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
UPDATE- Photos after the break, courtesy of Josh Winslow
Following check-in today there are now 104 players ready to start fall camp tomorrow morning.
Not among those 104 are LB Johnathan Newsome, LB Dorian Bell, and WR James Louis. Their official status remains unclear, but they did not check into the hotel today, so everyone can draw their own conclusions from that.
Outside of who didn’t show up, and despite my best wishes from yesterday, it turns out that players arriving individually over an extended period of time doesn’t create much more to write about than when they arrive all at once on a bus.
One interesting note is that former Buckeye and Cardinal OL Alex Stepanovich arrived at the hotel today, and he will apparently be helping the team in some capacity.
The pictures will tell the story of everything else much better than I can with words (1000 to 1 and all that) so stay tuned for more Josh Winslow photographs later this afternoon.
We will have continuing coverage from practice tomorrow morning as well.
The Buckeyes need to fill some pretty big holes on offense this year thanks to graduations and compounded by suspensions. Luckily, Ohio State always has ultra talented players waiting in the wings to show what they’ve got.
As a fan, you can only hope that one or more of these players can make a name for themselves and become the next great Buckeye at whatever position they happen to play. The spring game is a great chance to see what some of the young players can do.
Here are the players to watch on offense in the spring game on Saturday.
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.
As the saying goes, games are won in the trenches. Cliche or not, a dominating offensive line can take a team to the next level. See: Wisconsin.
With three senior returning starters to anchor the line, Ohio State has the makings of domination in 2011.
Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point in these ‘way too early’ previews where I don’t have to mention suspensions. Mike Adams, the returning starter at LT, will be serving a suspension to begin the year.
Scratch one of the senior anchors… at least for a few games.
The suspensions go a bit deeper than that for the offensive line… indirectly. With a new QB, inexperienced receivers, and a deep and talented backfield, the trenches will become even more important than usual for the Buckeyes.
Whether it is protecting an inexperienced QB for an extra second or opening holes for dynamic young runners, the offensive line will be the crucial group of players that can get the team through the suspensions without a loss.
Here’s a look at those players. Read More
And now we need to go on the road and play better than we’ve played on the road. We head to Minnesota and it will be the first time for any of us on our team to ever have seen the stadium let alone play in it, so that will be exciting for us. And it’s an evening primetime game, and our guys will get excited about that. So now we’ve got to go back to work and understand that we’re facing a veteran quarterback in Adam Weber. We had him in youth camp. I thought he was outstanding then, and 10,000 yards later I think he’s still outstanding. And I think the school career passing record for us is a little over 7,000 and he’s got 10,000, just to put it in perspective what he’s been able to accomplish and he’s a heck of a player. He’s a competitor. He’s a senior. You can just hear in his comments that he doesn’t want to hear about coaching transition or this or that, this is still the 2010 Minnesota Golden Gophers and still the same team it was at the beginning of the year who has a passion to get some good things done, and through his leadership, you can be sure that they’ll never stop, and that’s the kind of leader that you want to have. And he leads a young group of receivers who I think are getting better and better and they’ve done a good job of giving you a lot of different formation looks, a lot of different personnel groupings.
Over on their defensive side, they were very young when they began, now they’re eight or nine games into it and they’re no longer — you no longer talk when you talk about a team of so and so had this many starters returning because that’s irrelevant now because they’re going into this point in the season.
And they seem to have dialed up a little bit more of their pressure package in this last game or so than they did earlier in the year. They did a similar amount against us a year ago, so it’s not like we haven’t seen it. It’s not like it’s anything brand new, but they are bringing good pressure. I think they’re playing a little bit loose and getting just excited to go out and hit somebody and see if they can create turnovers and so forth, so it will be a great challenge for us.
Special teams, we always say, is the key when we go on the road and I think if anyone has an interest in Big Ten football and doesn’t think that the special teams had maybe the biggest impact on last weekend, Wisconsin’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. Michigan State’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. I think Iowa missed a field goal, which was big, and an extra point, perhaps. The Cleveland Browns, I didn’t see it, but the little reverse pass or whatever they did was huge in their game, and on and on and on. Missouri, I think, didn’t they bring the opening kickoff back?
So special teams is something that we’ll never stop talking about and you’ll never be able to convince me of its relative impact on the emotion of the game, and football is an emotional game. And so we’ve got to make sure that despite the fact that we’ve had to go with a lot of different lineups due to injuries in the linebacker and DB areas, we’ve got to get better at special teams, especially on the road. It’s a huge impact. Purdue found that. Go full circle, Purdue found that out, coming over here, you can’t make two big special teams mistakes and think you’re going to win in someone else’s stadium.
I apologize. It was disguised as a pooch.
Everyone will be (and has been) focusing on the battle at left tackle this fall camp between Mike Adams and Andrew Miller, and for good reason. Ohio State has been searching for an answer at LT for two seasons, and inconsistency at the position has been an issue for longer than that.
Having the urge to be original, I am going to take a slightly different angle when looking at the line. The twist? It doesn’t matter who plays left tackle this season. Read More
Hmmm… I wonder if Woody was onto something heroic?