Except the "impatience of youth" is being done by a Junior (who is admittedly playing a different LB position this year) and a Senior.
I really liked the triple option look with Curts Samuel and Zeke. I thought it was a great way to attack what Indiana was trying to do from the edge. It equated the numbers in those situations. Would have loved to see it used a few more times, with a couple of constraint looks to go with it. The two carries went for about 10 per pop.
I was really impressed with our defense for 90% of the game. Those 4 plays were tough to swallow, but I felt by and large the d-line was dominant and the LB's cleaned up things quite nicely. I wish McMillan would get more of the snaps than grant. Seems like we have fewer of those "let downs" when he is in the game.
The "Cause and effect" of momentum changing on Kickoffs out of bounds is tough to determine. Take IU for example. They have a third and 12 and we break contain and the defense we were playing was susceptible to a scramble play. I have trouble thinking the field position at the 35 begets the defensive lapse. I think the bigger momentum killers were the consecutive turnovers, and punts in the middle of the game. Against Minnesota, the punt which was forced, was muffed. That led directly to a TD and a 31-21 lead instead of 31-14 with possession at or around our own 10 yard line.
Likewise, what about the kicks which were returned "near" the 25 (ie inside the 30). There have been 9 of those, only two of the 9 have resulted in TD's and one a missed FG. The Two TD's started at the opponents 42 (the closest starting FP after a kickoff). The other from the 34 (one yard difference. Isn't a big return just as momentum building (if not more so) as a kickoff out of bounds? Yet the results are decidedly different. In many ways judging momentum gained is a very subjective viewpoint. (Thanks for the mention by the way)
Ross your work is always great and informative. I learn as much reading these columns and Kyle's columns as I ever have about the intricacies of football.
Corey Smith (since Corey Brown now plays with the Panthers on Sundays). And it was very close.
Outstanding writeup as always.
I was hoping to see you talk about the Linebackers and their gap responsibility. With Wisconsin looming large for a matchup in Indy, this remains a significant concern. Also Michigan really tries to do some power run stuff as well (they just aren't that good at it).
A couple of questions....What should Perry be doing in that play (ie what is his responsibility) for the play in the video you linked? Secondly, as to Grant, Is it more of "being too aggressive?" It seems as if he overruns the play, but was maybe in the right place but just at the wrong time. Or is he in the wrong place? And finally, Minnesota's rushing numbers were not nearly as good in the second half, what adjustments did the Buckeye defense make (other than being in the lead and making the gopher's throw to catch up) to solidify their effort up front? (ie did they start bringing the safety down into the box to cover an otherwise open gap?)
Never mind the fact that the Buckeyes rushed for 273 yards on 40 carries, a whopping 6.8 YPC average, against the vaunted Sparty Defense. A defense which allowed an average 72.23 yards per game against their other 13 opponents last season. The 273 yards was 111 more yards gained on the ground than the next highest total amassed by anyone else all season against Narduzzi's boys. That total was put up by Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
While that was a painful loss, I'm not sure I would point to that game as the "blueprint" of how to stop Ohio State's rushing attack. MSU didn't really stop it, save for a key third and fourth down play in the fourth quarter.
Something I noticed in this game: We often went with the read/screen play, and Braxton a handful of times didn't throw the screen right away. Perhaps PSU was jumping the screen route. One time, he pivoted and hit Carlos in the flat, and another time he improvised and either threw it away or scrambled.
It is amazing what strategic play calling combined with high quality personnel will do for an offense.
Just good stuff!
Spence drives his man 4 yards into the backfield. So I wouldn't say he didn't do his job. Watch Roby back peddle out of the play as Barnet comes crashing down only to get blocked. If Roby sees that better, there is a different result, IMO.
Interesting in the first gif mashup of Iowa's run....It is Roby who is bailing out (back peddling and getting deep) on the play instead of recognizing run and coming up to support the boundary side of the play.
Good breakdown as always.
Just curious, how are you calculating drive efficiency?
Good job. Love the insight and review.
Good stuff Chad.
Here is what I'm looking for:
Better on third and long and more particular Medium: Last year we converted just over 40% of our opportunities at 3rd and medium (4-7 yards to go). Third and long (8 yds or more) was dreadful, converting only 20%. I Would really like to see this number above 45% and closer to 50% on third and medium and closer to 30% on third and long.
A better run/pass mix: If Coach Meyer wants to be closer to 50/50 it would be significantly different than last year. We were barely 50/50 on Passing downs, and well over 2/3 run on standard downs. 67% run 33% pass on first down. It was nearly 70-30 on second down. I'm interested to see if this changes not only against Buffalo but in general. I still think we will be a "run heavy" team, but it would be nice if it were closer to 55% run 45% pass. I think the improvement of Miller's fundamentals, the improvement of the WR's and the level of confidence the players have in each other as well as the level of confidence the coaches have will be reflected in the play calling.
I'll have to look a little bit harder at the running back success rate you mention. INTERESTING!
Usually fifteen minutes before kickoff, unless...
Alumni Band Day or visiting bands are there, then 20 minutes.
A quick Data scan shows there were 11 penalties called during the first quarter when Ohio State was on offense. PLEASE NOTE this quick scan does not indicate whether the penalty was assessed to Ohio STate or their opponent (deeper digging is required). This is less than one first quarter penalty per game.
Here are some of Braxton's stats last year, broken down by quarter.
1st qtr: 38-78, 446 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int 7 Sacks for -56 yds. Pass eff rating: 100.98, yds per attempt (net of sacks and sack yards) 4.58
2nd qtr: 54-78, 762 yds. 7 TD's 2 Int. 8 Sacks for -54 yards. Pass eff Rating: 175.78. Yds per attempt: 8.23
3rd Qtr: 33-63, 420 Yds. 7 TD's 3 int. 7 Sacks for -30 Yds. Pass eff Rating: 109.33. Yds per attempt: 5.57
4th Qtr: 23-35, 411 Yds. 5 Td's, 1 Int. 5 Sacks for -29 yes. Pass Eff Rating: 205.78, Yds per attempt: 9.55
Overall: 148-254, 2039 Yds. 15 TD's 6 INT. 27 Sacks for -169 Yds.. Pass Eff Rating: 140.46. Yds per Attempt 6.65
The numbers support Ross's comments about Miller's slow starts on offense, and seemed to extend to early in the second half as well.
I am excited for Saturday!
Good work Ross!
Good to see something not related to the police blotter for a change of pace.
Good info as always Ross.
I don't know how much playing time these freshman will get, but wow...If nothing else, they will push the current players to either be better or be on the bench.
The issue I have with Yards per play or points per play is it somewhat misses the point of the overall objective of the contest. As on offense your goal is to score points. As a defense, your job is to prevent your opponent from scoring. The number of plays is not entirely relevant to the outcome.
Isn't the better measure (and perhaps more complicated to track due to the way stats are provided) are the points per possession or drive as opposed to points per play?
A one play drive resulting in a TD has the same value as a 14 play drive which results in a TD. The outcome is 7 points either way. Yes the 14 play drive has some difficult, if not impossible, to measure cumulative effects over the course of a game, but in the end they still have accomplished the primary goal of an offense. The number of plays is hardly relevant to the primary goal, ie scoring points.
For example, Team A is known for their "explosiveness" and Team B is known for it's grind it out. Both teams have 10 posesssions or drives in the game, and the game ends in a 42-all tie before overtime.
Team A runs a total of 5 plays per drive (For whatever reason) or 50 plays. Team B averages 8 plays per drive or 80 plays. Team A's points per play is .84, team B's is .525. Is one really better than the other? Both offenses accomplished the primary objective, finish your drives with points, preferably touchdowns. When it is 42-42 does it really matter how many plays were executed for each team? Aren't both teams being equally efficient by converting 60% of their opportunities into touchdowns? (Likewise each team's defenses are equally inefficient by ending only four possessions each without scoring!)
I don't know how much of a contributor he (or any other freshman, for that matter) will be in 2013, but...
He has some serious wheels and the comment about seeing the field is spot on.
If he doesn't earn playing time, he will push the likes of Corey Brown/Jordan Hall/and others to elevate their game to a much higher level...A win/win for Ohio State.
It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see him returning punts and kicks this year as a freshman. In a situation where you often have to make the first guy miss, he can do just that.
It is so hard to judge what he is doing on the field. Yes Big School Texas Football is quality stuff, but he isn't going against 11 D-I college athletes either. Just amazing that on so many of those highlights he is hardly touched.
I understand the purpose of the highlight reels is to show the "big play." Sometimes it would be nice to see some of the more mundane stuff to see how well he does during a lot more of his touches.
There are some guys who can fly in this class that is for sure.
After all of this discussion and well reasoned logic about Scott deserving more minutes....
He was basically a minimal factor last night, and LSJr was a key part in the win. Go figure.
I saw many interviews/stories where he lamented how guys just swat the ball out of bounds and show boat. When you watch the highlights, he controls the ball afterwards.
Look at you! A multi-sport mathlete of sorts.
Was just commenting on another site about Scott's +/-. I picked four games (ISU, @Ind, +MSU & Wisc in the B1G tournament).
I agree completely with what you are saying. He should be playing more! Unfortunately matchups, specifically for our ability to defend and on the defensive glass, often times dictate that either Rav or Williams be in the game. Thomas is an "OK" defender, but he would not be able to matchup well with the likes of a Nix (MSU) or Plumlee (Duke), or Withey (KU). Sometimes it is a sacrifice which must be made.
The other things which would be interesting (and ridiculously time consuming) is to see what the difference in effective FG% and TO percentage with Scott & Craft on the floor together vs. Craft and Smith. That might be even more telling than the +/-. If I only had hundreds of spare hours to pour over box scores.
By the way great work, this is a time consuming task to do this for each player as it looks like you have to scour the play by play for each game. It was bad enough doing it just for Scott. I would have to think that somebody on Ohio State's staff is tracking this on some level.
Ah yes, the decision making of young Braxton....How many yards/points were left on the field due to incorrect/poor reads during the year last year. Early on it seemed like he had trust issues with his backs, and refused to give the ball when he should have. Then it seemed like he gave when he shouldn't, and at times he still tried to take the entire load on his shoulders and do far too much.
If Braxton is able to make a significant and consistent improvement in his decision making the prospects for this offense are down right
scary exciting. If he makes strides in the decision making and in his throwing fundamentals.....Oy vey! The whole season, I watched and just kept thinking to myself, this guy is just getting started.
So bullish on the buckeye O.
I frequently see Chris Brown (Smart Football) mentioning the increased use of "packaged plays." Is this something you see Herman/Meyer incorporating more in the future as Braxton and his supporting cast improve? Perhaps we are doing this to some degree already.
While wrinkles are added and slight adjustments are made, there isn't a whole lot of "secrecy" in what Meyer is trying to do. The key seems to be having the right players to make it work. Your QB has to be a legitimate threat to run the football. Face it, if a guy like Greg Frey were a qb in this offense, it wouldn't strike the fear of god into opposing coaches. Yet I have a feeling we were only scratching the surface of what this offense is capable of doing.
As always, fantastic work. By the way, I too learned something in these last three pieces.
Wondering to myself a few things...
In many of the plays you selected to show, the "numbers advantage" at the snap was in Ohio State's favor. I wonder how much the process of "looking to the sideline for the play" (which is admitedly frustrating when watching a game) is a function of the coaches counting the people on each side of the formation before calling a specific run play. Ross, can you shed any light on this (even if it is your own opnion).
To that same point, I wonder how much "freedom" Miller will be given in the future to change things based on what he sees pre-snap...ie if there is a numbers advantage to one side can he check to a play going that direction?
Not to be all "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" or anything, but I wonder how much of the passing game difficulties can be attributable to the receivers. You can have a great quarterback, but average to below average receives can make your qb look worse than he is. Likewise you can have great receivers (see 2005-06) and make your qb look very good. I kind of get the feeling that for Braxton to make the kind of strides we would all like to see in the passing game, he needs significant improvement from the guys on the receiving end of those passes. To be sure, there is room for improvement in Braxon's game, but the "ceiling" is more dependant on others IMO. Ross, do you have any thoughts on this?
I'm very excited about the offense next year! Can't hardly wait.
It was a sound game plan, and most of the execution was sound. The few mishaps happened at the most inopportune times.
I made the comment to a friend about Braxton needing to realize he isn't going to hit the proverbial home run every time. Sometimes the single (six yards) and extending drives with a new set of downs is also critically important. (That's enough baseball metaphors for a football game).
The OL is going to be an interesting group next year. Linsley, Mewhort and Norwell probably have their spots "locked up." Taylor Decker was pushing for the starting RT spot. The interesting thing I keep hearing from Coach Meyer is the emergence of Chase Farris. It will be interesting to see how the battle for that right guard spot plays out in the spring and next fall. In any event, it should be a strength of this team.
I really think one of the key things for next year is the development of the wr's. Corey Brown made tremendous strides this year. Devin Smith at times looked amazing and then would have head scratching drops at inopportune times. Can another guy or two improve enough to make the passing game a bona fide threat in 2013? There were many times when it seemed like nobody could get open. (a function of WR ability and QB ability to be certain).
I also think Miller's improvement in his 1. Decision making, 2. Ability to read defenses, 3. Throwing fundamentals 4. Trusting the play makers around him will be the difference between a truly high powered offense which could annihilate the Ohio State record books and results which will be eerily similar to 2012.
Thanks for your efforrs, Ross, I've learned so much from your breakdowns.