Monday, September 3, 2007

Ohio State Season Preview After Game One: A Carl Contribution

I consider myself a pretty big Ohio State football fan, but a few things kept me from seeing the opener this year. They include The Big Ten Network and the fact that I-A teams don't lose to I-AA teams. Err, nevermind. So as much as I would like to grace you with my sarcastic comments about the Youngstown State game, I can't. So here is Carl's take. Enjoy witnessing his blogging cherry being popped:

This Ohio State team isn't nearly as scary as the past two teams, but that's when Coach Tressell is at his best. Three of the last four games this season are @ Penn State, vs. Wisconsin, @ Michigan. Yikes. I have no reason to think that they are a national championship threat, but here's how they looked on Saturday anyway (broken down positionally):

Offensive line

Bad? Yes. Real Bad? Maybe. Terrible run blocking. Not bad pass blocking for Todd Boeckman (who we'll get into in a minute). In this year's Sports Illustrated college football preview, the Ohio State section was all about Alex Boone and the rest of the offensive line, yet they were the unit that struggled the most on Saturday. I don't get it. If this line hasn’t gelled by Big Ten Season, the Buckeyes could be in for trouble.

Quarterbacks


Solid, considering who they are. Boeckman (pictured) is a statue in the backfield and can definitely be considered a true pocket passer. Actually, if he is on the run at all, his accuracy is completely shot. We'll see how this goes all season, unless of course he is replaced by St. X Bomber Rob Schoenhoeft, who is a surprisingly good runner with a strong arm.

Running backs

Beanie Wells looked pretty bad considering he was getting national media attention in the preseason. In fact, in the news today he said he didn't play as hard as he could have. That's encouraging. It just seems like he tries to take on too many bodies and wants to break a ton of tackles. As for the rest of the backs, freshman Brandon Saine played well in his debut. There is no doubt he is the faster player on the team. And for those Maurice Wells haters out there; he played well for Maurice Wells. Handing it off to him up to the middle is about as efficient as a Boeckman quarterback draw but in the open field he usually lives up to his nickname, “Florida Flash.” But that's what we pay him to do. I mean, thats why we gave him a scholarship.

Defensive Line

Lawrence Wilson is out for the season. That is not good. Vernon Gholston (pictured-- he is kind of ripped) had a pretty quiet game, but I expect that to change.

Linebackers

Nothing special. Laurinaitis had a solid game and he is a very good player, but despite Buzzsaw’s constant lobbying for Laurinaitis to win the defensive player of the year award last year, I don’t believe that he was the best defensive player in college football last season. Maybe that's just me. Also, Larry Grant had a good debut starting.

Secondary

Malcolm Jenkins is good. Anderson Russell seemed a bit shaky but that is expected after returning from a serious injury.

As far as the defense as a whole goes, it was that same bend don't break bullshit—it works but its sure frustrating.

Back to Tressell being at his best with teams that we don't expect anything out of, his playing calling was pretty vanilla on Saturday. As always, he showed nothing. But we all know that’s how the sweater vest operates. Another important note: a lot of guys saw playing time. Second and third stringers saw action as early as late in the first quarter. This just means he is still feeling out exactly what he has and who works well together.

What does it all mean?

2008 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

On a more serious note though, there is no reason this team shouldn’t be unblemished heading into State College on October 27. That game will show how good these Buckeyes really are. Logically I would say 10-2 this season but there is a still a part of me that finds this team very similar to the one in 2003. We Shall See.

1 Comment:

Buzzsaw said...

I actually think OSU is gonna be really good this year, especially with Michigan being so bad, but OSU obviously can't count them out.
I've got a little fun fact, not sure if you've already heard this, but Laurinaitis' dad is "The Animal." What a crazy family, haha, wow. I could hear that 100 more times and it'd never get old.