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Comment 04 Dec 2014

Rooting interests for Buckeye fans seems pretty straight forward this weekend. In order of likelihood as I see it: 

Kansas St over Baylor

Georgia Tech over Florida St

Arizona over Oregon

Missouri over Bama

Iowa St over TCU 

Comment 20 Nov 2014

I wonder why the B1G doesn't try to line up a lot of high profile conference games for this weekend. Knowing the SEC is mostly snacking on cupcakes this week, a lineup of OSU v Penn St, Mich v Mich St, Wisconsin v Nebraska, etc. would definitely make the B1G the main topic of conversation that week. 

Comment 19 Nov 2014

I agree that it is dangerous to "live and die by the three" as they say. I do think though that Scott is a more offensive-minded point guard that has the ability to take over if needed, and that Russel and Kam Williams have the ability to become go-to-scorers as the season progresses. Not to mention Tate, Loving, Thompson & Bates-Diop who all appear to be able to put up some points.

I sure prefer having this many options on offense rather than relying on one, maybe two, scorers the way we have the past couple seasons. 

Comment 18 Nov 2014

I never played football outside of my backyard, but what I always had heard is that you follow the guards and they'll lead you to the ball. 

Comment 18 Nov 2014

Although the Gophers frequently used 22 personnel (a fullback and two tight ends), Chris Ash generally did not bring another safety into the box. Instead, Ash continued with his base 4-3 over, cover 4 defense.

I wonder if we will use a different look in a possible game against Wisconsin & Melvin Gordon, or if the DL and LB play will improve enough to stay in the Cover-4. 

Comment 13 Nov 2014

The way I see it, both MSU and Bama have 3 possible losses left.

MSU @ Bama, @ Ole Miss, and SEC Championship

Bama v MSU, v Auburn, and SEC Championship

I think Buckeye rooting interests are 1 of 2 scenarios.

  1. MSU wins out causing all other SEC teams to have 2+ losses.
  2. Bama beats MSU then loses to Auburn. MSU also loses @ Ole Miss. 

With either scenario we should be rooting for Missouri to stay on top of the SEC East and then beat the West representative in the SEC title game. 

Comment 11 Nov 2014

But against Penn State the Buckeyes solved this issue by running quarterback split zone from an empty backfield. The Buckeyes continued utilizing quarterback split zone against Michigan State -- with great success. With split zone, the offensive line blocks tight zone. The tight end blocks back against the weak side defensive end, creating a natural cutback lane. 

After several successful attempts the entire stadium knew the play was coming. But the Buckeyes repeatedly converted through spreading the field, controlling the defensive interior -- and through superb short-yardage running from Barrett, who is effective in short yardage because he runs north and south and keeps his legs churning.

I'm curious to see what kind of constraint play or playaction we have for this, or if we'll ever see one. Seems like some sort of playaction off of this look could be deadly on 3rd-and-1, knowing that if it is incomplete we could always come back and run for it on 4th-and-1.  

Comment 11 Nov 2014

With how much better Apple looked than Conley against MSU I'm surprised they are still listed as "or." 

Will be interesting to see what the rotation at TE and H positions looks like with Dontre out. Marshall and Wilson are both the WR/HB type hybrids while Noah Brown seems like more of a WR/TE hybrid. Or maybe we see more 2 true TE sets with Heuerman and Vannett. 

Comment 11 Nov 2014

Outcomes that in my opinion give OSU best of chance of making playoff:

  1. In the Pac-12 - all teams in conference with 2+ losses
    1. Arizona St loses @ Arizona on Nov 28
    2. Pac-12 South champ (Arizona in this scenario) beats Oregon in Pac-12 title game
  2. In the SEC - all teams in conference with 2+ losses & champ has home loss to Indiana
    1. Miss St loses @ Bama on Nov 15 and @ Ole Miss on Nov 29
    2. Bama loses at home to Auburn on Nov 29
    3. Missouri wins out and beats SEC West team in SEC title game 
  3. In the ACC - I don't see any upsets here that seem plausible and am assuming FSU will be in playoff but will be cheering for chaos such as:
    1. Duke loses to VaTech or UNC, then upsets FSU in ACC title game
  4. In the Big 12 - Hoping that TCU and Baylor slip up somewhere although they will be favored in all remaining games. Realistically, I see TCU winning out and am hoping that
    1. Baylor loses Dec 6 at home to Kansas St
  5. In the B1G - this seems obvious
    1. Nebraska impresses against Wisconsin Minnesota and Iowa then gets blown out by OSU in B1G title game. 
Comment 07 Nov 2014

The best chance for OSU to make the playoff all other FBS schools having 2+ losses. With that in mind, plausible upsets to root for over the last month of the season are: 

  1. Miss St loses Nov 15 @ Bama and Nov 29 @ Ole Miss
  2. Florida St loses Nov 15 @ Miami and Nov 29 v Florida (I don't really see these as likely though)
  3. Auburn loses Nov 15 @ Geogia
  4. Oregon loses Nov 8 @ Utah or Pac 12 Championship Game Dec 5
  5. Alabama loses Nov 8 @ LSU or Nov 29 v Auburn
  6. TCU loses Nov 8 v Kansas St
  7. Kansas St loses Nov 20 @ WVU or Dec 6 @ Baylor
  8. Mich St only loses to OSU 
  9. Arizona St loses Nov 28 @ Arizona
  10. Notre Dame loses Nov 8 @ Arizona St
  11. Ole Miss already has 2 losses, want them to win Egg Bowl. A loss @ Arkansas Nov 22 would be nice
  12. Baylor loses Nov 8 @ Oklahoma
  13. Nebraska wins out regular season with only loss to OSU in Big Ten Championship
  14. Duke has only 1 loss, but they are currently below OSU in playoff standings and will be unlikely to pass because they have no games remaining against teams with winning records except potential ACC Championship v FSU. 
Comment 10 Oct 2014

Is it wrong that contestants mispronouncing puzzles that they already have solved is one of my favorite things on TV? 

Comment 08 Oct 2014

Thanks Ross. Most of Xs & Os knowledge previously came from EA Sports. I love learning from these articles and seeing how things are really done.

Comment 07 Oct 2014

Upon seeing Maryland line up in the bear the first series Saturday, Ohio State immediately checked to a tackle power play. The front side blocked down the interior three defensive linemen, the tight end fanned blocked the outside linebacker and the tackle led through the playside C gap -- taking advantage of the Bear's natural bubble.

 On this play is Barrett reading anyone? It looks to me in the video that he might be reading the backside LB. In NCAA 14 there is a play they call "Dart Read Option" that looks like it has a similar blocking scheme. 

Comment 06 Oct 2014

Really exciting to see the maturation and improvement of this defense. There's still room to improve, but it's great to see this system start to take shape with new coverages installed with a purpose instead of the mess of separate coverages we used last season. 

Comment 02 Oct 2014

Loving these breakdowns! I see this game going similarly to last week with Maryland getting some passing yards on us and scoring a few points but not able to keep up with our offense. 

Comment 01 Oct 2014

Thanks for the response Ross. Love reading about the X & O's of the game. Should we expect to see this more often in response to defenses focusing on the inside run game? 

Comment 30 Sep 2014


Thought I saw more outside running plays from the Buckeye offense with pulling o-lineman. Maybe a buck-sweep type play? Were these used as another answer to the bear front, or just expanding the playbook? 

Comment 18 Jun 2013

According to ESPNs UFMs National Champ Florida team in 2008 averaged 39 carries and 23.5 pass attempts per game. OSU in 2012 averaged 46.5 carries and 23.2 pass attempts per game. Hyde averaged 18.5 carries in each of the 10 games he played. Braxton averaged 19 carries with the remaining 9 carries per game split between Smith, Dunn, etc. 

With the continued use of the no-huddle (which I don't think Florida used in 2008) let's assume they average 25 pass attempts and 45 carries a game. 

I'd like to see the carries split something like this:

  • Hyde - 16-20
  • Braxton - 8-12
  • H-Back Hall/Wilson/Marshal - 7-10
  • #2 RB Smith/Dunn/etc - 7-10

I think this would keep all of the mouths fed, keep bodies fresh for the length of the season, and limit the hits on Braxton.