So much has happened since the last time we ventured down the RSB path that I really had to put forth some thought into what I was going to talk about. There are a lot of things to discuss before tomorrow title match-up with Sparty that I want to briefly hit them before Rumblin.
As much as it hurts me to say this, I applaud the TTUN coaching staff for their game plan last Saturday. What’s funny about the plan is that everyone in #BuckeyeNation saw it coming, they just weren’t too worried because it was TTUN and their struggling offense. What most were saying was how easily the Buckeyes were going to roll and those fans couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Game or The Rivalry, whatever you choose to call it, has rarely disappointed in regards to level of competition. As Buckeye fans know all too painfully, the underdog has had the sun shine on its back side quite a few times in this series.
What their coaching staff did, and it’s why most people in TSUN love Hoke, is keep their focus on the prize and that was destroy the Buckeyes season. They came into the game ignored by many, including the Buckeyes defense, and just about put it to them. If not for the gutsy, putting it all on one play, decision by Hoke to go for two, the Buckeyes may have lost in OT and be settling for the Outback Bowl, again. I tipped my hat to a couple TTUN twitter friends after the game, they could feel a little bit of pride for the way their team performed.
As I have said before, I could go on and on every week about Carlos Hyde and what he has done in his abbreviated season. One of the relationships on twitter that I have enjoyed this season has been with Corey Linsley, who last week was named First Team All B1G Center. He is the anchor to that offensive line who has been destroying the opposition this season. Read More
There is no doubt the 2013 Ohio State Buckeye football team has all the tools to be something special. Sixteen starters return from last season under the best coaching staff in the nation. This year’s recruiting class adds a speed aspect to the game that was lacking during the undefeated 2012 campaign. The defense returns some of the best play makers in the conference. The offense is led by the B1G Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback. The Buckeyes are ranked as the #2 team in the nation.
Yet one major question still surrounds this team as we head into the first game of the season. Which players will step into the role of team leader?
Urban Meyer knows the answer.
The bottom line to success in 2013 begins and ends up front on the offensive line.
80 starts return to a front five that improved drastically throughout last season. Led by team captain Jack Mewhort, the Buckeye offensive line led the offense to 242 rushing yards per game and 37 points per game. Marcus Hall, Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, and Corey Linsley bought into what coach Ed Warinner was selling.
And now, Ohio State’s run game coordinator believes that this unit is one of, if not the best in the nation.
Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.
Absent- Donovan Munger has missed most of camp thus far with some academic issues, and now has a medical (blood clot?) that will see him redshirting for this season. Najee Murray was also not present today, having been suspended for the team for at least the duration of training camp for a violation of team rules. Lots of speculation on this one, but at this point it’s only speculation.
To get Buckeye Nation ready for the first Spring Game in Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeye Bloggers Network wanted to take an in-depth look at each position following spring practice. Be sure to check out all of the coverage!
The easy comment on the offensive line, be it at Ohio State or nationwide, is that the season will hinge on their performance.
Again, that’s the standard answer, but I have to believe that this year it bodes more true than ever in Columbus. There are playmakers elsewhere on Offense, and the Defense (while thin in places) has the potential to be terrifying for opposing offensive coordinators.
But the Buckeye Offensive Line is a mystery at this point; which was evidenced merely looking at Coach Meyer’s emphases on the recruiting trail beginning last season. It’s not enough that they are replacing both tackles and their four year starter at center. It’s not enough that they are now “loaded” with talent amassed by James “Meh, one guard a year is all we need” Bollman, who annually defined the word “reach” with the recruiting offers he seemed to facilitate.
Nope, in addition to those obvious concerns comes this- the team’s offensive identity is taking a major shift. Gone are the days of “Dave, Dave, Draw, Punt”; we now have an offensive scheme that requires linemen to a) be in top cardiovascular shape and b) pass block as effectively as run block. In other words, there’s some coachin’ to do.
So, if you’re like me (my condolences), you’re incredibly interested in seeing how the anchor of the team’s successes will look on Saturday. Will Braxton’s runs in the fall be designed or out of necessity? Will long runs be due to Jordan and Carlos and Rod and Brionte’s talent, or due to the gaping holes that are waiting for them? Will my summer be spent in quiet confidence or wondering instead how what the record for most “three and outs” by a Buckeye team might be?
Saturday gives us our first clue. Onward.
What will be most different this year than last?
We’ve talked about the tempo and scheme being gently called “the polar opposite of Tresselball”, let’s take a look at the new faces in the new places. First, the team lineups: Read More
Before Buckeye Nation turned it’s eyes to shootyhoops on Saturday, the 2012 football team took to the field for it’s first full-pad practice of the spring. Here’s some of the things we’ve learned after three days under Coach Meyer:
The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour returns with our first 2011 game preview! Eric chats Akron with Jim and Joe, along with how we feel the team will fair in their first game without Jim Tressel. They chat about the defense, and about the pessimism Jim feels regarding the offensive line.
After that, Eric is joined by Matt Sussman, Editor of Hustle Belt, SB Nations MAC blog. Matt discusses Akron, including their prospects for this upcoming season, along with his thoughts on their offense and defense. We end by discussing the prospects for the entire MAC this season, along with a fearless prediction of who will be MAC Champion.
All this and more on this week’s tBBC Akron Preview!
Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe with us on iTunes! Just look up “The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour” and you’re sure to find us. With what we have planned for this season, you don’t want to miss a single show!
Last week I covered the awesomeness that is the Silver Bullet defense (line, linebackers, and secondary). I strongly believe that the defense alone is good enough to win nine games this season- regardless of what happens on the other side of the ball.
Nine wins is good at a lot of schools, but for Buckeye fans that is a borderline bad year.
To have a great season, and more importantly for Coach Fickell to secure a long term contract, the Scarlet Assassin offense will need to step up to win above and beyond nine games.
In this regard, “Scarlet Assassins” is an appropriate nickname for several reasons; most importantly because they will move against their opponents slowly and meticulously before delivering the fatal blow.
An eight minute fourth quarter drive capped off by Zach Boren leading Carlos Hyde into the end zone for the game icing TD has a nice ring to it.
Slow and meticulous or the greatest show on turf; as always, the line will be the key to success on offense.
Here is player by player look at the two-deep. Read More
Working in conjunction with our podcasts (be sure to subscribe on iTunes!), we’re continuing our series of questions about this coming season to get ready for next week. Here’s the latest edition- remember, if you’ve got questions you’d like our for our band of experts to pontificate on, feel free to leave them in the comments.
How will the suspensions impact the team early on? What will happen when the suspended players return?
Eric: The suspensions will have almost no impact on the team early in the season. The most likely places that there might be an issue is at Left Tackle, where Andrew Norwell is taking over for Mike Adams, and Wide Receiver as we’ve already mentioned. The talent and depth at all the other positions is sufficient to make up for the losses. Also, the way the suspended players are being treated (having to earn their starting spots back, not playing with the one’s in practice) lends strength to the replacements and reduces the net effect the suspensions have on the team as a whole.
When the players return the story might be a little different. If what we’re hearing is true, then the tat-5 minus one will have to re-earn their starting roles, meaning that they won’t just show up cold and take over no matter what. Given that they will have to be working for the entire fall and the first five weeks should dampen the effect of a sudden change in player rotation. Hopefully.