Preview: Colorado at Ohio State

By Johnny Ginter on September 23, 2011 at 12:30p
54 Comments
Tiny. Terrifying?
Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State 2-1, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 3:30 PM ET - ABC/ESPN —— Ohio Stadium Columbus, OH Colorado Buffaloes Colorado 1-2, 0-0 Big 12 Roster | Schedule

Okay, last week happened. It did. We have to deal with that.

Kidding! Of course we don't have to deal with it! Instead we'll push all the rage and hate that resulted from that horrible evening deep into the pit of our stomachs until it forms into a little egg, a little egg that will grow and mature with each subsequent loss during this season until it hatches right before the Michigan game, filling our bodies with a baby hate demon that will override all rational thought for a week.

But that's months away, and today I'm here to deal with the matter at hand: the Colorado Buffaloes. It's hard to really pin down the Buffaloes this year; dealing with the aftermath of the Dan Hawkins is Jon Embree, the twenty-fourth head coach of Colorado football in the last 120ish years or so. To keep that in perspective, Ohio State has had only... 23. Hmm.

So both programs are in flux. Under ideal conditions, OSU would be a top 10 football team and Colorado would be relevant enough for College Gameday to devote a ten minute segment on the general care of large North American land mammals (just kidding, this will happen anyway). Instead OSU finds itself outside of the top 25 for the first time since Mike Nugent was OSU's most potent offensive weapon, and Colorado finds itself hoping that it's 11 new friends will be chiller bros than their last group of homies.

Strange times, indeed.

Opponent

Though an abject failure, the Dan Hawkins era didn't leave the cupboard completely bare for the Buffaloes. Sure, said cupboard is stocked with a couple 25 year old year old containers of tarragon and paprika along with a half eaten granola bar, but I've made meals from less in my lifetime and hopefully has Jon Embree.

25 year old random condiment container #1 is senior quarterback Tyler Hansen, who I'll generously/back handedly call the third level Pokemon evolution of Joe Bauserman. If Joey B was given relatively consistent snaps for a few years in a row, ideally he'd level up and become something similar to what Hansen brings to the table. Not the biggest (6'1", 215lbs) or even the most accurate (55% completion rate for the season), he's still got a fairly impressive 7:1 TD:INT ratio and poses a legit passing threat to the Buckeye defense. Expect him to challenge OSU at all levels of the defense, and also to maybe surprise a bit with an ability to pick up yards on broken plays.

Colorado's other main weapon on offense is running back Rodney Stewart. Stewart is roughly the size and weight of an angry wombat, but much faster. Also he makes use of this opposable thumbs in a manner that must make his marsupial brethren jealous, meaning that Stewart is a threat in both the running and passing game. He got off to a slow start this year on the ground, but a good game against Colorado State last week saw him rush for nearly 100 yards and catch 7 passes. If you're the kind of person who does well with player similes, think Tyrell Sutton. Also in the pass catching business is wide receiver Paul Richardson, who has 18 catches for 360 yards already this year, and who I might be cursing the family of about halfway through the third quarter.

Colorado's defense is adequate, and that's about it. They're allowing opposing offenses to make roughly 50% of their third downs, and though they've got some playmakers in the secondary, Colorado plays a 3-4 with an undersized 3. What this does is basically provide OSU with carte blanche to run Dave and Iso plays until Jim Bollman's eyes roll back into his head with pleasure. Hopefully Jake Stoneburner can make Colorado's relatively undersized secondary and linebackers look as undersized as they are on paper.

Offensively, it's pretty obvious what Colorado is going to try to do; tell Stewart to act as the 3rd WR when he isn't rushing up the middle mostly ineffectually and then pick on whatever safety/cornerback is having a crappy game. And in the even that's not working... well, do it anyway. Hansen burned Cal for 474 yards through the air, and if they can replicate that on Saturday, welp. In other words, Colorado really doesn't have a lot to lose on offense, and so far this year not too many teams have been burned by looking for the big gain against this OSU defense. Colorado's defense will probably just try to blitz Braxton Miller nearly every down, and when they aren't blitzing they'll be shouting insults at him and also dropping back like 8 guys and daring him to throw the ball further than 3 or 4 yards.

Buckeye Breakdown

Let the Braxton Miller era begin. Okay, yes, the guy had a bad game against Miami. But for now it seems like the two QB system is dead, and thank God for that. One thing I think we can all appreciate about Braxton is is ability to cycle through his reads, and because of that I think that players like Zach Boren and Jordan Hall are going to play a big part in OSU's passing game. Also going to be a large part of OSU's passing game: screaming, me making sacrifices to the Mayan bat-god Camazotz, anger. Lots of anger.

But! Jordan Hall. Jordan Hall played like a man possessed against Miami, both by a very good running back ghost and also severe leg cramps. Honestly I was pretty surprised that he looked as good as he did; in 2010 the guy only averaged 4.35 yards per carry for the season, but against the Hurricanes he was going for 6.2 per and had 87 yards on only 14 carries. Colorado's defense isn't awful, but they aren't better than Miami, and their 3-4  isn't going to help them much against an offensive line that seems to be hitting on all cylinders. If the young WR corps and Stoney aren't giving Braxton the help he needs early, Saturday is going to turn into the Jordan Hall Show (with special guest Carlos Hyde) pretty quickly.

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

The defensive line continues to be the strength of the OSU defense, but without a guy like Nate Williams Leo'ing it up out there and other guys like Storm Klein and Bradley Roby whiffing at tackles coming off of the edge, one concern that OSU has to have is the threat of Rod Stewart exploiting the edges of the defense for big gains. Safety play is going to be huge for this one; if guys like Bryant and Johnson can't keep tabs on their assignments, there's a better than decent chance Stewart gets lost in the flotsam and springs one big.

It'll also be interesting to see how the cornerbacks play after two consecutive games of looking pretty poor. Colorado doesn't bring the same kind of athletes to the table that Miami did, but the running theme of the defense this season has been horrible eggy brain farts. You can be playing against a collection of ragtag middle schoolers coached by Rick Moranis for all it matters, if you can't get yourself in the right defensive position, you can be beat.

Special teams did have a few glimmers of hope last week. Ben Buchanan beasted with a 46.5 puting average, downing 3 inside the 20 and with a long of 60. Drew Basil made his first two field goals of the year, which shows that he might not be as broken as some might've thought. These killer B's might actually end up being a QB's  best friend tomorrow.

Prediction

Colorado is a middling team at best this year, even with some pretty extensive experience at key skill positions. Still, there now exists a pretty solid blueprint to beat Ohio State, and Colorado is going to try to build their Upset House with a combination of confusing OSU's defensive secondary, sweeps, tosses, and screens to the outside, and heavy pressure on Braxton Miller. Embree will likely be content to lean fully on whoever seems most likely to get the job done, be it Hansen or Stewart, but it'll be far more worrisome if Hansen is able to have the kind of game he did against Cal. Ohio State will likely look for something consistent on offense, which at this point means a steady dose of Hall and short passes to Stoney. If Braxton can complement that with some effective zone reads and the like, OSU might field something like a competent offense.

Last week a number of us here at Eleven Warriors foresaw a Buckeye loss, and as a result King Sad Guy was Luke with a prediction of 20-14 in favor of Miami. This week brings some more optimism among us at Eleven Warriors, although it was probably our most polarizing prediction yet. Still, with all the results tabulated, we put the numbers into Compu-tron 5000 and come up with...

Ohio State 26, Colorado 13

54 Comments

Comments

NW Buckeye's picture

Bucks play much better this week. 

OSU 35  Colorado 14

 

 

Buckeyejason's picture

35..really? We couldn't complete a pass to a reciever last week and you think we'll score 35 points the week after?

The only way I see that happening is if:

Hall or Berry return a kickoff or 2.

The Defense gets points off of turnovers

The running game completely dominates

BUCKEYES BABY!

tampa buckeye's picture

If Joe b doesn't play the whole game last week we score atleast 24 pts.  That said I think at home Braxton can come in 0-0 instead of 0-14 and relax and let the game come to him a bit more.  I don't mind if a guy makes a mistake trying to make a play. What I can not and won't stand for is a guy that doesn't have the balls to make one.  

Ohio State 35 C-rad 10

NW Buckeye's picture

Yeah, 35 really.....   Off by 2 points. 

Buckeyejason's picture

Good call there buddy, I'm as happy as you that we scored that much and won.

But I wouldn't get to carried away there that team we played was about as bad as they get.

BUCKEYES BABY!

NW Buckeye's picture

Won't get carried away with this win.  CO is not a bad team, but they are far from good.  I just figured we could score 35 or more as the only team they held under 30 was CO State.  We are a better team than CO State. I also believe we are better than CA and HI.  Next week is a different story, still think we should win, but MSU is a much better team and could easily come out on top.  Depends which MSU team shows up - if the one that played ND shows up, we should win, if the MSU that played this weekend shows up it is a toss up.  That is why we play the game. 

 

 

BoFuquel's picture

If our D gives up 14 pts. this week ,I'm for public floggings on the oval next week.

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

Buckeyejason's picture

Already getting bad visions of Stewart running like Warrick Dunn on us.

Ohio state 13

Colorado 10

BUCKEYES BABY!

tampa buckeye's picture

If this happens I will eat shit. :)

BucksfanXC's picture

I predicted last week we would need 25pts to win. I was right on that point, but I was wrong on the point that I thought we would get those 25+ pts and win. This week in my shot to be wrong again, I think we will need fewer pts, probably 17, to win, but we will get far more, probably 28-35, and will win.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

btalbert25's picture

I'm going to say Ohio State 20 Colorado 17

Maestro's picture

Bucks 24
Buffs 17

vacuuming sucks

BED's picture

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Ohio State by 18.   28-10 good guys.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

rkylet83's picture

"What this does is basically provide OSU with carte blanche to run Dave and Iso plays until Jim Bollman's eyes roll back into his head with pleasure"

This might be one of the funniest phrases I've ever read.

theDuke's picture

now that we got our wish with Braxton, can we please have some more with Shazier? We need that guys speed and tackling in the middle of the field.

theDuke

Alex's picture

Is Shazier the new Sabino?

I kid. Shazier definitely deserves more reps, especially on pass downs where all he has to worry about is getting the QB. I said it when he was being recruited and I'll say it again...Jason Taylor 2.0

741's picture

Umm, Ryan Shazier = 6'2", 212lbs... Jason Taylor 6'6", 244lbs. Just sayin.

741's picture

I do have to say, the kid makes plays out there!

I wish we could have him starting at star or safety. (Which is essentially the same way I felt about B-Rolle - who ultimately proved me wrong and made an NFL roster as an undersized LB.) Clearly I don't know shit. GO BUCKS.

Buckeyejason's picture

He sure as hell suprised me. A lot more physical than I thought he'd be, especially since he was basically a finess speed rusher in H.S. He's basically going to have to start at Will next year..cause there's no way in hell Sabino or Klein is playing there.

BUCKEYES BABY!

theDuke's picture

LB corps was a huge concern of mine going into this season. I thought we might be able to get away with some suspect LB play if our safeties were true bone crushers. Then last week I saw Orian Johnson out there playing "two hand touch" and realized we have issues. 

On the other side, it seems that Storm is always out of postion and he does not have the speed to make up for bad angles.  Shazier does. Lets play him and see what he can do. 

theDuke

Ethan's picture

Good thing about the safety issue is that Biddle reported that Christian Bryant has supplanted Ohrian Johnson as the starter

741's picture

Too many pessimists up in here.

OSU 33, Colorado 10

GoBucks713's picture

I'm hoping for Tecmo numbers. 112 - 0

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

braxton miller coming out party...31-6...i have faith in the defense when i saw them settle down last week..buffy picks up 2 field goals on failed trips to the red zone

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Buckeyejason's picture

Too many delusionals up in here

Shazier will have his time in Columbus but he's no where near ready physically at 215 lbs or whatever to be a starting LB in the Big Ten. Dude still looks like a wide reciever.

BUCKEYES BABY!

theDuke's picture

Jason,

he's bigger than our safeties, and I think they still have to tackle...i dont' think he needs to start but I would def. like to see him get some more reps.  Kid seems like a ball hound..

theDuke

741's picture

Assuming that "delusional" comment is directed at me I just want to say these are dark times indeed when one Buckeye fan calls another delusional in predicting the Buckeyes put up 33 points (and cover the spread) against a Colorado team who hasn't won more than 5 games in a season since 2007.

741's picture

I'm tired from all the cheering and clapping for all those imaginary 1st downs and scores the Buckeyes had today (in my mind).

Buckeyejason's picture

Not offending me at all..I'm a Buckeye FAN.

BUCKEYES BABY!

741's picture

All good brother.

ChuckR65's picture

Yeah...because the last 215lb LB at OSU was...um...Oh yeah...Chris Speilman!  I seem to recall another 215lb NFL LB from Akron named Jack Lambert who was pretty good also.

njc2o's picture

65 = birth year ldo

baddogmaine's picture

The problem with trying to predict this game is that a) we don't know what Miller will do and b) we don't know what Fickell will do when Miller does it. Miller had a good game against Akron, but then anyone who doesn't gets relegated to practice squad. He obviously had issues with Miami. CO is somewhere in the middle, we hope closer to the Zips but CO is a big school with reasons to attend and probably has athletes. I predict two turnovers by Miller, otherwise a good but not outstanding passing game, and maybe 200 total running yards, including whatever Miller contributes. This looks like around 20-24 points on offense. If our defense gives us points or short fields then maybe we get to 28 points. If Fickell pulls Miller for any reason - turnovers, doing well so it's time to see how Bauserman does - then I downsize us to 17 points or whatever we had when Miller goes out.

 

On defense missed tackles don't go away in one week. And the porous pass defense we showed against TOL doesn't get mended in a week when we have to worry about one of the best runners in the history of a school that has had some good runners. I give CO 17.

 

The nargin depends on what we do on offense.

 

Whatever the final score, I remind readers that this is one of the softer games on our schedule. From here on out perhaps only IN will be this easy. Meaning no matter how good we look we should remain guarded in our expectations for the future.

baddogmaine's picture

One more thought on what we might accomplish through the air. Pryor's big break through in the Rose Bowl was actually Tressel's big breakthrough - put together a game plan based on player strengths and weaknesses. TP got 300 yards passing not by going long, but by catching OR by surprise and passing at all, and then by doing a lot of safe screens and 10 yard crossing routes. If Fickell gives Miller the Rose Bowl plan Miller should do fine. If Fickell gives Miller the Bauserman plan - slow developing longer plays -  then how well Miller does over the course of the game will depend on how well he softens pass coverage by becomming a running threat. But if Miller just gets handed the Bauserman game plan and is asked to check down until it's too late to scramble we could be in for another long day with maybe more than 2 INTs.

Luke's picture

What do I win? Oh...

RBuck's picture

31-17 THE Ohio State Buckeyes. D scores one and sets up another. Braxton, 10 for 17 with one TD to Jake and 120 yards.

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

mike78's picture

I'm just hoping Miller being the starter means he gets all the meaningful snaps, I'm a little concerned that we might see Joe in this game before mop up time... hope I'm wrong.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Shit, I would just like for there to be some mop-up time.

BoFuquel's picture

 Bucks 9 Buffs 3 Brax just take care of the ball.

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

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

38-13 good guys

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

CGroverL's picture

 "Colorado finds itself hoping that it's 11 new friends will be chiller bros than their last group of homies."

I'm an old dude. Can one of you kids explain exactly what this means? No offense to the writer, I really just wanna get hip to the lingo, brothers and sisters. I take it that "chiller" is an adjective? I do know what homies are...I think.

"I hope they're last in everything"

Thanks, Urb!

BoFuquel's picture

To CGROVERL cool man, cool friends.

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

AltaBuck's picture

24 - 14 Buckeyes. D scores one TD and sets up another.

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

helloheisman's picture

Beware of Rodney "Speedy" Stewart local kid from Westerville/Columbus..tt him says he's taken this one personal....24-17 OSU

BuckeyeChief's picture

Please, no Ryan Brewer part II.

 

Though I do hope he has a good game.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

Rooster Buckburn's picture

27-6 good guys.  The ghosts of Hayes & Horvath see too it

Jugdish's picture

Bucks - 24

Buffs - 17

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

Numbnuts's picture

Sip on the Champagne of bottled beers.

It's Miller time!

24- 10 Buckeyes

Numbnuts

The Buck Guy's picture

If Miller plays the entire game (doubtful as that is), I can see at least 5 turn-overs with the Buffs scoring on 3.  I just hope that the defense and special teams score at least 3 times to make up for that...

Hopefully, Fickell forces Bollman to stick with the running game and some passes to RBs to at least let our D rest, even if we don't score when in the red zone.

Miller time =  Colorado 26  tOSU 10

Yeah, last week did put more than a little pessimism into me; or rather it forced me see this team more realistically than I was. The D-secondary can't tackle/bad angles and is constantly out of position; the receivers don't run good routes to get open and when ignored by defenders still can't catch a pass when wide open; Miller is not ready for prime-time, too nervous and has butterfingers; Bollman is still clueless about calling plays/ignoring what is not working/quitting what is working....etc.

Please prove me wrong today Buckeyes.  Please?!  Go Bucks

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

The Buck Guy's picture

I'll be the first to say that Braxton Miller looked the best that he's looked all year. No turn-overs by him for the first time!!!  Congrats Brax!

In fairness, Bauserman also looked much better in the couple of downs he was aloud to play in trash time. Very nice passes; which Brax can't do yet.  If he could just learn to do that consistently, I'd like to see the two QBs rotate like Germaine and Jackson.  A true passer and a crazy scrambler make for a good platoon.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

Hoody Wayes's picture

Well, next week starts a new season.

Maybe, anything's possible, huh?

The Buck Guy's picture

Yeah Hoody. I'm hoping that the team takes this win to improve confidence and shows up next week fired-up to play aggressive. Who knows what we'll see in B1G play now?  Praying that they're on an up-swing though.  Go Bucks!!!

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

Buckeyejason's picture

Glad we got a win. Some positives, some negatives. No more cup cakes now time for the real season to start.

BUCKEYES BABY!