Film Study: Did Rutgers' Sporadic Success in the Option Game Provide a Blueprint for Future Buckeye Opponents?

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elitesmithie's picture

This could be great for the Bucks as Clifford will be more of a running Qb this week. Good practice and good to get these issues on film right before it is needed.

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JoeAndSo's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  Who knew Rutgers would be the team to expose issues in Ohio States defense?

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯"  - Joey Bosa

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SilverHaven's picture

Actually Ohio State themselves exposed these defensive shortcomings last year against Michigan.  Brown and Harbaugh ran the "cover one" with the CBs playing tight man to man.  So Urban ran crossing patterns in front of the lone safety.  And then when they caught on, Urban had the WRs fake crossing routes and turn out to the sidelines. The wheel route to our RBs against their slower LBs was also a good play-call, if only Haskins could have hit that throw more often.

Of course this all worked for the Buckeyes because the O line blocking gave Haskins needed time, and also the one Michi DB #28 was too slow to keep up.  Can this year's O line pass protect against better competition, and will one slower LB become a problem?

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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oprettyricky's picture

Also, gotta factor in no Chase young - he is someone that would account for multiple blockers, freeing up a different defensive player

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JTFor President2016's picture

Came to post the same thing. Best case scenario for a non-threat to expose some weaknesses. Couldn't have came at a better time. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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Hateblue's picture

They provided a good look for our defense and pointed to things we need to work on. 
However a mixture of vanilla play calling, multiple contributors being out, and the possibility Rutgers ran new schemes (haven’t bothered to watch them before Saturday), I think we are fine. Not having to game plan for Chase Young makes things a little easier. 

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IGotAWoody's picture

AND being without Cooper, we had 4 relative newcomers rotating in at DE.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Matt's picture

Sit Borland for Browning, or even Hilliard, and we'll be fine.  Borland is huge liability for any team with a mobile QB and viable RB run game.

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saintstephen11's picture

He whiffed on a couple of the plays shown above that is for sure.

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allinosu's picture

You do realize those the bad plays they pointed out?

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thatzuhYikes's picture

those bad plays are a theme when targeting Borland in both the run and pass. 

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allinosu's picture

That my friend is bias bullshit. Champion 7 times. The only starting LB with an INT. I have went back over each game this season and unlike Browning, he is rarely out of position or losses gap integrity. If you want I can give you many examples.

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lippertini's picture

Did you notice it was Hilliard who blew the edge contain that Kyle showed above (where Wade bailed them out)?

Great analysis as always, Kyle, thanks!

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JT's picture

Yes but JH forced to the sideline and Wade finished.  Unlike the Borland miss, JH’s play did not result in a TD

JTNYC

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allinosu's picture

We're all lucky your wisdom doesn't carry any weight with our coaches.

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JT's picture

Please let Browning, Pope or Gant play over Borland.

JTNYC

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Do you honestly believe the coaches aren’t putting who they believe is the best player on the field for every situation? If Browning was the best option every down, he’d be out there already. 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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buckeye1964's picture

he's hurt - the coaches don't have a choice right now.

danny

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

They were splitting time before Browning was listed as ‘unavailable.’

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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acBuckeye's picture

Let's be honest, if all things were equal in the health and experience category, Browning would be playing 100% of the time. Anyone with 2 eyes, and even 1, can see Browning is the superior player.

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Sanitarian2's picture

I think that you meant "athlete" as he's clearly not been the superior player for three years now. "I may be lost but I'm making good time" is no way to go through life, let alone football games.

Sani

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allinosu's picture

Wrong wrong wrong. I spent time every game going back and watching that position carefully and Browning DOES NOT play the position better. Borland always fills his gap first and foremost before peeling off forcing the play elsewhere while Browning goes with the motion which sometimes puts in a position for a really good play or in leaving his gap a play the other way. Where I was most surprised was Browning with his eyes in the backfield failing to cover a TE for first down catches. In the first three games the TE ran right past him before he put the breaks on and couldn't recover 6 times for first down catches. MSU targeted him out right successfully on his slow drops before he finally tipped one.

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thatzuhYikes's picture

We see it every year and say it every year. The coaches can be wrong, we saw it with even one of CFB best in Meyer.

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BucksHave7's picture

RU ran that with its 1st strings versus our 3rd strings.

BucksHave7

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Very true, Bucks.  I was a little salty that we gave  up 21 points to this basically hapless offense.  They kept the starters in the entire game.  I feel we should have countered with starters mixed in with 2nd and 3rd teamers.  I know, I am being petty but the competitor in me says you have to beat the spread.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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BucksHave7's picture

Our mission was 

#1: Win the game

#2: Keep starters healthy

#3: Be vanilla and basic on O and D and ST

BucksHave7

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CrazedBuckeye24_7's picture

Check, check, and check.

Jeremiah 27:9

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

The first TD run was against the 1’s. Although I don’t think they were trying to do anything too fancy on defense. 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Those Clifford runs (like McSorely before him) are the only thing that truly concerns me with PSU's offense, especially after we've seen other mobile QBs find success on the ground against us. I hope this is something our D staff can clean up and I pray it isn't some sort of fatal flaw that's been waiting to rear its ugly head.

"I find your lack of kalua disturbing" - Darth Lebowski

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NHBuckeye's picture

Well we've done just fine containing Martinez, Pigrome, etc. so I am a lot less worried that I would have been in years past.  I think Chase and crew will feast on the PSU O-Line.

Fields of Dreams

 

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Rocket Man's picture

TE's the size of a house concern me as well.

 Success - it's what you do with what you've got.  - Woody Hayes

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SilverHaven's picture

Yes, IBS&G, and also like McSorely, Clifford throws the long ball into 50-50 situations-- and with success due to his fine WRs and TE-- thus there high number of plays over 40 yards.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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SaltyD0gg's picture

Playing against our back DEs certainly makes it easier. I have a feeling the Predator will have something to say this week.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

I was about to say the same thing. We had a ton of youth out there against Rutgers, back-ups were in early and often and we didn’t show many unique looks.  I thought we played as basic as possible. 

Outside of the rushing TD following the fumbled punt I thought the defense played well. Anything that happened in the 4th quarter was against a complete lineup of backups and freshmen. 

Rutgers ran with the QB because that was basically all they could do. Am I worried about Clifford? A little but no more or less than I was before Rutgers. 

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NHBuckeye's picture

For sure.  JJB and Alex Williams played a ton in the game this past Saturday.  With PSU double-teaming Chase, Zach/Coop/Smith are going to thrive from the other side.  

Fields of Dreams

 

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Steelydan54's picture

And if they try to read CY and not block him they will learn that he is smart and fast enough to cover both options most of the time by forcing an early commit then catching the read back.  Just need a clean up LB behind him. 

Steelybuck54

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bd2999's picture

I think that is reasonable to assume too. The team fielded this past weak was not the top tier group from other games. They did not play badly as such, but worse than a week earlier.

If OSU gets pressure like they did most of the season with Young causing mismatches, than the other guys will have an easier go doing their jobs. Hoping a fair number of guys come back healthy though.

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Salty, I think Chase GOES OFF on PSU - to the tune of 3+ sacks including a strip sack and 4 TFL.  He should be rested, ready, and in the mood to beat some Lion ass.  He also knows what is in store for us if we win.  He - and the team, will be ready.  I look for a beat down of epic proportions Saturday.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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buckeyepastor's picture

If the 3-wide to one side alignment forced our DL to create space while chipping the backside TE to help the OLB to that side, could this possibly be a situation that calls for Brendon White to play more?  Seems like the sort of mismatch this created is the sort of thing his position on the field was created to stop.

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

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lippertini's picture

White (#25) was actually covering on that play.

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

I also think Zach took two too many steps downfield to chip the TE and created the lane.  I don't believe Chase would have made that move.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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Frimmel's picture

They probably don't try to run that at Chase's side with just a TE chipping him. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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CieGrant_Blitz's picture

Totally.  You can leave him unblocked and read him all you want but he’s so explosive you run the risk of him ruining the play anyway.  He’s done that several times this year on zone reads or screens. 

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Frimmel's picture

The end and LB just didn't execute that properly. D End stayed too long on the TE letting himself get pulled out of his gap. Seems more a slack off against an outmatched opponent than a personnel issue. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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stuckinSouthBend's picture

The backside OLB on that play was White actually.

Scarlett & Gray > Blue and Gold

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

Harrison as a spy has always seemed to work pretty well against mobile QBs.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

Bingo, he also cleans up a lot of screen plays when he is running as a spy on the QB.

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JT's picture

Mitchell or Pope as a spy on a play or two could result in a massive hit on Clifford...

JTNYC

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

Mitchell showing some ferociousness in his limited action.  He looked like he was having fun out there.  We should probably just sporadically place Pope into different parts of the secondary since the ball seems to be a magnet to him.

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Tulsinator's picture

If Browning plays he is the other option. Those two on the field at the same time would help negate the QB run.

UNDISPUTED

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

And their reaction time against read-options and lateral plays AND closing speed on screen passes would be much better.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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Trebor40's picture

Unlikely, it has been Browning with our new formation to match the QB when healthy. I truly hope he is healthy or like others Hilliard is put into spy

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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BuckTD's picture

A lot to make out of 2 plays. Something that needs work but Rutgers only averaged 2.8 per carry (1.7 if you take out the 2 big plays). Not like like they were hitting a bunch of good runs in between. We aren't giving these up with consistency.

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Such a great point. But after last season, I think people react to possible issues very quickly.

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stlbuckeye15's picture

Great write up as always! We have game planned for mobile quarterbacks this season(Martinez in particular comes to mind) and I'm sure the staff isn't overlooking anything. I can't imagine Penn State(given it's personnel) will be able to throw in many wrinkles that would doom us but we are going to have to play very sound defense against the run and keep Hamler and their big tight end in check. Do that and will be tough sledding for the kitties. Hoping Chase's presence will lead to some scrambles and possible turnovers/sloppy play. Will be interesting to watch. Go Bucks!

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bd2999's picture

I think it is potentially something to exploit for better teams, but it is also something that there is not an easy defense against. If you have everybody covered and the pressure does not get home than it is rough to have the QB take off. You only have so many bodies.

That said, OSU did do pretty well containing Adrian Martinez. Outside of one meaningless run. PSU has better blockers than that and so does UM. So, we will see how things go, but I am not too worried. I was a bit surprised about the running success though.

I am sure scheme was involved and the coaches will do what they have to do to fix things, but the defensive line in particular was not playing the the intensity we are used to. Not that they were bad but they were not elite in that game. There were also multiple runs where the RB or QB avoided first contact and made a play. Guys were back there but missed for one reason or another.

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Steelydan54's picture

There was a lot of intensity vs MD due to last years way too close call. R just didn't move the needle very much and it showed... we will be back to serious Buckeye football Saturday. 

Steelybuck54

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Hova9Strong's picture

Agreed IF you knew like Rutgers, that 2 inexperienced DE's are playing (to be put in conflict) That shouldn't be the case on Saturday. Also, White or Bullet is plugged in as the Edge Player (If PSU runs this, they'll highlight iso with TE) and get him some REPs knowing how to handle the release. Recognize it's primarily a QB run, Landers is crucial. Hafley will have it diagnosed and fixed by Saturday.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Saturday, if I said it once I said it twenty times, the coaches got everything they needed to keep these Buckeyes focused.  That game was littered with coaching moments, and my hat's off to Nunzio Campanile for coming up with an effective game plan (relatively speaking).  It seems like he found a chink, and I have more faith in Day to fix that that I may have had in the past.

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Milk Steak To Go's picture

Go back to the Northwestern game.  They had moderate success with qb run.  Every 3rd/4th and short was QB zone left (i don't think there was a read attached).  Michigan State did okay, too.

A effective QB run game with decent tight ends for the RPO is the one area where I think the OSU D is susceptible. 

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bd2999's picture

Honestly, most teams are going to have some issues with that sort of thing. It is pretty hard to defend unless everybody stays home and beats their man. It is one of the reasons it worked so well for OSU over the years.

That said, I do not know if it is a winning strategy to constantly run your QB as much as a running back against OSU. That is a good way to get him hurt. Particularly on designed runs. Pressure is also a good counter. If the pocket is collapsing and lanes are held than there will be nowhere to go. Like Adrian Martinez found.

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Milk Steak To Go's picture

Oh, I agree you don't want to run the qb 20 times, but if UM/PSU run him 12-15 times and they're getting decent yardage/1st downs, gotta figure the offense's gameplan is opened up.

The only teams that can do this are the buckeye's next 2 (maybe 3 if MInny wins the west) opponents.

That said, i'm not too worried because the OSU offense is going to drop 42+ on them.

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j2gobucks's picture

Add to that, that only works so many times.  one stop for loss due to the end making the right read (or the QB making the wrong one) and you are in 2nd / 3rd and forever.  Not to mention I dont think the Dline / LB's did a whole lot exotic this week - very few stunts, twists, etc.  Run your QB into the OSU D line doing twisting with Harrison and co staying home and its going to be a LONG afternoon.  

Half the time I had to double check names/roster to know who was on the field against RU; props to them for taking advantage but that game was not indicative of what this team can do on D.  NEB, WISC, etc are a better barometer.  the level of play and preparedness on the D this year has been so good (and compared to last year - woah), they just flow to the ball, seem to be a step ahead, and just take away their opponents strength so easily.  Wisconsin / MSU - good running teams?  Nah.  FAU/Kiffin tricky offense?  Nah.  Wanna throw it around against this secondary, with 2-4 potential 1st rounders (not counting backups) AND Young coming off the edge?  good luck.  

PSU and UM have a pulse, and will be much stiffer challenges than all previous opponents, but lets not pretend they are an even match. 

Everything that happens-good and bad-should motivate you to be persistent. ~JT

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LouBuck35's picture

I like our chances if the blueprint to beat us is Clifford/Patterson to have some short to middling QB runs and RPOs to the TE.  I welcome either team to grind out 12-15 play drives because in reality, that won't be enough to keep up with our offense.

I want a fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium..

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blu.fan's picture

Yeah, with Chase Young back, and all your starters on the field, and the reality of the importance of the PSU and Michigan games, I don't think this will be much of a blueprint. The other thing is that it doesn't really matter how many points another team scores on you as long as your offense continues to be so prolific.

NOTE:  There may be a playoff team or two out there with a high powered offense and a good defense where this could be a problem. I haven't seen it yet.

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SilverHaven's picture

LSU's offense with Jeaux, the former 3rd-string OSU QB, has the high-powered offense, but not a sterling defense.  I have not seen Clemson play this year, so I don't know if they will fill the bill.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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tcm1968's picture

I'm not worried. For starters, as long as our offense is humming if a team is running the QB it's just stat padding. If you aren't throwing the ball trying to match points the game is probably already over. Second, it's tough to take anything away from the Rutgers game. It was obvious from the opening snap that guys didn't want to be there. Offensive lineman weren't firing off on the snap and plenty of dudes on defense seemed to be avoiding contact. Not to mention if we ever did get into some sort of "we can't stop this QB from running" you could just spy him with someone like Browning.

The only thing to play for was the shutout and when Wilson fumbled the punt and that went out the window most of the defense further checked out.. 

Rutgers was a glorified scrimmage with VERY vanilla defensive schemes that they had some success against. Nothing more than that imo.

Go Bucks!

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Yup, our backups certainly have lots to work on this week - looking forward to watching them redeem themselves in the second half.

Shandy is not beer

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lippertini's picture

Every single example shown was from the first half against our first stringers.  That said, I'm also looking fwd to watching our second-stringers in the 2nd half :)

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Cooper's picture

There is absolutely no doubt PSU is going to rely on their RPO game, QB runs, and slowing the game down. Their traditional passing game doesn’t stand a chance against Ohio State. 
 

If they’re able to control the game with their RPO, this game could be a barn burner. It all depends how quick a start the Bucks have.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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drclau's picture

Serious question here... is there any chance Harbaughs mediocre start to the season could have been due to his reluctance to “give away” things he’s holding for “the game”. I mean, let’s face it, he may be gone if he fails to beat OSU again, especially if he gets depantsed. Beat us, and they won’t even care about the early losses. I really wonder if this was just a one game season for him and the recent improvement is simply a result of executing things better over the course of the year while some early wins were lost due to holding back. Is there a chance harbaugh has a lot of surprises for this year?

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Frimmel's picture

I think it is mostly that their QB has stopped fumbling the ball three times a game. Also MSU is not very good this season and lost their best LB to a failed PED test. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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airbuckeye's picture

Ill wait in see remember the 14 points in the second half was against back ups. And one of those TD's was a gift from the refs on a bogus pass interference call that set them up. The one in the first Quarter was also a gift from a muffed punt that was not caught right and set them up for short yardage. But the back ups did allow a shit load of QB runs in the 2nd half. But I think for that reason we won't see all those back ups play a whole lot in the 2nd half with this being PISSU. At lest not until sometime in the 4th when the game in in hand. I don't Day will pull the starters out so early knowing their is that much time left and take a chance of them coming back and making a game out of it.

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Chuckeye Buck's picture

A couple years from now this may be the Heisman banner

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Chuckeye Buck's picture

So whomever the DV is from doesn't feel that Steele Chambers can develop into a great back?? I thought he looked awful good the other day....sayin  

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thedewman10's picture

There are 2 words that come to mind to answer this question. 

Chase and Young

Ok, so I used 3 words. But you get the jist.

TheDewMan10

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What Would Troy Smith Do's picture

Definitely wasn't expecting a result from the Rutger game to make me feel worse.

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Ocbucks's picture

Blueprint that’s very laughable. Absurd. Shouldn’t be an article. :
they scored off the 2s and 3s
they scored off turnovers 
it’s Rutgers!!  we played D vanilla like FAU and no surprise those were the most points. If a team thinks they have something from that.  

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DaiTheFlu's picture

The first TD was against the starters, as were a few of their better offensive plays. I think it works out in our favor, though, as it gives our guys something to work on. They know they gave more than they should have and I have faith it gets addressed this week, in a big way. 

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

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CrazedBuckeye24_7's picture

I'm sore about the Rutgers game. We played sloppy in comparison to other games. I'm upset about the final score. But then I think about it. They gave up 21 to Rutgers (motivation). They found weakness to fix (ahead of two big games). They still won handily. Our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stringers all played. That game gave us everything we needed.

Jeremiah 27:9

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carton's picture

Borland:

1. I promise I won't tackle you unless you come to me

2. If I tackle you, I promise I would tackle falling backward

3. Definitely I will be at the scene of collision, just late

4. To me number of tackles means a number of assisted tackles multiplied by 2

Any of other 3 mLBs instead of Borland will go a long long way, probably an undefeated season in the end

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CherryWine's picture

attack the weakness..  Our slow middle linebacker.  

same issue.. maddening with the talent behind him

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time, no no

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buckeyetodd92's picture

If we score 45, it won't matter that we give up 28 to PSU or that other team. But yeah, some things to work on for the next two weeks.

True story: I served ribs to John Cooper.

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Torontobuckeye's picture

When do you think Cooper will be back at DE?

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Sanitarian2's picture

I wonder who ends up as the whipping boy after Borland graduates? We are already complaining about future corner recruiting so perhaps we can randomly pick one of those players. RB recruiting is also a point of contention so maybe Teagues replacement can be it for a year. I mean we'd complain that the hangman tied the wrong knot on the silver rope that was used to hang us.

Sani

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TomD's picture

Sometimes opponents see a vulnerability and exploit it. It happens. The key is to quickly respond in-game and make the appropriate gameplan adjustments for future games.

In the recent past, the Buckeyes often didn't do this very well, but this coaching staff, and the players, seem to be focused on playing this important aspect of championship level football.

"Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it." - Woody Hayes

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seyekcuB's picture

Young makes this defense even better. It's almost not even fair putting Browning on Chase's side and blitzing. I just dont see anyway they lose if they take care of the football. That goes for LSU, Bama and Clemson too. Clemson is owed a massive beat down.

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j2gobucks's picture

The amount of lb talent scouts hiding in this board is unreal. Schiano/Davis sucked and played Borland and Werner over Browning, pope, Mitchell, etc. In comes Washington/Hafley/Mattis - all consensus major upgrades on the defensive staff plus a new HC and open competitions, and lo and behold Werner is still starting (and playing lights out) and Borland is a co-starter with Browning (when healthy) and solo starter when Browning is out. Pope, Mitchell, Hilliard, and Gant all look good in limited time and are outstanding athletes but 5 different defensive coaches and 2 different HC's have continued to keep Borland as a starter. Ffs, have it a rest or apply for a job.

Everything that happens-good and bad-should motivate you to be persistent. ~JT

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Nikkibucksfan's picture

You think Penn State and TTUN are not watching that game again and again to use when they play us? Get ready...Be ready!

Nikki emmerson

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buckeye phi's picture

Great analysis as usual, Kyle.  I agree that the Rutgers coaches were able to find a few seams in the running game - even against our first teamers.  However, I don't think they were able to do so consistently. 

Remember, their only score on our first team defense came immediately following a muffed punt return.  The remaining 14 points came against our second and third string defenses. 

Is it potentially an area of concern?  Absolutely. 

Is it something we'll be able to adjust to?  Probably. 

But the best part is - no matter what - I think we'll be able to survive a bit of that kind of tactic.  The real question is - will Ped State's or ttun's QBs be able to survive it? 

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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