01 October 2011
I have not been affected by a loss to this degree since USC out at their place. Maybe I have to go back to Florida to find a loss that I am more disappointed about.
People have been telling me for weeks that this team is not as good as I thought it was. I have been adamant that it is a really good team. I have been telling them that they are underestimating this team. Coming to the realization that this team is too young, that we were not going to be able to be a good team due to inexperience, was something I dismissed. I think we could have been a better team with a better offensive brain trust but that part of this is what it is.
Back when the decision was made to fire Jim Tressel my first thought was to the rest of the staff. It was the worst possible time to fire a coach. Staffs are set. There was no chance to add coaches to the staff. That meant Jim Bollman was going to be the offensive coordinator. Mark Dantonio knew what Bollman was going to do. He was going to play it safe and more importantly Bollman was not going to change. He would continue to do the same things over and over again no
matter how ineffective. The offensive line had its worst performance in a couple of years. Inside was really bad but will get a pass because JB Shugarts was almost laughably bad. The right side in general, no matter who was in at guard, was just awful. The offensive "brain trust", I call it that loosely, never thought to throw a screen pass or a quick out, something, anything, that would take advantage of the aggression we saw from the Michigan State defense. Dantonio knows Jim Bollman too well. He is going to play it safe and do what he does no matter what the score and the situation. Why no first down passes? It is the best time to throw the ball. It may have opened things up. Predictable is the worst thing an offense can be. We know the Buckeye offense with these decision makers will be predictable. Playing it safe, letting Miller find his rhythm, was the way to go for the first few games. It was the way to go for his first start last week. It was time to let him try to do some things. Try to make some plays. What was the response? Put Bauserman in....eventually. When the game was over.
Travis Howard is going pro?
I said recently that the lack of pass rush was going to cost the Buckeyes a game. I did not think it would happen this soon. When 330 lb John Hankins is playing the weakside end that says everything about how bad the Buckeyes are in the pass rush. On the Michigan State touchdown pass there was nobody chasing Cousins who could catch him. It is a huge problem. Luke Fickell should be on the phone as soon as the game was over telling Adolphus Washington and Ifeadi Odenigbo that no matter who the coach is next year, and who that is is definitely in doubt right now, the Buckeyes need an edge rusher.
What was up with the soft coverage all day? Michigan State could get 5 yards anytime they wanted to with quick outs because the corners were so far off the receivers. I really hope we see some reporter in the press conference ask what was the thinking on that.
Last week I gave Luke Fickell props for rallying the troops. His stock went up. This week the stock goes back down. Clearly down. This team was poorly prepared. There was no response to the what Michigan State was doing on either side of the ball. Give up 10 points at home and lose. That sums it up.