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Oklahoma Aftermath

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by LordJeffBuck, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    1. First, let me say that the outcome of the game itself should have very little impact on recruiting. Recruits don't look at the games the same way as fans do, because recruits are not fans (or, at least, they are not only fans). Choosing a college is a business decision for recruits, and the smart ones are not going to let the result of any given game sway their decisions. Now with that being said, what happens after the loss could affect recruits. For example, how do the players and coaches react to the loss? Are they fighting, pointing fingers, throwing each other under the bus? On the other end of the spectrum, are too nonchalant about the loss, or are they only concerned with their personal stats, indicating that they aren't really concerned about the success of the team? A recruit can learn a lot more about a team after a tough loss against a top-5 opponent than a blow-out win over a directional school.

    2. After last year's loss to Clemson, I said:
    At this point, it's quite clear that the firing of Tim Beck, while possibly warranted, was simply a symbolic move. Beck was part of the problem last year. But now Beck is gone, so why does the offense still look out of sorts? Kevin Wilson is supposed to be an offensive genius, yet his version of the Urban Meyer offense looks no different from Beck's. What is the common denominator?

    3. Most people have a ready-made response to that last question: J.T. Barrett. Since leading the Buckeyes to a play-off berth in 2014 as a freshman, Barrett has not been the same player. At the end of the 2014 regular season, Barrett suffered an ankle injury that kept him from participating in post-season action. As we all remember, Barrett's replacement came in and led the team to a national championship, and based on that championship run, earned the starting job over Barrett to begin the 2015 season. Again, after the Clemson loss, I said:
    At this point, I'm going to opt for #5: Barrett just isn't very good. He's tough and gritty with good leadership skills, but he lacks the physical tools necessary to play the position. And judging from his happy feet, indecision, late throws, and inability to hit a moving target there is something broken inside. Barrett has apparently lost confidence in his own game, and when that happens to a player he needs to be benched.

    4. Barrett is part of the problem, but I feel that there is an equally good answer to the aforementioned question: Urban Meyer. In my opinion, Urban Meyer's offense is stale. We've seen the same plays over the years with very few new wrinkles. Oklahoma's offense looked dynamic, with all sorts of play action and misdirection that constantly confused the Buckeye defense and created endless mismatches in the secondary. For example, the Sooners' 250-pound fullback, Dimitri Flowers, had 7 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Flowers was running free in the secondary all game long, beating linebackers in single coverage, and the Buckeye defense had no answer for him. Do you think the Buckeye offense could ever be so creative and force similar mismatches? Or is Dimitri Flowers simply a special talent, the likes of which does not exist on the current Ohio State roster? I think we all know the answer to that question.

    5. There are two main problems with the Urban Meyer spread offense. First, if you don't have wide receivers who can beat single coverage, the safeties can jam the box and stuff the inside running game. The Buckeye wide receivers have not shown the ability to get open consistently. Now, there are ways around this problem, namely incorporating tight ends and running backs into the passing game in order to keep the safeties and linebackers honest. Of course, Ohio State doesn't do that, and they haven't consistently done that for years, which means that teams can cheat to stop the run and not have to worry about getting beaten by constraint plays that seem not to exist in the Urban Meyer playbook.

    6. The other primary problem with the Urban Meyer spread offense is that it relies on quarterback runs. Perhaps the best example of the Urban Meyer spread offense hitting on all cylinders was the 2015 Michigan game, which Ohio State won 42 to 13. In that game, the Buckeyes rushed 54 times for 369 yards (6.8 average) and 5 touchdowns; but passed only 15 times (9 completions) for 113 yards and a touchdown. Even though Ezekiel Elliott was the Buckeyes' leading rusher (30 carries, 214 yards, 2 TDs), Barrett was the key to the ground game. His "keepers" in the option game (19 carries, 139 yards, 3 TDs) were essentially the constraint plays necessary to keep the Michigan defense from keying on Zeke. Barrett lacks elite physical skills in the ground game, but that has always been the case. Barrett has great ball control on the option, and he is a shifty and sneaky fast runner when he keeps the ball. I have no problem with the Buckeyes going back to a heavy option attack and ditching their attempts at a "pro style" passing game, but they have to do it the right way. And the right way would involve Barrett running a lot of true option and ditching the half-assed attempts at grafting a "pro style" passing attack on top of an option offense. After establishing the option running game, mix in a few passing plays that work well with the option attack - some play action would be a good start, as would quick throws to tight ends over the middle.

    7. In football, you don't want your quarterback to get hit. When quarterbacks get hit, they begin to break down both physically and mentally - they become a step slow, they lose a little zip on their passes, their decisions become less instinctive. If a quarterback gets hit enough times during a game, he will be a shell of himself by the end of that game even if he is not visibly injured.

    The entire NFL game revolves around hitting the quarterback. Defensive linemen get paid millions of dollars to hit the quarterback, and offensive linemen get paid millions of dollars to protect quarterbacks from getting hit. Defensive coordinators spend countless hours designing schemes to hit the quarterback, and offensive coordinators spend countless hours designing schemes to prevent the quarterback from being hit. When a team hits the other quarterback, it tends to win. When a team lets its own quarterback get hit, it tends to lose.

    The entire Urban Meyer offense revolves around the quarterback getting hit. That's what the spread option attack is all about - the quarterback taking repeated hits in the running game to open up the rest of the option attack. It doesn't matter that those hits are on 10-yard runs as opposed to 10-yard sacks - they still hurt just as much and they still take the same toll over the course of a game. When we wonder why Barrett has happy feet, or is slow in his reads, or has no confidence in his throws, maybe it's because he has been hit too much in the option running game. And when we wonder why the running attack is no longer vibrant, maybe it's because Barrett (or the coaching staff) isn't as willing to sacrifice his body and is trying to transform his game into more of a pro-style passer.

    8. The other "right way" to cure the problems with this offense would be to scrap the Urban Meyer spread altogether. Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield is a mobile quarterback, and he was very effective in the pocket with play action and misdirection, but he ran the ball only five times last night. Add in a couple of sacks, and Mayfield was hit only seven times all game. On the other hand, Barrett was hit 18 times (15 runs, 3 sacks), or two-and-a-half times more than Mayfield. Is it any wonder that Mayfield looked fresh and sharp in the 3rd and 4th quarters, and that Barrett looked shot and spent?

    9. The offense will get a lot of blame for this loss, but the defense repeatedly fell for the Sooners' play action and misdirection. The defensive line failed to contain, and the linebackers and defensive backs, when they weren't completely lost in coverage, were beaten by a receiving corps which was not highly regarded.

    10. The Buckeye defense used to be where Heisman hopes came to die. Now Baker Mayfield has catapulted himself into Heisman contention based on his shredding (386 yards, 3 TDs) of this version of the Buckeye defense.

    11. Drue Chrisman is a good punter. Which is fortunate, because unfortunately this team needs a good punter right now.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  2. OhioState001

    OhioState001 Go Buckeyes!

    The offense hasn't ever been right since Herman left. Having a guy who rushed for the most yards in the NFL last year masked a lot of problems but the last two years they have been glaring. I think a lot of the problems on offense are on Urban rather than Beck/Wilson at this point. Herman was just so good that he was able to overcome it.

    Look JT isn't on the same level as Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield but he also isn't terrible. Anyone who thinks Haskins will come in and make the offense better is dead wrong. JT is still the best option. We tried to go to Cardale in 2015 and we got the exact same results as JT. Something is wrong with the offensive philosophy. Maybe we shouldn't try to go 100mph with an offense that just isn't very good. Our defense was asked to do way to much last night.

    The WR's are a major problem. Looking at Urban's offenses at Florida it doesn't seem like he had much WR talent there either. He had Percy Harvin and Riley Cooper as two good receivers over 6 years. Aaron Hernandez helped out too (why haven't we had TE play like this here?). Urban's lucky Tressel brought in Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, Philly Brown. These guys we have ain't cutting it.

    As far as the defense I chalk all that up to losing to many great players to the NFL draft. They will get better once they get more experienced. No worries here.
  3. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    And maybe we shouldn't use 4 WR sets when are WRs aren't very good. We have two really solid RBs. Is there no way we can get them both on the field at the same time?
  4. You are saying that we don't have the talent around him we did in 2014. So if you put someone else in there with the same lack of talent around them, will they seem to be a better QB? Or will they be not that good as well?
  5. OhioState001

    OhioState001 Go Buckeyes!

    I do think this is an important point. The strength of the team on offense are the RB's. So why don't we get two TE's to block and pound the ball? If we get stuffed so what? At least we are able to take some time off the clock to get the defense some rest instead of having 45 second series and constantly letting Baker Mayfield unleash against a young secondary. Our goal should have been to keep him on the sidelines for as long as possible. Stop with this tempo stuff when you don't have a passing game.
    scarletmike, OSUK, buckeyebri and 2 others like this.
  6. OSUK

    OSUK Sometimes lucid, mostly confused

    I agree with every word - or at least can't disagree with one word of your analysis.

    I have been a big JT fan, if not apologist, but there is too much evidence to keep blaming everyone around him. My friends were asking for Haskins last night, and I told them it can't happen because of how Urban has framed (built up) JTs role and importance to the team. Urban was asked about whether a change would be considered, and he answered with a firm and short, "No." So, for better or worse, this is JT's team.

    But you are especially correct to point out there are issues beyond the QB that are on the other side of the ball and in the coaching staff. They are not performing anywhere near as their talent and past performance would suggest - and that applies across the board to almost every unit.

    For lack of a better term, they are not "together". No cohesion, no flow, no consistency, not confident, etc. They are tentative in a game that rewards aggression.

    Didn't Woody say something along the lines of, "Nothing cleanses the soul like getting the hell beat out of you"? Last night should be a soul cleanser for this team then because they got beat even worse than the score indicates.

    Go Bucks!
    bigdog3300, Jake and LordJeffBuck like this.
  7. Jake

    Jake light from a dead star

    In 2015 when Jones was starting and the offense was sluggish it was "We want JT!"

    When that didn't improve things it was "Tim Beck, Tim Beck, Tim Beck!"

    Now some think putting in a QB who hasn't played a meaningful down in college football is the solution? It's not impossible, I suppose. But if a change is made at QB, and the issues persist, I won't be among those who are surprised. I think LJB nailed it - the root of the problem is Urban's offensive philosophy, which remains no matter who is the OC and who plays QB. Toss in the loss of NFL talent at the receiver positions, coupled with similar losses on defense, and you get what we saw last night.
  8. inliner311

    inliner311 Rookie

    I feel like the offensive philosophy was to "get the ball into guys hands and let them make a play." Now I think they have gone to "go make a play to get the ball." Just look how we have gotten the ball into the hybrid position players this season and last vs before that. We use to have quick passes, screens, jet sweeps, etc to get the ball into Jalen Marshall's hands. Now look how we have used Paris Campbell so far this season, he is basically a pure slot receiver. Even Curtis Samuel last season got hand offs or was lining up as a receiver and going into routes, they barely used other ways to get him the ball.

    I really think this is a move to develop JT for the NFL. Urban doesn't want him to get knocked that he can't read defenses. He tried it with Cardale too.

    After last night, I think they will scale the plays back that have JT reading the defense and they will install more player specific plays to take the pressure off JT. It will take more on the coaching staff to change plays and to set up one play with another. It might be a knock to JTs draft stock but if we keep down this road, JT will go undrafted and we will keep losing big games.
  9. OSUK

    OSUK Sometimes lucid, mostly confused

    The losses in the secondary is a legit point, but in a sport where your assumptions about a team early in the year are often wrong, the one thing I was confident about the 2017 Buckeyes was that the front 7 was elite, no one would run on them, and they would help the secondary while those young fellas came along. If that line is the, or one of, best/deepest/most talented, then that was a reasonable assumption.

    As it is, that defense has been shredded by the first two QBS they faced and they were gashed in the running game last night. The Sooner O line handled that elite front 7 for most of the game, and dominated it late. Sooner recievers were running wide open all over, the secondary didnt cover well, but they made up for it by taking bad angles and not tackling well. There is one starter back there that has looked completely lost for 2 weeks. So I'm not as sanguine on the defense as you are. I do understand that they weren't helped by the offense last night, but the results do not suggest an elite front 7 even though there is evidence that it should be.
  10. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

    Yep. The front 7 has not lived up to the hype. Hell, even one of the sacks last night was clearly a coverage sack!

    Bottom line is that this is not a top 10 team.
  11. AuTX Buckeye

    AuTX Buckeye Beam me up, Mr. Speaker. '14 Yahoo Pickem Champ Former Game Champion

    I might argue that the Offense has been the same since Herman has been here, except the Oline was all world those first couple of years and came together in 14. Add in 2 STUD RBs in Hyde and Zeke. Plus a guy with track speed who could make insane catches look easy and had knack for getting open. That combo covers a lot of flaws.

    DL was hyped due to DEs being studs... we are still short some true DTs who can be space eaters and take out a center and guard at one time.

    This is an honest question, our recruiting has been top notch the last 3 or 4 years, yet most of the guys are from out of state. Are we a victim of chasing top prospects who might be topped out while guys who are just scratching their potential, especially in Ohio, we tend to ignore or get in to late on? I'll be honest, I didn't see guys getting hyped up all that much or get that pissed off look when they were getting their asses kicked and that's kinda concerning to me.
  12. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri I need a midnight rendezvous

    I could repost from what I said in the game thread, but I wholeheartedly agree here. This team has a Cooperesque feel to it....
    HabaneroBuck likes this.
  13. AuTX Buckeye

    AuTX Buckeye Beam me up, Mr. Speaker. '14 Yahoo Pickem Champ Former Game Champion

    100% honesty, I only became a real fan when I started going to school here in 99 so I can't comment on that era team..
  14. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

    All world talent that just came to punch a ticket to the NFL. I don't even blame those players. It was a coaching/culture thing that Cooper allowed to happen.
  15. Roundabout

    Roundabout Freshman

    I'd agree if Clemson hadn't just done that 2 games ago... Think coaching needs to makes some tweeks on the O side of the ball.... to early to make rash judgements on the D though IMO.
    GulfCoastOSU and AuTX Buckeye like this.

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