Take a Deep Breath and Relax

Week 2 for the Buckeyes did not go exactly to plan. When you have beaten some of the best teams in the country over your last 4 games, the expectations can be pretty high so when you come out and look less than impressive, hard core fans start to sweat. Let me be the first to calm the waters. Everything is fine! Let’s go over a few of the reasons our beloved Buckeyes did not look up to par.

First of all, let’s make sure we give the defense the respect it deserves by saying they were bullet proof in this game. The Rainbow Warriors had no clue what to do with the silver bullets and let’s be honest, if the defense had not played so well this game really could have been pretty interesting!

But, let’s get into the real issue. Why did our offense look like they were all on a different page of the playbook. The excuse everyone is using is the fact that they were playing on a very short week. Coming off a very physical game agains VT Monday night, coach Meyer talked a lot about how they were focusing on making sure they were not pushing the guys too hard this week due to them still being tired and sore from their previous game. Some people may say that’s just an excuse, but I really believe it has some merit. You have to realize that the players and coaching staff have been preparing for VT for weeks before the game. It was all they were thinking about. Mainly because of how the game turned out last year. So after that game was over I would bet it wasn’t easy to refocus the players to give just as much effort and focus in practice to a team that you are favored over by 41 points.  Thankfully the Bucks do not have to play on a shortened week again this season, so we won’t have the ability to use this excuse the rest of the season.

The next concern the Bucks faced this week was the complete opposite offensive scheme that Hawaii uses compared to VT. on Monday. VT was using their infamous “bear” defense which stacked the box and can put up to 5 players on the line of scrimmage making it very hard to run the football. Hawaii ,on the otherhand, runs a 3-4 defense leaving only 3 guys on the line and allowing a tone of movement by the linebacker group to make things confusing for the offensive line to know what gap the pressure was coming from. Again, is this just an excuse? Maybe. But this ,with being on a short week, is something that any coaching staff would struggle with.

Another matter that I think needs brought up that I have not seen anyone talking about is the change in offensive play calling. Losing Tom Herman has been a big blow so far in the Buckeyes season. Tom is known around the country as an offensive genius, so replacing that is no easy task. That is not to say that Ed Warinner will not be able to do well in this position, but it is just his second game in this position. He has been in this position before as a coach at Kansas, but it has been a few years so I think it is going to take some time for them to all feel comfortable with the new head man at offensive coordinator.

Finally the last point I want to make is one that I touched on earlier. Let’s be honest, we were playing Hawaii which, as I said, was a 41 point underdog. When you are dealing with 18-22 year old young men it is not always easy to get them to buy into the old adage “play every game like it’s your last” when you know and the players know you are physically head and shoulders better than the team you are playing. At the end of the day I guess we should be happy that we didn’t completely lay an egg like Arkansas did against Toledo. When you are the defending National Champions everyone in the nation expects you to come out and play your greatest game every week; unfortunately, that is just not going to happen. I’m betting that coach Meyer and the rest of the coaching staff will be able to get the guys ready to go this week after not performing up to their own standards!

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