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CFB Position Battles Pt 1

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by jwinslow, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. jwinslow

    jwinslow A MAN OF BETRAYED JUSTICE Staff Member Tourney Pick'em Champ

    Gosh I love CFB News... they have better analysis than any other major sports network combined
  2. dman010101

    dman010101 Newbie

    You gotta love this
  3. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Here's part 2, including reasonable comments about the RB spot at tOSU:

    Battleground Ohio State:Columbus, Ohio
    Position: Running back
    Combatants: Erik Haw, Antonio Pittman and Maurice Wells
    Early Edge: Pittman
    Things just haven’t been the same at Running Back U. since Maurice Clarett last carried the ball in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall weren’t up to the Buckeyes’ usual standards, leaving a trio of underclassmen to raise the bar, and give the offense a threat in the running game. Pittman showed flashes last fall, running for 389 yards, while Haw used his redshirt year. Wells will join the mix in the summer. All three are speed backs, none of whom can be leaned on to move piles. Whether one player emerges as the feature back or a committee is necessary, someone needs to step up this month if Ohio State is to fulfill lofty expectations in 2005.

    Battleground Florida State:Tallahassee, Fla.
    Position: Offensive line
    Combatants: Dumaka Atkins, Geoff Berniard, David Castillo, Jacky Claude, John Frady, Mario Henderson, Cornelius Lewis, Ron Lunford, Matt Meinrod, Cory Niblock and David Overmyer
    Early Edge: Castillo, Frady, Meinrod, Niblock and Overmyer
    The graduations of Alex Barron, Ray Willis and Bobby Meeks will force line coach Mark McHale to shuffle like a croupier in the first year at Florida State. Frady has moved from center to guard, a more natural position for the sophomore. His chief competition is Lewis, who’s green, but has unmistakable talent. Niblock could be switched from guard to left tackle if Henderson doesn’t have the feet to protect the quarterback’s backside. Atkins has impressed, and will back up two-year starting center Castillo, who’s recovering from finger surgery. Meinrod returns from a season-ending knee injury to his starting right guard spot, but will be held out of contact drills. Overmyer used a solid effort in the Gator Bowl, his only career start, to take the lead at right tackle.

    Battleground Oklahoma:Norman, Okla.
    Position: Offensive line
    Combatants: Branndon Braxton, Chris Bush, Kelvin Chaisson, Chris Chester, Davin Joseph, Chris Messner, Akim Millington, J.D. Quinn, Brett Rayl and Cameron Schacht
    Early Edge: Bush, Chaisson, Joseph, Millington and Rayl All eyes will be fixated on the quarterback competition in Norman, but there’ll be some intense sparring in the trenches as well. All-Americans Jammal Brown and Vince Carter, and starting tackle Wes Sims are preparing for life in the NFL, leaving Joseph, Bush and Chaisson as the gray beards. Joseph is one of the nation’s top guards, but will likely fill a void at left tackle in 2005. Chaisson and Bush split time at guard last year, but one could shift to center to replace Carter, while the other holds down the fort at left guard. After playing the role of understudy last year, Millington is poised to step out of Brown’s shadow, and win the right tackle job. Right guard is completely up for grabs, with up-and-coming Rayl holding a slight edge over Quinn and Chester

    Battleground Georgia:Athens, Ga.
    Position: Running back
    Combatants: Thomas Brown, Tyson Browning, Kregg Lumpkin, Tony Milton and Danny Ware
    Early Edge: Ware
    Mark Richt has the kind of problem every coach would welcome—an embarrassment of riches at one position. It’s taken a couple of years to restock the cupboard since Musa Smith left Athens early, but theDawgs are young and loaded at running back for the next few seasons. Ware and Brown combined to run for more than 1,600 yards and 12 touchdowns as true freshmen after projected starter Lumpkin tore his ACL before last year began. Ware and Lumpkin are built more like every down backs than Brown, but both lost time to injury in 2004, and Brown is too dynamic to keep on the sidelines. In fact, Richt may tinker with two-back sets much the way Al Borges did with Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams last season. Milton and Browning are veterans, who’d be in the rotation on many other campuses. The team’s depth prompted Michael Cooper, the leading rusher from 2003, to seek a transfer to a I-AA program.

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    Battleground Penn State:State College, Penn.
    Position: Quarterback
    Combatants: Anthony Morelli and Michael Robinson
    Early Edge: Robinson Penn State needs better play under center like Major League Baseball needs an image consultant. It’s been a decade since Kerry Collins was in Happy Valley, and the Lions had a quarterback that didn’t resemble an Atlantic 10 starter. The defense will be terrific, but if the program is to dig out of its five-year funk, the offense has to begin making contributions. The two candidates to replace Zack Mills couldn’t be in more opposite stages of their careers. Robinson, who’s been a jack-of-all-trades and patient caddy to Mills, is a fifth-year senior. Morelli, who was the gem of last year’s recruiting class, is already being thrust into the role of young savior. Public opinion overwhelmingly favors the sophomore, but JoePa’s never been one to buckle to the media or fans, meaning the Morelli era may not fully take flight until 2006.

    Battleground South Carolina:Columbia, SC
    Position: Quarterback
    Combatants: Antonio Hefner, Blake Mitchell and Mike Rathe
    Early Edge: Mitchell
    Steve Spurrier vows to adapt to the talent he’s inherited at South Carolina, but that doesn’t mean he won’t open up the offense, or that his new quarterbacks aren’t geeked he’s in town. Mitchell began the spring No. 1, and it’s clearly his job to lose. The sophomore was an Elite 11 quarterback in high school, but the knock on him has been that he doesn’t spend enough time in the weight room, class room or film room. With an opportunity to run this offense, however, the word around Columbia is that Mitchell was a reformed man in the off-season. Rathe is the wild card, but if he loses his appeal to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility, Hefner, who’s a better fit for Lou Holtz’s offense, Brett Nichols or one of the two touted incoming freshmen could elevate a rung.

    Battleground Texas TechLubbock, Tex.
    Position: Quarterback
    Combatants: Phillip Daugherty, Graham Harrell and Cody Hodges
    Early Edge: Hodges
    For the third consecutive year, Mike Leach will hold an audition to determine his starting quarterback. And for the third straight spring, anyone interested in seeing one of this year’s most prolific passers ought to pay special attention to Lubbock. Sonny Cumbie’s gone, but he was just a one-year fix until the underclassmen matured. He was the least talented of Leach’s three starters at Tech, and is a replaceable part. Hodges, a senior and the No. 2 last year, brings experience and, like B.J. Symons and Kliff Kingsbury before him, a keen knowledge of the system. Daugherty has the strongest arm of the three. However, it’s the baby of the bunch, redshirt freshman Harrell, who’s considered by many the favorite. He’s extremely accurate with his throws, and ready beyond his age, courtesy of running a spread offense in high school very similar to Tech’s. If Harrell wins the job, he could own every NCAA career passing mark by 2008.

    Battleground Alabama:Tuscaloosa, Ala.
    Position: Offensive line
    Combatants: Antoine Caldwell, Chris Capps, J.B. Closner, Cody Davis, Justin Moon, Mark Sanders, B.J. Stabler and Kyle Tatum
    Early Edge: Caldwell, Stabler and Capps The Tide is loaded with talent on defense, and questions on offense. The backfield resembles an infirmary and the unit that’ll block for them must replace three starters with more than 100 career starts between them. Gone are future NFL linemen Wes Britt, Evan Mathis and Danny Martz, and in their place steps a menagerie of young hopefuls looking to solve ‘Bama’s biggest off-season concern. Right tackle Tatum and center Closner are returning starters, and Caldwell appears to have solidified himself at left guard. The fiercest battles are taking place at left tackle, where neither Capps nor Davis have pulled away, and right guard, where a knee injury to Stabler gave Sanders and Moon additional reps this spring.

    Battleground Wisconsin:Madison, Wis.
    Position: Running back
    Combatants: Brian Calhoun, Booker Stanley and Jamil Walker
    Early Edge: CalhounWisconsin produces 1,000-yard rushers about as regularly as Travolta churns out wickedly overrated films. And while the offense has gotten more diverse recently, the running game will continue to be the focal point. Although Anthony Davis leaves as the No. 2 rusher in school history, the backfield will not be bare in Madison. Calhoun and Stanley combined to run for 1,333 yards in emergency roles two years ago, the former at Colorado and the latter when AD sat out five games with an ankle injury. Stanley began spring atop the depth chart, but Calhoun, who grew up just 90 miles from campus, is far more explosive and versatile. Walker, the biggest of the three, got 26 touches as a true freshman last year.
  4. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun ‘18 Fantasy Baseball Champ

    Not directly related to OSU but from practice reports I have been hearing down here those 3 QB's duking it out at FSU all suck ass so far. Breaks my heart. :wink2:
  5. LightningRod

    LightningRod Senior

    Will this season's offense resemble the NE Pats - the passing game will open up the run game?
  6. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun ‘18 Fantasy Baseball Champ

    I think we've already seen that. The best line I've heard from JT so far is that (paraphrase) "last year we didn't go into the season knowing who we were, this year we know"

    I look for more and more of what we saw down the stretch last year, spread teams out make them defend all our speed out in space and still hit them with a power run.

    If you look at the scUM game, the big catch by TG2 that set up the late 1st half field goal was out of the double TE power I. IIRC the runs by Joe coming off the goal line were 2 back but more of a spread look. The things you can do to people out of these sets are infinite.

    I know I probably post about it too much but I'm a big believer in the concept of what Rich Rodriguez and his disciples brought to college football. Spread teams out to open the run and minimize their talent advantage. Its the same principle as the option many years ago. And just like we saw with OU back in the day, when a team with big time talent utilizes schemes that the lesser talented teams have to use, the results can be devestating.

    I'm all for spreading teams out and making them defend talent like Ginn, Holmes Gonzales in space while still keeping an eye on a whatever blue chip back and Elite 11 QB that steps up and grabs a starting job. As long as you dont get predictable thats an almost impossible task to defend well for 60 minutes.
  7. wadc45

    wadc45 Bourbon, Bow Ties and Baseball Hats Staff Member BP Recruiting Team

    Last time I checked, Erik Haw can move a pile or two...

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