buckeye phi's picture

buckeye phi


from Atlanta

MEMBER SINCE   August 21, 2014

Favorites

  • SPORTS MOMENT: Ohio State National Championships
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER: Rex Kern
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER: John Havlicek
  • NFL TEAM: Miami Dolphins

Recent Activity

Comment 13 Feb 2020

I love articles that point out where there's clearly room for improvement.  A little constructive criticism is welcome here.  Thank you. 

I believe Fields re-aggravated his knee injury in the Michigan game.  He wasn't 100% for a few games prior to that, if I recall correctly.  Combine that with it being his first year as a starter - several new starters on the line - not the biggest running back we've had in pass protection - and I'd say things turned out about as well as could have been expected, all things considered. 

I also agree with those who are saying that mixing in some quicker-developing pass plays may be in order this season.  Although, as much as I admire our wide receivers from last season who are moving on (especially, Hill) - they will be replaced with players possessing more speed in every instance.  I could definitely see more and quicker separation from our receivers in 2020 - even without major changes in play-calling -

Comment 10 Feb 2020

Great stuff as usual, Kyle. 

I love the idea of a defense's "identity" being unpredictability (offense, too).  Of course, having players who are versatile enough to pull it of is key.  Naturally, it's not all about scheme.  Coach Day's comments in the piece confirm that this is his philosophy. 

Using returning starters Wade and Werner as prime examples, I'm hoping the coaches can identify and coach up that kind of versatility in some of the new defensive starters this season. 

The Spring Game could be very interesting this year -

Comment 21 Jan 2020

Great stuff as usual, Kyle. 

Regardless of who the starting running back is, I'm thinking Coach Day may be hesitant to run a whole lot of option plays in which one of the options is his Heisman candidate QB keeping and running the ball - especially, early in the season. 

For the most part, I think Day will save that kinda stuff for the late season push.  I'd hate to see Fields heading in to the post-season dinged up, again. 

Besides that, given the weapons in the passing game we're gonna have - and Fields in his second season - opposing defensive coordinators will be taking a huge gamble if they over-commit to stopping our running attack. 

And as several others have mentioned above - with this offensive line, the holes are gonna be there.  

Heading in to the 2020 season, I'm much more concerned about our defensive secondary than any area on offense (in spite of the return of Coach Coombs). 

Comment 15 Jan 2020

Even with Wade's return, at this point, I'm most concerned about cornerback this year.  Every time Wade, Okudah or Arnette had to come out of a game last season, the drop-off was very notable, in my opinion. 

At least a couple of last season's backups (and/or possibly, a freshman) will have to step up in a major way for Coach Day's defensive vision to be realized. As he's stated, when it comes the secondary, his concept is comprised of zone, pattern-matching zone and of course, man coverage.  Obviously, this (especially, the last two) is dependent on excellent corner play. 

I think we're probably in very good shape practically everywhere else.  Which is nice -

Comment 13 Jan 2020

Great stuff as usual, Kyle.  I believe a big part of what makes Day's defensive vision work is the versatility of his defenders.  After all, it wouldn't work nearly as well if the strong side linebacker, the slot corner and the safety are not capable of performing multiple roles at a very high level - just to mention a few. 

Also, while I'm not particularly worried about Coach Day attracting the right secondary coach - eventually - I am worried about potentially missing out on immediate help with some key recruiting situations (either straight out of high school - or through the transfer portal) while the position remains unfilled. 

Even if key backups from last year's secondary step up as we all hope they will, depth could be a major issue.  The next few weeks could be crucial in terms of our defensive fortunes in 2020 and beyond. 

Plus, I realize the widely held belief is that Kerry Coombs will return to Ohio State as a co- coordinator and secondary coach - and that the delay is due to his team remaining alive in the NFL play-offs.  But Coach Day plucked Hafley out of relative obscurity.  I wouldn't be too surprised if he does something along those lines again.  Possibly another coach who's team is still alive - 

Comment 08 Jan 2020

I'm thinking of some fascinating scenarios when it comes to zone blitz schemes, etc.  Having a former linebacker at defensive end should mean we're not taking as much of a gamble with a DE dropping back in coverage. 

The flip side of that is that we have some linebackers who could potentially be devastating pass rushers in those situations, as well. 

The more flexibility we have across the formation - the better I like it -

Comment 04 Jan 2020

All you have to do is think back to how different our pass defense looked whenever he was not in the game this past season.  It's undeniable - this is a major piece of news. 

As far as my optimism about our defense next season is concerned - there really couldn't have been a much bigger development.  Now, we just have to name that new DB coach asap and see if we can get him a little more help -

Comment 03 Jan 2020

It sure is nice to think that one of the key predictors of success, the offensive line, is one of the areas of least concern heading in to next season.  We're looking great at QB, WR and TE, as well.  I'm not overly concerned about RB, either.  I think we have enough talent there to keep things on the right track. 

And the O-line - along with the rest of the offense better be great next season.  Last season's entire starting defensive backfield will (probably) be playing in the NFL next season.  Plus, we're losing the nation's best pass rusher.  So there could be some issues defensively -

Comment 02 Jan 2020

Naturally, I'd be pleasantly surprised if he decided to stay.  But if he's projected as a first round pick or even a high second rounder, he's gone.  And who could blame him? 

I can't remember a time when we've had less proven talent returning at DB.  Gotta name that new position coach asap - and attract what we still can through late commits and/or the transfer portal -
 

Comment 01 Jan 2020

I think Proctor will be fine at safety.  But I have to admit I was not particularly impressed by our backups at  any of our "three" corner positions.  I seriously doubt Wade will stay - so that's an enormous problem with Arnette, Okudah and Fuller all leaving.

Otherwise, I don't believe we're in that much more of a pinch than usual replacing departing talent at any position group -

Comment 27 Dec 2019

Just be the best players on the field Saturday night.  The BIA stuff will take care of itself if we win - not so much if we don't take care of business vs the Tigers, first.  Please, please, please focus on the business at hand. 

However, having said that, I don't see our corners having too much trouble with Clemson's receivers if Lawrence is running for his life from Chase Young and company the whole night. 

I expect our Buckeyes to win this one mainly in the trenches - on both sides of the ball -

Comment 27 Dec 2019

I think we have a decided edge in the trenches on both sides of the ball.  And that's still where most games are won or lost.  I don't care how good Lawrence is or how tall his receivers are.  If our guys are pressuring him all game - and actually, sacking him often enough, I really like our chances. 

Plus, I expect our O-line will be able to push their relatively undersized D-line around some.  I think we should be able to create some very favorable mismatches with their safeties, too. 

There's also the fact that we've played much tougher competition - especially, down the last three-game stretch.  We know what it takes to beat a very tough team.  This year's Clemson team simply cannot say the same.  I believe this could be a huge advantage for our Buckeyes. 

So, barring major mistakes: 

Clemson 24 - Ohio State - 42

Comment 23 Dec 2019

Yep.  It seems there are many parallels between this playoff appearance and 2014's. 

The team we're facing in the semi-final is the one "nobody wants to play" - and, of course, we're the underdogs.  If we get to the final we'll (probably) be playing the Heisman winning quarterback.  One of our coordinators has been hired away - so there's the chance he may not be as focused on this game as he may have been otherwise.  Our outstanding running back was snubbed for most of the major awards.  We have a dominant defense - and a very balanced offense. 

And that's just off the top of my head.  I'm sure there are many more -

Comment 23 Dec 2019

Great stuff as usual, Kyle.  And happy holidays to you. 

The big problem with Venables' aggressive approach is that if you can catch him in the wrong gamble at the wrong time, it "should" result in a big play.  As Kyle pointed out, the big plays were there - but Clemson's opponents (to date) weren't generally able to convert. 

While the defensive schemes aren't exactly the same, we've seen Coach Day exploit this kind of philosophy before.  He has successfully taken advantage of ttun's aggressive D-coordinator, Don Brown, in the past.  Most recently, just a a month ago. 

Also, one of the problems with changing things up defensively at the last second is that a smart offense can potentially catch the defense in the midst of said change - and of course, out of position. 

Plus, (again, as Kyle noted) Clemson is, indeed, undersized on the D-line.  To the best of my recollection, that's a little unusual for a successful 3-man front in big-time college football.  And they haven't faced anything even approaching our O-line all season. 

Venables will probably have to crowd the box to slow down our running game - which should set up our passing game.

While I was checking out the Tigers' heights and weights, I noticed that one of their starting safeties (Muse) is a bit heavier than usual for the position (hence, the footage above of average players blowing right past him, I suppose).  And the other (Wallace) is only 5'10". 

If Coach Day can isolate one of our speed guys (like Olave) on Muse - and/or - one of our taller receivers (like Victor) on Wallace, it'll be a significant mismatch.  

The fact that we're used to playing tough defenses - and they are not - should give us a big advantage in this game -

Comment 20 Dec 2019

From everything I've read (and seen) so far, Clemson has one of the best quarterbacks in college football, one of the best running backs in college football, a couple of very good (and tall) wide receivers - and an excellent linebacker. 

However, I haven't heard that much about exceptional linemen on either side of the ball.  On the other hand, we are absolutely loaded with exceptional linemen on both sides of the ball.  Not only that - but our big guys have been battle tested.  Theirs haven't really. 

Call me old fashioned, but I still believe most games are won in the trenches.  Having recently gone through the gauntlet of Penn State, ttun and Wisconsin should give us a major advantage when it comes to being prepared to deal with tough competition at the line of scrimmage.  

As mentioned in the article, offensively, we should be able to run on the Tigers - especially, if they employ a 3-3-5 - or even worse (for them), a 3-2-6. 

But their offensive line hasn't faced an elite defensive line this season, either.  As good a Lawrence is, he won't be able to throw accurately with guys in his face all night -