Schi­ano fi xes de­fense in per­son

The Columbus Dispatch - - Ohio State/ Army - By Tim May tmay@dis­ @TIM_MAYs­ports

Just af­ter Army marched 99 yards to its only touch­down Satur­day, Ohio State de­fend­ers re­ported there was no panic within the ranks.

There was a sense of ur­gency in the sec­ond quar­ter to cor­rect some things, though, and it was sup­plied by the pres­ence of a new en­tity on the side­line, de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Schi­ano.

“He brings a lot of juice and en­ergy to the de­fense, and we love it,” de­fen­sive tackle Tracy Sprin­kle said.

One thing Schi­ano did im­me­di­ately af­ter that drive was tighten some bolts, es­pe­cially in the way the Buck­eyes were play­ing on the in­side. It went a long way to­ward turn­ing a close game early into a 38-7 win.

Full­back Dar­nell Wool­folk had been a ma­jor fac­tor on that long drive, which wound up ac­count­ing for two-thirds of Army’s 273 to­tal yards. But once the Buck­eyes neu­tral­ized that threat, the Black Knights couldn’t sus­tain things on the wings with their triple-op­tion of­fense.

De­fen­sive end Sam Hub­bard said Schi­ano’s in­put was key, and not just on the side­line but in what he con­veyed in get­ting the de­fense ready dur­ing the week.

“I know for this game it was great hav­ing him down there be­cause (while coach at Rut­gers) he’s played Army, Navy or Air Force like 15 times,” Hub­bard said. “He’s had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence (against the triple op­tion) and just knows what they’re go­ing to do. Hav­ing him able to talk to us in per­son was re­ally help­ful.”

The scheme was part of the se­cret, too. Ohio State de­ployed most of the game in a de­fense that fea­tured four line­men to han­dle the gaps in­side, two lineback­ers to key on quar­ter­back Ah­mad Brad­shaw and Wool­folk, and five de­fen­sive backs — usu­ally three safeties in Da­mon Webb, Jor­dan Fuller and Erick Smith — to han­dle the edges and the oc­ca­sional pass but also creep up and play as lineback­ers, too.

“It was the ul­ti­mate as­sign­ment foot­ball,” Webb said. “Ev­ery­body just played un­selfish and read their keys.”

What also turned out to be key was the play of red­shirt fresh­man line­backer Tuf Bor­land. He en­tered for the first time near the end of Army’s 99-yard drive when starter Chris Wor­ley suf­fered what coach Ur­ban Meyer said was a foot in­jury af­ter a le­gal cut block. Bor­land played the rest of the game, usu­ally flanked by Jerome Baker.

“Tuf played fan­tas­tic,” Meyer said.

He led the Buck­eyes with 12 tack­les, in­clud­ing one for loss.

“I knew Wor­ley and 'Bake' were go­ing to play some, and I knew I was go­ing to be ro­tat­ing in, but I didn’t know my role was go­ing to be to that ex­tent,” Bor­land said. “But I’m just thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to help us get another win.”


Line­backer Tuf Bor­land came in to re­lieve the in­jured Chris Wor­ley and reg­is­tered 12 tack­les for the Buck­eyes, in­clud­ing this one of Army backup quar­ter­back Luke Lang­don.

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