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Simplifying the playbook??


Mr. Such and Such
Jul 12, 2004
From today's Columbus Dispatch:

Buckeyes simplify offensive playbook

Friday, October 15, 2004
Tim May and Ken Gordon

With their offense ranked 97 th in the country this week, the Ohio State coaches got out their scissors and commenced trimming down the playbook.

"One of the things we had to do as a staff was evaluate the whole situation and say, ‘What can we do at this time?’ " receivers coach Darrell Hazell said after practice yesterday. "When the guys get a little bit older in week seven or week eight, maybe give them a little bit more to work with, but right now we just needed to back off a little, do fewer things, and try to get better that way."

Along with sophomore quarterback Justin Zwick, there are six other first-year starters on the offense. Their inexperience has shown glaringly at times as the Buckeyes — 3-2 overall, but 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1992 — have searched for something that works consistently.

Hawk on the list

Junior linebacker A.J. Hawk made the first big cut in the competition for the Butkus Award, joining 11 other semifinalists announced yesterday by the Orlando Downtown Athletic Club, the award’s sponsor.

His competitors are Michael Boley of Southern Mississippi, Ahmad Brooks of Virginia, Kevin Burnett of Tennessee, Channing Crowder of Florida, Matt Grootegoed of Southern California, Spencer Havner of UCLA, Derrick Johnson of Texas, Lance Mitchell of Oklahoma, Kirk Morrison of San Diego State, Odell Thurman of Georgia and Leon Williams of Miami.

Hawk leads the Big Ten in tackles with 64.

Starters apparently ready

It was a week ago that coaches received the final word on middle linebacker Mike D’Andrea needing season-ending knee surgery. Yet nothing was announced until just before game time with Wisconsin.

Linebackers coach Luke Fickell said the starting lineup appears to be healthy going into Iowa. The only question is whether senior cornerback and co-captain Dustin Fox will start. He is expected to play, though, as he returns from a three-game break to let the broken bone in his lower left arm heal.

Tate impressions

Two players remember seeing Iowa quarterback Drew Tate when he was a record-setting high-school phenom in Baytown, Texas.

Linebacker Anthony Schlegel is from Highland Park, Texas, and said his father and Tate’s father are good friends.

Cornerback Ashton Youboty of Klein, Texas, said he competed against Tate in several seven-on-seven summer tournaments.

"He was good, he lived up to his hype," Youboty said.

Tate is a sophomore who played sparingly last season. He is not particularly big (6 feet, 185 pounds) but owns a strong arm and is mobile.

He has completed 65.6 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and six interceptions. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency.

"He’s an exciting young guy," coach Jim Tressel said. "Each game you can see him getting better. A lot of movement. He’s a guy you better contain. He keeps the play alive."

Tate is Iowa’s fifth straight first-year starting quarterback, following Scott Mullen (2000), Kyle McCann (2001), Brad Banks (2002) and Nathan Chandler.