I think it depends on if PSU can hit their deep passes that have marked their success this season, something that Wiscy is really good at limiting. This is a super intriguing match up.
S&P+ has this as a virtual tossup, with Wiscy holding a 51% win expectancy. The only good defenses that PSU has played has really shut them down too. Give me the badgers in a close one.
Do you get the sense that this is a revenge game when you're around the team, since MSU was the only team to beat OSU last year? I know that Ohio State will have a super emotional test in two weeks, but I was wondering if there is a little extra motivation for MSU this year given what happened last year.
What Ohio State can't control: their path the the B1GCG.
What Ohio State can control: how much they beat the shit out of Michigan State and Michigan. If their focus is on blasting those two teams into the Upside Down, the rest will take care of itself.
Even though that paper headline is lame, I thought that MSU acquitted itself nicely on Saturday. UM definitely did take their foot off of the gas...but man, with some better offensive coaching that second half could have at least become a bit more interesting.
I came away very impressed with NW all around as well. Good on them for turning around their season after a tough start.
Informative write-up, Kyle. I was discouraged during the game on Saturday, but in the days since I've walked back from the ledge, and the fact that such a young team has essentially had to change a part of its offensive identity mid-season provides a good reason why they sputter at times. I don't think this team is going to be CFP good, but I'm hoping to see improvement thru the end of the season. I do feel as if the O-line took a step forward this week. Granted PSU and Wisconsin have better defenses than NW, but it was at least good to see them hold their own against a team with a pulse.
I think so much of the fanbase's angst is coming from having to re-set expectations for this team. The way that I'm looking at it is that these reps will be nearly priceless for the young guys going into next season. Maybe that isn't the thing we want to hear, but I think it's where we are at.
I think it was pretty reasonable to assume that PSU would have gameplaned quite a bit for OSU tendencies during their bye week (Kyle provided good insight into this on this week's dubcast FYI). What is surprising to me is that (1) it didn't seem like the offensive coaching staff anticipated that and (2) there weren't a ton of adjustments to what PSU was doing. Running the same play over and over isn't gonna get it done.
Also, seems like the speed option has become this year's "Braxton Miller wildcat." At one point on Saturday they called speed option to Weber two times in a row (no gain first time, 5 yard loss second time) and I nearly threw my remote through the TV screen.
Looking forward to seeing Corey Smith again. He was an underrated contributor to the '14 title. I would love to see him get his first TD on Saturday.
What's up with Johnnie Dixon? I know he has had injury issues - are those still bothering him? Or is he just part of the WR group behind Noah Brown who can't separate themselves from each other (or opposing DBs)?
In all seriousness I doubt that...but I feel as if this offense has the potential to reach 2013 defense levels, in which case someone may be given the Everett Whithers treatment.
I'm guessing that this week was not a fun one at the WHAC.
Reading the tea leaves of Meyer's and the players' comments, I think that the offense honestly thought they were gonna run all over PSU Saturday night. When that didn't happen, I think you saw the entire offensive gameplan devolve into a shitty episode of "Meerkat Manor." And then when they had a 21-7 lead I think the only thing of Urban's mind was to GTFO of Happy Valley ASAP.
I dunno. Loses during the Urban Era have usually been healthy in the long run - I felt that way after Clemson, Va Tech, and MSU last year - but I can't shake the feeling that something else is pretty wrong with this offense. We'll see.
Bucky has had Nebraska's number ever since they left the B12. I don't see why this one would be any different. Badgers win and cover.
Remember how self-righteous and incredulous Michigan fans were when Urban went for two twice against Buffalo?
It may be closer due to rivalry intangibles, but I'd be very surprised if this is anything less than a 2 TD game.
Yeah, good points Bya. I guess I was expecting the cool and collected Urban that we saw after MSU's loss last season. Not getting that feeling from his words this week.
I'm finding the reaction to this loss a little...odd. I mentioned this in the presser article, but I can't tell if Meyer is really mad and is totally putting guys through the ringer, or if he has perhaps seen this offense as average with a ceiling no where close to 2014. I dunno, I know that the coaching staff doesn't want to dwell too much on what was an all-around dumb loss, but I was expecting Meyer, who is usually very blunt, to address at least a few of the shortcomings in that game in some more detail. Just getting a weird vibe all around, I guess.
He's either really pissed and wants to get back to work fixing this team...or despondent with major issues on offense. Either way, I think Saturday's game is going to tell us a lot about where this team is. Hoping that they come out and truck NW.
I honestly think that he OL would play better with tempo.
Anyone else frustrated with the lack of tempo? Seems like every play OSU would rush to the line and then look to the sidelines, allowing the crowd a few extra second to get reved up even more and giving the PSU defense the opportunity to recognize tendencies. I know that your playcalling gets more restrictive when you go up tempo, but it seems like that would have been a good way to get into a rhythm and keep PSU of-balance.
Saturday was the most frustrating loss since 09 USC, IMO. Blah.
What are your (and other 11W staffers) thoughts on advanced CFB stats like S&P+ and F/+? There is some discussion among the commentariat that references these stats, but do you guys every use them in previews/analysis pieces?