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Comment 14 hours ago

I think if he wants to use Cardale like he used Tebow in 06 thats fine with me, Tebow threw less than 3 passes per game back then but ran the ball over 6 times a game mostly in short yardage.

given that they lost Miller and dont want to burn Colliers RS, then using Cardale and his significantly bigger body for those kinds of power runs in the Red Zone on in short yardage could be very useful

Tebow only got about 10-15 snaps a game back then, if we limit Cardale to that and otherwise take that physical toll off JT it could work wonders. Plus Cardale has shown ability to run and the guy is listed as 6'5" and 250,,,imagine him at the 2 yard line in the shot gun with EZE and or Wilson on the backfield....

Comment 15 hours ago

Happy Birthday 11W, You have become the first site i visit everyday, keep up the great work!!!

Comment 19 hours ago

JT may be very good and we will have to wait until at least the 30th to know that.

My concern is that unless you are Johhny or Jameis, freshman always have "those games" where they simply struggle, even sometimes against teams where you wouldn't think so (think how an otherwise solid Hackenberg looked terrible against our lousy pass D last year)

Miller in 2011 had 5 games where he completed less than 50% of his passes, 

Pryor in 2008 completed only 10 of his last 26 passes that year against UM and Texas

Zwick and Smith back in 04 had many games where 1 or both struggled

Bellisari struggled all year in 1999

those are the last 4 times we had an untested So or Fr lead the offense and our combined record in those 4 years was 31-20 and in all 4 of them we lost at least 3 games...

granted JT could be great, and yes teams like FSU last year, or OSU in years like 1993, 1973 and 1968 (when we had untested FR/SO QB starters at the helm) can have great seasons.

but if JT or Cardale are unable to be at least consistent passers, (not great but 50% plus and more TDs than INts) then teams will load the box and shut down the run as well making us rely on a D that as of today we have no idea how it will perform

i am hoping for the best, but if i had to guess, we will get tripped up a couple times at least this year due to either bad passing combined with something else

lastly i think we may also be looking at having to rely on a good kicking game as red zone efficiency may drop, meaning our new place kicker (again untested) will likely become more important.

lots of question marks all over the offense, if i was a pollster or gambler i would not be betting on this team to run the table.

Certainly hope I am wrong though

Go Bucks

Comment 19 Aug 2014

I am not going to say anything negative about JT as he seems to be a great kid who is being put in a tough spot and we need to rally around him.

i thought it might be interesting to look at the last few times we have started either a freshman or untested Soph in a season and what the results have been like over the last 51 years ie my lifetime

2011 - Braxton Miller - true freshman, went thru 1 spring, started the majority of games, team went 6-7 and lost a low level bowl game

2008 - TP as a true freshman, came in with no spring and became the starter early, team went 10-3 and was co conference champs lost their fiesta bowl game

2004 - Troy Smith and Justin Zwick both relatively untested split time, we go 8-4 win the Alamo bowl

1999 - Steve Bellisari - untested sophomore starts the majority of games and goes 6-6, no bowl bid

1993 - relatively untested Bobby Hoying splits time with untested Senior Brett Powers but Hoying is the starter, team goes 10-1-1 co conference champ wins the Holiday bowl

1988 - Greg Frey - untested sophomore OSU goes 4-6-1 in Cooper's first year. no bowl of course

1982 - Mike Tomzack - untested soph, OSU goes 9-3 but loses 3 of 1st 5 games including 3 at home to FSU, Stanford and Wisky, no conference title but wins Holiday bowl and beats UM

1978 - Art S true freshman in Woody's last year, goes 7-4-1 losing Gator bowl sets school record for INTs in a single season

1973 - Corny Greene - untested SO, OSU goes 10-0-1 and wins Rose Bowl just misses national title

1968 - Rex Kern - untested SO leads OSU to undefeated national title

1963 - Don Unverferth - untested SO, OSU would go 5-3-1, no bowl or title but beat UM

so a wide range of performances across those 51 years, a national title and nearly a 2nd, 4 Big Ten Titles, plus 2 losing seasons and 8 seasons with atleast 3 loses/ties in the 11 times we have faced this in the last 5 decades.

of course every year is unique and i certainly hope JT can do the job, bus assuming EZE and Heuerman are both out the first week (which may be true given they are both still limited with 9 days to go) thats means 80% of our scoring from last year will be gone or unavailable for the Navy game and we break in 4 new OLmen with the only returning starter being Evan Spencer (maybe?) and Taylor Decker and Devin Smith (again assuming Heuerman is not ready to go)

Navy may not be a juggernaut but that is a ton to put on JT's shoulder to assume against a reasonable quality opponent on the road with almost no production coming back, to walk in there and come away with even a win let alone a big win that impresses pollsters>>>

hopefully this team can resemble that 73 or 68 team, heck even the 93 team, and avoids the 11, 99 and 88 teams...

Comment 18 Aug 2014

this unit last year already set the single season record for sacks with 42, (96 unit of Vrabel, Finkes, Fickell and Big Kat held it previously with 41)

to think they may get even better is amazing to ponder

Comment 15 Aug 2014

Oregon St is maybe a slight bump up from UNC, they have a better winning pct in the last decade than UNC (even adding back in UNCs vacated wins) but in the last 5 years UNC has been better so to a large degree a wash, no doubt UNLV is a step down, but was obviously put on the schedule for the home game without the return commitment, ie money driven.

UNC was likely unwilling to play osu at home and give up the return to Chapel Hill, so they got dropped.

I too long for better schedules but as long as no more than 1 MAC team and zero 1AA teams would be an improvement..

Comment 15 Aug 2014

1961 ohio state played TCU of the Southwest conference (a major conference at that time), UCLA who won the Pac10 Title and Oregon also of the PAC10

1967 OSU played Arizona and Oregon on the road

1973 OSU played TCU and Wash St

the only non-major conference teams Woody ever played in his tenure are as follows

1953 on the road against U of Penn, back when the Ivy was still considered a D1A level conference and 1967 Arizona at home who was in the WAC at the time,,,and thats it, 

every other team he played in his 20+ years was from a major conference. Can Bear Bryant say that? i think not,

In his tenure they played the following schools who were not Major conference teams at the time - Southern Miss 6 times, Louisville 2 times in 76 and 77 when they were a low level Independent, Furman 2 times, Memphis 2 times, Tenn Chattanooga, Richmond, Tulsa, Wichita St, Akansas St and UC when they were a low level Independent in 1982. Thats 18 such games vs 2, and i am not even counting playing someone like Miami FL in the 60's when they were a low level independent as well,

18 vs 2!!!

Comment 14 Aug 2014

I believe you are right Space,,UM had clinched a tie and had Wisky won and UM lost they would have tied for the title (at 7-1 each in conference) and Wisky would have gone to the Rose Bowl as UM had gone the year before having lost to USC, and they had the better overall record and had not played head to head.

Comment 14 Aug 2014

not as far as i have heard, same thing happens at OSU a visitor is given OSU gear. Heacock has 3 coaches on that KSU staff that he has worked with in the past

Haynes of course who was at OSU for several years

Ben Needham who was twice an OSU defensive GA, and Dave McMichael who was an ast under Heacock at Muskingum way back in the mid 70's

PLus Don Treadwell coached with his brother and Tressell at YSU, so i am sure he knows him well

likely just a visit

Comment 11 Aug 2014

i voted worse because i think although the passing may be better (still tbd), with 3.5 new o-linemen and new RBs we are unlikely to have 2 1000+ yard rushers along with another who will gain over 500. (our top 3 guys last combined for over 3100 yards and 35 rushing TDs.

ie historic levels, essentially on par with Archie and Pete Johnson and Corny Greene ran for in 1975. (in 75 those 3 ran for just over 3000 yards and 37 TDs.

so my guess is the rushing will slip much closer to 2012 numbers where the top 3 gain 2800 yards and but still about 35 tds

so will the passing game be able to make up the 300 or so yards lost in the run game, ie go from about 2880 yards to closer to 3200 yards or nearly 230 yards a game vs 200, my guess is no.

reason being is we will be playing a much tougher schedule this year, no Florida A&M, No Cal etc where we can rack up 1200 yards of total offense and 128 points. (the other 12 games we averaged just under 500 yards a game and 42 per game)

my guess is given these factors we will average over 14 games the same as we averaged in the 12 games last year that were not against Cal and A&M, so around 480 yards a game rather than 512, and 42 per game vs 46 per game. 

Comment 11 Aug 2014

i voted for McMillan as i think Dixon will be splitting touches with a ton of other guys

at the various receiver spots you have Smith, Spencer, Thomas, Wilson, Heuerman, Vannett, Clark, and Greene, then add in the RBs for an occasional catch and that's a bunch of ways to split the touches up.

lets assume he comes in 4th or 5th in receptions on the team and we complete around 250 passes (ie about 12 more than last year), then my guess is he comes in around 20 receptions, but if he ends up 5th/6th, then we are likely looking at 15 touches in 14 games, ie very minimal

my guess is with occasional LB rotation, mop up duties and special teams Kwon is hopefully looking at around 30 tackles, maybe more if he can get on the field more

i think both will be great additions but i see Kwon on the field a bit more 

Comment 07 Aug 2014

actually although many opponents had been weak and there had been a few "hiccups", going into the last 3 games we were averaging the following on D

Pts Allowed - 18.3 (which if sustained would have ranked us 9th nationally and given us 3 easy wins)

Pass Yards allowed - 238.1 which if sustained would've ranked 7th ie bad but not gawd awful)

total yards allowed - 364.3 or what would have been enough for 31st

so again not Heacock level but compared to 11 and 12 a significant improvement, but the last 3 games were as bad a stretch as any OSU D in my memory has ever been and thats since 1968

Comment 07 Aug 2014

although to some degree i can agree with your premise but it may also be true that Fickell was simply towing a line Urban set.

What seems unsaid but reading between the lines of all that happened last year, off season and now what they are saying is that there appears to have been a great deal of disension among the coaching staff with each other as well

although Fickell is the DC, Withers was co-DC and asst HC. Add in that many teams, (including OSU's offense) develops strategies as a group. It is entirely possible that Wither's, same as Ash now, had responsibility for designing the Pass D. 

go back and ready quotes from the coaches and the players when they went thru their first camp together,,DBs talking about how they had changed to playing off the ball more and trying to break on the ball etc and Wither's stating that this was his designed strategy, with the other coaches saying things like "the nature of the games changed, you can't play press for 60 minutes" etc

my guess, and it is only a guess is that the D staff had some real splits on how to fix the issues as the season progressed and not only the players started the blame game, but so did the staff.

Urban saw this, and fixed by getting rid of the guys who he saw as an issue, primarily Withers, who took a 50% pay cut to take a HC job a division lower.

reading the tea leaves i know but that is my guess, Fickell et al wanted to be more agressive, but Withers didnt favor it and "keeping it in house" they said things like "did we win"

Comment 06 Aug 2014

I dont recall any tweet but he left almost immediately after Urban was hired. from what i heard Urban never gave him a look while at Plantation HS in Florida while Urban was still the coach there, and perhaps he didnt want to play for a guy who just a little over a year earlier had zero interest in him.

he also seemed to be really set on wanting to play for Tressel, as soon as Tress was let go, rumors flew about cash maybe transferring but he stuck out 2011 with Fickell. but when Urban got hired he left town fairly quickly. His family back then issued an oddly worded letter at the time saying to the effect that they dont hold anything against urban or fickell and really thanked Tressel. so i think it was simply a matter of liking Tress and not liking Urban

seems to have worked out well for him and good for him

Comment 06 Aug 2014

John Gagliardi the head coach of D3 St John's in Minnesota has been a coach there from 1953 - 2012 and his teams never tackled in practice and he won 4 national titles in those years including as late as 2003. he had an overall D3 playoff record of 34-18. he won 28 conference titles in his career.

his overall record was 489-138-11. His teams made to atleast the playoff quarter finals 18 times and to the semi's 11 times.

besides not having his teams tackle in practice he also never used blocking sleds, didnt require his team to lift weights, never used a whistle and instructed his team to never call him "coach" and limited his practices to no more than 90 minutes, no wind sprints, and no team captains

ie he succeeded with none of the normal trappings associated with football

he also had no playbooks, set no goals for players etc and simply wanted to be called John

Comment 05 Aug 2014

the rule in both college and the nfl is that linemen are allowed 3 yards down field on any pass play hence not called, also due to the quick nature of the play, even when many of them may have been 4 or even 5 yards downfield, it wont get called as the refs are looking elsewhere. Kelly at Oregon is credited with much of this kind of plays development and for taking advantage of this rule interpretation.

it does make it very tough on a defense when you read play action and see the linemen come up field, only to see the ball thrown a second later on a quick dig route.

Comment 04 Aug 2014

ECU was 10-3 last year

they beat UNC 55-31, beat NCST 42-28, lost to Va Tech in Blackburg 15-10, if played in NC my money would be on the Pirates, if in Champaign Illinois might be a small favorite, neutral frankly a toss up but i would lean towards ECU

Comment 31 Jul 2014

that 1980 team was such a weird one

the offense and defense were both hit and miss from week to week

the offense scored the following by week (31, 47, 38, 0, 63, 27, 21, 48, 49, 41, 3, 19) for an average of 32 a game

the defense allowed the following (21, 0, 21, 17, 0, 17, 0, 16, 42, 7, 9, 31) for an average of 15

in the 3 losses that year the D gave up a total of 57 points or 19 a game, but 31 came in the last one to PSU in the Fiesta. but in those 3 games the O only scored 22 or just over 7 a game.

Art S in particular could be hot and cold from half to half as this Illinois game showed, but the Fiesta bowl loss to PSU that year was a prime example

first half Art went 15 of 22 for 244 yards and 3TDs to build a 19-10 lead, then in the 2nd half went 5 of 13 for 58 yards no TDs and an INT as PSU scored 3 2nd half tds to win 31-19 as OSU was held to a total of only 73 yards the rest of the game

Comment 29 Jul 2014

by actual play count last year we were 63% run and 37% pass. but those numbers are a but skewed as most of us know by sacks and QB scrambles as well as the occasional thrown handoff to a WR/TE,

we were sacked 22 times last year and had at least 30 QB scrambles off of designed pass plays and in a couple wr/te screens and you get much closer to 60/40.

given that in games like Florida A&M (where we didnt throw a single pass in the 2nd half or Purdue where we threw only 4 passes in the 4th qtr or Indiana where we threw zero passes in the 4th quarter, that means we threw 364 passes in the other 13 equivalent games, or about 28 per game, in Pryor's last year we only threw 27 per game

so assuming we maybe dont have quite that many massive blow outs where we simply put the O in idle late in the game, then i assume that ratio will improve slightly

i think we see more flares and screens to the likes of Wilson and our WR core to make that ratio better

Comment 28 Jul 2014

i guess a couple things come to mind here

1) if we are just talking about a great performance in coming back from a deficit it is hard to beat Minny and LSU by Greg Frey

both had big deficits and lasted till late in the game to come back

2) however my criteria would be a little different

first the game had to end up being meaningful or was very meaningful at the time, so sorry Minny, Iowa, LSU dont count as they were simply come from behind wins in otherwise meaningless game

second we had to trail for a large portion of the game not just have happened to find our selves behind late, especially if we had the lead earlier, so to me that eliminates the National Championship game as we led that game late on the 4th quarter and let that lead slip away for force OT, great win but not a great "comeback"

lastly you had be down by more than 3 points at some point, coming back from a 3 pt lead is not a great come back, it may be a great ending but not a great comeback

so to my mind this severely limits that list

Purdue in 02 and in 12 would both qualify, we were down most of the game, by more the 3 late and came back to win, and both games maintained undefeated seasons

Michigan in 05 would count, although we had the lead early, we fell behind midway thru the 3rd qtr and by mid 4th were down by 9 and of course the game is always big.

the 79 win over michigan is close as we trailed for large portions of the game and won on a blocked punt in the 4th qtr, but the final deficit overcome was only 3, but it did secure an undefeated season, was our first win in 4 years over them and led us to a Rose Bowl and potential national title shot

but as i said if you eliminate the need for the game to be of some importance, then Minny, LSU, Iowa, etc all come back into play

Comment 22 Jul 2014

I picked Minny

it will be our 5th game in 5 weeks and the 3rd road game in 5 weeks

it may still be a late start (unknown yet) we will be coming off our biggest game the week prior

Minny is solid but not great but may surprise us if not mentally focussed

as mentioned weather could be an issue as the normal temp in Minny on that date is right around the freezing mark

Navy would be my #2 as they are just schematically so odd, but i frankly think we will be pumped and unless the OL or Braxton simply crap the bed, we should run up 40+ on Navy easy and they wont be able to run enough to keep up

MD would then be next only because they are new and on the road but i dont see them being a big challenge

by definition i leaves only Minny and "the game" as good candidates.

although i agree with an earlier poster that on paper none of these should be trap games,

as a friend of mine is fond of saying "we are talking about 18-23 year olds and frankly who knows which version of them shows up on game day

Comment 21 Jul 2014

one win that i think is much under rated by OSU fans (and only mentioned once above) is the 2004 game

effectively the coming out party for Troy Smith

UM was ranked #7 coming in, with a 9-1 record and had won 8 in a row including beating NW the week before by over 20, while we came in 6-4 having lost the week prior to Purdue

Troy, although an improvement over Zwick had not shown anything that would make you think he was a future heisman winner having completed about 55% of his passes with 6 tds vs 3 ints coming into the game, he had rushed 64 times for 194 yards or barely 3 yards per carry and 1 TD coming into the game as well

he also had a particularly bad game the week before against Purdue, completing less 50% of passes throwing 3 picks and had lost fumble late in the game

so nothing that day pointed to Troy going for the following:

13 of 23 for 241 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs, plus running for 18 carries and 145 yards and another score

add in 3 FGs by Nuge 2 INTs against Henne, holding Hart to 61 yards and Ginn having a big PR and the upset was on.

Michigan had been i believe a 20 point favorite coming into the game and we won by 16, even though they still went to the Rose Bowl they had chance for an outright B10 title which they had to share with Iowa instead.

and we committed 11 penalties that day for 70 yards while UM was only called for 1 for 5 yards or it could have been much worse

Comment 21 Jul 2014

i am not buying the NW will return hype either

they play a much better OOC schedule this year that last, last year the played 2 different 1-11 teams plus a mediocre Syracuse at home and a 1AA team

this year they have Cal (who is bound to be better than last year), Northern Ill who is a very solid MAC team unlike Akron who was awful last year, and Notre Dame who is light years  better than Syracuse, plus another

granted they dont play us but they still have to go on the road to Iowa, PSU, Minny (who beat them last year) and Purdue and have Wisky, Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois at home

it is not likely they will be bit by injuries quite like last year, but they ranked 86th defensively last year and i dont see that group getting much better

it is possible they will be bowl eligible, but i dont think it is a given.

i could see 1 maybe 2 losses OOC and going 4-4 in conference would just barely get them there

assuming they lose at home to Wisky and on the road to Iowa, Minny and PSU (all likely to my mind), that leaves them 4-4 in conference and if they lose 2 OOC that gets them to 6-6 woopee freakin doo, i honestly think 7-5 or 8-4 is the best they can hope for

Comment 21 Jul 2014

although many of the games listed mean a ton and of course any win over them is a great win

1979 always stood out to me

we had lost the last 3 during the Woody era and had not scored a TD against them in 3 years losing 22-0, 14-6 and 14-3 the previous 3 years

Earle's first shot at them, at Ann Arbor, Rose Bowl and possible National title on the line

we fail to score again in the 1st quarter so now 13 straight against UM without a TD, 2nd quarter UM throws a bomb TD to Anthony Carter and OSU kicks 2 FG's to trail 7-6, so now 14 quarters still no TDs

finally Art hits Chuck Hunter for a TD (failed 2pt conversion) and we lead 12-7.

but michigan hits another bomb to Carter and couple plays later punch it in and convert their 2 pointer to go up 15-12

so we get into the 4th quarter and we are trailing again, on the road etc, are we going to come up short again?

so OSU forces a punt and Bruce gambles sending 10 guys to block it and gets there, Bell picks it up and runs it in, we miss the PAT and go up only 18-15

we then had to watch both defenses clamp down in the 4th quarter until Marek picks off UM with under a minute to play to seal it.

i was 17 at the time and was certain after UM scored late in the 3rd we were done

Comment 16 Jul 2014

here is my take of this Fickell v Ash v Withers change we are seeing

first over the last couple years we are not 100% sure what Fickell vs Ash's roles were. Although Urban had said that Fickell was the play caller it is very possible the Withers was responsible for designing and running the entire pass D package and maybe even responsible for primary play calling on obvious passing situations ie 3rd and long etc

Now, we have last year's terrible pass D which was the 2nd year in a row it got worse, the season ends and Wither's leaves to take a HC job for HALF HIS PAY AT OSU!!!

Now also Fickell is not fired, not reduced in title and from all outward appearances is still Co-DC just as before,

so,,, my take is that Withers was "advised" by Urban to take that job as he was likely to be let go as he felt Wither's and his Pass D were the problem with the Defense, not Fickell.

now Ash is brought in to essentially fix the pass D, with a completely different scheme. he obviously has to work with the C0-DC/LB coach to design this pass d and coach people up as LB's cover people too.

play calling may be similar to before ie Fickell is primary but Ash on obvious passing situations

only time will tell if urban made the right read,,,i sure hope so though.