Another week, another daunting Big Ten road game. Last week, Ohio State traveled to Wisconsin, home of the eighth-ranked Badgers and 81,000 fans doing the “Jump Around.” This week, it’s Penn State and a frenzied “White Out” crowd of 107,000 at Beaver Stadium.
No sooner had starting quarterback Ricky Davis returned to the Youngstown State lineup after a knee injury, there was another tremor when a former assistant asking anonymity said that coach Bo Pelini had interest in the vacant Purdue job.
Earle Bruce’s fifth Ohio State team was like his second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh in that would end the season 9-3. But getting to that mark was all the fun, at least until the process got tedious and predictable.
The San Francisco 49ers have stumbled to a 1-5 start to the season and now could be without their lone consistent offensive contributor for Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Niners head coach Chip Kelly said on Wednesday that it would be “a stretch” for running back Carlos Hyde to play on Sunday versus the Bucs, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Unlike Penn State, I have never fallen off a horse, but I imagine it leaves a mark. I would ask Ohio State how it feels, but the Buckeyes are almost as clueless on the topic. This much we know: The Nittany Lions, who play Ohio State on Saturday night, once sat high in the saddle until the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal rocked the program. But the comeback has been like watching Charles Barkley trying improve at golf.
When Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith couldn’t be located Wednesday morning for a teleconference, a little gallows humor was in order. Given how injuries have affected the position at “Linebacker U.,” it was only fair to wonder whether a malady had claimed the services of one of the few Nittany Lions left standing.
The one constant in Minnesota football over the past four years has been physical quarterback Mitch Leidner, who has made 34 starts in 40 career games. But Leidner missed the Golden Gophers’ game last week at Maryland after suffering a concussion the week before in a loss to Iowa, and his status for Saturday’s game against Rutgers was up in the air as the week progressed.
Days later, Tyquan Lewis still had trouble summing up the feeling. Never before had the defensive end had a game-clinching sack, let alone one that capped such an emotional victory like Ohio State had against Wisconsin last Saturday.
Each week during Ohio State’s football season, members of The Dispatch sports staff predict the outcome of the Buckeyes’ game, along with nine other top matchups across the country.
Jamar Martin played fullback at Ohio State before it became a nearly extinct position. The bulky running back — 5 feet 11, 245 pounds — rushed for 92 yards on 30 carries and caught 13 passes when he wasn’t blocking for tailbacks Jonathan Wells, Derek Combs and Michael Wiley. Martin was a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2002 NFL draft.