Ohio State and Our Addiction to Speed

By Johnny Ginter on April 15, 2014 at 11:15a
68 Comments

One of my favorite Looney Tunes cartoons goes like this:

Bugs Bunny and Cecil Turtle are chilling out in a steam bath, talking about the Tortoise and the Hare. Bugs is pretty irritated that a rabbit would lose to a lowly, laconic turtle, and Cecil says that he could probably pull it off. Bugs takes that bet, and after the two agree not to cheat, the race starts.

Cecil cheats, because he's got a sweet rocket pack in the back of his shell, and Bugs tries everything to trip him up or slow him down, to no avail. Eventually, Bugs races the turtle straight up and somehow beats his plodding plated opponent, but after admitting that he had been doing "100 easy" in a 30 mph zone, he gets arrested by the police.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of social commentary that Friz Freleng was going for in 1947 with this deeply resonant morality play, but I for one find it to be suspiciously congruent to the situation that the Ohio State Buckeyes find themselves in during the new era of college football playoffs.

Stay with me here: Ohio State is Bugs Bunny. At least in the minds of Ohio State fans. We think, we know, that we have team speed. Doran Grant, Dontre Wilson, James Clark, and dozens of other football players are proof positive to that. But, because of the perception of the Big Ten, we'll still have frequent and vocal SECecils telling us that the world is flat, the sky is green, and that turtles can routinely beat rabbits in foot races.

So, we agree not to cheat. Then we compete. Then, SECecil cheats. We do too, but that's okay because we cheat in more subtle ways than sticking a rocket pack on our backs or throwing money at a recruit's parent or giving free dealership cars to players to drive around for four years.

Stinkers

Usually we lose ("Tortoise Beats Hare" and "Tortoise Wins By A Hare"), and all this does is to make us even angrier the next time the comparison comes up.

This generally hasn't been a problem, except for our own general sanity and mental well-being. Now, in a playoff era where outward appearance has a direct impact on Ohio State's ability to play in said championship playoff, Ohio State is going to have to walk the walk and talk the talk of whatever type of team that the rest of the country says it is, OR, if we can pull it off, walk the walk and talk the talk of the type of team that we say we are.

Michigan State's Rose Bowl win might've done real damage to Ohio State's effort to convince the rest of the country that we're the fast lil' bunnies that we say we are. Sparty has built a Tressel-esque team built on suffocating defense and adequate offense, which is great for them, but not so good for any Big Ten team trying to shed the image of a B1G conference that looks like lesser versions of Dantonio's squad.

Of course, last year Ohio State didn't do itself many favors in that regard either. By mostly ditching the passing game in favor of a semi-unstoppable rushing attack, the Buckeyes reinforced the concept of a ground and pound, three yards and a cloud of rubber pellets Ohio State team that beats you with power and pure rock fury, not speed and dubstep.

To change that image, the Ohio State football team needs to utilize the inherent speed that they have on their team. This involves the quarterbacks, the receivers, and more importantly, the offensive coordinator who will decide who gets what and where. Ohio State can't claim to be a "speed team" if it shuts down playmakers like Dontre Wilson halfway through the season, or limits what dynamic guys like Jalin Marshall can do on Saturdays. It has to be able to prove their mettle on the football field, even if it might be "easier" to pound inside with Dunn and Elliot 35-40 times a game.

I think that Urban Meyer is aware of this. Note that the student competition wasn't who could out-squat the football team, or who could deadlift more, or who could drag an airplane with their teeth a longer distance. It was about speed, and if Ohio State wants to give Bugs Bunny that win, we'd better make sure that we're going as fast as we can.

And damn the speed limits.

68 Comments

Comments

Furious George 27's picture

MSU was the perfect storm last year, when they had a competent offense they were able to control the clock and had a good enough D to slow OSU as well. The poor pass D played into their plan forcing OSU to almost have to be perfect in the end. Leaving teams with little room for error is why I think MSU had a great season last year.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+6 HS
acBuckeye's picture

Good points..... but I think we can all agree that if Guapo had touched the ball more in the second half of that game, we win.

+15 HS
seafus26's picture

Even if he touches it just one more time (4th down) I believe we woulda won.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

+9 HS
AndyVance's picture

Michigan State's Rose Bowl win might've done real damage to Ohio State's effort to convince the rest of the country that we're the fast lil' bunnies that we say we are.

Perhaps, but the upshot is that Michigan State's trouncing of the Cardinal probably helped the Conference's street cred a bit, and should help Ohio State immensely if/when we topple the Spartans in East Lansing this fall.

+17 HS
Furious George 27's picture

MSU has speed, they just focus it more on the defensive side as evident with the OLBs and DBs running with our WRs in coverage.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
seafus26's picture

They weren't running with us that great, they were tighter than most making QB accuracy more needed. Those chains didn't move like they should for first downs when we couldn't deliver the ball even though they're stacking the box and giving us the match ups we want.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

For the most part they contested most of the passes, being tighter in coverage still suggests that they were not beaten.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

seafus26's picture

Just once I'd like Braxton to throw a receiver open.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

It didn't help that Ohio State's O play calling was akward at times and much different from what has happened all year.

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

+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

Urban has only actually recruited two full classes. The newly acquired speed guys, were mostly freshman last year and now they are in their second year with the freshman class coming in having even more speed guys. That is a lot of inexperience. Hopefully as these first and second year players get experience, we will see a track meet up and down the field.

+5 HS
BuckeyeStrong2's picture

"Sparty has built a Tressel-esque team built on suffocating defense and adequate offense"

Right before the B1G Championship game this past December, I was reminiscing about the 02 National Championship and thought at how as a program we are transitioning from the "OSU Tressel-esque" teams, to more of the Miami Hurricanes type of team from that time. It will also be interesting to see if Dantonio, a former Tressel assistant, becomes the new tortoise for our new found hare. Don't get me wrong I am not questioning Urban or the staff, just sitting back and watching the change in cultures within the program.

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

Miami had a pretty awesome defense that year too... Tressel could be really predictable on offense, Meyer upgraded the offense and now he is working on the D to get back to that level. I guess I look at it in two ways... Meyer is playing to win and pile on points to force mistakes by having the other team play catch up, Dantonio plays not to lose  in not taking chances and forcing mistakes... Both work as long as you have a competent D. Playing not to lose though seemed like in Tressel ball left us with no chance to strike if the other team made a play at the end because the offense wasn't built that way to take it the distance evry play. I hope that made sense, thats how I percieve it at least

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

CGroverL's picture

I just wanted to add that THAT MIAMI SQUAD, which had a 34 game winning streak spanning from 2000-2002 was extremely fast and many football historians claim that the 2001 Hurricanes were the best team of all time...In fact, the 2002 version of the Hurricanes (which had many of the same starters from the season before) that lost in double OT to our beloved Buckeyes would have been thought of as a top 5 team (all time) if not for their BCSNCG loss to Ohio State. The Buckeyes had to be PERFECT to win in that 2002 title game...and although I still fight over that flag thrown by Terry Porter  with Miami fans (I live in Florida), the truth is that overtime never should have happened and the Buckeyes were NEAR perfect in that game despite their lack of speed compared to the Miami squad. Living in Florida not only makes you argue with the SEC fans, you also have to argue with the Miami fans over the pass interference call in OT.....I always tell them that "OT never should have happened". Try explaining that to a Miami fan.

Your comment made perfect sense....You have to have a defense if you want to win though....that's the bottom line.

 

"I hope they're last in everything"

Thanks, Urb!

+6 HS
Buckabroad's picture

Just so. Don't get me wrong, I give MSU a lot of credit for a good B1G championship game. But an OSU defense should never give up 30+ pts. to that offense. Our lack of pass coverage gave them too many easy points. I think we have the speed on both sides of the ball. Once the coverage issue gets fixed, we should be able to extend the time our O is on the field and wear opposing Ds down. Then the culture of speed should really show.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

BPOSU's picture

Am I the only one that doesn't think that Doran Grant's speed shows on the field? Last year he was constantly getting beat on comeback routes where he couldn't react quick enough.

"Terrelle, are you coming back next year?" ..."Ahight"

mobboss1984's picture

Remember he was ten yards out so he had to try to figure out what the receiver route would be instead of blanketing him the whole time. His reaction would never be the right one at times so he had to make up for his mistake. Now he can bump and run all he would like.

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

+5 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I doubt you are the only one but you and many others need to keep in mind that it wasn't just the players and their "game speed". People say this about Armani Reeves.

So I ask you, when you have Roby who ran a sub 4.4 at the Combine, Doran Grant who has 4.4 speed and Reeves who was a highly regarded recruit all looking like

Last year he was constantly getting beat on comeback routes where he couldn't react quick enough.

do you really think its all those players fault and they ALL suck, or could it be that the system was a mess and ALL of them were put in bad positions to fail no matter how good they are.

I believe Grant and Reeves are very talented and can succeed at the collegiate level. They just need the right defensive system to allow them to do well. Its not a coincidence that NOW Eli Apple is starting to look like the stud we expected, because he is finally put in the right place for his skill set. Soft Zone can make any corner look bad, especially if there isn't any blitzing: like a 3 man rush, 10 yard cushion zone!

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+10 HS
D-Day0043's picture

There is nothing wrong with the soft-zone if you play it right, and use it at the right times.

NFL teams play soft all of the time. They are quick enough to react and make the proper decisions. I believe the coverage concepts Withers was trying to implement were simply too difficult for some of these young guys to learn. They weren't quick enough mentally to react fast enough. That's why guys in the NFL can run the defense successfully, they are the best of the best. 

Someone on the defense mentioned that they dumbed down the play book this year to about 6 defensive calls, so they can just go out there and react instead of thinking too much. That should tell you all you need to know. 

Now as far as the three man rush, the defensive line is the strength of the team, so why on earth Fickell and Withers would take a D-lineman off of the field is just mind-boggling.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+1 HS
Buckabroad's picture

That's it, SQ.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

cinserious's picture

This is the year Tom Herman needs to show he is the dynamic, awesome coordinator that Urban brought him here for. Much like Fickell is under the microscope as defensive coordinator, Herman should be held as much accountable on the offensive side. He now has TONS of weapons at his disposal.

Gone ham, be back soon...

+12 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Couldn't agree more Cinserious.  Herman needs to open the playbook this year and use all of the plays and all of his weapons.  

+1 HS
Buckeye06's picture

I'm sorry I'm going to go here but What?

OSU was potentially the best running team in the country last year, and Herman was the coordinator for that offense.  They averaged over 300 yards on the ground.  5th in total yards in the country (7th in YPG).  3rd in the country in PPG

What does Herman have to prove again?  He has a top 5 offense in the country.

Sorry, Herman has delivered bigtime in the last 2 years.  You can point to a couple games where you can question calls, but that is going to happen to every team (Saban should not have attempted that kick at the end of the game at Auburn for example).  Was that 4th and 1 call that was stopped by MSU made by Meyer or Herman?  I thought it was Meyer...but I could be wrong (please inform me if so)

 

 

+11 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I agree, the losses were a reflection more on the D than the offense. Calls can always be questioned.... But if you would have told  me that OSU would go 1-2 with an offense averaging 33/game I would have called you crazy.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
seafus26's picture

I agree, the offense was great. It's especially hard to put up those numbers with a one deminsional QB. 

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

D-Day0043's picture

Yes, they were super awesome at running, but they were one dimensional. We won most of those games simply because we were more talented, but when you go up against teams that are equally as talented, they are smart enough to figure out how to limit or take away the one thing you do well.

All of those rushing yards were great against MSU and Clemson, but when we needed to pass to win, we couldn't get it done. That is the result of not being able to run a balanced offense. It sure makes the defenders job easier when they only have to worry about stopping two guys instead of 6. Until we get balance on the offense we will not win a championship. You have to have at least some consistency throwing the ball or the defense will totally disregard your passing game just like MSU and Clemson did.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+4 HS
ibuck's picture

This ^ !  While our defense was not good, our offense didn't get it done vs MSU or Clemson. Just look at the woeful 3rd down conversion rate in each game. It doesn't matter how fast our O is if Braxton doesn't pitch the ball to the RB or hit the WR in stride. BM must execute, and receivers and backs must catch the ball and hang on to it. Against equally talented teams, that did not happen.

And if our D is fast, but takes the wrong angle or doesn't tackle properly, it's not an advantage. They still have to play solid football.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

MassiveAttack's picture

Certainly we want our offense to dominate, but putting up 24 points on an elite defense is reasonable.  At least 2 really nice TD throws were within our grasp, but Sparty's defenders had excellent plays to deflect.  Putting up 35 points against Clemsom is not what I'd call "didn't get it done." Our defense should not have given up 40 points.

Unless you're playing a multiple overtime game, your defense should not be giving up a touchdown per quarter.  I would argue that if you give up more than 24 points in a regulation game, you failed as a defense. (special teams TDs excluded)

Giving up 34 to Cal, 30 to NW, 35 to Illinois, 41 to _ichgan, really tells the tale of why we lost the last two games more than our offensive "woes."

+2 HS
Buckeye06's picture

I'm sorry, I can't seem to hear what you're saying...Auburn is running past and through 2 time defending National Champs Bama's D for another TD.  What was that you say?  Auburn was two dimensional right?  Auburn only had 97 yards passing and 300 yards rushing and won....wait wtf?  Wait a second, they were one dimensional and they beat Bama? 

Oh they held Bama under 30 points?  Well that explains it.

OSU was a top 5 rushing team and an average passing team.  Those stats don't tell the whole story one way or another.  OSU was great at running the ball, so they ran it.  They were up big in a lot of games in the 4th quarter, or they were close in the 4th quarter so what did they do?  They ran it.  You guys can tell me we need balance on offense etc etc, but if our defense played half as well as they should have, OSU is in the NCG last year.  FSU may have beaten us, because they were an extremely good team, but get off the "blame Herman" crap. 

I guess we didn't run enough double reverses for you guys

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

Did Auburn win a title? No they didn't. They blew a gigantic lead because Florida State slowed them down enough to catch up.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

ToetotheFace's picture

Exactly the point I have been trying to make with people here. The future of this offense isn't becoming this 300+ yard pass team which appears to be a stereotype of the spread, it is winning via a vicious running attack. Could they have expanded the offensive playcalling at times? Of course, but Hyde/Braxton were so consistently effective at times that it didn't make sense when that attack was destroying defenses(MSU too). Bottom line, if they had a decent defense they probably make the championship and would have at least a decent chance at winning it considering FSU needed a kick return to beat Auburn. Auburn(10, now), Florida(06-09), WVU(RR days), Oregon, etc. If you want a passing attack, it isn't coming with Urban Meyer's spread option. 

D-Day0043's picture

No one said anything about having to pass for 300 yards to win. I believe it was just that we need an adequate passing game. Wasn't it Urban Meyer who said he wants 250 passing and 250 rushing a game, or something to that affect? What he is really saying is that he wants balance.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

ToetotheFace's picture

300 was in reference to the number I have seen people talking about in other comments. Of course Urban wants more balance, even with a very good offense the coach still wants to improve. He isn't saying he doesn't want to be a running team though, he is saying he wants the team to be able to benefit off of the holes that running 37+ attempts with good efficiency opens up.  However, given his track record as a coach I think it is far more likely to see OSU going over 250 rushing yards. Meyer has only had 2 teams go over 250 passing per game, one in 07 with Tebow and one in 04 with Alex Smith. Both those teams ran a decent amount more than they passed(10+ attempts), they just capitalized on the opportunities the run game opened up very well. Also take in to account that Meyer never had the quality of RBs he has at OSU, and he has said so himself.

  I think, like you, that we need to have a far more efficient passing game to complement the holes the running game will open(especially with Hyde gone). My argument wasn't in reference to people thinking like you, it is those who blame everything on either Braxton, the offense(not passing well enough, the spread option not as good as pro), or those who illogically believe that Ohio State should play like a passing team. When, in reality, the defense was the true reason this team could not compete at the level desired against good competition(not to say improvements can't be made on offense, as I said in my last post). All statistics say OSU had one of the best offenses last season, all statistics say OSU's defense was below-average(and atrocious against the pass) . Bottom line with a better defense that team may have won the title. You can either accept this while still wanting to improve every area including having a more efficient passing game as I do, or you can argue against statistics from last year and in history, to blame it on not having enough of a passing game.

 

 

D-Day0043's picture

I agree. If the defense would have been better we should have won those games. We knew coming into the year though that we were going to have to replace 6 out of the starting front 7, and that the offense was going to have to carry the team. I know that that is a whole lot of pressure to put on a unit, but a few bad offensive calls, that could have been avoided, and we would have won those games. Herman really condensed the offense by the end of the year.

I also agree that I don't want to see them go away from the power run game. That is Ohio State football, and I don't want to see that change. We don't have to air the ball out 50 times a game. We just need a competent passing game to compliment the power run.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Furious George 27's picture

Typically having more talent is why teams win games... I will agree that MSU was a terrible passing game and there were some drops involved that led to that. As for Clemson going 16/23 for 236 is not horrible the huge negative from the passing game was the pick at the end of the game when he was still in hurt. But if your asking your offense to score more than 35 points just to win a game, then your defense is horrible no other way to say it.  with over 2800 yards passing as a team OSU was hardly 1 dimensional, they leaned on the run game mainly  when the weather got crappy or when the D couldn't hold the opponent which was toward the end of the season. Cause and effect, crappy D led to OSU having to stick to the run to burn the clock.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Furious George 27's picture

FSU also won because they had a 100yd return.... Auburn balanced it out for that game. FSU was limited big time through the air so realistically FSU was the 1 dimensional team in this scenario.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

buckguyfan1's picture

All you say is very true.  Still needs to do it without El Guapo and  the veteran O line.  I'm sure he will(and he should) start to do it with the players he and Urbz have hand picked and not the former regime.  Should look very different doing it as well.  Either way, just win Baby!

Zimmy07's picture

OSU did not use all of the plays they had in the playbook last year once they got into conference play.  There were things shown in the early games that very rarely got used like quick passes to the TE's or wing (after the option play-fake) that would have held off the LB's trying to go downhill to stop our option.  I also think they seemed to quit using the shovel option and didn't get the ball that much to Wilson on the sweeps.

I don't remember hardly any slants that would have started to freeze LB's & they should have been open all day for 5 yds or so.

 

+1 HS
whobdis's picture

I think the MSU win only helps us..what would it look like if MSU got trounced by Stanford?  Another B1G Rose Bowl loss would resonate louder than the image of a slow lumbering conferance. Actually Stanford is looked at in the same light and it doesn't seem to bother them. And they seem to handle Oregon's speed merchants. Frankly I want to see us utilize the speed and continue to have a power run game. I see no reason that we can't and Urban has stated such a desire anyway.

+3 HS
Belliott's picture

I think the overlooked aspect would be the weather.  It's more difficult to have a track meet in conditions like they faced last year in Northwestern and against Wisconsin.  The SEC and Big 12 can spread it out and run all day because it's almost constantly sunny and dry.  To survive the B1G, a team needs to be able to ground and pound from time to time.  I agree that they need to open it up more, but I also think that it's just a different brand of football.

+3 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

We've got plenty of speed at all positions.  It's easy for Braxton to keep it and to hand it off, but he struggles with throwing the ball.  Hopefully we will see a heavy dose of short quick passes early in the season to build his confidence and help with the passing game.  As the season progresses, we should see him getting more opportunities to go through progressions.  

+2 HS
acBuckeye's picture

The speed is good, but I think it benefits teams more when more of it is on the defensive side. Also, Urban himself even said that b/c of Hyde's success under his system, he wants to continue to recruit big, strong backs. Urban's not ditching the ground and pound by any means, just b/c some media talking-head says it doesn't look flashy.

+3 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I don't think anyone wants to go away from the ground and pound.  I think a lot of us would like to start seeing the speed on the edges mixed into the playcalling tho.  We need have Zeke, Dontre, Marshall, and Samuel who can all fly.  

Squirrel Master's picture

when Dontre actually stops touching the ball and just becomes a decoy, something isn't right. Last year something wasn't right and despite the ground and pound, there was nothing keeping defenses honest. No matter how good Hyde and Braxton were.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+2 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

I think you have a good point, Belliott. "Balance" would be attained if we can both "ground and pound" and threaten opposing D's with blazing speed; especially in the unpredictable climes of B1G country.

mb5599's picture

Sparty has built a Tressel-esque team built on suffocating defense and adequate offense, which is great for them, but not so good for any Big Ten team trying to shed the image of a B1G conference that looks like lesser versions of Dantonio's squad

Sounds like a winning formula to me. Suffocating defense and a punishing run game. Even UFM said that "defense wins championships" during the post-game interview after the spring game. Sparty had it going last year because that defense was nasty.  I love to see speed on offense like anyone else, but the most important thing is to have a top defense.  Whenever most people think of Alabama they dont think of speed.  They think of suffocating defense and a punishing run game (between the tackles) with a game manager at QB.  When I think of speed, I think of Oregon.  Speed all over the place, but they get manhandled every time they play a team with a tough defense and a punishing run game.  Their speed does not help them. We have the D line to play with anyone and our LB's should be pretty good this year.  The secondary is where season will be decided.

Big B

+2 HS
TossTrap's picture

Yea I love speed at the skill positions too, but let's not forget that the downside is that fast young players are more prone to turning the ball over.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

Squirrel Master's picture

nice analogy but I just don't agree with the SEC being the tortoise. The B1G is Cecil. I guess you can call the SEC the speed police or something else.

Its funny because that was the third and most recent Looney tunes version with Bugs and Cecil. The first one Cecil wins and Bugs couldn't figure out how Cecil does it. In the second one he tries to wear a shell and the gambling rabbits make him lose again by accident.

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

-1 HS
Earle's picture

I'm still trying to wrap my head around a Looney Tunes speed analogy that does not incorporate the Road Runner.

 

Italics are for emphasis.

+3 HS
Zimmy07's picture

Or even this guy:

 

+1 HS
Ethos's picture

Trying to understand some of the arguments here.  Didn't Ross and Meyer teach us that Meyer spreads to run the power game?  Get used to the running backs guys, that is what Meyer is trying to build.  The speed is there to force the defense to spread out, then he pounds it into their face.  Then when they close up, he burns them down the side.  

You aren't going to see speed, speed, speed, every game and every play because that isn't what Meyer is about.  He is about winning, and that means using whatever methods will make his opponent look like a chump.  

Our problem last year, the year before, and the year before that, and possibly this year, is defense.  The offense is not the problem right now (or at least from what we can tell from a few spring practices).  The problem is our defense and whether they've picked their balls off the turf and decide to play the game this year or not.

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

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you.  The speed hasn't been used to spread the defense out at this point.  Dontre was used as a decoy last year and Hall was supposed to be our hybrid.  There weren't many jets sweeps or much of anything to get us on the edges.  

Mean Mr Mustard's picture

Attacking the perimeter will help O-St run between the tackles.  If they load the box, throw a bubble screen out to Wilson.

Flat out, if you combine the yards rushing last year w/ a good defense, we would have won more games.

 

 

buckskin's picture

Speed on the defensive side of the ball is tricky.  Take Chris Spielman; not the fastest guy around, but he always seemed to end up around the ball making the play.  Then you see another guy who can run a 4.4 40 and he disappears.  It's all about coaching and the player knowing where to be, understanding certain tendencies that each team has, and here's the key to it all: not thinking, just reacting. 

I think we have bought into the hype a little too much, myself included.  Speed isn't necessarily the answer, it's how well you can apply that speed on the field and be productive.

+4 HS
OSUFlash's picture

Herman definitely needs to show an offense we've been hearing about but have seldom seen. Take away Hyde and our offensive production is very average at best. I hope to see at least 3 - 4 offensive guys who put the living fear in you if they get the ball much like Ted Ginn did. And I don't count Braxton as being one of those 3 or 4 guys; he's an added bonus.

osuflash

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Sorry if I've made the same comment a couple of times, but defensive speed is not just how fast you run a straight line in shorts.  It is also about football smarts.  That means understanding your responsibilities within the scheme you play, recognizing the formation across from you, and getting to where you need to be, fast.  I don't have to see their 40 times to know last year's defense was sloooooooooow.

+2 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

And the police represents the NCAA who nails the rabbit for getting free tats and "cheating," while the more obvious cheating down south by the turtle goes unpunished.

+2 HS
Mean Mr Mustard's picture

With these athletes that Meyer is recruiting and Johnston punting, O-St should be able to do some real damage in the field position game.

 

Personally, I would like to see something like the good ole days w/ Ginn and Holmes returning kicks and punts.  I hate the punt block penalties

woodcocklives@osu's picture

Stout defenses can allow for some aggressive risk taking (going for it on 4th down within your own 35, punt block, cheap shot on a wideout on 3rd & 11). But when you cant stop the oppositions screens, get off the field, or make a big stop, such aggressive play is just reckless.

-1 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

The SEC-Speed argument really centers around their Defenses anyways-it's not used as often when talking about offense.  It's used when time in and time out, their D-Lines are chasing down RB's and WRs from behind.  Our offenses have always had speed, (Glenn, Galloway, Ginn, Holmes, etc.).  In order to get to where we all want this team to be, the defense must play fast.  It's referenced above, but it's not always a measure of someones straightline 40 speed, but how quick they diagnose a play and react, a la Spielman, Hawk, Doss, and Laurinitis.  

Yes we all love the hype around the new toys on offense, but Meyer and Herman aren't getting away from the power running game.  Meyer had it in Florida with all of those weapons, but it was Tebow he was using instead of a primary back.  

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BroJim's picture

How about we go win football games and let every one keep talking. . .

I season my simple food with hunger

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Humbuck's picture

The Meyer/Herman offense thrives when you have 4-5 speed guys going in different directions in sync.  Then your not- as- fast TE goes uncovered for a 40 yard gain or your speed punishes any bad reads by the defense.  It is all predicated on making the right reads, something Miller does better than he used to but still has major room for improvement.  The offense will look different this year. Year one was Miller+Hyde, year two was Hyde and Miller.  Year three Miller has to capitalize on the advantages he has with the speed mismatches guys like Dontre, Curtis, Jalin and Devin can present.  A lot of our opponents have one guy as fast as any of our skill guys but no team on our schedule has 3-4-5 guys who can run with our skill guys. 

Hyde was a wrinkle Meyer never had before.  He wants to keep that wrinkle but bare in mind that he absolutely needed Hyde the last 2 years because he did not have what he needed on the edge.  Now he has some depth and speed to head outside, he has Zeke Elliott who is playing at about 225 this year (Hyde weighed in at 230 for the combine, played between 230-235 last year.)  Zeke might combine power with speed in a way we haven't seen. 

What this offense doesn't have is a proven, mauling OL.  The 53.33 yards of width will be very important this year in order to adjust to the inexperience on the line. Speed goes a long way towards drawing guys out of the box.  The spread part of our offense has not been in play.  Most of the time we didn't need it. 

osubuckeye4life's picture

the Buckeyes reinforced the concept of a ground and pound, three yards and a cloud of rubber pellets Ohio State team that beats you with power and pure rock fury, not speed and dubstep.

Johnny, is use of 'pure rock fury' in reference to the song & fifth studio album of the band Clutch or just a coincidence? 

BucksFan2000's picture

I'd say you're over-thinking this one.  Speed is a weapon, but is that what drove FSU to a title, or was it a great QB?  Same for Auburn a few years ago.  I'd say Bama has been driven more by overwhelming lines on both sides of the ball, rather than just speed.

You know what team is built around speed?  Oregon.  F that.

And are we saying Tressel didn't have speed?  Come on.  Holmes/Ginn/Gonzalez were our starting WR's at one point.

woodcocklives@osu's picture

Fantasy football/video game nerds are obsessed with "speed on the perimeter".....IMO.  Generally speaking, it's the layman's expert analysis

Mean Mr Mustard's picture

Yeah, I don't see Meyer making any major changes to the offensive scheme.  Sure, he will make some minor tweaks and improvements but nothing big.  The added speed will compliment the power run game.  That is all.

warriard1002's picture

May i ask the question? Why is this tossing the ball around speed so enamored? Last I checked the Alamaba Crimson Tide did not run a spread and they definitely don't throw the ball all willie nillie. They have a power running game eliment and speed at overall positions. So sure it may be exciting to watch Oregon play but last I checked they have not won Jack and can't even seem to consistantly beat a slow foot Stanford team IJS

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