COLUMBUS (AP) — What’s brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: Illinois head coach Tim Beckman used to be an assistant under Urban Meyer in his first head-coaching job at Bowling Green in 2001-02. They’ll be on opposing sidelines on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
The two have remained good friends over the years. Meyer went on to Utah, Florida and now Ohio State, while Beckman went from the Falcons to a DBs coach under Jim Tressel at Ohio State to defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and then spent three years as the head coach at Toledo before taking over the Illini.
“His roommate in college at the University of Cincinnati, where Urban was a baseball player, is my close, close friend Bill Davis, who is the linebackers coach for the Browns. That’s when we first met,” Beckman said of his longtime relationship with Meyer. “When Urban became a graduate assistant at Ohio State, I was a graduate assistant at Auburn. We used to meet at coaches conventions and stuff like that.”
Beckman said he had the opportunity to go to Utah with Meyer but chose to stay at Bowling Green because of a death in the family.
Meyer said he’ll have no trouble whatsoever going up against a good friend and former co-worker.
“It’s not difficult at all. I love Tim. Tim was on our staff. He’s a great coach, great person,” Meyer said. “I like his dad even more than I like him. I call him the real coach Beckman, but it’s good.”
The Ohio State coach said he speaks to Beckman in the offseason but has not spoken with him recently.
The conversations have dwindled since Meyer, who was an ESPN analyst a year ago, and Beckman took jobs in the same division of the Big Ten.
“I talked to him quite a bit last year when he was on TV,” Beckman said. “But a little bit less of course because we are in the same conference.”
INJURY UPDATE: LB Etienne Sabino (broken leg) is questionable for Saturday.
After weeks of bad news in terms of players being sidelined, there was finally something positive in the wake of Saturday’s 35-23 win at Penn State.
“Our trainer and doctor say we’re as healthy as we’ve been,” Meyer said on Monday.
BIG TEN HONORS: The Big Ten announced its players of the week on Monday, and a Buckeye was among the honorees.
Northwestern’s Kain Colter (ran 26/166, 3 TDS; passed for 80 and a TD) in a 28-17 win over Iowa; sharing the defensive award were Minnesota DB Michael Carter (six PBU, pick six) in a 44-28 win over Purdue; Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier (17-yard pick six, 8 tackles, 2 sacks) in a 35-23 win over Penn State; and Nebraska P/K Brett Maher (3 FGs, 2 PATs, 42.3 yards per punt) in a 23-9 victory over Michigan.
THREE ON A LIST: A trio of Buckeyes has been named to watch lists for national awards.
Junior DT Johnathan Hankins has been selected as one of 16 semifinalists for the 18th Chuck Bednarik Award for the outstanding defensive player of the year. Sophomore QB Braxton Miller is one of 16 semifinalists for the 76th Maxwell Award, presented to the top player in college football. CB Bradley Roby is among 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
Hankins ranks third among Buckeyes with 46 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. He also blocked a field goal against Purdue. He tied his career high with six solo tackles against the Boilermakers, and earlier this year against UAB he tied his personal best with 10 total tackles.
Miller has led the Buckeyes to a 9-0 record and a No. 6 national ranking by averaging 291.1 yards of offense per game (the school single season record is 270.6 by Joe Germaine in 1998) to rank 21st nationally. Miller leads the Big Ten and ranks 11th nationally with 121.4 rushing yards per game. He has completed 112 of 198 passes for 1,527 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Miller is only the third quarterback in Big Ten history to top 1,000 yards rushing for a season. His 1,093 yards rushing includes six 100-yard games and a career-best 186-yard effort vs. Nebraska. Additionally: Miller has tied the school record with five games this season of 300 or more yards of total offense (Germaine, 1998), and he ranks third with eight games of at least 200 yards of total offense (Bobby Hoying, 11 in 1995).
Ohio State has had four previous Maxwell Award winners: Howard Cassady (1955), Bob Ferguson (1961), Archie Griffin (1975) and Eddie George (1995).
Roby is one of only two sophomores on the list of Thorpe semifinalists and the only one from the Big Ten. He leads the nation with 18 passes defended, a total that includes a nation’s-best 16 pass breakups and two interceptions.
The winners of all three awards will be announced on Dec. 6. The list in each case will be narrowed to three finalists on Nov. 19.
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