Football notebook: How much does Darren Ervin resemble Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller?

End-of-the-week leftovers from my notebook . . .

Redshirt freshman running back Darren Ervin played the role of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller on the Cal scout team this week.

“He’s done a great job,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “Ervin’s a little over 200 pounds and he’s fast. He played quarterback in high school, so he’s got a pretty good feel for it.

“Although he’s nowhere near the passer, he gave us a good look this week, running around and doing some things. It was pretty natural because he’d played quarterback before.”

Of course, if the Bears had anyone with the exact size, speed, skill set and athletic ability as Miller, he wouldn’t be working with the scout team.

Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast echoed Tedford’s comments that Ervin did a nice job this week. But he also acknowledged the Bears’ success defensively on Saturday comes down to one thing: “We’ve just got to tackle well.”

There will be plenty of opportunity to try tackling Miller, if the past two weeks are any indication. The Buckeyes’ sophomore quarterback has carried the ball 44 times for an average of nearly 7 yards per try. He has touchdown runs of 65 and 37 yards.

Pendergast said defensive schemes can only dictate so much. Execution will decide things.

“He can get out on any play,” Pendergast said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re being aggressive or playing some kind of zone coverage. What your responsibility is within that defense, you just have to read your keys and understand you’re not sure where he might end up.

“He’s very athletic — he can cut back, he can stay front side, he can run up the middle, he can reverse field, he can reverse field and throw it. He can do a lot of things. So it’s very much a read-your-keys type game.”

Of course, Miller also is completing 2 of every 3 passes he attempts.

“I think he’s getting better every week,” Pendergast said. “They spread the field and run a lot of five-receiver sets. They give him a lot of opportunities to throw and he’s been successful.”

The Buckeyes haven’t often thrown downfield. Their two top receivers, Philly Brown and Devin Smith, are averaging just 10.4 and 11.0 yards per catch, respectively.

 And the Buckeyes operate behind an offensive line that averages 6-5 1/2, 309 pounds.

‘It’s going to be a big challenge for us up front,” Pendergast said. “They’re a come-off-the-ball physical group.”

*** The weather forecast is calling for a chance of thunderstorms on Friday in Columbus. But Saturday is projected to have temperatures in the mid-70s with no rain. If that holds, expect the Bears to defer and play defense first if they win the coin toss.

If weather is an issue, Tedford said, the Bears could choose to take the ball first to beat the rain.

*** Offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik said OSU’s defensive line — and especially senior end John Simon — provides a serious challenge to Cal’s O-line. The Bears lost projected starter Dominic Galas (pectoral muscle tear) before fall camp opened and are playing for the second straight week without tackle Matt Summers-Gavin (knee). 

Junior Bill Tyndall has replaced MSG in the starting lineup. “I thought Bill kind of grew up in the last game,” Michalczik said. “He started off a little slow and was thinking and not playing as fast as he needs to play. As the game went on, he played better.”

Simon, with 29 career tackles for loss, drew special praise last week from Central Florida coach George O’Leary.

“John Simon is as good as anyone in the country,” O’Leary said. “You don’t want to take your time passing against them. The quarterback can’t take more than a three- or four-step drop.”

Simon is just the seventh two-time team captain in Ohio State history.

“Simon’s a very good player,” Michalzcik agreed. “He’s a high-motor guy, a good athlete and he keeps making plays.”

***  The Bears have prepped all week for a loud atmosphere and Michalzcik said Ohio Stadium isn’t the only place that tries to make life uncomfortable for the visiting team.

“If it’s a close game at the end, it’s going to be loud. It doesn’t matter where you play,” he said. “You have to deal with the crowd noise.”

*** After much preseason talk from Tedford about Richard Rodgers, the sophomore tight end has been fairly quiet. He has one reception for 14 yards, although he is expected to play Saturday after injuring his foot last week against Southern Utah.

Michalczik said the Bears aren’t worried.

“He’s a young guy and he’s got a lot of games ahead of him. He’s going to have a very good future and make a lot of plays,” Michalczik said. “I wouldn’t say we’re impatient waiting for something to happen. It’s going to happen — he’s going to be a good player.”

*** Cal radio analyst for former QB great Mike Pawlawski went fishing in May with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and his son Nate along the Florida Keys. The two-day experience will be aired sometime in December as an episode of “Gridiron Outdoors,” the program Pawlawski hosts on the Outdoor Network.

“He’s a great guy and a great fisherman,” Pawlawski said of the Buckeyes’ first-year coach. “I didn’t talk a lot of football with him.”

But Meyer did mention the noon EDT kickoff time (translation: 9 a.m. for the Bears) and gave Pawlawski a little smile.




Jeff Faraudo

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Well I for one am glad this kid resembles Miller. I guess the really tough one to copy is Kevin Prince.

    Now who will resemble Wood, Lee and Barkley next week.

  • bigdruid

    Given that Keenan Allen out gained Woods and Lee combined in last year’s game, I’m thinking the scout team can line up him and our waterboy and that should be good enough.

  • ScottyBear

    Up and at ’em Moron. 6:49 a.m.??!! You are beyond amusing. Pretty sad. Each time you post your 10+ daily comments it just validates what a defective human being you are. Are you passionate about anything you like?

  • rotfogel

    I want to see our D Line play well, I really think they have the talent to compete with anyone. Jalil, Coleman, Tipoti, Moala, Barr…these are really talented players and I expect each one of them to make it to the next level. I hope they come out focused and have fire in the eyes…each one of them should be able to make big plays tomorrow.

  • MoreNCsarecoming


    Use greasemonkey or take me up on the same bet I have put out there for posters like BluenGold, Will, GoGoBears, etc.

  • BlueNGold

    well he/she/it is passionate about being a trash talking troll…

  • About Richard Rogers: if this guy was playing for a coach with some imagination (chip kelly for example) he’d have a couple TDs already, not just one measly catch for 14 yds…Rodgers is a stud, but you got to get him the ball!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #6 Coward

    Well he/she/it is passionate about stalking…


  • Tyler M.

    Great post Jeff.

    BTW – I’m still laughing about the guy trolling at 6AM (post #1). Wake up early, brush teeth, troll some blogs…life is good…haha

  • Calduke

    If Ervin anyway, whatsoever resembled Miller; Ervin would be our starting QB

  • @Calduke, LMFAO!

  • BlueNGold

    ‘coward’? ‘stalking’? What a blithering idiot you are, moron. Or, will you later deny calling me those names, like you did when you called both JO and JF cowards?

  • wehofx

    BlueNGold, are you also More Sanctions? If you are, please use that sn so greasemonkey will block you, too.

    You think anyone give a sh*t what you think about the moron?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #13 –

    MikeD please use greasemonkey for BlueNGold. Even his own posters recognize what clown he is.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Stanford or SC – who will win tomorrow’s game?

  • SteveNTexas

    Who will resemble Wood Lee and Barkley? Let me answer that next time I’m in court and see the jail chain arrive.

    I see no mention of Cal OSU in any of the headlines- that’s how far our football is fallen.
    An upset would be nice.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Daddy said the Bears have just as much of a chance today as the Buckeyes.

    Either one of their respective buses can break down on the way to the stadium.

    HAHAHAHA…Daddy has completely given up on the hapless UCB state team.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #16 – Bubba

    Will Noah Smith be on the front or the back end of that gang? Ask Marshawn.