Buckeyes Hoping for an Outbreak of Scarlet Fever
October 22, 2008 10:00 pm EST

“Scarlet Fever” will set in at Ohio Stadium Saturday when Ohio State welcomes undefeated Penn State to Columbus for a pivotal Big Ten football matchup at 8:00 pm. All Buckeye fans attending the game are encouraged to wear scarlet for the primetime national television broadcast on ABC.  Scarlet rally towels, courtesy of Nationwide Insurance, will be distributed to the first 80,000 fans.  A few additional items about the game:
  • ESPN’s College Game Day television program will broadcast live at 10:00 am outside St. John Arena. Big Ten Network’s Game Day show also will be aired live on campus. BTN’s Friday Night Tailgate show will air from St. John Friday evening.
  • Sports Illustrated and Nissan will host the “Evolution of the Game” tour at the FanFest location outside the south side of St. John Arena. Krenzel will be available from 2:30-4:00 pm and Hoying from 4:00-5:30 pm.
  • Following the game, 40,000 copies of an Ohio State football commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated “Game Breakers” will be handed out at Ohio Stadium exits.
  • Former Ohio State football head coach John Cooper (1988-2000) will he honored at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009. 

Tressel Asks Big Ten to Review Hit on Herron
October 7, 2008 8:30 pm EST

Dan "Boom" Herron will miss Ohio State's game this week against Purdue after he suffered a concussion last week at Wisconsin, and coach Jim Tressel said he thought the play fell under the Big Ten's crackdown on helmet-first hits. While running across the field as quarterback Terrelle Pryor scrambled, Herron appeared to be hit helmet-first in the head and jaw by Badgers defensive back Jay Valai and was momentarily knocked unconscious.  Big Ten officials said before the season that helmet-leading hits, outlawed several years ago, were going to be subject to more strenuous enforcement.

No flag was thrown on the play but it was clear this was a helmet to helmet hit.  Coaching staffs send the conference office weekly appraisals of the officiating.

"They ask us to evaluate what things do you think maybe could have been called or considered a different way," Tressel said. "I'm not pointing fingers that (Valai) was trying to do anything, but we're talking about how should the game have been called."

Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said director of officials David Parry uses the reviews to help officials improve.

"Generally, it comes down to, if it's an on-field thing, did they throw a flag?" Chipman said. "If they didn't throw a flag, it's something Dave evaluates, and if they should have thrown a flag, they get downgraded."

But he said the conference does not usually get involved with punitive measures toward a player for an on-field infraction.

Small Still Looking Small to Coaches
September 25, 2008 6:00 am EST

After he started out as the Buckeyes leading receiver and primary punt returner, you might have thought that Ray Small as finally out of Tressel's doghouse.  Yet for this week's game, he is listed on the second team for receivers and is not listed with the punt returners.  Rumor is that he was late for a team meeting or missed it all together.  What will be next, give him a three digit jersey number?

Coach Says No Beanie for Another Game
September 19, 2008 6:00 am EST

Steve Rehring will be out for Saturday because of an undisclosed injury to his lower left leg.  This will start a series of changes to the Buckeye line combinations, two of which involve starting a member of the 2008 recruiting class.  The first possibility is moving right tackle Bryant Browning to Rehring's spot and inserting freshman J.B. Shugarts at right tackle. The other has freshman Michael Brewster at center and Jim Cordle moving to left guard.  Personally I thin this is a great move.  Those freshman need the game reps for next season and they need a shake-up up front.  The scored their first TD in the 2006 Texas game in Austin with second string line.  Sometimes you just need to go with who is more hungry.

Coach Says No Beanie for Another Game
September 18, 2008 5:30 pm EST

The team reported Chris Wells practiced Tuesday and was held out of activity Wednesday.  Today Coach Tressel confirmed today that he will not be available for Saturday's game against Troy. At this time, there is no further word on the long term condition of his injured foot.

Beanie Practices, Now We Wait To See How He Feels Tomorrow
September 10, 2008 8:00 pm EST

Chris Wells practiced today for Ohio State, and on his radio show tonight coach Jim Tressel said that the important thing in determining whether Wells plays much at top-ranked Southern California on Saturday night will rest in large part on how the injured right foot responds Thursday.

"I'd say he probably carried the ball 20 times today," Tressel said, stressing the team was not doing full-contact drills. "If I had to put a number on it I'd say he was at 75 percent or maybe better."  But he added, "You could see he got a little sore as the practice went."

Whether that soreness develops into something more serious tonight as Wells rests his jammed right forefoot remains to be seen.

"The key will be how is he tomorrow (Thursday)," Tressel said. "If he isn't very sore, then he is going to make a big jump on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  "I know this: No one in the world wants to play in this game more than Chris Wells."

Jim Bollman, one of the Buckeyes' two offensive coordinators, said he was encouraged by Wells' play.

"I would say he was 75 percent, something like that. He got a lot of work today, certainly more than he's had," Bollman said. "We'll see how sore he is tomorrow, then go from there."

Darrell Hazell, also an offensive coordinator, said Wells had a good practice Wednesday and did not limp off.

"We won't know until game time on Saturday night," Hazell said when asked whether Wells would be fully recovered. "If I know him he'll be out there ready to go."

Bollman said that he did not believe Wells would be completely healthy come game time.

"The chances of him being 100 percent are not high, I would think," Bollman said. "That would be a miraculous recovery."

The team is scheduled to leave for Los Angeles early Thursday afternoon after a mid-morning workout.

Tressel Announces Wells Will Play Versus Trojans
September 9, 2008 6:30 pm EST

Coach Tressel said today in the media press conference that running back Chris "Beanie" Wells will play in Saturday's game against top-ranked USC after missing last week's game with an injury to his right big toe.  How much Wells plays largely depends on his progress in practices Tuesday and Wednesday. Wells run drills on his own today and will rejoin the team in practice in Wednesday's workout. 

Wells has been testing the foot/toe on a stationary bike and in the pool. He's listed as the starter on this week's depth chart.  Time will tell how many carries he will be able to handle and at what level he will be able to play.  The Scarlet and Gray will need him to be 100% to help their chances against USC.  Their running game struggled without him last week against the OU Bobcats. Wells' teammates are confident the 237-pound junior will be ready for USC.

Tressel said "He wants to play, and he's going to do all he can do."  

Wells To Start Saturday
September 4, 2008 5:00 pm EST

Maurice Wells that is.  As posted a little while ago, coach Jim Tressel today said running back Chris "Beanie" Wells will not play Saturday against Ohio University, as he did not practice yet this week on his injured right toe, and trying to play with very little practice is not the prudent thing to do.  Mo Wells will start instead but Tressel said not to read too much into that. He wants to play all three tailbacks -- Brandon Saine and Dan Herron are the others -- but the players like the honor of starting, so Maurice Wells as a senior earns that right.

Tressel said he felt good about Beanie's progress and claimed he had no concerns about him not being ready next week for the Southern California game. With Beanie sitting, the team now believes he will be fine for the big USC showdown and goes out west with confidence.  Also, after the other three backs get a whole game of action, now the team has more confidence in Mo Wells, Saine and Herron. So if Beanie does reinjure himself against USC, the team probably feels better about its backups, having seen them do well (hypothetically) when they've had to carry the load.

Team Awards For Week One
September 1, 2008 1:00 pm EST

The Ohio State football coaching staff has selected its weekly award winners for outstanding play in the 43-0 win over Youngstown State.

Tight end Rory Nicol was selected as offensive player of the week; linebacker Marcus Freeman was the Buckeyes’ defensive player of the week, with a team-best six tackles against Youngstown State.

Punt returner Ray Small was the player of the week on the special units, with four returns that totaled 79 yards, including a long gain of 45 yards.

Scout team champions were:  Offense: Ryan Schuck; Defense: Zach Domicone;  Special Units: James Georgiades. The “Attack Force” award went to defensive lineman Nader Abdallah, and the Jim Parker offensive lineman of the week was senior tackle Alex BooneMalcolm Jenkins was the winner of the Jack Tatum Big Hit of the week.
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