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
There are numerous times in the life of a blogger that you just wish you had the opportunity to cover a football game like the local media in Columbus. Let’s face it, for the most part, those of us who are online entities just do not have the chances that the O-Zone does. They have some of the best writers covering Ohio State sports and do a good job of delivering the facts, and have a legacy of doing so.
If you were paying attention to twitter at all on Saturday, with the help of Brandon Castel and Tony Gerdeman, we got our information through RT’s and a heaping spoon of sarcasm. I have to be honest and admit right up front that I love the OZone and what they do. I frequent their message board and read a lot of their stuff and wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t wish I was in their shoes.
What happened Saturday to the local media was very interesting, and seemed to be a slap in their collective faces. It seems, and I am not sure why it happened, only the Big Ten Network and ESPN have been given permission to cover the team during this preseason- at least in comparison to other years. I for one wasn’t very happy about it and can only imagine how the Ozone felt about it. If you’d like to get a good idea of how Gerd felt about it you can read it here.
Online sites seem to almost always be on the outside looking in when it comes to getting first hand information as it is delivered. We do have people writing that have contacts in the recruiting realm, and that can sometimes be a huge plus since other times everyone else is receiving the same info at the same time and from the local guys. We do our best to put it in a great little package and most of the time at the same level as the fans.
I myself will probably never be a writer who works for a site like the Ozone or a local media outlet. I just do not have what it takes to get there. So I will continue to look in from out here and admire the job that those guys do that provides us with a ton of information on a daily basis. I will also continue to side with them and support them when something like this happens. They deserve it and they’ve definitely earned my respect. Read More
… John Simon, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel, and Jordan Hall
After a 2011 season of “rotating captains” and other nonsense, coupled with a spring and fall camp that focused on competition and excellence, it’s great to see that the Buckeyes have chosen five of their team who have emerged as leaders for this coming season.
The official press release:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five senior leaders have been chosen by their peers on the Ohio State University football team to be team captains in 2012. Coach Urban Meyer announced the captains at a team meeting Sunday night.
“Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach,” Meyer said. “We had a number of guys get votes. This is a really good group of seniors who I am very proud to have leading this team.”
Representing four different states, they are:
§ Defensive lineman John Simon, from Youngstown, Ohio, and Cardinal Mooney High School;
§ Fullback Zach Boren, from Pickerington, Ohio, and Pickerington Central High School;
§ Linebacker Etienne Sabino, from North Miami Beach, Fla., and Dr. Krop High School;
§ Defensive linemen Garrett Goebel, from Villa Park, Ill., and Montini High School; and
§ Running back Jordan Hall, from Jeannette, Pa., and Jeannette High School.
The five have combined for 185 games played and 74 starts, with four having played in 39 career games apiece, respectively, and a fifth – Jordan Hall – a veteran of 29 games. Boren leads the group with 27 starts with Simon at 26 and Goebel (13), Sabino and Hall (five each) following.
Some thoughts from each:
Boren: “It is a dream come true and a huge honor to be named a captain at The Ohio State University. I am appreciative and thankful, and I look forward to being a leader on this team this season.”
Goebel: “I’m excited. It is an honor that your teammates think that highly of you to name you a captain. I’m going to put everything I have into this responsibility.”
Hall: “This is a dream come true. I was hoping to be named a captain but I was also a little surprised when it happened. I can’t thank my teammates enough for selecting me for this honor.”
Sabino: “I’m really excited. This is such an honor…to get voted by your teammates to be their captain. I am just really honored to be named a captain.”
Simon: “Being named captain means a lot. I appreciate the votes of the players. This is one of the biggest honors a player can receive and I’ll be proud to lead this team along with four other great guys. We’ll have a really good season if we all lead well.”
Simon becomes just the seventh two-time captain in school history and the first since James Laurinaitis was named captain in 2007 and again in 2008.
Ohio State is ranked 18th in the initial Associated Press Top 25 poll, marking the 24th consecutive season and the longest current streak in the country, to be ranked in the AP preseason poll. The team opens its 2012 season Sept. 1 vs. Miami (Ohio).
Another quick update on the state of Ohio State football, following media access on Monday. Huge thanks to our friend Josh Winslow for the photos!
After learning that I have viewed open practices and the jersey scrimmage, many people ask me what I think about the Buckeyes . Well, being that I write for this website, I thought I would take all of the thoughts that I share with various people and put them down for all of our readers to enjoy as well.
First up is the defensive line (with linebackers and defensive backs to follow later in the week and the offense next week). Read More
It has been a long and arduous off season for Buckeye Nation.
The anticipation and anxiety surrounding the August 12th NCAA hearings alone are enough to put someone on edge. How severely will the NCAA ultimately punish Ohio State for its transgressions?
We can only speculate and hope for the best.
Next up was the resignation of all-time great Jim Tressel and the resulting uncertainty surrounding Ohio State’s next head coach. Luke Fickell is a great defensive coach and an even better Buckeye, but will he be the long term answer to Ohio State’s head coaching vacancy?
We can only speculate and hope for the best.
Finally, what initially looked like a 2012 recruiting class for the ages is quickly turning into another source of concern for fans. As I have mentioned previously, it is still much, much too early to give up on the class, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a source of stress for the next several months. Will Luke Fickell (or the next head coach) be able to salvage the 2012 recruiting class before signing day?
We can only speculate and hope for the best.
Clearly there will be plenty of uncertainty and things to worry about in the coming months. If you are like me, however, you are already so sick and tired of worry and speculation that you have entered a state of comatose. Obviously, being in a state of comatose isn’t very much fun, so I have decided to switch my coping mechanism.
While this off-season has dragged on to the point that it seems like it will never end, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view and the season is fast approaching.
Rather than worry about things outside of our collective control, it’s time to refocus our energies on getting excited about the football season that kicks off in 65 days.
Here is a list of some things that I am most excited about for this season and beyond. Read More
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.
Ohio State has been spoiled by some outstanding play in the defensive trenches recently. Whether you look at the incredible depth and experience of the 2009 group or the individual performance of Cameron Heyward and Dexter Larimore in 2010, the defensive line has been one of the primary sources of success for Buckeyes.
Needless to say, the 2011 D-line has some big shoes to fill and some lofty standards to live up to. With significant losses across the board, the defense will be a major rebuilding project in 2011. As usual, that rebuilding project will start up front.
The Buckeyes do return several veteran players (Nathan Williams, John Simon) as well as some young talent that will look to take their game to the next level (Adam Bellamy, Garrett Goebel, Johnathan Hankins). However, depth may be a problem as the two deep will be filled with players that have very little game experience, particularly at defensive tackle.
Then again, compared to 2009, depth may be a concern every season. Re-loading the defense has never been an issue at Ohio State, and the Buckeyes should have no problems finding new stars to replace the old ones.
Here is a run down of the players looking to make some noise in the trenches in 2011. Read More