Ohio State junior offensive lineman Michael Jordan is in his third season as a starter, but 2018 has still been a first for him.
Jordan started at left guard as a freshman and sophomore, but switched to center ahead of this season in order for the Buckeyes to get their best five linemen on the field. He hadn’t previously played center at any level, meaning 2018 marks his first season snapping the ball.
Against TCU in week three, that was an issue, as Jordan struggled with snaps throughout the game, meaning quarterback Dwayne Haskins often had to stoop down to control the ball.
“I think he handled it well,” Jordan said of Haskins. “He made up for me a lot of times and he was still making plays out there.”
Jordan admitted that the issues in Arlington, Texas, stemmed started in his mind.
“I think that I just made TCU a much bigger game in my head instead of calming myself down,” Jordan said. “I was able to calm myself down last week (against Tulane), get the snaps back up.”
On Saturday, the Buckeyes have another big game away from home. This team, it will be a true road game when No. 4 Ohio State travels to University Park, Pa., to face No. 9 Penn State.
The TCU game was near the Horned Frogs’ campus, but the vast majority of the crowd at AT&T Stadium was supporting the Buckeyes. Penn State, on the other hand, presents a much more hostile environment for traveling teams.
With a true road game coming up, Jordan said he believes he has his snapping issues sorted out – both physically and mentally. When asked how he’ll avoid making similar mistakes at Beaver Stadium, Jordan had a simple answer.
“By getting as much practice reps as possible so that I’m prepared,” he said.