Eleven Warriors Roundtable: Week One

By Jeff Beck on August 30, 2013 at 11:30a
11W HQ

Well y'all, it's back. The Buckeyes' college football season kicks off tomorrow and boy are we excited here at Eleven Warriors. So excited in fact, that we decided to have a little chat about it. This column will be your weekly dose of #REALTALK. I write the questions, you get the answers from your favorite writers here at 11W. This week it's Jeremy "Don't Call Me Birmingham" Birmingham, Joe "The Beast" Beale and Corey "Bobby" Carpenter. So let's kick this thing off with our week one roundtable. If there's a better pre-game primer out there, I want to hear about it.

What is the one thing you are most excited to see this Saturday against Buffalo?

Jeremy: I am looking forward to seeing the growth in the offense from a year ago. Yes, Ohio State scored 56 points in their opener last year, yes Ohio State averaged near 40 points a game in 2012 but it was - generally speaking - a disjointed offense with inconsistencies abounding at QB and in the passing game in general. The progression of Braxton Miller as a passer and a leader of the team will determine how far Ohio State goes and it starts Saturday. Of course, Joe Bauserman was incredible two years ago in the season opener...

Joe: Braxton Miller said he expected to throw the ball 25 times; I’m excited to see whether he will actually get to that number even if 25 pass plays are called. I will be excited to see if he finds receivers open and gets the ball off quickly or if he continues to hold it a lot. He got better at this last season and I think the improvement will continue.

Corey: I'm excited to see what the defensive line will do. Ohio State has to replace all four starters and Meyer has been impressed with their work thus far. The injury to Schutt is a bummer, but if this young group can set a dominant tone for the defense, then it could be the standard for this season.

Coach Meyer said he’ll play a number of freshmen in the game including Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson. What are your realistic expectations for these two in their first outing as members of the Scarlet and Gray?

Jeremy: Wilson and Elliott are both incredibly talented players that will get a chance to contribute early, especially this weekend, and are likely to inspire a few "wow" moments between the two of them, especially Wilson returning kicks. If things go as they should this weekend, I think 3-4 touches in the offense for each of them isn't unreasonable. Can either of them channel Michael Wiley? Both could.

Joe: Not sure how much we’ll see Elliott (due to depth at running back) but I think Wilson will see the field fairly early since they are using him at the H-Back. I expect him to make some plays and wow the crowd. I also expect he will score a touchdown.

Corey: I think they both see some extended playing time in the fourth quarter, as I expect this one to be over by halftime. Wilson will get his shot right away on kick returns and Elliott has to wait in line for carries. If they each can get 5-7 touches, it will give us a good preview of Urban's new arsenal.

Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence combined for seven sacks in the OSU Spring Game. How many (if any) do they get against Buffalo and why?

Jeremy:  I've got each of them with two sacks this weekend, but as the defensive line continues to shift around I think we could potentially see an adjustment period, especially for Washington, who may have to work some on the interior line. 

Joe: I’m going to say four but it depends on how long they play. It could get out of hand early in which case we’ll see a lot of the reserves. 

Corey: They'll combine for 3 sacks, but will tack on a couple TFLs. Both have shown flashes of briliance in their first year on campus, but they'll need the help from the other new starters in the front seven to have huge numbers on Saturday. 

Grant Island?Doran Grant. Ohio State's next lockdown corner? Could be.

In your mind, what would Ohio State have to do on Saturday for the game to be considered a strong first outing.

Jeremy: I think Ohio State needs to come out on fire early and keep their boots on the necks of the Bulls from whistle to whistle. No emotional letdowns, no coasting through a quarter, no laziness. Last year's team was prone to mid-game napping and no matter what the score, the Buckeyes need to be physically dominant for 60 minutes. If that happens, the score will take care of itself.

Joe: They need to dominate the first half (28-35 points) and play reserves for much of the 2nd half. The defense needs to be steady but not spectacular. No big plays from the Bulls.

Corey: The front seven on defense needs to show some promise. If Buffalo can move the ball, it's going to cause some angst amongst Buckeye Nation for the next week. I would also like to see at least 50 points on offense. I know that sounds greedy, but for as much as I liked Tressel, we didn't get to see too many 50 point games and Urban has no problem laying a smack down on inferior opponents.  

Who is your player-to-watch on the Buffalo Bulls’ squad?

Jeremy: I know who Khalil Mack is - and everyone should be watching him - but for the Bulls to not get their doors blown off it comes down to how sophomore quarterback Joe Licata handles the Ohio Stadium spotlight. Miami's Zac Dysert did a great job last season keeping the Buckeye defense off-balance, can Licata do the same?

Joe: Punter Tyler Grassman, because he’s from Gahanna and I want to see him do well. Last year in their opener against Georgia he punted 9 times for an average of 37.4 yards.

What relatively unknown player(s) on the OSU roster will be a household name by November?

Jeremy: Josh Perry. Ohio State needs a linebacker to step up and become a steadying force on the second-level and Perry is the guy with the physical abilities and the mentality to do it. He plays fast and he has to see this year as a chance to ensure a long, active Buckeye career or risk getting "recruited over," and I think he steps up.

Joe: Doran Grant, because he’s going to become OSU’s next great lockdown corner. 

Corey: I think Joshua Perry is ready for a breakout season and Doran Grant is going to excel opposite Roby. By November, Dontre Wilson will have the most memorable plays on the season, despite the absurd numbers Braxton should have by then.  

Will the Buckeyes have more rushing or receiving yards this Saturday? Why?

Jeremy: Rushing yards and because Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, Dontre  Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, Philly Brown and more, that's why. #Science 

Joe: Rushing, because they’ll be ahead most of the game. 

Corey: Rushing. There are too many good running backs on this roster and one of them will break a long one.

How many rushing yards/passing yards will Braxton rack up this Saturday?

Jeremy: I think Braxton finishes Saturday with 175 yards passing and 86 yards rushing in just about two and a half quarters of football.  He'll account for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing as he leaves with a 38-3 lead.

Joe: 97/155 in the first half; 5-6 Gatorades in the 2nd half while watching Kenny G. and Cardale J. at the helm.

Corey: He won't play the whole game and I think he runs less on Saturday. 72 yards rushing and 235 yards passing, with 4 total touchdowns. 

Give me your final score predictions….please.

Jeremy: Ohio State: 52 Buffalo: 10 

Joe: 55-10, good guys. 

Corey: 56-20 Buckeyes

You’ve got to go see Troll 2 (one of the worst movies ever made according to Wikipedia) with one player on the Buckeye roster. Who would you take and why?

Jeremy: Easy, Jack Mewhort because as a fellow Toledoan he's well aware of how to properly deal with trolls.

Joe: Christian Bryant, because he will blow that movie up like he would a tight end going over the middle.

Corey: Devin Smith. I remember him from the All-Access series last year and he seemed like he was always joking around, which is the only way you can get through Troll 2.



ohst8buxCP's picture

The fact that none of you answered Michael Bennett for the Troll 2 question is really disappointing. His twitter is a goldmine, i'm like 60% sure I remember him tweeting about Troll 2 at one point

braxonbraxonbrax's picture

Almost exactly 24 hours from now, TBDBITL will be taking the field. Just think about that.

FROMTHE18's picture

Would love for Braxton to get near a 100 rushing, 300 passing game...I think its possible, but unlikely... 70 or so on the ground, 200 passing would suffice for me to be happy. The biggest thing I want out of saturday is no injuries. I think we win this game and dont want it to be at the cost of any players. Lets play smart football, kick ass, and stay healthy for next week.

awlinBrutus's picture

id rather see the rushing yards go to the running backs not Braxton. Every game he was down until November. This is Buffalo we do not need Braxton running the ball,imo.


RoweTrain's picture

Will the Buckeyes have more rushing or receiving yards this Saturday? Why?
Jeremy: Rushing yards and because Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, Dontre  Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, Philly Brown and more, that's why. #Science

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

BuckeyeSki's picture

Did somebody say TROLL?

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

andyb's picture

R.I.P. Good sir....wouldn't have been as great a childhood without you!

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

If we're watching Braxton in the fourth quarter tomorrow, I will be disappointed. I want us to be ruthlessly efficient on offense and, then, get our starters off the field with a big lead. Would love to get the freshmen and sophomores lots of PT.

AirForceNUT's picture

I want Braxton to get Heisman number every game.  300+ passing, close to 100 rushing and 4+ touchdowns.

AndyVance's picture

Given the concern over injuries, this is a dual-edged sword (though I agree with you completely that I want crazy good numbers every game).

Paulillo's picture

Jeremy nailed it in his first response. I'm looking forward to seeing Braxton's improvement as a passer because last year I thought he was rather mediocre in that department.

Shangheyed's picture

A sports site that mentions Troll 2... Love it!   Elevenwarriors.com RULES!  Thanks Jeff for that!
For more on Troll 2, there is a shockingly great film on the making of Troll 2.  It is the best way to watch and appreciate the greatness that is Troll 2.  It's called "Best Worst Movie".   There is real genius there...  The Italian Director is priceless!

Joe Beale's picture

I want that plate of home-made Buckeyes, especially if Sarah's mom made them. 

ATXbucknut's picture

Saw this on the interwebs today and it's too good not to share. Here's hoping Urb adds another ring this year!

pjtobin's picture

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

cinserious's picture

The one without Ohio roots. Oh wait, he's from dayton. Ok, the SLOB!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

The Buck Guy's picture

Nice find :))
I wonder how long it will take scUM fans to realize that he is not and never will belong among the championship caliber coaches?  Remember how long they raved about DickRod?

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

The Buck Guy's picture

Honestly, Buffalo is little better than an average FCS team, even though their two-deep is filled with entirely upper classmen.  So whatever positives the Buckeyes accomplish against this team (or against FA&M later) wont mean much of anything...
So, I just want to see a lack of negatives.  Against this level of competition, we should not see:

  • any 3 and outs;
  • any turnovers;
  • Buffalo converting any 4th downs;
  • any sacks of our QBs;
  • any TFLs by Buffalo;
  • any special teams errors;
  • any injured Buckeyes.

I will be very excited to see our entire 3 deep get plenty of playing time (some in the first half), and not see any of the above. That would be a successful scrimmage, IMO.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

Buckeye Black's picture

Buffalo is an FBS team although Florida A&M is FCS.

The Buck Guy's picture

Correct, sir.  I did not say Buffalo is an FCS team, we all know they are in the MAC, right? Which is why I stated, "Buffalo is little better than an average FCS team."

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

route4buckeye's picture

Wow. That's a lot to ask for man. this team isn't perfect. There will be a sack or 2. there will be tackles for loss.

The Buck Guy's picture

If the Buckeyes were playing a middle-tier team, I would agree with you. But if this O-line and Miller are National Championship contender worthy, then I don't think there should be any sacks or TFLs allowed against a team like Buffalo.  The Bulls only have one decent player on their front line who could possibly be a back-up on every BCS program (other than the truly elite squads. If this team can't stop the Bulls from any sacks or TFLs, then they are not elite status IMO.  Heck, the Buckeyes 3-deep should be able to do that.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

RoweTrain's picture

Missed blocking assignments, receivers slipping, miscommunication. Those are just three things that could cause one or more of your scenarios to happen. And they will. It's early in the season and it happens to every team across America (whether it is college or pro). Does it mean the sky is falling? Absolutely not.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

The Buck Guy's picture

Of course it wouldn't mean that the world would be coming to an end, lol.  My point is that as an elite team this year, I want to see none of those negatives for the Buckeyes in this game against this level of opposition.
And those things don't always happen to every team, especially not elite teams.
Example:  Bama vs ttun last season.  ttun did manage to get four TFLs including one sack, for a total of negative 10 yards during that game. But no turnovers, Bama had no 3-n-outs, and no special teams miscues. As much as I despise ttun, they are at an entirely different level than Buffalo. So, I hope that the Buckeyes can outperform what Bama accomplished vs ttun when we are playing vastly inferior teams like Buffalo and FA&M.
If they do give up a few TFLs or a sack, it wont mean the Buckeyes aren't great. Just that they still have room for improvement.  If there are a lot of those negatives (like last year), then I would tend to think that they are not great and certainly not at an elite caliber. I hope that makes sense.  And like I said, let's hope we see none of those things.

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

nebraskabuckeye23's picture



BenW's picture

I don't want to be a grammar douche on the eve of such a joyous occasion, but this bothers me... so I'll just leave this here.
Go bucks!

Codeezy's picture

Us toledoans have to stick together!