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Gonzales, Bollman and Ginn

Discussion in 'Buckeye Alumni' started by ohiobuck94, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. ohiobuck94

    ohiobuck94 Buckeye Beach Bum

    Looks like the Buckeyes have found the combination to open up the offense. Finally. :)

    Buckeyes’ new look lets Ginn bust loose
    Depth at receiver shapes new offense

    Sunday, December 05, 2004
    Tim May

    Popular notions aside, if there was a seminal moment of enlightenment in the late-season bloom of the Ohio State offense, it wasn’t the emergence of Ted Ginn Jr.

    "Tony Gonzalez," offensive coordinator Jim Bollman almost whispered the other day.

    He could have shouted it. Whoever the Buckeyes play in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 is going to see it vividly on videotape. It would be hard to overlook an Ohio State player converting a 68-yard touchdown pass in the Michigan game.

    The emergence of Gonzalez allowed the Buckeyes to go gung-ho in their charge to get Ginn more involved in the offense. The coaches were able to use mobile quarterback Troy Smith in a shotgun formation, putting him in the backfield with a running back and Ginn.

    The things the Buckeyes did from that formation looked a lot like the offense coach Urban Meyer used to push Utah to an undefeated season. More college teams are taking to that idea, especially when they have a versatile quarterback who not only can run, but will, much like Alex Smith at Utah.

    To really make it work, though, an offense needs capable players to spread the defense, which is where Gonzalez came in. All season coaches had been scheming to get Ginn, who set a Big Ten record with four punt returns for touchdowns, more involved. But to move him into the backfield set, they needed another big-play receiver to augment Santonio Holmes.

    Gonzalez’s breakout play came in a loss at Purdue. He had one catch, but it was for 38 yards on a deep crossing route after the defense disregarded him. It came out of the formation after Troy Smith had bought time by moving around.

    Things were different about the Ohio State offense that afternoon. With Smith leading a varied offense — even running the option on occasion — everyone involved seemed more competent, even the beleaguered offensive line.

    No wonder Utah does those things.

    "There is no question that when you spread people out, it is easier to see what (a defense is) doing — if they’re blitzing, if they’re in man coverage," Bollman said. "And you can gear it so you can try to get rid of the ball quicker, take some heat off the pass protection. I guess there are a lot more teams doing that.

    "And the other thing is if you have a guy who can take that snap back there and take off with it, that’s another threat."

    So why did it take Ohio State so long to get to it?

    "I think it was an evolution," coach Jim Tressel said. "Why did it take so long? I don’t know, but it did, and here we are, and we’re doing a little bit better."

    It was happenstance that Smith took over for Justin Zwick, who was injured, during an abysmal offensive performance in a loss at Iowa. But the maturation of young receivers such as Gonzalez, Devon Lyons and Roy Hall allowed the Buckeyes to spread the field with confidence.

    Though those players contributed, Ginn was shown to be the difference-maker.

    "I think a defense needs to know where he is at all times," Bollman said.

    Throw Holmes, Gonzalez, Hall and Lyons into the mix with a quarterback who is adept at passing and running and, well, consider the possibilities. The coaches are. That’s why the formation with Ginn in the backfield, which helped produce 446 total yards in a 37-21 win over Michigan, now seems to be a staple.

    "No, I don’t see that going back in the bottle, that’s for sure," said Bollman, who intends to let the offense keep evolving this month.

    "We want to try to keep taking advantage of the guys we have in there. Now the ball is kind of bouncing in the right direction. We’ve got to keep pushing it."
  2. brutus2002

    brutus2002 Junior

    Remember this name for next year...Al Dukes. IMO this kid and Devon Lyons will both make strides so we can run the spread offense.

    If the coaches keep playing the spread offense we are gonna be scary next year on offense. Can you imagine a back like Erik Haw catching passes out of the back field in that offense!! WOW.

    IMO coach Tressel is starting to evolve in some ways. People forget he has only been coaching DIV 1A for 4 years. I think hes starting to be more accepting of different ideas because I think he realizes that you need to go undefeated to play for a NC.
  3. slickman

    slickman keeping tan

    Albert is a player. I went to last year's Palm Beach County All-Star game and he was the MVP (as was Santonio 2 years before). He is very similar to Santonio in that he sees the field well and has some deceptive speed. His hands are very good as well. The first play I noticed was a long bomb down the right side where the DB had a better position on the ball but Dukes caught up to the ball and went up and over the kid and snagged it at its high point. It was an amazing catch, plus, he stayed in bounds. I'm very excited to see what he can do for the Bucks.

    The advantage of Tressel being o-coordinator is if he becomes a great playcaller and can develop great ways to get the ball into his playmakers' hands you don't have to worry about him getting hired away to another program.

    And... Tressel only gets that $125k bonus or whatever it is, if he plays for an NC. I don't think for a minute that he's planning for anything less than that.

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