Monday, August 29, 2011
Buckeyes don't name a starting quarterback
By Brian Bennett
Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller? That's been the main question most of the past month for Ohio State.
And the Buckeyes' official depth chart for Saturday's opener against Akron has it listed exactly that way at quarterback: Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller. Both Bauserman, a senior, and Miller, the true freshman, will play against the Zips, and the Buckeyes traditionally try to play two quarterbacks early in the season. But we still don't know who will start, though the smart money remains on the veteran Bauserman getting the first snap.
That wasn't the only interesting thing about the depth chart.
Jordan Hall is listed as the starting tailback, with Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith sharing backup duties. Conspicuously absent is Jaamal Berry, who was dealing with some hamstring issues in preseason camp.
Redshirt freshman Verlon Reed has claimed a starting spot at the 'X' receiver position ahead of Chris Fields, who is backing up Corey "Philly" Brown at the 'Y' position.
The biggest surprise, if you want to call it that, is redshirt freshman Bradley Roby listed as the starter at right cornerback. Talk about a young two-deep there. His backup is true freshman Doran Grant. If you're Akron, don't you have to test those young guys early?
The depth chart illustrates how young Ohio State is at some key positions. Nine starters are either freshmen or sophomores (10, if you count Miller). Four of the top backups on the offensive line are freshmen, while the other is sophomore guard Ivon Blackman. That's a group that can't afford many injuries. Of the 22 players on the defensive two-deep, only six are seniors, and only three of those (Tyler Moeller, Andrew Sweat and Nathan Williams) are starters.
Chalk up the relative lack of experience as another challenge this season for Luke Fickell.