It’s almost that time of year with only 44 days until The Ohio State Buckeyes play the Naval Academy in Baltimore.
As I sat and thought about it, I realized it would be a good time to get some opinions from the fans of Ohio State and our staff here at The Buckeye Battle Cry.
I look forward to the comments on the site and the discussion that follows. These articles are some of my favorites as it gets as many Buckeye fans involved that want to be!!!
So without holding the process up any longer I think we need to hear from the Best Damn Fans in the Land!!
Here are the questions I posed to the fans and staff:
Who do you think will be the starting cornerbacks for the Buckeyes when the season starts? Mid –Season?
Ken – Doran Grant and Armani Reeves will be opening day starters. As mid-season starters? I have no idea. There is some impressive talent (Apple, Conley, Lattimore, and Webb) but they are inexperienced. I see the variables as; the play of Grant/Reeves, the development of “youngsters and injuries. Let’s talk the week of the Penn State game.
Jason – Doran Grant and Eli Apple. I’ll say the same two at mid-season. As for why, Grant I think is obviously pretty talented. Apple I’m kind of hoping.
@GrChZebo – I think Doran Grant and Gareon Conley will be the starting CBs to start and end the season (barring injury). Grant is an obvious choice and I think Conley will better fit the mold of the “new” defense that Coach Ash is looking to install. He’s long and very athletic and I think that’s going to tip things in his favor.
Mali – Grant and Apple, and I have no idea about a mid-season change. I’m hoping that any transition at the position is due to excellence and not due to craptastic play and/or injury.
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
Mike checks back in with part two of his post-spring look at the Ohio State football team, getting defensive this time:
When asked to write about the Silver Bullets, I cannot express to you the level of excitement and overall outlook for our beloved Buckeyes that got me pumped for the passing of summer. This will be an improved and potentially dominating defense that will make us proud as fans.
As far as I am concerned it started with the addition of Chris Ash (DC) and Larry Johnson (DL). These coaches are difference makers at practice, game time and recruiting. The impact is already present as witnessed by over 61,000 Buckeye Fans at the Spring Game.
The scheme employed by Ash will be simple, yet aggressive in the back end of the defense. He will allow the players to use their instincts and athletic ability to make plays on a consistent basis. This will mean more press coverage and much less of the “Bend Don’t Break” mentality we have witnessed in the past.
With that being said I would like to highlight a few players that stand out to me in the secondary heading into fall:
I am very confident in our young players and Coach Ash’s ability to scheme and motivate. Once healthy, this unit is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses in the passing game as well as run support. We will be a young secondary from day one but very solid and a group that will improve vastly as the season progresses.
The Linebacker group is the most concerning to me as a whole. Read More
I would first of all like to thank Mali and the BBC staff for giving me this opportunity to take up 10 minutes of your life and let my Ohio State favoritism corrupt all of you. I still can’t believe that I lost to the 7 year old in the tBBC CFB Bowl Challenge. I give him credit though; it’s definitely not easy. But let’s get into it….
Due to everybody’s surprise, Ohio State didn’t have the year that we all thought they would have had. Especially with an offense coming in as arguable one of the best in the country from both an O-line and playmaker standpoint. Yeah, the defense had a lot of question marks on it but it was well understood that with Urban Meyer’s track record, the defense was going to become championship caliber soon enough. Meyer never won a championship without his defense/ special teams being one of the best in the country. If you look back to the two national titles, you’ll see some of the best defenses in the country at the time.
But Ohio State’s inability to sure up that secondary issue that lingered all year (It started with Roby playing bad and then Christian Bryant’s season ending injury, along with a couple other injuries/ illnesses that came bowl season) and Tom Herman not feeding Hyde in crunch time were both ultimately the end of Ohio State’s “Chase.” Which I don’t really want to get started on the not feeding Hyde in crunch time part because it still sickens me to this day when I think about it… You are up by 7 early in the 4th Quarter in the B1G Ship and you have a guy who’s average almost 8 yards per carry on the season and you decide to put all of your chips on Braxton’s passing ability against a very good secondary? But as we all know, we can’t dwell on the past and must look forward to 2014, which I might add brings a very good recruiting class (In the Top 5 in every credible recruiting source, notice how ESecPN isn’t in there). But what else is new with UFM at the helm?
So now with both Hyde, one of the best running backs in the country, and that oh so dominating offensive line leaving, us buckeye fans are at a period of questioning in our football team. You along with many outsiders feel that Ohio State won’t have nearly as good of a team as they did last year. And with last year being THE year to win it all if it was going to be any year, right? I mean there’s no possible way that even a young stud like EZE and the rest of the stable will be able to replace Hyde’s play-making ability just like there’s no possible way Ed Warriner will be able to produce an offensive line anywhere close to what Ohio State fielded last year.
Well, I’m here to tell you all that the 2014 Buckeyes will be a better team than what we just saw this past college football season. Read More
A trip to Evanston to face the Wildcats brings us another night game and brings another week of our experts’ wishes.
Ohio State looks to continue their B1G win streak
This past weekend as the Buckeyes faced the Bulls, we started a new feature here at tBBC. Each week we will feature some hash-tags on twitter and feature your responses to those in a weekly article. While we are at it, we will feature a former Buckeye each week to give their two-cents worth as well and see how you stack up to their thoughts.
#BufTopPlay Braxton Miller 47 yard TD to Devin Smith. Great throw and great adjustment by Devin.
#BufOMVP Jordan Hall. He ran his butt off today. Big holes but also showed burst and agility.
#BufDMVP Noah Spence
#BufSTMVP Dontre Wilson. Great kick return!
#BufOUnsung Offensive Line. They were creating huge holes and giving Braxton (and Kenny) time to throw for the most part.
#BufDUnsung Ryan Shazier. Despite the injury he was still effective.
#BufMorePT Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliot, Warren Ball. Can’t wait to see what these guys can do!
We are the kings of the roundtable around here . . , errrr Knights maybe? We really enjoy a good roundtable and it’s high time we get caught up a bit on the off-season. Here is our latest installment of such with some help from a few “locals”.
We’d like to introduce you to Liz; she played in that band from up north, but her son is an I-dotter for TBDBITL and she couldn’t be happier or prouder (story to come from Charles later). Here’s her introduction.
To know my background is to really appreciate my “Buckeye-ness”. I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that I reside in TSUN. I attended TSUN and was the first female tuba player in the MMB. When my son, Phil, was a junior in high school, we took a random visit to OSU. He loved it. Funny thing. All his life he wanted to go to M*ch*gan and march in their band. As a music major, you have to attend auditions to the colleges you wish to attend. To put it simply: they were awful to him at M*ch*gan. He was pretty beat up about it. Completely the opposite at his OSU audition. He was accepted into the School of Music and began attending tOSU in the fall of 2008. We’ve taken A LOT of flack for this, but OSU was where he was meant to be. His sophomore year, he made TBDBITL. Last season, he was Urban Meyer’s first i-dotter. While he has graduated from tOSU, he is attending one more semester to take advantage of his final year of eligibility in the band. This year, he dots SDSU and Purdue.
I love the games. I go to all of them…even though it’s a 4 hour drive for me on game day. 30 years ago, if you would have told me ANY of this…I would have thought you were nuts. Twitter handle is @osumarchingmom
Next is an old friend of ours from the twitterverse and no stranger to our roundtables, formerly known as CeMoBuckeye, he is simply Dave now. A web developer who has lived in central Missouri his entire life. That probably makes anyone wonder why he’s a Buckeyes fan over the local favorite, the Missouri Tigers. His answer to anyone is to show them this play: Read More