Despite Struggles, OSU Depth Chart for MSU Unchanged — Quick Thoughts

If you watched all of Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Iowa this past Saturday, you probably saw a few players that you think might be on the verge of losing their respective jobs as starters.

Based on OSU’s official depth chart released on Tuesday, however, no changes are coming. And based on defensive coordinator Greg Schiano’s comments Tuesday night, that certainly holds true for the defense.

“We’ve been tinkering all year as far as repetitions, but no wholesale things,” he said.

This was at least the second time this season that the linebackers have been very disappointing.

I’ve seen people say that it’s time to give the younger players like Baron Browning and Keandre Jones an opportunity, but I don’t think that would help at all. Given the regression that we’ve seen from Jerome Baker and Chris Worley, I put much of those struggles on coaching, and right now Browning and Jones are receiving that same coaching and playing in the same system, so why should we expect them to outperform trusted veterans?

Even Tuf Borland, who everyone loved against Army, has been pretty quiet since that game.

I asked Schiano if he needed to simplify the defense and he didn’t think that was the answer. He said the defense needed better focus. At the time I took that to mean the players need to focus better, but watching the interview again, that could be taken as if the entire defense needs to better focus — including the coaches and what they are doing to prepare their players. That will be a follow-up question down the road.

The fact that five linebackers play regularly right now and none of them are actually fixing the issues should tell you most of what you need to know at that position.

I had somebody ask me on Monday if we could see some changes at safety, but there’s nowhere to go. The two best options here are Damon Webb and Jordan Fuller. Isaiah Pryor is still a year away, but I expect him to be very good at Fuller’s position next year, while Fuller will slide over to Webb’s free safety spot, which is what he played last year as a true freshman.

Now, we were never told who earned Champions status after the Nebraska win, but I think it’s very concerning that the only time (I believe) Webb has earned Champion status was after the Army game, which was when he was basically playing linebacker.

The entire back seven has had breakdowns this season, which means that you should probably expect more of them moving forward.

On the offensive side of the ball, Urban Meyer said he is looking to keep defenses from taking away the running backs on the read option, so we’ll see how that goes this week. J.K. Dobbins needs more touches and any time he is held under a dozen carries, the opposing defense should send a fruit basket and their undying gratitude.

On the injury front, H-back Parris Campbell has been medically cleared and should play this week. They missed his kick returning and explodability on offense last week. Mike Weber is still listed as an OR with Campbell, however.

While we’re talking about Weber as the kick returner, I’m going to have to agree with everyone else in the world and ask, “Why?” This would seem to be one way to get Dobbins — the more explosive of the two — more touches.

I mean, if you’re not going to hand the ball to him, at least let the opponent kick the ball to him.

Ohio State Buckeyes Depth Chart

8 Responses

  1. ERIC, Woody Hayes would love your post as I do. However, Meyer doesn’t even know Joey Burrow is on the team! Good Post!!!

  2. The Buckeyes needed a miracle to bear Penn State, were never in the game against Iowa. Oklahoma was do or die, Penn State was do or die, it turns out Iowa was do or die. For the Michigan State game they are already dead, but what can they salvage from the wreck. I hope the players are ready, but i must be hard to get motivated for a game like that, Here’s to hoping everyone has a great week and that they all come out firing on all cylinders.

    1. Not sure how the Buckeyes needed a miracle to beat PSU. They actually were in the game for a good bit in the Iowa game. Not sure how Oklahoma game was do or die. Not sure how they are dead now when the Big 10 title is in their control and a major new years 6 bowl game. Sounds like they’re dead to YOU!!

  3. Nothing stopping the offensive coaches from lining up in either ISO or Pistol and just letting the offensive linemen just firing off the ball with drive and trap blocking.

    Or they could simply alter between inverted veer and straight up veer option from the same look as read option. The quarterback can do that on virtually any play. The only real difference would be pulling guard play. In other words, they don’t have to reinvent the offense to create power rushing.

    I argued earlier in the year with someone on here that the Buckeyes WERE running misdirection. I was told I was stupid and didn’t know what I was talking about. I guess I’ll just have to remain stupid and dim because Coach Meyers RO is entirely scripted on misdirection, as is most RO rushing. Defenses already know that Coach Meyers motion is to create numbers to the play side. But it’s not always necessary to have that advantage. Especially if you have an elusive back and a defense reading defensive movement to the play side. Their pursuit itself gives the tailback a space advantage. To stop it consistently the defense would have to hesitate pursuit and the benefit is a second for the quarterback to exploit the numbers advantage.

    The new catch word of coaches is MULTIPLE. In my day they called it diverse. There’s nothing preventing the staff from operating RO/Veer/inverted veer/and ISO from the very same personnel and much of the same formations already installed. The only real adjustments would be the runningback shift and set along with adjusting the pulling guard.

    The power traps are missing with this offense which reduces the current RPO to the flimsy offense run by Rich Rodriguez when he was at West Virginia. Reintroducing the power trap elements could be a tremendous benefit against defenses who are too aggressive at the point of attack. Mixed with veer/inverted veer (which they run already), with the occasional ISO rushing would stress the defenses they face to play more honest at the point of attack. The bonus is that it would put linebackers into conflict with their reads. That conflict puts stress on their intermediate defense if they try to slow the rush game by narrowing the box.

    There’s just been no creativity with the Buckeye rushing attack. That allows the defense to simple DO rather than think THEN do. Just a moments hesitation is all guys like JK Dobbins needs to turn the corner already at top speed. The entire timing of the defense would be thrown off just making making them think before reacting.

    1. His offense is a gimmick that has seen its day. They need to go back to a pro offense getting tough fullbacks tom lead the way and use the tight end. They need some toughness on this team. And get a pro style thrower which I think Burrow will be.

  4. JK Dobbins needs to carry 25-30 times each game from here on….PERIOD! Just do it and get a smart aggressiveness to the offense play calling

  5. Tony my question is do you think that having JK Dobbins at H-B may be helpful? He appears to be more explosive than Campbell or Hill. That would also allow you to use Weber as the RB. I have not really seen the Buckeyes run many H-B plays like the jet sweep or the specialty plays this year. With Dobbins they could, plus Weber would be in the backfield as a check down for the RB position for Barrett.

    1. I think he could do that. I think it would be a good look inside the 10. Will they? Doubt it.

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