BIG 10 Preview by Trevor Griswold

By Trevor Griswold – (@tgriswold1)

Welcome to the Full 10 Yards BIG 10 Conference Preview!

There is nothing better than a Big Ten football game in Fall. A blue-grey October sky is the ultimate back drop for college football. Crisp fall air bites at any revealed skin during pre-game festivities. This year every team is vying to knock Ohio State off its pedestal. Will this be the year we get a new Big Ten Champ?

Looking Ahead…

Ohio State has sat comfortably atop the Big Ten standings the last few years. However, with Urban Meyer stepping aside is it time for a new team to rise up and dominate in Indianapolis?

Will a team emerge from the pack in the West? Or will the East continue its stronghold on the conference?

What About 2018?

Last season was a season of continuation. Ohio State continued to dominate the conference, Michigan failed to live up to lofty preseason expectations and the West division failed to live up to its Eastern counterparts. Purdue may have had the game of the season dismantling the Big Ten champ and Northwestern was able to turn their season around after a slow start to win the West. Ohio State and Michigan were the only teams to finish with double digit wins. Whereas, five teams missed bowl eligibility altogether.

Back to Looking Ahead…

So what is going to be different this season. Firstly Ryan “a New” Day takes over the helm of the King’s of the North. As the rest of the conference looks to take advantage of Ohio State’s inexperienced coach, he looks to improve upon the dynasty that Urban Meyer has built. Getting away from the coaches, there are players that are poised for great seasons within the conference. There are four End rushers that quarterbacks will have nightmares about. These four plan to leave a trail of quarterback tears and broken offensive coordinators in their wake. They are AJ Epenesa Jr. from Iowa, Kenny Willekes from Michigan State, Yetur Gross-Matos from Penn State, and lastly Chase Young from Ohio State. All future stars of the NFL. On the offensive side we have game breaking talent such as breakout star Rondale Moore superstar talent Jonathan Taylor, big name transfer Justin Fields, and often injured but super talented Tarik Black. The Big Ten is not hurting for talent as there are countless others that will make huge plays throughout 2019.

Top Shelf Heavy Hitters

This season there seems to be only two realistic teams that have a shot at making the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State- the King of the Big Ten and will be tough to knock off again this season. They are favored in every game this season but one. Ohio State can go 12-0 in the regular season winning the East division as long as Justin Fields lives up to the hype and is a nightmare for defenses week in and week out. The defense needs to be much more consistent than last season. This One team that could give them the most trouble if everything goes their way is…

Michigan- The offense in Ann Arbor this season seems to be more up to date than the recent slow paced pro offense Harbaugh has had the last few seasons. If Patterson can get comfortable in this new offense and be able to maintain drives, as well as the defense maintaining its dominance after losing several key pieces this team can be a true playoff contender.

Dark horse?

With a little luck and exceptional play there are four other teams notable of a conference championship run. Starting with…

Wisconsin- Jonathan Taylor and company look to prove last season was a fluke and plan for a trip to Indy come November. Can Jonathan Taylor do it by himself? He may have too as the rest of the offense is nothing to write home about. The defense has some young promising defensive backs and hope a couple turn out to be leaders. All in all Wisconsin is spoiled with a weak division and could find itself being carried all the way to a conference championship behind a generational talent in Taylor.

Minnesota- This may come as a surprise as Minnesota hasn’t won a conference championship in over 50 years. PJ Fleck is now on his third year with the Golden Gophers, when he last was in his third year at a new school he took that team to an undefeated season. A light schedule with lots of returning talent and a young thriving coach can put Minnesota where they haven’t gone since 1962.

Michigan State- It seems year in and year out this squad is under rated. This season is no different. As in-state rival UofM is getting hyped for a playoff run Michigan State will quietly have arguably the best front 7 in football. Lead by seniors Kenny Willekes and Joe Bachie the front seven will wreak havoc all year long. However, an anemic offense could hold this team back from competing for a conference championship? Will a healthy Brian Lewerke be able to score enough points week in and week out?

Iowa- a perennial middle of the road Big Ten squad may have enough talent to win a weak West division. Iowa lost plenty of talent this offseason but a solid quarterback in Nate Stanley and arguably the best pass rusher in A.J. Epenesa, Iowa is reloading and ready to compete. Iowa maybe the favorite to win the West if not for the brutal schedule featuring road games at Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Northwestern.

We think we can, we think we can, can we…?

Lost in the fold, there are five teams that have a slim shot of pulling some upsets, riding on their young superstars and shocking the conference, maybe. These teams have reasons to be hopeful, but in the end, just ins’t as talented as the teams mentioned above. Starting with,

Penn State- This offense has been spoiled with superstars manning the backfield over the last few seasons. This year the East divison will look to exploit the youth on offense. Penn State will have to lean on its defense for the first time under James Franklin. Yetur Gross-Matos will cause disruptions in the back field. A pair of sophomores in Sean Clifford and Ricky Slade look to score points on offense.

Purdue- Purdue has found a superstar in WR Rondale Moore. Jeff Brohm has turned this program around and has created a winning atmosphere in West Lafayette. The defense should be better this season with a lot of starters returning. Can the offense find any one other than Rondale Moore to make plays? One thing is for sure, the late great super fan Tyler Trent will continue to be motivation for this under dog team. Expect a miracle or two this season for the Boilermakers.

Northwestern- The reigning champs of the Big Ten West will have a tough road back. The defense will be adequate to win the West but can the offense get to a championship level? Incoming Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson will look to be the answer at QB. Hunter Johnson will have to start fast as four of the first five games are against quality opponents. This season looks to be a challenge for coach Pat Fitzgerald who enters his 14th year manning the sideline in Evanston.

Nebraska- Fans in Lincoln believe Nebraska is back after Husker legend Scott Frost led the team to a promising second half of the season last year. Patience is a virtue, I believe Husker fans will need some as this team is not yet ready to contend for a conference championship. One could argue that Adrian Martinez is the most talented QB in the Big Ten. Combine that and the fact that the players will have another year under Frost’s system has led fans to believe this is their year. Frost and Martinez are both the real deal. However, I believe it will take atleast one more year to see this team bloom enough to fulfill these lofty expectations.

Maryland- Similarly to Nebraska, Maryland has a new coach that is receiving high expectations. However, most know that this program will take a couple years to turn around after it was left in turmoil for Mike Locksley. Anthony McFarland plans to build off his solid freshman campaign and Virginia Tech transfer QB Josh Jackson looks to make this coaching transition a smooth one and to shock the East division with a couple upsets.

Good luck next year

Three teams come to mind that have little to no expectations on the season. A 6-6 record and a bowl bid would be ceiling for these squads.

Indiana- The Hoosiers are bringing back 15 starters from their 2018 campaign. That is usually a sign of good things to come. However the talent gap between Indiana and the top 4 teams in the East division are much too great for Indiana to make a move up the rankings. Indiana needs to produce a line to protect their signal caller, as well as a QB to disburse the ball between their adequate skill players. A name to watch is Stevie Scott who ran for over 1000 yards as a freshman.

Rutgers- Head Coach Chris Ash is on the hot seat after finishing 1-11 last season in his third campaign. The offense couldn’t score and the defense couldn’t get stops. Ash expects his team to get bowl eligible this season. To do this QB Artur Sitkowski has to see major improvement, as well as lean on running backs Raheem Blackshear and Isaih Pecheco.

Illinois- Three seasons ago Illinois landed Lovie Smith who famously coached the Chicago Bears to the super bowl. There has been any excitement since as Coach Smith has a 9-27 record entering this season. This team, on paper doesn’t look much better than last seasons. However, with a soft non-conference schedule and getting Rutgers from the East the Fighting Illini are just a couple upsets from bowl eligibility. The defense brings back nearly every starter from a season ago that saw the team struggle to stop opponents. They look to improve after another year to work with each other. On the offensive side Reggie Corbin looks to make an impression on his senior year campaign after rushing for over 1,000 yards last season.

Final Predictions

East division:

  1. Ohio State 12-0 Big Ten Champ
  2. Michigan State 9-3
  3. Michigan 9-3
  4. Penn State 7-5
  5. Maryland 4-8
  6. Indiana 3-9
  7. Rutgers 2-10

West division

  1. Minnesota 10-2
  2. Wisconsin 9-3
  3. Purdue 8-4
  4. Iowa 8-4
  5. Nebraska 6-6
  6. Illinois 5-7
  7. Northwestern 5-7

Supply Lines – Ohio State Edge Defenders by Lee Wakefield

Welcome back to Supply Lines, in this episode I’ll be looking at Ohio State edge defenders, l  will also be taking a little bit of a different approach with this one. In previous weeks, I’ve been looking at the consistent supply of talent from a certain school, over a longer period of time, usually the past decade or so.

In this episode, however, I’m going to examine a much smaller period of time, I’m only going from 2016 to now. The reason for that is that Ohio State are more than likely going to have yet another edge defender selected in the top 5 of the draft, when Chase Young hears his name called in the 2020 draft.

Yes, that isn’t going to be until April 23rd 2020 but this isn’t a hot take; Chase Young is stupid good and I’d be willing to stake a fair amount of cash in that happening and I’d feel pretty good about it.

With this is mind, I’m going to be looking at those top 5 picks – The Big Bear, Joey Bosa, the Small Bear, Nick Bosa and the Predator, Chase Young.

However, before I begin, in the spirit of the supply line, I will also mention that in this timeframe, Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard also entered the NFL as Ohio State edge rushers, in the second and third rounds, as well as Jalyn Holmes in the 4th round of the 2018 draft.

How do these players differ and what has made them all so good? Let’s start with Joey Bosa.

Joey is the eldest son of John and Cheryl Bosa. John Bosa also played in the NFL and was also drafted in the first round – He was drafted by the Dolphins with the 16th overall pick of the 1987 draft as a defensive end out of Boston College.

With this in mind, Joey was essentially on the path of being an NFL player from the day he was born. Joey attended high school football powerhouse, St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was part of a state championship winning team in 2012.

During his time in high school, Bosa was a man amongst boys when playing on the defensive line; he was just bigger, faster, stronger and more technically proficient than everyone he faced. It was and still is the last item on that list that makes him stand out to this day, his technical proficiency.

Bosa’s hand usage and arsenal of pass rush moves and counter moves is what makes him one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, it’s his calling card.

It was at Ohio State that Bosa developed from the guy who was just bigger and better, into a technician.

One handed club, two handed club, push-pull, jab-swipe and even the odd inside spin move… the Big Bear had a full bag of tricks to delve into and from his freshman season in Columbus, he was terrorising opposing QB’s to the tune of 26 sacks in 3 seasons. It hasn’t slowed down in the NFL either… Since being drafted 3rd overall by the Chargers in 2016, Bosa has registered 28.5 sacks in 35 games.

When Joey departed for California, the buckeyes didn’t suffer too much, though. They had another player step in right away, a certain freshman, who also wore #97, just like his Dad did… Nick Bosa.

Nick had also attended St. Thomas Aquinas, and just like his big brother, he also won a state championship with the Raiders… He was also the best player on the field in all of his games and committed to Ohio State to follow in the footsteps of his older brother.

How do the two brothers compare?

Well, neither of them are top echelon athletes in terms of explosivity and whilst they have ideal height/weight combinations for the position, neither have ideal arm length when compared to elite NFL edge defenders.

However, both have success and will continue to have success due to being more technically advanced with their hand placement, leverage and speed to power conversion. Just as Joey did and still does, Nick struggles with long armed offensive tackles, even if they aren’t in the same calibre of player as he is because it’s a simple case of being anatomically disadvantaged – Essentially, tackles were, at times, able to just keep him at arm’s length… like you used to with your younger siblings as kids.

Nick didn’t quite put up the sack numbers that Joey did at Ohio State but he also only played 3 games in his final season due to a core injury, so clearly both had success and were able to overcome their issues. Injuries, I guess you could say there’s another similarity between the two brothers considering Nick may be in line to miss the whole preseason with an ankle injury – Joey missed the whole of his first preseason with a hamstring injury (although he was holding out of signing his rookie contract too, so wouldn’t have played anyway).

Joey and Nick are very much cut from the same cloth and I see them having similar floor, ceilings and trajectories in the NFL, because they’re very similar in build and playing style. One aspect of their games that I’ve not mentioned is that outside of pass rushing, both Bosas are very skilled and disciplined edge setters, they’re not just pure pass rushers who are good for nothing but teeing off towards the QB each and every snap.

Moving on to The Predator.

I mean, is that not the coolest nickname for a quarterback hunting edge defender?

Young as the dreadlocks and the laser-like focus, and at times the way the breezes past offensive tackles, I think he’s got the camouflage ability of The Predator.

Young is a little bit different to the Bosa brothers, Young is a hyper-twitched athlete, who is explosive in his first step and can beat a tackle to the corner and turn it, in order to make his path the QB a shorter one.

The trio do possess many similarities too; they all convert speed to power with ease, they all have ideal height/weight combinations for the position and they all have a good array for pass rush moves to work with, although Young is behind both Bosas on this score.

Young was due to play with Nick Bosa at Ohio State this past season but due to Nick’s aforementioned core injury, that partnership was ended after just 3 games but my, oh my, was it fun while it lasted?

It was almost like a race at time between #2 and #97 and it wasn’t a case of if the QB was going to get hit, it was a case of who was going to make it to him first.

Now it’s Young’s show and I can’t wait to see the progress he’s going to make in his Junior year and see if he can improve on his 9.5 sacks from last year but most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing if he has added to his repertoire as a pass rusher and become a more all round player.

I already have Young down as my Edge1 heading into the upcoming college football season and although AJ Epenesa may have something to say about this, I feel Young is in a great position to be the first edge off the board next April. If this does in fact come to fruition, he’ll surely be another top 5 Ohio State pass rusher since 2016 and that about as high quality of a Supply Line as I’ve spoken about this summer.


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Pick It Apart; Dwayne Haskins

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #15

Player: Dwayne Haskins

Drafted by:  Washington Redskins

Grade: A

Analysis: Considering the rumours (which I believe were smokescreens from the Redskins fwiw)that the Redskins were looking at trading ahead of the Giants to take Haskins, this is a great value for a team in deep doodoo at the Quarterback position both in terms of quality, cap space and the future.

To not give up any draft capital at all and still come out with the 2nd best QB (arguable as to what the yardstick is though) in this year’s draft is a right result for them.

We’ll get the “open training camp battle” talk all off season and who knows when the Redskins will announce the week 1 starter, but at least Haskins fits the mould, will suit this type of offence and could easily succeed with his skills and attributes in the big boys league.

The Ohio State QB didn’t over exert himself at the combine and why should he considering the overrated QB , sorry, 1st overall pick in this year’s draft only decided to paly football a short while before it (thanks for the honour of gracing us with your presence, moron) but was 3rd in the Heisman Trophy vote, led the nation with 4831 passing yards, 50 TDs (sound familiar?) and 8 INT in his final year and had a decent 70% completion rate.

This is going to be a run first team, make no mistake about it. Look at the depth (?) they have in the backfield. They wont be asking Haskins to great a deal and the Jay Gruden system should be one to suit him. He is a QB with below average mobility, a powerful arm and has good pocket presence so there are enough credentials there to say Haskins will be an OK QB in this league. The weapons around him are questionable but 2 new faces join Haskins from the draft in McLaurin and Butler to join Jordan Reed, Trey Quinn and Josh Doctson. Excuse me one second…. *PUKING NOISES*. It’s hard to say who will be the apple of Haskins’s eye if he starts this season so keep your ears to the ground around training camp.

That being said, the defence should be decent and should carry on from where it left off last season and the offence have opportunities to be successful in terms of gamescripts barring yet another season of an injury list longer than Darren Anderton’s CV. Let’s not forget that the Redskins were in the driving seat for a poor NFC East last year until Alex Smith went down.

For me, I think Case Keenum should start under Center for the Redskins and give Haskins a bit of time to develop and learn though that is a luxury no longer afforded to rookie QBs it seems (see Lamar Jackson and Josh Rosen). But in Haskins, they have a mid tier QB who can do a job, and that;s all he may need to do with this style of offence and the strengths of the team being the running back talent and the defence.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Dwayne Haskins should only be taken as a late round dart at this point in bestball and you’ll get him late in dynasty startups. Due to the QB depth, you wont need to select him in redraft leagues but those living the stream, he will grace your lineups at some point no doubt.

On immediate first looks, he wont have the plethora of weapons that Kyler Murray has and Jay Gruden will employ a ground and pound type of approach for the Redskins, not akin to lots of fantasy points. Unless he pummels one guy with targets that he gets on well with, no WR will be viable options either, even with Jordan Reed playing a full season…*PUKING NOISES*

Don’t get all defensive

We turn our attentions to the defensive side of the ball for this podcast and are helped out by Joel Bishop of The Inside Zone, Inside the Pylon and Pro Football Ready.

Before that we find out whether Game of thrones returning was a greater comeback than Tiger Woods’s win at Augusta, what Wilson’s contract means for the next guys up and why avocado share prices have soared.

Adam Foxcroft tries to better Adam Walford’s score on the Full10Questions and we announce the winner of the April competition (you have 1 week to claim!)

Times:

1st Down – News and Notes : 4:29

2nd Down – Defence draft prospects : 10:51

3rd Down – Full10Questions: 49:15

4th Down – Podcast housekeeping and Competition winner: 57:39