So, Just How Bad Was Taylor Decker?

JKH1232's picture
September 2, 2013 at 5:36p

TL;DR: Not Nearly as Bad as Chicken Little seems to think.

To hear it in the comments, and in the forums here since the end of the Buffalo game, you might think Talyor Decker (Right Tackle) was the worst lineman to suit up since the glorious 1897 campaign, where the Good Guys went 1-7-1.  I didn't think he played well myself, but the idea that he was going to sink the entire O-Line didn't jib with what I saw when I watched the game, either.  Then again, maybe all these guys who joined the site in the past couple of months and complained the loudest were just way smarter or more observant than I am.  (It's well established I'm not very bright.)

As they say, though, the Eye in the Sky Never Lies.  If you want to know what really happened, you have to watch the video tape- otherwise, all you'll remember is going to be the evidence that proves your predetermined point- and we call that confirmation bias, not actual evidence.  So, to see if I was nuts or not, I went back and watched the video tape, concentrating on Decker's play, and trying to keep an eye on Khalil Mack, since he seemed to pick on Decker.  I made some notes, which I'll post now:


Down and Distance                     Play                               Notes
1st and 10                             Run Middle                  Drives back linebacker
2nd and 5                                Run Middle                         Same
1st and 10                               Run Middle                   Stalemate linebacker
2nd and 8                                     Pass                        Single blocks rush end

1st and 10                               Sweep Left                  Stalemates End (Pass Fake?)
1st and 10                                Miller Keeper             Dammit, ESPN.
2nd and 9                               Pass                              Awesome DT with guard against DE
1st and 10                               Receiver Screen R            Dammit, ESPN.
1 and Goal                                Pass                          Chips DB blitzer, but doesn't hold

1st and 10                                 Pass                         Blocks rusher (95) 4 sec.
1st and 18                                 Pass                         Blocks rusher (95) 3 sec (to pass)
2nd and 16                            Option Left                 Releases upfield off camera
3rd and 7                              Pass                             Moves to block Mack, then helps G
1st and 10                                QB Scramble                 Blocks Mack 3 sec, Mack releases
1st and 10                               Rush left              Picks up Mack, forces back before release
2nd and 4                                Rush  middle       Cross body blocks Mack out of play           
1st and 10                                Pass                      Locks down DT
2nd and 10                               Run Left               Blocks DT

1st and 10                                Pass       Driven back by Mack, sack given up (Overload)
2nd and 14                               Pass       Blocks Mack long enough for Miller throw               
3rd and 5                                 Pass           Locks down wide DT (93) G blows up.
1st and 10                                Pass                Stops wide DT, blocks inside
2nd and 10                            Run Power Left      Drives 95 back 5 yards             
3rd and 4                                  Pass                     Locks down 95
4th and 1                                   Run                 Crashes down.  Heuerman misses block.

1st and 10                           Sweep Left               Locks down 92

1st and 10                            Run Left                       Holds off 95
2nd and 10                            Pass                Locks up rusher his side, Miller rolls away.       
3rd and 1                            Pass                     Dammit, ESPN
1st and 10                           Run                       Locks up 95 so Miller can run around him
2nd and 13                           Pass                      Tries to cut 92 (Backside of play

1st and 10                        Rush  Left             Stalemates DT

1st and 10                         Rush                     Crashes down, DT caught against him.
2nd and 12                         Pass                     Locks down 95 for six (6!) seconds
3rd and 12                         Pass                       Just whiffs on Mack, sack

1st and 10                           Pass                      Locks up MLB, pushes off play
1st and 10                           Pass                       Has trouble with blitzing CB
2nd and 10                       Pass                     Locks down 92 whole play
2nd and 20                       Pass/Scramble       Blocks 92 until Miller runs past

1st and 10                          Rush right    Stands up, but doesn't move, OLB 34
2nd and 11                        WR Screen        Walls off to center, no one there
3rd and 6                            Pass                Asks for help, doesn't get any, gives up sack to  43 but recovers fumble

1st and 10                          Rush  Left                    Would you like syrup with that?
2nd and 5                           Rush   Right                   Gets a good shove on DB 30
1st and 10                         Read Option            Chips 95, Miller totally misreads
2nd and 12                         Rush                     Not a super-effective block on LB         
3rd and 8                           Pass                      No one his side, delayed far CB blitz
1st and 10                          Read Option         Misses Mack (?).
2nd and 13                           Rush Right          Puts MLB on the ground
3rd and 1                             Rush Right                   Stalemates MLB.
1st and 10                           Swing Pass  Left           Stalemates man                   
2nd and 9                          Read Option Left         Blocks Nose Guard, moves to 2nd level
1st and 10                          Rush up middle          Gets hands on Mack out of play
2nd and 7                           Midline Option         Cross body blocks 34 out of play
3rd and 1                             Rush Left                 Locks down Mack
1st and 10                            Rush                     Stalemates OLB 34, who then releases
2nd and 8                             Pass                      Locks down rushing DE

1st and 10                          Rush Left              Dives into general pile (GL)
2nd and 9                           Sweep Right         Locks up DT, but gets pushed back
3rd and 8                            Scramble              Locks down blitzing OLB until Miller goes
1st and 10                            Pass                     Locks down DE 95 for 5 secs (throw)
1st and 10                            Read Option        Misread by Miller
2nd and 13                           Pass                    Holds down 95, gets pushed back to Miller
3rd and 13                            Pass/Scramble     Locks down DE, doubles with back
1st and 10                             Sweep right         Chips 95, goes to 2nd level hands on MLB
2nd and 7                            Rush Left            Stalemates 95 at line
3rd and 5                             Pass                     Blocks 95 for seven secs (throw)

1st and 10                           Rush Left             Stalemates DT at line
2nd and 7                            Rush right  Doubles with G on 95, then gets off to block Mack
1st and 10                           Rush Left       Same as above, really
2nd and 8                             Rush Left     Gets up to double team MLB
3rd and 2                              Pass/ Scramble    Locks down 34 for entire running around.

So, references to a guard or G is usually Marcus Hall. (I took notes in Word, and tried to keep it all on one line there.)  Not everything is perfect- I tried to keep track of which number on Buffalo Decker engaged with, unless it was Mack.  That said, he went against 93 and 95 alot, so those can get mixed up, and sometimes you can't see the numbers.  Also, I had to work from ESPN's broadcast.  I don't have access to the Alll 22 or Goaline film, and sometimes that means Decker moved out of the shot, or ESPN cut into the play too late, and I don't have perfect data as a result.  I also didn't overanalyze what play we ran- compare this to the charting charts that the others are going to produce to figure that out.

Line breaks separate drives, and down and distance I pulled off the ESPN play by play chart.

So, what can we learn from this?

1.  Decker is going to be pretty solid if he keeps playing like this.  He clearly outclassed everyone on the field that wasn't going to get drafted in April.  He held his blocks in pass blocking quite well, and did well when he had to out and run block, too, particularly in the early going. 

2.  That said, he had trouble with a couple of things- picking up the one corner blitz they ran at him. (Not surprising, that's the point) and blocking Mack.  He and Mack went about 50/50 one on one, with Decker usually winning on runs and Mack usually winning when he blitzed. 

3.  You know who could block Mack on the OSU line?  No one, that's who.  He made Mewhort look silly, and I'm not going to get upset with a soph for not being able to handle a guy that the senior captain couldn't really block, either.  I hope Mack gets to play for my team on Sunday, he's clearly going to be good enough for the next level, and Buffalo should have just sent him every down.

4.  The strength of this line is clearly on the run- when the chips are down, I'd expect us to run the ball behind Mewhort/Norwell and get a lot of success.  Decker can fit well into that role, and he and Hall can lock down the backside of the line well.  We should be able to run behind Decker in the right matchups, but if you have two seniors on the other side of the line, why not run behind them all day?

5.  Other than Mack, Decker pass blocked very well- he held almost every block to the throw, rarely got pushed into the pocket, and held on for well more than the 3 seconds that's considered "Good enough."  Guys really only got off of him once Miller ran past the line on scrambles.

6.   There is no observation 6.

7.  Based on one game against a potential MAC champion, if Decker's the worst player on our line, that's pretty good, and I'll take it.


NB: I probably made some small mistakes in my chart.  If you want to point them out, I guess I don't care, but don't be all bichy about it.

Comments Show All Comments

Hovenaut's picture

Thanks for the details JKH.

He got beat badly by a probable first round pick a couple times in his first start.

Confident he and line progress as the season continues.

dan_isaacs's picture

Yeah, if there was a goat in this game, it was Reeves.  Decker got beat on a few notable occasions, but it was always Mack.  That guy will be beating much better tackles than Decker for a decade.

Dan Isaacs

Idaho Helga's picture

Wow, to pile on with these stats on a first game with a sophomore put up with a projected early round draft pick is silly & unproductive for our team.    His opponent is going to be playing on Sundays next year.
Apparently he is good or Urban & Co. wouldn't  have him out there.  Save your stats-maker for something more relevant than this.

JKH1232's picture

I'm confused, is this for me?  If so, how am I at all doing anything to hurt Buckeye Football?  The coaching staff doesn't need me to break down tape, and I'm not calling the plays.
I did this to prove a point- Decker's a really good player, despite what some people around here think.  If he's the weak point on the line, it's a really good line.

BuckeyeLawyer's picture

I liked it.  Thank you.  BTW, I don't think you were being criticized.

Nick_Satan's picture

I enjoyed it also I would give you a nice up vote but I can't. I have no idea why the other user would bash on you like that. But it takes a good amount of time to do what you did so thank you my friend.

Idaho Helga's picture

I read your whole post originally but I hated to see the title (I get it, but it's really negative) and to have a first game guy have his whole game broke down seemed like a bit much at the time.  That is why I was critical in my comment.  I absolutely hate having a guy come out of the gate and have him good or bad, being a spotlight.  It never turns out well either way with social media. 
Not trying to keep you from posting, I'm just uber-conservative in defending the young guys in early games from an under the bus mentality.

Gametime's picture

The point he was making is that HE IS defending him. He charted his plays to show that he really didn't play that bad at all, not using it maliciously to make it seem like the kid played bad like you took it (somehow >_>). 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

ChazBuckeye's picture

Hey Helga....he plays for OSU...he's already in the spot light.  This part REALLY made me laugh uncontrollably considering...the young will play.  No more Red shirting like in Tress Era.  And, yes they will be criticized for good reason.  Without it they don't improve. 
As for this breakdown...SUPERB and thank you.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

DaiTheFlu's picture

Idaho, perhaps you should focus on reading comprehension sometime. Maybe you're so used to seeing people on here bash Taylor Decker that you assumed since the thread was ahout TD, it'd be negative. Idk, but that is where the aforementioned reading comprehension thing comes into play.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

Idaho Helga's picture

Your insult was just silly given the the title of the post "Just how bad was Taylor Decker".  Yes, I did read the whole post.  Perhaps I was a little shotgun in my antagonism of such a post for a guy starting his first game as a key Buckeye, but the title certainly started it.   No regrets.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Wow. You have more time than I do . . . . that said, thank you. This is pretty great. I feel he was getting a raw deal as well.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

SPreston2001's picture

So basically he was good when he went against below average players but sucked when he went against Mack?? I know it was his first start and Mack is very good but he clearly got abused Saturday.  I think he'lll be ok as he gets more reps but im not gonna try and cover up for the guy and say he didnt have a rough day... 

JKH1232's picture

Did you look at the data?  He actually played pretty well against Mack, who was probably the best defensive player to take the field the whole game.  He'd be the centerpiece of the Ohio State defense if he was in S&G, and Decker beat him about 50% of the times they came together- if Decker got to block down on Mack, he won.
And I would hardly call Buffalo below average.  (Below average compared to what?  Alabama?  AQ Conference teams in general?  The top half of the B1G, B12 and SEC?)  They're going to be one of the best teams in their conference and probably play in a bowl.  That puts them into the top half of D1 teams, overall.  There are probably few really "Below average" players on the team, much less in the 2 deep.  Decker pretty much wiped the floor with those guys. 
I'm sure when opposing teams look for someone to go after on the O-Line, it'll be Decker.  If all the offense needs him to do is play within his game and not single block first round draft picks, it'll be a good year for him. 
I watched every single snap he played, watching just him.  He in no way, shape or form got "abused."  I've done the work, and removed confirmation bias.  Clearly, data won't sway you.

SPreston2001's picture

Hey you can spin it however you want but giving up 3 sacks is having a bad day period! Hell even Meyer said something about it. And are you really going to try to defend Buffalo??!!! Seriously they are below average! Sounds just like last year when everybody tried to justify our performance against Cal and said they were bowl bound and they ended up going 3-9 lol. Its like every time something negative is said about OSU some of us go to extreme lengths to defend it. He had a bad game big deal! Its not like I said the kid sucks or that he wont get better! I can guarantee if you ask TD himself he would tell you he struggled...  

JKH1232's picture

Actually, I'm just trying to provide some perspective on Buffalo.  I don't see them as a below average team in  D1.  You call them below average, but don't give any context for that statement.  Are they below average in talent for the B1G?  Probably.  Below average for D1?  Not the guys that went on the field, though perhaps they are all the way through the roster. But, the whole roster didn't take the field. 
All I set out to do was find out if, overall, Decker had a bad game or not.  I found out he had aspects where he struggled, which is very different from the narrative that he had a terrible game and got, as you put it earlier, abused.  If you want to judge him on a few plays, knock yourself out.

southbay's picture

I guess I read this differently... the blog post does say that Decker didn't play badly, and includes plenty of facts and data to support that assertion.

nfischer's picture

Thanks for the work you put into this. I believe a bit of your point was made. And strangely enough, I do feel better. However my accounting professor once said, "getting 90% right on a test will get you an A in my class...getting 90% right in your first job will get you fired."  I never forgot that. 
We naturally notice what is less than 100%. And that 10% (wrong) can be very costly depending upon the setting.

JKH1232's picture

Perhaps, but it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.  Sports are rather much different- 90% right gets you fired at a top accounting house, sure.  Millions can be lost and people go to jail over that.  If a QB completes 66% of his passes, he's a winner.  If a batter gets hits in 36.9% of his at-bats, he's the *best hitter of all freaking time.* 
Sure, we want 100% success.  That's never going to happen in sports.  Only one heavyweight champ never lost a fight, and he didn't really finish his career.  90% success in sports is top flight.  90% correct in my next book puts me up before an academic board for falsification of results.  Is there room for Decker to improve? Sure.  All I can say is we should judge him to the proper standard.

nfischer's picture

Very few analogies are perfect. In general, I don't disagree with your comments above.  The 10% in my analogy could have been 1, 2, or 20%.  Someone can have a perfect day in every respect "except" for the 2 or 3 sacks they allowed and, right or wrong, those few plays skew the total results.  I still believe TD will turn it around, learn from his first start and improve dramatically over the course of this season and beyond.  But its also ok to say (in my opinion) that a minority of poor plays can offset a majority of successful plays.
If Jordan Hall had the same stats with two fumbles, we would be talking differently about his performance yesterday. The same logic is true with Decker. That was what I was trying to convey with the analogy.

JKH1232's picture

Oh, I understood- I guess what I was arguing against was the general line that "only 110% success is acceptable for Ohio State, anything else is a failure."  That's something to aspire to, but if you're waiting for a sports team to achieve it, you're going to be waiting a while. 
Though, I wonder if we would be talking that way- people still love Wilson, despite the fact he was a major factor in 13 of Buffalo's points- he put the ball on the turf, and the intercepted screen was to him, and obviously so.  But, hey, most people want to talk about the good stuff.  Which is fine.  I just want there to be some good stuff about Decker, who A) Will get better, and B) Had a pretty good outing, too.

nfischer's picture

Agreed. Thanks for the sharing the analysis. It brought some perspective to the discussion.

JKH1232's picture

If that's what it did, Mission Accomplished.

The Rill Dill's picture

He will be fine.  Kahlil Mack would abuse MOST tackles in the NFL------TODAY.  He is a monster.

BucksfanXC's picture

Mack is good and I won't get too upset about him beating up on Decker. But Decker missed a couple of other times when it wasn't Mack. Missed some double teams. Nothing terrible thought. I'm not chicken little on the kid. Just he's a freshmen. He performed about as well as I expect any freshmen to play in their first start. He deserves to start, no doubt. And he will improve.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

JKH1232's picture

He really only missed one or two times when it wasn't Mack.  One of those times, it was Mack and another guy.  He called for help, and it never came.  Other times, it was up the field.  He never missed a D-lineman in front of him.
As for missing double teams, please tell me quarter and time.  I have the film, I'll be happy to check.

BucksfanXC's picture

I charted the 2nd qtr and I remember noticing it early on. Millers sack maybe. Or a hall loss of one? I can't remember exactly but ill check my notes. It might be the same one you already mentioned where he called for help. For what it's worth I agree with you that he played well. But it seemed like he played poorly just because his rare mistakes and over matches against Mack

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Baroclinicity's picture

Solid work. Well done.

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

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great work JKH, upvote for you.  Once you see the actual data that makes it look like he did better than the feeling we got from the game.  The funny things is that an O-lineman can do his job for 97% of the game, but if he gives up 2 or 3 sacks then it's viewed as a bad day.  So it does look like he did better than I thought, but also has room for improvement.  Again, great work man!
Go Bucks!!

JKH1232's picture

The hard truth about being an O-Lineman.  The only time anyone sees you is when you get beat.  (I should know!)

Nicholas Jervey's picture

This sort of breakdown has qualities we love to see in blog posts, namely strong analysis and accessibility. Well done, JKH.

Ceci n'est pas une signature.

FitzBuck's picture

Excellent job.  Thanks for taking the time to compile and break down.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

MN Buckeye's picture

I see that your heart is with the offensive line, JKH! I looks like Decker overall had a decent day, but his mistakes were pretty glaring. The young man will only get better as the season progresses.

Young_Turk's picture

I don't remember it the way you have it on the sack he gave up to 43.  My recollection is that he flat out missed on 43, and didn't block anybody.  I think 43 got to XBrax in about 1 to 1.5 seconds.  I can't even imagine how a tackle asks for help while attempting to pass block.  
Kudos to TD for getting to the fumble.  And I am really rooting for him to get better.  But, the 3 sacks he gave up are not an acceptable result.  Not at all.  One of those plays could put XBrax on the sidelines for the rest of the season.  Or in a close game a turnover could cost us.  Not trying to put a negative spin on, this is reality.  
I see no benefit in trying to sugar-coat it where this performance of giving up 3 sacks is acceptable.  I'm sure TD would be the first to tell you that it's not.  And it isn't.  
Do you know how shitty an offensive line would be, if they successfully pass-blocked half the time?  


DaiTheFlu's picture

See: 2007 NC Game against LSU; 2008 game against USC. Poor Todd still probably has nightmares of those games.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

JKH1232's picture

It's not a recollection.  It's a study.  I don't have to remember anything, since I, you know, watched the game again.
In fact, I just went to watch that play, again.  He didn't miss 43 at all.  What happened on that play is this:
Pre snap, Decker signals that there's a blitz on his side- there's Mack in a four point stance in the B gap, and there's an OLB split wide outside of him.  (That's 43) 
In case you were wondering, that's how O-Linemen ask for help- they call that their read presnap isn't going to work.  Unfortunately, no adjustment is made- I don't know why, since I don't have the playbook or the play call.
At the snap, 43 turns and runs upfield on a sellout rush- he's not really even reading the play, he just wants to get into the backfield.  Decker turns and curls into pass pro, and throws his hands out to get them on 43, which he does.  43, however, is running past him.  Decker can't drive forward, that's holding. 43 has enough speed to curl around Decker and get past him. 
Why that happened, I can't say.  43 certainly made a good play- no way around that.  Decker may have expected help, and it didn't come.  He may have screwed everything up one way or the other.  But, I don't have the playcall, the playbook, nor was I there.  It's just speculation.
And tell me, exactly, where I said 3 sacks were acceptable?  Point it out to me.  What I'm saying is that Decker made mistakes, but for most of the snaps, had a good game.  Which is the opposite of what his critics "recall" about his game.  The line, on here, is that he got his ass completely handed to him, and that's just not the truth.
Do you understand the meaning of confirmation bias?

Young_Turk's picture

Did he succeed in blocking anybody on the play?  No.  Did he attempt to block 43.  Yes.  Did he succeed.  No.  Did he gesture, after 43 blew by him, with frustration after giving up his 3rd sack.  Yes.  Somebody on the interior must have got to Mack, cuz Mack sure as shit didn't get the sack, it was the guy that blew past Decker like he was a tree.  43 didn't make a good play.  He didn't make a single move, get just went around (and he didn't have to go far to get around) Decker.
Tell me, how long did it take from the snap till first contact 43 on Miller?  Take a look at the rush line.  He barely had to break into a curve to get around Decker.  It was almost straightline into Miller.
I don't need your study, , because it's irrelevant.  If an O-lineman gives up 3 sacks a game, you have an O-lineman that had a horrible day.    That's the nature of an O-linemans job.  


JKH1232's picture

Sure.  Decker had bad plays.  Again, I never said he didn't.  That said, I don't know what was supposed to happen on that play.  I don't have the playbook and I don't have the call.  Do you?  Could you enlighten us? 
Or do you just not care about such things, because, dammit, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than understanding a whole game, we just care about one thing and one thing only?
What's your solution to the Taylor Decker problem?  If you're the coach, what do you do?

Young_Turk's picture

Sure, I can enlighten you.  It's not a mystery.  TD tried to block 43, and failed.  43 got a sack causing a fumble (which TD hustled to recover).  No further analysis required.  Mack wasn't a factor, the blocking scheme wasn't a factor.  KISS rule.  TD tried to block 43, and failed.  43 got a sack and caused a fumble.  
I think you are missing my point.  You're saying, if you look at all the other plays, TD was mostly successful.  I'm saying, your point is irrelevant, because the nature of the job of the O-lineman is you can't give up sacks like TD did Saturday.  Both by quantity (3!) and by nature.  They weren't slow sacks.  They were very rapid, blow-by (or over) type sacks where Miller has almost no time to find an open receiver or to scramble.  
It's like a corner gets beat by 3 deep touchdown passes.  Just wiffs on coverage.  But, he had a good game otherwise.  Do I want to pat the corner on the but, saying, yeah, but you weren't bad for the other 77 plays?  Do you see Coombs doing this?  I don't.  No way.  The best coach I ever had would let you know as soon as you made a mistake.  If you made the same mistake again, you heard the message with some emphasis.  He was a great coach because he had high expectations of you, and he let you know what was required to meet those high expectations.  
I'm sure we're all hoping TD has a great game this Saturday.  


JKH1232's picture

Funny, I'm not a coach.  I'm not responsible for motivating or training any players.  If I were, I would be focusing on his problems, and looking for solutions.  I'd be going over that play at 14:00 to go in the 3rd inch by inch and figuring it out- did we call the right protection?  Did we communicate well?  Did we give away the play?  How can I improve Decker's footwork or reading abilities? 
But, I'm not a coach.  I'm just a fan and a person who wants to know what happened, rather than deciding how a player played just on the basis of one or two plays I remember.  That means I need data, not memories.  But, hey, you don't need an analysis, remember?  The truth is writ on your heart and justified by your anger.
The purpose of all of this is to give people the full story of what happened at Right Tackle on Saturday. Good. Bad.  Meh.  People have been trying to evaluate his whole game, and remember just one or two plays.  My purpose in doing this was to discover if, in fact, Decker got wiped out all game long.  A lot of people on here have said that he got consistently beat all game.  This isn't borne out by the data.  He beat the guys he was better than, and had trouble with the guys that were better than him.  Anything else is just you reading things into what I've said that just aren't there.
But hey, you want to be the coach, go ahead- you still haven't answered my question.  How do you solve the Decker problem?  Or are you just here to complain?
Or another way- how do you evaluate Dontre Wilson? 

Young_Turk's picture

The truth is writ on your heart and justified by your anger.

What???  lol.  If you're reading anger, the anger is coming from you.  So, I hope you feel better soon.  
What you term analysis, I have to scratch my head over.  You're trying to sell your analysis as if it's cold hard factual data.  Sorry, but it isn't, it's your opinion.  And you did this analysis seeking the result you 'found'.  Example.  You timed how long he blocked when he was successful.  And you didn't time it when he wasn't.  Why?  That would be objective data.  Also, speaking of questions not answered.  You didn't answer my previous question on how long it took 43 to sack Miller.    
The lies are writ on your 'analysis' and justified by your upvotes.  


JKH1232's picture

Yes, actual attempts to provide data by watching the game film are just, like, your opinion, man.   That's why film study isn't utilized by people who want to understand the game better or figure out what happened, they just go on gut feelings. 
There's an easy way to prove my data and analysis wrong, you know.  Sit down, watch the film, chart the plays yourself.  Reproduce or falsify my results. Do it better than I did.  Knock yourself out.   
I'd like to think, personally, that the upvotes come from an appreciation of the effort, if they agree or not.  It's that sort of community.  But, if you want to believe that I'm using it to justify some great lie, well, wonderful.  Go ahead.
But, you've called me a liar, now, and provided no evidence.  Until you do your own study and analysis that proves mine wrong, there's no point in discussing things with you.  You won't believe anything I say, and that's fine.  But, I see no point in engaging with someone whose position can be summed up as "I know I'm absolutely right, and you must have lied to say something different than what I know is right."  Any information to the contrary won't sway you, and it just ends up in personal insult. 
Have a good one.

Young_Turk's picture

Um, still nothing in terms of objective data from the analysis man.  How long did it take 43 to blow by Decker?
Your study would have been interesting if you could have dealt with the good/bad objectively.  But, you let your opinion get in the way.  In just 4 or so messages, you've tried to sell...
1)  43's sack wasn't Deckers fault cuz he asked for help.
2)  43's sack wasn't Deckers fault cuz 43 made a great play.
3)  Ignore my request for truly objective data on the sack.  Data that you provided if it made Decker look good.  
How can we trust your interpretation on the other plays if you continue to get 43's sack so wrong.  For me, that is the litmus test as to the value of your analysis of all the other plays.  Clearly you have an agenda, and that agenda is getting in the way of true analysis.  I believe that is the definition of confirmation bias.  Carry on.


JKH1232's picture

Again, if you think my data is wrong on other plays, prove it.  Make your own study.  Provide a cut of the play in question.  Otherwise, you're just trying to prove a line from a point, and that can't be done in Euclid.
If you have a problem with the data, do the work.  Otherwise, it's "I'm sure your wrong about one thing, and I'm too lazy to prove the rest."

doodah_man's picture

JKH: I remember this play and I appreciate your analysis. Nice job on this and the TD stats. Hope you contribute more during the season. Up vote from me.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

cajunbuckeye's picture

Well done JKH. Thanks for taking the time and putting this together. I'll be waiting for another one next week! +1

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

JKH1232's picture

I'm sorry to say there probably won't be one, unless I feel another O-Lineman's getting blamed beyond what he deserves. :)

southbymidwest's picture

I also found your explanations very interesting, as I have no idea as to the workings of the offensive line other than when one of them crushes an opponent, makes a hole for Braxton or Hyde/Hall et al, or blows a block. So I do appreciate you taking the time to break it down.

Unky Buck's picture

I was told there would be no math with this job...

Haha, but seriously, great job. I do love me some numbers crunching

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

cplunk's picture

your facts are not needed here. Decker is the worst offensive lineman ever to play at Ohio State. Heck, even Miley Cyrus would be an improvement. And he's not alone; nobody on our defense can tackle or get off blocks. Our corners don't have a clue how to cover short passes. Jordan Hall is barely serviceable, and his 150 yards would have been six, or at most eight, yards against a good team. Braxton Miller overthrew a receiver on one play, and I can tell he is an even worse passer than ever before. His completions were mostly luck. Our second quarter was worse than the bubonic plague era in Europe. We'll be lucky to win another game, and should be dropped out of the top 25, if not straight down to FCS.

JKH1232's picture

I don't know why we still have Urban Myer as a coach, after today it's clear he can't evaluate or train talent, given how terrible we looked in all the phases of the game. Our playcalling is just so damn predictable, even I know what's coming. He can't close recruits, we learned this summer. Fire him and get a dynamic, progressive, forward thinking coach in here like Jim Bollman.

faux_maestro's picture

Luke Fickell is the Jim Bollman of defense. 

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

JKH1232's picture

The sad part is, I know someone said that on Saturday somewhere around here.

faux_maestro's picture

That's the reason I said it. What a bunch of maroons. 

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Dayton Buckeye's picture

Great work. Mack did make all our lineman look bad. Guy is a stud. He out ran Braxton and Wilson to the end zone. First round pick. Decker will get a lot better. That was his first start.

saltybuck61's picture

It is great to see actual evidence on Decker's performance. Excellent read.

allbucksallthetime's picture

JKH...great work and analysis.  The best way to make a case is to rely on factual information.  You certainly went above and beyond the call of duty in that regard and to have Decker's back.  Kudos.  Go Bucks!

2014nationalchamps's picture

he was noticeably bad. OLinemen are not supposed to get your attention in the game. And he did on a few occasions. Im sure he made some good plays, but for the casual fan its hard to pick up on those. All in all, I would give him a solid C- for his play.

O-H-I-O  for life

Toilrt Paper's picture

One thing I am 100% certain of. Decker is a better O-lineman than everyone reading 11warriors.

JKH1232's picture

I am absolutely certain he's a much better lineman than I ever was.

73buckeye's picture

except maybe meechy


JKH1232's picture

If Meechy's better than Decker, that'll be great- we have a lot of spots opening up next year.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Speak for yourself! I de-cleated Tim Anderson! (he says while checking himself out in his faded letter jacket, while listening to "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen on repeat loop)

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

buckeyedude's picture

What's it all mean Basil?



JKH1232's picture

Khalil Mack is clearly one of Dr. Evil's henchmen?  That's all I've got. *Tosses papers in air, walks away*

BucksfanXC's picture

BTW please sign up to chart part of the next game. You obviously are qualified and I think the google spreadsheet will be better than word for you

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

JKH1232's picture

Er- can I sign up to chart one side of the ball?  What I understand about defense can be summed up as "They get in the way of things." :)

BucksfanXC's picture

Yes. We did it by quarter too. But you can handle more than one obviously. 

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

JKH1232's picture

Fair enough.  I'll come in and do what I can.

BucksfanXC's picture

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Can we have a psychiatrist available on game day?
It would help those of us in Buckeye nation that completely lose our minds...

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

Well that was quite the breakdown.  That Mack is a beast and i expect our o line to play better.  Not a great performance by any means but i am not going to freak out either way until i have a bigger sample size.

Michigan Sucks!

Brutus Forever's picture

thanks for the analysis, jkh. i appreciate the time you put into it. it was insightful and made me laugh too a few times.

"I learned to dislike Michigan at a very young age.” – Urban F. Meyer

TMac's picture

Thoughtful analysis, I especially enjoyed observation #6!
Really, good job!

ONE Not Done!

MassiveAttack's picture

Thank you for your analysis, and your effort.  I love that you broke down all of the plays you could see TD in.
Respectfully, I didn't come to the same conclusion that you did.  You concluded he had a mostly great day, but I concluded the opposite.  If Armani Reeves gives up 2 TD passes, and has a personal foul, he had a bad day regardless of all the rest of the stuff he did positively.  Even if he was targeted on 20+ pass plays.
In my opinion, Taylor Decker had a very similar day to Armani Reeves.  Both were identified early on by the OC or the opposition.  Both were exposed successfully.  Its really hard to defend their play as:

"Based on one game against a potential MAC champion, if Decker's the worst player on our line, that's pretty good, and I'll take it".

Against Alabama?  Okay, I can kind of get on board, but we would probably lose the game based on these results because Alabama would be much more solid in other areas.  At least it's the first game of the season.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

JKH1232's picture

As to the first point, it's how you want to decide things- if you base your evaluation on the worst 10% of so of plays, then Decker had a bad day.  If you want to look at things more, I guess I'd say holisitically, but that sounds a litle silly, then there were a lot of good points (Run blocking!) and some bad points (Blitz Pickup!).  Either one is a way of looking at it, I tend to look at it one way, but the other way certainly has its uses.
The point you quoted I meant more as general praise of the O-line.  This may not be obvious.  If he's the worst player, the others are all really quite good, because Decker's play was overall a good show.  Some problems need to be dealt with, either with improved play by Decker, or scheme to shore up his weaknesses. 
I'm not really putting this data out, in an overall sense, to prognosticate or evaluate Decker against Top 10 levels of talent.  We didn't really see it- we saw Decker vs Generic MAC Starter (He's better than them, and proved it.) and Decker vs. 1st Round Draft Pick (No one thinks Decker would be drafted in the first round this year, and we can see why.)  We haven't seen him against "Solid draft pick" talent, or "Generic B1G talent."  That requires us to play some other teams.  Hopefully, he'll prove that Mack is just crazy good, and that's life. If  not, the coaches will have to scheme to protect his weak areas- run the ball, and hold back the RB on blitzes.

ibuck's picture

JKH, THANKS MUCH for charting the plays and your analysis. TD is a young player whom I suspect will get better with good coaching and hard work. And he has great initials for a football player, who helped the offense score 5 touchdowns. Are the sacks his fault alone? Or does the QB or RB share some responsibility? If I'm QB and see 43 running up to the line, might I be inclined to change the play, perhaps to a run off left tackle?  If I'm Tom Herman, would I place a TE or receiver to help out?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

JKH1232's picture

Well, I'm not in a position to assign responsibility for the sacks- to do that, I'd need the film, the playcall chart and the playbook so that I could know what protection got called, what adjustments could be made off that call, and how it was or was not communicated during the play to do that.  All I have is the ESPN broadcast.
I think, though, going forward, the coaches will probably need to be more willing to chip or hold back TEs or RBs to help block better players when they blitz, or slide protections to that side.  I have no doubt it'll come up during game planning.

2014nationalchamps's picture

Mack was dominating. He needed to be doubled to keep him in check. That play when he got the pick 6, he just threw the lineman(i think it was the LT) to the ground and stood there waiting for the throw. That play was not Braxton's fault, it was the LT's inneffiecient block.
With that said, this is the reason why I love college football. A guy like Mack who prob was a zero star recruit can work his way into an all american type player and possible 1st rounder. There is just so much talent in this great country that even the best players sometimes slip through the cracks and go to "crap" universities. 

O-H-I-O  for life

Earle's picture

Mewhort was trying to cut him.  If you anticipate that, it's not that hard to use a guy's momentum against him, especially if he gets out in front of his feet.  Maybe he recognized something from his film study, maybe he just saw something in his stance.  Either way, it was a great play by a very good player, but it's not like he was tossing Mewhort around like a ragdoll.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

EDUGOON's picture

These Stats is sick!!! Love the insight  and detail. I thought Decker played pretty well and will continue to get better as well as the entire OL throughout the year........But for real my man, where did you get the time and thought to grade him out yourself!!!! Mad Lolz

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

This is incredible! thank you for taking the time to do this.

pjtobin's picture

Awesome job doing this! Please keep up the hard work. This should shut some negative Nancy's up. Hopefully. Urban said decker didn't do bad. And you proved it. Thanks!

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

NEWBrutus's picture

Good job.  Love the insight and review.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I do find the work you did on this admirable but I'll be honest, I disagree with your assessment that he played anything other than poor. I'll elaborate the best I can.
First of all, a lot of what you try to accomplish is very very hard given the camera angles with which you had to work. Coming up with as many results as you did is awesome. I wonder if you had an All 22 view that the NFL network is using if your results or opinion would be different because you see all 22 players (clever name) and how they performed from both the offense and defensive point of view for the entire duration of a play-not just the parts we see.
The problem with Decker's performance is the problem with analyzing offensive line play as a hole. There aren't many stats by which offensive lineman can be measured. Basically you have sacks allowed and pancakes. An allowed sack might not be entirely on the lineman while a great block may also not end up as the gaudy pancake stat. Decker allowed 3 sacks and no matter how that is sliced, that is a bad day at the office. Offensive lineman-how ever unfair-sort of fall into the "One 'Oh Shit' undoes 100 'that a boy's!" line of thinking. He didn't miss on every single play-even professional turn style J'Marcus Webb made a few plays in his tenure in the NFL (I use Webb because his suckage is near and dear to my heart as a Bears fan, any bad lineman would suffice). Highlighting some of his positives doesn't change the fact that his negatives were so damaging and detrmental and against a better team may really cost the Buckeyes and that's the concern. I didn't like his lateral movement he got his hands pushed away far too easy and let too many pass rushers into his body mass for me to say anything other than "He sucked". He's a clear weak link right now but that's not to say he can't improve. He sure looks the part of a great, road grading type RT but he just simply can't be on roller skates as much as we was in pass pro.
I'll stress one more time that I appreciate the work you did but I'll be forward and tell you I'm not crazy about some of the subjective descriptions you use to describe his performance from one play to another. ""Awesome DT" or "Would you like syrup with that?". Its a subjective flair to an attempted objective view. Again, my criticism isn't of the work as much as it is of the display.
There are a few things you don't account for-and in fairness, can't account for because of the views you had. I wonder how many hits Miller gave up-that is a stat sorely missed by offensive line play analytics. A player can have a bad day despite not allowing the formal 'sack allowed' stat. It was also my opinion that he seemed slow off the ball and getting into the second level but that is strictly my opinion and short of rewatching every play, stopping as the ball is snapped and comparing Decker's position to his line mates, that is all it will ever be-my opinion.
In closing, I guess I can get on board with some other people here in that I appreciate how you tried to go about proving your hypothesis that Decker didn't in fact play terrible but I simply disagree with the findings and some of the nuts and bolts you use to get to where you are trying to go.