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Way Too Early Look: 2011 Linebackers

Written February 28th, 2011 by Jim

Never having to worry about replacing linebackers, no matter who graduates- if only there were some way to describe that type of consistent excellence...

The Buckeyes lose two starters at linebacker in 2011, Brian Rolle in the middle and Ross Homan on the weak side.

The situation is remarkably similar to 2009, when Ohio State lost James Laurinaitis in the middle and Marcus Freeman on the weak side. Fortunately, the duo of Rolle and Homan proved more than capable replacements.

Over the years, that has been the pattern at Ohio State. Whenever linebackers leave, others step in with little to no drop off. 2011 should be no different as the linebacker wheel of awesome keeps on turning in Columbus.

There is a plethora of talent for the Buckeyes to work with, and as usual, it will be an exciting spring to see which linebackers separate themselves from the pack and how the coaches tweak the system to take advantage of the new talent.

Read on for a closer look at Ohio State’s linebackers in 2011. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Channels Carl Spackler

Written October 26th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

You have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Report-Christian Bryant’s still in the hospital, but due home today or tomorrow (according to reports). Will be off the field for a long while, most likely the rest of the season. Pittsburgh will be missing action through the Spring, while Bell and Homan may be back after the BYE week. The Donnie is “under the weather”- forces of nature being the only thing that can impact him.
  • Tress Talk- The usual platitudes, and insight on the Gopher defense,

And now we need to go on the road and play better than we’ve played on the road. We head to Minnesota and it will be the first time for any of us on our team to ever have seen the stadium let alone play in it, so that will be exciting for us. And it’s an evening primetime game, and our guys will get excited about that. So now we’ve got to go back to work and understand that we’re facing a veteran quarterback in Adam Weber. We had him in youth camp. I thought he was outstanding then, and 10,000 yards later I think he’s still outstanding. And I think the school career passing record for us is a little over 7,000 and he’s got 10,000, just to put it in perspective what he’s been able to accomplish and he’s a heck of a player. He’s a competitor. He’s a senior. You can just hear in his comments that he doesn’t want to hear about coaching transition or this or that, this is still the 2010 Minnesota Golden Gophers and still the same team it was at the beginning of the year who has a passion to get some good things done, and through his leadership, you can be sure that they’ll never stop, and that’s the kind of leader that you want to have. And he leads a young group of receivers who I think are getting better and better and they’ve done a good job of giving you a lot of different formation looks, a lot of different personnel groupings.

Over on their defensive side, they were very young when they began, now they’re eight or nine games into it and they’re no longer — you no longer talk when you talk about a team of so and so had this many starters returning because that’s irrelevant now because they’re going into this point in the season.

And they seem to have dialed up a little bit more of their pressure package in this last game or so than they did earlier in the year. They did a similar amount against us a year ago, so it’s not like we haven’t seen it. It’s not like it’s anything brand new, but they are bringing good pressure. I think they’re playing a little bit loose and getting just excited to go out and hit somebody and see if they can create turnovers and so forth, so it will be a great challenge for us.

  • Injury Report, cont.- In spite of injured feet, JB Shugarts graded out with a winning performance against Purdue.
  • Passing Fancy?- Minnesota threw the ball 49 times against Penn State; you’ve got to think that looking at the Ohio State secondary would make this a trend that continues.
  • Not Just The Home Jerseys- Redshirts are something the staff takes very seriously, so you can imagine that a decision to remove Sabino’s would be the result of something significant.
  • Tress Talk, The Sequel- on Special Teams,

Special teams, we always say, is the key when we go on the road and I think if anyone has an interest in Big Ten football and doesn’t think that the special teams had maybe the biggest impact on last weekend, Wisconsin’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. Michigan State’s fake punt was probably the turning point in that game. I think Iowa missed a field goal, which was big, and an extra point, perhaps. The Cleveland Browns, I didn’t see it, but the little reverse pass or whatever they did was huge in their game, and on and on and on. Missouri, I think, didn’t they bring the opening kickoff back?

So special teams is something that we’ll never stop talking about and you’ll never be able to convince me of its relative impact on the emotion of the game, and football is an emotional game. And so we’ve got to make sure that despite the fact that we’ve had to go with a lot of different lineups due to injuries in the linebacker and DB areas, we’ve got to get better at special teams, especially on the road. It’s a huge impact. Purdue found that. Go full circle, Purdue found that out, coming over here, you can’t make two big special teams mistakes and think you’re going to win in someone else’s stadium.

  • Award Winners- Boom was the offensive PotW for the second straight week, Cam was the Defensive Lineman of the week, Bryant Browning was awarded the Offensive Lineman award, with Jake McQuaid as the special teams honoree. Andrew Sweat won both the Attack Force and Tatum Hit of the Week awards. Scout team kudos to Marcus Hall, David Durham, and Chris Maxwell.
  • Tressel’s Komedy Klassic- As always, presented without commentary or context.

I apologize. It was disguised as a pooch.

Read More

Silver Bullet Points Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

Written October 12th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Old school

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Report- Shugarts foot will continue to be a problem, Stoneburner is still probable, Mike Adams has violent stomach flu. Here’s hoping that it won’t be the strain that went through the Buckeyes last year (no pun intended).
  • Injury Report, the Sequel- When asked, Coach Tressel commented that Terrell Pryor is “ready” to be a two way threat this week. Whether or not that means he’s completely healed, it certainly means that the game plan will look different than it did against the Hoosiers.
  • Tress Talk- Coach spoke about the Badgers’ offense, and highlighted that while the running backs may get the publicity, QB Tolzien is the key to Wisconsin’s offense

I think their offense starts with the toughness that their quarterback shows. Their quarterback stands in there and holds that ball until the last second when the receiver is ready to break and runs when he has to run, kind of plays a little bit in the shadow of their rush game, which their rush game is — it deserves all the kudos that it gets, but their quarterback just kind of whatever the team needs him to do, he does, and he’s a veteran. He’s got a veteran offensive line who are very, very physical. Their tight end position is always one of the deepest and best utilized tight end corps in the Big Ten.

  • Ah, An Autumn Night In Madison- The Badgers have only lost four times at home as of late, and only three of those have come at night.
  • Tress Talk, The Sequel- On playing Wisconsin with the number one ranking in the balance,

Well, they were going to be ready if we were 15th. I mean, I don’t know that that will change their readiness. What’s most critical is our readiness and our preparation and then how we handle the adversity and how we handle the situation there. There will be times when you can’t hear. There will be times when you’re not in the same comfort zone as you are back in your own meeting rooms at halftime or whatever, but I’m not sure that anything in terms of the rankings are going to change. I mean, Wisconsin is going to be ready, so I don’t know that that will change it.

  • Brandon Saine- Sounds like they’re trying to find a way to get him the ball and have his skill sets on the field, but that might not be in the running game. A reporter asked about having him as an option in lieu of Jake Stoneburner, and Coach Tressel simply responded that you want your best playmakers on the field as much as you can.
  • Tressel’s Komedy Klassic- As always, presented without commentary or context.

Hard. Hard and long.

  • Award Winners- Terrelle was offensive Player of the Week even thought he didn’t grade out with a winning performance, Torrence was the PotW for the Defense, Mike Adams was offensive lineman of the week, Nathan Williams was the Attack Force PotW. Sabino, DeLande, and TY Williams were recognized for their efforts on the Scout Team. I haven’t heard who won the Tatum award, but it’d be hard to imagine they wouldn’t give it to Devon for this:

Assault. Plain and simple

Read More

Chest bump a friend! Only Etienne Sabino days left!

Written August 27th, 2010 by Jay

And now, from a former #6, a classic moment to keep tradition alive…

Fall Depth Chart Released

Written August 26th, 2010 by Jim

Andrew Sweat is stepping his game up.

Today is full of all sorts of goodies. First the interactive guide, now the newest depth chart has been released.

The biggest surprise is that not only has Andrew Sweat surpassed Etienne Sabino (the front runner in the spring) at strong side linebacker, but Sabino is now listed at middle linebacker.

Another big surprise is C.J. Barnett listed ahead of Orhian Johnson at strong safety. Johnson was also the favorite for that spot in the spring.

Some pleasant surprises from the young guys include Johnathan Hankins cracking the two deep at tackle, Adam Bellamy listed as the primary backup behind Heyward at strong side end, Christian Bryant listed as an alternate at Star, and Andrew Norwell as the primary backup at right tackle.

These moves are clearly a reflection of who stood out during the jersey scrimmage this past Saturday or during fall camp in general. Either way, they give us a good idea of where things stand heading into game week.

Some of the changes could also be motivation for certain players to pick their play up as game week approaches, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some additional changes by next Thursday.


Jersey Scrimmage Notes

Written August 21st, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Today’s Ohio State’s jersey scrimmage was won by the offense, but the real news continues to be the development of the team in preparation for the season’s start.

T. Wash snagged the only TD of the game on a 25 yard pass from Pryor. Taurian is looking strong thus far, but did have a few of the drops that have plagued him in the past.

Pryor was unable to scramble effectively- not due to the defense, but due to the limitations placed on him by the coaching staff. While the defense had an amazing day, you’ve got to wonder if knowing TP wouldn’t be running didn’t impact that a bit.  According to Tim May, Terelle had a 10-21 day passing for 150 yards, one TD and no interceptions.

The defense was missing both of the starters at corner, yet Travis Howard and Corey Brown were impressive as replacements. In addition, Ross Homan left the scrimmage mid way though with a hamstring injury, and Andrew Sweat moved from Sam and Sabino filled in well. It sounds as if the starting LB position is still up for grabs, and it’s encouraging that both Sweat and Sabino are more than capable.

Dane Sanzenbacher also sat out today (savor the irony), and Posey continues to shine. Of the running backs, Jordan Hall stood out, while Jamaal Berry led statistically with 66 yards and 16 carries. The only fumble of the day came off the hands of Brandon Saine.

Believe it or not, the tight ends had five catches for 75 yards. I guess what we’re hearing about throwing the ball more is accurate.  Don’t tell Woody.

Information for this gathered from the Dispatch, the Plain Dealer, Bucknuts, the OZone, our friend Josh Winslow, and lots of great Twitter feeds. Be sure to follow us: tBBC

The Evolution of Ohio State’s Defense

Written August 10th, 2010 by Jim

Ohio State’s defense has consistently been one of the best in the country during Tressel’s tenure as head coach. And thank goodness for that.  Field position, solid special teams play, and a suffocating D have crushed opponents and earned Ohio State the W time after time. Even in years when the offensive fire power is… lacking, Ohio State’s defense has led the team to some very successful seasons.

What is the secret to Ohio State’s defensive success? Versatility.

In this post I look at some of Ohio State’s innovations on defense, the players that make those innovations possible, and what the added versatility allows Ohio State to do defensively. Read More

99 days to go! Let the countdown begin!

Written May 26th, 2010 by Jeff

Alternate title – “I got 99 days, but the Fick ain’t one”

Who would have thought that May 26th would be an important day for Buckeye Nation?

Well, we anticipated this day for a long time, because today is the day we start our Countdown To Kickoff!

There are 99 days until the season begins at Ohio Stadium, so today we tip our hats to Luke Fickell.

Fickell has been around the Buckeyes his entire life, and it shows.  He graduated from Columbus DeSales High School (oh, and by the way, he won a State Championship in wrestling while there), and then went on to The Ohio State University, where he started as a freshman at nose guard.

Now starting his 10th year as an assistant coach at Ohio State, he’s the man who will coaching the big names on the defense.  Ross Homan, Brian Rolle, Etienne Sabino….these are the men who will crush the opposition under the guidance of Fickell.

Oh, and if you needed another reason to admire Fickell, try this on for size.  Last year, he declined an offer to coach at Notre Dame.  Hell yes.

99 days until kickoff!