WEEK 7 PREVIEW: OHIO STATE at INDIANA

Posted: October 13, 2012 in All Things Power Spread

OHIO STATE 6-0    INDIANA 2-3

IU Head Coach, Kevin Wilson, is one of the originators of the Power Spread in the late 90’s when he was OC for Randy Walker’s Northwestern team. Copied directly from the  father of the Zone Read, Northwestern’s offense was later examined by yours truly in the spring of 2000. Thus began the true transformation of the Power Spread from a scheme to an overall concept for winning football games in today’s fast paced game. No better exemplified in OSU’s blasting victory over Nebraska last week.

While, Meyer’s head coaching exploits are well known, Wilson’s own exploits were far less publicized.  He moved on to Oklahoma where he achieved great success by adding the “power” to an already potent passing spread with Josh Heupel. His schemes helped set many records – first with the running of Adrian Peterson, then with the passing of Sam Bradford.

Now Wilson brings these ideas to Indiana. The only problem is that Indiana needs far more defensive help than offensive. In fact, the previous coach, Bill Lynch, had already built a pretty good offense with some of his own PS concepts. The Pistol set, for one, helped IU rack up some major offensive numbers throughout Lynch’s reign. But week after week of terrible defense finally led to a complete coaching change for 2011.

This massive transition led to a disastorous 1-11 season in Wilson’s first year. Predictably the offense has improved and is now back to top form as Indiana already has doubled its win total in 2012. Unfortunately, the defense is still bargain basement.  It won’t get any easier this week with a top notch talent running the Power Spread system of that same coach who visited back in 2000.  

 

 

What I’d Like to See for OSU

A WIN. Period. With Penn State looming next week, this young Buckeye team is due for another big letdown like the one it had against UAB. But the attitude that the Urban Meyer Experience(UME) brings is summed up simply in one word – AGGRESSION. This is the same attitude that formerly lifted the SEC into prominence in the 00s. This is the attitude that will keep OSU in the win column. This is also the attitude that will soon lift the Big Ten once this old conference catches a clue.  Today’s athlete is as talented as ever and this talent needs to be released.  Accept mistakes for they will happen, but continue to be aggressive in Attitude and Scheme.

 

OFFENSE

Right now Urban Meyer is King. But it wasn’t long  before that (like in the first quarter) that I couldn’t help but wonder how many impatient fans were secretly questioning the UME and starting to feel that maybe Bolman Ball wasn’t so bad after all. Well I’m here to say that it was bad! The day’s of purely pro sets and 3 yards and a cloud of mud are done.

These athletes are too fast and talented to play this type of style on a consistent basis.

They are also college kids – so mixing in 3 or more concepts during the season is ludicrous. KISS – keep it simple stupid. Pick a concept (preferably PS) and stick with it. Meyer and OC, Tom Herman, have done a great job of slowly bringing the offense along and when pushed to the wall last week, down 17-7, they let it fly! Added in more deep middle, which opened up ALL the field. Herman also started experimenting more with the Play Clock. All of this lead to an offensive explosion that will be hard to stop from here on out.

 

DEFENSE

NOW LEAVE FICKELL ALONE! He’s actually doing a great job! Yes, you read that right. This is not the incredibly talented, experienced defense of days gone by. Fickell, like his counterpart, Herman, has done a great job of mixing in the advanced schemes slowly. All the while continuing to get his defense to produce big plays at crucial times.

In fact, its our defense this year that has kept us in games when the offense was struggling – again with big plays.

Yes, the play calling was very bland to start the year. But sure enough, once the Big 10 schedule rolled in, so did some of our more complicated coverage packages. Then last week Fickell finally unleashed the zone blitz packages in which he had become so adept. The big sacks and interceptions weren’t just a product of talented athletes. They were athletes in positions of strength on the field. Fickell is quickly becoming a master and Meyer is encouraging this aggressive play – but with the need to continue to work this massive adjustment with this young team.   This isn’t just a minor coaching change from the Tressel regime – its a complete readjusment in attitude!

Forget the mistakes and the bad stats – this will be slowly ironed out. What’s important is the BIG PLAYS and the continued improvement within the Fickell Passive Aggressive schemes.  This is going to take a little longer than the offense – but our defense will be what we need when its time. I’m confidant of that.

 

 

PREDICTION

I expect that OSU may not be at its best today, but keep aggressive, make the big plays and another victory is in store for us.

I am sure that against a Wilson lead offense that there will be some more big scoring and yardage against our defense once again. So what!  Keep producing big plays on D and keep learning the schemes.

On offense, there may be some more explosions after a sluggish start due to two factors. #1 – Meyer and Herman have started to add more to the schemes now that the young team is starting to catch on.  #2 – Indiana still has a bad defense.

So another high scoring affair and another win for OSU and loss for Indiana.

~PS

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