Maybe Bielema has a vote?
How much do you all think the O line middle issues were a product of VT scheme and talent at that spot? VT really wanted to dominate the middle. We really like to run inside so it kind of played to their strength when we did, but even on pass plays having that many bodies coming up close has to cause problems for any good O line sometimes. It was strange to see again so many defenders bunched up so close in, don't see that much from other teams.
Agree that Brax taking snaps will happen, and for reasons beyond surprise. VT's weakness has long been mobile QBs, so wouldn't be surprised to see at least 5 Brax wildcat plays. Especially since they can't be sure he'll be running either.
As impressive a coaching job and team improvement job as you'll ever see. Can't say this was a lucky ride, indeed its most impressive feature was overcoming bad luck. Can anyone think of a more impressive 3 game stretch in college football history by any team than what we just saw, even if we'd hadn't lost any QBs? That team became one of the greatest of all time. Enjoy it for the historic season that it was, it really is unlikely to be repeated soon.
Interesting that same thing just happened at Texas. Signed good WR recruits and WR coach took new job 2 days after signing day. What is different is that the TX recruits are pissed, saying they were assured he would be staying. Sounds like Weber is justifiably disappointed, but adjusting to it and moving on. Good for him. Happens everywhere I guess, but doesn't appear he was misled, though looks like that is not uncommon.
I've wondered this also - what was the Big 10's total bowl take and split for each school? Did we make everyone more money for being in 2 bowls?
Along these lines, interesting follow-up to this nice article might be to speculate about players most likely to break out next year, particularly those filling holes of departing seniors. Wondering what the new landscape will be now, and what the buzz has been from practices about guys expected to shine in future, including redshirts from this year. Thanks
Good question. What, after all, did the NCAA even do to UNC or has that not reached penalty phase? What was uncovered was pretty stunning, about as sanction worthy as I would think violations of the NCAA sprit can get. It wasn't slimy outside boosters, but a significant part of the university itself doing the dirty deeds.
Remember the Indiana game in Urban's first season? Or perhaps even the end of the first half of this game? Urban doesn't. We were up several scores at IU, tried to salt it away, but they hustled and got the ball to fast guys in space and just like that they were dangerously close to recovering an onside kick down only 6. End of first half of NC game safe enough to take a knee, but Oregon thought they could score with even a few seconds left.
Urban is a great coach because he remembers these kinds of things, and he apparently had much more respect for Oregon than Oregon fans or sportswriters do.
Agree it is more about different styles. Still, without criticizing Brax,it is worth wondering why he isn't on the headphones or even wearing a jersey. Maybe I missed him doing that this year, or perhaps redshirt players have to refrain. But makes you wonder.
Agree, film Room should sounds awesome. I'm a little surprised Saban and Fisher aren't in the mix somewhere. Also heard Harbaugh is to appear somewhere. Looks like Film Room cast is set but I'd love to hear Speils and Harbaugh talk x's and o's during a game.
Win out and there is no way we're not in it. No one will want to see an SEC rematch with us sitting on the outside, and TCU won't have the opportunity to look as impressive if we finish the job. I'm far more confident of that than of us actually winning out, I think Wiscy will give us a real game. If the current top 6 win out, an Alabama, FSU, Oregon, OSU final four would be the obviously great playoff that everyone wants.
Starting to wonder if this is part of Pelini's problem. Teams take on the personality of their coaches. Both Kelly and Pelini can go really apeshit when things foul up. Have wondered if that causes their players to lose focus and confidence. Urban can get mad, but conveys an attitude of keep your cool - bad things will happen, learn from it, fix it, and go win the next play. Maybe reading too much into it, but seems Urban and Tress were very good at that.
Agreed, QB keep is our well-known panic call, and it often works - especially with Brax - but really exposes QBs to hits. Called QB draws are most effective when there is doubt about where ball is going. But if they know our QB is keeping, less so. Those last 3 runs of the first half seemed kind of pointless and dangerous. Went more wildcat and Cardale in 2nd half maybe due to JT's knee, but probably good idea regardless.
Very good performance, especially since I thought PSU's pass protection on the whole was not bad (except for the last play of course). They picked up various blitzes and generally gave Hack time to throw, but he rarely could find anyone open (even their TD was covered). Several of the sacks and much of the pressure he felt throughout came from great coverage. Against a QB who can really pass, that's a great development.
I like our defense much more this year and they had trouble with it last year. On the other hand, while our O may be "as good" this year it is different and it struck me PSU was particularly flustered by Brax. With supposedly better D this year, will be interesting to see how our more conventional offense does. If PSU's D is good as advertised, will be good for our O to tough through some adversity prior to MSU game. Even so, I do think our hurry-up and their lack of depth will end this by 3rd Q at worst.
Urban has been calling out the 2nd string DL for that drop-off. Is it a matter of young guys not "getting it" yet, less than stellar effort, or a talent/skill problem with this group?
thanks, great stuff as always.
I can only guess Urban took issue with the passes that were thrown late/behind. Those are dangerous, but can't figure what else he didn't like about JT's game. Also, can someone help with the meaning of the "checkers" comment? thanks
This stuff was generally known when I was in school. That was a long time ago, when no one cared much about frat hazing. Frankly I'd assumed it had been cleaned up by now. At best its embarrassingly infantile (yeah, I know, college kids) but at worst genuine harassment that grown-ups in charge should be stopping. Good thing that it finally is getting cleaned up.
I do wonder why now, though, as it was never really a secret and I can't imagine this is the first parent ever to complain. Some are suggesting the new president, or new regs. Perhaps, but strikes me its due to the stunning worldwide popularity the band achieved the past few years. The band is way more than our own OSU thing now. Its really become an important part of the University's public image.
Great points, especially about what has made college football truly special, particularly up north and at OSU. Its not just lineage of great football, but the now almost old-world traditions and how they reinforce emotional ties to our schools and states. These are kind of getting lost as the programs seem increasingly tempted to create an NFL experience, despite claiming they are not pro teams.
Can't speak for that team up north, but think how important TBDBITL, The Ramp, Skull Session, and post game Carmen are to the game day experience. Where do you even see that kind of thing anymore, except Ohio Stadium? I do agree the crap schedules and rising prices are the biggest problem, but schools that genuinely try to embrace their students and communities, making them feel loved, will still do fine I think. Props to Urban for doing things like inviting students in to observe practice (love seeing them trying to kick field goals with all the students around). Being a student (and alumni) should get you special access and lower prices, its our school and our team after all. Programs keep that in mind and they'll do well.
Great stuff, Ross, thanks. I've read that part of the solution this year was to simplify things, thereby clarifying assignments and enabling guys to trigger more quickly. I know they weren't facing the A team offense, but from your watch of the game, did it look like they were getting more of the desired execution they seek?
Very interesting story. Easy to imagine there would be those willing to do this in Columbus. But I kind of think the culture is different enough that there are at least a few people around who would know about it, think it wrong, and make a call. Of course minimizing the evidence is the key. This explains why SEC-types just thought OSU was being stupid by self-reporting things with actual evidence trails. To the extent it happens in Ohio I don't think it is condoned at all by our University or athletic staff, which is apparently very different than in the SEC.
Brax may not improve tremendously, but think how much easier his life can be if the defense finally gets it together. Even with his limitations last year they scored a ton. If we can get back to holding most teams to under 20 points a game, its huge.
Absolutely, there always comes the time to move on and make your mark in more important ways. And he surely will. Critics dislike him for how popular he has become despite not being as gifted or personally dominant as, say, a Michael Jordan. He's unusually popular because he's an unusually tough player and extremely admirable young man. The latter trait is very much a part of the former. He plays the game with ultimate respect and does honor to his family and school. I wish they'd go back to letting college players make up the Olympic team, how cool would it be to see him wearing the USA and serving up 20 assists a game to teammates who can really score. He's no Michael Jordan. Then again, MJ is no Aaron Craft.
This article is on the money about Amir. I've often wondered if he actually likes to play the game. Don't mean that as an insult, and feel bad about the many harsh comments that are coming his way. But he's kind of the opposite of the limited skill player who tries to make up for it with effort and love for the game (stark contrast to Craft). Don't think Amir is a bad kid, or that he wants to let down his teammates, but basketball just seems like a job to him that he's never enjoyed.
As for Craft, would we have even been competitive in this or many other games without him? He's not perfect, but his mistakes come mostly from trying to play beyond his ability when sees no one else doing much around him.