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A few Buckeye Left Overs
September 14, 2009 - Seth Staskey
As I sat at a local establishment watching the Ohio State vs. USC game last Saturday night I came to a few realizations.
1. The Ohio State defense is pretty darn good again. They fly around, they cover well and they get pretty decent pass rush without blitzing a lot of people. Brian Rolle is about to be a major start much like A.J. Hawk, James Laurinaitis, Steve Tovar and folks like that.
2. The Ohio State special teams are once again really good. Aaron Pettrey is an outstanding kicker and punter Jon Thoma has waited his turn and isn't that much of a drop off from the likes of B.J. Sander, Tom Tupa and last year's punter A.J. Trapasso. That said, I don't understand why Tressel wouldn't at least try for a field goal late in the game. Field goals are what Tressel loves and Pettrey won't let you down.
3. The offense is boring, plain and played way too close to the vest (Literally with Tressel calling the plays). There needs to be some serious changes with the offense and it has nothing to do with personnel. Boom Herron is a dynamite running back; their receivers are big-play threats and Terrelle Pryor is maturing. It's a little slower than most Buckeye fans had expected or hoped, but it's a process. However, the play calling is just way too conservative. I.E. on USC's four or five fourth down opportunities around midfield, Pete Carroll never hesitated and stuck with his offense and converted. Jim Tressel is content playing for field position and punting or settling for three points. A great way to play in the boring Big 10 where Ohio State's players are just better than probably nine of the other 10 teams for certain. However, when you're playing the third ranked team in the country or playing for the BCS Championship, can we try something new please? I can't remember the last time OSU ran some sort of gadget play. And I don't count putting Todd Boeckman in at QB during the Fiesta Bowl and throwing it to Pryor. Maybe a new offensive coordinator is needed. JIm Bollman seems like a nice enough guy, but this business -- like most others -- is getting younger. The run, run, pass punt mentality isn't going to get it done. Throw in some wrinkles and maybe, just maybe, hire a young coordinator with some swagger and see what happens. But again, Tressel needs to lossen up the tie he wears a little bit.
4. I have officially figured out and am giving into the fact that Rich Rodriguez can flat out coach. Like him or not, whether or not he spends too much time practicing is moot, the guy can coach and he can recruit guys to fit his system. Pryor would be having the same success and probably more than Tate Forcier, but he came to OSU because he wanted to be a quarterback in the NFL and running RIchie Rod's Offense won't groom you well enough to do that.
Anyhow, I am going to get my first glimpse of the Buckeyes in person this week against Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium and trust me, that won't be easy. OSU will win, but it's got struggle written all over it.
Anyway, stick with The Times Leader all week for OSU coverage.Check out Bubba Kapral's blog for additional information on the Buckeyes. Buckeye Blitz returns Friday and then on Sunday complete coverage from the game. BTW, you've got to love the noon kickoff.
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