Scarlet Assassins Reloaded: Running Backs

Written August 31st, 2011 by Jim


Rod Smith breaks a tackle. Get used to hearing that.

Out of all of the positions on the team, the running backs are the least concerning heading into game one.

Since the end of last season, it has been no secret that the Buckeyes are loaded with runners. Spring practice and fall camp have only increased the anticipation to see what these guys can do.

With a new quarterback and inexperienced receivers, the running backs will need to be good; good enough to carry the offense.

Behind a solid offensive line, establishing the run will be even more important than usual early in 2011.

Here is a player-by-player look at the running backs and fullbacks. Read More

Spring Game Primer

Written April 11th, 2011 by Jim

Excited for football yet?

With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.

[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]

This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.

Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.

So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.

My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!

My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.

Redemption through wins.

Off field BS be damned.

Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.

Read More

Way Too Early Look: 2011 TEs and FBs

Written February 8th, 2011 by Jim

Tight ends and full backs, doing more than just blocking since 2010.

Tight ends and fullbacks are two positions on a football team that are often under appreciated, if not downright forgotten (guilty). However, they can be the glue that holds a successful offense together.

Whether it be adding a little extra muscle in the run game or providing an outlet pass for the quarterback, tight ends and fullbacks do the dirty work that makes an offense run. The Buckeyes feature some highly experienced, highly talented players at these positions in 2011 who should do a fine job doing just that.

Early in the season, their experience and play making will be relied on even more as some of the other offensive personnel serve their suspensions.

A good indication of the talent available at TE and FB was their roll in the offense last season. With 40 catches between them, FB Zach Boren and TEs Jake Stoneburner and Reid Fragel were featured more prominently in the play calling than any group in recent memory.

One hallmark of a Tressel coached team is always finding ways to utilize their talent (albeit sometimes more successfully than others). Whether it be spreading the field five wide with Troy Smith at the helm in ’06 or pounding the rock with Beanie Wells out of the ‘I’ in ’07, Jim Tressel has shown that he is flexible and will adapt the offense to the talent on the field.

Ohio State opened up the playbook and featured the tight ends on some unique play-action passes in the Sugar Bowl that worked magnificently (possibly because they were so unexpected). While we most likely won’t be seeing those type of plays consistently next season (particularly early in the year with a new QB), Ohio State did find ways to get the ball to the tight ends in ways never before seen.

We won’t be seeing the end of Tresselball anytime soon, but could we see the tight ends and full backs incorporated into the offense in new and unique ways in 2011? Read More

Thoughts from the Pressbox

Written October 23rd, 2010 by Eric

Like this, only without the typewriters.

We here at the Buckeye Battle Cry have been working hard at improving ourselves week after week.  The holy grail, of course, is to become recognized by our favorite University as a legitimate news organization.

This season, we got lucky.

Ohio State rewarded us with press passes to the Ohio University game (which Jim attended) and to the Purdue game.  I was lucky enough to be the one able to use the Purdue pass today and I wanted to share with you what it’s like to spend time in the press box.

Afterwards, I’ll regale you with actual football news and notes.  Specifically my thoughts on how the Buckeyes looked from my seat in the stadium.  Read on for more!

Read More