Jason joins us again with another review of the roller coaster that was this week’s game:
Have you caught your breath? Did you wake up this morning feeling a little better about yesterday’s Buckeye win? I hope so, because despite a myriad of defensive issues and an offense that at times was stuck in the mud, the boys are 3-0 and looking ahead now to Alabama-Birmingham at The Shoe this Saturday. For as angry as some aspects of the Buckeyes performance made you, you have to admit this one was pretty exciting as a spectator!
Ok, we’ll start with the bad since that’s what everyone wanted to focus on during and at the conclusion of yesterday’s 35-28 win over California. I can’t recall an Ohio State defense that tackles this poorly and takes such horrible routes to the ball carrier on the edges.
It makes my head hurt seeing guys fly to the ball and put a shoulder on someone and expect them to just go down. Football players are taught at a young age to parallel their shoulders, lift their head up, wrap with their arms and drive with their legs. It really is that simple. See what you’re hitting and wrestle it to the ground. Etienne Sabino, Christian Bryant, CJ Barnett and, unfortunately this week, Ryan Shazier I’m talking to you.
And how in the world is it possible that we see these guys chasing running backs from behind just a few yards across the line of scrimmage in the manner that we do? Are they that completely out of position or is it the angle they take to the ball carrier? I have to assume it’s a little bit of both but for the most part it appears to me to be the latter.
A lot of people blew up my twitter account during the second half with comments on how badly Luke Fickell was calling the game. I can’t speak to that, and honestly neither can any of the people claiming his defensive calls were wretched. I can tell you undoubtedly that in the first half he did an excellent job of mixing up his blitzes and keeping the Bears guessing where an attack was coming from. I can agree that, yes in fact it appeared as though they went away from that strategy in the second half. However, it doesn’t in any way indicate that Fickell was calling a bad game. His players were in positions to make plays, the problem is that they were either taking terrible angles to the ball, getting caught in the wash or being blocked.
It’s pretty apparent to me that there are some issues with communication in the back seven. How can a guy like Keenan Allen run free between Etienne Sabino and Chrisitan Bryant while both watch him go by and then chase? This type of communication breakdown has to be cleaned up or it’s going to cost them a game. Read More
It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.
Not So Fast… Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.
Notes from Tuesday’s Ohio State press conference and around the realm of college sports. No soundtrack today, but we’re totally shopping for a El Camino.
I’m pretty certain the answer is “no”, but let’s look at each individual point anyway just to be sure.
Brax Attack. Well, he saw the field. That’s about all we can say.
Jacory Harris’ New Name. Jacory Harris played better than last season, though he did hand the ball over a few times – and nearly put OSU back in the game in the end.
Florida Pride. Hyde and Sabino played tough, does that count?
Game Commentary. The commentary was absolutely focused on the game. At some point, though, I think Buckeye fans almost would have rather been thinking about the offseason.
No False Starts. Keep asking Mali.
No turnovers. The young gun gave it up twice – though both were due more to great play from the Miami defense than his own failings. However, he still tried to put the ball where he shouldn’t have on the tipped interception, and he left the ball floating out away from his body on the punched out fumble.
Enthusiasm and hitting. It took a little while but we saw it eventually. Though, it disappeared more often as the defense wore down.
Big time players making big time plays. I’m pretty certain Joe Bauserman cemented his name in Buckeye History, but not in a good way.
Jordan Hall in space. He certainly was a nice change of pace! Early in the game, Hall was averaging more than 13 yards per carry, and ended above 6. That’s some great running from a solid back.
Braxton Miller on the field. He was there, that’s about all we can say on that account.