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TomD


Member since 13 January 2014 | Blog

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Comment 07 Dec 2014

Well done Buckeyes, indeed!!!

Credit goes to the entire coaching staff for addressing the challenges of a young, developing football team - unexpectedly without their starting quarterback, not once, but twice - and making the necessary adjustments.  Especially, what Coach Warinner has done with the development of the offensive line this year is very impressive.  He, and the offensive line, deserve much of the credit, for the improved play of the offense during the year.

Improved game preparation and play calling, especially on the offensive side of the ball, has brought out the talent of this team.  Talented athletes, with an effective game plan, who then execute that game plan, are the recipe for domination.  We saw that against Wisconsin.  When Cardale Jones completed that first TD pass to Devin Smith, demonstrating that he could effectively throw the ball, it forced Wisconsin out of their defensive game plan, from which they never recovered.  MVP of the Conference Championship Game in his first start. Wow!

But even more importantly, I believed that limiting Melvin Gordon was the key to the game.  The defensive did that, and more . . . 76 yards on 26 carries, a 2.9 yard per carry average, with a long run of 13 yards.  

This was a total team effort in excellence, coaches and players. Most impressive and well done. And now, bring on Alabama!!!

Comment 21 Nov 2014

I agree with you.  We have talented TEs and should utilize them more.

Throwing more to the TEs would open up the field a bit for the WRs, not to mention limiting the opposition defense from concentrating on run defense, which our opponents have had a tendency to do.

Although the offensive numbers this year are quite impressive, a diverse offense is even more difficult to prepare for and to stop.  With so much talent on the offensive side of the ball this year, more effort should be made to spread the ball around more.  It's a balance . . . for example, Ezekiel Elliott has been so effective running the ball that there is a good case to be made for continuing with what works, while at the same time trying to diversify the offense and make opposition defense preparation and execution more difficult.

One thing is certain, the offense has made tremendous progress over the season.  The players and coaches deserve credit for that, especially with respect to the offensive line.

With that, I conclude my own armchair coaching contribution for the day, :)

Comment 15 Nov 2014

I agree.  Would we like the team to perform at a high level every week?  Sure.  Would we like no turnovers, even in non-ideal weather conditions? Sure.  But they won, on the road, in less than ideal conditions.  That IS "all that counts right now."

Look at the scores in the top 25 right now:  #1 MSU losing 19-6 at #5 Alabama.  #4 TCU in a tussle with Kansas. Washington leading #14 Arizona in Tucson. Northwestern within 1 late at Notre Dame. #19 Clemson gets beaten pretty decisively at Georgia Tech.  Virginia Tech beats Duke at Duke.  Lots of higher ranked teams being challenged, and beaten, this week.

And, as for Jalin Marshall.  Lay off with the extreme and rude comments, from the Twitter Twits.  Teammates, talk him through it . . . coaches, coach him through it.  The young man has MUCH to offer this team, now and in the future.  Learn from it and move on . . . and let's celebrate a big win on the road.
 

Comment 11 Nov 2014

Ross, I agree, and in that sense, across the board, the "fundamentals," especially on the offensive side of the ball, were much better executed in this year's game.  In addition to Elliott's blocking, I also remember the excellent block that Curtis Samuel made on the 1st quarter J.T. Barrett 5 yard TD run . . . these are the finer details of execution that make for championship football.

Kudos should go to the offensive coaching staff for an effective game plan, and the players for a well-executed game.  There is so much talent on this football team, on both sides of the ball.

Game ball, in my opinion, goes to the offensive line, for a job well done.

One game at a time.  Now, on to Minnesota!!!

Comment 11 Nov 2014

When comparing last year's championship game against Michigan State with this year's game, this year there was (1) a more effective offensive game plan and (2) the players executed that game plan.

At the core of this year's win, was the play of the offensive line, which made throwing, running and catching much easier.  Yes, the "skill" players had an outstanding game, especially J.T. Barrett . . . but the "grunt" players in the trenches, on an offensive line that has been a work in progress this year, helped make it possible.  The offensive line deserve much credit for a dominant and decisive win against a quality opponent.

Comment 09 Nov 2014

While J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott and Devin Smith each made significant contributions, the game ball must go to the offensive line, who won the game in the trenches against a very good defensive football team.  It's easier to pass, run and catch the ball when the offensive line does its job well and that was certainly the case tonight.

The offensive coaching staff also deserves credit for a well-called game.  Congratulations to the team for an excellent effort and a key win.  Well done.  Now, on to Minnesota.

Comment 04 Nov 2014

According to 247Sports, here are the football recruiting rankings since 2011:

2011 - OSU 7th, MSU 32nd

2012 - OSU 5th, MSU 33rd

2013 - OSU 2nd, MSU 37th

2014 - OSU 3rd, MSU 25th

According to the team rankings, we clearly have the better talent rankings.  In terms of the talent successfully recruited, we are the better team.  If we execute an effective game plan, we should win.

Assuming that these numbers are an accurate reflection of the talent/quality of recruits for each of the two schools (other rankings will be slightly different), what is MSU doing right, and what is OSU doing wrong - in players recruited, player development, and game coaching - for OSU to be an underdog in this weekend's game, given the clear recruiting advantage that OSU has demonstrated over the last 4 years?

I'm willing to assume that MSU is doing something very right with the talent that it has successfully recruited, in large measure attributable to their coaching staff, but where can we improve?

We have the better team, in terms of players successfully recruited.  Let's go prove it on Saturday!

Comment 26 Oct 2014

I said "yes" because I realized that this team faces many challenges and still has much work to do.  But there has been consistent progress, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  I expect much from these talented young men as the season continues.  On offense, a balance must be found between conservative play calling, when necessary, and taking full advantage of the talent that is on the offensive side of the ball.  J.T. Barrett has been put in a challenging position, he is rising to that challenge and, on Saturday night in a very difficult situation, gave a gutsy performance when it counted most.  

I expected the crowd/experience of Happy Valley to be an intense one, and it certainly was.  As someone commented earlier on another thread, it is good that the team, and Barrett in particular, experienced an intense road challenge before the MSU game.  It will help them prepare.

At this stage of the season, I expected that the Penn State game would be a challenging one, most likely not a blow-out.  As I expected, Penn State brought, with the support and encouragement of their crowd, their best effort.

Now more than ever . . . one game at a time.

Comment 20 Oct 2014

Not yet, but we're definitely moving in that direction.

One game at a time, please . . . coaches and players . . . forget the polls and forget talk of the conference championship game and beyond.

If we concentrate on the immediate task at hand, and continue to develop the talent on this team, it will happen.

Comment 19 Oct 2014

One of the things that concerns me is the 8PM start time on the road.

Anyone have any data on Ohio State's record, say over the last 10 years, both home and away, with noon starts, 3:30PM starts and 8PM starts?

Comment 18 Oct 2014

It may be a cliche, but in this case it's true:  One game at a time.  The next game is the most important game.

Keep that in mind and continue to improve - offensively, defensively and on special teams - and this team will become an excellent football team, with the wins to prove it.

Comment 28 Sep 2014

Take away the three long pass plays, and the defense played pretty well against the pass.  While there is still much work to be done on the defensive side of the ball, there's been improvement.

Kiel/Moore may be the best passer/receiver duo that we see all year.  Learn from the mistakes and move forward, one game at a time.

One thing is certain; future opponents will test our pass defense.  Repeatedly.  We'd better be ready.

Comment 10 Feb 2014

I'm pretty sure that we have already entered a time in which, to have a particular point of view on this matter (shall we say the "liberal" view) is acceptable, even encouraged, while to have any alternate point of view is deemed unacceptable, even "hateful."  Even on a sports website.

Comment 06 Feb 2014

I would think that you would first want to build an offensive philosophy around the player skill set that you have.  That is one of the primary objectives of spring ball . . . find out the offensive skill set that you have.  What are you likely to do well with the players that you have . . . then develop it and do it.

With Carlos Hyde gone, maybe the power run game is less of a factor next year.  With Braxton Miller returning for his senior year, can he improve his passing technique and reads, so that the passing game becomes a more central part of the offense?  How does the offensive line stack up . . . strong at run or pass?  How do we get the experience and capability at tight end more central within the offense scheme, with Jeff Heuerman returning?  How do you utilize the skills that you have, especially developing offensive plays using multiple backs, perhaps one in the slot given all the speed and talent at that position next year.

There is too much offensive talent on the 2014 team not to use it both broadly and extensively.  Broaden the offensive approach, within the skill set that is displayed in the spring.  You're right, there is too much talent on the offensive side of the ball, so many options on this team, for it to be predictable.  Diversify the play set, while not making it too complicated, seems to be the key for next year's offense.

Comment 03 Feb 2014

Since offenses have become so dominant, defensive strategy and tactics needs to be more explicitly defined and refined.  Old school defense won't cut it anymore.  You hear a lot of talk about aggression on defense.  It's necessary.  A reactive defense, with today's sophisticated offenses, is not a winning strategy.  But it must be smart and measured aggression, ultimately selective in its execution . . . at the right point in the opposition offense's possession.  Finally, these modern defensive schemes and adjustments must not be too complicated for players to learn and to execute.

While talent in players is critical, as is the on-going development of that talent, with today's sophisticated offenses, both pre-game defensive strategy and during-the-game adjustments are often what wins football games, especially important games.  A defensive coaching staff that can make adjustments on-the-fly to what offenses are executing successfully, is a capability that will win most of the important games.  More than on offense, the heart of an excellent defense is an excellent defensive coaching staff.  Said another way, while offense can be built around an individual player's talents, defense must be more of a team approach, beginning with coaching.

And as a recent example of in-game defensive adjustment, if Carlos Hyde consistently gains 5+ yards per carry, the defense - let's say Michigan State's defense - must adjust to stop Carlos Hyde . . . unless, of course, the offense stops calling the play (!?!?!?!?).

Comment 03 Feb 2014

Successful recruiting is a critical, early stage in a winning football program.  It is a key element, but it is not sufficient.

Once the talent is here, it needs to be developed and coached.  Something is missing if Ohio State repeatedly has among the best recruiting classes in the country, and the best recruiting class in the B1G, but is not consistently winning the big games.

I firmly believe that Urban Meyer is the right man for the job and is on the right track, but there has been something missing in the development of talent and the coaching, both pre-game preparation and during-the-game adjustments, on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.  The problem, especially if it is coaching, and whether it is personnel or approach, needs to be determined and corrected.

Although losing Mike Vrabel was a blow, the hiring of coaches Johnson and Ash are steps in the right direction.  Now the question becomes what more needs to be done to ensure that Ohio State is an elite football team . . . most importantly, consistently winning conference championships and bowl games.  The last two years of recruiting at Ohio State under Coach Meyer have been excellent, now we need to see the results on the field.

And Michigan State is clearly doing something right.  Perhaps we can learn from their success.

Comment 19 Jan 2014

Don't underestimate Michigan State.  So what if their recruiting classes have not been/are not impressive.  They beat us with "lesser" recruits last year . . . with better coaching.

Comment 15 Jan 2014

This team has lots of talent on the defensive side of the ball . . . and more is coming.  Ohio State fans deserve the best . . . and that includes coaching.  Overall, the play on the defensive side of the ball last year was unacceptable, especially the last three games.  It seems like the defensive play never really developed or improved over the year, especially considering the importance of the final three games, the season's big rivalry game: Michigan, B1G championship: Michigan State, Orange Bowl: Clemson.  Ultimately, this falls on the coaches.

I have confidence that Coach Meyer knows what he is doing and will fix things, ultimately making the right football moves, even in the face of the challenges of personal relationships.