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Football: Notes and observations from day four of Ohio's fall camp

Ohio practiced Monday for the fourth time in its fall camp. The practice was conducted in periods, with 24 periods lasting two hours and 22 minutes. Here are The Post’s observations:

Attendance:

Not present: Keye Thompson (knee injury)

Attendance notes: 

  • Coach Tim Albin commented on Thompson’s injury after practice Monday. Thompson had sustained the injury in the offseason and underwent a minor procedure within the past month. The timetable for Thompson’s return is still unknown, but Albin said it may be a while before the linebacker can suit up again.
  • Defensive tackle Kylen McCracken took a hard hit during team drills and was checked out while the team continued to practice. He stayed on the sidelines for the remainder of the period but returned to the field soon after.
  • Wide receiver Wade Sheets was dressed for practice but spent most of the day conditioning on the sideline.

Observations:

Sights and Sounds

  • Former Ohio defensive coordinator Jim Burrow stopped by Peden to observe practice for a few periods. He chatted with several members of the coaching staff before leaving the stadium.
  • The NCAA recently updated its guidelines for acclimation to full pads into a seven-day process, and the Bobcats will have to practice in shoulder pads until day six of camp. The previous rules allowed for teams to wear full pads by the fifth day of practice, but the Bobcats will have to push back full-contact drills for another day.
  • Albin believes the seven-day acclimation period is a positive for fall camp this season. He said after practice Monday that the extra two days can reduce a risk of injury for some of the Bobcats.

Offense

  • Kurtis Rourke was 14-of-18 with one touchdown in four periods, including two 7-on-7 periods and two team periods. 
  • Rourke completed passes to Nigel Drummond, Jake Neatherton (two each),  Adam and Ryan Luehrman, Jerome Buckner, Anthony Whitney, Tanner Allton, Major Brown, Walter Wilbon, Isaiah Davis, Tyler Foster and Alec Burton (one each).
  • Rourke’s only touchdown pass of the day occurred during the first 7-on-7 period, when he found an open Whitney. 
  • Armani Rogers finished the day 9-of-14 for passing. His throws were accurate — only two were off target — but were often caught in heavy traffic, resulting in two drops and a deflection.
  • C.J. Harris split time with Rourke and had a solid outing. Harris completed 6-of-7 passes, including a touchdown pass. He’s smart with his throws, and his only incomplete pass was due to a slight overthrow. Harris has developed a good arm and is trending toward further improvement as camp continues. 

Defense

  • Of the 10 incomplete passes between the quarterbacks Monday, two were deflections. The rest were dropped by the receivers or missed their mark.
  • After four days of practice, a rough starting defensive line has taken shape. From left to right, the defensive line was Bryce Dugan, McCracken, Kai Caesar and Michael Taylor. Nothing has been set in stone yet, but those four have seen the most action in the first week.
  • Taylor is a Villanova transfer who had to sit out last season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules. He has fit well in Ohio’s defense early in camp and recovered a fumble from De’Montre Tuggle during team drills Monday.

Special Teams

  • For the second day in a row, Ohio closed out practice with a live field goal drill. Kicker Jonah Fortkamp hit three of his four attempts, including a 46-yard field goal to close out practice.
  • The Bobcats also focused on punt returns during individual drills. Ty Walton and Jerome Buckner fielded punts.

Next Up

The Bobcats return to Peden Stadium Tuesday morning for practice at 9:05 a.m. It will be closed to both the public and media.

@thejackgleckler

jg011517@ohio.edu

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