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2020 tOSU Defense

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by ScriptOhio, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  2. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    In conclusion
    The Buckeyes shouldn't be favored to repeat as the No. 1 pass defense in the nation in 2020.

    The lack of starting experience returning on the secondary is reason enough to question how good the unit will be this season, especially when it has yet to be seen what impact the lack of spring practice may have on the team.

    However, replacing a slew of starting defensive backs is no new task for Ohio State, and when they've done it in recent years, the next guys up have been NFL caliber themselves.

    Factor in the lack of high-powered passing offenses the Buckeyes have on tap in their regular season schedule, not to mention the return of Coombs and a potential All-American in Wade, and Ohio State could be just fine defending the pass for most of the year.
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  3. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    “Yeah, fortunately for us, we have a lot of guys back and we were able to ramp up our install during those first few practices,” Washington said. “We worked on a wide scope of quite a number of different things. We had some things that we were experimenting with. So, we were very encouraged with that. It’s obviously not going to be the same as if you had 15 practices, you’re not going to get as good of a read. But it was good to see what we saw.

    “Now, obviously there were some things that we weren’t able to get to — especially with the younger guys who we wanted to see get a ton of reps — but we were able to see some good things. The benefit for us during this whole period is we have a lot of guys who have played a lot of football. So, you know what they can do. You have an idea of what can they can do. Their mindset has shifted where they’re looking at the game from more of a mental standpoint because their understanding of the game is so good. And you have to do that now because you’re not being able to take the hits and make the hits that you lost in spring. So, looking at it through that lens — take a guy like Justin Hilliard for example, or a guy like Pete or Tuf, or a guy like Baron — those guys will probably have even more of a spring in their step.

    “So, that’s our mentality. We’re just trying to find ways to get those guys exposed to what we’re trying to do.”
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  4. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    Okay let's see it... starting 11.

    I'm sure we all did this but in the sake of being positive let's do it again.


    With Werner dropping a ton and Browning rushing off the edge it gives us massive options. I will predict a common day 4-4-3 even though itll play like a 4-3.
    buckeyboy, pnuts34 and brodybuck21 like this.
  5. MGMT

    MGMT Senior

    The only things I could see going different — and I’m not saying they actually will — just could: perhaps Tyreke Johnson gets the nod over Banks and Tyreke Smith technically starts ahead of Cooper. In the unit starting titles don’t matter much on the DL but Smith should get a lot of burn since he plays both run and pass well.
    brodybuck21 and bukIpower like this.
  6. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    Oh good pick... totally forgot about Tyreke.
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  7. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  8. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  9. 1926Buckeyes

    1926Buckeyes Senior

    I think that will be a set they often go to against certain B10 teams, but I have a hard time seeing the base without a third CB or maybe more of a hybrid like last year. Hooker this year and Cavazos in the future.
    bukIpower likes this.
  10. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    I totally forgot about Johnson at CB so we are deeper than I'd thought when I made that list.

    That said we are still a little thin on the back end so wouldn't be shocked to see us get ab extra LB on the field due to how loaded we are there.
    1926Buckeyes likes this.
  11. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  12. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Yes, it might be a bit difficult for Washington to manage seven upperclassmen linebackers who all want to play. But that's absolutely a positive. They have a variety of skillsets that'll allow him to mix and match depending on personnel and the opposition's game plan. Rarely does a position have this much veteran depth.

    The leadership at linebacker is remarkable, too. Borland's a two-time captain, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Werner became a captain this fall in his third year as a starter. Hilliard's been through more adversity than almost anybody else on the roster, and Mitchell's regarded as a potential future captain. The linebackers will be the defense's leaders.

    Even next year, the Buckeyes will have a veteran-heavy group of linebackers, which could include three seniors as starters.
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  13. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  14. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Who will lead Ohio State in sacks?
    There is no understating it: Chase Young was the best defensive player in the country last season, and his sack production probably can’t be replaced by just one guy.

    The Buckeyes, though, have multiple options capable of picking up the slack. And even if Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith and Jonathon Cooper are unlikely to match Young’s individual total, that group collectively should be able to ensure there is no drop-off for the unit overall. There’s a solid case to be made for each of those defensive ends winding up leading the team in sacks this season, and all of them know what it takes to deliver at a championship level.

    Cooper is a respected veteran who is supremely motivated after a nagging injury forced him to redshirt last year. Smith has also battled injuries, but he’s had first-round NFL Draft buzz thanks to his incredible physical tools dating back to his arrival on campus. And Harrison showed as a true freshman that he fits in that category as a rare athletic specimen who Johnson has proven he can mold into superstardom. That trio could have a heated battle to lead the way statistically, and it will be fun to watch for everybody but opposing quarterbacks.

    How can Buckeyes fill void at defensive tackle?
    For all the understandable attention on Young, what truly set the Buckeyes apart from the pack last season was the remarkable, impactful work on the interior of the defensive line. Without DaVon Hamilton emerging into a disruptive force, Jashon Cornell finally unleashing his potential at three-technique and Robert Landers providing his energy on the inside, Ohio State simply wouldn’t have been the same.

    But now all three of those veterans are gone. And replacing those guys figures to be even more pressing for the Buckeyes than filling the void left by Young. Just for starters: Ohio State needs Tommy Togiai to take the next step, needs a healthy Taron Vincent and could also use Haskell Garrett to finish his career on a high note. The ability and physical tools are there for those guys and a handful of younger options, but it will be imperative for them to be ready to match the level of those standouts from a year ago.

    Does Ohio State need to move another end?
    Larry Johnson has always preferred to rotate defensive ends to keep them fresh, at a minimum rolling through four guys and sometimes expanding it to six depending on what he has to work with that season. There’s enough talent to use a half-dozen Rushmen on the edge, but there’s a decent chance that Ohio State might want to borrow from that depth to help find a versatile threat to bolster the three-technique spot.

    That role has long been one of the favorites for Johnson thanks to the matchups it can create for the Buckeyes by getting a quick-twitch weapon lined up against a guard in a one-on-one battle, and Cornell was the most recent example of a natural end finding a home on the inside. Could somebody like Tyler Friday make that same move and have the same success? The Buckeyes may want to consider a switch like that in training camp since the interior is facing more uncertainty than defensive end right now.

    Will Zach Harrison make sophomore leap?
    There’s something about that second season working with Larry Johnson that produces a huge leap forward for his prized pupils, and the Bosas and Young have all attested to how different they felt as sophomores.

    The technique becomes more natural. The film study gets more nuanced. The comfort in the system improves. And all of it helps turn raw potential into refined production, setting the stage for the eventual rise into a first-round draft pick.

    Zach Harrison might have actually been ahead of schedule as a freshman compared to his decorated predecessors, which makes it a little bit dizzying to project what he might become this year and next before declaring for the NFL. The pandemic shutdown did take away some valuable hands-on reps with Johnson, and the weight training obviously wasn’t the same after missing a couple months with Mickey Marotti. So, Harrison’s sophomore offseason wasn’t the same as those other guys, but it will still be fascinating to watch what he can do in Year Two.

    How much longer does Ohio State have with Larry Johnson?
    The question is never truly going away, no matter how much Larry Johnson hates it — while also fighting it off by getting himself in great shape and continuing to show he’s on top of his craft.

    When will the legendary assistant retire from the profession and leave a huge hole to fill on the Buckeyes staff? At this point, he’s already flown past the date that negative recruiters have whispered about for years to try to undercut his efforts on the trail and isn’t even remotely slowing down. It’s not hard to envision Johnson staying in charge for several more years at the rate he’s on, though he’s not going to tip his hand one way or another at this point. No matter what happens, Johnson has earned the right to stay as long as he wants at Ohio State, and it’s hard to find any signs that he’s ready to call it quits.
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  15. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Austin Ward: Healthy Taron Vincent plays way into NFL Draft
    Arguably the most pressing needs on the roster are at defensive tackle, and the uncertainty primarily comes from that fact that a five-star talent like Taron Vincent hasn’t had a chance to really play for the Buckeyes yet. But Vincent’s upside is undeniable, and now that’s healthy after missing last season with a shoulder injury, he’s poised for the kind of breakout year that could propel him into the early rounds of the NFL Draft. The Buckeyes have seen this script play out before with freakish talents like Malik Hooker or Marshon Lattimore struggling to get on the field for various reasons before finally exploding right before becoming eligible to turn pro. And while it would certainly sting Ohio State if it only winds up with one year of production from Vincent, that would also mean he delivered something special before leaving.

    Birm: Tyreke Smith will win B1G Defensive Lineman of the Year
    The time is now for Tyreke Smith, and the junior from Cleveland Heights has put in the time and effort to change his frame for the rigors of being the man along the front of the Buckeyes defensive line.Though his impact will be felt less than players like Chase Young and the Bosa brothers, Smith’s value — with a lot inexperienced players around him — will be undeniable. He’s ready to take the next step for Larry Johnson and Ohio State, and he’ll do that by dominating games around the Big Ten, landing him the honor of being named the conference’s top defensive lineman.

    Tim May: Tommy Togiai will deliver breakout season for Ohio State
    With due apologies to the movie Animal House, “Togiai! Togiai! Togiai!” should be one of the new chants echoing through Ohio Stadium this season, even if attendance is limited due to Covid-19 precautions. Tommy Togiai, the strongest man on the team, an almost unholy alliance of nice man off the field/relentless effort on it, is poised to become a regular in the defensive tackle realm. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will still roll fellows in and out to maintain freshness, but expect to see Togiai — he had just two tackles for loss a year ago — become an A- or B-gap attacker on a more consistent basis. His play will help loose the assault from the outside by a talented group of defensive ends.

    Spencer Holbrook: Zach Harrison will post double-digit sack total
    Even with the five-star status, Harrison was a raw prospect coming out of high school and needed some time to learn technique. But in Year Two, he will become the go-to pass-rusher for Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes. While Tyreke Smith is a good candidate to take over the Chase Young role, Harrison’s talent mixed with the hand skills he showed a season ago will carry him to a double-digit sack total in 2020 — and vault him into Chase Young territory for the 2021 season.

    Will Crall: Tommy Togiai will be All-American for Buckeyes
    Tommy Togiai is ready for his moment, and the junior will be one of the best defensive tackles in the nation in 2020. Ohio State defensive tackles typically don’t put up big stats, but their importance to the overall scheme is huge. Togiai’s ability to cause disruption in the interior will allow guys like Tyreke Smith, Jonathon Cooper and Zach Harrison to run free and make sacks. After rotating with DaVon Hamilton, Jashon Cornell and Robert Landers for the past couple years, it’s Togiai’s time to shine. He’s the strongest player on the team and he does a great job of translating weight room strength to the field. While he may not be impressive on the stat sheet, he will be one of the elite defensive tackles in the nation
    brodybuck21 likes this.

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