ORANGE BOWL LIVE COMMENTARY – Clemson vs OSU

Posted: January 4, 2014 in UME 2013

PREGAME

new-york-snow-storm
In a year where the gang (except for Craig) struggled to get to the OSU Bar, watching the “Bowl in the Sun”, in the after effects of the Northeast Snowstorm, seems appropriate. We are all stuck in our homes (I’m still in Pittsburgh), except for, of course, Craig. We are going to have to make it up to Craig during the Basketball Season and next year’s Football. Hopefully the OSU Bar will move back to Times Square (see pic) in a more Sports friendly environment for 2014. 
 
I WILL MAKE AN EARLY PREDICTION – there will be a new OSU Bar for 2014, that we will all enjoy on a regular basis and finally get that semi elusive National Championship to officially cement the Urban Meyer era and the Power Spread once and for all!
 
What we will be doing for years to come!
POWER SPREAD AND OSU GREATNESS IS HERE TO STAY! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE RIDE!
 

2014 ORANGE BOWL

*Pregame Extra
7:30 –  Looking forward to see some more variety from this Urban’s Offense. He was one of the originators of the Power Spread over 10 years ago, but some of his concepts of late seem a bit stale. No complaints, though. The guys a brilliant Head Coach in many ways and will go down as a legend.
 
But being the picky Buckeye fan I am,  I want to see more variety in the Play Calling, more variety in the Tempo (Frantic, Hurry Up, Freeze, No Huddle). Lastly, and most importantly, I want to see Herman with a little more free reign to strut his stuff. Like we saw in 2012 and the early part of this year. Of course, if we win simply by running Miller/Hyde on the powerful Read Option, that’s good enough. But in the coming future it won’t always be enough. We have a great OC, lets use him! 🙂
 
I can’t wait to see some of our young kids in action as well. Watch for the Terminator #34Jamal Marcus!  As for what I want to see from the Defense and Special Teams, read here!
 
8:30 – Very important game for both teams. Clemson trying to take another big step for the program. OSU proving it belongs with the best!
 
 

1ST QUARTER

CLEM1 – 15:00, own 20
Hurry Up in effect! MARCUS ON THE 2ND PLAY RUN BLITZ! YES. Big 3rd down pass, Boyd 15 yd out pass to RB McDowell who was split wide.  ANOTHER BIG PLAY BY THE TERMINATOR! Another 3rd+Short. HUGE 49 YD TD RUN BY BOYD ON A JET SWEEP READ OPTION KEEP STRAIGHT UP THE GUT!! Great calls by Morris. Great blocking by a very good line (Thomas, Shatley). OSU looks flat. This could get scary if they don’t wake up quick!
CLEMSON 7-0
 
OSU1 – 12:50, own 20
Slow No Huddle to start. Clemson stacking the box. Nothing for Hyde. Quick flair wide left to Philly Brown for 12 and a 1st! That’s what we need! 2 more Hyde runs for only 4 total. 3rd+6, not good. Miller in trouble, sloppy footwork and All-American Beasley all over him for big sack!! We can’t just run up the gut, Meyer!! 
 
HUGE PENALTIES ON BEASLEY AND THEN THE SIDELINE. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT!
1ST DOWN OSU! Wow – Clemson really too fired up and just shot themselves in the foot! Maybe our calmness will help us after all.
 
Hyde wide for 9. Two Wilson Jet Sweeps sandwiched by two nervy penalties by the Buckeyes. Maybe we aren’t as calm as I thought! But I love the Jet Sweeps. MEYER IS LETTING HERMAN DO HIS THING!! 3rd+8, 6 yd pass Vannett. A dart pass to a guy we haven’t thrown to much. We are really getting everyone involved, but just short.
 
FAKE PUNT-  SPECIAL TEAMS!! HEUREMAN UP THE GUT!! 1ST DOWN!! Talk about getting everyone involved! AWESOME BY SPTEAMS GURU, MEYER!!
 
BIG HYDE  RUNS NOW THAT THE D IS A LITTLE WINDED! MILLER THE KEEP THIS TIME ON THE JET SWEEP TO WILSON AND BRAXTON RAMBLES 33 YDS DOWN THE LEFT SIDELINE FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!! After 2 straight gives to Wilson, the whole D followed him and forgot about Miller.
 
2 Great Drives: Herman vs Morris 1-1
OSU 7-7
 
CLEM2 – 5:44, own 25
Frantic Tempo!  Quick flair left to Watkins that goes for 27 yds. Quick stop to Watkins for 6. Backup RB Davidson for 6. TD down the Rt Seam 34 yds to wide open Watkins. LESS THAN A MINUTE!! Ridiculous Defense. Von Bell looked like a Freshman. No Check on the inside WR by Perry, sucked Barnett in and left no help for Bell. Just bad.  Great Tempo and Play Calling by Morris and company. This is the real deal guys! 
Clemson 14-7
 
OSU2 – 4:56, own 25
Quick pass to Brown for 15. Jet Sweep Brown for another 15! Great Stuff by Herman! Miller almost gets crushed by Beasley but gets away -only for 3. INC on 3rd down – knocked down by Star LB Anthony! Great play off fake blitz. 
INCREDIBLE PUNT BY OUR STAR FRESHMAN CAMERON JOHNSTON TO THE ONE YARD LINE!! TRESSEL WOULD BE PROUD!
 
CLEM3 – 2:25, own 1
HERE COME THE SILVER BULLETS!! PERRY, BOSA ALMOST GET BOYD! INTENTIONAL GROUNDING=SAFETY!!! MEYER LOSING IT!! GO BUCKEYES!!
OSU 9-14
 
OSU3 – own 46, 2:25
Hyde up the gut for nothing!! Not going to work with 8 in the Box. Have to throw!! (See Preview) Deep down seam JUST LONG to Heureman!! ohhhhh….!! Good call Herman, but now 3rd+Long. Miller in trouble, scramble and sack by the “other” DT, Watson. Didn’t take advantage of the field position, but great man coverage off the blitz by Clemson! ANOTHER HUGE PUNT BY CAM!!
 
CLEM4 – 0:51, own 16
Quick flair for another big gain by Watkins! Surprisingly a run, then on 3rd+5 Boyd stopped on the keeper by that man again – THE TERMINATOR JAMAL MARCUS!!! First legit stop by the Bucks! Honestly, not impressed with the play calling on that one by Morris. The passing was on a roll – deep or short wide. Why go to the run?? Marcus and Bosa are carrying the Defense!  SPENCE WHO??
 
 
 

2ND QUARTER

OSU4 – 14:50, own 24
Again with the Hyde runs on 1st Down!! Cmon guys!! Now 3rd+Long again! Sure enough – OVERLOAD BLITZ ON THE LEFT AND MILLER CRUSHED BY LB SHUEY AND CB BREELAND! Nice call by Venables! 
 
CLEM5 – 13:26, own 31
This time Armani Reeves crushes the flair to Watkins for no gain!! Told you Reeves wasn’t bad! WHO’S ROBY!! Love the Depth!! Big run McDowell for 13! Dang. Good call. Then HUGE PASS PLAY TRUE FRESHMAN TE LEGGETT DOWN THE RT SIDELINE FOR 43 YDS!! Transparent CB blitz left Powell out in the flat completely clueless. This is the same bad Schemes. Two mis direction option runs that bring up a 3rd+3 at OSU 6. BOYD ON THE ROLL RIGHT, OPTION TO RUN, PULLS UP AND TRIES TO POP A LITTLE TEBOW JUMP PASS OVER BELL, BUT THE TRUE FRESHMAN MAKES AN INCREDIBLE ATHLETIC LEAPING INTERCEPTION!!!! BUCKEYES!!! TURNOVERS!!! THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!! Really wonder about the play calls by Morris? Why the runs? Keep it in the air, no? What do I know. Morris is brilliant.
 
OSU5 – 11:05, own 5
TOO MUCH HYDE WITH 8 IN THE BOX! STOPPED ON 3RD+2! CMON GUYS!! 63 YD RUGBY PUNT BY CAM!! INCREDIBLE!
 
CLEM6 – 8:51, own 23
Another quick pass to Watkins that turns into a huge gain. Great move on Barnett. 29 yds! He’s unstoppable to this point except for the play by Reeves. Another pass to Watkins for 13. And now the other ultra talented WR, Martavis Bryant, on a quick hitch that he takes for 22. Another CB blitz and Powell was completely unsure and not firing to cover the flat. I’m not sure, but it seems that the schemes are simplified, but still the players and coaches are not on the same page. A great OC like Morris will make this look ludicrous.  On cue – Boyd scrambles for 15, then a 3 YARD ALLEY OOP TO BYRANT OVER REEVES FOR A TOUCHDOWN!
Missed Xpt! (Crossbar)
Clemson 20-9

Our Defense looked bad against average Big 10 teams. Even MSU’s offense wasn’t that great. So what would happen here agains Chad Morris and the talent on this team? I thought they would be more unified and directed with the time off. Looks like I was wrong so far.

OSU6 – 6:16, own 15
Miller runs for 12. Shaking out his shoulder. I think he hurt it on that TD run early on. Hyde for 1, Miller for -3. CMON GUYS – TOO MUCH RUNNING WITH 8 IN THE BOX! 3RD+12, 18 YD BULLET TO PHILLY BROWN! 3 man rush gave Miller time, but still, that was one play he looked like a Pro QB. He’s shaking out the arm again, though. Shoulder Stinger from his TD run, where he stupidly ran over the defender. 1ST DOWN PLAY ACTION FINALLY!! TOUCHDOWN!!! 57 YDS DOWN THE MIDDLE TO HEUREMAN!! WHAT DID I TELL YOU!! THANK YOU HERMAN!!
Extra Pt blocked!!  What the…!!??   Good action with the Dline of Clemson, but we need to block that@!!@
OSU 15-20
 
CLEM7 – 8:51, own 23
Short runs and passes, grinding out 2 first downs. We are actually handling all the movement and misdirection well. Of course, another short pass to Watkins, but this time only for 10. Great coverage by Reeves on Bryant for INC! Then on 3rd+5 THE TERMINATOR MARCUS COMES THRU AGAIN WITH A BIG BLOCKED PASS!
 
4TH+5 AT OSU 40.  Quick flair left to McDowell down sideline, extends ball, but short!!  OOB BEFORE HE COULD GET THE BALL OVER THE MARKER! 15 yd unsportsmanlike late hit by the Freshman Von Bell, but after the play.
 
OSU7 – 1:09, own 21
Hyde squeezed out 6 as Clemson wasn’t expecting run with a minute left. Timeout, then FRANTIC TEMPO HERE WE COME!! MILLER TO PHILLY FOR 15. MILLER TO VANNETT FOR 15. (Good to see Vannett back!) BAD PENALTY ON VETERAN CB ROBINSON AS HE OVER AGGRESSIVELY GRABBED THE WR’S FACEMASK. Bad Penalty for 15 by Veteran CB Robinson as he overaggressively grabbed the WR’s Facemask. Wasn’t even part of the play. Stupid. THEN CLEMSON A LITTLE OUT OF SORTS FROM THE TEMPO, LEFT PHILLY WIDE OPEN DOWN THE LEFT SIDELINE FOR 24 YDS. Bad pass Miller or TD. Great design by Herman. PA Jet sweep left, which turns into a flood left. Very tough to defend correctly. MILLER GREAT PLAY HANDLING ON THE READ OPTION – MASS CONFUSION AT THE LINE, HE HOLDS THE FAKE JUST LONG ENOUGH, THEN SCOOTS INTO THE ENDZONE PAST THE BEWILDERED DEFENSE  – TOUCHDOWN AND OHIO STATE’S FIRST LEAD!!  Score at end of the Half just as I said!
OSU 22-20
 
Clem8 – 0:12, opp 49
Huge KR by McDowell, but Boyd scramble runs out the clock as we kept him in front of us.
 
 
 

HALFTIME

Not all the Turnovers I predicted, but a lot of big plays as you can tell by all the red and orange in this commentary! The big thing again for Clemson is the screw ups – whether it be turnover, big plays or penalties. From what I can tell, it’s not a fear of mistakes as much as an overaggressiveness. I love the aggression, but Clemson is a little out of control. With their players and also the Coordinators. I love Morris, but some small mistakes. Venables is doing a good job on D, but again – at  times – too much aggression. This may be the issue that’s holding Clemson back from a title. This should be a blowout, but their mistakes have not only kept the Buckeyes in it, but gave them the lead. 
 
The big TD to Heureman wasn’t as much the true freshman, Kearse’s, fault as the commentators described. Yes, he should have stayed deep, but it was a great play design and if he stayed deep then Hyde was wide open down the sideline. This was more of a result of OSU finally waking up to Clemson over selling out to stop the run. 
 
OSU’s play calling has been up and down. Some great stuff by Herman when Meyer isn’t busy trying to pound against 8 man fronts. OUR DEPTH HAS BEEN FANTASTIC ALL GAME LED BY THE TERMINATOR MARCUS! Where has this been all year, Meyer! Again our Pass D has been terrible – not necessarily the kids either. Just lack of direction and unity still. Reeves has been pretty good though.
 
We only lead the turnovers 1-0, but are winning the big play, mistakes categories. With our continuing Pass D issues we need to keep this up to win. If Clemson can just stop mistakes – or start creating some turnovers – it’s their game. But I will stick with my original pick. The mistakes do Clemson in at the end.
 
 
 

3RD QUARTER

OSU1 – 15:00, own 25
Hurry Up, but ALL RUNS! WHAT THE ***!!?  One first down, but once Clemson jammed the box again it was stopped. Big stop on the 3rd+short by Beasley. ANOTHER GREAT PUNT BY CAM!!
 
CLEM1 – 13:13, own 12
Boyd run then big shovel pass to Davidson for 16. McDowell run for 7. Watkins for 12. BIG SACK BOSA FOR 9!! NICE STUNT.  
 
OSU2 – 10:37, own 13
Hurry Up, but MORE RUNNING!! At least a jet sweep to Wilson thrown in. Miscommunication between Hyde and Miller, but Miller got the second 1st Dn of the drive anyway with speed. Play Action, deep middle, Interference on Philly Brown! 1st Down. We have got to pass it more as Clemson continues to sell out for the run. Another Wilson run. 3rd+2, but Miller only gets 1. DANG IT GUYS! It feels like the coaching staff is listening to Buckeye Nation. That was a perfect opportunity for Play Action. 4th+1 TIMEOUT.
 
4TH+1, CLEMSON 30. LOADED BACKFIELD WITH VANNETT AND WILSON IN MOTION FOR SHOVEL PASS – POWER OT LEFT TO HYDE, BIG BLOCK VANNETT AND MEWHORT AND HYDE BUSTS IT FOR 29 YDS TO THE 1!! FRANTIC TEMPO, HYDE OVER THE TOP TD BUCKEYES!! GREAT CALL BY MEYER/HERMAN, SENDING WILSON IN MOTION IN A STACKED SET! A little Wisconsin Spread Power scheme there.  Clemson was not ready for that!
OSU 29-20
 
CLEM2 – 5:50, own 17
More mistakes – Holding. Watkins on another screen just bowls over Shazier. 3rd+1 and a bad call by Morris as they just do a transparent read option up the middle that OSU sold out for! The whole team blasted the middle! Play Action would have been a TD. 
More good SpTeams with a nice high punt that Philly Brown for some reason doesn’t fair catch. With defenders all around, he starts to bail before catching the ball! Fumble recovered by Clemson!! Geeeeezz!!!  Only the 2nd TO of the game. Now 1-1. can’t believe there haven’t been more. We need to get the ball back!!
 
Blocked pass Bosa!! But on 3rd+7 it’s Watkins again! PA out of the pistol, roll right, the WRs did a switch and the slot guy, Watkins, got Grant’s backed turned. Just like the MSU game, he didn’t turn and locate the ball. Easy jump in the endzone off a nice pass by Boyd. 30 yd TD catch Watkins!!  Instead of a turnover back we give up a TD! ouch
Clemson 27-29
 
OSU3 – 2:47, own 25
Good play calls by Herman, but roll right results in a pass block by Peters on a safety blitz! Then on 3rd dn a roll left but Beasley crushed Miller after he threw it. The result? Interception by the True Freshman Kearse! (Jevon’s Nephew). Just like that we are losing the Turnover Battle. That’s why I like 5-2 instead of 1-0. Now it’s 1-2. We need to get that ball on Defense!!
 
CLEM3 – 1:57, opp 38
HERE WE GO – FRANTIC MANIA! Watkins for 14. Leaves the Field. Boyd runs for 16. Then an incredible Alley-Oop juggling catch by the ultra talented Bryant for the TD! Two TOs = Two TDs! Instead of getting the TOs back, we respond by giving up 2 TDs. This is not PS Football. Not enough direction and unity. But it ain’t over yet….
Clemson 34-29
 
 

4TH QUARTER

OSU4 – 0:32(3rd Qtr), own 25
Miller really seems to be hurting now, but he’s still out there. This all started on that first drive. The TD run.
Nice Quick screen on the rt sideline to Brown for a 1st. Nice RO Sweep to Hyde for another big gain. A short gain on screen lft to Brown for 1st. Now a flair rt to Hyde, but Clemson’s Crawford ready this time and knocks it down. QB draw. Blitz, but a deceptive zone type blitz that lured OSU into the wrong space. Great Passive Aggressive scheme by Venables. 3rd+Long, bullet to Smith but just short of the 1st..?
 
But Sideline interference penalty on Swinney! 1st Down for sure now. Wow, how can he expect mistake free football from his team when he can’t control the sideline!?
 
Fantastic wheel route to Hyde off PA to Brown on Jet Sweep! Fantastic design by Herman. 25 yd catch Hyde! FRANTIC TEMPO, but loss of 1. ANOTHER GREAT PA – THIS TIME TO HYDE, ROLL LEFT, THEN PASS BACK TO HYDE ALL ALONE IN THE ENDZONE- 14 YDS TOUCHDOWN!! Miller took a big hit and stumbles off. GREAT DESIGNS BY HERMAN!!
 
GUITON IN FOR 2 PT, BUT WHERE’S THE SWING-GATE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR!!?? PERFECT FOR THE 2 PT CONVERSION! IT WAS SO SUCCESSFUL AND THEY NEVER RAN IT AGAIN? WHY?? Sure enough, roll right Guiton, pass knocked down Inc. 2 PT NO GOOD!!
OSU 35-34
 
CLEM4 – 11:35, own 25
More Hurry-Up and more Bubble Screens – Watkins 9, McDowell pass 8, Watkins 13. Just like that – OSU 39. 9 run Boyd. Interesting design where the Oline stays stationary -to full the Dline – for a roll right, throwback pass, but great play by another backup, Steve Miller! Spence who?? But 2nd+1, so great time to try that crazy design. Boyd keep for the 1st. Another misdirection throwback to the backup TE, Seckinger for another 2nd+short and another Boyd run.
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT STUFF FROM MORRIS! 
More brilliant play design, with pre snap motion, misdirection read option sweep left, keep Boyd – dives in the endzone…TOUCHDOWN..?? REVIEW… Stepped oob at the 2. 1st + Goal. More Semi Single Wing with Jet Snap motion. Boyd up the middle, but OSU selling out. 2nd+Goal. Watch for the Alley-Oop again. Boyd up the middle again and stopped again! Shazier. 3rd+Goal. Alley-Oop Bryant?? Review – NO TD. 3rd+Goal. The young guy on the line, RT Isaiah Battle jumped offside. HUGE. Now from the 6, 3rd+Goal again. Everything set to go left, but everyone goes right, only to throwback left to an absolutely wide open TE Seckinger for the Touchdown. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT DESIGN BY MORRIS. NOT A SINGLE D IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE OF FOOTBALL, PRO OR OTHERWISE, STOPS THIS!!
 
2PT CONVERSION – Another great play design with Watkins rolling right on sweep with WR wide open in the endzone, BUT HE PUTS TOO MUCH AIR UNDER THE BALL AND GRANT RECOVERS TO KNOCK IT AWAY!! NO GOOD!
Clemson 40-35
 
OSU5 – 6:16, own 25
After another big sack by Shuey, Miller limps to the line, stands in the pocket and fires a strike to Philly Brown! Then a big run by Miller!! More Big plays by Clemson’s DE Crawford. Miller nailed again, then big stop on a screen to Smith. The Scheme by Venables has his guys coming from all directions! 3rd+ 13 and another Deceptive CB Zone Blitz that completely catches our Line on their heels – Miller tries to get rid of it but is nailed by CB Breeland, ball in the air recovered by Shuey! What a play – what a call!
Miller is really hurting now. He may go Pro just to get money to stay on the Bench!
 
CLEM5 – 3:12, opp 47
Another penalty. Clemson is winning the TO and now the Big Play Battle, but they have made a lot of bad penalties and this game isn’t over yet. Watkins for 5 on a shovel. But another bad penalty. 3rd+Long, nice mix on the zone blitz and coverage and Boyd completely confused throws it right to Barnett for the INTERCEPTION!! Now that looked like a Fickell Design!! OSU BALL AND ONE MORE CHANCE!  YOU CAN’T KEEP MAKING PENALTIES DABO!!
 
OSU6 – 1:27, opp 48
2 PLAYS = 2 FANTASTIC ZONE BLITZ SCHEMES BY VENABLES. On the first, DE Crawford almost intercepted a quick pass over the middle. The 2nd was Scheme Brilliance, as a whole lot of pre snap movement was going on. What looked like super aggression, backed off into zone, but with surprise rushers to pressure Miller. Good blocking by our Line, but Miller was thoroughly confused (even pre snap) and completely loss track of star LB Anthony, who faked a blitz and dropped off into zone. Miller threw it right to him and that’s the ballgame. (He looked like he might have dropped it, but no review). INTERCEPTION ANTHONY.
 
CLEM6 – 1:18, own 39
Boyd runs to run out the clock, but not before one more really stupid Penalty. I can see now why Clemson blew 2 games this year. They are National Championship Caliber, far better than anything we have faced in the Big 10, but they make an incredible amount of stupid penalties and mistakes. Swinney has a lot of strengths, but it seems that discipline and control isn’t one of them. Knock out the silliness and some of the over aggressive stuff and we may be seeing him in the Playoffs in the future.
 

CLEMSON 40   OSU 35

1210615

 
 
 

WRAP

Screen shot 32
This picture says a lot. Close game between two very good teams, but we were outplayed and out coached. If not for all the silly penalties and mistakes by Clemson, it would have been a lot worse.
 
Clemson is a really, really good PS Team
Clemson was a better team than MSU. OSU played much better and would have beaten MSU last night. Clemson has the most talent and best schemes we will have faced all year. Add in the fact that this was a warm weather game played close to their home and the advantages were on Clemson’s side. They really should have been the favorites.
 
Besides scheme and play on the field, Clemson was more excited for this game. I think Meyer, his staff and the players did everything they could, given the circumstaces, and they almost pulled it off. But there’s no doubt that this game was a letdown from the NC game they expected all year long. Clemson had no such expectations. For them this was another step up the ladder to an elite program. It started with Tommy Bowden and PS originator Rich Rodriguez. It has been taken to the next level by Dabo Sweeney and one of the next wave of PS geniuses, Chad Morris. DC  Brent Venables isn’t bad either. Some real PS concepts happening on Clemson’s D as well.
 
As I said in my Preview, Clemson is a National Championship caliber team. No one in the Big 10, including MSU, is at this level. MSU had an incredible year, but this isn’t a massively talented and incredibly schemed team like Clemson. I do not know why they make so many silly errors. I think it fits with Swinney’s wild personality. Also I do believe that both Coordinators are really aggressive in what they do and while that kind of philosophy leads to a great unified direction and makes for big numbers, it also can lead to a lot of turnovers. But tonight Clemson won the TO battle. That surprised me. Which makes the penalties all the more baffling. IF they can be disciplined in one area, why not another? Dabo said they haven’t played for a while. Maybe. Take away the mistakes and earlier in the year, the turnovers, and this is a NC caliber team. No doubt about it. 
 
The Buckeyes Outlook
As for the Buckeyes, they have a great shot next year, but improvements are needed. Starting with Meyer and his Staff.
 
One day Meyer will be looked back as the real Father or Grandfather of Power Spread Football, but for now, he has fallen behind some of his students. There was some great stuff throughout the game by Meyer on Special Teams, Herman on Offense and even Fickell in the 2nd Half on D. But too often the same philosophies that plagued us once the Big 10 Schedule began reared its ugly head again. Starting with the horrible Pass D that led to too much Hyde/Miller up the gut to try to save our D. This is not PS thinking. If our D can’t stop them, then we win 70-50. But we can’t let a porous Defense dictate what happens on Offense. The O needs more variety. The D needs a lot of fixing. But first, Meyer needs to reevaluate his core ideas and make sure this all gets headed in one direction. There are coaches and coordinators now doing some amazing things and this can’t be a quick fix solution.
 
On Offense I really think that Meyer needs to let Herman do his thing more. The guys great at pass designs and overall schemes. Work to fix the defense so it’s good, not slow down the Offense to help the Defense. And regardless of what conference we play in, variety, aggression and balance is the key to PS Offense. We need to mix it up a lot more! Like we did last year or early this year when it seemed Herman had much more freedom to create. With this philosophy – aggression of the Mind, not Fist – it won’t be hard for Miller or any QB to become proficient in the offense, because they will be focused and practicing on it every day! Not just as a last minute solution to Michigan State. Then a fearful attempt to pound up the middle against Clemson. Clemson knew this was coming and stacked the box all game long!
 
Screen shot 34Even more importantly, the Defensive issues need resolved in the off season. A month just wasn’t enough time. There will be a new member on the staff and this will be huge.  I think Meyer needs to decide what the deal is on Defense. If Fickell’s the guy, then let him do it. IF he can get in another coach who’s philosophy fits and can work with Fick, then fine. If he wants another Defensive philosophy all together, then he will have to deal with Fickell and give someone else the reigns. I think that Meyer is leaning Fickell with a new coach to add ideas. Probably a dual DC situation again. That’s fine, BUT WE ALL NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE. AND THIS IS ON MEYER.  The D needs to be less transparent, more balanced and deceptive with much more pre-snap and even post-snap movement. Just look at what Venables had Clemson’s D doing. On the last interception, Miller was completely thrown off by all the pre-snap movement. The D led him into space that he THOUGHT he wanted to exploit. Land Mines. We need more of this for our D!
 
We also need to use more Depth, create more Turnovers and be more creative on Special Teams. It was great to see the Terminator (Marcus) in full action today. Plus, a lot of the other top backups. I hope to see a lot more use of our Depth next year. We will probably create more turnovers as the schemes get ironed out and the players are free to be more aggressive. The return game needs to be addressed. Too much talent not to have more explosion there.  Plus what happened to Swing Gate for the Extra Points? And why not more innovation. It’s not fireworks. It works!
 
The game is changing fast. Meyer’s one year retirement, amazingly, left him a bit behind the eight ball. Not far, mind you, but enough that winning another National Title will not be easy. But I have no doubt that the Master has some more tricks up his sleeve. If the pic above is any indication – the clap of the hand as if to say Doggone It! We’re close! – Meyer’s reign is far from over. 
 
We Lost, but this isn’t nearly as bad as the Big 10 Championship
big4-355x530That game crushed the Team and the Fans. This is just another wake up call to go to work and get things fixed for next year. We aren’t that far off, but we did get a little deluded by the poor quality of the Big 10.
 
Mainly, as I yelled ever since the Big 10 Schedule started, we got conservative on Offense, which led to disaster everywhere else. The D was never on the same page, but look at Auburn. Great O can overcome. We were good, not great. We didn’t have enough variety to be great. Auburn runs a lot as well, but don’t be fooled. Malzahn has a lot going on. Just like Morris last night. It looked like it was just one Watkins Bubble Screen after another. But there was a lot more going on. Watkins was used all over the field. He was also rested a lot as well. If Clemson can sit Watkins and use their depth, why the heck can’t we??  
 
Also, on Special Teams – where are our speedsters? And where are the productive formations like Swing Gate? We need to get our athletes – as many as we can – to be ready to play in all aspects of the game. THIS creates big plays. THIS creates turnovers. THIS creates National Championships. 
 
A Lot to Think About

Big Ten Championship Football

There’s a lot on Meyer’s plate, but again, we aren’t that far off.
 
Defense – Unity, Direction, then hire the new guy. 
 
Offense – Is Miller back, then Herman, Herman, Herman. Some tweaks to a good
 
Special Teams – Replace Basel, but Johnston is awesome. Coverage mostly good. Punt Blocks , Fakes are good. BUT.. more use of our fast athletes to get big returns. More innovation such as Swing Gate on the Extra Points. Even more variety on the coverage units which became very stagnant at one point.
 
Power Spread pushes the boundaries all the time. No holding back out of Fear of Mistakes. Make a turnover, then get one back. Just like Clemson did last night.
 
Lastly, don’t be surprised if you see these 2 meeting in the new CFootball Playoffs in the near future. Possibly as early as next year. These are two of the best.
 
~PS
 
 
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s