Great insight on the VT coverage scheme. Makes sense that it really disrupted things last year, though it shouldn't this year. Funny thing, in spite of VT's defense we left a TD (on a flat out drop by Corey Smith in the end zone) and a short FG (actually two, but one of the missed FGs was on the drive with the dropped TD pass) off the board. In other words, a couple of what appeared to be unforced errors in that game cost us 10 points, which would have had us up in the final minute instead of needing points and throwing an ugly pick-six.
I still see Barrett as best all around, but I'm sort of warming to the idea of Braxton as starter and Cardale as #2, with the potential of JT being able to red-shirt one more season (if that's possible). He's the one of the three that can most afford to sit idle (for Miller, it would end all hope of the NFL, and Jones had a great 3 games but needs to show more to the NFL). Then, after both Miller and Jones enter the draft, Barrett reclaims his place.
As usual, Ramzy hits it out of the park.
Was thinking the same thing. Johnston was amazing in terms of flipping the field. And he's possibly Tressel's favorite player, for sure.
Thank you for the explanation, and the reminder that what Zeke did this last year, he did with a wrist that was not quite right. Makes an extraordinary season even more impressive. Barrett's injury, while it took him out of the post-season and spring camp, I think was not nearly as bad as it initially looked. Still remember the slo-mo replays of his injury, and thinking that we'd just lost him possibly for 2016.
I think my favorite re-watches were the SEC/Finebaum film room version of the OSU/Bama game (for the complete dejection and defeat that he and his crew were experiencing by the end of the game) and the film room version of the title game, featuring Spielman, Narduzzi, Mike Riley, and others.
Car-Dale Jones. Car. Dale. JONES.
I think that was based on projected recovery time. The coaches have talked about him being cleared for play in August.
I hope Braxton makes a full recovery and has the final season he deserves. But I still fear, based on previous years, that he is the least likely of the three to make it through a full season without missing games due to injury.
Definitely agree with 1 and 2. The win over Alabama reminded me of the "Miracle on Ice" game in the 1980 Olympics in that our defeat of the Soviets was NOT what won us the gold medal, but because of the team we beat, it is the one we remember the most.
Also agree that the win in East Lansing was bigger than the conference championship win over Wisconsin. It was the game that announced to the nation that we were back in the hunt.
And I think the loss to MSU last year lit a fire that led to the blowout of the Badgers.
I saw Hackenberg actually referenced as a Heisman candidate the other day. I don't get why everyone is still so high on this kid. I get that he has potential and was great in high school, and he hasn't had a lot to work with at PSU, but he's like a statue most of the time in the pocket and just hasn't been that good.
Makes sense. Smith can't teach them to be play-makers. But a big part of being a play-maker like Devin Smith is when the fundamentals (route running, technique in getting separation, knowing where you are on the field, etc) have been coached up in such a way that these things happen automatically, it frees up a receiver to be exceptional. Sort of like the way a linebacker starts to dominate when he no longer has to over-think things and can just play.
Kudos to Zach Smith. Prior to 2014, in spite of OSU's success in 2012 and 2013, I'd have thought him to be a bit "on the hot seat" with the less than great play from the receivers that left our offense lopsided in favor of the run game. I realize that with Miller and Hyde in 2013, it was always going to favor the run somewhat, but it wasn't even close to balanced between run plays and pass plays. Also, up until 2014, the pass game seemed to struggle where the lights were brightest (especially against Wisconsin and MSU in 2013). After last season, I think Smith has more than proven himself.
I know that Simon, and Hyde, and Guiton, and others did not "earn" a national championship at OSU, but I think in some real ways they were key contributors to what we saw this past season. Whereas in 2002 it felt like that team came together during the course of that one year, the 2014 team at least for me felt like it came together over the three years under Meyer. To me, we aren't the team that we were in 2014 without John Simon's leadership and example and toughness in 2012. His work ethic and level of play made it possible for Meyer to change the culture, brought the attitude and mentality that became the 2013 team, and then 2014.
Agree 100% with this. 2012 was a couple of years ago, but it really went a long ways in getting the team to the title in 2014.
In Urban we Trust. There will always be a few outlier fools that loose all perspective and demand a personnel change after one INT or a few bad series. But hopefully most will recognize that whoever Meyer goes with, he does so with very good reason.
I think Corey Smith could be the new deep threat He caught or was at least in position to catch a number of deep balls last year. Pretty good speed, needs to hold onto the ball. Then again, I also like Smith's skills as a blocker. His slobber-knocking hits last year along with his work on special teams reminds me of Spencer's ability to make plays away from the ball. McLaurin seems like he could become a deep threat guy, but I think 2015 is a year too early for him to emerge much.
Gotta keep stockpiling. In 2011 and 2012 we had a slew of really great LB prospects. A few transfers and a couple of dismissals later, the position went from being potentially our deepest to our thinnest and the weakest link in the defense. We are stocked at WR right now, but 2012 was only a few years ago and Meyer remembers what the receiving corp looked like when he arrived.
OSU's defense in the final three games was exceptional. Shutting down Gordon, then keeping Cooper's numbers relatively harmless in the Bama game, and then the job they did on Mariota, holding Oregon to probably less than half the points total that even some OSU fans thought we might see, was incredible.
The biggest thing was the turn-around with the linebackers. I was concerned it might take 2 or 3 years to get the LB unit back to being a strength instead of a liability. Fickell, Ash, and Co. turned it around in less than a season.
The notion of Meyer being "impressed" with a QB that loves to go on Twitter and raise eyebrows is ridiculous. Hoping that was sarcasm, but with DJ, I'm never too sure.
I worry about the personal safety of the person or persons who someday decide that the 'Shoe needs to be replaced. It's hard to fathom the anger and disgust and frustration that losing Ohio Stadium would create. Hopefully, not in my lifetime.
I agree. I'd love if we really routed them, I'd enjoy every moment of it after the loss last year. But with the target of being #1, and with them getting to host us there in Blacksburg, in what will either be the first game in front of a hostile crowed (if Cardale starts) or the first game back from a major injury (if Barrett or Miller starts), I am sure we'll get their best and may not look as sharp as we should out of the gate. It's not even so much that they beat us last year. We missed two field goals and had a TD pass that was flat-out dropped in that game. Those two drives alone, we left 10 points off the board. A lot of self-inflicted wounds in last year's game.
I think the outcome is decided by early 4th quarter, but still up in the air in the third quarter.
This young man has done great things at OSU and will get more opportunities this year. Even though the talent pool is crowded, he'll get touches and if he does good things when given the opportunity, he'll get more.
I hope he's working on his skills as a blocker, handling himself without the ball in his hands. I remember that when he showed flashes of awesome in 2013, some wondered why he wasn't seeing the field more often and Herman sort of said that if he wasn't getting the ball he wasn't very useful out there.
With Holmes, Schutt, Washington, Boas, and Lewis already leading the way, I think as these three get worked into that sort of a front, backed by the best linebacker trio we've had in about a decade, I think they'll get their opportunities. For the last couple of years, the DL was charged with plugging holes AND making plays as the linebacking unit got its groove back. With Perry/McMillan/Lee backing them up, this year should be a lot of fun for the D-line.
Marshall stepped up with Wilson's injury last year and looked like a guy who'd been catching passes his entire life. I loved the toughness he brought to the H-Back position, and I think he showed he has the strength to battle on the outside as a receiver. He has a great outlook on it all, and I think it will pay off. In a time when every position is divided into sub-categories (possession receiver, deep-ball receiver, slot receiver, hybrid receiver/back, receiver/returner), he is developing quickly into someone who can do it all. He can run a little wildcat for a team that needs it (as he did a handful of times for us last year), he can return kicks, he is a coverage nightmare in the slot, and will soon be making plays set up on the outside. Not bad for a "converted QB" from the slow, plodding Midwest.
If it's true that Braxton took on the majority of the offensive load in 2012 and 2013 because he didn't have the talent around him to do otherwise, then I'm beyond excited to see what he does with this offense. What I saw with JT in 2014 was, in my opinion, Urban Meyer's offense fully clicking for the first time. Maybe it was because Philly Brown and Spencer and Fields and Devin Smith just weren't the players that we needed them to be in 2013 and 2014. Certainly looked that way on the field, as they disappeared in 2013 when we needed them most.
I think if Miller's shoulder and passing skills are as good as they've ever been, he will become the front-runner. I love JT's command of the whole offense and overall he has impressed me as a complete QB the most of the three of them. But I know that he did this with a very different roster than what Braxton had to work with in his starts, and I can't deny that while JT is a very good dual-threat QB, Braxton at 100% really could make this offense unstoppable. If it's true that the other weapons on our offense will make it impossible for defenses to contain Braxton's athleticism (as Wisconsin, Michigan, and MSU did in late 2013), then we may be on the verge of witnessing historic yards and points in 2015 from Braxton Miller and company. We'll know in the fall.