I disagree 100%. I love my Buckeyes, and maybe it's a sign that I'm just getting old, but I don't love football today as much as I did when teams actually played defense and didn't simply try to out-score the other guy. And that's OK I guess, because I am old. I watch only the Buckeyes now-a-days, and my interest in the game is waning severely. Don't get me wrong, I love shootouts when they took place in the old west or on the battlefields of WWII, but I stopped watching basketball many years ago, and I'm afraid that soon, football too will lose its appeal to me.
The defense got better when the coach calling the defense decided he would be brave enough to let them be aggressive and play moving forward instead of falling back. Kudos to that coach. It's amazing how much better those 11 guys are when they're not playing to bend, but they're allowed to be aggressive and to break the offense.
Call me a hater if you want, but I wouldn't say that is was "how" the defense played against Wisconsin, but how the defense was "allowed" to play against Wisconsin that made the difference...
I don't care who calls it. Apparently they're all too embarrassed to take credit and admit it, so I'll keep blaming Luke. He's sucked at it for enough seasons. It doesn't take a college coach to see the problems with this defense, and certainly the players get to share the blame. But is it because we are recruiting bad/over rated players, or the position coaching isn't happening? It absolutely has to be one or the other. Either way (recruiting or developing) it's a coaching problem.
Please God, help Luke realize that he can put 7 or 8 men "in the box" in order to slow down the other team's running game, and that we don't always have to play a deep "cover 2" especially against a team that relies on the running game. Also Lord, help him understand that when he chooses to "blitz" that he should have the corners play a tight coverage (instead of giving his usual ten yard cushion) so that the other team's quarterback can't simply throw a quick 5 yarder to his outlet receiver. That's all God. Amen.
I didn't see one screen. Not one. Zero. As for the interceptions being off of slants, I don't think so. Take the pick-6 for instance: You're telling me that a 280 pound D-lineman was able to come out of his stance and drop into coverage so fast that he was able to intercept a quick 5-7 yard slant to one of our wide receivers? Really?
The players might not have played very well, but it's the job of the offensive coordinator to find the plays that will work. I don't think our OC is all he is cracked up to be (A genius? Really?). Much like in the B1G Championship Game against MSU, and this year's game against VT, when teams play an aggressive defense and bring pressure, it's like he has no idea what might work against that or how to react to it. He simply plays it conservatively and runs the same base plays over and over and over. No screens. No slants. No quick wide receiver screens (PSU ran a dozen of them). No, nothing. If our full vertical passing game doesn't work we seem to be at a loss as to what plays to call. On the flip side, I'm happy to say that the defense is looking better, but I still wish our DBs could figure out how to find the ball and play the ball, instead of simply face-guarding the receivers. That seems to be a coaching approach and I don't really like it. #GoBucks
Our DBs didn't do a bad job of actually "covering" receivers (staying with them while they ran their routes). But they sure the heck didn't make any plays on the ball (not only didn't they "break up" many passes, but most of the time they didn't even get their head around to see the ball coming and that is taught in Jr. High Football). However, another problem we've had the last 2-3 years is the defensive play-calling, especially when it came to matching coverage with what the D-line and LBs were doing (blitz, no blitz, LB drops, etc.). And that is 100% the fault of the Defensive Coordinator. Hopefully this year at least that will improve.
No gimmicks needed if our opponents had even a remote chance of winning (out of conference games mainly, but sadly many - if not most - B1G teams as well. B1G quality isn't what it used to be, and doesn't look to be making a drastic improvement top to bottom any time soon...). So the question is, who wants to drop all those dimes for what is essentially a WWE match, with the outcome already set in stone? IMO
I'm sure this will be unpopular and I'll be banned from Buckeye Nation, but this little piece is exactly why I find myself drifting away bit by bit from Ohio State football. Very happy to see an Ohio kid signed as a QB, but I don't care about the importance of national recruiting in this day and age. Offer the best kids in Ohio. At least the top 10-15 or so. Then go elsewhere to fill your remaining needs. If I wanted to root for Florida kids I'd be a Florida or FSU fan. If I wanted to cheer for kids from the south I'd follow one of the mighty SEC teams. Oh well, the good thing for everyone else is that OSU doesn't care what I think.
I'm sure my "fan" status will be questioned, but I find myself less and less happy with Buckeye recruiting. Sure it's fun to go after the big name recruits from the south, but in the long run I think this is going to hurt us in the Midwest and here at home. I like winning as much as the next guy, but I've been an Ohio State fan because for so long Ohio State was "Ohio" kids. Now, not so much. 60% or so on the roster from Ohio, the rest from elsewhere. I'm not an Ohio State fan simply because the university is in Ohio (so is UC, OU, UT, etc.) but I pull for the Buckeyes because I can remember the days when 10 of 11 starters were from Ohio, and we'd play Texas or USC, and their kids were from Texas or California. That was when it was really Ohio vs. Texas, or Ohio vs. California for football supremacy. Now, not so much. Recruit the Ohio kids. Win or lose, I'll be a bigger fan. As it is today, win or lose, my interest is waning...
Another thought might be the pro style offenses and the fact that the NFL does not use spread offenses - as many in the SEC/ACC do. This affects what type of players are recruited, and how they develop and adjust over their four year college career. I think it's especially true for offensive linemen. So when a NFL team is looking to draft someone for their system, it's much easier for them to grade and evaluate someone who comes from a system like theirs. But, I agree that the player rankings are skewed in favor of players from the south. Speed you know...