Can the Ohio st. Defense sustain a championship drive in '13?

cinserious's picture
November 5, 2012 at 1:23a

Its really nice to have such an explosive offense, one that has scored 50+ more times than ever in school history, but the bottom line is, without the dominating defense that we are traditionally used to here in the great state of OHIO, its all just a facade. And that's what makes us uncomfortable. We're in uncharted territory now and we all want to get back to what makes Ohio St. Ohio St. Great defense. I know Urban has a defense-first philosophy, and with good reason: defense wins championships. But what he also brings to the table is a kick-ass offense too. From the looks of things, the explosive offense hasn't been an added burden on our defense, its the defensive coaching and/or players/personell that has been it's undoing. It looks like the defensive side has a ways to go to catch up with the offense. Hopefully it will get closer in '13 for our championship run. The good news is we have been improving on the defensive side of the ball although the offense as a whole won't relinquish its superiority until Brax is gone. I also am very impressed with the way the O-line and recieving corps (formerly corpse) has been kick-ass this year as well. I fully expect this young offense to mature and dominate every game next yr but I'm not yet sold on what the defense will do with losing so much senior leadership. Will we continue to improve or just tread water for another year? Anybody have any input on that?

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NoVA Buckeye's picture

When the playcalling improves, the defense shall follow.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

I think the D will be a lot better next year, the whole secondary is back basically and the DL loses guys like Simon and Williams and Goebel, but I think the young guys we have will produce just as well.  I can't wait to see what Spence and Washington do their Soph. campaigns when they have more time to fill out, add strength and get accustomed to college football.  Those two will start bringin the SEC speed off the edges and up the middle, throw in everyone else we have on DL... lots of young, but good talent.  Should be scary good in a few years.   As long as our LB play improves next season, I can see a dramatic jump for our D.   For how bad it's been we're still ranked 39th overall in yards given up, but I think next year with more experience and more athelticism out there our D should vastly improve.  Top 15ish, then the following year be one of the best while our O if Braxton doesn't come back for his Senior season could be a little shaky with basically a whole new Oline and potentially QB but we'll see.

Toilrt Paper's picture

The Sophmore D-linemen look to be talented, but I can't think of a dominate D-line that were all Sophomores. The D-line could be an achilles heal. That is were a great defense begins.

cplunk's picture

In answer to the question in your post title- have you seen next year's schedule?

cinserious's picture

If I remember correctly, its alot like this year, 'cept at California. But you know how it is, if we roll through the Non-conf. and B1G we still have the championship bowl game to contend with, which will be the real test. (probably against another SEC team).

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

jarheadbuckeyefan's picture

I think a major factor to defensive struggles this year has been the injuries and underdevelopment prior to this season of our linebackers...and honestly based off his play thus far, if Boren had been playing Mike the last season or two i don't think the LB corps would be as much of a hinderance as it recently has been this year to the Bullets. Granted some of it is playcalling, it still infuriates me to see the corners 10 yds off on 3rd and 5, but i think once we are able to get in some good quality LB recruits and more importantly have continuity at the position throughout the season by staying healthy as possible the defense should be back up to our lofty standards.

"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."~ Woody Hayes

Buckeye06's picture

Did we just save this post from after the Indiana game and post it up now?  The D has been pretty good the last 3 weeks.  They've given up around 22 a game in those 3.  Purdue the offense and special teams put them into some difficult spots.  Penn State they shut down a good offense for 3 quarters and then played prevent to run the clock, and Ill they gave up like 175 yards total.  7 of the points in all 3 of those games were on other units (fumble return Ill. Kick block PSU and KR Purdue).  So they as a defense have only given up 15 points a game in those last 3. 

cinserious's picture

Thats excellent, but I did mention we are losing a pretty solid defensive foundation in Boren, Sabino, Simon, Goebbel, Williams, Howard, etc. Hopefully not but possibly Roby and big Hankins to the NFL. Next year we will be significantly younger and with less exp on D. I like the freshmen and sophomores he have though as well as the incoming class of '13,  they could turn out to be monsters but we just don't know for sure yet.

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

Buckeye06's picture

Our Corners will be fine with D. Grant stepping in.  He's already started a game or two so that should be good.
D-line i'm worried about teams being able to run up the middle again with Goebel and Hank gone, but if Hank stays, no problem.  Without him, Hale, Washington, Bennett, and Schutt will have to step up.  The DEs shoudl be fine
LBers we are worried and should be. Shazier will be fine, but 2 or 3 others need to step up and be competant.
I'm most worried about the leadership honestly.  Simon/Boren are two of the better leaders this team has had in the past decade and not having them could be hard for the team, especially when 2 a days are tough or they are feeling down in a game late in the 4th

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

We are learning a new defense.  It has everything to do with this.  This is why we have seen improvements throughout the season.  The players are understanding the system better and this is allowing the coaches to call the game more aggressively.  Think back to all of the games we've played - in every game there were missed tackles, poor tackling angles, and missed assignments that resulted in big plays.  Our defense rarely gave up points related to sustained drives.  Now the defense understands the scheme and that makes a world of difference - plain and simple.

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SPreston2001's picture

Yeah but missed tackles, poor tackling/angles has nothing to do with learning a new system. Thats all effort and fundamentals. I dont think out D will be on par with Bamas or the USC defense a few years back, but they will be much improved!

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

You are right, they don't have to do with a new system.  But they do have to with how the coaches percieve the defense and how they call plays (implement the system).  My point being that if you have defense that can't make fundamental plays and can't execute out of a base package, how are you, as a coach, going to expect them to handle calls where more risk is involved?  For instance, if you know a LB can't take the proper angle or can't wrap up, you're less likely to call a blitz that puts this guy on island where if he doesn't make the play, it's going to hurt.  Likewise, if your safeties can't step up and make the one on one plays, you're not going to risk putting them in these positions.  The answer is that you just don't take the risks - you try to mask the problems until you get them fixed = damage control.

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faux_maestro's picture

It can have an effect on those things. When you are thinking about what you are supposed to do instead of just reacting with instinct breakdowns in basic technique happen.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Actually it's essentially the same defense as last year. Everywhere that Meyer has gone he has always kept the D-cordinator and the same defensive. So he could concentrate on installing his offense. His second year he becomes more involved in the defense when his offense is in place.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I don't think we ran a cover-4 last year.  I thought Heacock's defenses were cover-2 based???

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Toilrt Paper's picture

All teams run some cover-4 in certain situaltions. All teams have it in their book. This team ran very little the first half of the season. "Learning a new defense" would mean changing to a 3-5, Bear Defense or someting unique.

SilverBulletNYC's picture

I think this is a great question. Will Hankins and/or Roby be back? Who will fill in at LB opposite Shazier? Do we go out and recruit a Juco LB and hope that he is able to plug in? Are any of the Frosh LBers ready to step up nextt year? Although we return most of our secondary, I think that is what concerns me the most. I think Christian Bryant and CJ Barnett are terrible. With serious injuries to the young secondary like Bogard, how long will it take them to recover? I have no worries about our DL but I do have many questions about how effective our D will be next year. 

The South will NOT rise again!

Toilrt Paper's picture

A "scout" has told me Hankins is gone, Robey is on the fense. He also says Hyde and an O-lineman are currently considering. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

Was this the scout who gave you the info?

Toilrt Paper's picture

That's your mother? ;)

buckeyeEddie27's picture

eesh, that would sting.   Hope they Roby, Hyde and said O-lineman just file papers to take a peek. 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

@SilverbulletNYC, I think Roby would be wise to take another year to develop, Hank I think is ready for the league but I hope he returns to help our chances for a run at the title.   

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

smith5568's picture

Our defense has played very well the past few weeks. Remember prior to the season everyone discussing how it may take a while for staffs to meld and everyone to get used to coaching with eachouther? It was thought this might even lead to a few losses. We haven't lost yet, but I think this and injuries are the reasons our defense struggled early. We are improving evey week. Our defense will be fine. 

brglr14's picture

history says we will. what is it once about every 20yrs we have a D with a flat tire or 2. my self i look at 2013 like 2006. the D wasnt suppose to be very good and the O would have really carry the team and that D turned out to be great. that D lost some really good players after 05 as i remember also including 3 starting linbackers. i expect same next year. a O that is flat out awesome and the D will arrive just has they do most years.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


Baroclinicity's picture

I think we'll have to be more weary of just flat out laying an egg for no particular reason next year.  The pressure will be ramped up quite a bit from this year since bowl expectations are not there.  The lights can get pretty bright sometimes.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

D. Anthony's picture

Here is the most important thing: yes, we lose experience on D but they will be significantly faster (which I understand means nothing if your running fast in the wrong direction/out of position) BUT Washington, Shutt, Spence should be healthier and will add that speed. Nate Williams and Simon both entered the season banged-up and continue to be well under 100%. I'm confident that Roby will be back and the safety play can only get better. I really think the D will be significantly better next year with more of an Urban stamp and a year under their belts.

D. Anthony

bodast67's picture

Don't forget Bosa.....this kid will show up ready to play and he is a gym rat just like Simon !




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

T4EHill's picture

The defense will be better next year. First year under a new staff will be a transition for everyone but I have a feeling they'll be a freak show next season.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." Woody Hayes

ToothBuck's picture

I certainly think so, but hopefully winning in the Big Ten next year will mean we will be able to compete in a 4 team playoff next season.

Toilrt Paper's picture

The B1G as a whole will not be much if any stronger next year. To make the "Final Four" Ohio State must run the table and dominate every opponent.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

The defense will not have to be that great if the offense can continue to improve.  If the defense is even just average we will see a national title I believe.

sb97's picture

The defense has improved a great deal.  Both in play calling and more importantly in execution.  I am pretty confident in the D Line and secondary next season.  My only real concern is will we have a couple of linebackers step up. 

Buckeye06's picture

The playoff starts in 2014 I'm pretty sure, so OSU has to wow people next year to make it.  I think they start top 3-5, but as we've seen with Oregon, you don't remain there unless the computers help you out a little

jthiel09's picture

First year jitters will be gone, but we'll also have a void to fill with certain positions but overall our talent coming back for next year and some of the new guys is promising. Only thing that will hurt us is that extra month or so of practice we could get for everyone getting ready for a bowl game is non-existent this year.


AlphaBuck's picture

When we finish 12-0 and the so called CFB experts see what we have coming back next year(especially offense) we will be no worse than a pre-season #3, and all we have to do is win each game and good things will happen. We will be in the title game vs. the SEC champ or maybe Oregon.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

honestly i'm not worried about the d, i think some of us were a little quick to be gunning for fick/vrab, but i think they'll settle in nicely, withers i still dont know about though.  as far as personnel, i think we might have issues early but im predicting ohio state to have one of the fastest defenses in the country next year, with the speed rushers we have (spence washington pittman), at lb i REALLY see it being shazier, jamaal marcus, and josh perry starting which would be BEAST (and i think once they get settled in will be a group of rockets) and the secondary i think will only get better with the guys we have and the guys were getting.  hate to say it, but ill be glad to see travis howard go, the fact that he ever referred to himself as howard island still pisses me off, and he only looks decent on paper because he gets the EASIEST int's ever

BoFuquel's picture

With our cupcake scheduel we won't get the votes even if we go undefeated next year.If you look at the BCS this year if we were allowed to play we wouldn't have the votes. Next years lineup is even lighter.Don't get your hopes up.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Alhan's picture

We'll have a good shot if we end up ranked high because of going undefeated this season and win our games in convincing fashion next year.  I agree we'll have a tough time of it if we start our ranked where we did this year.
Who knows, maybe the B1G does really well in their bowl games and looks stronger next year!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

SPreston2001's picture

Honestly I dont think Urb is going to keep Fick after this season. I know I may get some downvotes for saying this but I just dont think Urb really has alot of confidence in him. Hell he had to talk to other people and convince himself to keep Fick on the staff when he was hired. I think coach wants a fast and aggressive defense and I just dont think thats Fickells style. I love Fick as a person and OSU alum but I dont think he fits the Urban mold. I know its kinda hard to imagine if we go 12-0 but something tells me his play calling days are numbered... 
As far as next years NC, I agree if the college landscape is anything like it is this year OSU's schedule will hold us back unless we are one of the only undefeated teams. A good solid BCS bowl game would be enough for me though. I would love to play for the NC, but if that doesnt happen I wouldnt be too upset considering our cotton candy schedule next year.

cinserious's picture

I don't think the cupcake schedule will be as much of a hindrance as people think. We have an undefeated or 1-loss team this year and in '13 we start out top 5 with the heisman frontrunner as our qb. Throughout the year, the offense dominates teams and the defense improves too. At minimum, we go to a bcs bowl game but I feel an undefeated Buckeye team is in perfect position to play for the NC. And you know the BCS will try not to put up two SEC teams again in a rematch after that embarrasment 'bama put on LSU last yr. What a failed experiment that was. That leaves us against USC, Oregon, ND, Tex, Oklahoma. Our schedule isnt that much worse than theirs and we should be ranked higher than all those teams to start the season except maybe oregon.

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

Buckeyejason's picture

USC will not be in contention without their golden boy Matt Barkely. Same with Chokeklahoma. 


Toilrt Paper's picture

Only 8 of the top 52 are Seniors.


If Spence and Washington can help mitigate the loss of Hankins and Simon, if the linebacking corps can find help for Shazier and if Roby returns I suspect the 2013 Silver Bullets will be solid enough for a national title run. If Roby doesnt return they lose the only big-time playmaker they have in the secondary. If LBs like Perry don't stepup for departing Boren and Sabino or Meyer doesnt get any JUCO LBs transfer in and if Spence and Washington have growing pains as sophomores the defense could very easily be worse than this season's. Lots of hypotheticals. That never bodes well but I'll try to remain positive. Just dont want to see those opposing big plays to start coming back. I hated that more than anything else.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

OSUBias's picture

Spence helps mitigate the loss of Nathan Williams, not really Simon. He plays more like Williams. Nobody we have as a backup right now plays like Simon. Washington will play inside, but he's got a long long way to go to be Hankins. There's a big difference between having a competent dline and having a devastating dline. We're not devastating even with all of the seniors, though they are getting better and better. My position is that they've got a lot of improvement to make before next year if that unit is going to operate at a level close to where we are now.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

legates54's picture

Joey Bosa will start next year and you will think it's Simon only he changed his name.  We will not miss a beat

Buckeyejason's picture

No he won't.


cinserious's picture

Way I see it, Spence (tries) to replace Nate Williams; Bennett (tries) to replace Simon, as they are both guys who can be moved inside and out; and Washington (tries) to replace Hankins. Fortunately, we have a possibility of gettin Hankins and Roby back for their senior seasons in '13. That would go a looooooong way toward a NC season.

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

legates54's picture

I do not believe a National Championship will be coming to OSU in '13.  I do not believe the team will be good enough and I also feel that if this current team goes 12-0 we really expect to win every game in '13 as well.  Urban goes 26-0 in 2 his first 2 years?  Thats a stretch.  I believe '14 is the year.  Alot needs to happen for a title run.  THe rankings need to be Top 5 and of course the fact that you truely need to win out and some other BCS non-sense.  I believe the '14 season will look like the '06 season if you substitute Miller for Smith and Urban for Tress.  And then we all celebrate.

Buckeyejason's picture

I don't think we'll have the explosive wideouts in 2014 like 2006..I also think the O-line will be a work in progress and the secondary will be green and not that great. I think it's either next year or bust.


cinserious's picture

I disagree Buckeyejason, I have my sights set on '13 as well and thats where I stand, but with or without a '13 NC, we still have BRaxton in '14 and the recruiting is only going to improve under Meyer and his success. Plus look at what one year difference made with Ed Warriner as our O-line coach and what Tom Herman has done to our offenseive gameplanning. I feel that regardless of personel, Ohio State has the coaching and talent to dominate the big-ten and be favorable against the top 2 or 3 teams in the country over the next two yrs with Braxton Miller. Its the '15 season where things start getting more cloudy but not to fret, we will still have Urban Freakin Meyer!

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

Buckeyejason's picture

Having Braxton in 2014 will be a big factor obviously. Wariner has done a good job but Mewhort, Linsley, Hall and Norwell aren't exactly "green" newcomers playing on the line this year..they all have a good amount of games under their belt. 4 new starting O-lineman in 2014 doesn't exactly have me confident that we will dominate the line of scrimmage with former D-lineman like Ferris and Baldwin playing. They could end up beig just as good as the guys they replace but I have my doubts.
The secondary will basically be completely green with Barnett, Bryant, Corey Brown, and possibly Roby gone.


cinserious's picture

Your offensive line worries have had me thinking about how are we going to replace these starters but remember taylor decker the freshman is still neck and neck with the converted TE senior, so thats good at RT. Jacobi Boren is coming up at center and by '14 the other line spots will not only be settled but actually DEVELOPED considering we have a legitimate O-line coach now! No worries bro.

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

Toilrt Paper's picture

This happens all the time in college. The back ups will gain more experience next year. Wariner will have more to work with in 2014 than he had to work with this year. According to Urban... Mewhort, Linsley(new position) Hall, Norwell and TE Fraigel were a clown show as late as this summer.