Buckeye Football Notebook: ‘We have to get them to do their job’

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Finding a Running Game

Ohio State’s defense was put on skates last week and pushed down the stairs, and if that happens again this week, the Buckeyes will need to find a running game in order to control the ball and slow things down for a defense that might be reeling.

Finding a running game, however, is not very easy to do against Michigan State. The Spartans have the No. 3 rush defense in the nation, and they don’t take kindly to folks trying to run the ball on them.

“Coach Dantonio’s background is a defensive guy,” OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “He’s committed to stopping the run in culture and mindset and committed to stop the run in structure. They’re going to be very, very stern in their approach. They’re not going to change as far as where they put guys and why. Sometimes that stresses their coverage, but Coach Dantonio is also a DB coach and he understands how to coach those DBs and help those guys out.”

The Buckeyes will need to throw the ball over the top of MSU’s coverages, but it will be the running game that keeps the Buckeyes out of third-and-long situations. Without the running game, the Ohio State offense will become one dimensional, and that’s never a good plan of attack against the Spartans.

“Their coverages have changed over time. They’re much more exotic on third down,” Wilson said. “Their run defense is stout. Always has been. That’s why it’s the foundation of their program. We’ve got to find one this week. It’s going to be hard. We’ve got to find a way to stay with it, but it’s also going to be very, very difficult to run the ball.”

Expect the Unexpected

After most losses at Ohio State, the coaches or players will lament one or two things that the opponent did that caught them off-guard.

Against Iowa, it didn’t look like the Hawkeyes were doing anything different on offense than what they’ve done over the last 40 years, but that’s not true.

OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said they got a look from Iowa that they had only shown about eight times this season, but against the Buckeyes they ran it 26 times and they were never able to adjust properly to it.

“At Ohio State and places where you have really good players, you have to expect things that have not shown up on tape,” Schiano said. “I didn’t do a good job of getting our guys adjusted during the game. It’s disappointing, but as a coach and especially as a coordinator, you have to be able to get things fixed faster than we did.

“But when you really look, no matter how long you do it, it’s an incredibly hard thing to swallow and to get over. We had our opportunities to get off the field and we didn’t do it. when you don’t get off the field on third down, often times you live to see a lot of plays that you never needed to see. We need to get all of it fixed. And it falls me and our coaching staff to get that done. We have great players, we have to get them in position to go make plays. We’ve got to get it right fast.”

Asked if he needed to perhaps simplify things for his players, Schiano paused for a moment before answering.

“I don’t think it’s simplify, but probably needs to be a little different,” he said. “College football is a little different. I don’t think it’s simplify, I think it’s focus. If that makes any sense.”

What About the Linebackers?

Against Oklahoma and Iowa, there were many problems with Ohio State’s defense, but perhaps the group that stood out most was the Buckeye linebackers. It was not their best effort, and fell well short of their collective performance against Penn State just one week prior to the Iowa debacle.

The disparity from week to week is never a good sign, but when asked if the position was playing at a substandard level, Greg Schiano didn’t necessarily agree.

“I wouldn’t say that, but I would say we struggled with a couple of things Saturday,” he said. “Again to me that comes back to us. We have good linebackers. We have to get them to do their job. If not, then you have to examine the why, and that to me is coaching. It’s why you coach. It hurts, but that’s our job. You look in the mirror and figure it out. Unfortunately we lost one because of it.”

And now a much more potent offense comes to Ohio Stadium. Michigan State can do things that Iowa did — and probably will, but they can also do a whole lot more.

“They’re as multiple as any team we’ve played this year,” Schiano said. “So we really have to be on point. They do everything from the gun-run game, to what we saw the other day with multiple tight ends and heavy people and unbalanced sets, all the way to what we do – gun-run and spread. And everything in between. So this is a final exam for sure. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared when we enter that game Saturday.”


6 Responses

  1. Ok, first D-coordinator Schiano talks about not being able to adjust on the fly against Iowa. Is this the same guy that was a head coach, plus was a D-coordinator in the NFL. A prime example as to why he is not coaching in the NFL anymore. If i’m not mistaken isn’t quarterback coach Day, and linebackers coach Davis both NFL cast offs also ? What does that tell ya ?Also Schiano mentions how Sparty is multi dimensional on offense and how that will be a problem. Well maybe the Buck’s offensive coaches should take notes, and learn how to be more than a one dimensional. Guess who is Sparty’s offensive co- coordinator and tight ends coach? The Buck’s cast off Jim Bollman. Yep that’s right, the one guy i was glad to see get out of Columbus. He has been on the Spartan’s coaching staff since leaving Columbus. How embarrassing is that ?

  2. I am glad to hear that he is taking responsibility for a shortcoming in coaching for the linebacker play instead of saying it was an execution issue on their part.
    Personally, I wish that we ran the same personnel sets and formations, etc that MSU runs. I get tired of all spread all read option all the time. That philosophy does not allow us to impose our will on the opponent with our athletes.

  3. Let me follow that up. I just spent time specifically focusing on Iowa’s offense from last year to this year. Chiano, either you are a LIAR, or you simply don’t have a clue what the hell you’re looking at. Iowa was the same Iowa last week as they have been for “at least” 2 years. Throw in the whole “not necessarily” agreeing about substandard play from the Buckeye linebackers? You need to go join Wilson, Day, Davis and Smith somewhere else.

    FRAUDS for coaches.

  4. Ahhhhhh, are those big bully Spartans too tough and the little wimp sissy coaches for the Buckeyes are afraid of them. NOT a surprise. Not a surprise in the least. He3re’s a clue Wilson. Get the HELL out of Columbus, Ohio and go back to small ball. Your frigging comments are so pussified that I’m more than half tempted to buy you a box of Kotex to stop your damned hemorrhaging. WHAT A BITCH this offensive staff has turned into.

    Shut this damned season down and get this collection of worthless coaches the hell out. THEY SUCK!

  5. Heads up faithful- your OC is telling you to expect more of the same nonsensical approach to running that has hurt us this year. Heck, he’s even making excuses about it BEFORE the game rather than after!

    1. Plus he had an excuse for the Iowa game about running out of a formatiom 26 times and they couldnt figure it out. If its that easy why doesnt OSU run out of a different formation this week. Might as well do it 26 times

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