Brewster: Offense “Nowhere Close” to Where it Will Be
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Eyeing a chance to get in the end zone for the first time during Saturday’s scrimmage at Ohio Stadium, the coaches sent freshman quarterback Braxton Miller back on to the field for a fourth-and-inches try in the red zone.
For the second straight play, Miller kept it up the middle between center Michael Brewster and right guard Corey Linsley. Again, he was stuffed by defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Garrett Goebel for no gain as the Ohio State defense forced a turnover on downs.
That was the story of the day for the Buckeyes offensively. They settled for a mere three field goals on 17 possessions during Saturday’s jersey scrimmage.
Filling in for Terrelle Pryor, the four OSU quarterbacks combined for just eight completions on 21 attempts The incompletions included a number of drops by the young receivers vying for time behind DeVier Posey. They had four turnovers and six series that ended on downs, but senior Michael Brewster said it is not time to worry.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“It’s nowhere close to what it’s going to be next year,” Brewster said after the offense failed to score a touchdown Saturday.
“You’ve got guys playing everywhere. You’ve got 8-10 linemen just trying to mix it up just to get guys out on the field. And then TP’s not getting any reps right now.”
Pryor looked good jogging around on the field in shoulder pads and sweats, but the offense didn’t seem to look the same without him. The only touchdown of the day came on a 97-yard kick return by tailback Jaamal Berry.
“I wouldn’t say today is going to dictate anything in the future,” Brewster said.
“You always want to get in the end zone and today wasn’t that pretty, but we had a great week of practice and today just wasn’t that great. I’d say out of 10 practices, I’d say nine have been really good and today was really so-so.”
The offense certainly could have used Pryor’s experience and mobility, but they will have to learn to play without it. Not only is Pryor out for the rest of spring practice, but he will miss the first five games of the season along with Posey, Mike Adams and Boom Herron.
Head Coach Jim Tressel was hoping to have one of the other four quarterbacks emerge this spring, but the competition to replace Pryor at the most important position on the field is still a work in progress for the Buckeyes.
“Sometimes it’s hard, especially going under (center),” Brewster said of working with four different players.
“You’re not used to all the quarterbacks, but I think they’re all doing a good job.”
It wasn’t a terrible day for any of the four considering the dropped passes, two of which led to interceptions by cornerback Bradley Roby. Kenny Guiton threw the first one on a pass that hit Philly Brown in the hands and Joe Bauserman also had one picked on a pass that hit Jaamal Berry in the chest.
It also didn’t help that Ohio State’s offensive line had issues picking up what the defense was throwing at them.
“It’s hard when there are guys in there who aren’t really sure what they’re doing and have guys in their face right away, which adds problems for the quarterbacks,” said Brewster, an All-American center last season.
“I think they’re doing a good job handling it, maybe scrambling away and looking down field.”
They tried that a few times Saturday, but Guiton was chased down from behind by John Simon, who beat Andrew Norwell before he stripped the ball away from Guiton. Norwell played well considering he saw reps at right tackle, left tackle and left guard, but the offense didn’t leave Saturday’s scrimmage with a great taste in their mouths.
“That’s not really what you want, but you just have to take a look at the film and see what happened and go from there,” Brewster concluded.
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