Archive for the ‘Buckeye News’ Category

Ok, guys, change of plans. We are flying by the seat of our pants here. Because of the genius of Urban Meyer and Tom Herman’s offense I can’t do a thorough analysis of the Wisconsin game without writing a book! For those who have already followed along so far you have seen me take two sentences to describe Wisconsin’s first drive and about 8 paragraphs to describe OSU’s first drive. This is my first thorough breakdown of the OSU offense and I am completely amazed by the simple brilliance of the overall PS concept and specific schemes employed by Meyer/Herman. (more…)

First, Herman at OC combining like minds with WRs coach Stan Drayton (former Florida asst under Meyer) and HC Urban.  Now Coach Withers, who will continue to grow his impressive resume, teaming with another top “up and coming” defensive mind in Luke Fickell. Apart from getting Charlie Strong to leave his HC position with Louisville and join our staff, this couldn’t be a more impressive list of assistants that Meyer is accumulating.

Meyer, by his own admission, spread (no pun) himself too thin trying to manage every aspect of the huge Florida football program. While Tressel never admitted the same, its pretty obvious that he did the same. Not only with all the problems inherent in today’s modern big college football program, but just in the way his offenses went sour after Troy Smith left – especially evident in the whole Terrelle Pryor debacle, where, not only were the offenses during this time never able to really take advantage of Pryor’s skills, but the off the field problems that Pryor was a part of arguably led to Tressel losing his lofty position a top the College Football mountain.

Tressel was a great coach with one serious flaw that contributed to problems in his offensive schemes and even more tragically problems off the field. That same flaw, while present in Meyer at the end of his time at Florida, really does hold the same validity when comparing his career path with that of Tressel. Meyer worked his way up the ladder at BIG SCHOOLS. Tressel also was an assistant at some big schools (mainly OSU in the 80s when he missed coaching with Meyer by one year), but once he took over Youngstown State his “up the ladder” progress was basically over. He ran Youngstown State – I mean RAN every aspect on the field as well as off. He was the “Senator” way before that moniker was used at Ohio State.

Ironically, the same success that got Tressel the GRAND OSU job is the same success that ultimately led to his ignominious and truly tragic ending. Tressel is a good man and a great coach – everyone who really knows the man says the same thing – but he took on too much at OSU and it caught up to him – first with his anemic Offense, then with his bungling of “off the field” issues. Coach Tressel needed some better assistance with his offense – maybe a new mind, or just a little less control. He seemed to be giving a little more freedom to Darrell Hazell near the end with some decent results. But he could never totally let go of the control that he has always had since YSU. The story is tragic because Coach T is a smart man and with some new influences from other like minds may have once again been able to show his prowess at putting together good offenses. Don’t forget the incredible jobs he did with a very poor thrower in Craig Krenzel and a very raw product coming out of High School in Troy Smith. Even the way he used lanky Todd Boeckman needs to be commended. The real trouble started with Pryor and the insistence of using him in a pro passing/multiple scheme offense, forcing a very round peg into a square hole – a lot of room for mistakes.

I do not expect the same tragic error from Meyer for two reasons. First, Meyer has had a long coaching history in big programs under big coaches. He has had a lot of influences before taking the head job at Bowling Green, let alone the head job at BIG SCHOOL Florida. In other words, Meyer knows the value of assistants and HELP! Not that Tressel didn’t – all good coaches understand this – but his wisdom in accepting help seems to have gotten away from him after YEARS of the TRESSEL WAY. Not necessarily ego – maybe more of a lack of practice – as the demands at OSU were far greater than YSU and have even become greater since the infamous Maurice Clarett days. Urban has had the advantage of “growing” into a Big College Head Coach – an advantage that Coach T never had as he was basically “thrown” into his big position. The autonomy that worked in the early 00s didn’t quite do the trick as we approached a new decade at what seems like warp speed.

Second, Meyer already had his spell of over managing and luckily got out before Florida suffered years of bad offenses, mediocre teams or bowl bans and coach dismissals. Not to say that is the scenario that Florida was headed, but their last offense was a bungled attempt to pull away from Meyer’s own successful Power Spread and there were plenty of rumors of off the field issues and discontent among the players during his last two recruiting classes. Now, with a year away from the game and seeing what happened with Tressel, Meyer has some perspective never afforded our former great coach. We already see in the way that Meyer is assembling his staff that he’s ready for new blood and like minds to help him in all aspects of running a major college program. For all the talk of Nick Saban’s brilliance in defensive schemes and recruiting I always felt his best attribute, bar none, was his ability to delegate. On the field as well as off.

One last note on Meyer and his overall awareness of all things football. He was a Special Teams coach in the past in addition to his job as a WRs coach. He LOVES Special Teams – just like another former great coach at OSU. And I can bet you he will not stop until he is satisfied with the quality of EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF HIS STAFF including our Special Teams coach.

-Drew

This is a guy I was studying back in 2008 when I was learning why Florida wiped out  a much more talented (and yes speedier) OSU team in Jan of 2007.  I also studied all the recruiting, talent and coaches in the SEC in 2008/2009 and quickly found out the wins over the Big 10 were not matters of talent and speed,  but coaches and schemes.  There’s a reason for the SEC having the highest paid assistants.

The Urban Meyer Schemes and Way changing OSU forever more – a foray into the future of the ever changing face of American Football!

Back to the Future – Shotgun Football (A 100 year full circle starting early last century)

OSU’s failure to understand the full implications of the Spread and the BALANCE of the PS

The morphing of the Passing Spread into the Power Spread, seen as the illusionary death of the Spread Offense in College Football

A True Power SpreadThe Florida Gator/Urban Meyer Offense

Urban Meyer – more than just Offensive Schemes  He has learned from a lot of coaches – yes, even the Power Spread.  And he was a great Special Teams coach before anything else.  He has always delegated well, recruited well and paid attention to all the details required to produce top teams.  In fact, he has a lot in common with a former great coach here at OSU named Jim Tressel.  And like Tressel he tended to take on too much and not let his highly paid assistants take over when needed.

Here’s a scary thought – as good as Meyer was, he may be better now. He has made mistakes in the past – even mistakenly moving away from his own gem of an offense!  He has the experience of years now.   And if there was one element as a Head Coach that a Nick Saban had over Meyer it was the ability to let his assistants do their job and not give into the obsessional need to take over ever phase of the team.  Meyer says he has learned from his time off – I BELIEVE HIM – expect this detailed, smart, open minded coach to be a Saban like delegator making him the Coach of the Year for 2012!

-Drew

Kurt to Drew:

Read the link.  Skip to last bullet point if you wish.  Meyer has maintained a relationship with Coach Stud apparently…

Drew to Kurt:

I said it before and I will say it again – Miles is holding back Studs, just like he would have done with Krags and he did with Crowton.  With more control, Crowton would have most likely  ran more intricate passing spreads , but with only a little Power Spread mixed in – but at least he would have gotten rid of a lot of the once successful, but now outdated two back stuff and veer option football that Miles ran back as an OC at Oklahoma St in the 90s .  Krags would have also been more about the passing spread, but with a little more PS mixed in and staying more with one back sets.   Studs = PS ALL THE WAY, as he comes directly from the Urban Meyer lineage at Bowling Green.  
I know he’s an OL coach  and that could be a problem – but like I said – I keep an open mind –  he’s an individual and NO ONE has free reign to work the PS or any Spread at LSU with Miles in charge.
I tell you this I like some of the stuff I have seen from LSU’s scheming and play calling this year -but then all of a sudden it sucks again.  I know that Krag supposedly still has influence , but I cant help but think that Studs is working some good stuff into the LSU offense this year, but  as always, Mile’s insists at sticking with what “he knows” over and over and over again.  Mile’s is very successful in many aspects of being a Head Coach, from recruiting to motivation, but he’s not the up and coming offensive mind that he seemed to be in the 90s with Oklahoma State.  If there’s been one and possibly his only flaw at LSU its in his lack of any real focus on offense and his inability to forge his old school concepts on offense with what is happening today.
Put it this way – Meyer/Studs or Tressel/Bolshit – to run an offense?  Remember that a former Meyer protege at Florida, Stan Drayton, is already our WRS coach! He hails from Allegheny College in my area of Western PA and where my cousin went to school and played Hockey!
ONE REQUEST TO URBANPlease keep Fickell -who was turning into a heckuva Defensive Coordinator before the whole tattoo mess!
~Drew

Illinios struggled to score – sure OSU’s defense played solid fundamentals and Illinois is not as great as their record lead many to believe.  Add in the 25 mph winds and its easy to overlook the underlying factor to the big plays we saw from Ohio State’s defense on Saturday – TOP NOTCH TALENT.

What’s new – over the last decade there may not be a more talented team, year in, year out than Ohio State. Naysayers will talk about Speed – doesnt hold up to USC or the SEC – but most people confuse speed with schemes.  Give any player in Division I football a 1 second head start in a 40 yd dash over another player of the same position and he will win every time.  Ohio State has been as fast as anyone ever since the Cooper days.  Every team has speed in todays game – its really not about speed anymore. But there will always be different levels of talent and performance in any sport and Tressel’s recruiting was second to none – including Pete Carroll.
Here’s a look at the defense – these are all top recruits that I followed for the last 5 years and who are learning to shine:
DL – Hankins and Simon are EVERYWHERE!! Hankins is playing DE as well as DT, Simon is dropping into pass coverage – really unbelievable BIG 10 SPEED AND ATHLETICISM!!
LB – Sabino was everywhere  yesterday and more SPEED!  Sweat has been everywhere in past games and is always solid. Moeller is getting a 2nd life and taking advantage. He was always had a top notch intensity and nose for the ball – as a star LB in HS and now at the hybrid LB/5th DB position.  He is EVERYWHERE EVERY WEEK!
DB – Maybe Tressel’s best job recruiting – maybe the best job at a single position in all of College Football. Its not easy to accumulate tough minded DBs that can fit right into a scheme, but Tressel finds them – and not one or two – try 6 or 8 – a big part of our top notch Special Teams.  Yesterday we got to see Bradley Roby’s coming out party!  He’s been quietly making plays all year – nose for the ball – and not afraid of mistakes. Worked out with the great Michael Jenkins during the NFL lockout and its paying dividends. Of course he was another underrated talent that Tressel is the best at scooping up! Add to that Big Time HS Stars who are have been showing up on the field all year – CJ Barnett, Christian Bryant and Travis Howard – plus another under the radar guy, Dominic Clarke and this is going to be a secondary that will be tops in the nation next year! AGAIN
– Thanks Coach T!

~Drew

LUKE FICKELL

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Buckeye News
Tags: ,
I just want to say that I LIKE FICKELL. He holds himself well in interviews, says all the right things and seems to understand more than just the Xs&Os of Defense.  He has the potential to be a heckuva head coach, imo – just aint gonna happen this year.  He’s too young and has gotten thrown into a mess!  
What I hope for is that we dont lose him as a coach. IF we end up around .500 for example or Urban Meyer wants to come to OSU, do we fire him?? Is he asked to move back to Defensive Coordinator? Would he accept the position if he were asked?  How about this – what if Urban Meyer comes to OSU, but only wants to coach a short time more – and he wants to groom Fickell to replace him? So back to DC for a time, then another shot at OSU’s head coach when he’s more ready.  
A lot of thoughts I have been having – but if we loss Fickell, then this PRYOR mess knocked out two good coaches and people not just one!

~Drew

The Former OHIO STATE  University 17   ILLINOIS 7

I know that we won, but this is still not the real Ohio State University, though the Heart and Will is there and it wont be too long before we are once again THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.

Good Stuff:
-Luke Fickell is a stand up guy, smart – already a top notch Defensive Coordinator with big potential as a Head Coach,  but its not his time yet.  Lets just hope we can somehow keep him in the program no matter what happens this year!

-OSU Defense shined – mainly due to 3 reasons:  First and foremost, Jim Tressel’s incredible recruiting reign. The young talent has been peeking thru all year and really shined yesterday! The 2 other reasons below…

-25 mph winds  really helped us – lets be honest!

-Illinois is very overrated – as is most of the Big 10 and this year a lot of teams in College Football.  Dose of honesty again.  It may be one of those average years where there is a lot of change (though this unfortunately seems like every year now) and not too many legitimate top teams. Should help OSU’s record in its most tumultuous year in some time.

Bad Stuff:
– Fickel admittedly is not an offensive coordinator and Bollman, non-admittedly, is not either. This leaves us with Stan Drayton, the 1st year WRs coach, who is from the Urban Meyer, Power Spread vein.  In @powerspread,  I called this game as a battle not between Illinois and OSU, but between Fickell and Bollman or more appropriately Fickell’s courage to give more reign to Drayton over Bollman.  But, understandably so, it aint happenin’ folks!  Yesterday was ALL BOLLMAN.  There’s so much transition going on already, that its hard to expect Fickell to pull the reigns from a long time Tressel assistant and hand them over to a 1st year WRs coach – but we may have a hidden gem in Drayton and need to use him.

-So we only passed the ball 2 times in the first half and completed one all game.  But passing vs running is not the point. It was windy on the road with a young and banged up QB.  Running the ball with all our speed was smart – but NOT OUT OF THE SAME I AND PRO SETS PLAY AFTER PLAY!  The first play we were in the PS and ran a Read Option in which Miller gained an easy 5 yards.  WE HARDLY SAW THE PS AGAIN!  When we did for a play in the 2nd half we had our best play of the game except for the TD.  The Power Spread is perfect for weather like this – we need to keep the field spread and give our speedy QB and RBs room to roam.  Injuries and turnovers are NO EXCUSE!   Putting our guys in 3rd and 10 or basically tipping the Defense off the whole game as to all runs on “1st down” and all passes on “3rd and long” can create more in the way of injuries and turnovers than any Spread offense EVER WILL.  

-I probably should put this in the “Good Stuff” category, but its so ludicrous it belongs here. Besides almost all running plays in the first half, with most of them coming out of the same stagnant sets and not utilizing Miller as a threat, we ran a plethora of draw plays that actually FAKED OUT ILLINOIS! How is that, you ask?? No modern day team in their right mind would expect continual draw plays without being set up by any passses – it borders on insanity – yet, maybe Bollman is a genius afterall. Maybe he knew that there’s no way Illinois would expect him to keep running the Draw, over and over, without a pass – pretty much negating the reason for the play at all! Illinois kept EXPECTING PASS and kept GETTING RUN! LOL!  By god it worked – for a while anyway. But  I get the feeling we wont be able to do this week after week – just a hunch.  🙂

-I guess the BIG QUESTION (besides “who is this team with the Ohio State uniforms on the field”)  is “WILL WE WASTE ANOTHER TOP NOTCH PS TALENT QB LIKE WE WASTED THE LAST ONE?”  If Urban Meyer shows up here in the near future, then the answer is no.  If not, then Fickell or whoever the coach may be needs to get a good OC who understands  – really understands – the Power Spread and how special the PS can be when you have a running talent at QB the likes of Braxton Miller.

~Drew