I wonder what it’s like to play the favorite at home four straight weeks against teams you’re expected to not only beat but beat handily? Does that put pressure on a young football team learning a new system and at some point make them begin to feel confidently complacent yet nervously unsure at the same time?
This is in no way an attempt to make any excuses for the myriad of problems the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes face nor to defuse the complaints being lobbed at them from its die-hard fan base. It’s just a question of mindset and trying to imagine what goes through the head of a 18-20 year old college athlete playing at the most popular university in the country.
B1G a welcome sight?
For the last 5-6 years we’ve had it shoved in our face weekly just how bad the Big Ten has become. Quite honestly, I’m really tired of hearing about it and beginning to not care. If Michigan can’t beat Notre Dame and Nebraska can’t beat an upstart UCLA team in the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin can’t beat anybody, what’s it matter to us? I’ve said it for a few years now and it needs repeated: Just win the games on your schedule and things will fall out how you deserve. Win them all and If you still can’t get in the BCS title game or upcoming playoff, be honest with yourself, look at your schedule and realize it’s likely you didn’t deserve it anyway. Besides, what is Ohio State going to do, leave the conference? But, more on the B1G overall later…
Coming in to this weeks game against Michigan State in East Lansing (ABC 3:30) all the lingering issues from the games with UAB , California and UCF can be put to rest. It’s time to start fresh. It doesn’t mean those problems don’t still exist (tackling, angles, dropping passes etc) it just puts the focus elsewhere. Instead of pounding it in players heads all week about how poor the tackling was, Coach Meyer’s staff can now use it as a tool to sharpen senses and focus on the task at hand: Beating Sparty. As an example: Instead of spending the week repeating the same fundamental issues over and over until they’re blue in the face, Luke Fickell can simply throw in during practice “And if you think you’re going to tackle Le’Veon Bell the way you tackled Joe Schmo from UAB, we might as well not even get on the plane!” Nothing more needs to be said. The message is clear. Get it together or you will fail. Read More
Offensive Consistency. At times, this offense seemed unstoppable. Other times, they seem miserably poor. Does “Consistent Inconsistency” count?
Receivers that can catch. Not for the most part, no. Plenty of drives were killed by dropped passes. While they hauled in 60% of Miller’s passes, it still took them the better part of a half to focus on the game.
More ground production from halfbacks. Hall picked up the first 100 yard game for the running backs this season, and Rod Smith picked up a healthy 24 yards on 6 carries.
A Defense that tackles. It was an improvement, surprisingly. But, it is still not where it should be.
Linebackers that live up to their legacy. Someday perhaps. Saturday was a tad early to ask for it.
Consistency. Consistently Inconsistent – tattoo it on this team’s forehead, because it is the perfect descriptor for them.
Less Wounded Ducks. Didn’t see too many, but did see a few poor throws still. The footwork is not quite where it should be – particularly when he gets excited.
Secondary Still. It was an improvement in terms of long plays, but the coverage is not where it should be. 10 yards off the receiver is pathetic pass coverage.
Coach Meyer’s comments following the win over the Central Florida Knights, courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio: (transcription provided by the Ohio State Athletic Department)
As always, I like to give credit to a very good team we faced in Central Florida. We knew going in they would try to run downhill on us.
I think this is the second week in a row we held a team under 100 yards rushing. However, pass defense, we have a long way to go. Getting pressure on the quarterback.
Offensively, we’re down to our third tailback, and it looked like it. We have to get better. The guys carrying the ball are talented, just terrible mistakes. Penalties and turnovers are not ‑‑ in the first game, very minimal penalties and zero turnovers.
And then this week was not good. So just gotta fix it. We’re going to have to really ID who is going to touch the ball. We have to go back to the drawing board and make some decisions on who is going to physically touch that ball and they have to take care of it, obviously.
So I would also like to thank our fans and our student body. Tremendous. And also the weatherman did a nice job for us. So appreciate his effort. And got a big one next week, but we’re going to enjoy the win. Winning major college football games is a tough duty, especially when you face a quality opponent. Read More
Quick reflections on the Ohio State Spring Game…
Bumped back a day to cover today’s press access- one more day means even more news, notes, and inanity.
There was no NCAA violation. If you could bold and underline that for me, please.
Done and done, coach.
Before Buckeye Nation turned it’s eyes to shootyhoops on Saturday, the 2012 football team took to the field for it’s first full-pad practice of the spring. Here’s some of the things we’ve learned after three days under Coach Meyer:
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.