Football Hayes & Cannon

Opponent Watch: 3 Things To Watch For From The Sooners

Jerome Baker Mayfield Buckeye Football Ohio State

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins…” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

A proud son of Ohio, hailing from Point Pleasant, former Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant would be a strong advocate for as much advanced scouting of the enemy as possible before a battle was engaged. While I have the utmost confidence in Urban Meyer and his strong staff of assistants, below are three areas I will be keeping an eye on when the Oklahoma Sooners come to Columbus for the first time since 1977, when some guy named Woody Hayes was patrolling the sidelines for the Buckeyes.

3 Things To Watch For From The Sooners

~ Look For Oklahoma To Attack Ohio State’s Secondary Like Indiana Did In The Season Opener ~

Hey, it worked well for Indiana…for at least the first half, and part of the second half.  Indiana had no problems whatsoever going after Ohio State’s Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette, and Kendall Sheffield.  The biggest difference is that Oklahoma’s wide receivers, although talented, do not have anyone on the roster comparable to Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs.  Plus, Ohio State made adjustments in the second half that affected Cobbs, and thus played a major part in the eventual Ohio State victory.  Still, using a quick-hitting passing game will help negate the strong Ohio State pass rush.  And even though Oklahoma does not have a wide receiver of the same caliber as Simmie Cobbs, the Sooners do have a receiving weapon the Buckeyes will need to pay close attention to, and that leads me to…

~ Tight End Mark Andrews May Be A Match-Up Problem For Ohio State’s Linebackers ~

One-time Ohio State recruit Mark Andrews led Oklahoma with seven receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown last week, averaging 19 yards per reception.  At a listed 6’5″, 254 pounds, Andrews is a physical mismatch for a cornerback to cover, and may be too fast for a linebacker to keep up with in coverage.  Like Ohio State did last week against Indiana, Andrews may get extra attention from a safety, but that could lead to single coverage for someone else.  Regardless, this could be an area to keep an eye on throughout the course of the game.

~ Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore May Be A Challenge On The Interior Line Of Scrimmage ~

Another Ohio State recruiting target, Gallimore is a listed 6’2″, 310 pounds.  He could be lined up opposite of Ohio State’s Branden Bowen, who had his share of challenges in his debut at right guard in the season opener.  Ohio State needs a strong running game to open up its still-developing passing game.  Being able to move Gallimore off the line of scrimmage will be a crucial element to that part of the game plan.

One Response

  1. Andrews will be a problem – not so much for speed (I think the OSU linebackers are just as fast if not faster) but for route running and having the strong chemistry with Mayfield – those two know each other very well and their timing is really near unstoppable. However, without a running game its difficult to beat a top level team (in my opinion), and I don’t really think OU will be able to run the football very well. And, I’m not sold that a Big12 defense can go on the road in this type of game and get the job done.

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