Four days after Ohio State defeated Indiana 49-21 in its season opener on Aug. 31, coach Urban Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and a group of players addressed the media. Here are some of our takeaways.
J.T. Barrett, inaccurate?
In the postgame press conference after his team’s 49-21 loss to Ohio State, Indiana coach Tom Allen created a stir when he described quarterback JT Barrett as inaccurate.
“We try to do quite a bit of dropping where we covered with eight, just because that’s something that I feel like with the quarterback like that that’s not an accurate quarterback, that’s what you try to do,” Allen said.
Barrett admitted he had heard Allen’s comments.
“Everybody has their opinion. But I think I’m an accurate quarterback,” Barrett said. “I think I displayed that on Thursday. And just trying to keep on getting better in that aspect because I could always get better.”
Barrett, who was named Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week, struggled in the first half as Ohio State’s offense tallied just 13 points at halftime. But the Buckeyes scored on three of the first four possessions in the second half, breaking the game open. Barrett completed 20 of 35 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Center Billy Price and H-back Parris Campbell said they also heard Allen’s comments. Campbell called Barrett the best quarterback in the nation.
“I don’t necessarily agree with [Allen’s perspective] because this is a guy that I’m practicing with, you know, four times a week and I’m going into a game,” Campbell said. “I have to utmost confidence in J.T. and he has the utmost confidence in himself and he has the utmost confidence in his team. He’s a hell of a quarterback.”
Eric Glover-Williams: “School conduct issue”
Eric Glover-Williams could not find a position at which he best fit in his first two years on campus. And since it was reported that he will no longer be on Ohio State’s roster, he will never have that opportunity.
On Monday, Meyer said Glover-Williams would no longer be with the team due to a “school-conduct issue.”
This is an unfortunate end to the former four-star prospect’s career at Ohio State. The Canton, Ohio, native entered the program as the 101st-ranked player in the country and the fourth-best in the state in the 2015 class, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete played in 20 games in his two seasons, but spent most of his time on special teams. Glover-Williams played safety before transitioning to receiver in the spring.
Entire offensive line: “Champions” vs. Indiana
Though Meyer said the offensive line didn’t get the desired push early in the season opener, he and the coaching staff graded all five starting linemen — left tackle Jamarco Jones, left guard Michael Jordan, center Billy Price, right guard Branden Bowen and right tackle Isaiah Prince — as “champions.”
Ohio State players are graded by the coaching staff and if they give exceptional effort, are honored as “champions”
Though the line didn’t have much of a challenge pass blocking, due to a three-man rush from Indiana, the unit was tasked with opening holes for freshman running back J.K. Dobbins, who was starting his first college game. The five linemen helped open enough holes for Dobbins to run for the most rushing yards of any freshman making his debut in Ohio State history.
Four of the linemen who graded out as champions returned this season as starters, but Bowen was making his first career start. Price, a first-team All-American who played right guard last season, said he took Bowen under his wing.
“The stars have aligned and things are going great for him right now,” Price said. “Really, really, really, really proud of that kid.”
Things didn’t begin smoothly against Indiana for Bowen, but he settled in as time passed.
“He, in the first quarter, had a couple struggles,” Price said. “But that’s the great thing about Branden and players who are developing to be great, they can take those changes, take those adjustments and really start to develop in the second half, you see a whole other player.”
Chase Young: Future No. 1 overall pick?
Towering at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, defensive end Chase Young could be mistaken for an NFL player. In reality, he’s just an 18-year-old freshman at Ohio State, and not even one who played meaningful snaps against Indiana due to the Buckeyes’ foursome of starting defensive ends.
But defensive end Jalyn Holmes believes the young lineman has the ability to be the best player in his future draft class.
“If he sticks to the plan that we have here for him, he will be the first pick,” Holmes said.
No, he didn’t mean that Young will be a first-round pick. He meant the freshman could develop into the top pick in the NFL draft, something Ohio State hasn’t had since offensive tackle Orlando Pace was selected by the St. Louis Rams first overall in the 1997 draft.
“He’s got a real competitive edge,” Holmes said. “You can have his speed and length and all that, but if you’re not a competitor, it really doesn’t matter. Chase Young has that competitive edge.”
When asked whether Young could be like Myles Garrett, the top pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Holmes said he could be better.
With Holmes and Tyquan Lewis graduating and Sam Hubbard possibly entering the draft after this season, Young could be in a position to start on the line opposite Nick Bosa.
Tate Martell: Baker Mayfield 2.0 on the scout team?
Lewis said walk-on linebacker Jared Drake, who was a first-team All-Ohio quarterback at Westerville Central, mimicked Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield on the scout team during Monday’s practice. But he and Meyer mentioned freshman Tate Martell would likely help the defense prepare for Mayfield Tuesday.
“They’re twins,” Holmes said in regard to Mayfield’s and Martell’s similarities. “I mean, both of them have great moves. They’re elusive. They’re hard to tackle because you want to tackle them so bad and they take advantage of it. I don’t know how they do it.”
In high school, Martell relied on improvisation and athleticism. As a senior, the Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) quarterback threw for 2,362 yards and rushed for 1,257 yards.
Though that athleticism and mid-play creativity is, at least in part, what led Martell to being such a highly regarded prospect — he was the 56th-best overall player and the second-best dual threat quarterback in his class, according to 247Sports composite rankings — Barrett said Ohio State’s coaches have tried to temper the freshman’s propensity to scramble.
“So it’s like we’re trying to keep Tate in the pocket and get him to distribute the ball from the pocket,” Barrett said. “There’s a time for [risks and improvisation], absolutely. Since he’s been here, it’s like kind of controlled.”
Barrett said when he entered the program, he tried to improvise and escape the pocket, but soon learned it’s not as easy in college as it was in high school. The fifth-year senior said Martell learned a similar lesson.
“[Martell] was fast in high school, but now you’re not so fast,” Barrett said. “That’s part of it as well. That’s why you try to control it as much as you can.”