Notes and thoughts as Ohio State wraps up the SDSU game and gets ready for Cal!
- No Big Deal- The cross country trek and it’s possible challenges for the Buckeyes seems to be getting more press than it should. The Buckeyes will fly into Oakland Friday morning and will be fully rested, able bodied young men, ready to face Cal Saturday evening. We are still talking about finely tuned, Division 1 athletes, whom still attend college and may be accustomed to missing a few winks now and then. I guess that’s why Philly Brown talked about the trip to Cal as being a business trip for the team.
- Day to Day- Two key injuries occurred during the SDSU game last Saturday: The obvious being Braxton Miller and secondly Adolphus Washington. According to Coach Meyer, Braxton will be a day to day assessment of a sprained MCL, and mentioned in his press conference earlier today that Miller seemed like he was really feeling the first 48 hours after his injury, and was a little stiff. Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is usually felt within the first 48 hours of an injury or major muscle break down event. Braxton, the trainers and coach Meyer will know more in the following days. Adolphus Washington suffered a groin injury during last weeks game as well and will also be a day to day decision as to whether or not he will start. Michael Bennett spoke on Monday about his having a similar injury last year, and that rushing back is not the ideal to ensure complete healing.
- Existential Dilemma- Coach Meyer will have a major decision to make before Saturday depending on Miller’s progress. Miller is notoriously tough and a “gamer” and will surely be campaigning to be put into Saturday’s game against Cal. Meyer mentioned Miller wanted back in the very same game later in the half against SDSU where he suffered his injury. However, Kenny Guiton has more than proved himself worthy of the start if Miller is less than healthy and Guiton’s leadership skills are solid enough to be elected captain as a back up quarterback. According to Meyer, Guiton’s knowledge of the offense is almost unmatched. In what situation does Coach Meyer start making travel plans for 3 and 4th string Quarterbacks (on Monday it sounded as if all four would travel)? How does Coach Meyer weigh the trainers and doctors opinions against those of his trusted starting Quarterback? Maybe Meyer can get some assistance from Cal fans on deep thinking and contemplating the cosmos.
- Pump Up the Volume- Cal’s offense is night and day from the Cal the Buckeyes saw a year ago. This is partly to do with new personnel but mostly due to the Bear’s new staff. With Cal picking up Coach Sonny Dykes from Louisiana Tech, Cal now runs a very fast paced, up tempo offense much like what Tech had in the past. With just over 100 average offensive plays per game, the Buckeyes Defense will have to be disciplined mentally and physically to ensure mistakes and penalties are kept to a minimum. Last Saturday Cal’s fans could be heard booing Northwestern Wildcat defensive players claiming they were feigning injury to slow the pace of the game. When asked about this on Monday, Michael Bennett said that he has to fake not being hurt most of the time, so he doesn’t know how to do the opposite.
- Defensive Score- Although the box score seems flatter than most expected against the cupcake schedule thus far, the Buckeyes have yet to accomplish a defensive score, kickoff return to score or punt return to score this season. The Buckeyes dropped yet again in the polls this week despite a convincing win against SDSU with a back up quarterback in for 3/4 or the game. Maybe just maybe the pollsters would be more inclined to vote the Buckeyes higher if the team seemed more well rounded or dynamic. This team is still reaching for balance, aggression and an identity. Accomplishing those three things might sway the powers that be to bump the Buckeyes up the preseason rankings ladder.