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Member since 04 January 2013 | Blog


  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2003 National Championship game with OSU beating Miami

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Comment 04 Oct 2015

The good news is that at this time last season, we were 4 - 1 and not 5 - 0 .......... the difference from last season to this season is that, offensively, we are not demonstrating progress.  The running game started to click in the second half, despite Indiana selling out with 8 - 9 men in the box, so that's a positive (considering we had a grand total of 14 yards rushing in the first half (and Zeke finishes with a career-high 274 yards, in basically half a game) ..... Turnovers shouldn't make anyone nervous, since our final two games last season saw us turn the ball over just as often (5 turnovers in the NC game alone and we still put the boots to the Ducks).  However, our offense isn't the 47 point per game machine right now, so the turnover margin may eventually bite us on the ass.

Something that Urban said in his post-game presser was very telling.  When asked about Braxton Miller's touches, he lamented on how bad he felt that they didn't get him the ball more.  That's not what I want to hear from any coach - trying to deliberately put the ball in the hands of a particular player.  The simple rule in football is take what the defense gives you and ride it until they stop you.  If Braxton isn't open, then don't try to force a throw into tight coverage just so Braxton can get his touches.  I've found that Cardale has tried to do this in previous games and the ball has been easily defended or picked off.

Anyway, OSU is 5 - 0, will likely still be a top 5 team, but will not be the number 1 team today.  That's okay, since I think the crown of being NC and ranked number 1 has been weighing down the Buckeyes this season.  It's always better to fly under the radar and sneak up on teams, like last year.  Go Bucks !!

Comment 03 Oct 2015

I'm not surprised that we've only rushed for 14 yards in the first half, since Indiana loaded the box and even corners were making tackles in the backfield.  What I am seeing is a QB who's consistency was a question last season (which is why he was 3rd on the depth chart) and one who struggled for consistency during training camp (as mentioned during that 3 episode training camp documentary on BTN) ....

Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for Cardale like mad, but he seems VERY hesitant in the pocket, has trouble making decisions, is throwing late to open receivers as a result, throws into multiple coverage when others are open and looks like he's standing in quicksand when it's time to leave the pocket.  I am finding it very difficult, no, impossible to believe that J.T. Barrett is not a better fit for this offense right now. 

I hope that we figure things out, but by game 5 of the season, we should be on the improvement curve and we seem to either stalled, or heading in the other direction.  Every fan better stock up on liquor, because this team is going to be causing most to hit the bottle hard before the season is done.

However, if we don't make the adjustment soon, we will lose to both teams up north and if that happens, best stay clear of tall buildings .......

Comment 02 Oct 2015

Well, I'll give you props for digging up the two quotes, but I don't see them as really refuting Cardale's lack of touch on the deep balls.

Urban's quote, when translated, simply implies that Cardale is a tall dude that can throw over the defensive line because his 6' 5" frame allows for the ball to be released at a much higher point than either J.T. or Braxton could.  It doesn't really address the accuracy of Cardale's deep passes.

Devin Smith's quote is simply a teammate being a good teammate.  I doubt he would have come out and said something like, "Cardale makes the receivers work really hard for every deep ball".  We can't over-state the importance of Smith's high jumping background, when talking about some of the key catches he made down the stretch last season.  As the originator of this post very accurately indicated, virtually every deep ball launched (save one) was either under-thrown, or up for grabs and Smith made the play.

As the poster also correctly observed, Jones is an arm-thrower.  Because of his arm strength, many of his passes are thrown without the transfer of his weight from back foot to front foot.  Seldom does he "lean" into a throw.  There's no question that Cardale has a much stronger arm than J.T. on the deep pass (J.T.'s ball seems to just float out there and hang), but he'll be more effective on the deeper routes when he starts to step into his throw.

The good news is that Cardale's throwing motion is certainly something that can be fixed.  You can't "teach" arm strength, but you certainly address the mechanics behind that arm.  As the season progresses, I firmly believe that we'll see a much better touch on the deep ball by Cardale.

Props to the original poster of the article for the observations ......

Comment 28 Sep 2015

Cardale threw to a good number of receivers, but also tried to force the ball to Braxton on a couple of occasions when he was clearly covered.  I'm sure everyone on the offensive side of the ball wants Braxton to get as many touches as possible, but it's only effective when he's open.  As for the Wildcat, well, until Braxton is able to throw the ball, I'd be leaving that play in the book, because after the VT game, it no longer became effective.

Comment 28 Sep 2015

Suggest you take another look at the game .... the up tempo was run only part of the time (primarily at the beginning) - no where near as often as it was run last year and our number of offensive plays has dropped from our average last season.  Not as many plays = not as many touches for Zeke. 

Comment 28 Sep 2015

There are a couple of reasons that Zeke isn't getting the ball as often this season (and it has nothing to do with "saving him" for the really important games).

First - Urban has a ton of skilled athletes all wanting their hands on the ball.  Problem - There's only one ball.  As you watch the games, you'll notice, in particular, that there is a decided effort to get the ball into Braxton's hands by Cardale - even when he's blanket-covered.  This is also one of the reasons why Cardale has not been the Cardale of the final three games of last season - he's trying to force the ball into places that are not available.  So many playmakers and only one ball ... Zeke is having to stand in line to get a turn ...

Secondly, because our offense has gone away from the J.T. Barrett / Zeke Elliott backfield and their methodical long drives down the field, the number of offensive plays we've been able to run, early this season, has diminished.  We've gotten away from the hurry up and slowed down the tempo of our game, despite the fact that we have always shown to be far more effective as an offensive unit when we go up-tempo.  More offensive plays = more potential touches for Zeke = more potential big runs by Zeke ... You can argue with me, but not with the math !!!

J.T. was known as the "Distributor" and as such, used every weapon in the cupboard - right now, we have so many weapons that it's tough to keep everybody happy ......

Comment 27 Sep 2015

They're not going to the playoffs, but are a much improved team over last year, especially defensively.  They will beat Maryland and that's okay, since that will keep them ranked and hopefully they'll stay ranked until we beat them at The Big House ... Simple system + solid execution and the results are there (only lost to Utah by 7 points, the same Utes that dropped 62 points on Oregon) ..... Should be a dandy when the Bucks play them .....

Comment 27 Sep 2015
  1. A step forward by Cardale, although he did underthrow some deep balls and tried to force a couple of throws to Braxton when they really weren't there.  His under 60% completion rate can be chalked up for the throws he purposely threw out of bounds when there was no one open and no opportunity to run.
  2. Samuel deserves the touches he's getting and maybe even more.  Braxton can be more explosive in the open field, but he's really not done too much in the last couple of games out of the Wildcat formation.
  3. Slobs are starting to move the pile and were certainly effective on their pulls.  A step forward by the unit from the last couple of games (teams are loading the box to stop Zeke).
  4. Watch the game - the space eaters made some adjustments at the half and were stuffing the inside run much better, although Raekwon was having trouble getting off his block and getting to the runner on more than a few occasions.
  5. Our punter is a luxury and has consistently put us in great field position, regardless of whether the offense falters or not .....

All in all, I see improvement from the 2nd game of the season.  Now that we're done with the out of conference schedule, let's see if we can ramp it up a notch for the Big Ten schedule ....

Comment 27 Sep 2015

Whoa - dial down the hangover and cue the coffee ..... 4 - 0 is certainly better than we were sitting last season at this time, but the only games that are of interest to me are the ones against the two teams up north .... The "experts" have predicted us to be undefeated going into the Nov. 21st meeting with the Spartans, so nothing surprising right now.  The concern by both fans and the OSU coaching staff is the level of consistency from our offense.  We are not playing 9 units strong right now - maybe only 6 units ......

One of things that has been consistent, is the solid adjustments which the staff has been making during the halftime in each of our games.  We have been much better in the second half and that is a credit to our staff ..........

But, please, don't get all jacked up about being 4 - 0 at this stage of the season - we were supposed to be 4 - 0 .....

Comment 27 Sep 2015

I hear you ... still fighting off bourbon blues myself .... 

Comment 27 Sep 2015

Let me help you, Eaglebucks - I meant to say The Game will be played in Ann Arbor, so congrats - you got me there .... after that, I'm not sure you know what you're talking about, but you seem very cranky on a Sunday morning ??

Comment 27 Sep 2015

Thanks, Alum - my bad ..... going to make the job even more challenging ....

Comment 27 Sep 2015

The problem is that right now, Thomas is the only TRUE receiver out there.  Braxton - recruited as a QB, Marshall - former QB / Athlete, Samuel - Athlete, Campbell - Athlete, Wilson - Athlete...... All of the true receivers recruited - Dixon, Green, Clark, McLaurin, etc .... are sitting on the bench.  I know that Urban loves to recruit as many skill players as possible and get these people the ball in their hands in space, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that Thomas is our most effective receiver - because that's where he played in HS.

I think we threw one pass to our TE today (or was that last week) ???

While we haven't looked like a Number 1 team during the past 3 games, there are plenty of positives to take out of these games.  I think we've seen two outstanding QB's during the past two weeks (might be two of the best we'll see all season) and held both well under their season averages.

Time is on our side - we shall get better .....

Comment 27 Sep 2015

Sorry, folks, but there really isn't a whole lot of mystery regarding some of the "hanging" throws Cardale was making today (and in other games this season).  His deep ball to Devin Smith is currently missing an important ingredient - Devin Smith.  The former high jumper, turned receiver, is not on the roster and is not down field taking balls laid up there by Jones.  If you go back and check on the 4TD passes he threw in the Big Ten final game, you'll notice that 3 of those TD's to Devin were jump balls and Smith was better than the DB's covering him. 

While Cardale has a cannon for an arm, he still has a ways to go with both his touch and timing.  The good news is that he'll have the better part of the schedule to continue to improve.

We really can't over-estimate the loss of Devin Smith to this offense.  As Coach Meyer indicated, "The QB's are products of the people around them" ........ A truer statement has never been made .....

Comment 25 Sep 2015

Any chance Ric Flair does the pre-game speech before the MSU game !!!  No one promoted better than the Nature Boy, but no one entered the ring with more intensity than The Ultimate Warrior (R.I.P.) ..... Can't beat the classics .....

Comment 24 Sep 2015

"The QB play is a direct result of the players surrounding him" - as per Urban Meyer .... I'm happy to support both Cardale or J.T. (hell, I'll support a roll of tape, if it's wearing Scarlet & Grey) ....

We are looking at two different QB's, with completely different skill sets.  Cardale brings a big arm to the table, capable of dialing up the long distance ball to the end zone from anywhere on the field.  He also is an imposing runner (who would be stupid enough to stand in front of a mountain that's running at full speed straight at you ??).  J.T. is a distributor, without the cannon, but with much quicker feet and a better sense of when to leave the pocket and run.

However, certain things have become very evident to me regarding the play of our QB's this season.  While Cardale hit some beautiful  "bombs" during his three-game title run.  The majority were to Devin Smith, who made outstanding catches on all of them (truth be told, there was really only two perfectly thrown balls to Smith (one against Wisconsin - a beauty and one against Oregon, but not for a TD).  The others were the result of Devin Smith making some outstanding catches and taking the ball away from a defender.  Devin Smith isn't here this year and without that legitimate home run hitter for Cardale to unleash that 12 gauge to, Cardale is missing one of those players which made him such a viable "product". 

I'm also noticing that Cardale is feeling the pressure of the impending "hook" if he doesn't perform.  That hook never existed during the three game title run and he played with reckless abandon during that stretch.  Now, I'm seeing someone who isn't focused on the snap of the ball, as he's looking at the defenses.  While the snaps that have been mishandled have been a little off target, they have all been within his wheelhouse and should have been caught.  Even his ball handling (remember Zeke's fumble where Jones put the ball on Zeke's hip), has been more awkward since last season.  Again, I believe that Cardale is looking over his shoulder on every snap and as such, is not allowing his natural talents to show, like he did during those three games last season.

I still believe that J.T. is the better of the two QB's for this team right now - not because he's a better QB, but because of the change in some of the key people that now surround the QB.  Devin Smith's departure has somewhat crippled Cardale's big play (and big arm) capabilities.  However, J.T. has always been a QB that spreads the ball around, which is why he's so popular with the receiving corps.  When a team doesn't have that home run threat, then you need a QB who can nickel and dime an opponent all the way down the field.  That's where J.T.'s skill set works out better for this offense.  

Since our line has not been playing up to "all world" status thus far, having a more mobile QB, that can get out of trouble with his feet is important.  J.T. has a better set of wheels than Cardale. 

So, right now, J.T. is the better option at QB ..... But, then again, I'm not Urban Meyer (although we share the same birthday) and I'll rabidly support whoever is taking snaps for the Buckeyes (including a roll of tape) ...... JMHO 

Comment 23 Sep 2015

I don't know .... I see it as a kid who blocked another student athlete from playing for the Bruins, because he took a scholarship from them, forcing that athlete to select another school, even though UCLA was their dream school.

Please, if you can drive a car, or join the army when you're 18 (in Quebec you can also legally drink), then you're old enough to be held accountable for your decisions.  Clarke knew the rules going in and I get the impression he was looking to find the "perfect" situation for himself (not a bad idea).  But, situations are what you make them and I think that this is a kid who will always be looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence and never be satisfied with what life serves him.

Sorry, no sympathy for the young man - just the hope that he chalks this up as an important lesson in life and wherever he ends up, he makes the best of it.  Now, since he's not going to be a Buckeye, ever, let's just move along .....

Comment 22 Sep 2015

Again, I just don't see it .... these are receivers and should be very comfortable handling and catching a football (Dixon had an outstanding Fall camp, catching everything thrown to him).  Samuel, I get, but not Ball (again, no slight on his ability or effort, but I believe that guys like Clark, Dixon and McLaurin bring far more game-breaking ability and speed to the table) .... Ah well, in Urban we trust !!

Comment 22 Sep 2015

Please don't try to tell me that Dixon, or Green, or McLaurin, or Clark, or Cory Smith, or Wilson would not be a better option to return punts than Warren Ball ..... While Warren works really hard and is a complete team player, he has no where near the breakaway speed of any of the players I just listed .... Sorry, but I think those WR's deserve the opportunity to handle the kick off return duties .... JMHO

Comment 20 Sep 2015

Not a fan of booing the home team, but let's look at it in a different way - who says they were booing the performance of the players ??  Cardale has had back-to-back sub-par performances and the hope from the fans was this past week of practice would iron out some of those glitches.  It didn't and some fans were trying to find a way to let the coaches know that they need to make a change, so booing is one of the ways they feel they can get the coach's attention .....

On the other hand, Jones did not look comfortable yesterday (even Zeke's fumble was a result of Cardale putting the ball on his hip instead of in his arms.  Zeke never really had control when he got hit.  There 's just something off with Cardale's performances and I think he's maybe over-thinking stuff out on the field.  He's certainly not playing with confidence.

On the other hand .... they'll get it figured out and move forward ...

Comment 20 Sep 2015

Pretty sure that Jackson won't be making his decision on Tuesday, based on a single visit and win by the Dawgs.  If he can be persuaded that easily in one visit .... well, it was never meant to be ....

Comment 20 Sep 2015

Not a bad list, but TCU doesn't belong in the top 5, since their body of work is no where near as good as Ole MIss.  TCU just squeaked by a Gopher team that hung on to win 10 - 7 over Kent State.  It's tough not to supplant MSU over OSU right now, but as long as the OSU defense is playing some of its best football, I'll keep them in front of MSU.

Comment 20 Sep 2015

Absolutely agree - they struggled against a Gopher team that barely squeaked out a win yesterday.