I have taken this loss hard. I thought, I still think Ohio State and Alabama are the best teams in college football. Alabama lost to a team they should not have lost to and we lost to a team we should not have lost to. One thing that has really helped me put the loss behind me is how over the top fans have gotten about this. It has me very distracted.
Nobody would ever call me a cheerleader for the staff. I have been as critical as you will find out there in the Buckeye bloggesphere. I call it like I see it. I am trying to make the point that nobody is going to call me an apologist for the program.
I am at a loss to explain how anyone can decide that Jim Tressel should be fired over this loss. We got beat, Buckeye fans. It happens. We had a match-up that is not a good one for no comments
I never felt right about this game. I never feel good about Wisconsin. They play a game totally different than what we play against week in and week out. This is old time slug it out Woody and Bo classic Big Ten football. In the fight game there is an old expression, styles make fights. We are just not built in this day and age for a Wisconsin. We are built to play for national championships. That means that we have a speed defense that is built to rush the passer and linebackers, usually only two on the field at the same time, that are as good and sometimes better against the pass than they are at filling holes.
I have not had it in me to look back at this game yet. I wanted to see if they were doing something no comments
There is a good bit of chatter out there on the internet about who the Buckeyes finish up the class with. I see a top five class no matter what happens, and no matter where we are ranked I think it is a great one. It is a class that fills needs and the talent level is top drawer. I think the Buckeyes have put together a defensive line class for the ages. That is where it starts. Superior defensive line is where we got dominated by Florida and it is where we dominated Oregon.
Here is my take on where we stand.
I see nine viable players with offers out there for the Buckeyes. I don't know how many more offers we see. We have not seen but a handful of offers every year over the past few years once the season starts. We are out of the mix for some offered players. Kevin McReynolds is one. I don't know if we were ever in the mix for a player like Jeoffrey Pagan. We have not been eliminated publicly by Ishaq Williams but I would be surprised if we even got a visit.
I was looking over the Bucknuts message board today. We still have some people insisting that we need to recruit two linebackers minimum in this class. I understand how that got started. I was in agreement for some time on the issue. That we need at least two linebackers is just not paying attention to what is going on on the field.
I just went over this. We are not playing three linebackers enough to warrant bringing in more linebackers. We have six returning players, Sabino, Sweat, Klein, Newsome, Bell and Whiting. That amounts to a three deep. Only one will be a senior next year. Even when we are in a 4-3 that is enough players when you consider how little we are in a 4-3 these days. How much have you seen Sweat on the field through six games? Has it been 25% of the plays? I have not bothered to count but I would not be surprised at all to find it less than no comments
I thought Pryor looked great. I go back to the mechanics issue. I see consistency. It shows in the accuracy we are seeing. So many balls used to be an adventure. He was late on a couple of throws but only had one bad ball and maybe throwing that one in the ground was throwing it away. The one awful play he made was running out of bounds when he thought a penalty flag was against us. It gave Indiana the option of 2nd and 16 rather than force them to take a 1st and 20. First, don't assume that the ref threw the flag on what you saw. Second, throw the ball away. Don't take a loss. Whatever you do don't take a loss. Terrible decision. The underneath stuff is just a killer for the defense. We like to get the ball down the field when we throw it. The linebackers want to drop deep to cover that. With the threat of Pryor running they can't drop too much. That creates space for the receivers. With him dumping the ball underneath it makes it that much easier to throw down the field. It keeps the defense from focusing on Pryor. Great stuff. Overall it was possibly the best performance of his career.
I assume there is going to be a great deal of chatter about the running back rotation. Who says you don't lose your position due to injury? Jim Tressel. Hyde was right there when the injury occurred. I thought he looked real good. A big back option that I don't think we had before. He looks like he can do more than just get 3 yards at a time though.
I think the talk about the offensive line makes no sense. Why are back-ups finding holes? That said, I do see something that is concerning. We can't get wide right because we don't seem to be able to set the edge. It does not matter if Shugarts is in there or Norwell. We get stuffed. Shugarts false start every game average is getting old. Adams getting beat inside is becoming an every game thing too. Adams and Shugarts/Norwell are playing well. Better than anyone is giving them credit for but they have to fix these nagging issues.
I was happy to see all the young backs getting some reps. I don't know if we can keep them all. I know this is the one way we might be able to. I don't think anything has been decided. I see talent with Hall, Berry and Hyde. I know I like Hyde the best but that is with a gun to my head. What I would like to say is, let me get back to you on that.
Saine as a receiver works for me. Coming out of high school I thought it could go either way. As time has gone along I stopped believing in the prospect of him being a receiver. He had top end speed and great hands but I did not see the hips and feet to be a route runner. I did not see an explosive guy who could go up and make plays on the ball in the air. It does not matter. He makes it happen as a receiver. The routes he is running right now are not really routes. He is running to a spot. No other receiver had showed they were ready to step into that number three role. Well, not until today. Good games by Philly Brown and Taurian Washington.
The best game for Heyward all year.
Dex Larimore was the best defensive lineman on this team and he needed to be. Any other team and Hankins would be a starter. His first play of the game he stuffs the guard. Pushes him right into the back and forces him into another tackler. The announcers were giving Homan and Rolle credit for the stop on the fourth down stuff but Hankins stoned his guy. If that doesn't happen Rolle and Homan never get a chance to finish that play.
You notice I said Larimore "was" the best defensive lineman on the team. Nate Williams is a problem. He reminds me of former Bengal first round pick David Pollack from Georgia. Neither are classic weakside ends in stature but both are very athletic and fast for their size and very explosive. They are powerful enough to stand up to the run. Both are playmakers. Great player.
I really liked what I saw from a couple of other backups today. Adam Bellamy was very active and involved today. Storm Klein had his best game as a Buckeye. That bodes well for next week. I like our odds with him stepping into the hole against Clay.
Brian Rolle had a good football game versus the run. He will play in the NFL. I see a hybrid in him. Very physical for his size.
Don't be surprised if Ross Homan is a first day draft pick. He has never received his just due. Great player. Like Rolle, and Laurinatiis before him. He is a very good pass defender and tough against the run. Runs very well. Always plays smart.
Outstanding day for the secondary. Torrence was very good today. So was Chekwa. A mixed bag for Howard but mostly good. Having him back is huge. I saw a better game out of Johnson this week. He had the one bad play, not wrapping on the tight end down the middle on the drive that game Indiana their touchdown. Build on that, Ohrian. We need more.
I have to mention Zack Boren. He had two of the most memorable plays of the game. Everyone saw the hurdle after the reception. Did you see him get decked on the first series? It may have been the first play of the game. We have never seen a Boren on his behind before. His brothers and his Dad will never let him forget that play. They will give him one of those BigHead blow-ups of him sitting on his can for Christmas.
Going into the season I could not have been more excited. I was irritated that anyone had the audacity to vote Alabama over us. How could you not see this was the best team in the country? We had the nations best difference maker returning at quarterback. We had one of the best offensive lines in the country. We were going to be even better on the defensive line. Alabama, lost their two best defensive players and both were right in the middle of the defense. Their quarterback is quite ordinary. Bring on Alabama. I wanted to see the national championship game right then and there. Too bad that could not happen.
Since then it has gotten ugly around here. We have been a very lucky program over the last ten years or so with injuries. It looks like it has caught up with us all at once. Have you looked at the depth chart? Compare the current depth chart with the one we started the season with. There are some names you did not expect to see in there. Too many.
We have two key starters on defense out for the year. As far as I'm concerned Tyler Moeller was the defensive MVP up to this point. C.J. Barnett was coming off the best game by a safety at Ohio State no comments
I got a pleasant surprise this week while looking at film. I had reservations about Josh Perry. He is a nice player. Any other year I could see him as an offer kid. The fact is next year is a special year in the state of Ohio. I think it could be a very important year in the the history of the program and in the Jim Tressel era. I don't know how many scholarships are available. I have heard as few as fifteen. I assume with attrition we will see twenty but we can't count on that. Getting it right means an influx of high level talent that could have a major impact on the program. After seeing the latest film of Perry, the staff definitely got this one right.
As a sophmore I saw a kid that, now looking back, was in a maturity period. He was a little gangly and still working on his coordination. Not anymore. I assume that is what the staff saw when they offered no comments
The Buckeyes can't have a tough game? When is the last time Illinois was not a tough game? It was the first road game of the year. That is always a big thing. That doesn't seem to be taken into account. Illinois came to play. It is not the same team we saw last year. Defensively they were very aggressive and athletic. This was a huge game for them. For the Buckeyes it was just another game. Can we not give Illinois some credit for playing hard and having a great game plan? Didn't Alabama have to come from behind last weekend to win?
None of that seems to matter to Buckeye fans. We are taking apart a national championship caliber team for having the audacity to have a tough game.
Pryor not throwing well seems to be of particular angst to fans. First off, Pryor only threw 16 no comments
I have been firmly in the camp that we needed to see two linebackers in this class. With two seniors and two juniors on the depth chart we needed to get two players in here regardless. I was so sure of it that I devoted an entire blog to the whys and hows of the need for two linebackers. That all changed at about 10:30 PM on September 2nd.
What happened at about 10:30PM on September 2nd? The final gun in the Buckeyes victory over Marshall. It was a game where Tyler Moeller showed he was indeed back. My change of heart did not have anything to do with Moeller. It had to do with his position. The hybrid linebacker/strong safety position, called the Star here at Ohio State, was on the field far more than the third linebacker spot. Remember how much buzz there was about the Andrew Sweat/Etienne Sabino battle for the third linebacker spot? It fizzled out. We see now wh no comments
To be fair, I'm easily excited. But this one seemed worth speaking up for. I alluded to Duane this week that I had something to share with him, but I'm going to let everyone know together at once.
When Antonio Underwood showed up out of nowhere, everyone went scrambling around to see some tape and get a feel for this mystery man. Now I consider him the state's best senior offensive lineman, except for Michael Bennett but he won't be playing on that side anyway. But back when he burst onto the scene, Duane and I came back with the same conclusion; why can't he be 2-3 inches taller so that he could play left tackle?
Well I've come across an in state lineman in this year's junior class, talking 2012, that I believe has that left tackle potential. His name is Terry Davis and he plays for Cincinnati Wyoming. I'm guessing there is some relation to Wyoming's 2011 defensive lineman Tony Davis, who, if you follow the DLR closely, you'll know that Duane was very high on at one point.
Only an inch taller than Underwood at 6-foot-4, but he's a long armed and quick footed 6-foot-4. Would I rather he be 6-6? Yes. Will that make the difference in who will and will not offer, like Ohio State? Possibly. But I've seen enough that if that was my decision to make, the 6-4 frame would be good enough for me.
Now being the state's best left tackle does not automatically warrant a Buckeye offer, but that's just what I believe he is; the state's best left tackle, regardless of class. He actually plays right tackle for Wyoming protecting his left-handed quarterback Kyle Seyfried's (who I also love, by the way) blind side. He's a guy who can mirror his man, bend at the knees and sit back, and really be physical without lunging. I love him in pass pro. I really really like him drive blocking in the run game. I love him being an athlete into the second and third level. I can't wait to see the rest of his junior year tape.
The Buckeyes have been rumored to have offered a pair of Carolinian lineman who could also project to that position. DJ Humphries and Nick Davidson. Neither have reciprocated the interest very much to this point. You better believe that the staff will keep working on these guys, but they both seem to be uphill battles. That could leave the door open for a guy like Davis to win them over. My suggestion would be to get to camp big boy! Especially when athleticism is a strength in your game.
So there is my mystery name for the week. So there is my first ever blog. I hope you liked it and I'll be back soon.no comments