The Week That Were: 10.23.10

Written October 24th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

In the spirit of Homecoming, here’s this week’s musical selection. Congrats to Ohio State’s new royalty- I apologize if your reign is rudely interrupted.


Columbus wasn’t the only college town named after Spanish explorers that was celebrating “Fleecing Forgetful Alumni Weekend” (so named by a friend who works in alumni relations- it’s amazing how the school that everyone complained about is the greatest place ever four years removed); we also were privy to the celebrations in Columbia Missouri as well. And, as you’ve probably had shoved down your throat all day, for the third straight week the number one team in the nation lost on the road. Congrats to the Mizzou Tigers and their potent “Ok, everyone go out and turn around” offense, yet another incarnation of the “basketball on grass” trends we’ve been seeing for the past few years.  Given that Oklahoma was also running a similar scheme, it made for a long television experience. To be honest, when IOU was running their last gasp version of the Cal kickoff return, it was difficult for me to differentiate from the rest of the offensive snaps.

That’s not intended to take away from what the Tigers accomplished- it’s great that they have s significant moment that doesn’t involve kicking or getting obliterated.  In several years, when the advancement office is calling them asking for money, they’ll be able to look back on this and remember the excitement, the glory, the awkward haircuts, and the complete disregard for others’ personal space.

Question of the day? Will Oklahoma get the same level of “respect” that Ohio State seems to get?  Remember, they’ve got a worse BCS record and a worse record in big games.  Now that they’ve put the “choke” back into their name, I’m looking forward to hearing about Stoops’ “issues” nonstop from the experts. Read More

Beating USC….means Ohio State is 9-0???

Written September 11th, 2009 by Jeff

Yes, you read that right.  The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently 1-0, having knocked off Navy last weekend.  It’s my contention that if Ohio State wins their second game of the year, they’re as good as 9-0.

"There's a tradition in tournament play.  Do not talk about the next step until you've climbed the one in front of you."

"There's a tradition in tournament play. Do not talk about the next step until you've climbed the one in front of you."

With all the rabid discussion about the Ohio State-USC game, it appears as if nobody has taken a look at the schedule beyond this weekend’s game. Go ahead and look for yourself – it’s in the column directly to the right of this article.

Looks kinda…light. Right?

I’m calling it right now. If Ohio State beats USC Saturday night, they’re 9-0. Here’s why;

  • Game 3 – at Toledo – The Rockets have one win against a big-name Big Ten school. They’re not getting another one anytime soon. Purdue put up 47 points against them with a lesser offense. This one won’t be close.
  • Game 4 – Illinois – When all the talk was about Juice Williams being the man who runs the Illinois offense, it looks more like it was Rashard Mendenhall that was the catalyst. Williams struggled against Missouri last week, and the Illini defense isn’t even able to catch the swine flu, let alone Terrelle Pryor.
  • Game 5 – at Indiana – The annual home game on the road should produce the typical result. Indiana will be lucky to make the top 8 of the conference, and will be lucky to stay within 3 touchdowns of Ohio State.
  • Game 6 – Wisconsin – There are some who say that the Badgers have the Buckeyes’ number and always seem to give us tough games. Maybe so, but they would only win the games against Ohio State when they were….oh, how should I put this….not a complete disaster.
  • Game 7 – at Purdue – The Boilers are in a rebuilding year, and as much as I like them, they’ll be hard pressed to slow down Pryor.
  • Game 8 – Minnesota – They had trouble with Syracuse. Syracuse. Their big season last year was a confidence booster for the Gophers, but they’re not yet ready for prime time.
  • Game 9 – New Mexico State – This was a fill-in game for the Buckeyes….one of those opponents that we paid to come to Ohio Stadium and they’ll be happy with the big paycheck and a loss.

Then comes Penn State, Iowa and Michigan. We’ll have trouble at the end of the year, but with 7 games immediately following USC will only be a 2-month laundry list of tune-up games for the final stretch.

Dear God, win this game on Saturday night. 9-0 would be sweet for this team. So sweet.

Oh, and if you think I’m crazy for this prognostication, I’ve done it before. I was right then, too.  And if that doesn’t convince you, perhaps this will…..

The last time that Ohio State lost a game to an opponent they should have defeated, it was 2004.  This team does NOT lose to lesser opponents.  There are no Toledos in our loss column.  No Stanfords.  None of that.  For all the grief we get from the media for our recent big-game losses, they tend to overlook the fact that NO team has defeated us in five years that did not make a BCS bowl the same year they got us.  None.

So when we finally break the big-game shackles tomorrow night and defeat USC, expect us to go 9-0 to start the season.  Because Toledo, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, and New Mexico State will probably be watching the BCS bowls from home.  Which means they’re not getting a win over us.  Period.

Go Bucks!

What Do You Want To See On Saturday? – USC edition

Written September 10th, 2009 by Jeff

Eric

Keep passing to the TE’s and RB’s -  We had great success in the passing game last week by going to the TE’s and RB’s – in fact the top two receivers were at TE/RB.  USC will be a lot better in pass defense than Navy was, and we will need to spread it around in order to be able to move the ball at all against them.

Better blocking from the RB’s -  Apparently, given what’s been said among the Buckeye blogosphere the last few days, I was too harsh on the offensive line and not nearly hard enough on the running backs.  The RB’s need to learn to pick up the blitzes better in pass blocking or LiC is going to be on his back every single day.

The Defensive Line must slow – if not stop – the runBarkley is going to be a fantastic quarterback for USC for the next several years.  Fortunately for us, he’s still a freshman and prone to mistakes if he’s forced to make them.  USC cannot be allowed to run the football and must be forced to have Barkley win the game with his arm.  If the DL succeeds in making USC one-dimensional, USC should be a lot easier to control.

The secondary has to grow up and make plays - Kurt Coleman did a wonderful job against Navy.  Anderson Russell…well…not so much.  The corners weren’t tested much, unfortunately.  If we’re going to force USC to beat us through the air, we need to be able to take advantage of it.  Mistakes in the pass defense game will kill us as easily this year as last.

Jim

We must make some big plays early – The crowd is going to be fired up for this game without a doubt.  Throw in an early sack from Thaddeus on third down or a 40 yard scramble from Pryor and the stadium will be shaking. Energy from the crowd is going to play a major role in this game, and nothing will bring that energy to a fever pitch like a few big time plays early in the game.

We must break Matt Barkley - I want ears ringing before kickoff. I want his ass on the ground every time he drops back. I want him crying for mommy at halftime. I want him curled up in the fetal position when the game is over. Barkley is a cocky little snot, we must shatter his confidence early, we must hit him constantly, we must break him.

Pryor must roll out of the pocket – Pryor came to Ohio State to become a passing quarterback. He can do that later. I want Pryor rolling out of the pocket early and often and I want him taking off the moment he sees some open field. Pryor outside of the tackles is the most dangerous weapon that we have on offense.  Take advantage of it.

We must stop pulling guards on short yardage plays – Pulling a guard clogs the hole with a slow lineman, it forces the running back to slow down and adjust when he needs to be hitting the hole full speed, it allows weak-side penetration which usually runs into the running back who is waiting on the guard to get out of the way, it only works about half the time at best and we need to STOP DOING IT.

Jeff

A freshman quarterback on his back A LOT – If you’re going to rattle Barkley into turnovers (and he CAN be forced into a bad night, he hasn’t had many good days in practice so far), you’ve got to make him wonder where the hits are coming from next.  Two sacks in the first two drives will do that.  Be all up in his jersey and he will throw three interceptions by game’s end.

No mental mistakes – That means EVERYBODY.  No unnecessary penalties.  Don’t blow the coverage.  Kick the FG on 4th-and-2.  Heads in the game…you’re at HOME.  The pressure is on THEM.  Let them know it.

Terrelle Pryor – leave the pocket – Not that he spends a lot of time there anyway, but the best way to knock USC off is to make Pryor as mobile as possible.  USC has never handled mobile QBs very well and they tend to surrender a lot of points when they face one.  With this young defense, it could get lead to a lot of yardage, but only if we force them to chase LiC.

Make Joe McKnight have more than half of USC’s total offense – McKnight is going to get 130 yards rushing and a few receiving yards.  The rest of USC combined needs to be held to less than that.  McKnight alone cannot beat us….so stop the rest of the Trojans and you get the W.

NOISE NOISE NOISE* – There’s 105,000 of you in that stadium, and I can’t be one of them.  If you have tickets and you’re as quiet as you were last week, I’m personally going to beat the shit out of you Sunday morning.  This is the biggest game in the Shoe since Michigan 2006.  Act like it!

MaliBuckeye

Barkley flustered – Look, champ- this isn’t your seventh grade all-stars game. It’s THE Horseshoe, the BDBITL, and 105,000+ screaming fans. Plus, eleven warriors who’ve been waiting all summer to make your acquaintance, and who couldn’t play like their hair was on fire last week because of the “read and react” option offense. I want him to have a Colt McCoy type night, circa 2006.

No false starts or stupid offensive line penalties – I’m going to keep asking for it until it happens.

U$C’s defense out of position – Open the playbook, make them guess where you’re going next. LiC, work your magic.

Mark May with his foot in his mouth – Dig your way out of the hole when the Bucks win, you hack.

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* – “15 bucks, little man.  Put that shit in my hand”

Step back from the ledge, read this instead

Written September 8th, 2009 by Jim

31-27, ouch.

Well, maybe not that ouch. If you will recall, Ohio State was up 29-14 with the ball on Navy’s 15 yard line with 7 minutes to go in the game.

For more tidbits from Saturday to make you feel better, read this fantastic article by Jeff Amey over at theozone.net.

Feel better now? No? Not even a little bit?

Alright, well then check this article out from elevenwarriors.com.

If you don’t feel at least a little better yet than you are on your own. I know it’s hard after so many disappointments, but remember, Ohio State is a damn good football team. Remember that.

Also, Matt Barkley is a douche;

I asked Barkley if there was anything that was difficult.

“The run up the tunnel at halftime,” he said. “That was brutal.”

Addition by MaliBuckeye:

Another interesting read regarding the much beleaguered OL’s production-

Tale of the tape: Navy- Ken Gordon, Columbus Dispatch

 

What Do You Want To See On Saturday?

Written September 3rd, 2009 by Jeff

Each week, the BBC will be gathering opinions from all staff members regarding the upcoming game (and beyond). We call it “What Do You Want To See On Saturday*?”

No further explanation needed. Let’s get to it;

Jim? What do you want to see?

The offensive line needs to move people off the ball – The Navy defensive line is small, our offensive line is big, if we can’t shove them around it is going to be a long season. I will be particularly interested in seeing what kind of push the new interior of Boren, Brewster, and Browning are able to get. This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

The defensive ends need to be in the backfield – I wanted to say that the defensive ends need to pressure the QB, but since Navy doesn’t pass the ball much, seeing whether or not they are in the backfield will have to do. Our defensive ends are the strongest (and deepest) position on the team this year, and I will be looking for them to dominate early and often.

Pryor needs to go through his progressions and get rid of the ball – Too many times last year Pryor held on to the ball and was sacked. While a sack is better than a pick, Pryor needs to be able to check down to his second or third option and throw the ball if Ohio State is going to compete against top defenses this year. I will be interested to see if Pryor looks to his second or third option (possibly even looking to the tight end?) or if he will just take off running if his initial option isn’t open. Some passes to RB’s in the flats or to the tight ends would make me a very happy Buckeye.

————–

MaliBuckeye?  How about you?  What do you want to see?

The Ohio State/Navy Game Stupid west coast feed of ESPN will probably show Iowa State and North Dakota State. Presupposing, of course, that our cable company hasn’t burned to the ground by then.

Nothing Fancy First, with all due respect, we shouldn’t need to get flashy to win against the Middies. They are solid, we are spectacular.  Second, the more vanilla we can look against a team that is “unique” will help us not tip our hand against U$C.

Solid Running GameMake Woody proud- great line play, a good transition from Beanie to Boom, and churn up the yards.

No Third and LongNot only does this mean the offense is clicking, but it means that the offensive line false starts are a thing of the past.

————–

Eric?  Go for it, bro…..

At least two wide receivers step up and have a big game This one is obvious given our young group of receivers this year.  Herron and Saine, along with the stable of young backs will give us a decent run threat, but we cannot beat such a good running team with nothing but a running game.  A pair of receivers will keep us from being one dimensional.

At least three completed passes to the Tight Ends -
I’m honestly tired of OSU’s QBs not having enough time in the pocket to check down to the tight end the last few years.  If the offensive line doesn’t perform to the level necessary, it would be nice to see some dump passes to the tight ends in the flat.

Decent play at left tackle, no matter who is thereAfter Alex Boone anything is an improvement.  However we absolutely must have a left tackle this year to take some heat off of Pryor’s blindside.  I want Pryor running to avoid a coverage sack, not running because the left tackle fell asleep on the job.

Defensive Line control the line of scrimmage
If our Defensive Line can stop Navy’s precocious running game, then they should be able to control just about any team in the country.  This should keep the pressure off our young-gun linebackers and corners so that they can come of age at their own pace.

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As for me???

Under 250 yards rushing from Navy – The Middies average 7 pass ATTEMPTS per game.  Yes, per GAME.  They rely on the run 7 out of every 8 plays, and they’ll eat up chunks of yards with their triple-option.  Buckeye fans shouldn’t panic when Navy gets a lot of yards early, but in order for us to keep them under 250, we have to make the adjustments fast.

Run the option pass!**- Let’s not kid around too much…we’re going to beat Navy.  But with 8 starters missing from USC and a 9th being declared ineligible this week, the Trojans have got a lot to work on.  Let’s have Pryor show them a wrinkle in our offense and make them work harder in practice all next week!

Bauserman!  We want Bauserman!*** – Joe Bauserman is a fine quarterback and it’s to his credit that he hasn’t made a run for the transfer list in the wake of Pryor getting all the reps.  So let’s reward him again this year, get out to a big lead, and let the kid throw a touchdown!

—————-

Well, there it is.  We’ll go through the list after the game and see if we all got our wishes granted.  Go Buckeyes!

* – imaginative title, isn’t it?
** – The exact opposite of MaliBuckeye’s 2nd point!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!
*** – Through substitution, please.  Not injury.  Please, God?

Mid-day wrapup

Written August 28th, 2009 by Jeff

Lots to discuss, so here we go;

On Monday morning, we’ll be announcing our new experiment/project that we hope will settle a lot of arguments regarding which NCAA conference reigns supreme.  Check with us Monday and see what you think…..

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We’ve mentioned this here before, but let’s remind ticket-holders again – there is a growing call for fans to deliver a standing ovation to the Navy players when they take the field next Saturday against Ohio State.  We were first alerted to this movement by The Buckeye Blog, and since we heard about it two weeks ago, it’s developed into a full-blown movement.  Watch the video promotion here;

Yesterday, my mom….who is a Buckeye fan but by no means tuned in to the intricacies of the sport like you blog-readers are…..asked me if I had heard of this idea. If my mother knows about it, that means it’s getting the news coverage pretty heavy. I expect it to go over well next Saturday.

I believe this is a brilliant move. Our servicemen and servicewomen deserve the best treatment, and this is a classy way to give them their due before the game. Not often do our military men get a chance to be cheered loudly by over 100,000 people at once, and here’s their chance. Bravo to the people who came up with this idea.

If you have tickets to the game, thanks for taking part in what will surely be seen by millions of people all over ESPN, TBDSSP, and various other sports shows for weeks to come. May it become a tradition for every school that hosts a military academy for years to come.

————-

Of course, no great idea goes unpunished. Brian at MGoBlog decides to take a huge dump in the middle of the party by disrespecting the Navy tribute, and accuses Ohio State fans of normally acting “like jerks”.  Of course, his holier-than-thou argument gets pierced pretty badly when he openly (and probably accidentally) admits that he’s been there when his fellow Michigan fans boo the likes of Eastern Michigan.

Attacking Ohio State when they want to honor men in military uniform?  Classy as always, Brian.  Douchebaggery knows no bounds in your neck of the woods.

————-

Speaking of Brian, we caught wind that he decided to attack Ohio State fans last week with an article in The Sporting News.  Frankly, we can’t blame him….when you’re trying to avoid discussing your own 3-9 team whose star QB is a coke dealer that has no access to coke, you’ve gotta distract your readers with SOMETHING, right?

This time, though, he decided to lie about The BBC.  He posted an “OMG I’m so outraged” article about the fervor surrounding Ralph Gray Decker, and in doing so he linked a piece about harrassing Decker’s employer to our site here.  The BBC never once mentioned anything resembling personal info about Decker.

Brian then attributed a particularly nasty quote to this site.  Again, this site did not feature ANY violent threats of that sort.  We monitor all comments and those type of comments do not get published.  Brian, of course decided to claim that “every Ohio State blog” was posting attacks and personal info about Decker.  Again, lies.

We requested an apology from Brian through The Sporting News.  Like a true Michigan man, he ignored it.  Still, another Sporting News writer stepped up to the plate and offered The BBC our deserved apology;

littmann.tsn | Friday, August 21, 2009, 4:40 pm

@Jeff — I want to apologize, because a simple HTML mistake on my end made it look like we were attributing that comment to your blog, when in reality, Brian pulled it from www.ourhonordefend.com. I had an open tag that sucked some of that block quote into a black hole. My apologies. For what it’s worth, the inflammatory comment that Brian referenced was eventually removed from Our Honor Defend by their moderator, which was obviously the right thing to do.

Thanks,
CL
While I don’t buy the argument that HTML made him do it, at least Brian’s employer has more courage and dignity than he does.
By the way, it should also be noted that The Sporting News own website has the disclaimer that comments made on their site are not the responsibility of TSN…but I guess that little nugget slipped past Brian while he was busy throwing rocks from his glass house.
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Starting with the Navy game, The BBC will be doing liveblogging for each and every Buckeye game.  We have a few other blogs on board as well, so you can read the live chat from all over the blogosphere.  Make sure you join us!

Why is it so hard to beat the Trojans?

Written August 21st, 2009 by Eric

Apparently I’m just going to write about the Trojans for the next several weeks.  I promise I’m not overlooking the oh-so-dangerous-triple-option Navy team, but bear with me while I get my preseason jitters out of the way.  After that I’ll start taking the required shots at “Jake Locker East” (read: Tim “I’m a virgin” Tebow) and that conference that we don’t like to talk about but makes every sports journalist get a chubby.  Am I allowed to say chubby?

I’m sure, given the fact that USC is coming to town, a lot of attention is being placed upon what exactly the Buckeyes are going to need to be able to do in order to beat them.  Every top-of-the-line school has been trying to figure out exactly that since 2003.  Well, I may not have the answer, but I might have a place to start looking.

Obviously, we all know how well Pete Carroll has been recruiting while at USC.  Since 2002, the lowest ranked recruiting class USC has pulled in was ranked 12th in the nation, which occurred in 2002 (via Scout).  While their recruiting classes haven’t been comparatively spectacular of late (2008: 9th, 2009: 9th – compare to 2003, 2004, 2006: 1st) they did have the second best recruiting class in 2007.  For comparison, in this same period OSU has gone 16th in 2007, 4th in 2008 and 1st in 2009.

However, we all know from the 2002 season that, while player talent is very important, it isn’t the whole story; just as important for the win is having a solid game-plan.  So, in lieu of this, I present an exclusive look into the defensive mindset of one Pete Carroll from the mouth of…Pete Carroll.  Yes, in fact you are looking at the transcript from a talk given by Pete Carroll on the subject of his defensive philosophy.(1) Several things stand out:

1) This is a defense designed to be played with the least amount of necessary thought.  As Carroll himself says,

“In principle we want to give our players a chance to know exactly what they have to defend.  We also want to give them an attitude in which to do that.  We want to be an attacking, aggressive football team.   We don’t want to sit and read the play like you often have to with “two-gap” principles of play.  We want to attack into the gap at the snap, get off the ball to play on their side of the field and get after the quarterback.  “

Every single player has an assignment, and if they carry it out correctly it will result in good things for the defense.  While this is true for all defenses, the fact that this is designed to be an almost “plug and play” defensive set makes it particularly dangerous.  Each player knows the one or two things he is responsible for in each play call and simply has to act based upon what the offense shows them.

2) On the other hand, however, it has a weakness.  Each player must know and play his assignment perfectly,

“The big problem with any “one-gap” approach however is that it allows a ball carrier to get into the secondary if one guy makes a mistake.  No matter how aggressive the defense is there is a great amount of discipline that goes with this defense.  You have to be very strict about your positioning and the placement of your players.  You have to have the ability to maintain relative spacing between your players.”

Having a player out of position, or miss an assignment, would be devastating to this defense.  However, you would need either luck, or the ability to know all the defensive assignments and positions to be able to take advantage of a mistake by the defense.

3) Any changes to the defense by offensive personnel changes can be made by the players on the field with little to no interaction with the coaching staff.  This allows for a very fast reacting, fluid defense that can respond to a wide variety of challenges presented by the offense.  This can even be done on the fly in silence with no audible in the case the offense audibles itself.

4) This explains very easily why elite-level teams struggle so much against USC, while the mid-range teams in the Pac-10 manage to trip them up once every year.  Quite simply, the defensive players have to be at the top of their game mentally every single play and every single game.  We all know that it’s easy to get to that level of play for the big games, but much more difficult for the lower-quality opponent.

Now, clearly this says nothing about USC’s offense, which is spectacular in it’s own right.  But, as 2002 also taught us, a very solid defense can win games with nothing better than an above-average offense. And, obviously, you can’t beat a team unless you can at least partially tame its defense.

Terrelle Pryor and company must be able to deal with the threat that this defense poses against them.  In order to do that, I believe that they are going to have to do a bit more growing from what we saw at the end of last season in order to be able to take care of business.  Can they do it with such young, but talented, skill players?  I believe they can, but they’re definitely going to have their work cut out for them.

(1) Special thanks to my good friend Steve for pointing this article out to me.