Breaking Down the Plays Ohio State Should Avoid During the 2019 Season

By David Regimbal on August 26, 2019 at 11:30 am
Binjimen Victor

You've tuned into Eleven Warriors on this fine Monday afternoon for a schematic breakdown.

You're doing so because you're used to seeing the outstanding work of our very own Kyle Jones in this time slot. In recent weeks, he's written about why you can expect big things from K.J. Hill this year, how Chase Young can have an even bigger season in 2019 and what Michigan is doing to modernize its offense.

What's linked above is absolutely fantastic work that gives you an inside look at how plays unfold and games are won.

I will not give you this kind of insight.

Hi, my name is David, and I can't take you inside the inner-workings of a given football play the way Kyle can. If you're looking for that, check back on Wednesday morning for more of his work.

You're stuck with me today, and in the spirit of breaking down particular plays, I thought I'd do my version of a schematic breakdown. But instead of giving you a scientific look at football, I'm lowering the bar and looking at a variety of plays Ohio State should avoid in an effort to achieve football success this fall.

For a brief preview of what's to come, I want you to scroll back up to the main/primary image for this article. Here's my insight on what you're seeing:

What... exactly... is Binjimen Victor trying to achieve here? I know this is an over-the-shoulder catch he's working on, but he's making it look much harder than it needs to be. 

My suggestion here is to just maybe catch the incoming football like a normal human being.

Anyway, you know bad football when you see it. Here's a breakdown of the plays Ohio State should work to avoid this fall.

Muffing Kickoffs Near the Goal-Line 

Kick returns have game-shifting potential, and more often than not, that potential exists for the team fielding the kick.

But on rare occasions, the script gets flipped. Take, for instance, the waning moments of the first half of last year's Michigan - Ohio State game. The Buckeyes were in complete control despite the Wolverines having just scored when Demario McCall attempted to fair catch a kickoff.

McCall muffed the kick, as you may recall, and Michigan recovered and promptly scored to cut Ohio State's lead to two. A dominant half of football and a two-score lead was erased in less than a minute of game time.

What Ohio State should have done in that situation is fielded the kickoff successfully, therefore preventing Michigan from having an opportunity to score before the end of the half.

[Ed. Note: Kyle is reading this somewhere and wondering how I haven't stolen his job yet.]

Somersaulting Into Punters

Let's be honest: flipping kicks ass.

You did it all the time as a kid, whether from a diving board at the local pool or on your neighbor's trampoline. 

There's a time and place for showing off your summersaulting skills. I discovered this painfully a few months ago as I tried to showcase that ability to my four-year old daughter on... you guessed it... our neighbor's trampoline.

It took three trips to the chiropractor to shift the sacrum in my lower back into its correct position. It was a hard lesson to learn: my old ass can't do flips anymore.

Pretty much every member of the Ohio State football roster possesses the athletic ability to flip in some capacity. Davon Hamilton put that on display last fall during a notable football contest against the Purdue Boilermakers. But he, like me, discovered there's a time and place for that action. On that infamous evening, he learned the time to avoid doing summersaults is during a pivotal punt that would've given Ohio State a chance to get back into the game -- and the place to avoid that move is directly into the opposing punter.

Ignoring the Non-Wide Receiver Pass-Catching Options

Ohio State lost two games during the 2017 season that kept them from returning to the College Football Playoffs.

In both of those games, the Buckeyes defense forgot that it was legal for players other than wide receivers to catch the football and then run with it afterward.

Against Oklahoma in Week 2, the Sooners' leading pass-catcher was a 6'2", 250-pound fullback. Dimitri Flowers hauled in seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown that night, helping Oklahoma seal a 31-16 upset in Columbus.

Fun fact, outside of that game, Flowers averaged 1.3 receptions per game the rest of the season.

Eight weeks later, Ohio State had clawed its way back into the playoff discussion when it travelled to Iowa City for a matchup against Iowa. Hawkeyes tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson combined to catch nine passes for 125 yards and four touchdowns.

Ohio State's defensive staff was almost entirely overhauled during the offseason, with the exception of defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Here's to hoping the new staff is at the very least aware of the existence of fullbacks and tight ends.

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