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What's the more crucial duel on Saturday?



Oyster's picture

OSU offense vs MSU defense will be the key.  Even though it is popular to bash Bollman, we all know that he was really not the OC during the Tressel era, Tressel called the shots.  Bollman just got paid for the title.  His real fist crack at being the OC was during the transition year.  As for this year, MSU is actually putting up points as the season has gone on and they found a groove.  The Fickell against Bollman question, I don't see that as the larger concern due to the fact that they coached together for so long.  They both know each other and the MSU offense doesn't have any great breakout players that have to be accounted for.  Should be a good game, 24-13 OSU. 

3M hoards the KoolAid like Elaine hoards sponges.

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Seth4Bucks's picture

If Ohio State can score points at will or almost at will, OSU will win, plain and simple. Even if MSU can score, OSU will be favored in any shootout. OSU will be in trouble if they have trouble putting points on the board as their strength does not lie on the defensive side of the ball.

TMac's picture

Fickell/Withers v Bollman - Our Offense, with options at every skill position and a veteran O-Line should be able to score. Maybe against MSU's defense we score slightly less (We average 48) so lets say 35.  Our Defense needs to hold MSU under 20, so under their average (29) too.  Our Offense hasn't really struggled (See 48 point average) - But on D that isn't the case.  So Stopping Sparty is Key. 

ONE Not Done!

Buckeytrips's picture

fickell/Withers/combs v bollman - We know what Herman brings to the table. I have no idea what the trio is going to do for us and that scares the shit out of me. Hopefully they will have their heads out of their asses for this game so they can see what is going on and make adjustments unlike last saturday.

BucksfanXC's picture

I think this is a game where we have to stop them more than they stop us. No mistakes and great special teams will be a given for both sides. We will not score at will on them so we can't let them score at will on us. 

“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

BoFuquel's picture

Always remember good defense will usually beat good offense. I HATE TSUN STATE. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

rkylet83's picture

Unfortunately for us the Walrus doesn't call the plays, Warner does.  He's done a decent job of play calling as of late.  We won't be seeing any play action passes on 3rd and 20 or all 15+ yard routes on 3rd and 2.  
Their offense lives and dies by the running game.  Not much is asked of them, because their defense always gives them a lot of opportunities to score and doesn't give up much.  The key for us is to force them to get out of their comfort zone by scoring on their defense.  Get them down by 10+ points and their formula goes out the window; much like we were under Coach Tressel.
Because that I picked Herman vs Narduzzi.  Unless our offense scores like usual it won't matter as much how we perform on defense.  MSU will stay conservative and grind unless we force them to do what they don't want to do.     

HighBallAce's picture

The key to the game is that we score more points than them....if we can do that then we'll win!

BuddhaBuck's picture

Scariest play Bollman/Warner can call Saturday night: the play-action pass. 

Don't text while driving.

Doc's picture

Can I vote for both?  I'm more than a little nervous about this game.  Dantonio will use every trick play he has.  Our defense better come prepared.  The offense needs to strike quick and get Sparty in a hole.  So far this year Sparty hasn't Sparted yet.  Let's hope it comes Saturday night.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

hodge's picture

We've got to score to win, so I'm thinking that Herman/Narduzzi is the crucial matchup here.
Luckily, Fick and Vrabel's experience with Bollman (as well as Drayton on the other side of the ball) should help mitigate any advantage our weak defense may be ceding to Sparty.  Bollman's offense is predicated on out-muscling an opponent in the trenches (with copious downfield passes -- largely via play-action -- as a constraint), something that he'll have a hard time in doing with our front four and Shazier.
Interesting note here: will we be playing 4-3 or 4-2-5 for this game?

BucksfanXC's picture

That's a good question RE: formation. I would think against this O, you want 4-3, but with our LB situation I want to play 4-2-5 as much as possible (not that Philly Brown/Reeves/et al have been stellar either as the 5th back)

“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

TilstheHun3's picture

Correction: Pitt Brown... Philly Brown has been stellar :)

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

RBuck's picture

It will be a 4-3. I saw something in The Dispatch that said the defensive coaches have to get a 3rd linebacker ready.

Long live the southend.

Hovenaut's picture

Have a feeling this game is going to get weird.
I went with Ficks/Withers vs The Walrus.....I believe in Herman, Brax and Hyde against the Nard.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

osuguy2008's picture

If you're seriously afraid of Bollman and his "imaginative" offense then question everything you thought you knew about football.

UrbanCulture's picture

I wasn't, then the michigan game happened #fickelled

4thandinches's picture

You can say the same when he was here. Everyone knew we were going to do it but very few could stop it. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

cplunk's picture

If a Bollman offense rolls up and down the field on us, I will kill myself.

Jhesse17's picture

I selected option 2 because if Bollman gets more than 21 points on our D I will concede that Fickell sucks.

buckeyerose's picture

I am worried about this game to say the least.  If their defense stops the rushing of brax and hyde, and we start playing long ball again like we did Saturday, it's going to be a long evening for us.  Just wondering where all our short, medium routes went?  One thing that was troublesome for us all season has been the quick 3 and outs.  The longer our defense is on the field the easier it becomes to score on them, or at least that's the way it appears.   
I hope I'm wrong, and all this worry if for nada and we just blow up the #1 defense in the country.  I have a lot of faith in UFM as a coach but the best coach in the country doesn't get in on the actual plays, ask Bama about that.  

First ever undisputed National Champions! OH! 

hodge's picture

Saban made his own bed when he decided to go for it on fourth-and-one from Auburn's 15 instead of taking the field goal.  I know that their kicker was having a rough game, but he could have easily thrown his freshman in there to make what was essentially a chip shot.  
Make that and you're up two scores with five to play.  That's a coffin nail against almost anyone -- let alone one of the finest defenses in the nation.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Saban had that weary look of resignation, and perhaps even relief? He knew the "roll" Bama was on had to end sometime. Looked like he almost expected it to end somehow like that.... 

extemporary08's picture

You don't trust your kicker from the 15, but you have him kick a 50 yarder? hmmmm

ChazBuckeye's picture

This is the best poll question in some time.  I'd first like to say that the offense of OSU's vs MSU's defense seems to stick out at you at first.  But then you have to look at how OSU's defense has been exposed several times this year (Illinois, Cal, and TTUN for sure).  SO, even though we're talking about Jim "the walrus" Bollman, it still could be a very difficult game on both sides of the ball if he watches film on those game above (I know those would be the games I'd be breaking down).  To be quite honest, I'm worried.  MSU has better coaches than TTUN and better players too.  This could be very reminiscent of 2012 game in East Lansing...

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.

Alhan's picture

I have every confidence that our offense will be able to score, so I had to pick Fickell/Bollman as the crucial part of the game. If the defense can step up and holds MSU to 20 pts, we soul lags be able to win by 2 TDs. Yes, they have a great defense, but we have a stellar offense.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Unky Buck's picture

Herman v Narduzzi all the way for me. I kind of understand the Fickell/Withers v Bollman question, but in my view, it's strength v strength.
At least we have a model that worked to review when Nebraska was able to run very well against MSU and by all accounts, our running attack is well ahead of Nebraska's. But even if that gets stifled a bit, we still have our passing attack. I like our chances, but I think it's a tight game.

If you jiggle your monitor, does that make a jiggly gif?

OurHonorDefend09's picture

This MSU defense just gave up 28 points to Nebraska a few week ago. That, combined with the 600 yards of offense given up vs Michigan (I realize their O's are different, but still) make me think Fickell/Withers vs Bollman is the more important matchup.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

sb97's picture

Interesting results so far.  Almost even.  I chose defense.  I think we need a strong defensive performance this week to impress voters (assuming we win).  Dont get me wrong.  I have concerns about how our O will handle their pressure as well.

buckeyeguy0615's picture

It's crucial that our offense is clicking because as far as we know, the defense will not save us. You can say they saved us last Saturday, but they shouldn't have scored that many points on us.

cinserious's picture

This will be the scariest defense Heman has faced since his arrival in Columbus but I feel confident in The Bucks' offensive ability to hold their own.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

3GB's picture

I have a feeling that Bollman (and whoever the actual O Coord is) will be checking out the tape of Michigan's offense from last week.  We got nailed on tight end/running back (and almost a RB to QB) misdirection throws multiple times, and each time TTUN ran that play I thought of the same play we ran a couple of times with Stoneburner and Heuerman when we had the Walrus on staff and had decent success in our own right.  Don't put it past Sparty to run read option or speed option as well.  I've watched some of their games and Connor Cook is athletic enough to stay upright and extend the play in tight pockets so the line can't afford to whiff on sack opportunities.  Our LBs need to man their gaps and wrap up, and the safeties can't get eaten up by blocks on the edge to where Roby has to chase someone down 70 yards. 
Like many others have said, if we keep their point total in the 17-21 range, you've got to like our chances and trust our Offense to do their thang.

TNbuckeye91's picture

I went with our offense vs their defense. Urban meyer knows a thing or two about smothering a bollman coached offense. Even if he is an offensive coach.

setman's picture

Most crucial: Herman/Narduzzi

Most interesting:Bollman/ Fickell. Especially with the anecdote about Vrabel's confrontation of Bollman after a staff meeting that year. Could make this a grudge match on both sidelines when their offense is facing our defense.

buckskin's picture

Herman vs. Pat. N.  We are going to need Braxton to get into a rhythm early.  We had plenty of chances to get Miller flowing early at MU, but didn't.  Yes, we won, but as our competetion gets better with the next 2 games, we will need the Braxton who completes 80% of his passes, not under 50%.