JP49015: What will be the rotation for the running backs for this game?

13:00:20 Rob_(moderator): Hi, Tim. How did Week 1 of the season treat you?

13:01:07 Tim May: Great. And I always look forward to talking (or typing) football. Let's get it started.

13:01:13 JP49015: What will be the rotation for the running backs for this game?

13:03:31 Tim May: Putting two and two together -- get it? -- from what coach Dick Tressel and head coach Luke Fickell said this week, it appears Carlos Hyde will get his second straight start. Jordan Hall will be in the rotation after his one-game suspension. So will Jaamal Berry, who was sidelined by a hamstring pull. And Rod Smith, Hyde's backup last week, will not be a forgotten man. Maybe it's time to go radical and run the wishbone. Just kidding of course.

13:03:37 Dom Luvs Donuts: Could this Toledo team finish in the middle of the pack if it played in the Big Ten?

13:05:14 Tim May: Will let you know after Saturday. And then, what is middle of the pack? Northwestern? While Toledo was knocking off New Hampshire last week, Northwestern was knocking off Boston College, a much bigger brother to N.H. I know this, Toledo would be competitive.

13:05:36 BUCKED: Tim, during the Akron game commentators Spielman and Meyer kept complaining about the lack of more use of Braxton Miller. What better scenario than bringing along a freshman quarterback slowly with a strong running game and a surprisingly efficient and hot Bauserman. Give Miller reps when the pressure is off and the game is in hand if things are going so well. He can mature more fundamentally, psychologically and physically, a point which should be considered with his HS history of injuries. Why create a quarterback controversy between those two, the fans and the team when none is yet needed? High fives to the "present" Coach and staff. Your opinion?

13:09:02 Tim May: I didn't get a chance to hear their commentary. I thought the QB situation was handled very well, at least after Bauserman proved he was quite capable following a four-year run on the bench. There is no need to force a freshman in there, as you pointed out. As for Meyer and Spielman, I guess they had to talk about SOMETHING during a 42-0 game. I just remember Tim Tebow seeing spot duty as a freshman at Florida in 2006. Meyer brought him along, he didn't force him, letting him do things at which he knew he would succeed.

13:09:15 Jim W.: Tim, can the Buckeyes repeat as Big Ten champions and go to a BCS bowl?

13:11:49 Tim May: I picked them to do so in our preseason college football section. Now, that's without knowing what the NCAA is going to declare as the final word on sanctions in a month or so. But as I have said repeatedly, I don't necessarily expect them to go undefeated in the league, but they are as talented as anyone in the league, and by October the 14 new starters will be tested while four talented seniors will come riding over the hill after having to sit out the first five games due to NCAA suspensions.

13:11:56 DLu: seems like last yr Joe said the correct pronunciation of his name is "Ballserman" instead of "Bowserman". Which is correct?

13:13:30 Tim May: He never said "Ballserman," he said it was "Bawzerman". You know, like Hee Hawzerman.

13:13:42 ChacoAbq: Why have we heard so little about Curtis Grant?

13:15:37 Tim May: He's a freshman linebacker. There are several upperclassmen ahead of him. But he has the talent, believe me, to match his rep. It's just that learning the college game is tougher than you think. Ryan Shazier is playing, but he enrolled in January for a head start, so his feet are moving as fast as his brain now.

13:15:55 ncflash: Not sure if this was answered locally this week - but there was much made of the fact that Miller was not standing with other QBs nor on the headset during first half - any insight?

13:17:34 Tim May: Luke Fickell said today that sometimes listening to the chatter on the headset can be more confusing that helpful. It appeared to me Miller was studying the game, and it looked to me as if he was learning, because when he returned in the second half he was pretty sharp for a freshman making his first appearance.

13:17:40 gabuckeye: Good day Buckeye Nation. I was wondering if you talked with any of the position coaches. And who did they say stood out during the game?

13:20:08 Tim May: Yes, and it was the expected list, including Hyde, Smith, Bauserman, Miller, the offensive line as a group, the receivers (including one-hand grabber Evan Spencer), tight end Jake Stoneburner, cornerback Dominic Clarke ... I'm running out of gas in my fingers. BUt I would be remiss without also mentioning former walkon defensive back Nate Ebner, whose play on special teams and then in the secondary in the fourth quarter earned him a captaincy this week.

13:20:14 NextUp: It seems that Jim Heacock has been atypically out of the public eye this season. Do you share this perception, and if so, what's the cause?

13:22:05 Tim May: Actually, that's more typical for Heacocok, who always deflects praise. But it sure seems he was getting his points across to his players and staff, because that was a shutout last week, something that IS atypical in modern college football, regardless of the opponent.

13:22:25 woodyhaze: Gynormous improvement on special teams last week. However, i keep reminding myself that it was Akron. Have you had the opportunity to see any significant attention to special teams during practices? And really? Ballserman?

13:24:24 Tim May: Don't know what to say about the last part of the query. As for the first part, you are talking about coverage on special teams, I think, and no, they didn't show a lot of that in the practices we got to watch, but it sure does appear they were working on it. But you're right, it was Akron. Toledo's Eric Page is one of the elite return threats in the nation. Saturday will provide much more of a gauge.

13:24:31 DLu: Jaamal Berry has seemingly been hurt since arriving on campus. Any feel for whether these are legit injuries that should keep him off the field or is he just not capable of playing thru a little pain?

13:24:59 Tim May: Legit injuries.

13:25:13 thegreatgatzke: Is it beginning to appear that Verlon Reed will be the No. 2 WR upon Posey's return?

13:27:24 Tim May: Too early to tell. But what is apparent is Verlon Reed looks and thinks the part. He runs good routes, he gets open and -- more important -- he catches the ball. Not bad for a former high school all-star quarterback.

13:27:28 jim: How much of a fight will it be against toledo?

13:30:08 Tim May: I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this one, because there are so many variables. Like how well will the OSU offensive line handle the incessant blitzing; will the OSU defensive front get immediate pressure on the Toledo QBs, both of whom like to fire passes quickly in their spread attack? I'm thinking OSU ultimately will prevail in double figures, but I don't quite yet see the painting.

13:30:16 thegreatgatzke: Am I the only person who thought The U looked fairly scary on offense the other night?

13:32:00 Tim May: I don't know. I'll take a poll. What say all of you? ... I thought there was potential there, but I didn't know what to make of it because of the two quick sixes that tilted that game. And I never quite got past the Maryland unis. Please, football gods, make it stop.

13:32:07 buckeye_97: Do you think the more aggressive, blitzing defense be the style that Fickell/Heacock stick with the ENTIRE season or back it down say against Nebraska?

13:34:11 Tim May: When asked on Wall to Wall on Channel 10 last month what word I thought might best define Luke Fickell's approach to everything this season, I said "Aggressive." But each game presents a new challenge, and believe me, they haven't come close to setting their plan for Nebraska just yet.

13:34:17 OSU_Jeff: Stoneburner caught TD passes the last time we played Akron then became a non-entity as the season wore on. After his 3 TDs on Sat. do you feel Bollman will see the light and utilize a premiere weapon?

13:36:11 Tim May: I will just say what I always say -- "No one covers the tight end consistently in college football. No one." It's there for anyone to see.

13:36:18 OSUFRED: Were you surprised that Michigan State was only up 21-6 in the 4th qtr at home against Div 1aa YSU ? Will the Bucks have an easier time winning against Sparty ?

13:38:29 Tim May: No. Ohio State had a similar challenge putting away the Penguins, one of the quality FCS programs out there. Plus, MSU was dealing with several challenges, not the least of which was head coach Mark Dantonio having to attend his father's funeral in Zanesville earlier in the week. And hey, I hope it's not a bad sign for the Spartans, whom I picked to win the Legends Division of the Big Ten.

13:38:38 thegreatgatzke: I noticed a nice screen play to Hyde last Saturday, can we expect more use of this neglected play in future games?

13:41:23 Tim May: That's one of the things we're all watching, whether the OSU playcalling this year will evolve into one in which play A begets play B begets play C, instead of what it has looked like at times in the past of being a sort of grab-bag approach. For sure, a well-timed screen is relished by the best of teams.

13:41:27 BukiRob: How much action do you expect Berry and Hall to see? I think Smith in particular really showed a lack of vision on many of the carries he had...

13:43:57 Tim May: It was Smith's first action as a collegian. Go back and watch Eddie George those first couple of seasons. He was nowhere near the fluid, playmakng back he became in 1995 on the way to winning the Heisman Trophy. Young backs are intent first on running the play. The confidence to see the backside cut or the bounce to the edge comes later usually.

13:44:05 Buckeye in Dayton: With 4 new coaches in the Big Ten, who do you think had the most impressive 1st week?

13:45:50 Tim May: Jerry Kill, even though it was in a losing cause at USC. Minnesota showed up and didn't back down against a supposedly more talented bunch of Trojans. Kill is the real deal. Now, if he can just get some real-deal players to either stay in or move to Minnesota -- that's always going to be the big challenge.

13:46:00 DLu: I thought Wiscy looked very impressive last week, especially with a new QB. The night game in Oct is shaping up to be the best home game matchup of the season. Agree?

13:48:57 Tim May: Absolutely. Russell Wilson gave Wisconsin the new dimension at quarterback everyone thought he would when he transferred there from North Carolina State. The Badger defense looked a little suspect, but it should get better. And what we all know is the Buckeyes and the Badgers don't like each other. Now enhance that with the idea that the Leaders, uh, lead, likely will be on the line, and it should be an electric night in the 'Shoe.

13:49:01 denbuckeye: Fickell seems very team oriented and I have not heard anything about weekly award winners (offensive player of week, etc.) as there have been in previous years. Is this something else he is changing up?

13:51:14 Tim May: That does appear to be the case. He hasn't wavered one iota from his team-first approach, even taking a spot on the back row in post-game last week when the team sang Carmen Ohio. Plus, the Buckeyes played with emotion and effort from start to finish, and on a wickedly hot afternoon. That said it all.

13:51:23 buckeyetuck: Who are you picking, and what are your thoughts concerning the UM and ND games last saturday? I thought both teams looked dreadful.

13:54:53 Tim May: Yeah, they go from playing in lightning to playing under the lights. It was hard to get a read, what with the way Notre Dame gave away two great shots at touchdowns, and the way Michigan gained two of its touchdowns from its defense. I did think Michigan's defense looked a lot better than the last time I saw it, and I thought the Wolverines' offense looked like a group in search of itself. Same thing with Notre Dame. Heck, this game could be 3-2, but I doubt it. I likely won't be a masterpiece, though.

13:55:01 woe: Doesn't it seem like 2008 all over again, with OSU waiting for embarassment before making the QB change ala USC embarassing OSU before Tressel would make Pryor the starter? No way OSU will win against top notch teams with I-formation, vanilla offense and Bauserman at QB.

13:56:29 Tim May: I remember 2008 as being a rocky start for Ohio State, which had trouble putting together an offensive line. I don't see much similarity at all.

13:56:37 OSUFRED: Might we see much more of Evan Spencer and Devin Smith this week after their performance last week , combined with an underwhelming game from Corey Brown ?

13:57:49 Tim May: Spencer and Smith proved in preseason they deserve to be in the wide receiver rotation. We'll see how it plays out, but I know the coaches also are high on "Philly" Brown.

13:58:11 thegreatgatzke: Between TP and MC, which do you believe we will first see on the sidelines of a OSU game?

13:59:07 Tim May: Based on the fact TP is banned from having anything to with the OSU athletic department/football program for five years, I'd have to go with MC.

13:59:13 Rob_(moderator): Thanks, Tim. And thanks to everyone else for the great questions. Bill Rabinowitz will be here a week from today at 1 p.m. That's a wrap.

13:59:45 Tim May: I enjoyed it as usual.