Monday briefing: More moves possible
October, 15, 2012
By austinward | ESPN.com
Greg Bartram/US PresswireAfter leading the Buckeyes in tackles against Indiana, it looks as if senior Zach Boren will continue to see time at linebacker.COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick hitters from Ohio State's media luncheon on Monday as it prepares for a visit from Purdue on Saturday.
Shake it up: For the time being, Zach Boren shouldn't make any plans to return to offense after shifting from fullback to linebacker and then leading the team in tackles against the Hoosiers.
Expecting somebody else to have that same kind of instant impact at a new position might be asking a lot in the middle of the season, but that doesn't mean the Ohio State won't consider more personnel shakeups in response to its lack of depth on defense.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer confirmed there "are conversations" as the coaching staff evaluates all its options, though the only player identified specifically when he was asked about tweaks to the lineup during his Monday press conference was freshman defensive end Noah Spence -- but he won't be playing offense any time soon.
"Options are very limited right now, so that’s one thing," Meyer said. "The guy that played very well is Noah Spence, so the thing you have to ask yourself, 'OK, Noah Spence and Nathan Williams play the same position, so let’s have a conversation about that' -- and we are. How do you get them both on the field at the same time is the conversation.
"If they’re [among] the best 11 [players], 4-3, 3-4, whatever, get them on the field. We’re good enough coaches, let’s figure it out. I’m not saying that’s happening, we’re just identifying who the best 11 players are and putting the puzzle together."
After missing last week's trip to Indiana with a concussion, Williams is once again going to be in that group this week. And the Buckeyes will take all the healthy bodies they can find on defense.
Bumps and bruises: The Buckeyes had initially expected Williams to return and line up at defensive end against the Hoosiers, though symptoms from his concussion eventually forced him to stay home over the weekend.
The senior was cleared for practice on Sunday, though, and Ohio State should be close to full strength on the defensive line for one of the the first times all season against Purdue.
"I was expecting him back, and it just got worse as the week progressed," Meyer said. "He’ll be back this week. Worked out yesterday with us, so that’s another leader."
The Buckeyes aren't expecting to have one of their top leaders on offense back on the field quite yet, as Jordan Hall continues to recover from a partially torn ligament in his knee. The senior running back is officially listed as doubtful, though he's limited to jogging at this point and Meyer indicated Hall "isn't healing well."
Champions club: The defense was gashed for too many points and yards, so the coaches shut them out on the list of players who graded as "Champions" for the win over Indiana.
The offense had no shortage of players earn recognition, though, and Meyer couldn't just single out one as the player of the week for a unit that scored six touchdowns. The Buckeyes who earned the honor this week:
- Offense: Left tackle Jack Mewhort, running back Carlos Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller (players of the week), tight end Jeff Heuerman, wide receiver Jake Stoneburner, wide receiver Philly Brown, right tackle Reid Fragel and center Corey Linsley.
- Defense: None
- Special teams: Travis Howard (player of the week), Bradley Roby, Ben Buchanan, Zach Domicone and Jamal Marcus