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Folks, I have returned from C-bus to my home in North Carolina. What a great game to witness from the stands. And what great football weather it was, too!
Before I get into my analysis, let me tell this story: I was down on the field after the game with 30K of my best friends and it wass cramped T-I-G-H-T. There was no room to move and little room to breathe. Suddenly from behind, I get this massive crowd push. I turn around and it's the cops surrounding Urban Meyer trying to get him off the field. He is standing right next to me, except for the cop. It's so tight they can't move much. The one cop say, "Are you ready?" to Meyer. The Pontiff looks and says, "Boys, we aren't going anywhere. Might as well stay here." Of course, the fans went crazy at that! So, I was able to extend my personal congrats and thanks for a great season and for setting us up for a great run in 2013.
Thought that was a cool story. Now, to the analysis...
I told my son before this game that it was the single most important game in the last 5 years; since the start of the 2008 season. Why? Great question.
This is a report card game on so many levels...1) It's the first game for the Pontiff as the HC at Ohio State and it sets the tone for his tenure in The Game; 2) it potentially caps a 12-0 season; 3) creates a great set-up for 2013; 4) makes a statement to your recruits against your arch rival. All are huge reasons that this game was so very important.
Where to start? I will start with the problems and then hit the good stuff.
Two things allowed the Wolverines to stay in this game: Stupid penalties and poor tackling. Fortunately, it almost entirely stopped in the second half. Unfortunately, it made it seem like the Wolverines actually belonged in this game. They didn't.
How horrible was it to see personal fouls and roughing the punter allow drives to extend (though it would have extended on that particular play since the punt catch was muffed)? It was heartbreaking and 15 years ago, under John Cooper, it would have spelled doom for the Buckeyes.
Poor tackling led to the Roundtree 75-yard TD. It led to the Robinson long TD run. Wrap up. Stop chucking a shoulder at a player. Poor tackling is something that was a HUGE problem early in the season (Cal, UCF games in particular) but I thought we had largely licked that. Again, it evaporated after the halftime break.
Miller: I am unsure why they went away from passing in the second half, but it was working in the first half. _ichigan had the top passing defense in the nation coming in and maybe it still is, but I do know that the Buckeyes could have passed anywhere they wanted yesterday. The receivers were that open and Miller was that sharp. He wasn't laser-guided, but he was close enough to be very effective.
Some folks in the stands were screaming at Miller to run the ball on some pass plays because there was open turf in front of him. I was very happy that he didn't do that. I want to see him throw the ball and develop as a passer in this offense. To me it was important for his development to watch him scramble and throw versus pulling it down and running. The ability to extend the play and search out receivers on a consistent basis is a big factor to an offense.
I did see a couple of times when he didn't execute the read option properly, but he will get there. I am confident in that. On the subject of scheme, where was the VERY effective designed run for Miller where he fakes the handoff to Hyde and then follows him through the hole, essentially using Hyde as the lead blocker? That was used to much success previously.
Carlos Hyde: My only disappointment about Hyde is that he didn't reach 1K yards for the season. This kid has heart. He was a man all day, but when it came to the final drive, he strapped up the chin strap and said, "I will get you there." And he did. Hyde is a 1,200+ yard rusher if he stay healthy next season, without doubt. He should be All Big Ten at some level and if he isn't then something is wrong with the system.
Speaking of that last drive, the offensive line came up huge! The Wolverines KNEW that we wanted to run to bleed clock. The Buckeyes' offensive line didn't care what _ichigan knew. They simply imposed their will upon the enemy (with a healthy dose of leg churning from Hyde). The left side was grading roads. Kudos for a great effort.
While on the OL, we had the much ballyhooed Brew Crew from 2008, but this OL is tremendous. Reid Fragel's move from TE to OL has been wildly successful and you should see him in the NFL next year. Linsley and Mewhort are great to watch. But what is with Linsley and the high snaps the last couple of weeks. We got very lucky twice against _ichigan. The season is over, but whatever was causing it needs to be address and fixed.
How heartbreaking is it for the John Simon that he couldn't play yesterday? Emotional, two-time captain, senior leader. But, much like the 2005 game up in Ann Arbor when Bobby Carpenter went down on the first play with a broken leg, it created an opportunity for someone to step in and step up. Back then it was a 3-star recruit name James Lauranaitis. He didn't "star" in the game, but he stopped the bleeding and held his own. With this one there was plenty of opportunity for folks like Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence, Michael Bennett, et al to step up. Simon was missed though, there is no doubt. He's a first team All Big Ten man and an all-time Buckeye, imo.
Bradley Roby is making a mistake if he leaves early.
Ryan Shazier is still a stud. I thought he would be too light for the position, but when he hits you, you stay hit. Ask Montee Ball. If Manti Te'o can be considered for the Heisman, then Shazier -- with far superior stats (except for INTs) -- should win it! His 17 tackles for loss are the most for a Buckeye since 1996. If he continues with the same kind of progress we saw this season in his growth from athlete to LB, then you will only see him in C-bus for one more year. Savor it.
At the end of the season, I am more than willing to admit that I was mistaken. Zach Boren is a LB and a damn fine one. It is a shame that we didn't know it sooner.
Ok, this is trivial, but the uniforms. Those number are very difficult to read from the stands. The helmets were pretty sweet though. Of all the "special" uniforms over the last few year, the best are the ones from the Wisconsin game last year. Those were sweet.
What a great season this was. When you are coming off a 6-7 record, you simply do not expect a 12-0 -- no matter what folks will tell you now. You do not "expect" it. For Meyer to come in here and heal the wounds of Buckeye Nation, it's an amazing thing. If he is not the coach of the year in the B1G, they should stop giving out the award.
The big upset about no bowl game (aside from the obvious) is that the Buckeyes do not get the opportunity for the extra practices that they could have to get better in the system. Obviously, the next time the Buckeyes come together for an official practice, there will be new names in place of the familiar ones we know now. Part of the beauty of college football. It's also part of the pressure that is mounting for the Pontiff. Going 12-0 this season is comparatively easy when you consider there was no pressure on the team for B1G or national titles.
Now, with more of "Meyer's players" on the roster, you will have an opportunity to make a 1-year run turn into a continued dominance streak that simply took a one-year hiatus.
National President of the Sky is NOT Falling Club
Great game atmosphere insight!!! 2013 is setting up to be one for the history books!
Thank you for an entire season of game thoughts!
Great experience for you getting up close with Coach Meyer after the game. Now he and the other coaches hit the recruiting trail. Remember a year ago all the whining about the Buckeyes getting an unfair recruiting advantage because Coach Meyer was recruiting while others were having to coach for a bowl game? Don't look now but it's gonna happen again.
Nice post Heater...I'm with you on the majority of your sentiments, however:
Your statement on Roby: while I agree he could get better and he won't be a top 10 pick, I'm hard-pressed to find more than 2 cbs in college better than him. If he runs what we expect at a combine he is 1st round easy.
Uniforms, jerseys particularly, were a big step down from the traditional. I would go as far to say the jerseys were f-ing heinous
This post was edited by PCL 17 months ago
When watching the game because of the Cooper years I still get nervous. However, I never really "felt" that Michigan was a threat to beat us this year. it "felt" more like a Tressel-era game than a Cooper-era game. We stopped ourselves more than Michigan stopped us.
I agree with you completely that we did not exploit the pass nearly enough yesterday, especially deep. We tried one deep pass and it went for 50+ yards and then we never went deep the rest of the day.
You couldn't read the numbers in the stands.
That's kind of a problem!
OSU has rolled out some really cool alternate uni's the last couple years. These were disappointing.
Heater...you wanna expound on your Roby thoughts?
First I'll say that bad angles led to every Michigan long play..Barnett was especially deficient yesterday of this..we will need both Barnett and Bryant to show much improvement next year as Seniors and 3 year starters..
Many people have forgotten that immediately before we recover a Robinson fumble in Michigan territory yesterday..Roby was beaten deep over the middle and made a shoestring tackle or else it was 6..
Boren is a man..PERIOD
I love Herman..but not to call for 3 Hyde consecutive runs inside the 3 could have been catastrophic..Hyde is also a man..
Smith had a drop..again..and roughed the punter..something in his head and it aint football..
That I said he shouldn't leave early isn't necessarily a knock on him. Only the truly elite should leave early. (Thorpe winner Malcolm Jenkins played 4, for example.) I just don't think he is ready.
It's everything from his big cushion to start plays to his numbers in passes defensed and breakups to his angles in pursuit.
The big cushion, you might say, is a coaching thing. The defensive coaches want to keep everything in front of them -- bend, but don't break. I would counter that with this: if you have an NFL level stud CB (that is ready for the next level) then you probably aren't playing him 10 yards off the LOS when it's 3rd and 4.
Passes defensed and break-ups: Roby's numbers are high, 19 and 17, respectively. You might say that is because he covers so well that he gets there and knocks balls loose for incompletions. I would counter with this: if he is so good, then the opposition wouldn't be throwing his way and his numbers would be way down. Think about all the problems we had in the DB area this season (especially early).
I think he needs more time.
This post was edited by Heater 17 months ago
All excellent points. Id also like to add that it was nice seeing Perry get more pt when bino went out of the game for a short while. I think he and a combination of the other backers will develop into a nice starting set.
great points heater.. The thing that really got me going was the 2nd and 1 from the 4 yard line where Herman called for a pass and Braxton got sacked. That could have lost us the game (glad it didn't) . Should have ran Hyde 3 times up the middle!
One more thing. How come when our DBs play press, we don't jam the receivers ?
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