Record resolutions: Goal for returning Roby
January, 14, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.
CAREER INTERCEPTION RETURNS FOR TOUCHDOWNS
CAREER INTERCEPTION RETURNS FOR TOUCHDOWNS
- Who owns it: There's a tie at the top between seven players, but Malcolm Jenkins was the last Ohio State defender to turn a couple interceptions into touchdowns. Nobody has ever done it three times for the Buckeyes, despite the long list of productive, elite defensive backs who have come through the program. There's a cornerback still on the roster who has made it well known he wants to be included on that conversation, and he's halfway to tying Jenkins and Co.[+] EnlargeAndrew Weber/US PresswireCornerback Bradley Roby is returning to OSU for his junior season with an eye on turning some of his pass breakups into interceptions.
- Who wants it: Bradley Roby isn't really returning to set records, but he certainly had an eye on his legacy when he decided to return for his redshirt junior campaign after flirting with the idea of leaving for the NFL draft. The dynamic playmaker turned in one of the best coverage seasons in the country in helping the Buckeyes go undefeated, but he can still boost his professional stock. He hasn't yet had a chance to play for the championship he craves and will be a hungry player heading into the offseason.
- Relevant number: If the discussion included fumble returns or trips to the end zone, Roby's knack for putting points on the board from multiple spots on the field already makes him one of the most versatile scorers the Buckeyes have had in a while. Along with his interception return against Nebraska that leaves him just one short of tying that career mark for Ohio State. As a sophomore Roby tacked on two more touchdowns on special teams -- pouncing on an errant snap for a score and recovering a blocked punt for another.
- Offseason checklist: Urban Meyer threw down the challenge for Roby to compete on every snap and fight off complacency during training camp last season, and he answered the bell by making a point to establish his dominance regardless of any perceived talent disparity throughout the year. The next step is continuing to improve technically and building himself into a more consistent fundamental player in coverage. Roby's athleticism allows for him to erase most of his mistakes, using his incredible accelerating and closing speed to disrupt passes even on the rare occasion he gets beat. But if he cuts down on just that relatively small number, all those breakups he racked up last season could turn into picks.
- Attainable goal: Opponents couldn't just avoid Roby last season with Travis Howard raising his level of play and making either side of the field dangerous for quarterbacks, and part of the formula for Roby to tie or break the scoring record will depend on the amount of chances he gets to make a play on the football. One thing he can control, though, is making sure he stays focused as a student of the game, searching out tendencies and weaknesses of both the receivers and passers he'll face each week -- something he's already done, with the results to prove it against Nebraska last year.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31 Final Nebraska 42 24 USC 45
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State