Cause For Concern?

By Alex on October 4, 2010 at 4:00p
50 Comments
Concerned coach?

I'm a firm believer that there are many telling signs in games of lesser importance that show you what type of team you really have when the big game comes around. Many fans try to push these aside, hoping that their team just had a one-game slip-up and that the coaching staff will fix these things.

To get a better picture of what I'm talking about take a look at the Florida offense against Miami-Ohio in week one. That team struggled with the lowly Red Hawks for much of the game before they eventually strong-armed themselves to a victory. They continued to have trouble finding an offensive rhythm the next few weeks, excluding Trey Burton's outburst last week, and what happened when they went to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama? A 31-6 shellacking at the hands of Nick Saban's team. Their offensive woes did not go unnoticed in that first week, but Gator fans made all the excuses they could to avoid admitting what they inevitably were forced to do last night in saying that their offense just wasn't that good this year.

Florida's not the only team that these signs have appeared for, as Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and many others have had weaknesses exploited against weaker opponents that later showed up in losses weeks later. Other teams have showed these signs of vulnerability thus far and have yet to lose (Michigan's defense), but it's only a matter of time before an opponent studies the film and takes advantage.

What all this nonsense brings us to if the Buckeyes' lackluster effort in Champaign this past Saturday. Could Ohio State possibly be one of these teams that are about to crack or are these problems that can be fixed with some simple coaching adjustments in practice? I don't know about you all, but I'm definitely concerned about some things I've seen from this team the last few weeks and if Jim Tressel doesn't make the adjustments after looking at the film, I'm afraid to say I think the Bucks will lose a game in the near future. Let's take a look at some of these issues and what the Buckeyes can do to fix things before it's too late.

Looks about right

The Pass Defense

I don't know how many of you were able to listen to the Big Ten announcers yesterday, but I was going to get sick yesterday if I heard how good Chimdi Chekwa was one more time. I'm not sure what everyone sees, but I'm tired of everyone thinking Chek is a number one corner. He continually can't stay with top receivers, serves as an average tackler, gets beat at the line of scrimmage when trying to jam his opponent, and most importantly, never turns his head when the ball is in the air. Devon Torrence has been OK as a second corner and I'm fine with him there, but when it comes to the top dog at Ohio State, we expect more out of you Chimdi, and I think your play thus far has not given this defense what it expects on a weekly basis.

It's not all Chekwa's fault though, as Orhian Johnson has been extremely underwhelming at safety, the linebackers continue to be faked out by any play action roll-out pass, Jim Heacock decided he shouldn't blitz any extra men this season, and the defensive line has not gotten to the quarterback enough. Tyler Moeller's injury hurts the pass defense even further, and while Christian Bryant looked good against Illinois with five tackles, will he be able to come up and make the big plays on John Clay?

The Buckeyes need to start playing more agressive like they did last year to hide their weaker secondary unit and provide the defensive line up front with some help in breaking the pass protection. This defense is just not an elite Buckeye defense and until some players improve their play and the coaches come up with some new strategy, the game is going to be up to the offense to outscore their opponents. Indiana will come in next week slinging the ball all afternoon, and while I'm sure TP and the offense will be able to score at will against the Hoosier defense, the passing defense will be challenged by Ben Chappell's arm on Saturday.

The Offensive line/Running Game

I'm not sure whether the offensive line or the running backs are responsible for the weak production on the ground thus far this season, but one or both need to be accountable. Yes, the rushing stats are there if you look in the box score, but many yards have been collected late in the blowouts this season and Terrelle Pryor continues to rack up a majority of the team's yards on the ground. 

It seems Brandon Saine decided the last few weeks that once he touched the ball he would run right into the closest defender and fall down. Where is the running back we saw against Marshall? The staff needs to find a way to put Zoom in space where he can use his straight line speed and get the ball and head to the end zone. As for his counterpart, Boom runs hard and I appreciate his effort, but the bottom line is, he's just not as physically talented as other OSU backs in past years. I think Boom provides the offense the best every down option right now due to his ability to block, but I'd like to see the staff mix in Jordan Hall a bit more, as he's proven he can handle carries in a big game. I also understand their tentativeness with Carlos Hyde and Jaamal Berry, as they are virtually unproven, but both players do bring something to the table that other players can't and I think you have to start integrating them into the game plan to make your offense as deep as possible.

As for the line, Justin Boren is the only player I see as an elite run blocker. There is a reason Dave has been run up the left side about 85% of the time this season and that is number 65. Bryant Browning has been second best, but "Block O" has been a tad disappointing. I don't know if it's me, but Mike Adams looks like he just doesn't care out there, and the gentile giant in him appears way too often. Shugarts at times looks like a boss out there and is a true road grader, but at other times looks completely overwhelmed by the opposing defensive lineman. Brewster is great and I think his play overall has been solid, especially in pass protection, but I think he has played under his potential and talent level when it comes to the running attack. 

Once again, I don't have the film or the time to re-watch all the games, but the running game issue has to be fixed. I think this will be a very simple thing for the staff to do in practice and changing up the game plan a little to pass more early to open up the run can help a bit too.

Scary

The Injury Bug

This isn't something the staff can control so much, but it is a reality of the game of football and Jim Tressel will need to figure out answers to personnel that has gone down this year. Tyler Moeller will be replaced by Christian Bryant, but as previously mentioned, will Bryant be able to handle the STAR position as a true freshman? I think he is a safety, rather than a hybrid linebacker/safety and I think that's a problem against a run oriented team like Wisconsin. You may see the staff make an adjustment by keeping an Andrew Sweat on the field more or working in a bigger guy like a Nate Oliver against those teams, but it will be interesting to see what happens without the team's best blitz option.

Other injuries that have bothered the team are the season-ending one to CJ Barnett, minor issues with Dorian Bell, Andrew Sweat, and Travis Howard, and the recurring issues with Chimdi Chekwa. The staff needs to prepare some of the team's younger players to step up and develop quicker, as the team appears to need more depth immediately with the way players are dropping like flies.

Maybe the most important injury everyone is scared to talk about is Terrelle Pryor's. Yes, the junior did come back onto the field running yesterday, but didn't you find it a little strange that the Bucks barely passed the ball and TP didn't run it once he came back into the game? I'll bet that was Tressel's doing as a precaution, as Pryor looked visibly upset with the way the game was being called, but I also have a strange feeling Pryor got a little bit more dinged up on that hit he took against Eastern Michigan than we thought. With the injury he suffered last year in the NMSU game, the hit he took against EMU, and his scare on Saturday, I'm definitely nervous Terrelle is hurt worse than we think. It will be interesting to see how #2 comes out next week against Indiana and his play in that game should tell us how hurt/not hurt he really is.

SUmming it all Up 

While the above issues and JT's play calling this past week definitely need to be addressed, I could certainly be overreacting to a single poor game by Ohio State. I do know that I have seen the writing on the wall for other teams and when there is smoke there is usually fire coming down the road. The Buckeyes could have just had their usual trouble with the Illini, but there is no excuse for a team with as much talent as OSU has to come out as flat as they did against the Zookers. The players and coaches both need to look themselves in the mirror and decide if they want to win a National Championship this season. If the answer is yes, I expect to see a better team on the field next weekend. 

50 Comments

Comments

elaydin's picture

According to people at the game, TP was having issues stepping into his throws when warming up.  That (and the wind, which the BTN announcers totally ignored) would explain why we only attempted one pass after he came back.

I hadn't thought about the EMU play since TP seemed to be running pretty well in the first half.  

O-H Kee Pa's picture

"According to people at the game..." That's the extent of the talk on 11W right now. "WebMD says this about quad strains!" "Tressel needs to do X, Y, and Z or we're looking at Cap One Bowl!"

 

Calm down! I'm not a homer. I recognize our issues. But flash back a year, and we're 4-1 right now because the 2009 Buckeyes don't win that game. I agree that things need to change before Madison, but if history has taught us anything (www.firejimtressel.com and other shit like that post-Purdue Harbor), we just need to be patient and see how things play out.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

I sincerely appreciate reading some calm and fair analyses like this one. It seems like we have a one-game memory of our team; we need to remember that JT has done well for us in the past, just like O-H KEE PA has said. 

ToledoBuckeye's picture

I agree with everything you have said!

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes
 

NYC Buckeye's picture

"It seems Brandon Saine decided the last few weeks that once he touched the ball he would run right into the closest defender and fall down"  -  lol....my thoughts exactly...

Herron should be the full time starter, Saine should be used primarily on passes out of the backfield... 

Jeffrey Thal's picture

Love all the Coaches Blogging.  Just Win baby, Win!!!

Go Bucks

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I find this whole "who should be the starter" talk funny because it seems like 7+% of "us" were saying the opposite before the season started and at the end of last season.

 

I'm wondering if Berry and Hall are that far behind Boom/Zoom and if that's why their not getting PT...

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

osujake9's picture

Who brought the good news bear? Someone give him some f'n honey.

NW Buckeye's picture

Wow, doom and gloom for the Buckeyes. And we know it is true because Alex posted it. Yeah, the Buckeyes are going to get smacked because they just don't have any talented players and the coaching staff sucks. And, what little talent they do have seems to be getting injured on every other play. May as well just throw in the towel on this season because Alex has just pointed out that this team will not be able to win every game in a fashion to his liking. Please let us know, oh mighty football Master Alex, how the teams you coach have performed under your superiour guidance. And, we would all like you to lend your expertise in helping recruit the athletes that will be able to replace these sub par players that tOSU has placed on scholarship.

By the way, prognosticating a loss for the Buckeyes is easy - few people realize just how difficult it is to finish the college season undefeated. Any team can lose on any given weekend And, as we are seeing, there are many circumstances that come up during a season that can cause a team to take a down turn. That doesn't mean that we should not speculate and voice our concerns, but hopefully that is accomplished while still being a fan of the team.

Alex's picture

Easy there NW Buckeye! We're all on the same team here. I think it's extremely difficult to go undefeated. All I'm saying is this team has the ability to do so and win a MNC. This is a special team and all the article is saying are there are some things the coaching staff needs to sort out to help us get to where we can. I never once said I don't believe in JT to get the job done or that i didn't think he would. All I said in the opening was that if they play as flat as they did against Illinois they will lose a game. That is truth and you cannot deny that.

I'm all for winning however we can. I do think the college game has changed a lot since we won the MNC in 02-03 and I think sometimes Tress needs to be more open and trusting of Terrelle. If winds and the injury were a factor, that is fine, we won the game. If he was being conservative, well I don't neccessarily agree. You're right though, it's hard to argue with a guy who won 5 straight big ten titles and wins over 10 games per season!

RBuck's picture

My prediction is that TP will play this week until (if) the game is in hand. No running plays called for him and just short quick passes. Indy has a lousy run defense. If the Bucks can't put 200 up yds. with their RB's this week, they never will.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

TLB's picture

Spot on, Alex

Chimdi Chekwa < Vinnie Clark......how scarey is that?

O-Line...a constant source of angst during the Bollman/Tressel era.  I am guessing it is more than the players.  I am not a fan of the Zone Blocking scheme.

Injuries.  Every week it is someone new.  We may be ok now, but any more and we could be in deep trouble.

Play Calling.....I will never get used to trying to run the clock out from the middle of the 3rd quarter on. 

Natty Light's picture

 agree on chekwa...nothing against the guy, but he has never been that good.  he is a 3rd year starter because we have nobody better. 

 

we have a lot of highly touted talent that has not lived up.  adams, shugarts, brew, boren were all considered the best of the best coming in.  we should have the best O line in the country.  we should be stacked at DB...we have lost a few corners/safeties this/last year because of playing time concerns with the recruits ahead of them.  I also expected the line to be great...not good, by now. 

builderofcoalitions's picture

Must be that time of year again. WTF? Did we lose Saturday? The Buckeyes had one tough game in adverse conditions (Is it always windy in Champaign?), in conference, on the road, versus a desperate team with an even more desperate coach coming off an extra week of practices, and all this after a pretty easy opening stretch. Plus, they won by double-digits. It's as if you all forget all the close calls versus inferior Big Ten talent over the years and the fact that Tressel teams always build as the season progresses. Give me a break. It's funny how the running game Chimdi Chekwa have replaced special teams as the reasons we'll lose the rest of our games.

Relax, Buckeyes. 5-0. #2 in the nation. Heisman favorite. Working on a sixth straight conference crown.

It's gonna be alright.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Natty Light's picture

if pryor was not playing so well as a passer and even more dangerous runner than we saw last year, and jacory didn't throw 4 bad passes...this would be a hurricane of doomsdaying

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

lot's of "ifs" there.....

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

NW Buckeye's picture

If the sun doesn't come up tomorrow we will all die.

yrro's picture

The only thing I am worried about for this team right now is injuries. We have had way too many injuries to the secondary, and if Pryor goes down I'm pretty sure that is our season.

I'm sort of curious if he is injured for any length of time if they could go to more of a ground game with Kenny G running the same kind of rollouts and bootlegs they do with Pryor, without having to worry about how well he can pass it. The fake dave rollout we bring out to win close games seems as though it would work almost as well with him running it.

Brady's picture

Why in the world didn't we see some Kenny G on Saturday when Pryor was hurt?!  I realize our shot at the MNC this year takes a huge hit without Pryor but I do know one thing, Bauserman isn't the guy to put in there.  At least Kenny gives us a running option and he has at least looked competent throwing the ball in his limited action.  I really think he needs to get some reps with the first team this week just in case Pryor is hurt more than we think he is.  Watching Joe take snaps out there is about as fun as getting my tooth pulled.  I'm sure he is a nice guy but a division 1 QB he is not.

 
 

741's picture

Et tu, Alex?

Buckeye Black's picture

Was I upset, yes? Am I worried? Only if Pryor is really hurt. The conditions were bad, and Jimmy T. wanted to run the ball. Maybe he was sending a message to the line and backs, that if we want to win thus year we have to run the ball. We wouldn't even be complaining if Oregon and Boise St. played teams with defenses. I don't want to drop in the polls, but at the end it the day, winning and avoiding injuries trumps style points.

KINGOFDAMIDDIE's picture

Kenny G. needs to be number 2 quarterback and Jamaal berry and jordan hall need to be the top to backs. Jim Tressel won't make changes until we lose a game and then he will make changes. But if we get by with Saine and Herron playing like this than he will keep them starting.

yrro's picture

Saine is already getting fewer carries, or did you not notice the constant "Boom Herron Off Tackle" calls at the end of the game.

He's getting chances because at the end of last season, and for one game this season, he played like a feature back. I have no idea what happened to him in between then, but you don't toss out a senior who has played well in the past after one or two bad games. You give him a chance to prove himself still capable, and then slowly phase him out.

One thing our backs are not doing - fumbling. I'm pretty sure that's a good part of why they are in instead of giving Berry a ton of touches right off the bat.

Colin's picture

Want a crazy stat....here's one

That 11 points is the biggest margin of victory for any Tressel team when they played in Champaign. Yet we regressed?

cal3713's picture

I'm totally with the people who didn't mind this game/performance.  An eleven point win in poor conditions and with Pryor's backup (an injured Pryor) in for /2 of the game.  Minus th first drive, the D played lights out and the running game finally came through when it mattered and closed out the game in true Tressel style.  I understand the complaining from the talking heads who only watched highlights, but not the doom and gloom from people who actually watched the game. 

BuckeyeSaab's picture

At this point the only thing that makes any sense is to petition the NCAA to allow Ohio State to move to Div III.  Otherwise it's nothing but blow out loses for the rest of our lives.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I disagree. I think we can salvage what little hope we have left in the FBS if we just make a quick Les Miles hire.

Mike's picture

Illinois ALWAYS plays OSU tough, especially at home.  They took the 2002 to overtime and the 2006 team to the brink.  Not to mention that Big Ten weather conditions + a scary injury to the star player = full-on Tressel mode.

Are there concerns?  Yes.  Is it panic time? No.

cal3713's picture

Apparently no-one saw this quote:

"The worst thing was when I came back and the guys thought I was all right and they were saying, 'Come on Terrelle, lead us,' " Pryor said. "There was no way I could do anything but hand the ball off and maybe get a couple passes." (from:  http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=302750356)

 

Jesus, can we quit complaining about Tressel's play calling already?  It was time for the team to learn how to run the ball, and it looked like they started to figure it out...

gravey's picture

I have had these same concerns since Tress has been in Columbus...conservative play calling, irratic production from the tailbacks, injuries, uncertainty in the DB, disappearing O-line....yadda, yadda.   Buckeye fans suffer from both amnesia and some sort of OCD that makes them worry incessantly over what can't be changed...like those people who can't stop washing their hands.   Why should this season be any different than the others??  None of this ulcer-generating, hair-pulling fretting is going to change a damn thing at the WHAC.  The three Jims don't read our opinions.

Try to enjoy what is going to be an outstanding season, because it'll be over before you know it....

JakeBuckeye's picture

Cheers.

When Jim Tressel retires in 3-5 years, there's going to be way too many Ohio State fans who didn't get to fully appreciate what has graced our present throughout these years.

I won't be one of them.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

+ 1! I agree and make that same comment while using eSECpn like a broken record.

Jason Priestas's picture

We could always be these guys instead.

Oh, and the three Jims do read this site. Religiously. :)

Jason Priestas's picture

It is a bit surprising to see them at 3-1 considering the trouble that tends to follow Dan Hawkins.

blazers34's picture

prove it.

 

lol

tampa buckeye's picture

You better believe they hear the boos when they run it 70% of the time.  Its not 1957 anymore.

JohnBoy's picture

Not sure what to make of the performance. Mostly disappointed in the offensive line I guess, the is the Illini team that got burned by Missouri for about 400. They did have 2 weeks and were motivated for us. I will be at the IU game this week....I hope Pryor does play and that he is okay. Sucks for Moeller....damn guy can't catch a break.

I do agree with Jakebuckeye (who can be a dick...don't get mad Jake...it's my southern brainwashing) that Tressel would be missed. I feel that we have needed coordinator changes for awhile now specifically on offense. But Tress is all up in that play callin'. No one pursues our coordinators...a telling sign to me.

Did anyone watch Alabama vs Florida? Florida is of course young in alot of areas but the Tide execution and relentlessness is off the charts. I don't think we could hang with them. Did anyone see what Saban did to the punter after that shank late in the game? No mercy. When was the last time you saw someone go off on an offensive lineman that is missing blocks or patty cakin' out there? Never. Hell the Block O openly talk about fuckin' it up. "Film study will be rough tomorrow....." Oooooooohhh scary. Coach Bollman might get me down in the film room and cheek rub me with his bushy mustache!

I guess the players need to decide from here on out whether they want the NC or not. Desire and a nasty attitude could get them there.

Nothing will change with the coaching. No new running backs with a hot hand will get a chance. Chekwa will not turn around. No one will blitz. We will run on 2nd and 10, it's a law, it must be followed. We'll go to a BCS bowl and throw the ball 500 times for 1000 yards.

Three Jim weirdness, it's all around you.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

" . . . Illini team that got burned by Missouri for about 400." Mizz had 379 total yards, but only 98 on the ground against ILL. Mizz's average on the year is 431 yds and they're 17th in scoring at 37.8 With ILL giving up 4 TOs in that game, it was a fairly solid effort by the ILL defense.

Overall, ILL is now 37th in total defense and 42nd in rush defense against a fairly tough schedule by early season standards. They have some talented guys like Trulon Henry, Corey Liuget, Martez Wilson, Ian Thomas, and Michael Buchanan.

The conditions/factors, which I won't rehash here (wind, ILL having bye week, etc.), made a potentially good ILL defense better in this case. If ILL has some more tough losses, will that same ILL defense implode? Possibly, but that wouldn't negate their effort against Ohio State.       

JohnBoy's picture

Point.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

JakeBuckeye's picture

Weren't you the guy that said Florida and LSU are better than tOSU (or something to that affect?) Yes, sorry, I probably went a little overboard, but that's southern brainwashing. I would probably be a victim as well if I lived near SEC fans.

JohnBoy's picture

Our offense may be better but Florida's defense is as good as ours, LSU's is probably better. They both suffer from QB-itis.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

Bucksfan's picture

This article is exactly why the BCS sucks.  We should be able to look at a 1-2 loss season and be jacked to win the Big Ten and face the Pac-10 champ in the Rose Bowl.  Such a shame we're worried about 1 loss.  Going to the Rose Bowl is so hard it's ridiculous.  Every Big Ten team has a Rose Bowl mural in their weight rooms, film rooms, you name it.  Indiana has never been there.  Minnesota hasn't been there in over 40 years. 

Yeah, this Buckeye team probably isn't national-title good.  If it keeps up its tendencies, and the O-line continues to flub on run-blocking, if Saine and Herron keep going down with arm tackles, this team is not going to win every game.  But, as long as it can do it against the best teams it plays, calling Pasadena home on January 1st is a GOOD thing!

Eric Sammie Byrne's picture

Alex I agree totally.

After the first 2 games i was encouraged by the O-line, then they seemed to regress the last 2 weeks.  I don't care who is the O-coordinater is, as long as Bollman is the O-line coach the offense will struggle.  it all starts and stops at the line of scrimage, and i have no confidence in Bollman's group against better competition.

The only saving grace is the D seems to be albe to make teams one dimensional.  The're playing the run excelently.

So far i'm highly disappointed in the play of the D-line.  Heacocks best every, he must have a poor memory.  D-line in 2002 had 4 guys play in the NFL.  At best this team has 2, and 1 will have to play linebacker.  D-line still has less sacks than the O-line has given up.  Wouldn't mind seeing 'He Ate Me' and Heyward should play in the middle and Simon and Williams play on the outside.  Simon just looks quicker than Heyward.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" - Albert Einstein

Natty Light's picture

simon is not quick enough to be a great end...heyward is an end or strong enough to be a 3-4 end.  not an elite rusher but he will not get pushed around.  I'd like to see us blitz a LB more (a la moeller - hope he gets another year of eligibility) or put another quick guy in coverage.  the LB's should play off the run a little better since the line is stopping the run so well. 

Matt's picture

Alex I understand where you are coming from, but I think the sample size for the 2010 team is skewed and remains too small. Illinois was a perfect storm of weather inhibiting our pass-first offense, of terrifying injuries to the most outstanding players on our offense and defense, and an Illinois team that typically plays us loose, close, confident, and almost always come close without actually winning. 

Even if Tressel's playingcalling is bland, you must give the man credit for adaptation.  The offense under TP has gone from play-action in early 2008 to shotgun zone-read back to iso-runs late last year and into shotgun pass early this year.  One need only look back to last year when TP's knee was injured during New Mexico state.  The coaches revamped the offense and managed to grind out hard fought wins in the teeth of the Big 10 schedule. 

Losing Moeller is awful, but Bryant gives us a new dimension.  If Bryant is more of a safety-corner hybrid, Jermale is more of a safety-linebacker hybrid who can help in run support.  Bryant gives us an added dimension of pass coverage, which is our true weakness in light of lackluster corners.  John Clay and company are intimidating, but I wouldn't trade our front seven for any other unit in the NCAA against the run. 

On Saturday, Tressel plays for his 100th win as OSU's head coach.  In the hundred plus years of Big 10 football history, only two coaches -- Fielding Yost and Bo Schembechler -- have reached 100 wins in a shorter span of games.  Based on that metric, Jim Tressel is literally a once in a generation coach. He deserves the benefit of the doubt.  With Tressel as our general and TP as the hero on the field -- hobbled or not -- I will continue to believe in this squad.

costinjr's picture

when has tress ever changed anything?

If we don't have a back that can do it himself (clarette, pittman, beanie) then we have no back (lydell ross, herron and saine). The Buckeye nation has been calling for a legitimate offensive line coach for years, and we haven't seen any changes because tressel "loves" Bollman. We consistently get top tier lineman year in year out, but we carve out their talent on a college level, and I have a very hard time believing that it doesn't have anything to do with coaching at this point. I mean look at the what happened to Boone. With the talent we have consistently coming into tOSU, there is no reason that Nick Mangold should be one of the only prominent offensive linemen in the NFL. It comes down to coaching, and while I in no way am a fan of people saying "fire Tressel," which they undoubtedly will if we lose a game, (and even maybe if we win by a small margin) Tress needs to realize that at some point something has got to give. Something is wrong and we're not changing anything about it, and I'm sure we're going to get a scare from Indiana, and I can't believe I'm saying this....INDIANA, this weekend. Here's my take on some seasonal fixes.

1. Let Guiton back up TP, Tressel did it with Krenzel and McMullan when Bellisari(Verysorry) was out, when McMullan was the clear backup, and what happened? oh right, our first victory up north in God knows how long.

2. Gotta get Jordan Hall and Jamal Berry in the game. There are too many people saying this. If anything Tress should throw them in and if they mess up, then that's our bad Tress not yours, but this "lets run Boom and Zoom because who knows they might break one at some point, in some game, possibly down the line" attitude has got to go. Again, Tress started clarrett, and pryor then it is possible that he can start other underclassmen over seniors

3. Secondary i have no fix for this, except blitzing more, and mixing up coverages...what happened to dropping linemen back into coverage, that seemed to work in game 2 right?

4. Let TP throw. He's shown he can have pocket awareness and he has been doing well so far. Yeah the INT at illinois was terrible but I don't think he's that prone to throwing interceptions that really hurt us (OU-end of the half bomb, and the other one that was another bomb downfield[almost the same as a punt])

5. Strength and Condition? I have a hard time believing how many injuries there have been this year. I honestly can't remember a year where we've had this many starters go down with season ending injuries. I know it's football but man alive this is killing me, and it's also gotta be killing Eric Lichter.

 

I am hoping that Indiana is not going to be a game where we struggle, I can't take trash talk from my hoosier side of the family during football season, it would be totally unacceptable

Kurt's picture

Yep.  We continually do less with more.  Our recruits are top-tier, and yet tons of teams out there are doing more with lesser recruits with good coaching and superior schemes.  We need a real offensive coordinator and o-line coach.

buckeyedude's picture

I just hope we get an early lead vs. IU so we may pull Terrelle and get Kenny some reps in a game. Bauserman may be a nice young man, but I think most would agree, God forbid,  if we have to finish the season with a Pryor at 75% or out for the season, we're screwed.

 

 

BigRedBuckeye's picture

This is trash. Reading this was like eating rotten bacon: in there somewhere there is some worthy content, but then it totally went bad and left a sour taste in my mouth.

Is this a perfect team operating on all cylinders? No.

But the doom and gloom forecast here is sensationalism at it's best. As others have pointed out, with TP hurt/out, the wind, on the road for the first time this year, against a team with extra time to prepare with very respectable defensive numbers, in conference, and we win by double digits with a dominating 4th quarter on both sides of the ball, and you want to go treating it like "we escaped" or something? I expect more even handed analysis from this terrific website.

Further, I don't see any numbers to back up any of these comments, so that makes them totally subjective perceptions, and not very convincing ones, to me, having watched the game twice and looked at some numbers.

First, you cite a need for the defense to be more aggressive "like last year" to help the o-line break up pass protection to assist the secondary you perceive as weak. But if we look at statistical evidence of such aggressive behavior, we actually see that, thus far, the numbers indicate the 2010 team to be the more aggressive in bringing people on pass plays. Thus far in 2010, 31.25% of our sacks have come from non-defensive line positions, whereas in 2009, the number dips to 27.4%. Thus far in 2010 35.41% of our TFLs have come from non-DL players, and in 2009 the number was virtually identical at 35.66%. If you want to call for more blitzes/pressure from non-DL sources, fine, but don't harken back to last year to do it.

Second, you posit that you are "a firm believer that there are many telling signs in games of lesser importance that show you what type of team you really have when the big game comes around." That is to say, struggling early in a season against an inferior opponent foretells failure to come once the competition gets better. This is often true, but so is the converse. Everyone here should know that victorious stumbles against Cincy, Purdue, and Illinois in 2002 did NOT in fact, foretell doom to come, but instead hardened the team into a champion. But others, non-OSU examples are plentiful. Here, let me cite some actual examples: 2009 Alabama led only 20-14 at the half home against FIU in September, and in the middle of October needed 2 blocked FGs, including one as time ran out, to beat an unranked Tennessee team, at home. In 2000, Oklahoma had close calls against a Texas A&M team that would go 7-5, and at unranked Oklahoma State. In '97, mighty Nebraska escaped away games at unranked Missouri and unranked Colorado. Lesser examples include 2005 Texas being down 28-12 against unranked Oklahoma State, 2001 Miami escaping unranked BC 18-7, and 1999 Florida escaping unranked Clemson 17-14 and being down 10-7 against lowly UVA. Perhaps the best example is the 2004 USC team that, in the 4th game of a "NC or bust" season went to play a Stanford team that would finish 4-7 for their conference opener (Stanford having had 2 weeks to prepare), found themselves down 28-17 at half-time and escaped with a 31-28 win (they would also later survive a scare from UCLA later that season).

What do all these teams have in common? They went undefeated and won a NC. So while close games or poor halves/quarters of games against inferiors opponents might foretell coming problems, it can also galvanize a team and make them better, as issues are identified and shored up, injuries, turnovers, and weather are overcome, and young players learn and improve.

Third, you say this is "not an elite OSU" defense, and you are entitled to your opinion, but currently we are 11th nationally in scoring defense, 7th in rushing defense, 18th in passing defense (for realz??), 4th in total defense, T-9th in interceptions, 21st in passes defended, 16th in 3rd down defense, 17th in red zone defense, and 5th in turn over margin. We have had years more dominant than this, but to call this defense something other than elite is completely inaccurate, in my opinion, especially when it comes to Total Defense and Turnovers. 

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes!