Skull Session: Anonymous Coaches Give Ohio State Takes, The Linebackers Scheme Change Didn't Work, and Jae'Sean Tate Balling Overseas

By Kevin Harrish on October 26, 2018 at 4:59 am
Dwayne Haskins is ready for today's Skull Session.

I have just been informed that last night kicked off 27-straight days of football and I sure ain't mad about it.


Word of the Day: Interlocutor.

 CLOAK AND DAGGER #TAKES. Ohio State doesn't seem to be the same death machine it looked like during the first few games, and some coaches around the country offered up some #takes as to why – anonymously, of course.

Here are their quotes, from Adam Rittenberg of

"Defensively, they've lost their way," a Power 5 head coach said. "I don't think their DBs are near as good as they've been. Their safeties are not near as athletic, and they're trying to play all that man-free and they can't do it. They're too stiff, which is amazing to say because they're all four-, five-star guys. They just don't have an identity on defense."

"I could tell in that first half against Penn State that Urban was inserting himself right back into it," said a Power 5 offensive coordinator, referring to a half in which Ohio State had seven punts and an interception before capitalizing on a short field for a late touchdown. "The best thing for Ohio State football was his leave of absence."

Added a Power 5 coach: "I've seen a regression. I don't know if Urban's coming in and making them change things, because they don't look anything like they did early."

"They're a different team than what they were on film early in the year," a Big Ten defensive coordinator said.

You have talk all of this with an extreme grain of salt. For one, they're all anonymous sources. I've got a firm rule against fully trusting information if I don't know where it's from. Second, everyone has a motive for what they say, especially when they know they're going to hold absolutely no accountability for it.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but if I were a Power Five coach promised anonymity, you can be damn sure I'd say bad things about the guy who's been kicking my ass on the recruiting trail and the football field for the past six years to try to get him replaced by a dude who's coached four games ever.

And even if they are honest about their observation, they're still on the outside looking in of an intentionally cloudy organization. The only ones who really know what's going on with that program are in the locker room.

 THE DEFENSE WAS ALREADY FIXED. If you've been waiting patiently for Ohio State to roll out a defensive scheme that puts its linebackers in a position to make plays, congrats, you watched that scheme in action on Saturday!

From Doug Lesmerises of

"There's different times this year that we have walked up one linebacker into the line of scrimmage," Schiano said Wednesday. "We actually moved away from that last week."

The Buckeyes did indeed. A second look at the 29-point loss to the Boilermakers showed that Schiano did have the linebackers back and diagnosing plays more often, as opposed to filling gaps between the defensive tackles.

They still were burned at times by hitting the wrong holes and by schemes from Purdue coach Jeff Brohm that moved them out of the way and created openings.

So Schiano said there were a few times linebackers walked up, but not nearly as often as the first seven games. Because it wasn't working.


So the good news is that the Buckeyes have moved away from their faulty linebacker plan, one that Brohm admitted he had noticed.

The bad news is the Boilermakers still smoked the Buckeyes, even with their adjustment.

What a relief.

Here I was thinking Ohio State wasn't making necessary adjustments and got out-schemed. Turns out, that's not the case at all. Purdue was just the better football team. We can all rest easy tonight.

 TATE BALLING OVERSEAS. Looks like Jae'Sean Tate might be the next Buckeye to become an overseas superstar – and it looks like he's got a jump shot now!

Tate was 5-for-7 from three and was named to the Champions League team of the week.

Also, he dunked on Amare Stoudemire.

He should consider offering his services to the Scarlet and Gray TBT team this summer. I would watch the absolute hell out of him and Aaron Craft on the floor together.

 THIS IS JUST UNFAIR. I remember a few years ago pondering how good Alabama would be if they finally got an elite quarterback. Now they've got the best quarterback in the country and as predicted, the results are just obscene.


I think the most impressive thing is looking at the number of plays per drive. Tua has just one touchdown drive that took longer than 10 plays, and 21 touchdown drives that took five plays or less.

I couldn't put up those numbers on NCAA14 Road to Glory mode.

 WE HEAR YOU MIKE LEACH. Mike Leach is far from a shy individual, and he ain't shy about dishing #takes on the current playoff format either.

If the first two rounds of those games can be played in college stadiums – God forbid a college football game take place on a college campus – I'm all in.

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