Spring Forward

By Chris Lauderback on April 23, 2012 at 10:00a
Meyer dodges oncoming roses and panties in the 'Shoe

Saturday's Spring Game, Ohio State's first under Urban Meyer, gave fans their first glimpse of the new look Buckeyes and clearly the times, they are a changin'. 

It's hard to argue with his predecessor's success in Columbus but for fans forced to frustratingly defend some big game failings and an offensive brand of football that often had a sluggish, play not to lose vibe to it when it mattered most, Meyer's Hyper Spread is a blessing in many ways. 

Basically, Urban's bringing sexy back. 

Now, that's not to imply fans prefer a sleek product over substance, aka wins, but in a perfect world, Ohio State football should be able to manage both. 

Meyer's philosophies and style of play obviously move more than fans as blue chip prospects are lining up to play for a coach that wants only elite talent and focuses on showcasing individual skill sets. Some outputs of this include heightened competition to earn a starting spot and an engaged group of backups thanks to an uptempo style and mulitple sets creating the need for significant rotation of bodies particularly in the backfield and receiving corps. 

Once it has been in place for a few years, the system should show its full potential as Meyer's stockpiled assets in the playmaking department push each other on the field while creating a snowball effect on the recruiting trail. 

Essentially, Thad Matta employed the same skeletal model when he came to Columbus with a free and easy style of play built around giving supremely talented kids room to create and have fun doing it. 

The two scenarios are actually very similar when you look at what both Matta and Meyer inherited.

Matta's existing players were brought in to execute a more methodical style of play instead of going out and trying to punch the opponent in the mouth for the length of the entire game. That's not to say Jim O'Brien didn't have some pretty damn good teams during his tenure but lower hype and general expectations typically left most fans satisfied with his results and failed to make Ohio State a destination for a high volume of the nation's top prospects. Oh, and like Tressel, O'Brien's program was in trouble with the NCAA leaving a stain on the state of things. 

Thad's program ranks as one of the nation's elite

When Matta arrived in Columbus, he changed the culture of the program by aggressively going after elite prospects with an eye on turning Ohio State basketball into something sexy, something top recruits wanted to be a part of. The results? Two Final Fours and five B1G titles in seven seasons thanks to bringing in names like Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, David Lighty, William Buford, Jon Diebler et al. 

Meyer is still in the infancy of his system overhaul but the early returns are hard to ignore. 

Beyond the boost to recruiting, the team, as most do, seems to really be taking on the personality of their head coach, looking more engaged with a greater intensity and desire to kick ass on the field from start to finish. Watching the intensity of the hoot and holler drill - exhibited by both the players and the entire coaching staff - was as much a metaphor for the new OSU football as anything we've seen thus far though watching the offenses combine to churn out 27 total plays in a 10 minute 1st quarter also made it crystal clear that Urban Meyer's Buckeyes plan on attacking you like a swarm of touchdown hungry savages. I think I summed this all up fairly accurately yesterday tabbing it Philosophical Viagra. 

In addition to the early returns, the long term goal for Meyer's program is to have the horses and gazelles combined with an aggressive style of play that allows the Buckeyes to better compete with the ridiculously talented and eternally deep rosters found among the nation's elite, specifically those in the SEC. That's the next step for OSU football and it's certainly not lost on the new sheriff in town with a 4-0 record in BCS bowls and two national titles in his holster. 

With all of this serving as a backdrop, it's easy to see why the fanbase has a full blown case of Buckeye Fever following yesterday's unveiling despite the fact this season won't feature a run for a national title, a bowl game or even another conference crown thanks to sanctions left in Tressel's wake. 

That said, spring forward and try to comprehend how electric the program and fanbase will be a year from now assuming Meyer's 2012 Buckeyes achieve the expected growth and another top five recruiting class putting them squarely in the hunt for a national title next year and beyond. 



Comments Show All Comments

beserkr29's picture

Seeing the circle drill reminds me of one of the pregame stories from the first Ohio State-USC game.  One of the Buckeyes talked about how the team was very calm and businesslike before games, while the Trojans were amped up and going crazy.  I loved seeing how the team was bouncing off the proverbial walls before a spring game.  It was awesome to see them frothing at the mouth to get after it and take it to the other team.  I want that for 12 games.  I want them to be a scarlet horde, out for nothing but blood and conquest.  Every week, every game.  So ready for fall!

Urbstache's picture

I laughed so hard at the 1st caption

Urban Warfare

rider1's picture

To crush your enemies -- See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!"

Alhan's picture

What is best in life?

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Somebody needs to invent a time machine so we can fast forward to the start of the season!!!  If I were a player on Miami - I'd be a bit worried about the ass whooping that is about to take place!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Justanut's picture

Hi everyone! I do not post much but read plenty. I was at the spring game and have a couple of questions about the new offense. The clap that Braxton and Kenny did before the snap, is that common in the spread or was it just done for the spring game? I know it is probably a stupid question but just wondering. Also, was wondering what the team does now that spring training is over.....more conditioning? I know NCAA has rules for everything you can do! Thanks in advance for the help.

pcon258's picture

As far as I know, the clap is used for a silent snap count. its similar to some other qb's that do a kind of foot stomp. 

and yes, i believe its back to just conditioning until sometime around july, although im not certain about that

RBuck's picture

Ross Fulton explained one use for the clap, in this article. I think I also read somewhere else it can be used in other circumstances.


Long live the southend.

Nappy's picture

I remember seeing Kenny G do a fake clap sometime during the 3rd quarter, I think.  Most likely just to get a read on the defense.  We couldn't do those things last year because Shugrats would've been all confused.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

OurHonorDefend09's picture

@JUSTANUT In terms of the clap, I could be wrong because we just did a silent count for shot-gun when I played, but I'm pretty sure its just another form of a snap count. Going with the silent count in shot-gun requires the center to be very on time with the QB and in a stadium that's loud, I dunno how much you can do without the clap. 


To answer your spring training question, I believe they just lift/run "on their own." I think they might be able to do this stuff with some supervision around, just not Urban.


(I'm not 100% on this answers, just my best guesses)

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

wigbug5's picture

The 'hoot n holler' drill is a glimse into the future junkyard-dog mentality these players will have coming into each and every game. Vicious attack dogs on both sides of the ball ready to rip and shred the opponent's flesh. we will keep our foot on their necks once we have them down and not ever let up. Urban Meyer (to John Simon): "Sweep the Leg"!


Poison nuts's picture

Sweep the leg....really? Sweep the leg?

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Doc's picture

I took the family to the game Saturday and my wife thinks the entire Urban Mania is quite comical.  We parked ourselves in 12B and when he took the field the number of cell phones being used as cameras were ridiculous.  She thinks there was a bit of a stalker vibe going on.  I've really never experienced a new coach with this much hype around them, I just hope Urban can be successful and not get run off by the fanbase.  I can not wait for the season, but I am also trying to temper my enthusiasm.

The "Hoot & Holler" drill before the game was really fun to watch, and I was glad to see Carmen Ohio being sung by the team afterwards.  Urban knows how to market himself and the team.  I think we are in for one helluva ride.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

buckeyedude's picture

my wife thinks the entire Urban Mania is quite comical... She thinks there was a bit of a stalker vibe going on.

 It sounds to me like your wife has led a sheltered life. Has she ever been to a concert before? People are taking cell phone pictures all over the place.

To me it just looks like "excitement." I know I'm excited!



RedStorm45's picture

Ugh, reading this makes me hate Gene Smith even more for not self-imposing a bowl ban for a 6-6 team that included most of the "offenders" that led to the sanctions.  8 home games, nothing really terribly tough in the non-conference...at MSU and at Wisconsin, but both schools lose quite a bit on offense.  Deep breaths....I'm getting too worked up over this lol.

Nappy's picture

I think the NCAA would've hit us with a bowl ban regardless of what Smith did just to make themselves seem relevant. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Justanut's picture

Thanks for the help. I was just wondering if the clap gives the defense an advantage as to the timing of the snap? I was able to hear it clearly from where I was sitting in the stands.  

Jeremy91's picture

Joey Bosa just committed to THE Ohio State University!!!

"Do not pray for an easy life. Rather, pray for the the strength to endure a difficult one" - Bruce Lee

wigbug5's picture

Its official, Joey Bosa just committed! Welcome home to Buckeye nation Mr. Bosa. Go BUCKS!


joel121270's picture

I must say I am intrigued by the new regime. The one thing that drove me (and a hell of lot of others) was taking the foot off the pedal. I know Cooper wasn't afraid to run it up and I for the life of me never understood why Tress let up. Sorry, if your first team can't stop our third team late in a blow out then you better praactice harded to get better. I love the idea of four full quarters of football with no letting up and not apologizing for it one single time. This is what we live for and so do those who vote each week. I sincerely believe we lost rank a lot with Tress because of his not running up the score.

I also hear about how we may be another AACC when Dick Rod was there....I highly doubt that as well. I am so excited by how the recruits seemingly eager to get here and want to play. I really see a sort of dominance in the future that will make the BIG rethink some things.

I know this may be a bit of a stretch but how cool would it be to win the BIG this year?

Alhan's picture

It'd be great if we didn't have a bowl ban, but no chance this year.  Best we can hope for is 12-0.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Nutbuck1959's picture

12-0 not out of the question if things fall into place right.

joel121270's picture

I know we can't OFFICIALLY win the BIG this year, but going 12-0 while the other teams have losses would definitely send a message which would most likely be....

"Enjoy it while it lasts!!!"

Statutoryglory's picture

Be careful.  Don't try to freeze yourself to make the sime pass quicker.  There could be dire consequences.



chitown buckeye's picture

So much excitement after the Spring Game! The play I loved the most by the offense was the very first play of the game! Braxton rolled left and threw a short 5yd out pass! easy throw, easy completion. I truley believe I lost 4 1/2 years of my life screaming for that play last year! I never understood why we didnt give Braxton easy throws to get him settled down and into the flow of the game? But I guess in Walrusball the 3 step drop 15yd out pass is suppose to ease you into the game! A simple play but was very excited to see it. Put the women and children to bed this fall!!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

SilverBulletInCincy's picture

when the qb is clapping he is basically sending the receiver/running back in motion if they are supposed to; it also tells the center that the qb is ready for the snap when they get all of the protection calls lined up.  this according to the 2 guys calling the game on the big ten network.

osubuckeye4life's picture

I love it! 

The rest of the country better go on watch.

Urban Assault goes on tour this September. 

It's about to lay waste to everyone. 


In all seriousness, is it September yet?!? 


nickma71's picture

The future offensive success will have a lot more to do with "offensive offense" in place of "defensive offense", terms used by the great football mind, Bernie Kosar. Tressel thought ND's defense was weak, and went after them. To the tune of 600 yards. That is how he should have done it every time. And the first half against Arkansas. In the second half, he went back to "Tressel ball".