College Football: Maryland at Ohio State preview

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:24 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:31 AM

            Ohio State sings “Carmen Ohio” after a victory against UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Ohio State sings “Carmen Ohio” after a victory against UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Who: Maryland (3-1, 1-0) at No. 10 Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio.

TV/Radio: FOX/1410

Series history: Ohio State leads 3-0. The Buckeyes won 62-3 last season in College Park, Md. They won the only previous meeting at Ohio Stadium 49-28 in 2015.

RELATED: Freshman contributions; True tests ahead; Mike Weber

Last game: Ohio State beat Rutgers 56-0; Maryland won 31-24 at Minnesota.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is 65-7 in his sixth season. Maryland’s D.J. Durkin is 9-8 in his second season.

Ohio State notes: J.T. Barrett passed Art Schlichter to become Ohio State’s career leader in passing yards leader last week. The senior has 7,622 yards. … Barrett ranks in the top 20 nationally in touchdown passes (sixth, 13), passing efficiency (13th, 165.6), total offense (22nd, 300.8) and yards per pass (22nd, 8.74). He currently owns or shares 27 Ohio State or Big Ten records…. The Buckeyes are coming off back-to-back 600-yard efforts on offense and preparing to face a Maryland team allowing 379.8 yards per game (67th nationally)… Backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins, starting right tackle Isaiah Prince, reserve linebacker Keandre Jones and reserve defensive end Chase Young are Maryland natives… Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa had the same position at Maryland in 2014 and ’15… Ohio State leads the Big Ten in passing yards (323.8 per game), rushing yards (241.0) and scoring (42.6 ppg.)

Maryland notes: Max Bortenschlager is the Terrapins’ third starting quarterback this season. Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill were lost to season-ending injuries in the first month of the season… The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Bortenschlager is a sophomore from Indianapolis Cathedral, the same high school that produced Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin and Pete Werner… No Terrapins are from Ohio… Maryland receiver D.J. Moore leads the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (5), receiving yards (403), receiving yards per game (100.8) and receptions per game (7.5)… Running back Ty Johnson is also a threat, having rushed for 738 yards in his last six games dating back to the end of last season.

Quoted: Meyer on Durkin, who worked for him at Bowling Green and Florida: “He was an impact coach. I think of all the guys I’ve had he’s one of the top two or three I’ve ever had on our staff… I just got done watching special teams, and it’s a typical, extremely well-coached team, where the guys go as hard as they possibly can. So I’m not surprised, but he’s one of my favorite coaches we’ve ever had and one of the best coaches.”

Next game: Ohio State plays at Nebraska at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Lincoln. Maryland plays at Northwestern at 3:30 p.m.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Rutgers 17.

Status of Oregon’s Royce Freeman, Tyrell Crosby uncertain for Las Vegas Bowl

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:32 AM

Oregon experienced a healthy rebound when sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert returned in the final quarter of the season. The Ducks might not be able to say the same about 2 key seniors ahead of their appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Running back Royce Freeman and tackle Tyrell Crosby have yet to decide whether they’ll participate in the game, which kicks off on Saturday. As part of a recent, growing trend in college football, each is hesitant to play and risk injury, which could detrimentally affect their NFL draft stock.

Both practiced fully on Wednesday, according to 247Sports’ Matt Prehm.

New Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said he’ll talk with each of the seniors in the next 24 to 48 hours to come to a firm decision on their participation.

“We will be having more extensive discussions sometime tonight or tomorrow,” Cristobal said, via Prehm. “The advice is always honesty.”

Herbert understandably would prefer to have them play.

“Those two are about as good of players as they get,” Herbert said. “We could definitely use them.”

Crosby is ranked as the draft’s 6th-best tackle, according to CBS Sports. In the same rankings, Freeman is also 6th in his position group. It makes sense that the 2 Ducks would want to seriously consider their future, especially since the Las Vegas Bowl is essentially a postseason exhibition.

But Crosby and Freeman might also want 1 last go-around with their fellow Ducks.

They’ll face some unavoidable physical risk in the months ahead as part of the pre-draft process. Both have accepted invitations to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and they’ll also have to go through their Pro Day and NFL scouting combine workouts. Washington defensive back Sidney Jones saw his future significantly altered when he suffered an Achilles injury during his Pro Day workout last spring. Jones ended up being selected in the 2nd round of the draft, but has yet to play a down in the NFL.

How interesting the Las Vegas Bowl could be will depend at least somewhat on their decisions. Stay tuned.

Lovie Smith: Hurdles Herm Edwards faces at Arizona State are inflated

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:27 AM

Lovie Smith is already doing what Herm Edwards has set out to accomplish at Arizona State — sort of.

The fellow former NFL head coach is leading an attempted turnaround of the University of Illinois’ football program. He’s 2 seasons into it, and has just 5 wins to show for it.

But even as his record struggles to rebound in the union’s early stages, Smith was quick to defend Edwards, whose hiring has already drawn skepticism. Edwards hasn’t coached in college since George H.W. Bush was in the White House. Can he recruit? Is he hip to today’s college game?

There are some who think the answer to each of those questions is a resounding “no.” Nonsense, Smith says.

“When I came back people said, ‘Well, you haven’t recruited in 40 years or whatever,’ ” Smith said, via azcentral sports’ Doug Haller. “Well, what is recruiting? I mean, you go into a home and you have a product that you’re selling, that you believe in. That’s what parents want to know. They want to trust someone with their sons to help them grow as a man, as a player. You don’t forget doing that. It’s just like riding a bike. You may not have ridden it in a while, but you don’t forget how to do it.”

Smith continued, explaining how use of the quarterback is different between the college and pro game, and how rosters are larger thanks to 85 scholarships, as opposed to the NFL’s 53-man limit.

Of course, Smith has history with Edwards, which also helps explain why he’d come to the defense of his former colleague. The two worked together under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay from 1996-2000.

“A great coach, great man, great leader, the ideal person to lead the program,” Smith said of Edwards. “Herm has an expertise. He played the game at a high level. He’s coached the game at a high level. He knows the game of football. But there’s more to being a head coach. And that’s where Herm will get high marks, too.”

If there’s one person who’d know what the coach is getting into and who the coach is who’s doing it, it’s Smith. We’ll wait to see if Edwards proves him correct.

LSU hiring Chargers assistant coach James Cregg for offensive line

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:21 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. — You can’t claim that LSU coach Ed Orgeron is unprepared.

Less than an hour after news broke that Tigers offensive line coach Jeff Grimes was leaving to fill the offensive coordinator role at Brigham Young, news leaked that his replacement had already been found.

SEC Country confirmed through an LSU source that Los Angeles Chargers assistant offensive line coach James Cregg is heading to Baton Rouge to coach the LSU offensive line. The news was originally reported by Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.

Cregg is in his first season with the Chargers after spending three seasons in the same role with the Denver Broncos. He was on the Broncos’ staff when they won Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

Cregg has a well-established history with Orgeron. The duo went head-to-head in practice on a daily basis from 2009-13. Cregg and Orgeron served under Lane Kiffin at Tennessee in 2009, then left with him for USC, where they coached from 2010-13. Orgeron was the defensive line coach at both schools while Cregg served as offensive line coach.

Cregg was hired by the Broncos after Orgeron did not earn the full-time head coaching job at USC after the 2013 season. Cregg has also served as an assistant coach for Idaho, Colgate and the Oakland Raiders.

Cregg is a native of Syracuse, N.Y. who played at Colorado State. He was a freshman on the CSU team that beat the Tigers in 1992.

Grimes is expected to remain on the LSU coaching staff through the Citrus Bowl. It is unclear when Cregg will arrive at LSU with the Chargers remaining in the thick of the AFC West divisional race.

LSU already has commitments from four Class of 2018 offensive linemen recruited by Grimes. The nation’s top-rated junior college tackle, Badara Traore, top-rated Louisiana offensive lineman Cameron Wire, Under Armour All-American center Cole Smith and JUCO guard Damien Lewis are all expected to remain with the Tigers.

Dayton Flyers legend Donoher honored by USBWA with Dean Smith Award

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:23 PM

400 people come out to honor for Flyers Head Coach for award from U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

For a guy who loves to steer clear of the spotlight, Don Donoher couldn’t avoid it Wednesday night. More than 400 people came out to celebrate the Dayton Flyers Hall of Fame coach as he was honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association with the Dean Smith Award.

“It’s a real tribute to not an individual but the university,” Donoher said. “We have a lot of players here and former coaches and I’m just blown away by the size of the crowd.”

»ARCHDEACON: Dean Smith Award says it all about Donoher

Donoher is only the third coach to be honored with the Dean Smith award, joining John Thompson Sr. of Georgetown and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.

More than 30 of Donoher’s former players were among the crowd, including current Flyers head coach Anthony Grant who joins his mentor as the only other player to also become the Dayton head coach.

Former Dayton Flyers coach Don Donoher received the Dean Smith Award on Wednesday night from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Seth Davis (left) presented Donoher with the award. Mike Hartsock/STAFF(WHIO TV)

“I think all of us that had a chance to play for coach know where his heart is,” Grant said. “We know who he is as a man, who he was as a coach, and what he stands for. All that stuff stays with you for the rest of your life.”

Veteran sportswriter Seth Davis served as master of ceremonies for the event at the university’s River Campus. Also a college basketball analyst for CBS Sports, Davis said that Donoher’s selection was an obvious choice.

“The values that Dean Smith represented and embodied, and lived through his actions and not his words, that’s coach Donoher,” Davis said. “Humble, gracious, intelligent, class…he served the game of basketball and that’s what we are honoring tonight.”