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Key matchup for Saturday's game vs. Michigan St.

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by daddyphatsacs, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. daddyphatsacs

    daddyphatsacs Let the cards fall... Staff Member

    This game will all come down to Ohio State's ability to stop the run against the Spartans. MSU is a very solid offensive football team, and has ran the ball very well this year. With the injury to Stanton, this will put more pressure on the Spartan rushing attack. I think this plays into our hands, because I feel that our rushing defense is improving leaps and bounds from where they were. I think that the key to this is the improved play along the defensive front, and the emergence of Schlegel.

    Simon Fraser has really seemed to start to play with a sense of urgency. I think that he is finally beginning to come into his own. I also think that Kudla is a budding star at his end position, he has came on like wildfire the last couple of weeks. Schlegel is the biggest key to our defense (besides the always steady AJ Hawk). Early in the season it seemed like he was thinking too much, which allowed the offensive lineman to get a body in front of him. This was clearly evident in the Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Iowa games where they were killing us with the cutback. On misdirection and cutbacks, the MLB holds the key to the play. His ability to stop himself from over pursuing is the key to holding them to a minimal gain, or allowing a big gain. It seemed like Schlegel was getting held up in traffic, which then forced Hawk or our secondary to save the play, which usually netted at least 6 yards. It wasn't only Schlegel's fault, it also had to do with the D line. This seems to be changing.

    I have noticed a very encouraging trend over the last few weeks. In addition what Schlegel and the line has started to do, I have noticed our defense is starting to get their swaggar back. This is something that we haven't seen since the NC State game. They are starting to play faster, and with more enthusiasm. I think that they are finally beginning to buy into Snyder's philosophy. This is something that was beginning to wonder about for a while this season.

    I started to ramble there, but those are a few of my thoughts. I think that we will be able to shut down Michigan St's run and play some very good football tomorrow, this is the key to a win or loss. This defense has turned the corner, and I feel that they will be one of the best in league by the Michigan game.
     
  2. LloydSev

    LloydSev DreamWeaver

    You know, if we do stop the run, the next most important thing will be to contain the scrambling of Dowdell. If he can open things up, it will become that much harder to stop the run.

    You are right that Schlegal is going to play a huge role in this game.
     
  3. Naplesbuckeye

    Naplesbuckeye Newbie

    Another thing to consider is Eric Knott getting behind our linebackers especially when Dowdell rolls out. I think that Knott is the best TE in the Big Ten and maybe the country and he can do some damage. It will be interesting to see how we can tackle and contain the bootleg. You have to believe that MSU will roll the pocket out as other teams have all year against us!
     
  4. tsteele316

    tsteele316 Mr. Such and Such

    it's all about rhythm. ttun's defense has been sketchy at times this year. sure they held purdue in check, but purdue is on a downhill slide. msu got into an offensive rhythm early, until stanton got injured. dowdell made some nice plays, but the offense wasnt nearly as potent.

    osu is going to have to do what wiscy did to us in the 2nd half. control the ball and wear down msu on defense. ttun wore msu down in the 2nd half.

    msu also likes to let their cb's go one on one against wr's. if osu can do a good job in pass protection, they can hve some offensive success, but they have to keep msu's offense off the field.
     
  5. trufan

    trufan trufan

    Great Thought, Lets Hope its Tru

    I appreciate your optimism daddyphatsacs. And for the sake or our season, and bowl hopes, I hope that your correct. Although I can't say that I'm quite as confident in Snyder's philosophy as it sounds like you are. Maybe I'm being too tough on the guy... but, outside of the D-line, it seems like we have just as much overall talent on defense as we ever had. It seems to me that the thing we are lacking is the ability to develope real game strategy on defensive to stop our opponents. I have yet to see Snyder's abiltiy to make the necessary changes at halftime to stop the success of our opponents.

    I don't know maybe I just got spoiled during the Dantonio era. Because that guy is a hell of a defensive coordinator. And I can't think of any thing I would rather see than those silver bullets flying around and knocking people down.

    It almost seems that the defense has been the missing ingredient all year long. I mean sure, our offense has struggled this year. But they've struggles the last couple of years and that didn't stop us from being successful. But the problem arises when coach Tressel goes into conservative mode late in the game and expects our defense to bring it home. That worked great during the Dantonio era. But now I think we need to face the reality of what our defense is really capable of, and maybe be a little more aggressive on offense; and not rely so much on our defense winning the game.

    Just some of my own thoughts.... But hey I really appreciate the thread and I sure hope your right.

    Go Bucks!
     
  6. DiHard

    DiHard Guest

    i was going to post exactly what naples said......he beat me to it.....
     
  7. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    I also think we're gett'n better on defense. I also catch myself now when the play is about to start I'm smiling just say'n yeah here come the silver bullets. One thing we're doing is playing alot faster and a lot more aggressive, but in doing so we're sometimes over running things and not tackling as well as we have. I think Tackling is the key to this game, and with it being cold I'd have to believe that it'd be harder to tackle. I think the keys to the game are this

    1) Our ability to keep everything in front of us (no big plays)
    2) Smiths play at QB
    3) Stop the Run
    4) Field Position
     
  8. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    Not intending to pick your post apart trufan - but that part of your thesis strikes me as the most telling. For it was the outstanding line-play on defense that supported the D's overall complexion in 2002, 2003. Without improved D-line play its difficult for this squad to get the pressure on QB they routinely accomplished the prior 2 years. Getting pressure with 4 really set things up well to limit opponents passing. That put many teams in the position of becoming one-dimensional and helped D'Antonio do those half-time adjustments. In the 2nd halves we would see a lot more run-stuffing, run blitzes, or, if the opposition dared to pass, QB blitzes and picks.

    Now I believe the D has shown improvement in their homestand. If they continue their growth in East Lansing it will really help our offense help the defense.

    To me the other keys are stopping the _SU option plays (which is where I think Schlegel's Air Force experience comes up aces), and generating an effective running game - which looks to mean 3 runners, Smith, Hall and Joe (I hope we see Pittman gets some carries). Putting RJ Coleman in as a super heavy blocking tight end makes for an interesting "jumbo" formation. Get the run going and Troy will likely find a good deal more time and opportunity for pass plays. Lastly, give it to Ted Ginn, pass it Ted Ginn, and give it to Ginn again. I'll now take an virtual knee.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
  9. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    If we can hamper their ground attack, both up the middle and wide, then we'll be in good shape. I'm really not too worried about Dowdell's scrambling, and I don't think he's a accurate passer on the run. The thing I've hated the most about the defense is it's tendancy to allow big pass plays down the middle and third and long...I don't know how much property damage to my household I've done this year because of teams completing a 15-25 yard pass down the midle to a wide-open receiver on third on long. Few things can more demoralizing to a defense than that. We eliminate that, and we'll contain MSU.

    On the offensive, I'm hoping (as is everyone else on this board) that the marked improvement in OL play continues. If we can keep providing more and more time for Smith to find his receivers and keep opening holes for Hall and Joe (and hopefully Pittman and Johnson), we can move the ball, control the clock, keep our defense fresh, and generate points. We need to get our WRs one on one against their corners, and take advantage of Roy Hall's height like Michigan did with Braylon Edwards. We must shellshock them early to bring back the ghosts of the Michigan game...
     
  10. wadc45

    wadc45 Bourbon, Bow Ties and Baseball Hats Staff Member BP Recruiting Team

    Agreed. From reading the preview, it seems as though MSU's d-line is not all that great, which is perfect for our young and improving o-line.
     
  11. daddyphatsacs

    daddyphatsacs Let the cards fall... Staff Member

    Fantastic point Mil. I too have gone crazy when this happens, it absolutely drives me nuts. It seems like the opposing offense will line up 3-4 receivers and have them all run deep crossing patterns, then slip an interior wideout over the middle about 8-11 yards deep. I'm not sure why our LB's are taking such deep drops in these situations, sometimes they are 15 yards deep. I'm assuming it's to let everything happen in front of them, but they have to make the tackle if it does happen in front of them. I also think that teams run this effectively when we are blitzing, which leaves us a man short in the secondary.
     

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