I wanted to talk about some of the talent we have on defense and how the Buckeyes’ new defensive staff will bring the most out of this talented young roster. This will be a two part article as I look at the linebackers and defensive backs.
Before I get into the staff’s new package and way of thinking defensively, I want to say something about our old “bend but don’t break” defensive package. While it was effective for many years, I think it’s just a little too passive with the development of College Football and all the spread offenses the past 5-10 years. With that being said, there is still a place for it, but that would be more for situational uses.
The one issue the Buckeyes could run into is not ensuring the defense has a true understanding of the scheme while keeping it as fresh in their minds as possible, which could turn into a nightmare. This is a good defense to play when the Buckeyes have a sizable lead that does not warrant the old “Pre-Vent defense” (which I absolutely loath).
Under the former defensive staff, our defense (attempted) to limit offenses with gadget plays or a breakdown in the scheme as their only options to move the ball. It was also easy to man up on receivers when you were giving such a cushion to the WR’s. The Buckeyes would just seek a big safety to play as the fifth defensive back, while removing a LB from the field.
That brings me to Coach Ash and his “Walkout Linebacker” role, which will be asked to do an awful lot. Finding this type of player to successfully play this position is going to take some serious evaluating and recruiting. This player must be linebacker sized and will be expected to step out and cover the slot receiver at times.
Needless to say, most linebackers do not excel in coverage, so again this will need to be a special player with speed. I mean if linebackers were that good in coverage, you would see the death of the nickel and dime packages as teams would never get out of their base defense. This position needs a new, much more “Badass” name….I think that would work right there as they will need to be one to be successful.
This could turn into a very big positive for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail as well. How great of a selling point: if you become a Buckeye, you will be able to compete for the “Badass” position and stay on the field all three downs. If you think about NFL teams and what they are looking for, a “three-down linebacker” is one (see Seattle Seahawks). That is really what it will take to be a high first round draft pick as a linebacker going forward; He must be able to cover as he will be expected to stay on the field for all three downs. Read More
The regular season is over and the Buckeyes are 12-0 for the second year in a row. Their school record winning streak now sits at 24 straight games. After a thriller in Ann Arbor, the scarlet and grey now travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game and a date with the Michigan State Spartans. We’ll look back, ahead and farther forward. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Game blues
As much as we all tried to say we expected a tough game, it didn’t seem like many of us actually believed it could possibly happen. I’m no different. After seeing Michigan the past couple of weeks and reading their stat-lines, I felt a blowout was imminent. We were reminded by the Wolverines just what rivalry is all about.
I certainly don’t mean to talk them up or give them much time in this column at all, but credit goes where it is deserved. Brady Hoke had his team ready to play and they performed for him. The Wolverines were not intimidated, they kept the Buckeye coaching staff guessing and turned the Silver Bullets greatest strength against them by keeping the Buckeye defensive line in check for the majority of the game.
The team up north reminded us of several things on Saturday: 1. Never count out your rivals and 2. Anything can happen, that’s why they play the game. Read More
Well, TTUN threw all their best “punches” at the Buckeyes but still couldn’t put a blemish on the Buckeyes resume. Let’s see if our wishes were able to roll with the “punches”!
If the pounds of fried turkey and sweet potato pie that you ate on Thursday didn’t give you a heart attack, this week’s college football games certainly were going to do their damnedest to finish the job.
Rivalries, by nature, raise the blood pressure of those involved… if they didn’t it would be called a “friendly tiff” or an “untimely spat”. Add the magnitude of what was on the line for some teams, and you’ve surely got the makings for one of the most memorable weekends of the year, if not all times.
We’ve already discussed the awesomeness that was the victory in The Game, and join the rest of Buckeye Nation in sending Tyvis Powell the kinds of “thank you” that would be approved by the NCAA. TWTW doesn’t often spend time rehashing Buckeye wins, but man… that’s one to savor. Right, Eddie?
Kudos to Coach Hoke and his team in their preparation and gameplan, and for the decision to go for it all at the end. It didn’t work out, but it was a great call. Kudos to Devin Gardner as well- after a rough year, and on a bad wheel, he really put it all on the line for his team. I’m not gloating, but that’s how the game is meant to be played… win or lose, you leave everything on the field.
While I’m here, I can’t figure out how only one of these guys was ejected from the game, and that it wasn’t the first one to throw a punch (#34). The Buckeye reaction was understandable, but inappropriate given the program and the magnitude of the game. That being said, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts for me…
But this amazing weekend started well before kickoff in Ann Arbor. Thursday’s rivalry action in the Egg Bowl saw an injured quarterback enter into Mississippi State legend status, leading his team to an overtime win with a touchdown run on fourth and 1 from near the goal-line. Sometimes, gutsy calls work out for the home team. Also on Thursday, Texas fans saw another big win… one big enough to celebrate with a shirt and a Mack Brown contract extension? Yeah, probably not.
Friday’s game that should be called “Farmageddon” but isn’t saw the start of the Christmas season in Lincoln Nebraska. At least that had to be what the Huskers thought, since One Weisman was enough to do a ton of damage to the Blackshirt defense. That Nebraska lost was surprising enough, but for me the really interesting part of the game was the media response during and after. Coach Pelini has been on a hot seat, and you could sense his frustration even during the typical halftime “let’s chat on your way to the locker room” interview.
Postgame, someone asked him about his job status and… well, listen to his response here.
Essentially, he says “look, you’re making a story out of something that I have no control over, and your decision to do so is hurting our players and our team. If the people in charge want to fire me, they can.”
The storyline from the game? “If they want to fire me, go ahead“, as if he was calling his AD and the University leadership out. Of course they didn’t talk about his comments ripping the media for impacting the program… it’s like they say. Read More
Before Senior Day at Ohio State, Urban Meyer joins Ohio State Insider Jim Lachey to discuss how the Buckeyes are dealing with injuries and the prospects of facing Indiana’s high powered offense.
Thanks as always to the team at Campus Insiders for the insight!
Also, if you haven’t seen it already, this video from the Athletic Department in preparation for tomorrow’s game is spectacular: Read More
We had quite the scare in the first half last week and fans expressed their disdain with the Buckeye defense, but had plenty to be happy about, Like Mr. Hyde. Here are the interactions from fans across twitter from last week’s battle with Iowa!
@JayBuckeye74 -Hyde and Miller with big plays. It’s a tie.
@wvabuckeye – El Guapo TD
@DaveGags12 – Carlos Hyde TD
@The_BBC – Braxton’s Scramble
@osumarchingmom – It’s a tie between Braxton and Hyde.
@JayBuckeye74 – Hyde and Miller
@rkayjay02 – Hyde
@wvabuckeye – Braxton Miller
@DaveGags12 – Braxton
@The_BBC – Guapo
@osumarchingmom – Tyvis Powell
@JayBuckeye74 – Doran Grant
@rkayjay02 – Powell
@wvabuckeye – Powell
@DaveGags12 – Tyvis Powell
@The_BBC – NONE
@osumarchingmom – Basil!!!
@MDotySr - after the tackle on the opening kickoff I was hoping Basil would get some LB snaps!!!
@JayBuckeye74 – Basil
@rkayjay02 – Basil tackle!!
@wvabuckeye – Basil makes tackle
@DaveGags12 – Basil
@The_BBC – Basils tackle
Tried some new hash-tags this week that seemed to be a little fun!! It was intended to mean what was good and not so good about Iowa themselves but I enjoyed the answers!!!! Great job everyone!
@osumarchingmom – The crowd!
@JayBuckeye74 - Doran Grant solid cb, oline beast mode, Hyde and miller hitting stride, Wilson making plays.
@rkayjay02 – good o-line second half
@wvabuckeye – Iowa O-line
@DaveGags12 – O-line
@The_BBC – OL
@osumarchingmom – Defensive Coordinator (has to fix game plan I think)
@jasonMorrowSM – The 85-yard TD pass on 2nd & 20. Blown assignments. Spence has to check TE off the LOS
@JayBuckeye74 - LB play, dline struggled, d playcalling, miller deep ball
@rkayjay02 – D, especially the secondary
@wvabuckeye – tackling
@DaveGags12 – tackling
@The_BBC – LB coverage
Thanks for participating in last week’s “Fan Interact!” Make sure to join us after the game next week!
The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1) came calling to Columbus Ohio to take on the Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0), and they came with a fight in them. Both teams traded body blows on the way to a 34-24 final score. Braxton Miller led the way with his passing game, throwing 22-27 for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns while running 18 times for 102 yards. His counterpart, Jake Rudock, connected on 19-34 for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns with an interception.
The real difference was in the running game, as Carlos Hyde again put together a powerful performance. His 24 carries for 149 yards was a continuation of his great game in Northwestern. To it he added the first two running touchdowns scored against Iowa this season. In the passing game, Devin Smith and Corey “Philly” Brown each scored a touchdown and put up 72 yards a piece. Iowa’s key playmakers included RB Damon Bullock (10 carries, 55 yards), RB Mark Weisman (10 carries, 52 yards), and TE Jake Duzey (6 receptions, 138 yards, 1 touchdown).
Starting with the ball first, the Hawkeyes struck fast. They followed excellent blocking through the first few plays, gaining most of their yardage on the ground against the #6 rushing defense in the nation. Once the Buckeyes were forced to commit against the run, they began to strike in the usual soft spot in the zone on the left side. Ultimately, Iowa dinked and dunked their way to the endzone, taking everything the Buckeyes were giving them all the way to a touchdown.
The defense, despite having had a bye week to work on their weaknesses, looked particularly unable to counter what Iowa was throwing at them early. The linebackers, already a weak spot in the defense, looked out of position most of the drive. The secondary continued to give up intermediate yardage plays without a fight. It was obvious Iowa had studied the game film and new that all they needed was to get solid blocks against OSU’s line. After that, everything else would take care of itself.
OSU wasn’t the only team with a great run defense, but the Buckeyes didn’t appear too worried about it. The Buckeyes came out an excecuted their offense their way. Both Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller found plenty of running room and, along with a solid short passing game, worked the Buckeyes down to the 10 yard line with little difficulty. Iowa’s defense stiffened at the last minute and knocked down a sure touchdown pass at the line, forcing the Buckeyes to take the field goal.
Ohio State looks to continue their B1G win streak