Well Buckeye fans, we are halfway home to the end of the 2011 season. Standing at 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the B1G, this year has been some dizzying highs (winning the Sugar Bowl) and far too many lowest of lows. The real question is where the Ohio State Buckeyes grade out for the first half of the season and keys to improvement. Players and coaches will be broken down and evaluated on their performance so far. So, listen up scarlet and gray clad coaches and players. Professor Schmidbauer is here to hand out some first half grades.
Breakdown: Anyone wondering what kind of faith the offensive coaches had in Braxton
Miller got a pretty good idea as to how much last Saturday in Champaign. The play as a whole has been pretty poor sans two games for the Buckeye signal callers. Joe Bauserman’s initial start against Akron was a solid debut for the resident geriatric of Ohio State. Braxton Miller’s first start against the Colorado Buffaloes was a nice debut as well. The rest of the performances have been lackluster, and I think we would all agree that is putting it kindly. Now the team is officially Miller’s and it seems like the Buckeyes can ride him as far as the freshman can carry them, well assuming there is not a strong wind anyway.
Area to Improve: If there is one key to the Buckeye season reaching eight or, dare I say, nine wins, it has to be the passing game. Ohio State proved you can win a game by only completing one pass, but it goes without saying we don’t want to see if the team can accomplish that feat again. Braxton Miller has not been able to consistently make throws in big spots in games yet, and opponents know that. You can believe that a serviceable passing will be a necessity to reach a New Year’s Day bowl game. Read More
For once, SBP could serve as a public service announcement, particularly for the folks in the Zanesville area.
No afternoon presser today, so here’s all the non-exotic animal related news… unless you count John Simon as his own overly evolved species of critter.
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.
Next to last set of sights from Nebraska- mostly focusing on the events pre-game. This may read like a letter from your aunt on vacation… remember, sometimes she has good things to say. Oh, and yes, I’ll talk about the game itself a bit later… once my therapist says it’s OK.
I arrived at the stadium around 11:00, which seems early for a 7:00 game but seems ludicrous given that it was 9:00 AM Los Angeles time. Even though the Buckeyes won’t be back for several years, I’ve got to take this moment to strongly encourage Ohio State fans to travel to a game here at some point in their lifetime… seriously, they take “Husker Hospitality” as a challenge.
Upon arriving, I had the opportunity to survey the wonder of the ESPN truck… and all I did, for the record, is survey. The suggestions I received via text and email would have surely landed me in jail for the game, although I’m confident even there someone would have asked me if I was having a nice visit to Lincoln.
Moving onward I decided to connect with some folks I’d met via Buckeye Planet, and was welcomed into my first Nebraska tailgate to talk football and watch the OU/UT game. The consensus- this is the “asteroid strike” game for Husker fans, similar to our TTUN/ND wishes. In talking conference expansion, the overall vote is “anyone but Texas”.
After bidding these folks adieu, I connected with some other Buckeye fans from Columbus for a “tour of Lincoln’s finest watering holes”. Even there, Scarlet and Gray was proudly represented (with the exception of a couple of Michigan fans), and I actually met people who were familiar with my ridiculously small corner of Ohio. Read More
It’s been a hectic couple week’s here at the BBC, but not hectic enough to keep us from jotting down a couple of wishes for this weekend.
An offense. Let’s just start this out with the obvious. I would give anything to see a functional OSU offense take the field against this tough Blackshirt’s defense. The lack of Herron and Posey will make that more difficult than originally expected for this point in the season, but you have to be able to perform even when you’re missing guys. That’s one of the key differences between “good” teams and “great” ones.
Me not jinxing the OSU offense by asking for silly passing numbers. This one says it all, I think. I won’t be asking for that crap until next season. Maybe.
A pick six. We have been awfully close to a few big pick sixes in both of our losses. We’re going to need them if this team is ever going to win some of these tough games. This is a lot like 2002 – except for the fact that we got those interceptions when we needed them back then (cough cough Penn State).
Taylor Martinez – Wisconsin Version. He threw three picks to the Badgers. Can he be equally accommodating to us? That would be awfully generous of him. Heck, if he plays his cards right he could be the best Ohio State quarterback in the game!
The return of the aggressive, angry offensive line. They looked like deer in headlights against Michigan State – no thanks to the play calling and some wonderful defensive strategy from Dantonio’s crew. It would be nice to see these guys plowing the road for Jordan Hall again.
Eric and Joe get together on this week’s radio hour to discuss the trials and tribulations facing the offense following the Michigan State game. They also talk about the latest suspensions and express the frustrations most Buckeye fans are feeling, along with their feelings towards Gene Smith. Lastly, they talk about Nebraska and what the Buckeyes need to do in order to pull off the win in Memorial Stadium.
For the opponent’s preview, Eric is joined by the excellent HuskerDan of HuskerMax.com. They discuss Nebraska, along with their recent addition to the Big Ten and the welcoming committee laid down by Wisconsin.
All this and more on this week’s Radio Hour!
Note: At the time of the recording, we believed Corey “Philly” Brown would be fully ready to play. Currently his status is listed as “Day-to-Day”, and while there is a chance that we will see him on the field, it’s not as certain as we claim in the podcast.
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.