I really don't think things are as bad as Urban is saying. Remember, expectations weren't at all high last year for Boren (too small), Price (converted DL), and Baldwin (career backup). And no one expected much of Elflein until he was forced into duty to replace Marcus Hall for two games, and looked solid doing it. The backups we have now have a solid pedigree. Most are top 5 or 10 recruits at their position, and they are being given the time to mature, which is so important for OL. With Warriner involved, I have a hard time not being optimistic.
Oh man, I forgot all about that game. Jacquizz Rodgers was absolutely maniacal. The Schadenfreude was strong that night.
But OrState vs USC as the greatest upset ever? I think Appalachian State might have something to say about that...
Depth is always a concern, but I feel like the OL pipeline is finally where it needs to be. Last year we were living pretty dangerously, but now we have Evan Lisle in his third year, and Demetrius Knox, Jamarco Jones and Kyle Trout all going into their second. These are all highly regarded recruits. Add the epic '15 OL haul, and there is both quality and (finally) quantity along the front. That wasn't the case a couple years ago.
The Cleveland Browns — a criminal syndicate masquerading as an incompetent football team ...
Ah RichRod, smart as ever I see.
Did somebody say Goosebumps?
Amazing. I lived right in that neighborhood for years after college. Good times.
Do you see a red-shirt for Cooper because he needs to add weight? Based on his camp performances, the guy seems like an absolute beast, and as noted here, he'll be enrolling early. But now that I think about it, I think I saw him listed somewhere at 235 pounds. Not quite defensive end measureables...
Yep. Just ask Chris Carter and Antonio Underwood.
Yep, Nick can slide down into the 3 tech on passing downs. And don't look past the benefits of a strong DE rotation. There were games last year where Joey Bosa was clearly gassed, yet stayed on the field because we didn't have anyone to sub in for him. There are snaps to go around for these guys. Finally, a redshirt year for Hall at the least is likely and would create some separation.
Frankly, I expect the defense to play at a MUCH higher level this season than they did most of last year, when players were still adjusting to Chris Ash's new scheme. One of the reasons we teed off in the post-season was that the defense finally came together. We were horrible in defensive red zone efficiency most of the year, then absolutely stoned Alabama and Oregon deep in our own territory in January. Losing Bennett and Doran Grant is a blow, but having all our players now in the second year under Ash more than compensates for it.
My worry is on offense. It took Tom Herman awhile to settle down with this offense, and now we are breaking in Tim Beck. If we can get past VT, we'll have plenty of time to work out the kinks. But we need to survive Blacksburg first. That's gonna be a test.
I think the biggest issue being overlooked in all this back and forth is Ohio State's defense, which I expect to be worlds better than in last year's tilt. The offense might be a bit shaky in the first game, given we're breaking in a new OC, but the defense in its second year with Chris Ash will be fearsome. What this crew did to Oregon in the NC game, especially in the second half, was epic.
There will be blood and turnovers in Blacksburg, and it'll be the difference as Ohio State closes out an opening day win.
Yeah, 2012 we were fortunate to stay healthy along the line. As for Reid Fragel, his transformation from TE to NFL-caliber OT was pretty remarkable. But the fact is, he was just the first in a parade of high stakes gambles at right tackle for Ohio State since JB Shugarts left after 2011. When Farris starts there this year, he'll be the third straight right tackle to have come over to the offensive line from another position unit. Which is just... wild.
He is. And Urban put him there.
I wonder what Mike Bianchi thinks of all this?
The 2014 recruit class at OL was very good, but it's a stretch to consider any true freshman (even touted ones) as effective depth on the offensive line. Those guys really need time after high school to develop and grow into their bodies.
I think a repeat is possible if we stay healthy and if the offense remains effective under new OC Tim Beck. All the pieces are there, but winning a national championship always involves a healthy dose of good fortune.
What Horvath said. Devin Smith has amazing downfield presence. He can outrun coverage, adjust to the ball, and consistently make the end zone circus catch. He was a perfect weapon for a big thrower like Cardale and we're gonna miss him this year. Hopefully Corey Smith can break through this year and become a consistent receiver.
I haven't seen that video, but would love to. If it turns up, let me know!
Totally agree. The oddds are that he will, since OL don't often leave early.
Amazing how the tone has completely flipped. A year ago we wrung our hands over how Warriner would cobble together a functional offensive line from the spare bits left from a pair of underwhelming OL recruit classes. Going into '14, we had one proven veteran (Decker), one promising youngster (Elflein), a pair of converted DL (Price, Baldwin), and a kid too short and too small to ever play center at Ohio State (Boren). Behind these were guys like Antonio Underwood, Tommy Brown and Kyle Dodson. In short, there wasn't much margin for error.
And yet somehow, here we are, with an offensive line that looks to rival the best we've ever seen. The only question mark is Farris, and he's a fifth-year guy with outstanding size and athleticism for the tackle position. Amazing.
All so terrible. Red Dawn was just a pathetic joke. North Koreans? Really?? And Robocop was even worse because it had none of the heart of Paul Verhoven's original, which was so darkly funny, violent and observant.
Amazing story for a kid who was pretty much written off after he flipped from DE to OT. By all accounts he should have been a career backup. Instead, he was a vital cog in the best OL in the nation last year, and helped power Ohio State to a national championship. Here's hoping he enjoys a nice career in the NFL!