Ohio State's 2014 Trap Game: Navy?

By DJ Byrnes on July 10, 2014 at 12:05p

Of all Ohio State's 2014 contests, I've been clear on which one I think has potential to be a "trap game:" the November 15th trip to Minnesota.

The Buckeyes will either be coming off an emotional win or loss the week prior in East Lansing, and after Minnesota, they'll finish the last two games at home against Indiana and Michigan.

That is to say, it sits in perfect trap game territory, before even throwing in "Minnesota in November" and the swagger of Jerry Kill, whom the Urban Meyer Buckeyes have never faced.

Brian Penderson, of Bleacher Report released an 130 page slideshow (no hyperbole) of a trap game for every FBS team in 2014. It would seem we disagree.

Via the deslided version of Penderson's report (honestly who has time to click through that many slides), here's his pick for Ohio State's trap game:

Ohio State has been making forays away from home for nonconference games the last few seasons and has future trips to Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Texas on the books. All of those should be tough, but before any of those happen the Buckeyes have to open this year against a dangerous Navy team.

Quarterback Keenan Reynolds is as good a runner as OSU's Braxton Miller, and last year he ran for 31 touchdowns. Throw in the presence of Navy's option game, and the Buckeyes don't exactly get to coast into the 2014 season like in years past.

This could very well provide us with the first major upset of the season.

I disagree with the sense this is a trap game. I'd go so far as to call this a season opener.

It's tough to overlook a season-opening opponent, unless you play Virginia Tech in Week 2 and the season-opening opponent is Florida A&M. Say what you will about the Midshipmen, they ain't no Florida A&M.

And Urban Meyer knows that, and his players probably do too. In essence, it's the opposite of a trap game, because Navy undoubtedly has the respect of Urban Meyer and his team.

Urban Meyer, in his head coaching career, is a sterling 12-0 in opening games. He also knows something about opening as an underdog: Urban's 2001 Bowling Green team, in Urban's head coaching debut, beat Missouri, 20-13. In Urbz's debut at Utah in 2003, the Utes dumped rival Utah State, 40-20. Urban's teams have also handled the business against overmatched foes as well.

Urban Meyer will have his team ready to play on August 30th.

If Navy beats Ohio State, it won't be because the Buckeyes overlooked the military academy. It will largely be because Navy was better, and (likely) because Ohio State's young back seven failed to corral Navy's dynamic option offense.


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Hoody Wayes's picture
+2 HS
OSUStu's picture

swagger of Jerry Kill

This is not a thing.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+6 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

You must not be familiar with the legend of Jerry Kill.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

AndyVance's picture

No kidding - Coach Kill is darn near a swaggernaut (or as close as you can be outside of Columbus).

+3 HS
OSUStu's picture

Hhmmm.  Maybe you are thinking of a legendary Jehri Curl?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+23 HS
Zimmy07's picture

Now Every time I see him I will think of him as Jheri Curl.

+3 HS
BierStube's picture

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+3 HS
Buckeye Rocket Sci's picture

I agree. I feel like this is just a failure to really understand what "trap" game infers. Will Navy be a tough test to start the season? Assuredly. But, like you said, it is a season opener, on the road, against a team people know can be very good, an offense that can be extremely tricky to defend against, and is the first game since the sting of back-to-back losses. I highly, highly doubt the guys come in anything less than focused and driven.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence" - Calvin Coolidge

+4 HS
Hovenaut's picture

For all the focus on the defense, especially the back seven (and I don't mean to dismiss that focus), I think it's the Buckeye offense that is going to have to come out swinging early and often.

If Braxton and company can quick strike and/or put points up in their initial possessions, I believe that puts the onus on the Middies offense to respond. The flexbone, for all it's evil trickery, is not an offense designed to play catch-up imho. Although I do remember 2009...I don't expect Navy to roll over and quit here either.

Hopeful to see glimpses of the Silver Bullets, and in time I believe they won't disappoint. Hard to lean on them early, especially against an attack as unique as the one they'll see 8/30.

+5 HS
Boxley's picture

I agree Hove, I think our offense is going to be the early season issue.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

+1 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

I do not see Minnesota as a trap game. A trap game implies you stand a fair chance of losing. Navy fits that billing far better. I'm not particularly sure if I should be worried or relieved its on the opening day of the season either.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't think the Navy game is a trap game, but there are a few things about it that could be a cause for concern.

1.) It's a neutral site game.

2.) That damn triple option offense

3.) Preparing to play them doesn't help you prepare for anyone else on the schedule

+1 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

While they are all good points, #3 is an area of the most concern for me. The Triple Option requires a lot of time and practice to try to defend. Urban no doubt will be dedicating countless hours fine tuning the silver bullets for this match up. But in doing so, especially with a young defense learning a new playbook, it takes so much focus away from everything else.

+5 HS
BuddhaBuck's picture

And you can blame 2/3 on Gene Smith....

I kid! I kid!

Don't text while driving.

+1 HS
mr.green's picture

This is true, BUT....

This is NAVY folks. Notre Cheat crushed them last year. They play against teams like Alabama and Georgia STATE. a neutral site game means we should OWN the place.  We will. 

We are, last I looked, a CONTENDER in 2014. They are not. 

No worries. Go Bucks. 

M Man's picture

Yeah, I might take Navy and the points, but it had better be a 10+ spread.  I do not see Ohio State starting slow in 2014.  (Tressel's teams had an odd way of struggling through early-season games, didn't they?)  Urban Meyer teams come out ready to play.

Still, I have this enthusiasm about particular Navy upsets:

+22 HS
dan_isaacs's picture

Damn you!  Now I gotta be pleased with something a winged helmet posted.  No wonder I hate you.

Dan Isaacs

+5 HS
bigbadbuck's picture

Just keep thinking Appy State

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

+1 HS
TheShookster's picture

I was at the Navy game in 2009. I fully expect the opening game of this season to be taxing on the emotions, and it's going to be high scoring. I won't let the results of the game worry me for the rest of the season though...the defense won't face anything like it again. I'm not exactly worried about a loss though.

He ain't even stretch doe!!

+1 HS
dan_isaacs's picture

I'll be at this game.  I hope it is nowhere near as close as that game.

Dan Isaacs

brband64's picture
You know what it is

"Maybe the Big Ten is not that bad. Maybe it's pretty damn good.'' ~ Urban Meyer

+16 HS
cplunk's picture

Even when you beat Navy, that dang offense makes you look bad doing it. I hate opening the season with them. I don't think it's a game we could lose, but I do think it is a game that could start the season off putting a crappy impression in the heads of the playoff committee. The meme last year- and rightfully so- was that our defense sucked. Navy's offense has the potential to carry that meme right over into this season.

Thats how it is a trap.

+3 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

I'd rather open with Navy than anything else, but agreed on their offense. Just glad Ohio State has a whole off-season to plan for it.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

buckeyebfd's picture

One week to prepare for the triple option wouldn't be a good thing

+2 HS
USMC11917's picture

Great points on perception. It does matter now.

AndyVance's picture

Definitely NOT a trap game, but definitely IS a tall order the guys need to be on their toes for - which I think they will be, in spades.

+2 HS
USMC11917's picture

To me a trap game implies a few things. First, that your team is rolling along well, maybe coming off of an emotional victory and is looking ahead to it's tougher competition. This implies that the team is overlooking a lesser yet quality opponent, in order to prepare for the marquee game.

By that definition I don't think Navy can be considered a trap game, primarily because it is the first game on the schedule. If these guys aren't focused and inspired to play their first game of the season after participating in Urban Meyer's summer workouts then we are recruiting the wrong type of competitors.

+4 HS
Waltbuck's picture

^^Could not agree more.  If we are not 100% focused on this game it will be a very long season.  I am confident we will take care of our business in Baltimore.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

Walt, this is exactly why I think we win this game, only the score is in question.  We have all summer to prepare for this game, and that is MUCH BETTER than only a week.

I don't see the Navy defense stopping us consistently, and our offense should score at least 38 points.  If we can stop the navy offense on 40% of their possessions, they cannot beat us.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Barnsey69's picture

I like the match-up. It will require our young defense to grow up immediately, and set the tone for the season. If it does not go well, even if we win, at least we will know where we stand, versus wacking a shitty MAC team that doesn't necessarily give a true picture. Navy will bring it, and we better be ready.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

Nutinpa's picture

Don't forget....those "shitty MAC teams" find a way to beat a Big Ten team or two every season.

Posted...by a proud  Bowling Green alum!

RBuck's picture

I just decided to consider every game as a trap game this year. WTH, it worked in 2002.

Long live the southend.

+10 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Wait, wasn't SDSU suppose to be our trap game last season?

Navy?  Maybe in 1962.  Today?  Just no.

The Ohio State University class of 2009
Disciplina in civitatem
+1 HS
JKH1232's picture

I dunno- Navy's quarterback is easily the second best one they've had since World War II- It may not be the same guy who started game three in '62, but he's not a chump.  I watched him play as a frosh, and he was good even then,


I refuse to think for a second the Buckeye offense, even without El Guapo and the Gladiators, is going to have problems scoring on Navy. I DO want to see the D force some punts. It may be an ugly win either way. However, we beat Sparty in an OT thriller, yes, the Minnesota game becomes a problem simply from a hangover standpoint and also the fact that Minnesota in November is freaking cold. Glad we don't play them in December or January.

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

whiskeyjuice's picture

Is it to early for anybody to give score predictions?

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

Zimmy07's picture

OSU 62 Navy 6.

whiskeyjuice's picture

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I don't see this as a trap game because the last time we played them it went down to the wire.  For it to be a trap game it should be a game we think won't be a game.  It's the first game of the season and Navy will come to play.  I see this one again being a close game, but I think the Bucks pull away in the 4th quarter to get a 10 to 14 point win. 

Go Bucks!

Leanenaud's picture

Just bought my ticket for this game. So stoked!

MDBuckeyenut's picture

Stoked indeed...finally, I will get to see a REAL football team play in M&T Bank stadium.

bellarebuckeye's picture

It's Ill,right after the trip to unhappy valley and right before the trip to Meatchickin State.

VintonCountyBuck's picture

Buckeyes by 40.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

Humbuck's picture

I think the triple option can be hard to defend but we don't have to spend much time worrying about Navy throwing it 30 times against an untested secondary.  A couple stops and we have the opportunity to create a lead. 

When we have the ball it will be nearly impossible for Navy to contend with our speed. 4-5 guys moving in different directions, we have some serious speed this year.  It is actually a good way to get our OL game action against some predictable and smaller DL's.  No elite first round pass rusher lining up across from Taylor Decker.

Navy will hang around but I suspect we score every time we touch the ball.  OSU by 17-24 in a high scoring affair

nightmuse's picture

Anyone else attend the last OSU v. Navy game.....it was painful. We were ranked #6 were saved an overtime game by an interception of a two point conversion

BuckInNashville's picture

Larry Johnson's hockey rotation mentality will keep fast and energized DE's in the game on a hot humid August afternoon in Baltimore. They may be scored on early , but that size and speed will contain the triple option in the second half.

BroJim's picture

It's not a trap, it's just going to be one helluva game. 

I season my simple food with hunger

Fatpants's picture

He can run like this guy?


I'm just a poo gas huffin' toilet snorkeler at heart....