09 October 2011
This was the nail in the coffin for Fickell. You blow a 21 point lead in the 4th quarter, I look to the sideline for the blame, not on the field. Nebraska made a running game adjustment at halftime. This staff did nothing to counter that. The decision to put Bauserman in the game when Miller went down falls on Fickell too. I refuse to believe that Guiton or Graham are not better than Bauserman. We cannot possibly be a worse offense with either of them in the game. It has to be the Tressel influence. Put the veteran in. He won't make mistakes. Playing not to lose. Same with the decision not to try the field goal when the Buckeyes were up 7. Getting a score there could have changed the game. The defense knows it has a two score lead. It sees the offense has put some points on the board. Nebraska knows it needs two scores if we get a field goal there. Can't do that. Can't take the chance. Punt.
Maybe there was nothing the coaching staff could do to adjust to what Nebraska was doing in the running game. With this set of linebackers to work with that may be true. We have been so used to great linebacker play. We just expect it. We need to face reality about Moeller. He is not the same player. We are to the halfway point in the season and I cannot remember a play out of him. He is making fewer mistakes than any of the linebackers but we need to get a playmaker on the field. Sweat is ordinary. He reads the game pretty well but he is not the most physically gifted linebacker and he misses tackles. They all miss too many tackles. That brings me to Sabino.No linebacker got talked about more last year that Sabino, and he was not playing. We were going to be so much better at linebacker if Sabino was in there. We now have Sabino in the starting lineup. Sabino is the worst linebacker of the four who play regularly. He can't get off blocks to save his life. He takes such bad angles so often that I just expect it. He is awful in coverage. The most physically gifted linebacker we have had here since Big Kat just isn't a very good football player. I don't know if he will ever be. I know he isn't right now.
The defensive line and offensive line were outstanding in this game. Big Hank and John Simon in particular had great games. Bellamy played well early. The offensive line was just as impressive. They knocked Nebraska off the line all night.
The game plan was fine tonight. I don't know who came up with it but we did just enough to keep them off balance. We don't have to throw it all over the field and run end arounds and trick plays. Just enough to keep them honest. We saw that tonight in the game plan. A tight end screen? Any screen would have been something to celebrate out of this offensive brain trust but I never would have thought it possible they could come up with a tight end screen.
I don't know if Miller can go next week. I know that this thing changes dramatically if Bauserman starts or is the first option off the bench. Bollman has been a target for our displeasure over the offense. Bauserman has been getting booed. It has reached a point where even the most casual fan can see that playing Bauserman makes no sense. He has shown he cannot help this team win football games. The others are not ready? We don't know that for sure. We are sure that Bauserman can't. You could see it in the players that they have no faith we can win with him. The fans know. It is time the coaches realize it.
More Shazier. Every time he is on the field I notice him. His read-react-run is off the charts. He never stays blocked and tackles great and hits a ton.
Beyond the running between the tackles you have to worry about the beating they take. Maybe Hall just had a bad game. He did not seem himself. Hyde is getting better with every game it seems. Maybe start him and put Hall as the number two. Keep him fresher. Hyde can take that beating better.
I am not too down overall. I thought the Buckeyes would lose this game. I am disappointed that we had a lead and lost it. I see the season as a success if we just win enough games to get to a bowl game and earn those crucial practices for this very young team. Lat night makes he think we can do that. Going into this game I had doubts about that.