Thursday, January 3, 2008

My First Real Post on the Buckeyes

Or at least, it's my first post on the Buckeyes in a while. I've spent some time studying the Ohio State vs. Illinois game, and I watched parts of the Ohio State vs. Michigan matchup as well. Plus, I've seen more of how the Big 10 plays here in bowl season.

Here are my quick thoughts on Ohio State:
  • Beanie Wells may be the 2nd best running back we've faced this year. He's not as good as Darren McFadden, but he is a big, strong guy with underrated speed. He's not a slow bruiser. He's got some wheels. He's not as fast or as versatile as McFadden, and he's certainly not as fast as Keiland Williams, but he's not a sloth like you may have heard. I bet he's probably got somewhere between 4.5 and 4.6 speed, which is pretty good considering he's not really a speed back.
  • They don't have a particularly versatile offense, which I think bodes poorly for them. They occasionally run a 5 wide receiver set, but they pretty much just throw to 2 guys: Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline, who have collectively caught almost half of their completed passes on the season. They also throw to the tight end a little, but their 3rd, 4th, and 5th wideouts and their running backs aren't a big part of their passing game.
  • On the same topic, they pretty much stick with two running backs, and their quarterback is not that big of a running threat. He's an opportunistic runner, and I saw him get a very nice running gain against Illinois (which accounted for half of his rushing total on the season), but this is not a wrinkle they throw into their offense often.
  • The offensive line is big and physical. I think it's one of the best I've seen this season, if not the best. With our defensive line finally being healthy with the exception of Charles Alexander, this should be a great matchup, and it may be where the game is decided.
  • Their defense is big, quick, and physical. I think, like a lot of defenses, they can be beaten by a creative offense with good execution, but they are legitimately very very good.
  • I think their secondary can be beaten. I know statistically they are very good, but honestly how many really good passing teams have they faced this year? I saw them get beat by Illinois quite a few times, and Illinois is NOT a good passing team.
I wish I could have seen more OSU games, but neither ESPN Classic nor the Big Ten Network are cooperating. Neither will show any more OSU games between now and the National Championship Game.

More tomorrow.

1 comment:

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