Five Things: Penn State

By Chris Lauderback on November 20, 2011 at 2:00p
Getty Images: Kirk IrwinSlow (26) and Slower (19) give chase as Stephfon Green completes his 39 yard TD sprint up the gut

For the third straight game, the Buckeyes fell into an early 10-0 hole and couldn't get out of their own way thereafter. 

The result was a 20-14 loss at the hands of the Nittany Lions on senior day in the 'Shoe, dropping the Buckeyes to 6-5 on the year. The last time OSU went 6-6 in a season? 1999. 

I'm not going to spend much time on the whole coaching situation but I will say this. There's no question Fickell was dealt a bad hand from the cloud of sanctions to lost players to having the worst offensive coordinator on staff at a big time program but there's also no question the great Buckeye is not yet ready to lead an elite program. 

Coaches may not make the on-field mistakes but they are charged with getting their team ready to play, installing a game plan that gives the team the best chance to win and at ensuring gradual individual and unit improvement occurs over the course of a season. Under Fickell's leadership, those three areas have been woefully inconsistent. 

One positive thing Fickell's troops seem to indicate is that they are sticking together. That's certainly good to hear but will be that be enough as they invade hostile territory next Saturday in Ann Arbor? Consider me a skeptic at this point. That's the great thing about The Game though, by the time kickoff comes around you've convinced yourself Ohio State will win. 

Before we jump fully into Beat Michigan week, let's take a last look at the debacle that was Penn State. 

Psst...The game started 15 minutes ago

How in the name of Woody could this team come out flat? Home game. Senior Day. Penn State. Two previous weeks of slow starts to learn from. Unreal. 

The Travis Howard show started early as he committed a PI on the first play from scrimmage. He bit hard on a double move, pushed his man out of bounds then gave the "what'd I do" gesture to the official. Excellent play. Three plays later, on 3rd and 4, he was beat to the spot on a slant for a 12 yard chain-mover. Two plays later, Stephfon Green foreshadowed the rest of the game as ran though a huge hole up the gut and easily outran the back seven for six. Five plays, 80 yards, two and half minutes, 7-0 Lions.

The offense then took the field trying to stop the early bleeding we've come to love so much. Braxton did what he could improvising on 3rd and 15 as he scrambled to his right and found Posey for 39 yards. That play went for naught however as Brewster shanked the snap on 3rd and 6 to set up 4th and 13 from the PSU 35. Instead of attempting a 52 yard FG, Fickell opted to punt which the usually stellar Buchanan blasted into the endzone for a touchback. So, in forgoing a shot at scoring points, Fickell's bunch netted 15 yards. Freakin Sweet. 

Fresh off giving up an 80 yard TD drive, the Bullets trotted back on the field and promptly allowed a Lion march to the OSU 32 in 11 plays, including 3/3 on 3rd down. Finally, McGloin stopped the PSU offense with back to back terrible passes on 2nd and 3rd down to bail out the defense. The result was still a 43 yard FG and a 10-0 lead. The drive lasted 15 plays as the season long struggle to get off the field on 3rd down took center stage. It also took us to the 1:59 mark of the 1st quarter meaning the Buckeyes slept through another one. 

The early mistakes and general early malaise again proved too much to overcome. Fickell and the players will talk all week about how they are learning from those mistakes but will you believe it as the Buckeyes take the field in Ann Arbor? Proceed with caution. 

I'll be hoping for the best but it's tough to hear the team talk about learning from mistakes only to watch them go out there and repeat them the following Saturday. 

i repeat, ryan damn shazier

Shouldn't this be his nickname? It's aggresively straight to the point just like Shazier in pursuit. 

Getty Images: Kirk IrwinI'll flip ya...flip ya for real.

Can someone please explain to me why the coaches never found a way to get this kid into the starting lineup? It shouldn't take a Sweat concussion to get your fastest linebacker on the field. Not to mention the fact he plays with a passion - on every snap - only matched by Simon. 

Following his strong showing in West Lafayette, RDS was all over the field against the Lions registering a team high 15 tackles. Fellow LB's Klein and Sabino combined for 13 and that was with Klein making nine in one of his better performances of the year. Funny, you barely even notice Klien/Sabino unless they are missing tackles yet Shazier's play just jumps out. 

Always looking for turnovers, he jarred the ball loose from Brandon Beachum but it was just a hair after Beachum's knee hit the ground. How many other guys do you even see reaching in to strip the ball? 

Another impressive skill Shazier shows is his ability to actually shed a blocker and make the tackle, seemingly in one motion. He did this at least three times yesterday. One specific instance I loved came on the first play of PSU's third series. He engaged his blocker and shuffled down the line before reaching right just as Redd thought he had a crease. Shazier stood up Redd and Roby flew in to clean up the tackle. 

Shazier was also the only Buckeye who seemed to know where to be on the Wildcat. No question PSU killed the Buckeyes with it but Shazier made his fair share of plays. He was generally fantastic at recognizing the hole and filling it with bad intentions. He did look to guess wrong on Green's first TD run but overall he was decisive when approaching the ball carrier. 

What was then a huge goal line stand as the Lions were turned away on their 2nd possession of the 2nd half was all Shazier. Things were looking bleak as Hall and Boom combined to fumble at the OSU 11 yard line. After Howard racked up his billionth penalty of the game on 2nd and 3 from the 4, the Lions had 1st and Goal at the 2 yard line. 

Shazier helped stand up Michael Zordich on back to back runs up the gut setting up 3rd and Goal from the 1 yard line. McGloin called his own number on a sneak but Shazier channeled his inner Arrington, jumped the right guard and stopped McGloin for no gain. It was a sick play but the encore was better. 

Now facing 4th and Goal, Redd attempted to jump over the pile on a give straight ahead but Shazier again busted through the line, hit Redd mid-jump and flipped the RB for no gain as Penn State turned it over on downs. 

The kid contributed to a 3 and out on PSU's next possession as he skillfully defended a 2nd and 11 screen play again showcasing his ability to engage and shed his blocker just in time to make the stop. 

Finally, on Penn State's last possession of the game, Shazier brought all kinds of wood to Green on a 3rd and 12 give to the left side to force a punt. 

Ryan Damn Shazier. 

gashes to gashes

Penn State rushed for 239 yards yesterday on 39 attempts. That's 6.1 per carry. That's gross. 

Penn State rushed for 188 yards in the first half averaging 9.0 yards per carry. That's like parachute didn't open gross. 

The most agonizing thing about PSU's ground success was that it came in such large chunks and with no frills. The Lions ran right at the Buckeyes and too often holes five yards wide opened, the RB got to the 2nd level then easily outran the members of the back seven. 

Green's 39 yard TD jaunt right down the teeth of the OSU defense showcased this perfectly. The hole between Hank and Bellamy was at least five yards wide, Shazier leaned right despite Green taking the handoff left and Klein was completely sealed off allowing Green to reach top speed just as he reached the 2nd level. From there, the safeties showed little ability to take effective angles and exposed their lack of speed. 

Three possessions later, the Bullets had PSU in 2nd and 7 from their own 22 but Redd took a handoff and ran behind his right guard for 42 yards. Both Sabino and Bellamy failed to fill the hole, again allowing the RB to get rolling downhill, and Redd juked Barnett out of his shoes, outrunning Bryant in the process as he coasted to the OSU 36 yard line. Three plays later Penn State led 17-7. 

Keeping in theme, two posessions later, some kid names Curtis Drake (rapper pedigree?) took another handoff behind right guard and slashed 40 yards to the Ohio State 40 yard line. Eventually, the drive would end with a 46 yard field goal and a 20-14 lead for Penn State at the half. 

Missed assignments, misses tackles and general too-damn-slowness plagued the Buckeyes and this was against a more power oriented Lion attack. What happens next week against a faster group of Wolverine ball carriers? Again, I just hope this is the week where players actually improve on understanding their assignments and the fundamentals of tackling because lord knows the slowness issue can't be fixed. 

You better brax somebody

I was hoping for a little more development in Braxton's passing game by now but with a shaky offensive line that consistently allows pressure off the right edge, a crop of receivers not yet ready for prime time (save Posey, obvi) and insanely predictable play calling, it's not hard to understand why that part of his game has been stifled. For his part, he's also been inconsistent actually throwing spirals. 

Despite the shortfalls of the collective passing game, it's still very easy to be encouraged with what OSU stands to get from the QB slot the next three years. I'm assuming Braxton's talent is also very exciting to a guy like, let's say, Urban Meyer. 

Once again, it was the Braxton Miller show yesterday. 

His day started with the usual 3rd down magic as he swerved to buy time before finding Posey on the already mentioned 39 yard conversion. He then found Boom for what might've been a decent gainer on 1st down but Boom dropped the ball. Brax responded with a determined eight yard burst around left tackle to set up a 3rd and doable. Unfortunately, Brewster's inability to snap the football killed the drive. 

Two possessions later Miller keyed Ohio State's scoring drive cutting the deficit to 10-7. After a slightly underthrown ball to Hall on a go route (DE stride for stride?!), Miller found Posey on a deep out route thanks to a sick one handed snag by DeVier at the sideline. After a 1st and 10 bad pass to Hyde, Braxton kept right on 2nd down chewing up eight yards with a nifty cut and spin to the PSU 24. Now facing 3rd and 2, Braxton kept right out of the pistol formation. He crouched low hiding behind a wall of blockers, juked the safety, got a key block from Posey and raced untouched into the endzone. The run looked almost too simple on the replay as Miller clowned fools with little effort. 

After an Orhian Johnson interception following Barnett's tip of a McGloin toss, Miller brought the offense out trailing 17-7 but with possession at the PSU 37. Boom went for five on 1st down setting up 2nd and 5 at the 32 yard line. Braxton ran the option with Boom to his left. Just before making his cut upfield, Miller faked the pitch to Boom, freezing the LB, and turned on the jets for 24 yards, reaching the eight yard line to set up 1st and Goal. Dude is so fast once he hits the corner. Sick run.

The next two plays yielded nothing up the gut setting up 3rd and goal from the seven. Miller dropped back, scanned the field and made a great throw over the top of a linebacker and in front of the man in coverage as Stoneburner hauled in the TD reception in the back of the endzone. Great touch by Miller to get the ball over the LB but still have enough zip on the ball to keep the man in coverage from closing to make a play on the ball. 

Miller unleashed a few more nice throws on the day finding Posey on a comeback route and later on the drive he threw a bomb to Philly that was promptly dropped. The throw was a bit underthrown but Philly needs to make that catch every time. If Philly hangs on, it's a 3rd and 7 conversion and OSU is in business near the red zone trailing 20-14 early in the 4th quarter. 

Finally, on Ohio State's second to last possession but truly their last real chance to score, Braxton took...wait for it...another botched snap on 1st and 10 at the OSU 38, shuffled left then scrambled all the way to the other side of the field before cutting up the sideline for 21 yards. The run moved the ball to the PSU 41 but things fell apart from there. More on that in a sec. 

Senior Leadership

I love Mike Brewster. I really do. But there's no excuse for yesterday's performance and it shouldn't be overlooked or passed off as acceptable just because of his larger body of work. 

Ohio State had some chances to win that game yesterday and Brewster's inability to simply snap the ball accurately killed a few. 

Trying to answer Penn State's opening TD drive, the Buckeyes were on the move and faced 3rd and 6 from the PSU 28. Brewster launched a worm burner at Miller in the shotgun and a panicked Miller dove on the ball for a loss of seven yards. Not only did Brewster's snap kill the play but it erased any chance of getting points as Fickell didn't feel it was worth trying a 52 yard FG. 

Looking to start the 2nd half on the right foot, the offense took possession at their own 24. Braxton found Philly for 10 yards to the 37 but on 3rd and 9, Brewster couldn't successfully find Miller with the snap. Miller was able to field the grounder but timing was blown and he could only manage three yards forcing OSU to punt. 

Again, I can't stress enough how much I like Brewster. That doesn't change the fact he has had issues snapping the ball on and off all year and, in my eyes at least, has regressed his senior year. He says all the right things and I feel very good about assuming he works his ass off in practice and sets an examples both on and off the field for the young guys but as an All-American senior, the Buckeyes needed more from him this season and defintely needed more from him yesterday. I hope he thinks the same, at least about yesterday, and comes out inspired against Michigan. 

And how 'bout JB Shugarts? The false start jokes are obviously the coping mechanism of Buckeye fans worldwide but it sure wasn't funny yesterday when he flinched away any chance the Buckeyes had of staging a winning drive. 

Miller and Boom had the offense on the march moving the ball from the OSU 13 to the PSU 36. It was 4th down but it was at least manageable since only five yards were needed to extend the drive. So what does the senior right tackle do? He jumps the snap pushing the Buckeyes back five yards and into a 4th and 10. The result? Braxton scrambled to avoid pressure and eventually was brought down trying to stretch for 10 yards along the right sideline. 

Thanks for the memories, Shugs. 

I won't even get into the senior leadership shown by guys like Boom and Posey for screwing their team over by making bad choices. At least those guys produce on the field once they are finally allowed on it. 

All we can hope for now is that the seniors really do get this roster to circle the wagons and truly focus on beating Michigan. Hopefully there will also be a galvanizing effect knowing it's the last game for Fickell and these guys can go up there and pull off the upset. 

They've got enough talent. Do they have enough heart and want-to? I've got to believe they do. 



Comments Show All Comments

osukdawg76's picture

JB "False Start" Shugarts....

Now that I've got that out of my system, let me just say that I, for one, welcome our new coaching overlords, whomever they may be.  When I can sit at home and be roughly 75 percent successful in guessing what play we are running, where it is going, etc....imagine what a defensive coordinator facing us knows.

Whatever wrinkles this offense has in the playbook, we better see them on Saturday against scUM, or else the streak will come to an end.

I, for one, welcome our new coaching overlords.



headina's picture

Amen. Play call guessing is a favorite pastime of my dad and I. This year is too easy. But even under Tressel it was sadly predictable. Hopefully Urban brings an OC that can bring some surprise and actually forces the opposing coaching staff to prepare for the game


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

False Start Shugarts saved his best false start for Senior Day.

Class of 2010.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Great analysis - all nails squarely hit on the head.

AltaBuck's picture

On the 2nd to last drive, brewster's bad snap on the not so quick throw to Posey was a negative play that was almost as bad as Shugart's FS.

It was the right play call and would have resulted in a least a gain of 5. They were playing Posey with a huge cushion.

I am Groot - Groot

Denny's picture

Is JB Shugarts the new Alex Boone?


Matt's picture

Eh.  Boone was more highly regarded five star recruit coming into OSU, the perennial "next Orlando Pace."  Shugarts a good recruit but not in the same league.  He was serviceable throughout his time on the team, even with his false starts.  Also, Shugs wasn't a complete drunk/violent asshole like Boone.  Shugs doesn't seem like the sharpest kid, and he's screwed up too many times to count, but he's at least a good character guy.

Buckeyejason's picture

Boone was considered All-Big Ten before his medicore senior season I believe. False Start Shugarts has always been medicore, IMO.


Haybucks's picture

No, Shugart's is the new Alonzo Spellman.  However, Zo was always trying to make a play when jumping offside.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


acBuckeye's picture

Yes Denny, he is. Just what i was thinking after the game was over.

poop's picture

Braxton ran the option with Boom to his left. Just before making his cut upfield, Miller faked the pitch to Boom, freezing the LB, and turned on the jets for 24 yards, reaching the eight yard line to set up 1st and Goal. Dude is so fast once he hits the corner. Sick run.

That was the best execution I've seen on an option play, possibly ever, at Ohio State. Pryor couldn't  run an option to save his life. Braxton had the perfect fake, made a sick cut at full speed (ala Percy Harvin), and turned on the jets. If anyone knows where I can find this play please post the link.

AltaBuck's picture

It's been a long time since I have seen a ball carrier accelerate out of his cut as fast as Braxton. He breaks ankles.

I am Groot - Groot

Mr. Slick's picture

Has he ever pitched the ball?  I'm drawing a blank of any pla when he has run the option and pitched it.

M tots's picture

I don't think he has either.  Although you can't really argue with the results, he almost always picks up a nice chunk of yards.

acBuckeye's picture

No, i don't think he has ever pitched the ball, and i don't think he's comfortable doing it either. He has small hands (which prob accounts for the number of wounded ducks and dropped snaps from the shotgun.... you know, the ones that actually weren't Brewster's fault.) I don't think he knows how to run an option, and Pryor didn't either. Brax will keep it every time, and eventually get himself killed.

Menexenus's picture

Yes, he definitely has pitched it before.  I'm sure of it.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

iball's picture

I almost can't stomach the thought of watching Saturday. I really can't stomach watching anymore fickell/bollman ball period. I'm sick of the attitude of this team save maybe a few players. So much for the "fiery" coach fickell. Too bad Posey and boom had to go out like that.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Hopalong's picture

+1,000 for the Usual Suspects reference in the RDS picture.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Thanks man. Fenster don't mess, just like RDS.

SouthPlainfieldNut's picture

I'm usually the first to criticize a team for being heartless, but I don't agree with the few people criticizing this team for showing no heart. I think they do have heart, I think they're trying like hell out there. I just think they have no idea what the hell they're doing. They're misguided.

jfrank373's picture

I think Fick, Bollman, et all, know that Urban is the guy. I can't help but wonder about how much prep is actually being done. It's obvious. They've given up and the team has followed suit. Silver lining is new future and NCAA finally ending the madness. We can all heal and move on.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I'm ashamed for even thinking it, but after all the bad snaps yesterday, it crossed my mind that someone might be making some money through Vegas.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Are you being serious right now? Please tell me you are joking and you don't actually think that.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

No. I don't believe anyone is on the take. Just seemed SO odd that a center that rarely had these issues all of the sudden can't snap the ball, you know? Just feaking weird.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I feel ya. Brewster had a very odd game. Just didn't want ya to jump to such a ridiculous conclusion.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

After what I've seen this year, I've prepared myself to be ready for ridiculous conclusions.

acBuckeye's picture

It wasn't just yesterday that Brewster started doing the bad snaps. He's been doing it ALL year. The Miami game especially. I seem to recall roughly a dozen times that Brewster fired a horrible snap back to either Baus or Brax this season, which makes no sense considering he's a senior 4-year starter, not to mention an AA. Brax sometimes doesn't help b/c he's had his fair share of butter finger moments, but hopefully he'll clean that up.

Saturday wasn't a reincarnation of Doug Datish against scUM in '06, aka an anomoly. This has been a year long issue for Brewster for whatever reason.

Buckeye Black's picture

I can't believe the RB wheel route didn't work.  Braxton put it just a bit short otherwise it was a TD.  Once again receivers were dropping balls.  Philly Brown drops a bomb that puts inside the 10 and Evan Spencer drops a ball that gives us a shot at the end.

poguemahone's picture

I'm at the point now where this doesn't seem all that unreasonable of a move for Ohio State. I'm not sure I want to see this team losing in the Ticket City or Insight bowl to an also-ran C-USA/Big 12 team. The program has been damaged enough these past few months. Impose a self-bowl ban, get Meyer in here and give him a full month to build a staff and land a decent recruiting class without worrying about practices.

Just something Smith and Co. should consider. I'd rather see that than Fickell and Bollman imparting useless knowledge of these kids for another month leading up to the bowl game.

luckynewman13's picture

PR wise I'd say it looks really bad if we self imposed a bowl ban now, if we were going to do it we should have done it while we still had a reasonable shot at the B1G Championship game. If we did it now we would just look like the whinami hurrricanes: trying to get out of further trouble by "denying" their players a chance to go to a bowl game, a game the players don't want to go to anyway.

Bucksfan's picture

It would actually do some damage to the conference for Ohio State not to accept a bowl invitation.  Even in a cr*ppy bowl, Ohio State is a major draw, and would sell a lot of the tickets.  If Ohio State voluntarily opted out of the bowls, it'd be a slap in the B1G's face since bowl revenue is shared.  The more bowls, the more $.

Menexenus's picture

I hadn't thought about it this way before.  But you're clearly right.  We've seen that college football decisions are all made in terms of how it impacts programs and conferences monetarily.  So I have no doubt that we'll accept whatever crappy bowl invites us.

I can't believe I'm actually getting nostalgic for that time back in the 1960s when the administration at Ohio State banned their own team from the Rose Bowl (let that sink in - the Rose Bowl!!!) because they thought the influence of sports was starting to overshadow academics.  These days such a thing is unthinkable.  Now that universities have the ethics and motivations of corporations, any action that affects the university's bottom line negatively wouldn't even be considered.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Denny's picture

It's likely going to happen either this year or next. The conference is gonna have to take a hit sometime either way.


tampa buckeye's picture

When you hold hands before the game and have a pity party for the other team bad things happen. All around puke. Its basketball season as far as im concerned. Atleast they play with some heart.

faux_maestro's picture

I asked you this in another you actually believe that shit?

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Hahah, I think we all are going to have to learn to ignore Tampa Buckeye. I've suggested banning him before, because he contributes nothing and just flames other posters, but I guess that idea wasn't liked.

Bucksfan's picture

Ohio State's QB development over the years is woefully unacceptable.  Frankly, I'm sick of it.  It shouldn't take talented kids YEARS, plural, to become polished.  225 yards and 2TDs should be the minimum ability for a starter at this level.  When Terrelle Pryor finally achieved that against Oregon in the Rose Bowl at the end of his 2nd year, we called it a "coming out party."  Hell, even when you do have that consistently, like in Todd Boeckman's case, why is there no infusion of big-game ability?  It's gotta be coaching.  I think by hamstringing the QBs' playbook for fear of losing the football early on in their careers, these players ultimately never gain any confidence.  And then you need a freak athlete to bail you out of 3rd and long situations on every series.

I'm ready for more urgency.  A team with Ohio State's talent should DOMINATE this Big Ten.  The conference has never been this poor, talent-wise.  It's pathetic.  To paraphrase that Browns fan's rant, "Did you see the Oregon-USC game, or the Ok.St.-IowaSt. game?! It's like they're playing a different sport!"

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Very well put.

I'm a little dissappointed that the coaching staff still hasn't let Miller really let loose a little in the passing game.  It has seemed to me that he has been a streaky passer, where most of his streaks come when they throw the ball more than once or twice a possesion.  He throws a good ball when he gets in the groove, but running on first down EVERY time and then trying to pass on third and a mile isn't going to help that.  We're missing those short to middle yardarge play calls.

Also, why is Tyler Moeller still playing defense for us?  Every big play we give up, he's trailing 5 to 10 yards behind the ball.  I don't really care if he's a fifth year senior, there has to be someone better at that position (a-la the Ryan Shazier situation). 

Long time reader, first time post.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

luckynewman13's picture

*sixth-year senior.

I've been rooting for Moeller the entire time he's been here (for obvious reasons). But it's now painfully clear his time away from football due to all those injuries hasn't done him any favors.

Buckeye06's picture

Once again I'd like to say Fickell doesn't make any play calls. 


He's fully responsible for how flat the team has come out (although yesterday on the first PSU drive Shazier was more to blame for being out of position on the wildcat but he's young) the last few weeks but he shouldn't be blamed for the offensive woes. 

That is Bollman IMO 90%.  Fickell can obviously overrule him but he stated before the year began it would be too much for him to take on. 

osukdawg76's picture

At the same time, though, you have to hold him responsible because he is the head coach.  Everyone knows that Bollman is derptastic, but it doesn't let Fickell off the hook.

I, for one, welcome our new coaching overlords.



Defend Youngstown's picture

I want a, "DAMN SHAZIER" #10 jersery for next year.

Normal Buck's picture

Ryan Damn Shazier!

buckeye20's picture

I think that Fickell had to take the job that was offered.  Unfortunately, he had to inherit the staff and until you can put your coaches in place you are stuck with the situation.  A young team with a fairly weak senior class....DBs LBs and WRs that aren't quite there yet and injuries.  A poor OC just adds fuel to the fire.  How the hell did we beat Wisky? Shazier is going to be special.

I wish they could announce Urban as the next HC tomorrow and it would give the team the opportunity to rally around Fick for his final game (ala Earle) and maybe send him out with a victory over that team up north. 

It's time to turn the page and look forward to the new regime.

Fick...thanks for taking this team...valient effort and you never made any excuses.  We have had a helluva run since 2001 and one off year isn't the end of the world.  We'll be back.

Go Bucks.

dbit's picture

"Fick...thanks for taking this team...valient effort and you never made any excuses.  We have had a helluva run since 2001 and one off year isn't the end of the world.  We'll be back."


This. ^^^


Outmanned and ill-equipped, Fickell essentially stepped up to bear the brunt of this year.  I'll be even more impressed if he were to take a demotion to stay on staff.  He may not be the best head coach we've ever had, but he sure as hell bleeds scarlet and gray.

nickma71's picture

The team is poorly coached. Jim Tressel is deserving of the accolades he got about being fundamentally sound in all three phases of the game. And being predictable. I was going to comment on Shazier and Big Hank also. But not in a good way. They were out of position too much. That is a coaching problem. Was Tressel that good of a defensive coach, and it isn't Fickle and Heacock? I am loving Shazier myself. Miller most reminds me of Art Schlitzter, only faster. Yeah, you would think so deep in the season he wouldn't have so much mustard on the ball. He overshoots a lot. Then again, can I blame him when everybody in the stadium knows what is going happen? I favor the Mount Union coach, and his sickening 928 win percentage. It has gone up since he was my number two choice after Tressel in 2000. Back then it was still only 900. Armchairing is so easy.

BuckeyeChris's picture

Imagine how easy it must be to game plan, defensively, against this team. If I were a HC I would tell my DC that he'll be fined $10,000 every time OSU faces anything less than 2 and 5.


sandytowne's picture

Shazier played well but every single write up has completely ignored the fact that he completely wiffed on PSU's first score.  He was unblocked, was supposed to fill the gap, but was completely out of position which led to Green's score.



Colin's picture

I think he was at least partly responsible for every big run PSU had. But we will ignore that because he is only a true freshman and just so darn fasttttttt!!!!!.

Chris Lauderback's picture

"He did look to guess wrong on Green's first TD run but overall he was decisive when approaching the ball carrier. "

6stringSteve's picture

Towards the end of the game, one of the announcers made a comment that went something like this..."The OSU coaches don't know what their fate will be after the season."  That was the funniest thing I'd heard all week.  If they (particularly Bollman) don't know that they're finished, they're even more incompetent than we've thought. 

Buck_Michigan's picture

I still can't shake my disappointment in Brewster.  Perhaps I'm beating a dead horse in recalling the stupid snaps he made on Saturday but then I turn to the fact that he is a senior.  I expect more out of seniors...especially ones that started for 4 years.  Brewster was pretty damn good before his senior year but wow, he is just terrible this year.  It just seems like he gave up.  The guy wasn't great going back to the Toledo game and he's never been the same since.  Maybe he wishes we would have forgone his last year at OSU but step up man...dig in and fight!  It worries me how he can blow simple snaps against much will he fold against UM?  Shit I'd rather start a different center if this guy can't step up.  Screw our record.  This is THE GAME...this is Michigan.  This is our bowl game this year!  Win this and ease the misery of this season.  So Brewster I'm calling you out...step up and get your head in the game.  If you can't handle this kind of pressure how can you even think about playing in the NFL?  Man sir are a Buckeye!

2012 Beat Michigan Tail gate:  UFM:  "Let’s beat the sh*t out of Michigan, have a good night."

acBuckeye's picture

I had similar feelings posted above. It wasn't just the PSU game that he started with the bad snaps. He's been doing it all year. I don't understand it, esp being an AA last year.

NYC Buckeye's picture

I really hope Fickell stays on board... I can't see him getting offered a head coach job at any D1 school so I hope he chooses to stay with us...  

I think he has done a respectable job, it is clear he is not ready yet, but has done the best anyone could ask of a guy throw into this mess... I will always respect him for that... and as you mention, the players seem to be standing by him and have a lot of respect for him...

On the defense, I think we all need to keep in mind we lost, what, 7 starters from last year?? Thats tough for a program at any level to recover from... especially when you factor in Howard and Sabino not being half the caliber players we were expecting...

NC_Buckeye's picture

especially when you factor in Howard and Sabino not being half the caliber players we were expecting...

^^^^^Add in Storm Klein and I couldn't agree more.


I'm not getting a good feeling that Fickell is going to stick around. I bet he feels responsible for talking Vrabel into retiring a year early. My money is that he's looking for an HC job where he can build a staff that includes Vrabel.

Whatever he does, I'll be rooting for him.


OSUfan's picture

Slow (26) and Slower (19) give chase as Stephfon Green completes his 39 yard TD sprint up the gut.


Chris not an accurate caption for this picture as I rewatched this play again and Moeller was on the right side of the line in Pass Coverage, He came over to try and make a play but was too far away in coverage, where he was supposed to be.

Shazier had the middle gap but was out of position and OJ did not read the play, he had the contain.  I think Shazier will be great but did miss some plays including this one. 

Hopefully the D will fill their gaps and make the tackles against Denard and Michigan as they did against Wisconsin.   Go Bucks!