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  • Article On the Ohio State QB Situation

    Buckeyes have three capable of starting, but who will get the nod?
    Sunday, August 28, 2005
    Ken Gordon and Tim May
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


    Troy Smith, from left, Todd Boeckman and Justin Zwick could give Ohio State a winning hand at quarterback.

    Five hundred dollars sure can buy a lot of complications. That’s the amount Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith accepted from a booster in May 2004, leading to his suspension for the Alamo Bowl and the 2005 season opener, Saturday against Miami University.

    Consider what the transaction triggered:

    In Smith’s absence, the all-but-discarded former starter, Justin Zwick, led Ohio State to a 33-7 trouncing of Oklahoma State. Playing with a bum hamstring, Zwick gained respect from his teammates and renewed questions about who should be the starter this season.

    The fact that Smith has sat out some recent practices — he found himself back in coach Jim Tressel’s doghouse for attending a football camp in June without permission — and won’t play Saturday also opened other doors. There’s a buzz among some practice observers that Todd Boeckman, a 21-year-old redshirt freshman, might be game-ready.

    All of this because of $500. Had Smith not taken the money, there likely would be no debate — he would be the clear-cut starter coming off a showcase performance (386 total yards) in a win over Michigan.

    Instead, Tressel has spent much of the preseason fencing with reporters without stating who will start for OSU against Texas on Sept. 10.

    After the team’s jersey scrimmage Aug. 20, Tressel joked about his reasons for having all four quarterbacks, including true freshman Rob Schoenhoft, address the media.

    ‘‘(I) can get a good handle on where they think we are and where we’ve got to go," Tressel said. ‘‘And then I’ll read everything and listen and see how we’re doing."

    But Tressel’s demeanor changed after more quarterback-related questions. Reaching the point of mild annoyance — his emotions never rise to the level of exasperation — Tressel said, ‘‘We know one thing for sure — Troy’s not playing against Miami. That’s the only thing I know for sure."

    Maybe. It could be that Tressel already knows who will start against Texas and sees no reason to announce it until kickoff.

    But it is instructive to review how Tressel has treated the quarterback position in his time in Columbus. He loathes a platoon system, preferring to pick a starter and stick with him unless events force his hand.

    For example, in 2001, Tressel endured criticism for his steadfast backing of Steve Bellisari during a rocky 7-5 season. Bellisari’s legal troubles led to his benching, but he returned to play in the Outback Bowl.

    Two years later, Craig Krenzel fought injuries and inconsistency through the first half of the season, entering the Penn State game with six touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

    When Krenzel went down because of a concussion late in the first half of that game, Scott McMullen rallied the team to a dramatic victory.

    Tressel, though, was not about to change horses in midstream. McMullen threw one pass the following week against Michigan State and played just 14 minutes the rest of the season.

    "Well, I think there’s no question who our starting quarterback is," Tressel said at the time.

    Last season was similar to 2001 in that Tressel stuck with Zwick even as the quarterback and team struggled with backto-back losses to open the Big Ten season. Zwick’s shoulder injury the next week, in a lopsided loss to Iowa, opened the door for Smith, who seized control.

    Discussing why he was staying with Zwick last October, Tressel was asked whether he believed in settling on a starter once the season begins.

    "I don’t know if you could go that far," he said. "But once you see a separation between two people performancewise, until there’s not so much of a separation, you’re set."

    Using that logic, it would appear Tressel will insert Smith into the starting role at first opportunity. After all, he saw a separation last season, at least from a performance perspective.

    But developments could gum up the works. ABC-TV analyst Gary Danielson, a former college and NFL quarterback, summed up the scenarios neatly after watching Ohio State practice last week:

    "There is still going to be a key decision made. What’s going to happen?" Danielson said. "We all assume (Smith) is going to start the Texas game.

    "But what happens if Zwick throws for 350 (yards) the first game? What happens if coming out of the blocks they have four straight three-and-outs (with Smith) against Texas?"

    Danielson said he thinks the Buckeyes could win with Smith, Zwick or Boeckman.

    Players tend to agree. That’s the company line, after all.

    "If we had one exceptional quarterback and three lousy quarterbacks, then that would be a real worry," receiver Anthony Gonzalez said. "But I feel like we have three very talented quarterbacks, so for me, no, it doesn’t bother me at all."

    Offensive lineman Doug Datish just shrugged.

    "You’ve still got to block as hard," he said. "Miss a guy, (it) doesn’t matter who’s in, he’s probably going to get sacked."

    But most people don’t view the situation in such cut-and-dried terms.

    There are politics involved, such as should Tressel reward Smith with the starting spot after his repeated off-field mistakes? Or does Zwick deserve a chance to play with the new spread offense that developed after his injury last season?

    The questions likely will linger until the evening of Sept. 10.

    "It’s complicated," Danielson said. "Believe me, it’s complicated with quarterbacks."
    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

  • #2

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    • #3
      WGAF
      Official 2014-15 Lounge Sponsor of Jori Lehterä
      "He'll Finnish You Off"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by backstop@Aug 29 2005, 09:47 AM

        Northwestern

        Bowl Games:
        2003 Motor City Bowling Green L 24-28
        2000 Alamo Nebraska L 17-66
        1996 Citrus Tennessee L 28-48
        1995 Rose Southern Cal L 32-41
        1948 Rose California W 20-14

        Conference Titles:
        1903 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1926 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1930 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1931 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1936 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1995 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1996 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        2000 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions

        National Championships:
        None

        All Time Record:
        425-585-43 (.424)

        Ohio State

        Bowl Games:
        2004 Capital One Oklahoma State W 33-7
        2003 Fiesta Kansas State W 35-28
        2002 Fiesta Miami FL W 31-24
        2001 Outback South Carolina L 28-31
        2000 Outback South Carolina L 7-24
        1998 Sugar Texas A&M W 24-14
        1997 Sugar Florida State L 14-31
        1996 Rose Arizona State W 20-17
        1995 Citrus Tennessee L 14-20
        1994 Citrus Alabama L 17-24
        1993 Holiday Brigham Young W 28-21
        1992 Citrus Georgia L 14-21
        1991 Hall Of Fame Syracuse L 17-24
        1990 Liberty Air Force L 11-23
        1989 Hall Of Fame Auburn L 14-31
        1986 Cotton Texas A&M W 28-12
        1985 Citrus Brigham Young W 10-7
        1984 Rose Southern Cal L 17-20
        1983 Fiesta Pittsburgh W 28-23
        1982 Holiday Brigham Young W 47-17
        1981 Liberty Navy W 31-28
        1980 Fiesta Penn State L 19-31
        1979 Rose Southern Cal L 16-17
        1978 Gator Clemson L 15-17
        1977 Sugar Alabama L 6-35
        1976 Orange Colorado W 27-10
        1975 Rose UCLA L 10-23
        1974 Rose Southern Cal L 17-18
        1973 Rose Southern Cal W 42-21
        1972 Rose Southern Cal L 17-42
        1970 Rose Stanford L 17-27
        1968 Rose Southern Cal W 27-16
        1957 Rose Oregon W 10-7
        1954 Rose Southern Cal W 20-7
        1949 Rose California W 17-14
        1920 Rose California L 0-28

        Conference Titles:
        1916 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1917 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1920 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1935 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1939 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1942 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1944 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1949 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1954 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1955 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1957 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1961 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1968 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1969 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1970 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1972 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1973 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1974 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1975 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1976 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1977 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1979 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1981 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1984 Big Ten Conference Champions
        1986 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1993 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1996 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        1998 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions
        2002 Big Ten Conference Co-Champions

        National Championships:
        1942
        1954
        1957
        1968
        2002

        All Time Record:
        757-294-53 (.710)
        You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

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        • #5
          1971 Northwestern 14 Ohio State 10
          1972 Ohio State 27 Northwestern 14
          1973 Ohio State 60 Northwestern 0
          1974 Ohio State 55 Northwestern 7
          1977 Ohio State 35 Northwestern 15
          1978 Ohio State 63 Northwestern 20
          1979 Ohio State 16 Northwestern 7
          1980 Ohio State 63 Northwestern 0
          1981 Ohio State 70 Northwestern 6
          1982 Ohio State 40 Northwestern 28
          1983 Ohio State 55 Northwestern 7
          1984 Ohio State 52 Northwestern 3
          1985 Ohio State 35 Northwestern 17
          1986 Ohio State 30 Northwestern 9
          1989 Ohio State 52 Northwestern 27
          1990 Ohio State 48 Northwestern 7
          1991 Ohio State 34 Northwestern 3
          1992 Ohio State 31 Northwestern 7
          1993 Ohio State 51 Northwestern 3
          1994 Ohio State 17 Northwestern 15
          1997 Ohio State 49 Northwestern 6
          1998 Ohio State 36 Northwestern 10
          2001 Ohio State 38 Northwestern 20
          2002 Ohio State 27 Northwestern 16
          2003 Ohio State 20 Northwestern 0
          2004 Northwestern 33 Ohio State 27 (OT)

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          • #6

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            • #7

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              • #8
                How come I can't find any pictures of Woody Hayes punching that kid?

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                • #9
                  A Reggie Germany siting! Finally this thread has a St.Louis twist.

                  The reason I posted this is because I've noticed alot of people seem to be interested in the Ohio State-Texas game, and who plays QB for Ohio State will be a major story going into the game.
                  You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      And Nate, as always, I know I'm holding onto this too long. You just don't understand. We need to cling to anything we can. You'll probably beat us by 50 points this year.

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