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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ohio State vs Oklahoma Preview - Depth Chart

Ohio State - Oklahoma Depth Chart

By Eric Seger 
Ohio State releases its latest depth chart ahead of a visit to No. 14 Oklahoma.
With the biggest game to date on its schedule finally in plain sight and two wins under its belt, Ohio State isn't changing anything.
Well, at least in terms of its depth chart.
There are no differences from last week in the program's latest two-deep, released Tuesday afternoon.
The Buckeyes are 2-0 and ranked No. 3 in both the coaches and AP polls and Urban Meyer's squad is set to visit No. 14 Oklahoma Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Ohio State avoided any major injuries against the Golden Hurricane, though nickel corner Damon Arnette left on a cart. The Buckeyes lost Tracy Sprinkle for the season with a patella injury in their 77-10 win against Bowling Green Sept. 3.
  •  Ohio State still lists nine starting positions with an "OR."
  •  Damon Arnette is still listed as Gareon Conley's backup at corner. He is the team's starter in nickel and Meyer said he is "fine" and full-go after sustaining a bone bruise last Saturday.
  •  Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes remain co-starters at defensive end opposite of Tyquan Lewis.
  •  Joe Burger is again listed as a co-starter with Dante Booker at WILL linebacker. Urban Meyer said Booker is "probable" this week with a sprained MCL. He did not play against Tulsa.
          18JONATHON COOPER6-3248FR
  88A.J. ALEXANDER6-2254FR   38CRAIG FADA6-1225SR
RB 25MIKE WEBER5-10212FR        
  14K.J. HILL6-0200FR       
WR 83TERRY MCLAURIN6-0204SO        
OR 82JAMES CLARK5-10186JR        
  9BINJIMEN VICTOR6-4185FR        
        OR 1JOHNNIE DIXON5-11198SO

Stop Baker Mayfield? Buckeyes Just Hoping to Contain Him
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for over 400 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He entered this season as a legitimate Heisman candidate, and despite a season-opening loss to Houston, he hasn't done anything to show that he doesn't belong in those lofty conversations.
Mayfield completed 68.1% of his passes last season and is completing 71.7% of his passes this season. He has thrown for 567 yards and five touchdowns already in 2016. But while his arm is obviously dangerous, it's his feet that has the Buckeyes most concerned this week.
Mayfield is a tremendous scrambler, and even though he hasn't rushed for any yards this season — he's actually lost a yard on 13 rushes — he has a knack for keeping plays alive and finding receivers downfield after he has escaped the pocket. One of his two touchdown passes against Houston came after he rolled left away from a rush and found tight end Mark Andrews open down the middle of the field. It turned into a 64-yard touchdown pass simply because the Cougar defense didn't keep Mayfield contained.
Once Mayfield takes off, anything can happen. The Buckeye defense doesn't want "anything" happening. They want to keep things predictable. Before they can worry about that, however, they have to stop the run.
"They have a big offensive line," said defensive end Sam Hubbard. "We need to stop the run first to even get the opportunity to get to the quarterback, so we’re going to focus on stopping the run to get them to throw the ball and once they throw the ball that’s when we’ll get after him. We’ll need to play fast and tire them out, wear them out."
There is a good bit of irony in a defensive lineman talking about wearing out an offense that is going to run some tempo in order to wear out the defensive line. Fortunately for the Buckeye defense, they have seen plenty of tempo.
"Facing Tulsa and even Bowling Green and seeing the tempo they threw at us really prepared us because Oklahoma will do that as well, all good teams do," Hubbard said. "It’s especially beneficial for the young guys to see how fast this is going to go, so it’s good to have the experience under our belt."
But while all of this tempo is going on and while the defense focuses on stopping the run, there is still the considerable problem of defending Baker Mayfield. The mantra throughout the entire defense isn't necessarily about stopping the quarterback, it is simply about containing him. The Buckeyes believe that if they can do the latter, the former will take care of itself.
"I’ve watched some film on him," Hubbard said. "He’s really elusive, really quick. He seems to be staying in the pocket more this season than he has in the past, but once he feels that pressure he can really take off. So we need to contain him and work the scramble drill a lot this week. He’s a really special player so it’ll be a new challenge."
"Just keep him contained," echoed Buckeye cornerback Marshon Lattimore. "Don’t let him scramble out of the pocket and get downfield with his legs. On the back end I think we can handle them throwing the ball, but him scrambling out of the pocket, it’s tough then."

CFB preview: No. 3 Ohio State at No. 14 Oklahoma

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State burst out of the gate this season at a pace that defies its youth.
With only six returning starters from last season, the Buckeyes have shown no signs of a drop-off from coach Urban Meyer's previous teams with a 2-0 start against overmatched opponents.
Ohio State climbed to No. 3 in this week's Associated Press poll after a 48-3 victory over Tulsa on Saturday at a rain-soaked Ohio Stadium after destroying Bowling Green 77-10 in its opener.
Now comes the first big test this week when the Buckeyes travel to Norman, Okla., to face No. 14 Oklahoma (1-1) in a matchup of storied college football programs on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. Fox Sports).
The young and talented Buckeyes are eager to test their mettle before going into Big Ten play against a top-shelf program at Oklahoma. This is the type of game between giants that players and college fans circle on the calendar.
This summer, the Associated Press ranked the top 100 college football teams since 1936 and Ohio State was ranked No. 1 and Oklahoma No. 2. The two programs have combined to win 12 AP poll championships.
The last time the team met, Ohio State posted a 24-14 victory over Oklahoma during the 1983 season in Norman, avenging a 29-28 loss in 1977 in Columbus on a last-second field goal.
Though the Sooners stumbled in their opener two weeks ago with a loss to Houston, which is coached by former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has consulted with Herman and knows what lies ahead.
"This one's real, real, real," Meyer said after the Buckeyes outscored its first two overmatched opponents 125-13.
Ohio State's defense was the story in the win over Tulsa. The Buckeyes forced six turnovers and completely throttled a team that finished 13th in the country in total offense a year ago.
The defense returned only three starters from last season, but playmakers are emerging all over the field for the Buckeyes, who have given up 13 points in two games and seven of those came on an interception return for a touchdown.
Safety Malik Hooker is leading FBS in interceptions with three through two games and cornerback Marshon Lattimore had two picks against Tulsa. They're looking forward to more of a challenge and for improvement this week.
"We still have to go a little bit," Lattimore said, "but we're ready. I told the guys we've got the talent. If we perfect the schemes, we can come out with the win at Oklahoma."
When it was pointed out that the defense has not given up a touchdown this season, Ohio State linebacker and leading tackler Raekwon McMillan said, "We don't like field goals, either.
"It feels good not letting anybody in the zone. Hopefully, we can do the same thing next week (against Oklahoma). They're a great team that has great athletes. We're going to try and keep it going."
Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense has more weapons than Ohio State's defense has faced so far. The Sooners rebounded from the opening loss with a 59-17 rout of Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
The Buckeyes' offense, meanwhile, got off to a slow start against Tulsa. Ohio State was leading just 6-3 late in the second quarter before Hooker and Lattimore returned interceptions for touchdowns that make it 20-3 at halftime.
After a storm delay extended halftime, the offense came out and pounded on Tulsa in the second half to pull away.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett ran for two touchdowns after halftime to lead the rejuvenated offense. In the first two games, the junior has passed four six touchdowns and run for three.
Barrett, a Texas native, now has accounted for 76 touchdowns during his three-year career, including 25 on the ground. The Buckeyes will rely on his steady veteran leadership this week playing in front of a hostile crowd.
"It'll be a great environment for college football," Barrett said. "It's going to be loud. We'll be pumping noise at our practices to work on communication this week, so that should help. I'll do my best to be really loud so next time you talk to me I probably won't have my voice."
The Buckeyes certainly won't underestimate Oklahoma this week. H-back Dontre Wilson knows the offense has to start better against the Sooners than it did against Tulsa.
"That's the plan not to start that way and I don't think we'll start that way," Wilson said. "We've got to establish the running game. Once the running game pops, we can start doing better."
The same goes for the Sooners. There might actually be more pressure on Oklahoma after its opening loss to Houston. Another stumble likely would take them out of the running for the College Football Playoff before conference play begins.
"It'll be a big challenge," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, an Ohio native. "Of course, everyone here is excited about it. The fans are. It'll be a great week to get ready for and enjoy the competition."

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