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Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

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Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

Unread postby furls » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:19 am

Brax is the Big News but I am not sure that it should completely dominate your thoughts on OSU's 2014. Here are some things that I am tracking and some random thoughts....

-What was it that made Kenny Guiton so good last year (and the year before)? Is it that Guiton is a great player that was stuck behind a better one of the depth chart, or was he a guy that was just a bit more cerebral? The play calling with Guiton in the game was a lot more diversified. Guiton did not have a very good arm and he was an average athlete. What made the team better in some respects when Guiton was in was that he was better with quickly getting the ball where it needed to be.

-In rewatching most of the 2012-13 season, the only thing that hurt this offense was large negative plays. I don't have the stats, but I don't think this team was stopped in a series unless there was a play that went for like -7. For all Miller's strong attributes, holding on to the ball too long definitely hurt. The offense was certainly more explosive as a result of his play and they did consistently score, but Miller certainly added a lot of variability to the offense.

My conclusion: It sucks that Miller is hurt, but I am far more concerned with the loss of an entire possible all-time OSU great OL. I think that Guiton was a guy that was not particularly gifted, but was just a better game manager than Miller. I don't think that this team needs RGIII to be successful, there are enough pieces on the field where an effective game manager (Craig Krenzel) can take this team pretty damn far.... now is a redshirt freshman my first choice for a game manager????

Let's talk a minute about the RS-Fr in question: Barrett was OSU's first choice for a QB in the 2013 class. He was the #1 Dual Threat QB in the country before blowing out his ACL early in his senior year. The kid is a player. His coaches and OSU's coaches both cite game prep, leadership and his brain as his strongest assets. This is a bit of a contrast from Miller who was always known as somewhat of an introvert and on the field reads have never been his strong point. Barrett is no scrub, he does not have the arm or legs that Miller had, but I have always preferred elusive and accurate QBs to guys like Michael Vick.

My primary concern coming into the season was always the defense. Last year's team with an average to above average defense wins the B1G and probably the NCG. All they had to be was NOT god awful, but that was too tall a task. If you reread the gamethreads, my concern was never the players (except at S), it was always the scheme. A defense that can get as much pressure as the Buckeyes could on the line (44 sacks on the DL) should almost never play off on the outside. It is just dumb football, you are giftwrapping the QBs safety valve. OSU's tendencies had become so obvious that everyone and their mother was just waiting on the Boundary CB blitz so they could throw get the ball to their #1 WR with CJ Barnett sprinting over to cover Roby's previous responsibility. It was a trainwreck.

The personnel selections were QUESTIONABLE! How did they keep trotting an obviously overmatched Corey "PITT" Brown out there, Vonn Bell could not have been worse. As a matter of fact, lining up 10 on D would have been better. Armani Reeves was getting toasted by TEs. Think about it, one of our starting CBs was not fast enough to run down an IOWA TE? There were other options (Conley and Apple).

OSU's D this year should be MUCH better. Ash's new scheme actually compliments OSU's players. Look for the CBs to play a lot of press on the outside, that will lead to some big plays both ways in the WR vs. CB battles, but more importantly, it will force the QB to hold the ball longer providing greater opportunities to guys like Spence, Bosa and Bennett. Last year those guys were 1/2 steps away from making a lot more big plays, they will be the prime beneficiaries of this new defense.

DB play will be MUCH better this year. OSU's backfield is full of guys who can match up with WRs. CJ Barnett and Christian Bryant were nice guys, but as safeties they were NEVER guys that could drop back in coverage and pick up a WR. Vonn Bell, Cam Burrows and Erick Smith are all guys that can do that. I am not 100% sold on Tyvis Powell, I need to see more from him this year but the fact that Ash has kept him as the starter over talented guys like Burrows and Smith sends a strong message. For those unfamiliar with Smith, he is a guy that stole the show at the US Army Game last year. As a safety, they had him line up as a CB for most of the game and cover the best WRs in HS football and he was dominating. I used to think Smith was a "throw in" for G-Ville and that Lattimore was the real prize, now I am actually more excited about Smith.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Re: Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

Unread postby Sea Foam Green » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:40 am

Thanks Furls. I'm with you 100% on Barret and the Offense, and am still primarily concerned about the defense. Yes, the offense may not be able to score 50 points a game, but if the defense can improve, they shouldn't need to.

The defensive side of the ball is still really young, and I wonder if the refusal to play the young guys last year, hurts us a little bit this year. i.e. they are still 'young guys' and have mistakes they will have to make to learn from.

Also, I haven't heard much about the LBs. The biggest loss on that side of the ball, and other than Shazier, I don't recall anyone being that impressive last year. It seems like the new scheme is going to require pretty athletic LBs, and I don't know if they've got anybody ready to step into those roles.

Lastly, I kind of wonder what the effect, if any, preparing for Navy will have. Given the D is so young, any time it took during camp to prepare for the Triple Option, takes away from preparations for the scheme you'll be running the rest of the year. They'll see one of their better opponents of the year in week 2, so I wonder if it will cause any problems.
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Re: Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

Unread postby furls » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:44 pm

Good points on the LB.

A lot of my offseason research into last year's trainwreck (including issues at DB) was that the defense was VERY complicated, many.. many reads. If this guy does this and that guy does this then you drop here, but if the second guy goes here then you cover this zone, but if the first guy does something totally different then you have A gap (etc). That is supposedly part of the reason that Curtis Grant never excelled and the LB were always slow to get into coverage or pick up TEs.

The most successful guy, Shazier, was insanely talented but also less tasked under the old system. He was frequently unblocked by design due to a numbers advantage on the Weakside and free to make plays. That role will actually move over to Josh Perry this year with more athletic guys like Worley and Lee playing on the Strong side. Grant has always been a pretty good run stuffer when he knows his gap, I think this Navy game will tell us a lot about his future. I cannot overstate how important MLB play will be against that triple option, particularly the Dive.

Couldn't agree more on the drawbacks of RSing the entire freshman class last year, particularly on defense. We could have settled this Gareon Conley/Eli Apple thing last year. Cam Burrows and Vonn Bell could be a year more refined. Bell looked great last year on ST and in spot duty. Meyer is recruiting 3 year players, putting one of those years on the bench is dumb! I thought it was dumb that nearly ever rep that Cardale Jones got last year was a QB Keeper. Vrabel's lack of DL rotation was enfuriating.

I don't think they have put more time that usual into prepping for the triple option. I bet they started preps in earnest yesterday with film study. It is actually not a bad way to open the season, as it is not a particularly diversified offense and it makes the game a bit of a tackling drill (while dodging Navy's famous talent equalizer, the cut block). The real question is can OSU tackle this year? Last year a mediocre ND team took Navy to the woodshed.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Re: Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

Unread postby danwismar » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:59 am

RE: the LB's....I think people are going to be very favorably impressed with Darron Lee and Chris Worley competing for, or sharing time at the SAM spot. They are both converted safeties, now at about 6'2" or 6' 3" and 225 lbs with great speed and coverage skills. Coaches are raving about both of them, and they will both play. Lee is a very good tackler at a position where they have not had many of those (except Shazier) in several years. haven't seen enough of Worley to comment on his tackling, although reports from practice-watchers are positive.
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Re: Some General Thoughts on OSU's 2014

Unread postby furls » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:23 pm

Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

-Kingpin74
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