Sports Today: Oklahoma stakes out territory in Ohio early

Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Urban Meyer wait to take the field before the spring game on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

caption arrowCaption
Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Urban Meyer wait to take the field before the spring game on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

How about that NFL opener last night?

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots 42-27 in a game that included 908 total yards.

Urban Meyer’s old quarterback, Alex Smith, ran what could almost be called the pro version of what Meyer might like his offense to be nearly to perfection.

Smith hit a couple of deep balls, found playmakers running in stride and even ran a few option plays — plus that famous inside shovel pass to the tight end.

Obviously that is all coincidence, but it was hard to miss, especially given the NFL’s reputation for being a stale league when it comes to strategy and style of play.

I also enjoyed the fact there were few ticky-tack penalties or controversial catch/non-catches or replays...

👋 #KCvsNE— NFL (@NFL) September 8, 2017

Speaking of Meyer, his current team has a big game scheduled for Saturday at Ohio Stadium. 

Can Ohio State make it two in a row against Oklahoma?

I am going to say yes. The Buckeyes had some potential warts exposed by Indiana, but they have the parts to fix most of them.

The offensive brain trust should evolve and become better at taking advantage of its strengths, and the secondary and receivers will get better with experience.

What about Meyer’s current version of Smith? J.T. Barrett had his moments in Bloomington where he looked like the guy who is going to own all of Ohio State’s quarterback records by the end of this season and others where the problems of the past two seasons resurfaced.

If he can settle in, get some help and utilize the playmakers around him, this could be a special season.

PREVIEW: Ohio State vs. Oklahoma

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield presents a unique challenge in that he can almost make big plays out of thin air. Ohio State rarely sees this type of guy (at least with his level of ability), so the threat of him going off is very real.

This will be a good test of the stamina of the defensive line and the mental makeup of the defensive backs, who are going to give up some things but must hang in there when they do.

At the end of the day, though, the Buckeyes just have better athletes…

However, Oklahoma is doing what it can to remedy that situation, and it is doing so by working hard to pluck some players from Meyer's backyard.

That is almost literally true of Brian Asamoah, a three-star linebacker from Columbus DeSales who committed to OU last night.

📝— Brian Asamoah ひ (@b_moah211) September 8, 2017

The Sooners already had a commit from Dunber running back Tavion Thomas, and they are still in the running for Springfield athlete prospect Leonard Taylor, who plans to be in attendance Saturday night along with teammate Isaiah Gibson, a junior lineman.

According to 247sports, they also offered area stars Joseph Scates of Dunbar, Malik Vann of Fairfield and Xavier Peters of Lakota West.

That all gave Meyer another opportunity to say this week how much he hates seeing great players leave the state, but one can only assume he will have to continue to grin and bear it while collecting top talent from around the country.

He can’t take every great-looking player in the state every year, but the net being cast within the borders seems to be shrinking so his complaints are starting to ring hollow.

Of the players mentioned above, only Taylor and Thomas have Ohio State offers, two of nine statewide.

Sometimes that is a matter of semantics, but it’s still a trend to keep an eye on because it will change the dynamics of a program over time.

I used to think recruiting too much nationally was inviting disaster (ask Michigan about the end of the Lloyd Carr era), but that might be less the case now with the rise of social media and the ease of communication.

About the Author