Archives for September 2017

Recap: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After another lackluster performance against Oklahoma, the Buckeyes face an Army team that rarely threatens teams through the air.  Even though they aren’t dangerous, the Black Knights are #2 in the nation in the rushing department.

The Buckeyes front seven need to stay disciplined and the entire team needs to make sure tackles.  This is a winnable game that they need to regain confidence in their scheme for the rest of the season.

First Half:

The Buckeyes began the game with the opening possession, and within 2:37 after receiving the kickoff, J.T. Barrett put seven on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run.  On Army’s first possession, they were forced to punt the ball away and the Buckeyes responded with a drive that lasted 4:12, that ended with another short-yardage touchdown by J.K. Dobbins.

From then on out, the ugliness seeped out both teams exchanged punts, but Army answered the call after they drove 99-yards for a touchdown after a Buckeye punt at the Army 35 yard line. Army took a huge chunk of time off the clock on that drive and it left the Buckeyes with a single possession prior to the half ending, where they added a field goal to extend their lead 17-7.

Second Half:

The second half began with Army missing a 43-yarder and it quickly turned into another Buckeye touchdown after J.K. Dobbins broke off a pair of long runs, the first for 22-yards and the next for 52-yards and another touchdown.

On the next Army possession, they fumbled the ball on a bobbled handoff which resulted in a 20-yard passing score to Terry McLaurin to push the lead to 31-7.  That was essentially the end of the Army success on the ground, as the Buckeyes buckled down and shut them down.

The last Ohio State touchdown was a 9-yarder to Austin Mack for his first collegiate touchdown reception of his career which is significant, but it was Barrett who just bested Drew Brees’ BIG 10 total touchdown record with the last score of the game to push their lead to 38-7.

After the record was captured, Dwayne Haskins took his shot and entered the game during mop-up duty.  He finished 4-4 for 46 yards, and he proved that he has the talent to take the reigns after Barrett departs.  Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.

Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.  They will look to improve the passing game and maintaining the balance.  The defense will look to improve as well in all areas as they face a team that might test them through the air, but for now, we will enjoy the win.  Go Bucks!

 

 

Preview: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After a long week of bickering and talk from anyone and everyone, game day is finally upon us, and it will turn the page on the previous weeks awful showing at the home opener.  There was a whirlwind of opinions from people dishing their hot takes after the Oklahoma loss at home.  A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

We all weathered the storm and now an opportunity to right the ship and turn the page is almost here.  The Army Black Knights are 2-0 and they will test the strength of the front seven for the entirety of this contest with an efficient rushing offense that ranks 2nd in the nation with 835 yards and 11 touchdowns on 113 attempts, averaging 417.5 yards per game.

On the other side, the home team Ohio State Buckeyes are surrendering 60.5 yards per contest, holding their opponents to 121 total yards on 64 rushing attempts.  They are allowing 1.89 yards per rush, while only giving up a single rushing touchdown so far this season.

Ohio State is #32 in the NCAA in rushing offense for 459 total yards in 85 attempts for 4 scores. They are averaging 5.4 yards per rushing attempt and 229.5 yards per contest and they must establish a balance to control the pace of the game.

The right side of the O-Line suffered against the constant pressure, so this game will be needed to regain their swagger.  They got beat often and were caught off guard by blitzing defenders, so they really need a boost.

Barrett on the other hand also needs this game to re-establish himself as the starting QB with everyone and their mother bashing him over the lack of down the field pass attempts and the lack of accuracy in his passes.  He is 39-70 for 487 yards and 3 touchdowns against one interception. He is averaging 243.5 yards per game, 6.96 yards per attempt and 12.49 yards per completion, which isn’t bad but he needs to show a lot of improvement in both the accuracy and the production department to truly improve and become more successful.

This Army team appears to be no threat to the Buckeyes through the air and through 2 games, as they are 2-10 for 17 yards.  They are averaging 1.7 yards per attempt and 8.5 yards per game, but they will be a could find a way to involve the running backs, similar to what Oklahoma did.

The Buckeyes linebackers were getting beat by dump-off passes, which could work to Army’s advantage during the game. The linebackers were often out of position and looked confused, so let’s hope they worked out the kinks.

The secondary improved, but tackling was an issue again as they were constantly looking for the big hit instead of wrapping up for the sure tackle.  They need to build on their performance again this week.

Prediction:  41-9 Buckeyes

After that embarrassing loss at home, it will drive the cause the Buckeyes to take a step in the right direction.  The offense improves and executes better, but will still be a work in progress. There will be a balance between the run and pass, and a big play or two will occur, with emphasis on improving the play-calling situation.    

The defense racks up TFL’s against the Army rushing attack forcing them to attempt more passes.  I am calling for a forced fumble and a pick to happen due to the immense pressure that the Rushmen place of the Army O-Line.  

 

Recap: #5 Oklahoma vs #2 Ohio State

First Half:

In an early test for both teams, neither seemed to get into a rhythm in the first half of the game. Oklahoma has statistically been more successful outgaining the often anemic Ohio State offense 222-92.  They have outgained the home team by a large margin and they seem to be gaining more and more confidence as the game continues.

Baker Mayfield has been leaning solely on his arm, which has been dicing up the Ohio State defense for 158 yards on 11 of 18 attempts, and he is gaining 8.8 yards per pass attempt but has no touchdowns to show for it yet.  He has been banged up as well, as he can be seen limping off to the sideline after taking a few huge hits.  So far Mayfield has been sacked twice, both by Sam Hubbard.

J.T. Barrett has struggled mightily, and he has been leaning more towards the designed QB runs, that have Buckeye fans scratching their heads.  Barrett finished the first half 5 for 11 for 25 yards and also carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards.

The first half ended in a 3-3 tie with Oklahoma turning the ball over three times.  They had two critical fumbles and a missed field goal, in what appears to be a defensive struggle.  Sooners also lost Mark Andrews, their big WR/TE to an apparent leg injury.

Second Half:

The Buckeyes started the half with balance and they capped off the opening drive with J.K. Dobbins’ first touchdown as a Buckeye.

Mayfield was quick to answer with a touchdown of his own to a 36-yard pass to Dimitri Flowers to tie up this contest.  The Sooner offense also caught fire as Mayfield found his teammates for 2 scores, 1 by RB Trey Sermon and another to Lee Morris.  Jordan Smallwood also found paydirt on a jet sweep.

The Sooner defense clamped down and shut down the Buckeyes, only giving up two field goals in the second half.  One in the early 3rd quarter and a second mid-4th quarter.  After a failed onside kick, the Sooners continue to drive the ball and rack up yardage on the tired Buckeye defense.

The Sooners win 31-16 with their rookie Head Coach Lincoln Riley, which is a rare and impressive feat in itself.  This by no means knocks the Buckeyes out of the playoff conversation.  There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.

There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.  The WR’s failed to separate, they were back to their old ways with the play calling, and J.T. Barrett’s issues accuracy and trust in his receivers.

The Buckeyes will be back, so stay tuned Buckeye Nation.

 

 

 

 

 

Preview: #7 Oklahoma vs #2 Ohio State

With the first week of the young CFB season behind us, we look forward to another contest that has once again garnered another College Gameday appearance.  The featured matchup will place two Top 10 teams against each other, and with two big-time and experienced leaders at the Quarterback position, there will be no shortage of big plays and drama.

What To Watch For:

J.T. Barrett versus Baker Mayfield:

In a game filled with great matchups, Barrett versus Mayfield takes the front seat in this contest. Mayfield led the offense to an impressive win over UTEP, while Barrett took some time to get his offense going.  Although it was not entirely his fault, the WR’s failed to break away from the opposing DB’s.

Mayfield looked sharp against inferior and outclassed competition.  He finished 19 for 20 for 329 yards and 3 scores, in a 56-7 drubbing of UTEP.  This week he will face a newly pieced together set of DB’s and he will be looking to test them early and often with his crop of receivers.

Barrett was efficient during his showing and he showed some improvement balancing the running and passing.  He finished with 4 total TD’s and 365 yards, 301 of which were through the air and he also had 64 on the ground.  This balance was needed and he will need to stay focused and sharp against a mostly experienced secondary that has three Seniors to lean on.

This game will most likely fall on the shoulders of both men with ball security, balance and turnovers will be the deciding factor.  There will be no shortage of big plays and offensive fireworks, this is what makes this so exciting.

Trench Wars, Best D-Line versus Best O-Line:

In what is almost another given, the battle in the trenches between Oklahoma and Ohio State is another key matchup to watch in this battle of two Top 10 teams.

Oklahoma has one of the best Offensive Lines in the nation led by LT Orlando Brown and they average out to about 304.4 lbs of humanity tasked to protect Mayfield.

On the other side of the line will be one of the best Defensive Lines in the nation led by Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis.  Behind them, the depth at Ohio State, particularly on the Defensive Line, they are two or three deep at each position.

This matchup will determine the success of either team.  The Sooner line is talented and will be a major test for the Buckeyes line.

Buckeye DB’s versus Sooner WR’s:

I remember people saying that Ohio State will not face another crop of big, physical receivers again this season. Guess what?  They were wrong.  The Sooners top 3 receivers are 6’3″, 6’5″ and 6’5″.  Ceedee Lamb, Mark

The Sooners top 3 receivers are 6’3″, 6’5″ and 6’5″.  Ceedee Lamb, Mark Andrews, and Jeffery Mead are massive, with Andrews, a former Buckeye target being the heaviest at 253 lbs.  Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Denzel Ward need to be sharp.  Jordan Fuller and Damon Webb need to stay disciplined as well.

Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Denzel Ward need to be sharp.  Jordan Fuller and Damon Webb need to stay disciplined as well.

This could be another shootout, but can the Buckeye secondary cover and force a few turnovers for the defense?  Can the Sooner Wideouts out-muscle their smaller opponents?

Sooner Front 7 versus Dobbins/Weber:

True Freshman J.K. Dobbins received his first start and he surely did not disappoint.  He finished the game with 29 carries for 181 yards and 2 catches for 24 yards.  This week he will share the load with Mike Weber.

Together they face a stout front 7 led by 3 seniors. They will be tasked to stop the ground game and get to the QB.  It won’t be easy, but they gave them fits a season ago, so it’ll be interesting.

The Ohio State line isn’t sorry either, as they average 310.8 lbs as a whole.  Three of the five a 6’7″, with Jones being 6’5″ and Price being 6’4″.  With a major chip on their shoulders, particularly with the right side of the line, Bowen and Prince will be looking to establish themselves.

Can WR’s break open:

Finally, can the Buckeye WR’s break open consistently enough to and make plays?  This will be hard due to the experience opposing them.

They are all talented, but they need to outwork the DB’s to give Barrett a chance to win the game for them.  Barrett wasn’t perfect, and he did miss a few of his guys on errant passes, but the WR’s had a few drops during the game too.

Will they be reliable threats for Barrett?  Will they be able to break free from the coverage and make plays?  Can Zone 6 make the Buckeye Offense, particularly the deep ball sizzle again?

Prediction:

This will be another hard fought game with the Sooners keeping it close in the first half.  Their WR’s will out muscle the DB’s early before halftime.  This game will be a back and forth affair until the Buckeye Defense takes over and forces a few turnovers.

With a combination of second half adjustments and the Buckeye front seven’s relentlessness, the Buckeyes pull away in the second half for a close win at home.

This game will showcase many NFL hopefuls and it will be filled with team scouts.  This game will also feature the next wave of talent, as many Buckeye commits and targets will be present for the show.

Final Score:  41-31 Buckeyes