Stats are for nerds, not losers. I like Pat Fitzgerald and always have...but if you have seen his pressers lately, the man is obviously in the middle of a mid-life crisis/breakdown right now. I will give him a ton of credit though...for all of the future doctors and CEO's on his squad, they have always held their own for the most part. You expect graduations there, not championship caliber football.
It shouldn't be too surprising...Three Big Ten defenses finished in the top 7 after the 2013 season in total defense (Sparty #2, Iowa #6, Wisconsin #7) and until the last 3 games of the season half of the Big Ten had defenses ranked in the top 30. When it comes to the Buckeyes, you probably are looking at a team that will have no shot at being in the top 5 of this total defense statistic. The offense normally scores and scores fast, Ohio State doesn't exactly have a ball control offense, they score, score often, and quickly. This leads to more offensive chances for opponents and more total plays for offenses.
The only stat that counts is the stat on the scoreboard, but total defense usually is a big stat to look at. After last years numbers were tallied, Florida was the only team with a top 20 stat in total defense with a losing record and the average wins of the top 20 was 9.4 wins on the season.
Bye weeks are only good REALLY for healing. This Buckeye squad has no significant healing to do, though. In my way of looking at things, the bye week couldn't have come at a worse time, but I still like it because getting stopped in the red zone against a dominated team like Maryland last week shows me some "playbook altering" needs to be done. I think a bye week is perfect for that and have no fear of Rutgers. I see it as a wash that can only help the squad, even if they come out a little flat against the Scarlet Knights...After that, it is right back to business the entire way.
Teams sometimes come out flat early following bye weeks. That fits right into Ohio State's hands. Hopefully that means the Bucks can shock the crowd and start up 14-0 or better....
I PROMISE to keep this short. While I agree with you, I'm not upset over Miller's play, but need to address something about the loss of Spence, and it directly effects the Buckeye's play against the pass. In Ohio State's defense, the weak side DE (7-technique, Viper, or Leo) is a position that is specifically tailored to that player backing up into pass defense. Sure, the position is something that we think of as the best pass rusher and it is. However, on some sets, the "Leo" as I call it, drops back into coverage, keeps his eyes on the QB, and tries like hell to get his hands on the ball, adding strength to the LB's on crossing and slant routes.
This is something we have not seen for a while. Spence, being quick and fast like a LB is a prototypical Leo. Unfortunately, he is the only true Leo (the new defensive staff calls the position a Viper) on the team. I do agree with you about your statement, but Leo's of Buckeye past have often caused headaches for opposing QB's even when they haven't rushed the passer. Even Cam Heyward was great at pass protection. Dropping back when the opposing QB doesn't recognize it can lead into batted balls or more importantly, tipped balls, which turn into INT's. This team is missing the play of a true Leo, and it shows in box scores.
That was my count, too. Sure it gives them time to prepare, but the lull in turf/blood wars seems to make teams come out flat, and coming out strong and fast is Ohio State's strength. For the Buckeyes, staying healthy should be at more of a premium. That means less QB runs, splitting time more at RB, and rotating skill players and the defense as well. The rotation is something the coaching staff has been doing at will. The running game is the thing that worries me. Elliott getting 27 carries against Cincy, Barrett having 70+ carries on the season, etc....those things need to be curbed a bit and the Buckeyes should be able to stay healthier. Ultimately, besides the game against Sparty, 2nd stringers COULD win those games by themselves. Of course, upsets happen, but Ohio State should be heavy favorites in every game (even the night game in Happy Valley because State College will lose in the Big House) except in the night game against East Lansing over the rest of the schedule.
I agree totally. Although the stretch run will be long and without a bye week to get ready for a "Wisconsin or Sparty, etc.", it seems that weeks without playing have dulled the Buckeye's strengths in history. When you look at the LONG stretches before bowl games, and the Bucks having a sub .500 record in bowl games, it seems as this team, for some odd reason comes out flat without playing. It seems that way for the most part, no matter who the coaches are or the team is. Luckily, the Bucks will have Rutgers before the stretch run starts.
Also...seeing as the Buckeyes turned the ball over on downs and left points on the board against Maryland (that game is being called a blowout, but the Bucks easily could have had 66+ points instead of just 52), I think that a week off my be just what the doctor ordered.
Last, the OL has played great but have opened large holes only for Elliott. Barrett has gotten his yards on instinct. Samuel is not a RB, he can't break tackles, and runs only outside, and on all but one of Smith's few carries on the season, he has had to fight for every yard he has gotten. The one thing missing from the offense this season is a long TD run. It will come. My money is on Smith doing it...if he could consistently get a few more carries. Maybe this break is something Smith can use to garner more trust within the offense?
....or taking LSD and administering it to G.I. Joe...
I've been no angel. I had my "acid trip days"...If I had military training, I'd have volunteered to be "The Manchurian Candidate" to take down TTUN. Thank God that hiring Hoke was easier, though. My brain is mush now at 41 years old. Those of you that have read my comments know that last statement as a fact.
I spoke my mind as if the thread was serious, but have thought it was a joke from the beginning. I still don't understand the comments about wins and losses being "just statistics". If Urban Meyer didn't have his superior record and came to Ohio State 3 games under .500 in his career, Buckeye Nation wouldn't have welcomed him like they did....even if he is from Ohio. Hoke was thought of as a savior by the M*ch*gan fans from day one, though. One thing about Buckeye Nation is that we have NEVER settled for mediocrity. Hiring a head coach with a losing record over an 8 year span is settling for mediocrity......
Wow...obviously you are joking and everyone loves it, or you really think that a coach's record shows little about how good of a coach he is. I thought Hoke was an awful pick for M*ch*gan from day one...the reason, of course, is "just a statistic". Before Hoke became the head coach in AA he had coached 8 seasons with an overall record of (47-50). Since M*ch*gan is the winningest CFB team in history, hiring a coach with an overall losing record in his career just seems like a dumb move.
Remember too, that Hoke has only had one good season in AA and that was in year one with RichRod's players. You combine that with the good season that RichRod is having now, and I believe hiring Hoke was a mistake, but not as big of a mistake as firing RichRod in the first place.
Last, the weakening of M*ch*gan has hurt and will continue to hurt Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten conference. Of course we love to see TTUN lose, but having them be a Big Ten doormat is bad as it is the one game of the season that the Buckeyes "normally" get credit for winning even if TTUN is mediocre. Now that they are possibly in the bottom 4 of the Big Ten, Ohio State will have to beat them by 50 to make a good impression in the last week of the regular season.
Being a stat nerd, I thought the presentation was awesome even with Maryland's pie chart and the "flipped" colors. I always go to a couple different sites for box scores, and this tells most of the story without the headache of going to ESP... for the numbers. That SEC loving place along with Paul Finebaum should be banned from CFB coverage and analyzing. Besides, Mr. Matt's graphs and color coded charts are much better than just reading numbers. Nice work! Go Bucks!
You are impressed because this is the best receiving corps in a long time and Barrett is using them all.
Thank you for being the only person here besides me noticing that the receiving corps is finally turning into a weapon. Just the one stat of Barrett having two 300+ yard passing games compared to Miller's ZERO 300 yard passing games shows a ton of growth in the receiving game. This may be the best overall receiving corps in MANY years and contrary to popular belief, Devin Smith and his average yards per catch is huge. I guess people forgot about 2011 when the Bucks' leading receiver on the year had just 14 catches.
If you read what his "frustration" is, you read just that he wants the ball and that there are so many different options for Barrett that he realizes that is going to make him get the ball less. He isn't pouting, is doing what is best for the team, and still averaging close to 30 yards per catch. Too much is being made out of this and without Smith, there would be MUCH less of a deep threat. He isn't pouting. This is just another example of Buckeye Nation talking garbage and wanting to see Urban Meyer's high profile recruits play above seniors. Smith is a team player and even said that Barrett's great play is why he is getting less throws. He is a positive contributor, the best vertical threat, and without him, the receiving corps would be weakened.
ALL RECEIVERS WANT THE BALL...he isn't pouting and he is continuing to scorch defenses. This is all a non-story blown out of proportion by the 11W staff (Sorry guys). When I read the article from Cleveland.com, I read about a receiver that wants the ball, and since he is averaging 28.45 yards per catch, who is anyone to say he shouldn't get it thrown his way? You should WANT receivers averaging almost 30 yards a catch to want the ball.
You really believe that it wouldn't hurt the Buckeye receiving corps to replace him? Wow...that is much worse than this non-story said, and sort of dumb as well. If you were senior Devin Smith averaging close to 30 yards a catch, you may be upset that you had only 11 catches as well. Did I say that he wasn't pouting?
He also plays HIS recruits over more experienced seniors any chance he gets. Rotating players is the key to the Bucks' success. I have no problem with freshmen playing if they are truly the better player. The problem I have with it though is here. It seems that everyone wants to see these high profile freshmen playing, but experience plays a factor. Meyer did NOT win his 2 national titles at Florida by starting his younger, less experienced players. I've seen all of McMillan's plays at least 3 times this season as I watch all games 3 times. McMillan is every bit as good as Grant, but is sometimes in no man's land, just like when he happened to be in the right spot for the pick six against Maryland. It took Grant until his senior year to start playing sound defense, but he is finally doing it. McMillan is at least Grant's equal, but he needs experience and health as a true freshman.
I like the rotation and McMillan to start later in the season.
I get what you are saying because it is true, but I just don't like it. The SEC may still be the best conference but they had two games yesterday where the 2 Mississippi schools pulled off upsets as # 3 lost to #11 and #6 lost to #12....now the previously 11th and 12th ranked Mississippi schools are tied for 3rd, former #3 Alabama dropped to #7, and former #6 Texas A&M dropped to #14. Does that really mean that MSU should jump to #3? Does Ole Miss deserve to be at #3 also? You put all of that together and the two upsets made the SEC have a stranglehold on the top 7 spots. When the top SEC schools play each other and the weaker ranked team wins, they jump too many spots and the higher ranked losing school doesn't drop far enough.
It has been happening like this for years now. When 2 ranked Big Ten schools meet, the overall outcome is a weakening in the polls of the Big Ten. When 2 ranked SEC schools meet the outcome is a strengthening of the SEC as a whole. If Ohio State was ranked 6th and was dominated like A&M was, they would have dropped farther than 8 spots to #14. Ohio State lost 4 spots in their weak 7 point win over Cal in 2012, and in that same season Florida had back to back home games against a mediocre Missouri team followed by a game against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Gators won both home games by just 7 points each...the result? The Gators gained a spot from #8 to #7....
The SEC may be the best conference, but upsets happen every week. Just because #3 and #6 lose to #11 and #12, does not mean that #11 and #12 should jump all the way to #3 for their upset wins. When SEC teams play each other a team loses but the SEC's rankings as a conference improve...and that makes no sense. At that kind of rate there will be 6 SEC schools ranked in the top 10 at season's end...that is what happened in 2012 anyway...Ohio State was the only unbeaten school and finished 3rd.
Maybe we are watching 2 different teams play?? The Buckeye receiving corps that I am watching is a corps that is having many different players catch passes in each game and are dropping less passes since Braxton Miller became the starter at QB. Devin Smith is the senior and Thomas has more catches but how much more dynamic can you ask a player averaging 28.45 yards per catch to be? Thomas may be better at breaking tackles...if he is, that is great because that is the weakness of the receiving corps and H-backs on this team. The best stiff arm belongs to QB, JT Barrett.
Sorry, but I disagree with your comment almost completely. If you are my age or older you know that you are seeing a passing attack unlike any passing attack the Buckeyes have had maybe EVER. Hayes would never throw the ball, Cooper and Tressel played more conservatively with power run games, and Miller is on pace to break a lot of Buckeye passing records and has never thrown for 300 yards in a game. Barrett and co. have two 300+ yard passing games already, Thomas is the #1 target, Smith is the deep threat averaging close to 30 yards per catch, and the younger guys are coming around great and have what seems to be great futures.
Buckeye Nation is a tough crowd. There are reasons that Barrett is being recognized as Big Ten and National Freshman of the week regularly...one of those reasons is that this Buckeye receiving corps is playing much better than over 90% of the Buckeye receiving corps in the school's history. Eight different Buckeyes have caught TD's this season and 12 different Bucks have caught a pass. Leadership is coming from somewhere...
I always thought the drops were "on Miller" for throwing ducks, but Miller throws a more catchable ball than he is given credit for. With Barrett though, drops are almost totally inexcusable. Barrett doesn't have a strong arm but he makes up for it by throwing a tight spiral because of great mechanics. I second the "suck it up, son" advice. However, I now blame the too cool "Block O Gloves" worn by the receivers. I mean, it could have nothing to do with Devin Smith not having good hands, right?
100% correct and +1... Ohio State really needs to not only win, but pour it on. I'm not saying at all that a 52-24 win isn't impressive, I just think that Meyer might want to get with Herman on 4th and goal plays. Every point WILL count. In the end, will "the committee" say "Hmmm...the Buckeyes should have won 66-24 and they didn't. A playoff team would have put the ball in the end zone both times."?
Ohio State is the most hated and possibly the most underrated team right now. I know this for sure...if Ohio State was ranked 25th and beat #4 ranked Oklahoma by a 37-33 score, they never would have jumped all the way from #25 to #9 like TCU did. NOBODY wants the Buckeyes in the playoff and the only way to get in is to embarrass every team on the rest of the schedule, which should be enough...but I don't think that will even get them in. Why? The SEC went into the week with 3 teams ranked in the top 10 according to the AP poll. After 2 of those teams lost, they now have 3 teams ranked in the top 3 (Ole Miss and Mississippi State are tied at #3) and a total of 4 in the top 7. The SEC dominates the polls and when the higher ranked teams get upset, they dominate the polls even more. The "committee" is going to make damn sure that 2 SEC teams make the playoff.
I loved the game for the most part. Looking long term though (as in playoff possibilities), it would have been nice o have been able to put those 2 extra TD's in the end zone when the Bucks turned the ball over on downs. Those extra 14 points would have turned an impressive win into an incredible blowout which "the committee" may have thought of as impressive if the Buckeyes can run the table. Sure, 52-24 is an excellent road win against a decent squad...but a 66-24 win would have erased almost all doubts about where the Buckeyes should be ranked right now as only Buckeye Nation believes that this team is underrated and "the committee" thinks even less of them in my opinion.
I'm old, but do know of the Wu Tang Clan...I just never heard anyone call him the chef or saw it here, either. Thank you...As I said in a different comment, I call my girlfriend "Ghostface Killah". I'm a metalhead, but still love the Wu Tang Clan.....
Related: For over 10 years we have called my girlfriend "Ghostface Killah". No real reason, I just called her that once in front of a bunch of people (she is 100% redneck so she didn't know what the hell I was saying) and it stuck. She actually answers to "Ghostface". Reminds me of that episode of Chappelle's Show with the racial draft and the Asians drafted the Wu-Tang Clan. "Konnichiwa, Motha****as".
I certainly understand why. He has been impressive. Personally, I like Grant and McMillan splitting time. Why? I know that Grant has been a 5 star bust in his first 3 seasons, but after the first 2 games, the Buckeyes' first 2 leading tacklers were (finally) not from the secondary and Grant was one of them. After 2 games, Grant was 1st or 2nd in most major defensive stats for the Bucks. McMillan definitely has played well enough to earn more playing time and has gotten it. Overall though, I just like to have seniors play over true freshmen, especially when they are playing well. McMillan will end up starting before the season's end, in my opinion. I watch every Buckeye game 3 times (minimum)....McMillan is every bit as good as Grant except for the experience department. +1...
"The chef"??? Help an old guy out and tell me how he became known as "The Chef"?
I didn't give a per team point prediction but guessed the Bucks would win by 27. I don't know anything about "the premium lounge" though. Nice prediction. If the Buckeyes offense would have played just a bit better and the German mule hadn't missed his first try, the Bucks might have finished with 17 more points...4th and goal from 3 or less and using battering rams like Elliott and Smith seem to be not in Meyer and Herman's playbook and that makes me think about Hyde not getting the ball in a certain situation of 2013. The spread option can still be a power run game, but I truly believe that Meyer simply doesn't like to run he ball into the end zone...not between he tackles, anyway.
I'm not being greedy but I mentioned that getting 600 yards per game and running the score up may be the Buckeyes' only shot at making the playoffs...The Bucks scored 52 but 2 bad play calls made them score 52 instead of 66, in my opinion. In the end, being on the road, being 8 point favorites, and winning 66-24 would have possibly impressed the so-called "committee"...and I fear that winning 52-24 won't.