One of the most important positions on the Ohio State Buckeyes’ roster is backup quarterback.
As Kenny Guiton proved last year, the Buckeyes’s No. 2 signal caller can be called upon at any time and possibly be forced to win the game.
Quarterback Braxton Miller has been plagued by multiple nagging injuring over the past two seasons. Guiton played in 15 games during that time and started two contests. Guiton was a senior, though. And Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been searching for a new backup.
Meyer may have found found one.
Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett has taken a “slight lead” in the competition, according to The Columbus Dispatch‘s Tim May.
“And that’s because of his (taking advantage of his) opportunities,” Meyer told May.
It was only a matter of time before Barrett moved up the depth chart. Barrett was a highly regarded four-star recruit in the 2013 class. Sophomore Cardale Jones, on the other hand, wasn’t recruited to Columbus by Urban Meyer and his staff.
It simply took the younger signal caller time to develop and gain confidence.
“He was always kind of a quiet guy,” Meyer said. “He’s starting to act like a quarterback.”
The Buckeyes may need Barrett to mature quickly. Miller is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Meyer has repeatedly stated his starting quarterback is “right on schedule” in his recovery, but Barrett needs to be ready in case he has to play against the Navy Midshipmen or Virginia Tech Hokies in weeks one and two.
Miller’s status will become more clear at the start of the week.
“He scrimmaged today; just limited throws is where we’re at right now,” Meyer said. “We’re expecting Monday to take a big step.”
A legal issue that arose between a Power Five school and one from the Group of Five has finally been resolved.
The Miami-Arkansas State game in Jonesboro last season was scuttled by Hurricane Irma, mainly because of The U’s concerns over traveling back to South Florida in the wake of the superstorm. ASU sued Miami in February of this year, seeking financial damages as a result of a breach of contract; Miami had sued ASU two days earlier in an effort to void the contract because the effects of the hurricane were out of its control.
In mid-September, a judge set a Dec. 20 deadline for the two sides to resolve the dispute via third-party mediation. Wednesday, ASU announced that a settlement has been reached, with each entity dismissing their lawsuits against the other as well as Miami paying the Sun Belt school $400,000.
ASU had been seeking $650,000 in damages.
“I am pleased that both lawsuits have been resolved and that this matter is now behind us,” Brad Phelps, general counsel for the Arkansas State University System, said in the statement. “I believe this is a fair resolution of these issues.”
As part of the settlement, the 2017 game, which was the back-end of a home-and-home series, will not be rescheduled.
Another day (hour?), another award paring down its field of players eligible to win this year’s honor.
The latest to do as much is the Outland Trophy, with the award that is handed out annually to the nation’s top interior lineman on either side of the ball announcing the eight semifinalists for this year’s honor. Headlining the most recent group is Houston’s Ed Oliver, who was the 2017 Outland winner.
Top-ranked Alabama (offensive tackle Jonah Williams, nose guard Quinnen Williams) and second-ranked Clemson (offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins) accounted for half of the eight semifinalists. The other three semifinalists not already mentioned are North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury, Wisconsin guard Michael Deiter and Oklahoma guard Ben Powers.
Next week, this group of eight semifinalists will be pared down to three finalists. The winner of the 2018 Outland Trophy will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN in early December.
For the second straight week, Ohio State will be down a man in its linebacking corps.
Earlier this week, Urban Meyer listed Baron Browning as probable for Saturday’s game against Maryland. Wednesday night after practice, however, the head coach confirmed that the linebacker will not play against the Terrapins.
Browning is dealing with an unspecified injury that sidelined the sophomore linebacker for the win over Michigan State this past Saturday.
Through eight games in 2018, Browning has been credited with 22 tackles, 3½ tackles for loss and a sack. As noted by ElevenWarriors.com, Browning has been rotating in with Tuf Borland at the middle linebacker spot throughout the season.
A five-star 2017 signee, Browning played in a dozen games as a true freshman last year.
Tuesday night, Western Michigan was officially removed from MAC West contention. Less than 24 hours later, WMU removed one of its top assistants.
Wednesday night, the Broncos announced that they have “parted ways” with defensive coordinator Tim Daoust. The move comes after WMU gave up 42 points in a loss to a three-win Ball State team that came into the game 99th in the country in scoring (24.5 points per game).
All told, the Broncos gave up 51, 59 and 42 points in three straight losses that knocked them out of the West race and handed the division title to Northern Illinois.
“I appreciate Tim and his family’s dedication to the Bronco football family these past two seasons,” head coach Tim Lester said in a statement. “At this time I felt we needed to go in a different direction.”
This was Daoust’s second stint in Kalamazoo as he was an assistant with the Broncos from 2006-09. Prior to this two-year stint at WMU, Daoust was the coordinator at Ball State.
Daoust will be replaced for the remainder of the year by defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Lou Esposito. WMU, which is bowl-eligible for a school-record fifth-straight year, will close out the 2018 regular season against West champion NIU next Tuesday.