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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Excervatored: SMQB is back with an extensive preview of Michi-- er... Central Michigan? That's dedication. Also, Johnny checks in with his NIT Final column and some extraneous notes.

Well, at least there's a policy. Ohio State sophomore Alex Boone, the projected starter at LT, was arrested for DUI on Wednesday. Of note is the Buckeyes strict discliplinary policy in these matters:

In accordance with departmental policy, Boone, a first-time offender, is not subject to any loss of practice or playing time.
Weasel to the extreme! DUI is a serious offense that would result in a practice suspension at the very least at most schools, but not at OSU. Okay. Different strokes for mercenary folks. That's cool. What grates is the crap about a "departmental policy" that removes the decision-making process from Tressell's hands, leaving the impression that even if Tressel wanted to spank Boone for being very, very naughty the athletic department would stay his hand. Duke should have thought of this.

BONUS Tressel:
"The last thing we told the team after practice yesterday morning was to set their clocks ahead an hour when they went to bed at 10 o'clock last night. I am disappointed that message did not get through to everyone."
What, the mighty force of no punishment whatsoever didn't drive your message home? Aaargh!

Idaho goes potato for Gutz. The Poctello Idaho State Journal is all over new starting quarterback Matt Guttierez and his Zeus-ian thunderbolt of an arm:
What impact will Matt Gutierrez have on ISU's offensive strategy and play-calling?

For people hoping ISU would go to a fun-n-gun, spread offense that throws 60 times a game, think again. Yes, Gutierrez' right arm appears to have been blessed by one of Zeus' thunderbolts, but don't forget the Bengals return the running back tandem of Josh Barnett and Ken Cornist.... Gutierrez' maturity and arm strength will allow more freedom with the play-calling as well as the return of audibling at the line of scrimmage - something that was basically nonexistent last season.

“The passing game we had with Doug Baughman (2001-02), that's what you're going to see more of,” Lewis said. “There is going to be more variation of what we can do with our passing attack. I think it will only make our running game even better.”

That means the return of the deep out that Baughman loved to throw. It's a throw Gutierrez seems to make with ease.

Maybe more vital is the confidence offensive coordinator Bruce Barnum has in Gutierrez. ISU won't have to rely exclusively on quick-hitting pass plays. Barnum can now employ five-step drop pass plays that have ISU's bevy of receivers running deeper patterns, leading to more bigger gains.

One aspect that must change is turnovers. ISU committed a ghastly 28 turnovers last year.

“Last year we wanted to manage the game, but we didn't do it,” Lewis said. “We had 28 turnovers with most of them coming from the quarterback position. That has to change.”

Lewis believes Gutierrez can, and will, make that change, leading an offensive unit that returns everyone but Shedrack Okoebor from a year ago.

“The only position we are upgrading is at quarterback,” Lewis said. “That's the only unknown, and we feel pretty good about that situation.”

The most critical piece of information in this article? There exists a person named "Shedrack Okoebor."

Etc.: Buccigross plugs Frozen over Final in the battle of the fours; More on Mondol from Scout.