Tuesday briefing: Devin Smith seeks consistency
October, 16, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Jay LaPreteDevin Smith has alternated game-changing big touchdowns with drops of routine passes during the first seven games of the 2012 season.COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick hitters from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer after his weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday afternoon.
All or nothing: A possible touchdown hit the turf for the second time, and Braxton Miller had to spin around to catch a video replay to believe it.
The favorite target of the Ohio State quarterback turned in two more big plays in the passing game and found the end zone at the end of both of his receptions, but Devin Smith could have doubled up to four touchdowns if not for relatively avoidable drops on Saturday at Indiana.
And while the Buckeyes don't have too much to complain about the sophomore's development into the best downfield threat on the roster or his six touchdowns this season, they would obviously like to tap into a bit more consistency with a receiver who is seemingly just as likely to make the highlight reel as let an easy ball slip away from him.
"We do a lot of things with receivers, and he’s a perfect example," Meyer said. "We do nonstop collision drills during practice, so like today, we’ll make sure that he’s getting hit after every throw. ... But I have enough confidence in him that he’s going to get better.
"He’s also been known to make [big plays] -- it’s either feast or famine, a touchdown or nothing. We just need to have more consistency out of him. The good thing is he’s going to show up. I’ve already talked to him, we’re going to work real hard today at that."
Going to the bullpen: Always ready in relief, Kenny Guiton has come in due to injury three weeks in a row to provide what amounts to a save for the Ohio State offense.
Every time the Buckeyes have needed the backup quarterback to deliver while Miller receives medical attention during a drive, Guiton has delivered a score -- extending his streak with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Hyde against the Hoosiers.
And while none of those appearances were by design, the Buckeyes might start finding a way to make Guiton part of the plan given his run of success off the bench.
"He was ready to get on a one-way bus ticket back to Texas when I first got here," Meyer said. "He changed really dramatically and immediately, he is a coach’s son and plays like it, practices like it, spends a lot of time with us on Sunday nights and Monday nights.
"I can’t say enough good things about him, and there’s a chance I’m going to try to get him in the game a little bit."
He said it: "I see the stats and I don’t see that on the film. I see a first-round draft choice at defensive tackle [Kawann Short], I see a team that plays a lot of man coverage and makes it really hard to run the ball. I think they’re just some missed tackles away from being a really good defense. On offense, I know they’re rolling some quarterbacks through a little bit, but I see a good running back [Akeem Shavers] that goes real hard and they do a good job with their horizontal passing, all the bubbles and the things that caused us nightmares in the first half of the season. So, regardless of their record and all that, we’re expecting a team for a fairly evenly matched game." -- Meyer on Purdue
Ohio State Clinches Big Ten Title Game Berth
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
5:38 2nd Qtr 16 Wisconsin 9 Iowa 3 13:39 2nd Qtr Maryland 3 Michigan 3 Final Penn State 14 Illinois 16 Final Indiana 27 6 Ohio State 42 Final 25 Minnesota 28 23 Nebraska 24 Final Northwestern 38 Purdue 14 Final Rutgers 3 11 Michigan State 45