I also believe the weather has a lot to do with it. Braxton does not seem comfortable throwing with gloves. The great thing is the Buckeyes have a "two car" offense. When there is snow on the ground you pull out the 4x4 (Hyde and Braxton running) and when the weather is clear, you pull out the sports car (passing game, Dontre, etc.). If the defense can make Michigan State work for their points, I think the Buckeyes offense will carry the day.
Ace, thanks for the objective and honest assessment. It looks like you take some heat on your site about your stance, but reality is reality. We had a pretty good dose of it a couple years ago. Here's hoping everyone comes out of "the Game" healthy. Go Bucks!
The most astonishing thing to me was the defensive domination. They gave up some yards, but overall, they ravaged the PSU offensive line.
Does anyone else feel it is poetic with the whole hogs=Bielema=hogs thing? I can't say I will miss him......at all.
I cannot tell you how great it is to see linebackers with the top two numbers for tackles, and not D-Line or secondary. That means the defense is working as designed. D-Line eating up blockers so linebackers can (and do) make plays. The move of Boren to linebacker was a great decision.
Thank you, Ross for the breakdown. I now find myself on game days looking for certain key based on what you are breaking down. It definitely adds a level of detail when watching games. Keep up the great work!
I love the presser recap, Kyle, and I do not mean to nitpick, but I would have liked to see a mention in your opener about Zach Boren finishing second in tackles at 7 to Shazier's 8. I don't think it can be overstated how important his willingness to change to defense is for this team. Boren at least being competent in the middle allows Shazier to play like the madman he is IMHO.
Sad to see all the bad call complaints. There were definitely a few on both side, and none of them were "game changing". I am afraid the victim mentality has taken over at PSU already. With all of the sanctions, it only gets worse from here.
Really appreciate the great breakdowns. I read in one of the posts that Klein is battling a bulging disk in the back, which couldn't have helped on that first play. It was very encouraging to see a more aggressive mindset with the linebackers. There were several times where both Shazier and Boren looked like they were on a search and destroy mission. I would much rather see an aggressive mistake than a passive one.
Thank you again for a great breakdown!
What a crazy year. I hope Boren actually starts. Nothing against Storm Klien, but he just looked really slow out there on that 83 yard Purdue touchdown. I think Boren would have had a better shot on that one. I hope he really benefits from this week of practice. I can't help but root for an unselfish player.
All football aside, I am just glad he is OK. The way Braxton acted coming off the field, I thought for sure it was more serious than it was being treated. It would be a shame for a budding career to end on a play like that.
Just like OSU couldn't be 7 and 0 without Braxton, the definitely could not be 8 and 0 without Kenny! I am really glad for him, but I sure hope Braxton is ok...it looked like Purdue was out to injure him the whole game.
It is amazing to me how quickly everyone forgot this was a transition year from a 6 and 7 team. It is an absolute blessing that OSU is 7-0. The defense has been decimated by injury, and has had problems with the spread for a couple of years now. Another off season with Marrioti, another off season to meld Fickell and Wither's style together and we could be competitive. I think it has been underrated that you kept parts of a defensive staff, and the responsibilities are divided differently. I would love to see the Buckeyes go undefeated, but the defense is very flawed right now.
I chose last year's offense, but it was a tough call. If a defense allows 3 points a game, but the offense doesn't score, it is a loss. Fortunately, OSU's offense has been able to outscore everyone. I will say though, it is tough to watch every bubble screen thrown against this defense succeed to varying degrees (anywhere from 10 yards to touchdown). You should have this poll again after the Purdue game.
Well done, Jeff!
I wonder what a game would be like with a healthy Silver Bullets defense that plays up to its potential, and an offense that plays all four quarters without ridiculous drops, fumbles and interceptions. It would be 150-0 with Kenny G coming in at half time. I would love to seem them put it all together against TTUN. I am really interested in how they are going to change up the defense for Purdue, the inventor of the spread offense. Should be an interesting week of practice for the Silver Bullets.
Funny as usual, Johnny!
Big Ten football this year is like a painful family dinner with your Uncle Wilbur who cracks 27 jokes that are not funny at all so when he finally tells one joke that is kind of funny, you laugh uproariously because your standard for funny has been completely reset by some strange humor Stockholm Syndrome. B1G is a collection of average to bad teams beating up on each other, with the occasional zinger that makes a team look temporarily "good". Nice win by TTUN over the B1G's biggest punchline of the year. We'll see what they do next week against the amazing, disappearing Sparty.
At this point, they are what they are. I am, however, excited to see what Boren can bring to linebacker. 8 tackles with only one week to prepare is pretty good. The D really felt the loss of Sabino and Williams this week, and they have struggle with the spread all year. It will be interesting to see what affect one week of Meyer involvement with the defense, one more week of practice for Boren and the return of Nate Willams has on the Purdue game.
I think I have figured out this team! It is the exact inverse of the 2002 National Championship team. In 2002 you had an offense that made just enough plays to keep the Buckeyes in the game, and a defense/special teams that smothered the opponent with a few miscues sprinkled in to make things exciting. This year OSU has an offense that looks like an out of control truck running down the side of a mountain, with an occasional miscue (3 and out, fumble, interception) and a defense/special teams that makes enough big plays (sacks, interceptions, bone jarring hits, punt blocks/returns, etc.) to keep the opponent from winning. Last night was 4th and 14 at Purdue, and the onside kick recovery was Michael Jenkins hauling in the Krenzel pass.
It will be interesting to see if the 2002 principle works in reverse. Also interesting to hear that Meyer is going to get more involved with the defense. Sounds like Tuesday may be a long day for the Silver Bullets, but they have to figure something out in defending the spread with Purdue coming to town.
Honestly, I am just happy for 7-0! GO BUCKS!
Absolutely agree. Howard has been overlooked by a lot of people, and he gets picked on when people are trying to avoid Roby.
Glad for the win. Indiana did a great job of exploiting Ohio State's weakness. The long runs went right where Sabino would be. Catches across the middle, where OSU is not strong at middle linebacker. The only really bad plays on the outside were while Howard was out. The Silver Bullets are razor thin at linebacker and thin in the secondary. It looks like Boren has potential at linebacker, but he needs more practice reps and full induction into the scheme. Thought the line got some pressure, and the secondary did a pretty good job, but it was a tough night for the linebackers, and I don't think there is a fix for that this year. If Smith had caught those two touchdown passes, this was a double digit win. It was also obvious that none of the close calls were going to go OSUs way tonight.
Great breakdown! I am starting to wonder if Urban Meyer should start having John Simon chase Braxton around the field before the start of the game to get him going. I don't know if it is being over excited or nervous, but it just seems to take time for him to settle in. Maybe it is inexperience at reading the initial defense?
Strangely, I am encouraged by the defensive play last night. Most of the big running plays went right where Sabino would have been, and it took a while for the Silver Bullets to adjust. The Buckeyes defense is thin, and young at linebacker, but there is no quit in them. The defense kind of reminds me of the Bengals defense a few years ago that gave up yards but seemed to get a turnover or sack at just the right time. Great win and even better effort! There is no quit in this team!
Great article! How much of the issue do you think revolves around having co-defensive coordinators. At times it seems like communication between the groups is lacking. That would also have a role in not being able to "nail down" an identity.
I just recently found this site, and I have to say I look forward to the Offensive Breakdowns each week. Excellent content!
Just recently found this site. Great breakdown and great content overall. Thanks!