Guns and Butter

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

I get to the point with the kickoff team where I'd rather they just kick out of bounds and give the opposing team good field position.  It's infuriating to watch guys get bad angles because they're trying to squeeze the other team into a corner of the field. Barkley was just too fast and he destroyed any boundary the kick off team was trying to establish.

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

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gumtape's picture

Fine job as always.
Watching Ohio State cover kickoffs makes me want to drink. Thanks to Ramzy, in the fall it is Woodford reserve infused with vanilla and apples.

High and tight boo boo

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Hi, my name's Gumtape, and I'm an alcoholic. But it's only because of Buckeye kickoffs."

Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.  

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TMac's picture

It's weird that we can't cover a Kickoff to save our lives and yet still haven't given up a single Punt return yard in those same 8 games. 

#ItsGreatToBeABUCKEYE

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Seattle Linga's picture

Another Tressel influence that carried over

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

Seattle Sounders 2019 MLS Champions

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NorthCarolinaBUCKEYE's picture

It’s all about the “hang time”. 

You win with people! - Woody Hayes

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BrotherBrutus's picture

I find it hard to believe that Nuremberger, a Junior, can't kick it through the back of the endzone.

Go Bucks!

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jamesrbrown322's picture

I find it hard to believe that they can't find somebody, anybody, on campus that is willing to walk on and able to nail the ball 65-70 yards off of a tee.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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BuckeyeVet's picture

A high school kid:

Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYtIfE-kCPU

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."-Groucho Marx

Goals: Beat Michigan. Win the B1G East. Beat Michigan. Win the B1G CG. Beat Michigan. Win a Natty. Beat Michigan.

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cronimi's picture

According to Cam Johnston, 11W's own Andrew Lind and 11W alum Jeremy Birmingham, both PKers can boot it out of the end zone (they've seen it happen). So either (1) they can't do it repeatedly/consistently, or (2) Urbz doesn't want to change his KO philosophy, utilizing the mortar kick. 

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Number 2. Urban doesn't make mistakes ever. The Tim Beck wasting 2 years of JTB' s life wasn't the coaches fault. - Sarcasm -.

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fear_the_nut70's picture

What does his class standing have to do with how far he can kick the ball?  Call me crazy, but I think leg strength has more to do with it.
 

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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BrotherBrutus's picture

He's had a couple of years to develop with this coaching staff and this type of strength and conditioning. I agree it's about leg strength. I would think someone with a strong leg to begin with, working with Coach Mick and our special teams staff, would be able to kick it through the endzone.

Go Bucks!

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Bamabucknut's picture

Why are we recruiting kickers with weak inaccurate legs ?

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DataBuck's picture

Why not?  Recruiting a quarterback with a weanie arm has worked out pretty well for us.

The truth is in the details...

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Defiance's picture

Recruiting a quarterback with a weanie arm has worked out pretty well for us

"Defiance in Silence" 

Shhhh

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BuckeyeVet's picture

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."-Groucho Marx

Goals: Beat Michigan. Win the B1G East. Beat Michigan. Win the B1G CG. Beat Michigan. Win a Natty. Beat Michigan.

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DataBuck's picture

I just love that graphic!!! UV for you sir!

The truth is in the details...

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Jugdish's picture

During the championship game against Alabama, Evan Spencer laid a block on one Bama LB'er and forced that LB'er into another taking out both LB'ers. Zeke took it 85 yards through the heart of the south. This is exactly what is happening on Buckeyes kickoffs. Our players are so close together that blocking one bumps him into the path of another buckeye. Stupid scheme and Meyer should know by now that it doesn't work. I can't wait for the Iowa game to see how Urban is going to handle kickoffs. I know we will be pleased with the effort.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL                     "Defend Your Shoe"  AZNCHIPMUNK    

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O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Yes, saw this tangled mess happen a couple times against penn st. Also watched a couple of our coverage guys run into the backs of their teammates as if they were solely focused on the kick returner. Overzealous plus a little reckless.

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Wildragei's picture

Bingo, hand the man a beer!!!!!!

Wildragei

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wrathofAJhawk's picture

THANK YOU

Harbaugh sits whilst he urinates

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Obviously you didn’t click the link in the article and read it. The mortar kick actually works if executed properly. 

It’s not the scheme, it’s the execution that is the current problem. 

http://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/blog/2016/why-mortar-kicks-can-win-...

"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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Toilrt Paper's picture

It's worked for his first 5 years. 

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Hovenaut's picture

After flirting with disaster, I have to believe kickoff coverage can only get better.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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Byaaaahhh's picture

Unfortunately, while it probably couldn't get any worse, it could very well stay about the same and that would be ugly. 

If I'm being honest, though, I do somewhat believe in the corner philosophy. While it looks bad to occasionally get calls for kicking it out, the average doesn't lie and Urban wouldn't run it otherwise. I have yet to see a good view of exactly what happened to enable Barkley's return, but I am guessing it comes down to being out of position, whether that's absentmindedness or actually getting blocked away. 

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Hovenaut's picture

I also get the philosophy...but doing that same thing over and over again...

As gut-wrenching as Barkley's return was, the linebacker's (Koa Farmer's) was redonkulous.

Here's to some shuffling with those gunners.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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Byaaaahhh's picture

Yeah. If it's not working, stop doing it. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah. If JT up the middle isn't working, stop doing it. 

No contain whatsoever on Farmer's return. 

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TShell's picture

I think we've gone way beyond the flirting stage. Had a couple regrettable hookups, now we may be in relationship territory.

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Cue the “crazy-hot” lady graph. The Buckeyes have chosen somewhere between crazy-hot and out of bounds on kickoffs. 

"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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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Mortar kicks are only as good as their execution (shocking, I know). They may have worked in the past and have all sorts of wonderful statistics backing them up, but they sure as hell aren't working now so why do we keep doing them?! Line up like a normal team and just kick the ball as hard as you can. This isn't rocket science.

Shandy is not beer

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ogama843's picture

But Urban IS a rocket scientist, and tweaks every aspect of the game. I've seen the "mortar" kick work gloriously and fail miserably. I see his philosophy. Why give a team 25 yards, when you can make them earn it and possibly pin them inside the 20. He wants to change the mindset of kickoff coaching and execution. It's gonna take a while, but the execution will be improved. Believe me. Fortunately we have been able to survive some very unfortunate wrinkles thus far.

Holy Buckeye!

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

It's gonna take a while, but the execution will be improved. Believe me

He's been here for 5 years and kickoff coverage is as bad as it's ever been. We are on week 9 of the season, whatever is broken isn't going to be fixed this season - thus my plea to change course before it finally costs us a game. I'm not advocating a change in philosophy for the remainder of his tenure, just for the remainder of this season.

Shandy is not beer

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fear_the_nut70's picture

When you say this, you act as if it is automatically going to be a linear progression.  It's just one man talking, but perhaps the execution of the players has something to do with its success (and the players are not static in CFB from year to year).  I remember either two or three years ago it seemed like the other team was routinely starting inside the 15.  Kick must be accurate and players must stay in their lanes.  These two things have NOT been consistent with the 2017 Buckeyes.
 

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

When you say this, you act as if it is automatically going to be a linear progression

I was replying to the previous poster's statement that things will get better with time (reposted below)

He wants to change the mindset of kickoff coaching and execution. It's gonna take a while, but the execution will be improved. Believe me.

Shandy is not beer

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Extramedium's picture

With some personnel changes and a few people sticking to assignments it could very well be a quick fix.

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Toilrt Paper's picture

THE problem is, the unit consists of 3 walkons, 4 Freshman, 2 Sophs, and just 1 player on the 2 deep. 

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osu992's picture

Let's be fair: Ohio State has participated in one more game than Florida has, and the Gators just might allow 1,000 return yards to Missouri on Saturday (the Tigers have 474 total on the season). But this isn't so much about Florida as it is about Ohio State.

Also fair: noting that Florida only has 149 points all season. Compared to OSU's 370...that's a lot more scoring plays...a lot more kick offs. But this isn't so much about gross return yardage as it is yards per attempt. 

***recalculates***

oh...Florida's numerator is still 0 and OSU's is still crap.

New Day for OSU. Same noon for TTUN.

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GareBear's picture

Knock his effing head off? 

Michigan sucks

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AlwayzABuckeye614's picture

To Be fair, OSU has kicked off a million more times than Florida has because of the points we score. So the sample size is much greater for a team to get some return yards. but I get the point lol.

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VintonCountyBuck's picture

I don't get it.. In all my games on Madden, I simply kick it on-sides each time and recover.  They never return the ball...

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

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AlwayzABuckeye614's picture

Watching from home we cant see the whole field, does our kick off team have a player other than the kicker staying back as a last second tackler? That could be an option as well, a fast player like Ward could man that position imo.

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wrathofAJhawk's picture

No they don't but if you have two players staying back including one of the fastest on the team it defeats the point of Urban's mortar kick. 

Now, if you want to talk about kicking off like a dang normal football team I'll have that conversation all day

Harbaugh sits whilst he urinates

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AlwayzABuckeye614's picture

Well, as the current kick offs are going, LOL, I think it would be ok to explore the idea of having someone hang back. I mean if the point is to have the fast guys down there to tackle the returner and its not working as we know haha.

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theevol1's picture

I nominate Rashod Berry. I have to imagine that if the returner beats everyone to the edge and breaks free, only to come face-to-face with Roughshod, he'll just tackle himself to avoid being planted like a rose bush!

DBU? LBU? You can keep those. The Ohio State University is 9unitsU.

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Breakawayspeed's picture

Set the edge and force the returner back inside. Whatever you do, don't let that runner get outside!  Force him back into the middle of the field.  Sounds simple but those guys usually can fly so, its easier said that done.

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Toilrt Paper's picture

THAT IS a part of the concept, it just isn't happening

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Toilrt Paper's picture

OR #8 onside kick frequently. One out of every three kickoffs have been a bad result for the kickoff unit.. This kickoff team should be a lot better at recovering onside kicks than kicking the ball where it's supposed to go and avoiding long run backs. If the receiving team must respect the probability of an onside kick, they can't be in kickoff return mode. 

Ohio high school football fans will remember Kenton high school when they were on their run of successes in the State Playoffs. They tried onside kickoffs after EVERY score and were good at recovering them. Ohio State has a very good defense, that should be able to hold the opponent to at worst a field goal on every possession. Ohio State has the 2nd best offense in the country. The more possessions you give the offense the better it is for the team in the long run. 

Recovering one out of every 3 onside kicks is an advantage for Ohio State, over one out of every 3 kickoffs being bad for Ohio State. 

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chibucks's picture

that's what I do in madden!  :)

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Davidosuopt's picture

Looks like McElwain has some free time on his hands now . Let's get him up here to talk to Urbz about that zero return yards thing . 

Ya lose us a ballgame and by God I'll throw ya off the squad.... W.W. Hayes

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Cant', his pet shark gets lonely when he's not around

Shandy is not beer

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

I’m kind of puzzled by all the angst over Special Teams play.  Everyone wanted the young guys playing, the studs getting PT; they’re getting it, it’s just primarily on ST.

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Cruiser79's picture

This is the first time in my Buckeye fandom that i can remember that i will be paying extra attention to what the kick-off coverage does in a game. I wonder if doing away of putting the ball on the 20 after touchback made Urban go with the coffin kick instead of kicking out of the end zone for a touchback? Beat Iowa!!!!

Cruiser79

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ogama843's picture

That's exactly why urban doesn't want to kick into the end zone. Why give a team 25 yards. Make them earn it. I like the philosophy. We need better execution, however.

Holy Buckeye!

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wrathofAJhawk's picture

I mean, by not "making them earn it", we just gave a good opponent 14 points. Thankfully they didn't get the ball at their own 25 though!

Harbaugh sits whilst he urinates

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fear_the_nut70's picture

But you could have had a Saquon rule, that's all I am saying.  Maryland rears it head and bites you, I live with it, because, well, it's Maryland.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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Extramedium's picture

With how bad the execution was (guys running into each other on their own, etc) anyone with a decent amount of speed would score, Saquon or not.

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KENTACOHUT's picture

So help me if a starting receiver gets hurt .............

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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tcm1968's picture

The whole point of the mortar kickoff strategy is to make the returner have to make a quick decision and hope that poor decision making causes a short return... The problem is there is zero decision with our mortar kick. Barkley wasn't even lined up in the middle of the field or in the endzone. He was already leaning to the corner where everyone knew the kick was going. He wasn't forced to make a decision. Kick coming to corner and same side of the field OSU has overloaded so he just caught it and made a beeline for the wide side of the field. Same thing we have seen over and over.

If we aren't going to kick it out of the endzone or at least deep enough into the endzone for a touchback it's not freaking rocket science... Line up normally across the entire field instead of overloading the left side. Prior to the kickoff determine if you are going to kick it to the left corner or the right corner and vary where that kick is going. If you kick left the coverage team attacks left. If you kick right they attack right. Then you start to force the returner to actual have to make decisions. Plus by widening the coverage away from the bunch formation you can help offset some of the bad lane running we have seen.

And not rocket science part 2... we have 3 walk-ons and only 2 players on the two deep in that unit. It's mostly kids. Bama as an example has 6 guys in their two deep and two starters on their coverage team. You put more experienced more talented players on the coverage team and the coverage team will get better. I'm all for rewarding guys who won't see much of the field this year with coverage work but when they aren't getting the job done time re-think the coverage team.. 

Go Bucks!

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Toilrt Paper's picture

Urban says neither of his kickers can kick it out of the endzone. 

If you closely watched the Kickoff return in slow motion you can see it was planned to go in the direction Barkley took it, not a last minute decision on his part. Penn State saw a weakness and took advantage of it. Of all the speed on this team, there was no KO team "safety" fast enough OR in the proper position to do his job. His ONLY job, The last guy down on a kick off, never making a tackle unless the returner gets by everyone else. Stop the returner from scoring a TD. MUCH better to make a tackle at midfield than allow the returner to score a TD. 

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BuckeyeBoiler's picture

After Penn State's linebacker nearly housed that kickoff (52 yards was it?), I made it a policy that I would leave my seats in B-deck and walk underneath the stadium for each OSU kickoff so that I didn't have to watch any more returns. That strategy seems like it was more effective than any of the tweaks employed...no more long kickoff returns after I started doing that (you're welcome).

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Wildragei's picture

As good a strategy as we have seen coming from the sideline so far!  I like it.

Wildragei

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

That settles it, we just have to shut out everyone from here on out. Problem solved.

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

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Buckeye24's picture

"Why not? Recruiting a quarterback with a weanie arm has worked out pretty well for us" -  ????? Urban won a National Championship here with a QB that had a cannon....I'm just sayin'.....

Artthedart

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Toilrt Paper's picture

Not by design, but out of necessity.... is what you're sayin..... 

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wrathofAJhawk's picture
Normally OSU football makes me want to chug beers.. But when we kick off it makes me want to chug this instead

Harbaugh sits whilst he urinates

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stantmann's picture

Those guys at the line, before the kickoff, swinging their arms? They need to get in rythym, it is an OCD nightmare for people like me

"When you're part of a team, you stand up for your teammates. Your loyalty is to them. You protect them through good and bad, because they'd do the same for you." Yogi Berra

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EZE4TD's picture

I'm certainly not saying the kickoff coverage has been good, but I do think it is fixable and will be fine down the stretch. The first touchdown was a mistake by the kicker, who put it too close to the middle. With the coverage coming the way it was, it was relatively easy to get around the corner where there was no contain. Barkley's play was much different. It was a good kick, and the coverage wasn't insanely bad. Barkley took a HUGE risk by staying as East as he did. If the outside guy who dove for him makes that tackle, PSU starts inside the 5. The average returner isn't going to take that risk because he isn't capable of making that play. Sometimes you have to tip the cap. That that play got tacked onto the first TD return and a few other mistakes makes us look foolish, but in all it's not as bad as we're making it out to be. Like the offense, things were bumpy early, but are coming around. Throw a few more "freaks" out there, keep it in the corner, keep contain, and it should be fine. We've been doing this for years successfully, and this is the most athletic the roster has ever been. It'll work out so long as the kicks go to the corner as planned. Now, that return by the 250-lb upback is a different story... 

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TShell's picture

The benefits of a properly executed kickoff are great. But they just haven't been able to do it this year. Normally, Ohio State under Urban Meyer should be close to last in touchbacks, by design. So, seeing them have so few touchbacks is not surprising. The overall return yards is also not all that surprising for the same reason. We want the otter team to return the kickoff, just not as far as they have been. The lapses this year are the outlier. Previous years, the strategy has worked great. Even with the OB kicks, starting field position for the other team was close to best in the nation.

All that said, it is NOT working this year and the strategy needs changed.

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coachlehew's picture

Best line i have heard A team that beats you and doesn't even know how to kickoff ! Dosn't need be in playoffs Just funny but is a real problem!

Coachthl68

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StanfordBuckeye's picture

West coast kickoffs are at 12:30, and the kickoff coverage makes me want to start drinking before noon... Urban I don't think my liver can handle this anymore.

"I may not be able to outsmart many people, but I can outwork 'em." -Woody Hayes

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KENTACOHUT's picture

Just do like I do ,and pack a spare liver !!!!!!

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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Steelydan54's picture

Ramzy needs to create a bourbon drink named "The Mortar".  Clearly wide side contain is a problem. Get a couple starters over there. 

Steelybuck54

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Dillon G's picture

So what are the fixes for the Buckeyes that reduce kickoff headaches and return yardage while lowering starting field position?

 Strategy. Stay in your fucking lane. This isn't hard.

#walkaway

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BuckminsterFullback's picture

OSU has been using the mortar kick strategy, to great effect, for years.

Is it possible that opposing coaches, tired of starting drives inside their own 15 yard line, have started devising effective schemes to combat this kick? I.e., position the primary return guy closer to where the ball is expected to land, and position blockers so that they can seal off the wide side of the field and spring their guy down the sideline? 

The last 3 long returns (TTUN '16, Maryland, PSU) have resulted from the return guy going to his left running up the sideline.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

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