time Arkansas started 2-4 was 2013-14. It...
More Stories