Preview: Toledo at #15 Ohio State

By Johnny Ginter on September 9, 2011 at 12:30p
66 Comments
HEY!
Ohio State Buckeyes #15 Ohio State 1-0, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 12:00 PM ET - BTN —— Ohio Stadium Columbus, OH Toledo Rockets Toledo 1-0, 0-0 MAC Roster | Schedule

After a successful shutout start to begin the season that saw Joltin' Joe Bauserman and a group of young receivers make me and others look like pretty big idiots, at least temporarily, the annual state of Ohio non AQ football roadshow continues with the Toledo Rockets coming into town. Toledo poses a much bigger threat than the Zips did, and though it may be a stretch to call for an upset, I don't think anyone would be surprised to see a talented Rockets team be able to put some offensive pressure on a relatively young and inexperienced Ohio State team.

A loss to an in state opponent will happen eventually. In 2008 the Bobcats played the Buckeyes fairly close, even holding a lead into the 4th quarter, although much of that seemed due to OSU lethargy than any great effort on the part of Ohio U. In 2002 game that would essentially form the entire identity of Bearcat football fandom, OSU famously needed a last minute drive to stave off a pass happy Cincinnati team in Paul Brown Stadium.

So it's probably an inevitability at some point. There's more parity in college football than even before, and make no mistake, Toledo has talent, particularly on offense. And even though OSU looked impressive against pretty easily one of the five worst FBS teams in the country, the Buckeyes are more vulnerable now than they've been in the past 10 years. The question then becomes... is this it?

Nah. But maybe! I'll explain.

Opponent

Toledo comes into this game after completely dismantling the New Hampshire Wildcats 58-22, which was about as impressive as that could possibly sound. Boise State, the Wildcats are not (by the way, next weekend the Rockets get the Broncos at home. Fun times in Toledotown). Still, it was a game they were supposed to win and win big, and they did exactly that.

It's really no surprise that Toledo are favorites to win the MAC. Unlike Akron, Toledo returns pretty much every major starter on offense from last year, and their defense isn't half bad (insert Statler and Waldorf here). What really makes these guys dangerous is that unlike a lot of MAC teams, their ability to not be terrible isn't predicated on one or two really good players who support the rest of their team. They have a lot of guys who can ball, and use them liberally.

Tim Beckman is only in his 3rd year of being a head coach, anywhere, ever, but the guy clearly has some serious chops and if Toledo performs as well as some think they will, Beckman could see himself on quite a few hiring shortlists in the near future.

What makes Toledo Toledo is their offensive identity, and it starts at the quarterback position. The Rockets are currently platooning their two QBs, official starter Austin Dantin and backup Terrance Owens, but against OSU Austin Dantin will likely get the majority of the snaps. Toledo likes to pepper the field with short to medium passes, and Dantin is particularly effective at doing so. Both Dantin and Owens have a ton of options in doing so, too. Eric Page is the guy who gets a lot of attention in print, but last week Bernard Reedy blew up with 113 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Sure handed RB Adonis Thomas is also a big part of the passing game, so the point is, you can't strand one of these dudes on Howard (or Roby) Island and assume you've shut their passing game down.

The shifty Adonis could complicate matters. He is a terrific RB who would be starting at a large number of major FBS programs; last week he ran for 115 yards on just 9 carries, which was no fluke. In 2010 he was a thousand yard rusher who went for nearly 200 yards in Toledo's bowl game. Key will be the play of a good-by-MAC-standards offensive line; if they are able to hold their own against OSU's d-line, the game might take on a very different tone.

Defensively the Rockets aren't bad by any stretch, but generally unremarkable. This week they've lost one of their best defensive players in linebacker Dan Molls (he of 143 tackles last year), and as a team Toledo can be vulnerable against the run. They do have a legit NFL prospect in corner Desmond Marrow, who could wreck havoc if not properly accounted for on the field.

Buckeye Breakdown

This week Ohio State returns Travis Howard, Pittsburgh Brown, and Jordan Hall from their one game suspension, and of the three Howard will be most important to OSU's success. Fickell has said that each player will need to earn their spot back, but you have to feel that Howard was able to do that this week mostly by virtue of being the best CB on the team.

And really, this week is the week that we'll get a decent idea of what this secondary is made of. Roby and Dominic Clarke both played terrific games last week, but the safeties were generally unremarkable and occasionally out of position. Against an accurate QB throwing to talented WRs in an opportunistic offensive system, guys like Barnett, Moeller, and Johnson are going to need to step up their game somewhat.

With that said, I think this game will be decided with the defensive line. The goals of the d-line will be twofold; get to the QB without relying on a bevy of blitzes from Andrew Sweat and others, and contain Adonis Thomas. Last week five different OSU players had sacks, but only two of them came from the defensive line. This needs to change, although with that said, OSU was incredibly vanilla in what kind of packages they showed on the field. Aside from Sweat running around like a wild man, Heacock and Fickell seemed content with working within their base 4-3 and Nickel packages and not throwing a in a ton of exotic blitzes. Expect this week to be somewhat different.

Offensively last week Joe Bauserman showed us more, frankly, than we thought he was capable of. Not only did he hit on 75% of his passes, he looked decisive and confident while throwing them. Miller looked good too, but I have to think that despite being listed as co-starter, the true freshman will take a backseat until the game is no longer in doubt. The other pleasant surprise was the emergence of some of the young WRs like Verlon Reed, Devon Smith, and Evan Spencer, who should probably just try and catch all of his passes one handed from now on. Stoneburner looked amazing as well, but the QBs having a rapport with guys other than Stoney helps the passing game enormously.

Still, OSU is going to want to control the clock as much as possible against the Rockets, and they will be counting on Carlos Hyde to continue his strong showing against the Zips. Some of the workload will be lifted from him with Hall returning, but everything about Carlos screams "ball control" and he should be given every opportunity to hit the century mark for the first time in his career.

Prediction

Toledo likes to run a no-huddle offense and will likely use every trick that they have to keep the game up-tempo and the Buckeyes off balance; if they move the ball down the field for the first series or so, try to resist pressing the panic button for as long as possible. It's entirely possible that this game won't be decided until the second half, but I think that the combination of Toledo's lack of offensive line depth will hurt them much more than Ohio State's as a relentless OSU d-line and constant blitz packages begin to wear on their ability to conduct their offense effectively. OSU should be able to find a steady stream of points, whereas after some early success, Toledo will likely find them much more difficult to come by as the game goes on.

Last week Chris was King Cool Guy, coming closest to the actual score of 42-0 with his prediction of 41-6. This week the 11W writers seem to be somewhat split on how many points that Toledo will be able to put on the board, but there seems to be a general consensus that this is a 33-38 point Ohio State team. In any case, despite Toledo's recent semi-success against Big Ten teams, no one here thinks that an upset is in the cards. This year.

Ohio State 36, Toledo 13

66 Comments

Comments

DallasTheologian's picture

Isn't it Pittsburgh Brown that is coming off of suspension?

Alex's picture

yes sir it is

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

I expect Toledo to have some success on offense early, before OSU adjusts and the d-line rotation starts to wear them out.  Excited to have Hall back on kickoffs, he was a handful for other teams last year in that regard.   And getting Howard back will help against a solid offensive team, although Roby/Clarke did quite well last week.  Don't like the rain in the forecast, the last thing we need are turnovers that keep an outmanned team in the game longer than they should be.  Regardless, I'm guessing a final in the 31-17 range.

 

 

Irricoir's picture

Rain will serve us better than Toledo. Let it pour. I just worry about injury in the slick. I like having Hall back on special teams but I don't like him or the other two playing this game. They should be suspended another 4 games. I don't care what thug capital Miami does with theirs.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Totally agree on the suspension point, they should still not be playing this week, once it was revealed it was CASH they took.   I just fear a fluke fumble or two going against us and that keeping Toledo in it all day.   Want to put them away quickly.  

Irricoir's picture

Don't worry about that. Hall doesn't fumble. (Knock on wood) If one were to happen it would certainly be out of the norm for him.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

DallasTheologian's picture

What does it matter that it was cash? The NCAA doesn't care if it's cash, gold bullion, chicken nuggets, gift bags  or rupels.

NW Buckeye's picture

Obviously it makes a difference if it is cash or hookers.  Hookers are only a one game suspension.  Cash merits 2 games. 

DallasTheologian's picture

Also Bauserman completed 75% of his passes.

Buckeyejason's picture

We need to pound this team down their throats on the ground as well as dominate the the trenches defensively.

Gut feeling...fans will be screaming for likeaBaus to be pulled after a not so pretty performance.

BUCKEYES BABY!

poguemahone's picture

"pound down their throats"

"dominate"

kinky

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Sure, from the perspective of the team that is dishing it out, it's "kinky." But try to see things from the perspectives of the victims: the Toledo players will feel humiliated and dehumanized.  

flipbuckeye's picture

needs moar "penetration" and "putting their hand on balls"

Leanenaud's picture

I love to count the amount of times comentators use the word penetration during games and such.

bucknut24's picture

My concern is the D-Line pressure with only 2 sacks last week against one of the worst in FBS.

Nappy's picture

Not sure where you're getting that info but we had 5 sacks last week

Fan of bacon since 1981

Irricoir's picture

Maybe he meant starters. I know our first string wasn't very productive (Counting sacks) but they did a helluva a job plugging the lanes and shutting down the run.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Maestro's picture

Only 2 by the defensive linemen I believe. Sabino, Shazier and Ebner had sacks. Baldwin and Bennett were the DLine sacks.

10 tackles for loss is a better stat to look at against a quick throwing team. That is impressive.

vacuuming sucks

Irricoir's picture

Part of that is the scheme too. Did you notice the linmene bull rushing the o-Linemen, trying to make holes for our blitzing Line-backers. It was all coordinated. Now, I need to review the tape when we dropped everyone back into pass coverage. Thats when we see how produictive the D-line really is at pressure. Normally that is with three too. We typically drop a defensive end back too. I saw Bennet dropping back a few times. That did not appear natural for him. He looked great on the line though.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

timdogdad's picture

hi folks, i have been on this site for all of this year or so and was tired of commenting on that 3rd grader site cleveland.com so i  thought i would join the ranks here. this seems like a tight knit group of level headed bloggers including m-man. anyway, glad to be here.

i like this challenge tomorrow. coach fick has a graceful killer instict which is way better than bilemma just beating the opponent til death like a cave man  must score 80  ugh ugh!  even though akron was overmatched, i like seeing small amounts of penalties and mistakes by the bucks. in other words. playing against par.  sure a 315 yrd  part 4 looks like a birdie hole but if you're not focused, you'll walk away with a 6.   go bucks !   

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

welcome, hombre

 

 

 

 

::Chants:: one of us...one of uuuusss...ooooooone ooooof uuuuuuuuuuuuussss

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

buckeyedude's picture

Welcome, TIMDOGDAD. Great site here. Just don't misspell or make a typo, because 741 will be on you like flies on Wolverine dung. 

 
 

slippy's picture

I don't think the d-line will have much impact on this game.  Not because they're incapable...just the nature of Toledo's offense.  Lots of short, quick passes sort of negates the line.  Like it was mentioned at some point, the nickel guys and LBs will have to have big days.

 

Sort of side note - anyone else notice Nathan Williams was lining up as a true (alignment wise, at least) LB for some snaps last game?

flipbuckeye's picture

We could always blitz and pull the DE's a la THE INTERCEPTION play in the Sugar Bowl that totally happened last year.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Even if the DL won't be able to rack up sacks against Toledo's quick, short-range spread attack, the DL must throttle the running lanes and force the Toledo QBs to make not just quick decisions, but frantically quick decisions. At other times, they just need to get close enough that they can blast the QB right after he releases the ball.

The last time Ohio State played Toledo, the Buckeyes DL got only 2 sacks, but they completely dominated the l-o-s.     

Maestro's picture

Exactly. That's the same reason Ohio State had 1 sack against Marshall and 2 sacks against Eastern Michigan last season. They just throw the ball so quickly that no matter how dominant your DLine is they simply don't have time to get to the QB.

It's why the Bullets had several passes blocked at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield last week. Free rushers jump to get in the way of a pass, but they don't get a sack.

vacuuming sucks

Matt's picture

OMG 36-13 WAS MY EXACT SCORE PREDICTION TOO GET OUT OF MY MIND 11W

Buckeyejason's picture

Yes Nate was playin the Sam a lot last weekend. Makes sense since they like Simon, Hankins, Goebel, and Bellamy on the line.

BUCKEYES BABY!

SLVRBLLTS's picture

12:00 AM start time? Didn't know I was going to be pulling an all nighter tonight.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

Buckeyejason's picture

We've never really been known for being a team that gets a ton of sacks. Like Irricoir said its probably scheme. We've only had 1 guy with 10 plus sacks in a year that I can remember and that was Vernon Gholston in 07'

BUCKEYES BABY!

BuddhaBuck's picture

Good guys. 35-13.

Don't text while driving.

Buckeyejason's picture

23-10 Bucks

BUCKEYES BABY!

William's picture

OSU will score more than 23 points against Toledo. How bad do you think our offense is? 42-14 Ohio State.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

+10000000000000

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ohio State 41, Toledo 16

Buckeyejason's picture

Hyde and Hall with rushing TD's. Basil 3 for 3 on fg's.Toledo has a Kick return for a td, and a field goal.

BUCKEYES BABY!

BuckeyeBacker98's picture

You have to account for the opponent's scheme as well.  Their coach came out and said they specifically game planned to minimize the impact of the D-line by going with all 3 step drops.  When they got way behind and that wasn't working they tried some 5 step drops....which led to the sacks.

BuckeyeBacker98's picture

Sorry - the above was meant to go under the discussion about the d-line above...

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

another 9AM game means more bloody maries. yum.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Baroclinicity's picture

37-6 Buckeyes.  Toledo gets 3 safeties.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I know there have been a few ppl on here from OC so I wanted to see if anyone is down for a potential 11W-west get together(since I will most  likely be in that area tomorrow). I think the official spot is DandB in Irvine, but I'd be willing to go somewhere else if there were better ideas.

 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Tommy's picture

Might be a little late to get it together for tomorrow at this point, but I'm currently in the OC and always down to get together with fellow Buckeyes fans.  My schedule's a bit tight at the moment so not promises, but if you throw something out there I'll do my best to be there.

btalbert25's picture

55-2, mark it down!

btalbert25's picture

Hyde will have all 7 TD's, and in a surprising twist will kick the 2 field goals.   Somehow he ends up with 2 sacks also.

RBuck's picture

34-14 good guys. Tough game . Bucks get comfortable in 2nd half.

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

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

45-10 for the true Pimps of Ohio

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

Matt's picture

NCAA:  No Howard, Hall, Brown for Toledo.  NCAA be straight trolling OSU:

 

http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2011-09-09/ohio-state-trio-not...

 

I'm done with this.  Doug Archie, Gene Smith, you are fucking out.

The Six Fingered Buckeye's picture

Take $2700? Two game suspension. Take $200? Two game suspension? Obtain ~$2500? 5 game suspension.

 

WTH?

Please, be honest. This is for science.

Matt's picture

Sounds like NCAA must think a booster is involved.  Which, combined with pending tat-gate decision and Mark Emmert being a complete douche, means goodbye schollies/bowl games for the next few years.  

The Six Fingered Buckeye's picture

And yet Jacory Harris can take about the same amount from a known booster and only sit one game.

Please, be honest. This is for science.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

calm down...

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

The Six Fingered Buckeye's picture

F that noise. This is garbage.

Please, be honest. This is for science.

Matt's picture

I don't disagree with pissiness re: inequitable treatment of OSU v. Miami, I just don't really care about the short term; I'm concerned that this spells the end of our hopes that the larger NCAA punishment was going to be relatively light.  

Johnny Ginter's picture

bleah, sorry about the mistakes in this one, guys. i've been starting a new job and unfortunately that meant doing this one way later at night than i should've. next week should be better, promise

Buckeyejason's picture

I call it like I feel it.

Sorry if I don't see a blowout like most people on here. This is a trap game, and Toledo is pretty solid.

Thank you NCAA for being complete dick brains..leave us alone please!

BUCKEYES BABY!

Doug T's picture

The us against the world attitude from the Buckeyes is rewarded. The defense gets 2 scores, Bucks win 41-9.

741's picture

33-0. OSU defense suprises us all in showing how rediculously deep and talented it is. 

Yeah.

Bucks's picture

Around 2 1/2 hours 'til gametime. If I didn't have this ThinkGeek magazine to laugh through, I'd be pacing. Well that or throwing darts at Mark May/Espn sign ;)

Bucks's picture

On that note, if you are a bacon enthusiast, some of the weirdest things imaginable have been done with bacon. I highly suggest this magazine just for the goofy odds and ends you'll see.

In this Fall issue, we have Bacon Hot Sauce, Tactical Canned Bacon (10yr shelf life), Baconnaise, Bacon Salt & Bacon flavored popcorn.

RBuck's picture

There really couldn't be anything else much better than bacon flavored popcorn. Does this stuff exist? It should.

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

Bucks's picture

http://www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/cf26/

 

I don't know how long I've received their magazine but it is always good for some laughs (and some purchases). Through all the issues, there is the need to have bacon products.