Offense Gets Reinforcements, Defense Working to Improve

By Kyle Rowland on September 16, 2013 at 5:00p
63 Comments
Braxton Miller: probable for Florida A&M

When 10 offensive players are named champions, chances are it was a good performance. That scenario played out Saturday in Ohio State’s 52-34 win at Cal that included 608 yards of offense.

And to no one’s surprise, Kenny Guiton, the national offensive player of the week, was named the Buckeyes’ offensive player of the game. One week after Guiton played exceptionally well against San Diego State, he one-upped himself in his first career start.

“If you knew where he was January, a year and a half ago, [you wouldn’t believe it],” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I'm a parent, so you go right to thinking, can you imagine being his parent right now, how cool that would be. If you buy stock, buy stock in Kenny Guiton, because what's he going to do after football some day, it’s going to be really neat.”

There are still several chapters left in Guiton’s legend at Ohio State. Even though Meyer said Braxton Miller is probable for Saturday’s game versus Florida A&M and said the starting quarterback will play if he’s cleared, Meyer admitted it will be difficult to take Guiton off the field. So difficult, in fact, that Meyer said Guiton’s playing time won’t come to and end.

“Kenny Guiton has earned some time,” he said.

Add running back Carlos Hyde to that list. After serving a three-game suspension, Meyer said Hyde will return this week. It presents another question of who will start at a high-profile position.

In Hyde’s absence, Jordan Hall has turned into one of the top rushers in the nation. He’s tallied more than 400 yards through three games and scored a Big Ten-best six touchdowns.

One year after an undefeated season, Ohio State’s top-two offensive players have played a combined one game and, incredibly, the unit has looked more impressive.

“I think Tom Herman feels better now,” Meyer said. “Last year we didn't feel that way.”

In 2011, Hyde took command of the running back spot when Dan Herron was suspended. Hyde rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Herron returned to the starting lineup the next week and Hyde didn’t receive a single carry. Disgruntled, Hyde went to Twitter to air his grievances.

When he was suspended in July, Hyde took a different approach. Maturity drove him to being a team player, helping out underclassmen and running hard on the scout team. A week ago, he mimicked Cal running back Brendan Bigelow, who gashed the Buckeyes for 160 yards and two touchdowns last year. On Saturday, Ohio State limited Bigelow to 39 yards on 11 carries. His longest rush went for nine yards.

“We’re anxious, [Carlos] has done a really good job,” Meyer said. “He’s had a very good attitude, taken care of his business in the classroom. We’re ready to have him back.”

The biggest issue for Miller is moving laterally, a similar situation Washington is currently undergoing with Robert Griffin III. Miller can move forward and backwards, but when he tries to cut to either side, his movement is limited.

That might work for an offensive linemen or a traditional pocket passer. However, Miller is anything but someone who stands like a statue behind the offensive line. He’s a fleet-footed athlete who’s eager to make a play.

“It can linger and that’s something that we have to be smart about,” said Meyer, about Miller’s sprained MCL. “I’ll have to evaluate that as we go.”

Still, Meyer said he doesn’t expect Miller to sit again this week. Adolphus Washington’s prospects also sound promising after missing the trip to California with a groin injury. Meyer said he’s probable to return.

Any time a defense allows over 500 yards, the first thought is, “What happened?” But Cal ran 90 plays, which lessens the blow for the Buckeyes. Christian Bryant said missed tackles and big plays are inevitable when a team has a high number of offensive snaps.

It didn’t sit well with Meyer, though, who pointed out Ohio State had 16 missed tackles, including a handful by linebacker Ryan Shazier on top of a personal foul penalty.

“We want single digit missed tackles, and Shazier was a culprit,” Meyer said.

Said defensive assistant Mike Vrabel: “Our job is to go out and play 60 minutes of tough, Ohio State football. Every week is a new opponent and new challenge. There’s a lot to fix. There’s a lot to work on, and that’s going to continue on Saturday.”

63 Comments

Comments

BKLYN_Buckeye's picture

 Hope we rest Diesel. Need him for the B1G season.

WOLFofOHIO's picture

ehh..he will be ok..this florida a&m game will be a tune up/technique game.

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

WOLFofOHIO's picture

carlos hyde + florida a&m's defense =

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

BTBuckeye's picture

Groins and MCL sprains are injuries that linger and need time to heal.
I would be in favor of letting them both sit another week.

INTLBUCK's picture

I would agree completely. Let them progress in controlled practice, not game time. Especially against an FCS team. 

awlinBrutus's picture

bingo. no reason to play either. what if braxton's injury lingers? i say he doesn't play till he is 100%. KG gives us that option.
 

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

ih8rolltyde's picture

Viva El Guapo!!!! He rides again!!!!!!
 
I still want J Hall to get 10+ touches per. He has been productive, think he can be moreso in the H and out in space.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

awlinBrutus's picture

as long as they keep hall on the outside, he doesn't belong between the tackles. hyde would have had over 200 against Cal with the holes hall had,imo.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

Seattle Linga's picture

Play Miller sparingly - don't want rust during the conference games.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

If you don't want him rusty, you play him more than sparingly.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CALPOPPY's picture

Then sparingly he should play, to prevent the following week a rusty day.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

bigbill992001's picture

Miller should play the 2st half, just to get hit and see game time action.   Kenny G the 1st half.   Should give Miller a big cushion and so no real pressure to try to make a great play.

Charlotte Buckeye Chip's picture

Does anyone else think Fickell is not the guy to lead this D?  I think we need a better Coordinator.  He's just not cutting it.  I don't think it's our lack of talent.  It has to be Coaching. 

~Charlotte Buckeye Chip

Ethos's picture

Fickel is not running the d by himself there are two coordinaters.  Why does everyone blame fickel for everything?

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

Haybucks's picture

What up Bo?  Nothing going down in the corn fields?  Note - Luke's not a fan.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
- Edward Gibbon
 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Why does everyone blame fickel for everything?

Because Fickell is the coaching staff's Canada.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CALPOPPY's picture

I didn't know he had beady, little eyes.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Look closer.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CALPOPPY's picture

It's hard to do with his flapping mouth (so full of lies).

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

hit_the_couch's picture

At least he's not a ginger.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

fear_the_nut70's picture

I really think everyone blames him exclusively for that 6-7 season which is just plain silly to me.  Ohio State fans come unglued with more than one loss, so seven sends them into an unmitigated frenzy.  Given the state of the program for that year, this is very unfair (and Fickell even deserves credit for stepping in and guiding the team through some of our darkest days), but that is the nature of the sports fanatic.

fear_the_nut70's picture

I have given this a lot of thought and here are a few of them to consider:
1) remember how the D progressed last year from beginning to end?  It was terrible early in the year, sorta bottomed out against Indiana, but was playing best at the end.  This could be the same scenario this year;
2) We turned over 9 starters on D and many of the starters, though talented, are young and/or inexperienced.  There is bound to be some growing pains?
3) Who is the D coordinator exactly?  Looking at titles, it appears Withers and Fickell are splitting this position?  Maybe that is a recipe for disaster, but one has to wonder why Fickell draws all of the ire and yet nothing lands at Withers' feet? 
4) What effect would firing Fickell have on recruiting?  I have heard he is a good recruiter and undoubtedly some of the kids are coming there because of him.
5) Was Heathcock hired as a D coordinator in waiting, much like what happened with Robinson at Texas?
A friend and I were discussing this, and we both agreed that UFM is monitoring this situation very closely.  Part of me thinks that we are spoiled as Buckeye fans wanting to fire a coach and a great former Buckeye when we are undefeated.  The other part of me knows that this is likely our best shot for a NC in the next few years (we turn over OL next year AND the secondary) and that the defense is clearly the weak link.  A year later and we still see players taking the wrong angles, missing tackles, very troubling.  I honestly don't know what if anything should be done at this point.  Thoughts?

bigbill992001's picture

1) The D changed when Boren was sent in.

hit_the_couch's picture

Urban took over after while; he made it known publicly several times in his pressers how unhappy he was with the D.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

fear_the_nut70's picture

Not true.  He got more involved but no one reported that "he took over."  If you have a source on that I'd like to see it.

hit_the_couch's picture

I'm just going off of what he said in pressers. I'm not saying he became the DC.
 
*I never proof posts before I hit send. Maybe I should start; half the time I make no sense.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

fear_the_nut70's picture

I hear ya.  I'm just trying to be fair.  It can't be the case that Fickell gets all the blame when things go poorly but then zero credit when a fullback is converted to LB midseason and the D improves.  I have many of the same concerns the rest of you have--D has not played to Silver Bullet standards in part because some of the fundamentals are missing (and it is only natural to look at the coaches when recruiting rankings suggest the talent exsists).

Donny T's picture

Agreed. I was curious about the logic in the article that said allowing over 500 yards in total offense is okay because the other team ran 90 plays. That just means that the defense was unable to stop them. That's why they got to run 90 plays. That's what bad tackling, stupid penalties and a soft secondary will do.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Does anyone else think Fickell is not the guy to lead this D?

Impossible. No one has ever stated they felt anything along those lines on 11W.
Ever.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

How dare they count that loss to Nebraska against him. :/

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Ethos's picture

Yeah really what a load of crap

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

They might be counting that MSU game as two losses.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

jbcuky's picture

How dare they count any Bollman coached games against him. Ohio State is 14-0 in games he's started under Meyer.

BassDropper's picture

Bama gave up over 600 yards against A &M....Im sorry, but if you are considered a "great" D there is no excuse to give up that many yards and 40 points....I dont care who they played, they had 2 weeks to prepare to stop them.

DIRECTIONER

hit_the_couch's picture

Actually they had almost a year.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

And Bama gave up those 600 yds on only 71 offensive plays for Tex AM.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm aware that Cal is not Tex AM. I'm not ready to say that Ca's offense is near the same level as Tex AM's offense. Still, after three games, Tex AM is 2nd in total offense and Cal is 4th.
But even if Tex AM's offense is more than a little better than Cal's, here's two other things that aren't really close: Ohio State gave up 5.6 yds/play to Cal; Bama gave up 8.8 yds/play to Tex AM. So, even if Tex AM is NOT Cal, we might have reason to suspect that Bama's defensive performance was no better, and maybe even worse, than Ohio State's. 

dlb72osu's picture

Let me get this straight, two of the finest head coaches from the last decade have supported Fickell and have openly supported him and his program. So, all of you Fickell haters are actually questioning the actions of two of the finest college football minds in America. 
Good luck with that. 
BTW, where does Coombs, Withers and Vrable fit into your mindset?

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

nm_buck's picture

Give the Fickell haters some credit.
You can learn an awful lot about the game from the comfort of your living room.

GABuckeye's picture

Not saying I disagree with you, but Tressel also supported one Nick Siciliano.  Just saying!
Edit: and Jim Bollman.

BeijingBucks's picture

RDS may have missed a few tackles and blown up their QB on their bench... But he also had that beastly sack off the blind side edge that led to a recovers fumble and 21-0.  I'll sprinkle some forgiveness in there coach....  

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm inclined toward forgiveness for the missed tackles, in general. The staff seems to be against doing much hitting/tackling during camp, so that might contribute to early season issues. Then, they face 80+ plays against Cal's non-stop "jet" offense with several key guys out of the lineup - they obviously got tired in the 2H. That doesn't excuse the bad first quarter (after they got up 21-0), but I expect to see lots of improvement going forward. I will go out on a limb and say that this will be a very good tackling team come late October. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

When he was suspended in July, Hyde took a different approach. Maturity drove him to being a team player, helping out underclassmen and running hard on the scout team. A week ago, he mimicked Cal running back Brendan Bigelow . . .

I have great respect for El Guapo's talents, but I'm having a hard time seeing him play the role of lil' Brendan Bigelow.

In Hyde’s absence, Jordan Hall has turned into one of the top rushers in the nation.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Hall currently 5th in the nation in rushing yards. He deserves the accolades.
Btw, Iowa's Marc Weisman is 3rd on that list. Interestingly, Weisman is listed as a FB. I can't remember the last time I saw a FB that high on a rushing yards list. The dude has already carried the ball 85 times in 3 games (are we sure he isn't secretly playing for Dantonio at MSU?), which must be tempting the hell out of AIRBHG! Then again, maybe AIRBHG only hates halfbacks, while leaving fullbacks alone?

CALPOPPY's picture

Bingo! Call him a fullback and he's free from that Hating God. I can't believe it's taken this long for Ferentz to figure it out.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

ESPN ranked Hall's performance as #2 for RB's for this weekend and Devin Smith as #5 for WR's.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

VIVA EL GUAPO!!!

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

hit_the_couch's picture

Play them both, get them both touches. THe more weapons the better; spread the ball around.
On another note, I normally ignore cumulative CFB stats but took a look, Goff is #1 with 1300 passing yards already; that's insane. 4 of the top 5 rushers in CFB right now are from B1G schools.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

southbymidwest's picture

Must admit, given how crappy RGIII is playing these days (I think he really came back too early, obviously has some mobility issues for guy who does a lot of running, and a QB controversy might be beginning to brew based on those issues), the thought of Braxton doing the same is a worry to me.

tressel12's picture

I feel that El Guapo definitely deserves playing time after the maturity that he has shown over the past few weeks and the weeks leading up to the suspension. As much as the whole situation with El Guapo in the off-season really made me and fellow Buckeye fans sick to my stomach especially after an incident a few years earlier (which shall not be named) out of this horrible situation came the re-emergence of a running back I have always liked. It has been amazing how Hall has responded putting up Heisman-like numbers when he was considered to be a possible slot receiver during the off-season and a year after a devastating injury. Speaks to excellent coaching and outstanding resiliency!
With that being said can't wait to see EL GUAPO back where he belongs next week.....running over defenders!!!!! GO BUCKS!!!!!

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

As much as the whole situation with El Guapo in the off-season really made me and fellow Buckeye fans sick to my stomach

Why would it make you "sick to your stomach"?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

Some people are way too sensitive.  That's the way the world spins my man.

teddyballgame's picture

This feels like a game where the risk is the same as every Saturday but theres hardly any reward. 
Blow out FAMU>>...Congrats you did what everyone expected
Anything less>> ...Here comes the haters 
Hoping for no serious injuries. 

SoDakBuckeyeFan's picture

I say let Braxton rest up another week and let the smooth jazz roll. Although part of me wonders if Braxton has ever heard of Wally Pipp. As for the defense I'm not worried....Yet. It's still early and the unit is a work in progress. Not to mention that the rules have pretty much made it impossible to play instinctual aggressive defense. More scoring is the result across the board. 

SoDakBuckeyeFan

buckskin's picture

The biggest problem the D had in the Cal game was inconsisteny.  At times they played great while going full speed, while others they seemed a step behind.  That is normally the case for young defenses (especially D-line) as they learn you have to have that Simon type high motor revving on every down.  Their depth on the D-line is also an issue, which was exposed against a high octane offense like Cal. 
Didn't like the Roby "shove" on Cal's long touchdown, Shazier's "freshman" penalty, and the sense that giving up 500 yards is ok if the opponent runs enough plays.
As for the Fickell bashing, remember he picked up a program that at that time was way too reliant on one player for wins (T.P) and the defensive cupboards weren't up to OSU's normal standards.  Our recruiting will take care of that in the years to come.
 
 

BeatTTUN's picture

Cal's Offense is going to make a lot of defenses look suspect.
 
Chris Carter needs to be used as a fullback, for a megaDude his is nimble. @ Cal was my first time seeing him in person and he is nimble for someone the size of 1200 Big Macs.
Offensively they are a pick your poison team, they can go fast, matriculate or go real slow and make it painful for defenses.
After a decade of watching Tresselball, adjusting to the formula Urban uses to win games and how I can be calm for 60 minutes knowing the Buckeyes are going to win is a journey.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

It worked with Refrigerator Perry.