Tag Archives: Ohio State Buckeyes

Michigan vs. Ohio State, 11-24-18: In-game report

Michigan and Ohio State met on Saturday at the “Horseshoe” with a spot in the Big Ten Championship and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line. Ohio State capitalized on Michigan’s special teams errors in the second half and rode its offensive and defensive lines to a 62-39 victory.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

9 Donovan Peoples-Jones (6’2, 208) Michigan wide receiver-Sophomore 

Peoples-Jones made all types of grabs on Saturday and when his team needed plays on late down situations, he was the man targeted. The sophomore wide receiver finished with seven catches for 64 yards against the Buckeyes.  Peoples-Jones isn’t afraid to make catches over the middle but will be a problem at the next level on the outside because of his quick feet and his ability to accelerate and de-celerate to relieve himself of tight coverage.  For the season, the sophomore has caught 39 passes for 541 yards and seven touchdowns.   The sophomore is also a threat as a punt returner (two career punt return touchdowns and averages 9 yards a return). 

Ohio State offensive and defensive lines

Chase Young (No. 2 pictured) has 5.5 quarterback sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss for the Buckeyes entering the 2018 Big Ten Championship game.

Michigan came into Columbus with the nation's top-ranked defense and a huge reason why was because of their ability to pressure the quarterback with four men.  However, by games end, Ohio State’s offensive and defensive line had stolen the show. The Buckeyes didn’t give up a sack and sacked Michigan junior quarterback Shea Patterson (6’2, 205) three times.  In the fourth quarter on 3rd and 12, Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (6’5, 265) flushed Patterson from the pocket and made him throw off-balance, which led to an interception by junior safety Jordan Fuller (6’2 204). Defensive linemen Robert Landers (6’1 283) and Jonathon Cooper (6’4 257) also contributed with sacks. Offensively, the Buckeyes rushed for 249 yards and passed for 318 yards.  

"They slowly devastated us throughout the game. Knowing all the yards they were putting up and how easily they were scoring, it was tough. It was very tough," Michigan senior defensive back Tyree Kinnel said in a post game press conference. "They completely beat us everywhere. Run game, pass game, everyone is to blame."

7 Dwayne Haskins (6’3, 220) Ohio State QB-Sophomore
Haskins has set Big Ten passing marks for passing yards (4.081) and touchdown passes (42) in 2018.

Haskins seems to be getting more and more comfortable as the season goes on. The Potomac, Maryland, native completed 19-of-30 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday.  Despite the big game atmosphere, Haskins never forced any throws against a stout Michigan defense.  Aided by a strong running game and a clean pocket, he picked the Wolverines apart.  Haskins has the arm to make all the throws and is big enough to shake defenders off.  If the sophomore can continue to play with the poise he showed on Saturday, look for him to continue to move up future NFL Draft boards.

39 Malik Harrison (6’3, 245) Ohio State LB-Junior 
Harrison has contributed 8.5 tackles for losses for the Buckeyes in 2018 (as of 11/27/18).

Harrison impressed with his form tackling ability against the Wolverines. The junior linebacker used his eyes well and was able to make tackles on Michigan senior running back Karan Higdon (5’10 202) by being patient and meeting Higdon in his running lanes. Harrison can also be used in blitz packages.   He sacked Patterson on the second play of the game when he came into the backfield untouched.  For a player his size, Harrison has excellent sideline-to- sideline ability  yet is strong enough to take on interior linemen in the running game.  Harrison projects best as a 4-3 outside linebacker. 

2018 Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Season outlook

The Maryland Terrapins enter the 2018 season looking to become bowl-eligible for the second time under third-year head coach D.J. Durkin.  Amid a controversial summer that included the sad circumstances and death of freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair, Durkin was placed on administrative leave. Highly-regarded assistant coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada will serve as the team's interim head coach in Durkin's absence.
After a disappointing 2017 season, Terrapins fans are hoping for a return to a bowl game in 2018.
Last season, the Terps finished 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten. Maryland has been able to put points on the board under Durkin and with a strong offensive line led by center Brendan Moore (6'3, 302), that should remain the status quo in 2018. Last year, the Terps lost their two top quarterbacks: junior Tyrell Pigrome (5'11, 205) and sophomore Kasim Hill (6'2, 234), to season-ending injuries during the first two weeks of the season. Maryland will have to shore up the quarterback position during summer camp. On defense, Durkin has led top-level units at both Florida and Michigan, but that side of the ball hasn't enjoyed the same success in Maryland. Senior defensive end Jesse Aniebonam (6'3, 260) suffered a fractured ankle during week one of last season but if he can return healthy in 2018, he could make life a lot easier on the Terps defense. 

Troy's player to watch

6 Ty Johnson 5'10 212 RB-Senior
With D.J. Moore entering the NFL (2018 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 24th overall pick), Ty Johnson will take over as the featured weapon in Canada's offense. Johnson finished last season with 875 rushing yards and six total touchdowns. The senior running back's production is a good gauge for the Terrapins offense. In the Terrapins four wins last season, Johnson averaged 9.9 yards per carry. In its eight losses, he averaged just 4.5 yards per carry. Canada has had stops in Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and LSU over the last six years. All of those schools have hung their hats on running the ball, which could lead to increased production for Johnson. 

Game of the season

September 15th vs. Temple
Maryland has some marquee matchups on its schedule but the home opener against Temple will be a big one. The Terrapins have to play Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State in conference play, which means racking up wins in the non conference schedule will be key in order to qualify for a bowl game.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

9 Byron Cowart 6'4 293 DL-Junior

In just a little over two seasons at Auburn, Cowart (No. 9 pictured) posted 15 tackles, one and a half tackles for losses and one forced fumble.

Cowart, a former five-star recruit who originally played at Auburn, enters the Terrapins program with a lot to prove.  He left the Tigers in the fall of 2017 and enrolled at Hillsborough Community College to ensure he wouldn't lose a year.  The former Florida Class 6A Player of the Year dealt with injuries during his previous stint and never seemed to get into a flow.  Technically, he has to play more to his frame when fighting pressure from offensive linemen.  On the plus side, he demonstrated enough versatility to play both defensive end and defensive tackle in limited SEC action.  When motivated, he has the power and strength to be a block destructor.  After doing so, he can re-map his courses and close distances in short areas.  His speed/power ratio seems to be a fit for the Big Ten.  Will it translate?

Prediction: 4-8

Maryland will miss out on a bowl game for the second straight season, according to Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson. The Terps will fall to Texas in the season opener, Temple, Michigan State and Ohio State at home and on the road to Iowa, Michigan, Indiana and Penn State. 

2018 Season Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

Season outlook

As fall camp kicks off, Ohio State will have to navigate life without Urban Meyer, who is currently on administrative leave.  Not only will they have to make up for Meyer's absence, but also the departures of numerous NFL draft picks.  However, if anyone is equipped to handle change it's the Ohio State Buckeyes, who will have talent across the board.  Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (6'3, 220) was impressive in spot duty last year and will take over at quarterback for J.T. Barrett.  The sophomore quarterback completed six of his seven passes against Michigan and for the season threw four touchdowns against just one interception.  Haskins can rely on sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins (5'10, 214) and sophomore tight end Luke Farrell (6'6, 250) to take some of the pressure off of his shoulders.  On defense, the Buckeyes will control the trenches with junior defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Dre'mont Jones (6'3 286).  The Buckeyes have all the talent in the world and should once again be in the running for a College Football Playoff appearance.

Troy's player to watch

97 Nick Bosa 6'4 263 DE-Junior
Bosa comes from NFL genes but he is an NFL-caliber player in his own right.  He was named the conference's lineman of the year and led the Buckeyes with eight sacks and 16 tackles for loss in 2017. The junior defensive lineman has the tools to be a top five draft pick and if he turns in another stellar season, look for him to enter the NFL Draft after his junior season.

Game of the season

September 29th at Penn State
The Buckeyes squeaked past the Nittany Lions last year, 39-38, in Columbus. This year's renewal of the rivalry could be just as close a contest.  The last two years the battle has had major conference and bowl game implications, and this year it has the makings to be the same.  Look for Ohio State to play one of their most competitive games of the season on September 29th in Happy Valley.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

83 Terry McLaurin 6'1 205 WR-Senior
The last time a wide receiver stood out wearing No. 83 at Ohio State was the late Terry Glenn, one of the best players in school history.  Despite catching just 29 passes in 2017, McLaurin -a 4.4 speedster- put six of those receptions in the end zone.  Dating back to his freshman campaign, he has also shown up on special teams (7 tackles in 2015).  While his speed is a factor, he has to demonstrate more of an ability running the route tree to get looks from NFL scouts as an outside the numbers threat.  He's actually shown an ability to work the sidelines and settle into soft zones versus zone coverage.  His strength and balance are perhaps his most impressive attributes.  McLaurin will test well for NFL scouts.

Prediction:  12-0

Even with some uncertainty at head coach, Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson is predicting an undefeated regular season and another appearance in the College Football Playoff for the Buckeyes. Contests against Penn State and Michigan State on the road could be problematic, but the Buckeyes have the personnel to beat everyone in the Big Ten. 

2018 Season Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers

 Season outlook 

Scott Frost will attempt to complete his second redemption story in as many seasons.  Last year, Frost led UCF to a 13-0 record and a bowl game victory against Auburn following a 6-7 season in 2016.  The former Cornhuskers quarterback will guide a Nebraska squad which finished 4-8 in 2017.  The Cornhuskers aren't as talented as they were in the eighties, but they do have a few skill position players to rely on in Frost's spread offense. Junior running back Tre Bryant (5'11, 201) and senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. (6'1, 201) will be counted on to serve as gamechangers.  Bryant returns to the Cornhuskers after missing 10 games last season with a knee injury.  However, in just two games of action, Bryant totaled 299 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Oregon and Arkansas State.  Defensively, sophomore defensive lineman Ben Stille (6'5, 290) will be counted on to stuff the run and rush the passer after making an impact in his freshman season. Stille finished with 3.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in 2017. Frost doesn't have the talent that he had last year at UCF and the Cornhuskers face a tough schedule, but the new head coach does have enough pieces to lay the foundation for the future. 

Troy's player to watch

8 Stanley Morgan, Jr.  6'1 200 WR-Senior
Morgan, Jr. enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, posting 986 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.  The senior wide receiver recorded 259 yards against Penn State and Iowa, two of the best pass defenses in the Big Ten, to end the season.  Morgan, Jr. is able to make catches in traffic, reminiscent of Odell Beckham Jr., another New Orleans native.  He has the size and speed that will make him a candidate to go in the first three rounds of the draft after the season.

Game of the season

September 15 against Troy
The Troy Trojans are coming off an 11-2 season and a 7-1 conference record in the Sun Belt. Scott Frost will have to navigate an early non-conference slip-up against the Trojans, who will be prepared for FBS competition. In Week 1, Troy will play Boise State.  Don't expect the Trojans to come into Lincoln wide-eyed, and this Week 3 matchup should provide a close contest for the Cornhuskers.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

24 Aaron Williams 5'11 195 DB-Senior

Williams has shown an ability to come under control to make inside-out sideline tackles.  He has also shown requisite skill when it comes

Williams has notched five interceptions and one touchdown during his three-year stint in Lincoln.

to filling on as an eighth man in the box.  His overall thump as a tackler is just adequate and some of this has to do with average size.  For him to get looks from NFL scouts next spring, he has to improve in coverage.  Quicker wide receivers have given him problems in man-to-man coverage.

Prediction: 4-8

Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson is projecting a tough season for Scott Frost in Year 1. The Cornhuskers may be improved on the field from last year but the schedule doesn't do Nebraska any favors. Jefferson is predicting losses against Troy, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa.

2018 Season Preview: Michigan State Spartans

Season outlook

The Michigan State Spartans turned in an impressive bounce back season in 2017.  Mark Dantonio's crew finished the season 10-3 after going 3-9 the previous season.  With 19 starters returning from last year's team, the Spartans could have an outside chance of sneaking into the College Football Playoff.  They take on Utah State, Arizona State and Central Michigan in non-conference play and will take on Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State at Spartan Stadium. Sandwiched in between the non-conference schedule are match-ups against the Wolverines and Buckeyes and a road contest versus Penn State.  A good barometer for the Spartans in their 10-plus win seasons has been their ability to stop the run and run the ball.  Last season, Michigan State finished seventh in the nation in  yards allowed per game and averaged 167 rushing yards per game (63rd overall).  Running back L.J. Scott (6'1, 229) enters  his senior season as the team's feature back and alongside quarterback Brian Lewerke (6'3, 212, Jr.), he will be tasked with carrying the offensive load. On defense, defensive tackle Raequan Williams (6'4, 300, Jr.) will be a run-stuffer.  With a strong season, he could join other former Spartans defensive linemen William Gholston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Shilique Calhoun (Oakland Raiders)  in the NFL.

Troy's player to watch 

Joe Bachie 6'2 233 LB-Junior
The junior was a stabilizing force for the Spartans defense after they lost LB Riley Bullough to the NFL in 2017.  Bachie finished last season with 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions. Since Dantonio has come to Michigan State, he has been able to hang his hat on a middle linebacker to run the defense. If Bachie can turn in another productive season, he will join the ranks of Max Bullough, Riley Bullough and Darien Harris, all of whom have spent time in the NFL.

Game of the season

November 10th  vs. Ohio State
As usual, the Buckeyes will field a team as competitive as anyone in the nation. If anyone has been able to compete with Urban Meyer's Buckeyes it's been Mark Dantonio. The Spartans coach holds a 2-4 record vs. Ohio State and is the only coach to beat Meyer in the Big Ten multiple times. In last year's matchup, the Spartans lost to the Buckeyes, 48-3, in Columbus.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch:

Khari Willis 6'0 215 S-Senior

The Spartans have several senior prospects worth keeping an eye on in 2017.  Perhaps none can help their NFL hopes more than Willis.  Despite 2017 being his first year as a full-time starter, the former high school running back has blossomed into one of the Big Ten's most active safeties.  While he will occasionally overrun some tackles due to over-aggressiveness, he generally breaks hard on the ball in pursuit from the inside-out.  On top of that, he demonstrated a sufficient ability to open-and-run with wide receivers when defending vertical concepts a season ago (see Western Michigan '17).  He's had some slight durabilty hiccups, but the 2017 Honorable mention All-Big Ten safety is primed for an impact senior campaign.

Prediction: 11-1

 
The Spartans will run through the early part of their schedule with flying colors but Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson is predicting a home loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in November, reminiscent of their 2014 season.
--By: Troy Jefferson, DraftNasty Staff reports

Q&A with former Michigan OL Mason Cole: ‘Stone Cole’

Cole (No. 52 pictured at LT in the 2015 Buffalo Wild Wings Florida Citrus Bowl) started 51 games for the Wolverines. He was the first true freshman to start on the offensive line in Michigan history.

‘Stone Cole’

DN: You’ve been playing a lot of left tackle this year (2017) and you’ve moved around a little bit all over the place while in school. How has it been getting back to that natural position (center during 2018 Senior Bowl) or a position that at least you’ve had some reps at before?

Cole: Yeah. It felt good. Obviously, at the next level I’ll play wherever I’m needed. But it felt good to be back at center. Something new again, but not really. It just felt good.

DN: In terms of some of your teammates that last year that went through the experience. You had so many of them that actually played down here. How many of those guys have you talked to about some of the thing that they had gone through in the pre-draft process?

Cole: Yeah, almost all of them. Just trying to gather as much intel as possible about this whole process. And they’ve all been helpful. It’s been really good for me to reach out to them and them be really helpful for me.

DN: What was one game you’d want an NFL scout to take a look at in your career?

Cole: I think any of the games against Ohio State.   They’ve had a great defensive line the whole four years I’ve been there. Florida State had a great D-line when we played them last year (2016 Orange Bowl). And Florida both years. Anytime you go against a good defense you’d like to have a scout watch that and see what you do against higher-level talent.

DN: What would you say is your biggest strength and maybe the one thing you want to work on too?

Cole: Strengths. Just being versatile. Like I said, I think I can play wherever the team needs me on the line. My weakness. Probably just need to get stronger overall.

DN: Thanks a lot for your time.

Cole: Thank you.

----DN Staff reports, 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl practices, Day 3

UPDATE: Cole was drafted with the 97th pick of the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft.