By Jim Baird | AM Football Briefing | Saturday, October 1
THE RETURN OF CHRIS ASH: Chris Ash is back. After serving as co-defensive coordinator for two season at Ohio State, and instituting a defensive scheme that helped lock in Ohio State’s 2014 national championship, Ash returns as head coach of the Scarlet Knights. His work at OSU should not be overlooked. Before Ash arrived, the defense ranked No. 46 in the nation and got lit up in the secondary in losses to Michigan State and Clemson to end 2013. Under Ash’s command, the defense ranked No. 19 in the nation in 2014, and No. 9 in 2015.
Now, Ash’s challenge is to turn around a Rutgers program that finished 4-8 a year ago, with an awful 1-7 Big 10 record. He’s already made serious progress defensively. Last season, Rutgers defense ranked 111th in the country— this year they sit at No. 45. That’s a big step up. Though, it’s not a surprising one because Ash is a heck of a football coach. PREDICTION: Rutgers will be game for this one, and it means an extra something to Ash, but it won’t be close. Ohio State starts fast and the starters are sitting in the third quarter. The defense notches it’s first shutout too: 45-0.
INJURY REPORT: Ohio State’s offensive line depth took a hit as backup offensive guard Demetrius Knox is out for 8 weeks with a foot injury. DJ Byrnes with the story.
Happy gameday Saturday. It’s Homecoming and the Big 10 opener in the Shoe. I’m reporting from Solly’s in Washington, DC where many Buckeyes will be participating in Homecoming in spirit (and with spirits). Thanks for clicking on The Buckeye Daily — the Ohio State morning football briefing the press, program and fans read, edited by Sporting News college football contributor Jim Baird. Know someone who would appreciate this e-mail? Sign up here or send me a line firstname.lastname@example.org. And join the squad following on Twitter @buckeyedaily.
1) Never, ever get married during an Ohio State game, Brooke Sprow, ESPNw – September 30
2) Defense emphasizes turnovers, to great effect, Tim May, Columbus Dispatch – September 30
3) Chris Ash had inside look at Buckeyes’ young talent, Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch – September 30
4) The Ohio State offense should find big plays against the Rutgers defense, Chad Peltier, Land-Grant Holy Land – September 30
5) Earle Bruce dotting ‘i’ is fitting honor for still-intense former coach,
Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch – September 30
6) Noah Brown stays low-key, well-grounded, Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch – September 30