I really feel like that is what we're going to be dealing with this year. I feel like this team may not go out and stomp everyone, and the games that are supposed to be difficult, will be difficult, and if they win they will earn it. Some of these guys are going to get nicked up along the way, but I felt like watching them I could see (for the most part with a couple exceptions) all these guys look like they would eagerly fall on their sword for the cause of winning in the name of the Buckeyes.
I was trouble by a couple things. Tyvis Powell does not seem to have that killer instinct in tackling. He zipped around a little, made a couple plays, but it seemed when a runner was barreling down on him, he didn't really want to be in the way to stop him. That's just my observation, but it didn't look pretty. I'd say at some point we're going to see Cam Burrows and Von Bell as the primary starters at safety.
Speaking of the latter, Von Bell's ability to tackle and willingness to stick his hat in spots where he's going to take contact is refreshing. That kid is a throwback, he will be something special to watch.
Derron Lee is the reincarnation of Ryan Shazier. Will he get timed at a 4.35? Maybe not, but he'll run his backside off to make the play, he's intense, and like Shazier, from time to time he will miss and over pursue. That sack he made sent a chill down my back, it was bone crunching and awesome to see.
Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett are NFL Defensive Tackles, point blank. It almost looks like Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh playing right next to each other (with the exception that neither is trying to decapitate anyone on purpose). Bennett would take on the center and guard and dump both of them on their heads and make the tackle. Washington would hit a move, a spin, a swim, or just a powerful rip, and he'd have the ball carrier picking grass out of his facemask. that was refreshing to see.
I think the defensive ends looked ineffective today, but that's not a reflection of what they'll do this season. The problem was with Navy's scheme, Bosa and whoever was playing opposite him were "assignment victims." Bosa was making tackles on the QB when he didn't have the ball because his assignment was the QB and not whoever received the pitch. When we get to teams that run more conventional college offenses Bosa will be back to his dominant ways, I have no doubt. The whole DL, IMO looked the part of what they were supposed to be.
Obviously a team like Navy, with the offense they run, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of versatility. Their limited passing game made it impossible to accurately critique the secondary for improvement, BUT, the good news is, the 4 times or maybe 5, that Navy attempted a pass, their really wasn't much there. That was great to see. Again, against Va. Tech we will get too see more in terms of what the secondary has done to improve.
Offensively I think it was a mixed bag. I thought a lot of the problem in the first half was the gameplan hamstringing Barrett a little. After they opened it up and he made the long TD pass to Smith, the confidence was their, and it was almost like Meyer and Herman realized, oh wait, we've been recruiting all these elite athletes, guess we should get them the ball down the field.
The O line was miserable, then masterful. The improvement between halves was really noticeable. Navy was game in the trenches, but in the second half our dominant talent along the O-line took over and we saw big time runs getting ripped off by Samuel and Elliott.
I like Ezekial Elliott and Curtis Samuel as our two headed monster in the backfield. I wanted to see more of Rod Smith, and in the preseason I was pulling for Bri'onte Dunn, but Samuel and Elliott made it clear that they're the guys to rely on in the backfield.
Jalin Marshall. Thank god, and welcome to the party. Obviously his role was limited by the conservative gameplan in the first half, but he was involved in both halves to an extent and it was great to see him get into the box score and see the ball and make some great plays.
I wished for Dontre's sake he would have made it into the endzone. I could see it in his demeaner he wanted it so bad. he just wanted to break that one run that would get him in the endzone. His passion for success is something to be admired, and I think will serve him well en route to being a leader on this offense.He's put on some serious weight, in a good way, but it has in no way effected his speed. He's going to be special.
JT Barrett is not a fast runner, but he's a smart runner. Kind of the anti-Braxton. On the pass he made to Spencer I'm pretty sure Spencer was the third read, and JT found him and hit him masterfully. I like that he read the defense and worked through his progressions quick. He's a QB first, not an athlete. Braxton is a more electrifying player, but Barrett is brilliant as a passer. It's different, but in a good way. I don't know if he's the next great Big Ten QB, but his debut was really good, not great, the INT was a bonehead freshman mistake, but to go over 200 yards and be efficient and lead the offense on the road, that says something.
Anyway, this post was more for me to get all my thoughts out before I forgot them, feel free to comment if you agree, disagree or whatever have you.