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Comment 30 Sep 2014

He's damn right we could have gotten more.   Dropped passes cost us at the very least the continuation of drives, if not points.   Our young receivers got good separation and (mostly) held onto the ball, but we still need their awareness and toughness the rest of the time.  Getting blocks downfield means instead of EzE and Samuel and others lowering their head and driving through a tackler for a few extra yards, they are continuing to run free.   

And another thing, there seemed to be a competition among some linemen the other night for who gets to be anointed the next JB Shugarts, which disrupted our flow and tempo on numerous occasions and complicated drives.   

That said, I love seeing us have so many guys that can hurt people.  I love seeing us disrupt the opposing defense with our pace.   I love seeing 45 first downs.   45 first downs.  That sort of efficiency kills an opponent's will to fight.   

Comment 28 Sep 2014

I don't ever like to see us give up those big pass plays, but it seems the issues this year are guys playing aggressive and getting beat, whereas last year so much of the time it was guys just nowhere near where they were supposed to be on the field.   Apart from the TD last night where Kiel got the safety to bite on the pump fake and head to the sideline opening up the slant route for a TD, I thought it was just about guys winning or losing individual battles.   Again, that's a significant improvement over a unit that was so often out of position or playing the wrong scheme.   

Comment 28 Sep 2014

To me, saying tha tthe pass defense didn't do so bad when you take away three HUGE pass plays that kept UC in the game is sugar-coating things.   We looked to this game as a test for the secondary.  I'd grade them out at a "C."  I do think that we're better than last year, and improving.   The other night, they got beat by a solid pass offense, but it wasn't because guys were out of position or so many of the schematic problems of last year.   And they will get better.   They are getting better.   

Comment 28 Sep 2014

Maryland doesn't really have a big "signature" win, but they have played well and their one loss was by three points to a WVU team that has looked pretty tough this year.   Should be a good road test for us.    

Comment 28 Sep 2014

Really love this whole unit right now, and to think that Rod Smith is the only one we lose after this year.   Personally, I"m not in a hurry to figure out who our #1 is.  It looks like Elliott, then it looks like Samuel, then it looks like Elliott.  As long as they all continue to perform like this, I can live with not having a clear #1.   

Comment 28 Sep 2014

Good win for the Buckeyes.   Lots to build on, and lots to learn from.  Enough issues to really get after the guys and that this team shouldn't be getting complacent.   Secondary failed the first big test, in my opinion.   Yes, they shored things up in the 2nd half, but they allowed this game to become a shoot-out.  Fortunately, we were ready for that and Cincy's defense is really not good.   

So impressed with Barrett, and this offense.   Looking at the missed opportunities in the second quarter, we moved the ball well enough to put up 60, but still scored plenty.  Even when Cincy roared back to make it close for a while, we were still the team winning the line of scrimmage all night.   There was really not a time all game, even on series where we punted, when it felt like UC had figured us out or "stopped" us.  Rather that we stopped ourselves.    

Love the balance of this offense.    I know that we're just now getting to conference play and tougher defenses, but Barrett is on track, estimating conservatively, for well over 2500 yards passing.   I know some of these yards are on little shovel passes that are glorified handoffs, but he really looks great.   Still had some very obvious, costly drops by our receivers.   

Elliott reminded me of Hyde last night.  He's not as big and strong, but the way he pushed the piles, the way he refused to go backward and always fell forward to get those extra yards.   Gordon and Wisconsin may be the ones people think of when you say running game, but OSU and Nebraska I think have the deepest and best all-around running back units in the conference, and among the best in the country.   

Comment 26 Sep 2014

I am cautiously confident about the Cincy game.   I think we're hungry, I think we're angry.  I think the Buckeyes are looking for redemption from the VT game.    To quote Talladega Nights, I think this team is out to "go get its balls back."   

That said, there are two ways the 46 defense can work on us.  One, is that you have the right personnel for it.   The other is that we simply don't execute well enough to beat it.  I don't care if Cincy's got inferior athletes on their defense, if they put their corners on an island and load up and go after Barrett and squelch the run and we don't catch passes, they can use it to stop us.  

Still, I don't think they will.   

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Technically, the VT game was one where Barrett was put in a position to win the game for us as our run game was negated and they dared us to beat them through the air which, given our receivers' issues that night, Barrett was really our best chance out there. And I don't mean this to sound like I'm faulting him that we lost to VT.  I think JT played really well in that game.  I just think it was an example where it was like "okay, this is on me."   I think it's possible especially against MSU that our many other offensive weapons are just not as effective as usual and Barrett has to step up and make some key conversions, do some things that aren't his strength out of necessity.  Thinking along the lines of Krenzel in the Illinois game in 2002.  

Comment 19 Sep 2014

Is DJ not aware that there are ways for him to go in and correct his typos?  

Comment 18 Sep 2014

I think Saturday, we'll find out what we have for a defense.  Against Navy we gave up a lot of rushing yards, and the story was, 'Well, you have to remember - they run the triple option."  Though to their credit, they clamped down in the second half.   

They also clamped down on VT, though only after we were in a 2 TD hole.   Poor field position didn't seem to help them there.   I think in that game, we started to see evidence of improvement.  Though VT did not come in with anyone talking about their QB or their offense.   

Kent State was a game where we did everything I think that we needed to do that week, but it didn't tell us that much.   

This week, we face a potent offense/passing attack, and it's not some gimmicky system of which we'll say after the fact, "we weren't expecting what we saw from them."   Time to step up   

I'm excited for it.  I think Grant and Apple and Bell and Powell and the others will be ready.  I think Perry has improved in coverage, Grant is playing with better awareness every week, Darron Lee is really fun to watch.   What's more, I think Bosa and the boys are going to make all kinds of noise.   

Comment 18 Sep 2014

Toledo hasn't been a very strong defensive team for quite a few years.   UC has a very good QB and explosive offense, but they didn't face much of a defense last Friday.   

The score from last week is a bit deceptive.  UC dominated early.  Toledo made it look closer later after the game had gotten out of hand.   That said, Toledo was also without their regular starting QB who was injured against Mizzou.    

Comment 17 Sep 2014

We have a lot of young starters because they're getting it done more so than some of the upperclassmen.   I'm excited to know that we're watching a "rebuild" and that we'll be enjoying these guys and their development for a couple more years, likely.  But it's a little sad.  It's a little sad that Devin Smith and Evan Spencer haven't progressed in their game as much as people hoped.  It's sad that we've had a couple of classes of linebackers depleted by transfers, injuries, and other factors.  The young talent that we have on this team is amazing, but they are the best we've got at certain positions more by default than by their abilities.   

Comment 14 Sep 2014

Good to have a week to prep for Cincy.  They have that "little brother" sort of chip on their shoulder when it comes to OSU, so they are a team where we should really be ready for anything.   Looks like they will be the next big test for our secondary.  With two weeks to work on coverage especially with our safeties and linebackers, I like our chances.   

Comment 13 Sep 2014

It means a lot.  I don't give a damn diddly if folk like Mark May and others scoff at this game and refer to it as a meaningless game or a cupcake opponent.   This young team got a confidence-shaking sort of loss last Saturday night.   The receivers needed to consistently get open and make plays.   The line needs to get reps together and see pressure and handle it.   The backs need to get touches.   The team as a whole needed to improve and get sharper, and they did today.   And as others have pointed out, we've faced a lot of smaller, less talented programs and been in a battle for the first 3 quarters.   That didn't happen today.   We've had better OSU teams in terms of talent in the last 5 years not go out and execute nearly as well as this one did today.   

A young team needs wins like this once in a while.   We need wins like this as often as we can get them.   

Comment 13 Sep 2014

It was a weaker opponent, so a lot of people will probably shrug and yawn at the score, but I thought it was a big win.  For one, we needed a win - period.   Second - we got to give a lot of guys some reps.  Third - great balance between run and pass plays.   Even with running most of the 4th quarter, great balance.   Fourth - a shutout of any FBS opponent is a good thing for a defense.    Lots to like about this one.  

Comment 13 Sep 2014

DJ - it's common for 18-22 year olds to make rash decisions and not be the best with self-control and self-awareness.   But it's no less very unfortunate for him, for his teammates.   OSU will soldier on, but to shrug and "c'est la vie" as if he didn't just let down 81 other athletes and his coaches is a bit off.   

As for him being "ready for the NFL," much as I wish this young man luck, that's a pretty elite, rare group that is essentially ready for primetime after one year of college.   

Comment 12 Sep 2014

It frustrates me, too, especially from the ESPN crowd.  To me, their hate on OSU and the rest of the conference, really, is all about their bottom line.  It's repugnant.   

As for the casual fans that hate on OSU, I have come to take it as a badge of honor.  I remind my wife over and over that there's a reason her Nebraska Cornhuskers don't get that sort of hate and attention.  Ditto for Wisconsin, or Ok State, or LSU, or even Oregon.  All of those are consistently very good teams and very good programs, but not nearly for as long as we've been doing it.  People only get this worked up over knocking a team down when it has been long established among the elite.   It's part of why I hate on ND so much.   

Comment 12 Sep 2014

1.  Our playoff hopes are done, even if we can still win the B1G.  I think we'll be a very different team come November.   I still like our chances of winning the conference, but not making the playoffs.  It's no longer about BCS rankings, but it's still about a team's overall resume, and for our resume to be strong enough it needed to be undefeated and in a fairly dominating fashion.  Right now, we have neither, and with one fourth of the season in the books by the end of the day tomorrow, it's already too late to remedy either of those in terms of the title playoff.   

2.  Whether teams have the talent to beat us with VT's blueprint is more up to us than up to them.  And it didn't start with VT.  Wisconsin used the blueprint last year on us.  The difference was our offense was able to do enough.   I don't care how inferior other teams are on paper, if our receivers can't get separation and make plays downfield, we will continue to have trouble executing if a team has us beat up front, numbers-wise.    

3. Until the receivers start getting it done, a key priority at running back is not who's most explosive, but who is most aware and consistent at protecting Barrett.   Samuel has a lot of potential and he'll be great.  But right now, if he can't pick up blitzes, that doesn't matter much.   

4.  In terms of the receivers, they have the speed and I trust that Herman has a sound strategy in terms of routes and exposing the other team's coverage.   That leaves that they're lacking fundamentals as route-runners and receivers.   

5.  I'd like to see us bounce back with a game where when the dust clears we've gained a balanced amount between run and pass.   270 on the ground and 250 via the air would be great.   Being efficient in run and pass is the best prescription for teams trying to stack the box against us.   

Comment 11 Sep 2014

DJ - Yes, sexual assault and harassment are bad.   You know who else thinks so?  Jon Waters.   He was the one who heard the allegation, investigated, and saw that the offender was expelled.   In spite of no criminal charges ever being brought by the victim.  But mommy didn't feel like he was looking sad enough or was offended that he didn't send a formal apology (why it was for him to apologize any further, I have no idea), so she pressured the university.