11W Roundtable: Colorado Week

By Chris Lauderback on September 23, 2011 at 10:00a
Put both hands on that ball, son. 

With yesterday's news that Braxton Miller will make his first collegiate start this weekend against Colorado, there's a new wave of tempered optimism sweeping the fanbase. 

That's pretty significant considering what unfolded in Sun Life Stadium last Saturday night. Now, the question is whether or not that optimism will have been extinguished by a poor showing from Miller or if it will ratchet up to early-TP levels thanks to Miller blowing up against a very beatable Colorado team.

Miller going off is obviously the perfect storm as the Buckeyes would enter conference play on a high against an also beatable Spartan squad, just one game away from the return of Boom, Posey and Adams. Basically, this season could still be very interesting. 

Anyhoo, since I can't think of a smooth transition into this week's roundtable, let's just get to it...

Along with Ben Buchanan, Jordan Hall was the most impressive Buckeye last week despite the fact he did most of his damage on runs up the gut. That goes against what most of us thought would be the manner in which he was primarily utilized so how do you think he’ll be used most often this week?

Corey: I have to believe Hall continues to run up the gut. For me, overall the O-Line has done a good job of blocking this year and the holes have been there to run though. I've been impressed with Hall since the jersey scrimmage his freshman year and he has done nothing but make plays when he gets the opportunity. Hall's yards up the middle is the progression of a hard working kid, who has made the most of his chances and is becoming a well rounded RB in front of our eyes. When Boom gets back and the weather turns colder, OSU is going to be able to run for over 200 yards each week and Miller will just need to make a handful of plays to help win the game.

Joe: Since he's starting, I expect him to be in all of the various packages OSU runs. With Miller starting, we will see more of the spread look and so there won't be as much "up the gut" as we saw with Joe B. starting. But he'll still be running Dave every now and then.

Danny: He’ll be used in a similar fashion, but you could see him line up as a receiver more often as well. Miller will need a dump-off target and Hall proved throughout fall camp he can make plays in that position.

Will Jaamal Berry see any more time at RB? Why or why not?

Sarah: This week and next week, sure. After Boom returns, I'm less certain. It might depend on his hamstring. Ohio State's a run-first team, so it's nice to have plenty of options, but Berry will probably be the fourth guy come the Nebraska game. Returning kicks and punts and maybe catching screen passes might be his best chance at playing time. 

Johnny: Probably not. I feel like there's more to his injury than is being let on, and if Hall is productive then Bollman will be content to stick with the known quantity. 

Joe: That depends on his health. If he's 100%, then I think he gets some time here and there to give Hall a rest. He has more explosion than Hyde and his upside is greater. Nothing against Carlos, but I really want to see what Berry can do. 

Switching to the defense, which player has been the biggest disappointment so far? Why?

Danny: Orhian Johnson. I heard so many positive reviews about this guy coming out of fall camp but he’s looked lost at times in the secondary. I’m not ready to give up on him and jump on the Bryant band wagon yet, but he’s got to show improvement.

Corey: Tyler Moeller. I don't know if it's been the schemes or teams are doing a better job of blocking him, but I can't recall a single play he has made in the first 3 games. He has whiffed on some tackles and seems to be getting eaten up by blocks. With the loss of Williams, this defense needs an emotional leader like Moeller to step up and get the intensity back up to where it needs to be. 

Sarah: Considering Moeller was my preseason pick for defensive MVP, I should probably go with him, but I don't like saying anything bad about the guy. So instead, step on up, Storm Klein. He was getting rave reviews during the offseason, and it seemed like he had about 70% of Ohio State's gabillion missed tackles against Miami. Ryan Shazier is listed as Andrew Sweat's backup at weakside linebacker, and I don't understand enough about the intricacies of each LB type to know if he could play the other spots, but I want to see more of this guy on the field. 

Coming off suspension, Travis Howard was immediately inserted as the starting wide corner despite the strong play of both Roby and Clarke. If you are running the show, who are your starting corners and why?

Sarah: I've mostly buried the Miami game deep inside, where it will one day combine with the 2007 title game, the 1998 Michigan State game, and the 199(fill in the blank) Michigan game. Then, I will suddenly snap and take on a few different personalties: Mary, a colonial woman with a love of quilting; Sheila, a sassy black lady who prefers not to be called sassy because it's a bit of a stereotype; and Viktor, a Hungarian champion tennis player. What I'm trying to say is that other than the interceptions and Roby not turning his head on a TD, I don't remember a whole lot about how the corners played. If anyone has separated himself, I haven't noticed, so I don't care too much about who starts, just as long as all three play, which I'm assuming happens. I guess whoever can cover DeVier Posey in practice should start.

Johnny: This is tough. Roby had been playing well against some sub-par competition, and Clarke is athletic as they come. But neither of them have shown they can handle guys that are "at their level," so to speak. With that said, I think Howard will get better than we saw him play against Miami with more reps, and Clarke or Roby is a tossup at the other corner. Both are prone to massive brain farts, but since Roby's against Miami sticks out most in my mind right now, let's go with Clarke.

Danny: Howard and Clarke. Roby has done a phenomenal job in the secondary, but Howard won the job coming out of fall camp. This team needs its best players now more than ever and Howard is the most talented. Clarke made big play after big play in the Toledo game and has done everything to deserve to keep his starting job.

Orhian Johnson has been just meh, at least in my eyes, thus far while Christian Bryant has seen his PT stay fairly steady. In addition, Moeller hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. Taking all this into account, who are your starters at safety and star? Why?

Joe: I wouldn't change anything yet but maybe Bryant should play more as a way of sending a message to Johnson that he does not own the position.

Corey: I would keep it the same right now, starting Johnson, Moeller and Barnett. I know Johnson and Moeller have not done much this season, but I've always felt you need some experience on the back end and at some point Moeller is going to make plays. Bryant still plays a ton, but as we saw last year, they'll need all of these guys as the year progresses.  

If you could use just one particular form of torture on Jim Bollman, what would it be?

Sarah: He awakens one day alone in the woods with nothing but the clothes on his back. He has no idea where he is or how he got there. As he walks around, trying to figure out how to get out of this place, he hears whispers. At first, he doesn't recognize them but soon they surround him, and he realizes that he's hearing the voices of the '06 Florida defensive line. They are hunting him, the Most Dangerous Game-style. He tries to run, but it isn't long until they have captured him. Rather than kill him, though, they bring him to their cabin, blast that Pitbull Dr. Pepper song on repeat, and pluck his mustache, one hair at a time. He passes out from the pain (of the Pitbull song, mostly), only to start the day as the previous one began: alone in the woods. 

Johnny: Force him to memorize and recite perfectly Mike Martz's entire St. Louis Rams playbook in front of an audience consisting of Gus Malzhan, Mike Leach, and the ghost of Ghengis Khan.

Describe Joe Bauserman’s throwing motion somehow using the word ‘spiral’ in your response.

Danny:  Anti-Spiral.

Johnny: Joe Bauserman throws a football in exactly the same way a fart wafts through a crowded room. Spiral. 

Corey: If Bauserman sees the field again this season, his throwing motion will cause the Ohio State program to go into a downward spiral for the next couple of years. 

Make one bold prediction about the game on Saturday.

Corey: Miller doesn't turn the ball over. 

Joe: OSU will complete more than 10 passes, and 2 will go for TD's.

Sarah: Devin Smith will be the leading receiver. This probably won't happen. I'm awful at predictions. I'm now going to say a prayer for the safety of Devin Smith.

Johnny: Colorado not bringing Ralphie on the trip will make me more angry than anything else that happens on the field. 

Looking at the current roster of non-seniors, which player has the best chance to be an All-American at some point in their career and why?

Sarah: Big Hank, and not just because I love saying "Big Hank!" like he's Norm from Cheers. He's been playing three times as many plays in a game this season as he did last season, and even on Miami's last TD, I noticed he was still motoring (I then sang to him, "what's your price for flight?" because that game made me a little [more] loopy.) I liked him a lot last year, and he seems to be progressing quite a bit. He's learning to deal with double teams now, and he's only a sophomore. Big Hank!

Joe: Jonathan Hankins, because he's a beast in the middle.

Danny: Devin Smith. I can’t say enough about this guy because I think he’s the real deal. It’s a shame he isn’t getting more opportunities, and he’ll most likely receive even less when Posey comes back. However, Smith is lightning quick and has the ability to be one of the best receivers in the NCAA.

Johnny: Michael Bennett. He's possibly our third or fourth best d-lineman on a team with Nate Williams and John Simon. He's also a true freshman. This is also his first year of playing football exclusively at a defensive position. He also has honey badger and hippo DNA. Bet you didn't know that. Now you do.


Comments Show All Comments

Bucksfan's picture

Starting Braxton is a long-term investment.  I honestly don't think there is any QB on the roster that can deliver a division title this year.  But we know that Joe Bauserman will not be here after this year anyway, so throw the kid to the wolves.

Sights set on positive signs, but a run in 2012 or 2013.

BoFuquel's picture


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

How many plays do you think we'll see tomorrow that are straight out of Urban Meyer's playbook? The guy has been practically insisting that Braxton play as if he were already the head coach.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

We have a kick butt d-line with lots of bodies in the rotation, but we need some pass rushers. With Williams out, we just font have the homing missile at DE that we need. Here's to Odenigbo picking the good guys and Shazier getting more play time (and yes, Shazier is a LB, but that kid has some speed that the D needs).

Buckeyejason's picture

Our D-line is pretty good..I don't see anything great though.

How about Adolphus Washington? I think we have a better chance with him them Odenigbo.

He seems to be more ready to contribute early anyways. And looks like Shazier will be our future at Will.


Buckeye in Athens's picture

Yeah I think Washington is in the bag, but I wasn't sure if he seems destined for strong or weak side end. I think it'll be a lot harder to get Odenigbo away from Stanford or a similar type school.

I do however think that this line will be elite when Williams gets back. It is incredibly talented and deep. I think it looks less impressive statistically because of weak play from the linebackers (though Sabino has looked solid), STAR position, and from Johnson in the secondary. Not to mention the fact that Barnett was out the entire last season. When these guys get more experience, they'll kill it in B1G play.

Buckeyejason's picture

How many plays from Urbans book? Prob none. Bolman will call 3 different plays from his 3 play book.

Future All-Americans?

Well the way Simon has been playing he has a chance to maybe garner some AA honors next year. I don't think Big Hank will ever have the stats to be considered.

Devin Smith-down the road.

Jordan Hall as a returner

Andrew Norwell- 2013?

Bradley Robey- going to have a lot of years as a starter under his belt.

Biggest disapointment on defense could be a # of people, Orhian Jonson is an easy target as well as Tyler Moeller.


Maestro's picture

Big Hank is on pace to have 50 tackles and 8 TFL's. Those are pretty solid stats for a D Tackle.

Just as a point of reference Terrence Cody or Marcel Dareus never had more than 33 tackles in a season.

Nick Fairley had 60 tackles and Stephen Paea had 46 as your consensus All American defensive tackles last year.

vacuuming sucks

theDuke's picture

orhian "two hand touch (tht)" johnson takes the prize.


btalbert25's picture

Remember the Toledo game, I know of at least 2 occasions where Devin Smith was wide open and Bauserman missed him miserably at least on those 2 occasions?  I think Braxton makes those passes and we realize once Posey gets back we have a couple nasty WR's on the side of the good guys.  I don't think Braxton playing = wins, but I do think he gives this team a better opportunity to win.

BuckPirate1981's picture

Ah, but Sarah, you forgot about your fourth personality - Russell, who constantly derides Viktor for his tennis playing, calling him a "sissy" and telling him to play a "real man's sport," like boxing or football.  Taking you over as you scream obsenities at the TV at yet another fourth down in the red zone and yet another field goal.  At which point Mary takes Viktor aside and hands him a quilting magazine, showing him an outlet for his frustration at Russell... Oh dear God that wasn't what's going on in Sarah's mind it was my childhood.  Sigh.  

And question, isn't Ralphie staying at home a good thing?  Now we don't have natural grass and all.  And buffallo poo being well I don't know for sure, but I would assume, massive.  

Buckeyejason's picture

Yeah its a shame Devin Smith isn't getting more looks. I can tell you right now he's by far a better play maker than V.Redd and C.Fields. The guy just looks so fluid and confident with the ball out there.


JLP36's picture

Fear not, Buckeyes.  Miami was not as bad as it felt.  A near average passing game gets a win.  The D allowed a few big plays early, but the bad guys were sitting on 17 until 30 clicks left.  A young D away from home for the first time at night in a big game can give up a few plays.  The D settled in well.  Young LBs are overrunning plays.  Young LBs do.  Offensive line is playing WELL.   Imagine that game with a near average QB throwing to WRs who catch.  Imagine Jacory Harris having to pass his team back into the game.  This team can win the rest (have to be perfect in order to beat Wisc).  5 will come along.


builderofcoalitions's picture

 I've mostly buried the Miami game deep inside, where it will one day combine with the 2007 title game, the 1998 Michigan State game, and the 199(fill in the blank) Michigan game. Then, I will suddenly snap and take on a few different personalties: Mary, a colonial woman with a love of quilting; Sheila, a sassy black lady who prefers not to be called sassy because it's a bit of a stereotype; and Viktor, a Hungarian champion tennis player. What I'm trying to say is that other than the interceptions and Roby not turning his head on a TD, I don't remember a whole lot about how the corners played. If anyone has separated himself, I haven't noticed, so I don't care too much about who starts, just as long as all three play, which I'm assuming happens. I guess whoever can cover DeVier Posey in practice should start.

Maybe the best answer ever for the roundtable.

Because we couldn't go for three.

flipbuckeye's picture

False. This is:

Johnny: Joe Bauserman throws a football in exactly the same way a fart wafts through a crowded room. Spiral.

Colin's picture

I second this.

btalbert25's picture

See, I think the Miami game was as bad as it seemed.  They just aren't a very good team at all.

NW Buckeye's picture

I like your optomism. 

btalbert25's picture

It's not about being pessimistic, but realistic.  That game was a turd last week.  Miami is probably 4-6 loss team this year.


NW Buckeye's picture

Call it what you want, you always seem to see the worst side of things. Miami may indeed lose several more games this year.  So may the Buckeyes.  But I enjoy the journey - yes, even though last week was the worst I have seen them play in a long time, I still saw areas of strength, and areas where I know they will improve.  You seem to not enjoy it so much unless they live up to your expectations, and even if they do you would surely find fault with their performance.  And your posts indicate that you do not think they will improve.  Yes, I am an optomist, but I do not forecast this team coming anywhere close to what you would like to see, or for that matter winning enough to get into a prestigious bowl (so in that sense I am a realist).  However, I still cheer for them, and as frustrated as I get with the outcome I still enjoy the opportunity to see them play. 

btalbert25's picture

Pretty much every post I've made, although I've been honest and said the team is not very good right now, I've said I expect a young team to improve.  There's been a tendancy by many to react and say well you're a cry baby, a whiner, a fake Buckeye etc, just because some have the audacity to say right now this team is bad. 

Last week was the first time in the history of me coming onto this site where I picked against Ohio State.  It just so happened I was right and the winner of a free T-shirt.  I've picked the Buckeyes to win pretty much every game the last 4 or 5 years.  I've always been positive on this site, but not a blind homer either.  I've not been affraid to point out when the team didn't look good.  Right now they don't.  In the past we had a legendary coach to lead the team forward no we don't.

However, none of that means I don't take joy in watching the game.  I knew by halftime last week they were going to lose, but I sat there and hoped and cheered that I would be wrong.  So, again, don't take me being realistic as me being a pessimist either.  They aren't 1 in the same. 

NW Buckeye's picture

I really did not mean to confront you. It's just that i see it as "one game does not a season make". Looking back at the debacle in LA vs USC anyone could have assumed that there many more losses ahead for that season. You can counter with USC that year was much better than this years Miami, but they went on to lose their next game to a very average Oregon State. Whether this team rebounds like the freshman Pryor led Buckeyes remains to be seen, but they do have the potential to put that game behind them much like that team did. It's going to take a lot of work, but I think it is possible. And, yes I do believe that an average passing game by OSU would have won that game last week. But, it probably would have just delayed the inevitable bad game with Baus at the helm. Just maybe losing last week was a good thing for the long run.

theDuke's picture

i have to agree al. I've said before that our magic # is 25- that's how many points we have to score to realistically have a chance in every game. Blowlman killed it with a whopping 6 pts. last week.  I challenge the o' hairlipped one, to actually call a good game. We will be your judge. REady? Set. GO!!!


Buckeyejason's picture

That's nice optimistic way of thinking and breaking down the game/season..kind of a glass half full perspective.

But it wasn't and won't be as happy go lucky as that. Major lack of certain things/qualities whatever you want to call it for this team to win out the rest of the year.


Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's Bauserman's fault that Colorado is not bringing Ralphie. The buffalo's handlers could not risk Ralphie getting beaned on the sidelines by one of Bauserman's wounded ducks. And when Ralphie gets spooked, all hell breaks loose. 

btalbert25's picture

lol, he's our own Johnny Moxon

BoFuquel's picture

As fans it's time to go into wait till next year mode.Our best hope is TOSU can get as big a paydayas possible at the end of the season.We can still get some entertainment out of watching the coaching staff wiggle out there on the end of a fishing line,and that's sick.Enjoy.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

mike78's picture

On Sunday I was telling my friends that I wouldn't be surprised if this team lost 6-8 games this season. If the offense looks like it did on Saturday there are absolutely no automatic wins.

As the week moved forward my optimism gradually returned.  At this point, I'm hoping Braxton gets all the meaningful snaps tomorrow and a chance to build some confidence as the starting QB.  I'm hoping the defense slows down a bit and pitches a shutout.  I'm hoping a more confident, less jittery, freshman Quarterback and a stout defense can beat Sparty next week.  

If they can, the game in Lincoln doesn't really matter.  If they can impove each week and beat Illinois and that team to the northwest, they'll be four very winnable games away from the Big Ten championship game.