Sometimes it is difficult to understand the importance of having quality depth. While watching Ohio State games, it is very noticeable that Ohio State rotates so many players on both sides of the ball. Rational thinking leads one to believe that a fresh player will play as hard in the 4th quarter as he did in the 1st quarter.
While every team has 85 available scholarships, not every team has the roster talent available like Ohio State has. Many coaches who normally rotate personnel while playing the likes of Nevada and UConn will not rotate the backups as frequently when playing someone like Ohio State out of fear the backup will really screw things up. Hence, the starters for opposing teams play many, many more snaps than the starters for Ohio State. The result is Ohio State wins lots of games in the 4th quarter.
Being an old coach, I like to watch the game a few times over the next few days so that I can see things in slow motion. In my opinion, below is an example of a Penn State player who played so many snaps during the game, his performance just got worse over the course of the game.
Check out the inside LB #6 on this play. Pay attention to his effort. He chases down a quality running back (M. Weber) from the backside. He dives and gets just enough of the ankle to stop, what would have been, a good run on 1st down. Instead, the result is a three yard gain. This play happened in the 2nd quarter.
Now check out the game winning TD. Of course this is late in the 4th quarter. Look for the inside LB #6 again. It is my opinion that the player is just tired. He probably feels he is running just as fast...but not so. His effort is the same, but his performance is noticeably worse.
From watching replays of the game, I never really see #6 off the field when Penn State is on defense. He pretty much played the entire game...every snap.
Don't know about you but I sure am glad Coach Meyer recruits every single day of the year.