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Thread: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    Much like last year, the defense isn't 7 ppg/against good. . . On several occasions this year, they have managed to escape dangerous scoring threats by coming up with a good play at a clutch moment. Happened twice tonight. I imagine that those key plays won't come as easily against a good offense. It's a bend-not-break unit, one that will be exposed sooner or later.

    On offense, this team is much better than the 2002 squad. Boeckman still makes a few silly mistakes, but he has nice poise and generally gets the ball to the right guy. He has solid targets all over the field. Beanie Wells is great, although he looks injured every time he gets tackled. Maurice Wells is garbage, I like Saine much better as the second back.

    The good news is that this is the type of club that Tressel likes to coach. He loves to run the ball, kick field goals, and win close games. He never quite "got it" the past few years when his offense was loaded with weapons. This team strikes me as a better match between his coaching preferences and the guys he deploys.

    Hypothetical question: if OSU loses a game, could they still play for the title? Given the wackiness of 2007, I imagine that they could. Among the one-loss teams, I would say that only LSU and Oregon would have better claims on the title game at this point, and neither of those teams have cakewalks from here on out.
    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.

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Here's some trivia to put a ribbon on yesterday's win:

    http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=7277239
    NUMBERS:@ Ohio State won its 19th consecutive Big Ten game on Saturday, tying the conference record while adding to the school mark. Michigan won 19 league games in a row from 1990-92. The Buckeyes have also won a school-record 27 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at Penn State in 2005. The previous Ohio State mark for regular-season wins in a row was 21, set from 1967-69.

    PAST ... @ Here's one more shot across the bow of Ohio State's schedule: Of the nine teams the Buckeyes have played, 8 of them lost on Saturday. And the only winner was Purdue, which beat ANOTHER Buckeyes opponent (Northwestern).

    AND FUTURE:@ The Buckeyes' final three opponents (Wisconsin, Illinois, at Michigan) all won on Saturday. They are a combined 20-7, a winning percentage of .741. The previous nine victims have an aggregate record of 37-41, a .474 success rate.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Here's a few tidbits as well:

    Penn State had won 18 of their last 19 games at home before last night.

    Going into last night, Penn State was 7th in the nation in total defense and 4th in scoring defense.

    From Pat Forde:

    "Stat of the day: Against a team that had forced 60 punts this year, Ohio State never kicked it away once.

    Runner-up stat of the day: A Penn State team that came in leading the nation in sacks at 4.4 per game got one -- and it didn't record that one until the fourth quarter.

    Third-place stat of the day: Opposing offenses were converting 32 percent of their third downs against Penn State. Ohio State converted 12 of 16 Saturday night."
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    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.
    Yep. It use to be that Tressel's offensive play calling was pretty predictable. Can't say that this year at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post

    Runner-up stat of the day: A Penn State team that came in leading the nation in sacks at 4.4 per game got one -- and it didn't record that one until the fourth quarter.

    Third-place stat of the day: Opposing offenses were converting 32 percent of their third downs against Penn State. Ohio State converted 12 of 16 Saturday night."
    What does that say about OSU's offensive line? I don't think they are getting the credit they deserve; but most O-lines don't.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    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.
    Last edited by D-Man; 10-30-2007 at 12:33 PM.

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    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post

    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. .
    Against Penn State they were playing cover two, and most of the running "success" came against 7 and 8 man fronts. Kudos to Penn State for good scouting. But Penn State was not able to sustain the running game after the first quarter. Michigan State has a pretty good running attack and they were shut down. If anyone will be able to run on OSU it will be Wisconsin, so we will see Saturday.
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LoganBuck View Post
    Against Penn State they were playing cover two, and most of the running "success" came against 7 and 8 man fronts. Kudos to Penn State for good scouting. But Penn State was not able to sustain the running game after the first quarter. Michigan State has a pretty good running attack and they were shut down. If anyone will be able to run on OSU it will be Wisconsin, so we will see Saturday.
    If anyone better than Morelli (not exactly a high standard, I know) had been at the helm, PSU could have given the OSU defense fits, mixing in a power running attack with a passing game. Morelli is a replacement-level QB.

    My point is that the OSU defense will be exposed when it faces a good offense. And it isn't like the Big Ten is brimming with offensive talent this year. Wisconsin and Michigan are two of the more talented Big Ten offenses, but that isn't saying much.

    But hey, I'm just a guy who doesn't watch football games, so I have no idea what I'm talking about. . .

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    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.
    Hostile tone? That is a bit dramatic. The original post did not quite have the depth of the subsequent post, including the historical emphasis. You were speaking of the current Buckeyes, which honestly is the exact opposite of reality.

    As GAC already pointed out, Purdue and MSU offenses were rolling and were barely getting first downs. These were not due to turnovers or sacks, they were due to three and outs. How many three and outs were there in a row in the Purdue game, who was at home on a Saturday night? Penn State gets shut down, oh, Morelli is replacement level.

    The analysis borders on hypercritical to dismissive, which is fine, it is your opinion, but don't expect it to fly by unchallenged, even to the point of wondering if we have been watching the same games.

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LoganBuck View Post
    If anyone will be able to run on OSU it will be Wisconsin, so we will see Saturday.
    It will be interesting; but then again, look at Wisconsin's schedule also. They barely escaped UNLV (should have lost), Iowa, and Michigan State. Then got blown out by OSU's opponent last week in Penn State 38-7.

    Wisconsin has been able to run the ball, but again, against who? Have they even played against a defense as formidable as OSU's this year? No.

    The game is in Columbus.

    OSU 34-13

    Code:
                            OSU         Wisconsin
    Points/Game            8.9 (1)      30.1 (81)  
    Rush Yards/Game        70.9 (6)     205.4 (44)  
    Pass Yards/Game        143.7 (5)    213.0 (127)  
    Total Yards/Game       214.6 (1)    418.4 (64)  
    Third Down Pct.        29.7% (20)   47.7% (19)  
    Fourth Down Pct.       62.5% (200)  63.6% (139)  
    Sacks                  27 (12)      22 (195)  
    Sack Yards             -169 (27)    -152 (200)  
    Rushing TDs            2 (2)        21 (30)  
    Passing TDs            3 (1)        12 (122)  
    Carries/Game           265 (18)     409 (15)  
    Yards/Carry            2.4 (8)      4.5 (69)  
    Completion Pct.        53.4% (138)  58.6% (108)  
    Yards/Pass Attempt     4.5 (1)      7.7 (49)  
    Pass Rating            87.4 (2)     132.0 (78)  
    Avg. NCAA Ranking      20.1         60.9
    And they are going to do the same versus Illinois the following week too. Mendenhall is a solid running back, but Illinois is one dimensional with Juice Wiliams at QB.

    The test is gonna come in the last game at Michigan.

    And people are saying the SEC is one tough conference and that the teams in that conference are beating up on each other. I agree. And while I don't believe the Big Ten is as strong as the SEC, can't the same be said of the teams in the Big Ten beating up on each other? I don't think it's as weak as some contend. OSU and Michigan are the elite teams in the Big Ten. Who are the elite teams in the SEC? LSU, Georgia, and possibly Alabama. After that, who?

    There are 5 SEC teams in the top 25. The Big Ten has 3 (4 until OSU knocked Penn State out last week).
    Last edited by GAC; 10-30-2007 at 09:31 PM.
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    You were speaking of the current Buckeyes, which honestly is the exact opposite of reality.
    I don't know what you mean by this statement.

    Are you saying that my assessment is out of touch with "reality"? Like, noting how allowing 6 yards per carry is a bad thing--and THAT is "the exact opposite of reality"?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    As GAC already pointed out, Purdue and MSU offenses were rolling and were barely getting first downs. These were not due to turnovers or sacks, they were due to three and outs. How many three and outs were there in a row in the Purdue game, who was at home on a Saturday night? Penn State gets shut down, oh, Morelli is replacement level.
    The operative word I used above is "consistently."

    Regarding Morelli--if PSU had Bradford or Dixon QBing, I'm suggesting the results would have been dramatically different.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    The analysis borders on hypercritical to dismissive, which is fine, it is your opinion, but don't expect it to fly by unchallenged, even to the point of wondering if we have been watching the same games.
    There is a lot to like about this OSU team, but you don't need me, Mark May, or any Internet yahoo to tell you that. The record book, box score, and scoreboard speak volumes.

    But given that we've only seen eight football games thus far, college football fans are left to thin-slice every aspect of the season. That's precisely what I have been doing.

    Last year, thin-slicing would have told us a whole lot more about the Buckeyes than the record books and scoreboard, particularly the defense. The Michigan game left the defense exposed. The defense looked flat-footed in the fourth quarter against Illinois and its mobile QB. Perhaps you believe those thin slices are "hypercritical" or "dismissive", but I think it's more illuminating, instructive, and (perhaps) predictive than scoreboard watching.

    My counter to your thoughts are, what do you think we are likely to see from here on out? Given your post above, I assume you believe everything is peachy. If so, I wish you the best.

    I have a healthy dose of skepticism, and rightfully so, given the finish to last year's season and the tepidness of the Big Ten (a distant sixth in terms of BCS conferences, according to Sagarin). I was thoroughly bummed beyond belief for two days in January after the National Championship debacle. I don't want to go through that again.

    [Aside: If OSU does go to the title game, Tressel better be hoping that the media plays up the "unproven Buckeyes" angle. I'm beginning to believe that how the story is shaped leading up to the title game plays a key role in the outcome. ]
    Last edited by D-Man; 10-30-2007 at 10:13 PM.

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    I forgot to add it to the comparison above, but that "head to head" is OSU's defense vs Wisconsin's offense.
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    Regarding Morelli--if PSU had Bradford or Dixon QBing, I'm suggesting the results would have been dramatically different.
    Respectfully though D-Man, aren't you kind of putting forth an unrealisitic scenario, or maybe hypothetical is a better word, by saying "Yeah, but if the opposition had this or that player on their team it would've/could've been different results." We really have no way of knowing that do we? Isn't it simply an unprovable conjecture to say that if PSU had a better QB in there, or this opponent had a better RB or better linebackers, whatever, then OSU (or any team really) would have had a tough time?

    Last year, thin-slicing would have told us a whole lot more about the Buckeyes than the record books and scoreboard, particularly the defense. The Michigan game left the defense exposed. The defense looked flat-footed in the fourth quarter against Illinois and its mobile QB. Perhaps you believe those thin slices are "hypercritical" or "dismissive", but I think it's more illuminating, instructive, and (perhaps) predictive than scoreboard watching.
    And you bring up valid points about the OSU defense, and I said the very same things about them last year. I was very skeptical. But I am not so much this year.

    But I also look at it this way too- the team they may end up playing (if OSU gets in) will also have it's "weaknesses", as well as their strengths. For instance,if it turns out to be BC, their running game is mediocre,and their pass defense is so-so.

    That's when it comes down to solid coaching, and having a game plan.

    I have a healthy dose of skepticism, and rightfully so, given the finish to last year's season.....I was thoroughly bummed beyond belief for two days in January after the National Championship debacle. I don't want to go through that again.
    I agree. And I stated so on one of these threads about 3 weeks ago when OSU was ranked #5. I saw the teams ahead of them suffering at least one loss (California has had two),mand OSU moving up to #2 and ends up facing an another SEC teamin LSU, and we have deja vu all over again. Then LSU got beat by Kentucky.

    But I understand your trepidation, and agree with you.

    We first have to get by Michigan though.

    [Aside: If OSU does go to the title game, Tressel better be hoping that the media plays up the "unproven Buckeyes" angle. I'm beginning to believe that how the story is shaped leading up to the title game plays a key role in the outcome. ][/quote]
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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    I don't know what you mean by this statement.

    Are you saying that my assessment is out of touch with "reality"? Like, noting how allowing 6 yards per carry is a bad thing--and THAT is "the exact opposite of reality"?



    The operative word I used above is "consistently."

    Regarding Morelli--if PSU had Bradford or Dixon QBing, I'm suggesting the results would have been dramatically different.



    There is a lot to like about this OSU team, but you don't need me, Mark May, or any Internet yahoo to tell you that. The record book, box score, and scoreboard speak volumes.

    But given that we've only seen eight football games thus far, college football fans are left to thin-slice every aspect of the season. That's precisely what I have been doing.

    Last year, thin-slicing would have told us a whole lot more about the Buckeyes than the record books and scoreboard, particularly the defense. The Michigan game left the defense exposed. The defense looked flat-footed in the fourth quarter against Illinois and its mobile QB. Perhaps you believe those thin slices are "hypercritical" or "dismissive", but I think it's more illuminating, instructive, and (perhaps) predictive than scoreboard watching.

    My counter to your thoughts are, what do you think we are likely to see from here on out? Given your post above, I assume you believe everything is peachy. If so, I wish you the best.

    I have a healthy dose of skepticism, and rightfully so, given the finish to last year's season and the tepidness of the Big Ten (a distant sixth in terms of BCS conferences, according to Sagarin). I was thoroughly bummed beyond belief for two days in January after the National Championship debacle. I don't want to go through that again.

    [Aside: If OSU does go to the title game, Tressel better be hoping that the media plays up the "unproven Buckeyes" angle. I'm beginning to believe that how the story is shaped leading up to the title game plays a key role in the outcome. ]
    Simply put, the D is fast, deep, and experienced, esp. in the Dbackfield. The "unproven" angle keeps getting replayed every week. This team is going to expose the "real" Buckeyes, then they kick their tail and all of a sudden, "well, it is a Big 10 team" or some other minimalist statement. So my skepticism is more of pundits than the Buckeyes

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Jeepers creepers...didn't the Buckeyes just go into Happy Valley and win by 20?

    I can't imagine the discussion if they'd only won by, say, 7.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Re: Ohio State - Penn State Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    Jeepers creepers...didn't the Buckeyes just go into Happy Valley and win by 20?

    I can't imagine the discussion if they'd only won by, say, 7.
    Dem's stunned faces in the Happy Valley crowd had apparently been reading some of the same things. Of course, the Buckeyes could fall and have a lot of points rang up against them, just like LSU's D was shredded by UK, but sometimes it seems pundit fans and commentators are trying to cya more than a doctor getting ready to be dropped by his malpractice insurer. The Buckeyes are a legitimate top 5 team, but will have to go into Michigan and win by 100 to impress anyone, I think.

    Oh well, take it for what its worth.


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