Originally Posted by traderumor
Seriously, this analysis doesn't appear that you have followed the 2007 Buckeyes at all. Tressel's MO is getting shredded this year by opponents. They throw deep frequently, throw from passing formations, mix up formations, throw on passing downs, run on passing downs. Last night was a delight to watch play calling because I could not call the play before the snap by watching formation, down and distance. That is a new twist for Tressel.
As for the D, I think GAC handled that one.
First, I don't appreciate the hostile tone. I'm always open to other people's ideas, and I expect the same. This is a chat board. If you think my post is worthless (apparently you do), then by all means, please add me to your ignore list.
My original post had three points:
1.) The OSU defense isn't overpowering, except on scoreboard
2.) I like this offense a lot, with a few exceptions--and it's much better than the 2002 unit
3.) Last year's team was a less-than-perfect match between the coach and talent; this year it's a much better fit
Note that I didn't
say anything about Tressel's formations or play calling.
Regarding my first point:
I like defenses that dominate the line of scrimmage. I haven't seen that consistenly from OSU. They allowed 6 yards per carry against Penn State, and if PSU hadn't fallen behind, that would have been a serious problem in the 2nd half. Kinlaw, et al., pounded it up the gut for several scary long runs in the first half (PSU yards per carry was around 8 in the first half). That is the definition of a bend-not-break defense. The OSU defense is a collection of opportunists--they get a key sack, they gamble and get a pick. But they still have the hallmark of a unit that will give up a lot of yards (and points!) to good offenses.
My impression of the Buckeyes is that they are undefeated team that has been untested by a soft schedule. According to Sagarin, OSU's schedule is only the 68th hardest in the country, and they haven't faced any Top 10 teams, only one in the top 30. I can only imagine what Dennis Dixon, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow could do against this defense, and it wouldn't be pretty.
Regarding my second and third points:
I like the 2007 offense a lot, but it doesn't have the weapons (and unique characteristics) of the 2005-2006 squads. Last year, Tressel had a very talented QB with mobility and a cannon arm. But he was short. It took Tressel a year and a half (not until the 2006 Iowa game, by my count) to have Smith lead the offense out of the shotgun on most downs. I don't know why it took Tressel so long. That struck me as the optimal approach in, say, early 2005. When OSU moved away from the shotgun in the Florida game, that spelled doom for OSU's chances.
In addition, Tressel had the fastest player ever to wear a Buckeye uniform, and didn't know how to use him optimally. In a given game, Tressel generally sent Ginn on several down and outs, a few deep routes, and one or two screens/reverses. I would have like to see an offense that was (1) built around Ginn or (2) played more to his strengths (e.g., plays designed to get Ginn the ball in the open field with blockers to assist). This strikes me as a series of missed opportunities with a highly talented player. These are a few examples of a coach that didn't seem to mesh with the talent he had on the field.
This year, Tressel doesn't have the unique features and talents of the 2005-2006 squad, and that's a probably a good thing. I like Boeckman a lot, probably more than any other OSU QB I've seen. He is good at spreading the field, and he can hit the deep man in stride. But he does make mistakes, like the INT against PSU when he threw into double coverage. But there is no doubt, this is a run-first team. The offense is predicated on a powerhouse running attack, and that is the way Tressel prefers it.
I agree with your point about play calling. This year, it is better because it is a more optimal fit between coaching preferences and talent on the field. The nail in the coffin in last year's National Championship Game was at the end of the first half, when Tressel went for it on 4th and 1 from his own 20. That was a desperation move. Instead, the team came up short and was three scores behind at half, rather than two. That killed *any* hope the Bucks had of winning the game. That decision was pure hubris, and it showed a lack of flow between the team and coach. Contrast that with how Tony Dungy had the Colts take a knee at the end of the half in the AFC Championship vs. the Pats, down by two scores.