Regular reader, first time post...
First, this site is great. Thanks to all staff and fans who make it this way.
I've been thinking about Urban's essential offensive philosophy, namely, getting the ball into the hands of playmakers. This led to his selection of the power-spread as an offense.
From what we've seen so far, there's been more attempts to do that under this regime than under JT (great coach, but conservative). However, we all seem to be concerned about the wisdom of over-reliance on Braxton (even UFM is). Here's what concerned me about Saturday (however, I was pleased with a 31 pt. production vs. a decent opponent):
(1) We seemed to scheme away from getting the ball to receivers, even when plays seemed to be working such as a bubble screen and/or reverse. Where was the vertical stretch? It seemed like UCF was trying to take away the deep outside routes, but the middle of the field looked open a lot to me (Braxton's big runs were right up the middle). Which brings me too...
(2) I assumed the TE would be heavily targeted in this offense. So far, it's better than the previous offense, but only 2 catches for Stoney yesterday & one of those on broken play? From what I can see on TV - he's open a lot more than that.
(3) Hyde has no lateral speed. Perhaps this is why Braxton doesn't choose to pitch the ball to him. He really is a full-back or H-back IMO. Bri'onte looks big and shifty. Smith looks fast north-south (but he's got to get his head into the game).
(4) Boren. Love this kid's energy & work ethic. But help me see how he is a true "playmaker." He dropped a pass the first week that hit him square in the hands. He fumbled this week. We gave him the ball 7 times for a total of what, 16 yards? I'd rather give those carries to Bri'onte Dunn. Or Philly Brown. Or throw the ball on a bubble screen or stick to the TE. This might be a flaw in Urban (too early to tell, but I'm watching) - he's loyal to his leaders, guys who have the same mental make-up as him. But does this cloud his judgement? I can't imagine Boren as a starting TB. He's slow and not shifty. Again, love the kid and if all else is working in the O - I think having him as a threat in the passing game and using him inside to pound out short yardage and blocking is where he's good. Don't yet see him producing any "wow" plays.
(5) It seems the "pash rush" situation is the D's attempt to drop more people into coverage & create INT's. In that sense - we've made real plays in this - 3 per game. Can't remember production like this in recent history. I'd rather have turn-overs than punts....we get better field position. The problem seem to be that our DB's are out of position. If that's corrected, and we're creating turnovers like this - I don't care as much about the sacks as much. Guess I'm just wondering if this is part of the "playmakers" philosophy too. Having said that - I do think we need to rush more than three guys. At least bring a LB or safety on the blitz, or just rush 4 d-lineman. 7 in the back should be enough to get some picks.
Lot's on my mind. Love the new aggressive philosophy and priority on playmakers and playmaking. I want the ball to get to the best people. I'm glad I'm not frustrated that we're letting weak(er) opponents look better than they are (so far). Just not seeing the playmaking from anyone else but Braxton this past week. I don't think it's a talent issue. We are The Ohio State University - we have talent. What do you guys/girls think?