I’ve Solved Your Problem- You know how the NFL is worried about lawsuits concussions and keeps monkeying with the kickoffs? Well, what if we just got rid of the kickoff and did the Hoot And Holler between five position players on each of the two team; most “victories” gets possession at the 25 to start the game/overtime. It used to be that the NBA did a jump ball after each basket; now there’s just the one at the beginning of the game- this would be like that. Sure, it’s a little XFL, but who’s to say we can’t all learn from each other? You’re welcome.
Whereforeart Thou Woody? Saint Hayes of the Clouds Of Dust would have certainly been less than excited to watch yesterday’s action, as the teams focused primarily on the passing game. Given the desire to protect the quarterbacks, a true “zone read” look was off the table and Coach Meyer seemed to be most interested in assessing the play of the wide receivers. Michael Thomas continued the connection that he built with Braxton at the Under Armor game and during the spring, with 12 catches and 135 yards total (More catches than the total leader for last season). For the Gray team, Corey Brown’s 7 catches were good for an additional 90 as well. Braxton ended up taking every snap for the Scarlet and went 24-31 with one INT and and 258 yards passing; Kenny G was 17-26 with one pick, one TD, and 191 yards passing.
Photo by Josh Winslow
Good Hands- While we’ve been a fan of Guiton’s smooth jazz here at tBBC for a while, it was refreshing to see how well he fits into the new Ohio State offense. Gone are the days of “Bauserbombs”, where we would pray that Braxton would stay healthy in order to keep hope of victory alive (See: Nebraska, meltdown in). Guiton’s performance in the spring game will go a long way in assuaging any flashback moments; particularly if he’s got a full arsenal of running backs during any on field opportunities he’s given.
Runneth Over- Speaking of the backs; while we didn’t get much of a chance to see their full potential (passing scrimmage) I was impressed with Brionte and Rod’s work in both amassing hard yardage and moving out of the backfield in the spread sets. I agree with Urban- running the ball won’t be a concern (knocks on wood re: offensive line).
Put It In Perspective- Ok, here’s the part where I dial things down a bit and make some reminders re: this exhibition. 1) We’ve already talked about the running game being limited, so it’s hard to truly asses a 1.2 dimensional offense. 2) There were anywhere between 13-16 impact players who were not suited up or saw limited action; this was, in many ways, a chance for the reserves to get a meaningful look. 3) Given those things, it’s hard to get a real feel for the defense- the linebackers are still thin in numbers, the defensive line was active but missing key components, and it looked as if the DB’s were much less aggressive than they will be in the future (again, that could be due to the new coverage ideologies and/or personnel). So, while it was great to watch Ohio State Football again, let’s not start jumping to conclusions regarding what this might mean in the long term.
Lean and mean
Surprises! I thought that Chris Carter played well, given the recent move to defensive line. While his technique is limited (Mongo kill!), having him get a push up front will help in short yardage situations AND can be a benefit for practice as our offensive line work against him. I loved seeing Tyvis’ interception (no, I’m not vacating it from my memory). I was surprised that Stoneburner didn’t get any touches, particularly given the number of crossing routes that the offense has been running. The Offensive Linemen looked to be in incredible shape- huge kudos to coach Mariotti for getting them ready to perform. On that note, check out this great interview with Corey Linsley that talks about how the physical and mental attitude of the team is changing. I was impressed with the number of young guns that got to see time and made the most of it… great moments for them and for their family. I thought I couldn’t love any OSU assistant more than I do Luke Fickell, but Kerry Coombs is pushing that significantly. Oh, and I really am enjoying how this coaching staff seems to like working together.
Things That Make Me Go “Hmmmm…” Still worried about the offensive line. Granted, most of Braxton’s “sacks” would have been escapable, but I’d much rather not have him have to do that, if you know what I mean. Plus- they didn’t have to face John Simon; because, in the words of Coach Meyer, he didn’t play “because he didn’t have to”. The punting/kicking game still leaves a lot to be desired, but Bryce Haynes made no mistakes. W00t. Given my thoughts that the defense was playing pretty vanilla, it makes me a bit concerned that the Scarlet team had as many three and outs as they did.
All That To Say- This team is a work in progress… but it’s come a long way already from the start of January. If they have, as Coach Meyer has said, and “epic” offseason/summer, the sky might be the limit as to what the 2012 season holds.