Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Ohio State football senior left tackle Mike Adams, who returns to the Buckeyes’ lineup on Saturday against No. 14 Nebraska, stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 320-pounds, making him a sizeable asset to the team.
With Adams set to make his first appearance for the team since the 2011 Sugar Bowl, suffice it to say that help is on the way for OSU’s beleaguered
Adams, along with DeVier Posey, Daniel “Boom” Herron and Solomon Thomas, were suspended for the Buckeyes’ first five games of the 2011 season for selling OSU football memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos. Posey and Herron will remain suspended for an additional violation, but Adams is listed on the Buckeyes’ depth chart as the starter for Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
Adams’ return couldn’t have come soon enough.
After not allowing a single sack against Akron and Toledo in the Buckeyes’ first two games, the Scarlet and Gray offensive line has allowed 14 sacks against Miami (Fla.), Colorado and Michigan State.
Quarterback play was scrutinized after last Saturday’s 10-7 loss to the Spartans, but the Buckeyes’ signal-callers were also sacked nine times.
“Obviously, they (the offensive line) didn’t do a great job,” first-year OSU head coach Luke Fickell said after the game.
“You don’t give your quarterback much of a chance when (they are) sacked nine times.”
OSU linemen, including senior center Mike Brewster and redshirt sophomore Jack Mewhort, both said that Adams’ return is a relief.
“It gives you a lot of motivation to come back tomorrow,” Mewhort said of Adams’ return. “We’re excited to have (him) back.”
Excited could be an understatement.
Adams, a three-year letter-winner and first team all-Big Ten selection in 2010, figures to help protect the freshman quarterback Braxton Miller and create a push for OSU’s running backs, who were held to 78 yards rushing against the Spartans.
Brewster agreed with Mewhort.
“I think it is really going to help us getting Mike back this week,” Brewster said. “He is going to be ready to go and had a great season last year for this team. I’m excited to see what he is going to be able to do against Nebraska.”
Posey and Herron were originally scheduled to come off suspension with Adams in the game against the Cornhuskers. Offensive lineman Marcus Hall was also suspended along with Posey and Herron this week. Fickell said during a Tuesday press conference that while the new suspensions are a setback for the team, he won’t allow his players to complain or whine.
“We have also got to look at the (players) we are getting,” he said. “So, you’ve got your Mike Adams and your Solomon Thomas, and you know, so, those are the things you’ve still got to focus on.”
Based on comments Adams made during OSU football Media Day on Aug. 20, Adams is ready for action.
“Everything that has happened has definitely left its stamp on the season, but we’re over that and I’m just ready to go out and play,” Adams said. “Personally, I’ve only got (seven) games left, so every time I come into the stadium, it puts chills down my back.”
As for how Adams fits back into the offensive line, Brewster reiterated his return is a positive, saying the line will do whatever it takes to improve.
“(Adams will) bring a lot of experience back,” Brewster said after Saturday’s loss. “(He’s a) great player. Really just going to look forward to Saturday.”
Adams and the Buckeyes’ (3-2, 0-1) game against the No. 14 Cornhuskers (4-1, 0-1) will kick-off at 8 p.m. and be broadcast on ABC.