Buckeye Defenders Confident in Tackling Progress

Tuf Borland Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Over the last 10 days, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been asked an array of questions surrounding the Buckeyes’ loss to Purdue, and many of those questions included an area of criticism that has been present all season long: the defense.

When Meyer was asked if they were able to determine the root of the defense’s problems, he said the number one thing was missed tackles. The Ohio State defense missed a total of 20 tackles against the Boilermakers, which is always going to make things difficult, especially on the road.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, he said the team immediately went to work and spent the bye week fixing the mistakes and the missed tackles.

Sophomore linebacker Tuf Borland said that they have been tackling quite a bit the past two weeks because tackling is the first thing they have to do to stop big plays from happening.

Obviously missed tackles aren’t a good thing, so we’re doing our best to figure it out,” Borland said. 

Of course, the team, the coaches, and the fans all hope that they figure out the problem and take care of it. At this point in the season in order to get better at tackling, Borland said they just have to practice what they are used to doing, and hopefully the outcome will be different.

“We’re doing the same thing. Open-field tackling, deductive tackling system, rugby tackling,” Borland said. “We’ve been working on that in practice.”

With having the extra time to practice because of the bye week, there were other focuses in addition to fixing the tackling problem. Meyer said that while they placed a huge emphasis on tackling, they also spent the week looking at making some scheme adjustments to make sure they have the right players in the right places.

Borland said the defense is excited about making some schematic adjustments and doing some different things that they haven’t done before. So even though their tackling style will not change, there is a chance that the linebackers could look different on Saturday.

Even though their steps at tackling the tackling issue have yet to be seen in an actual game, the Buckeyes think they have already seen some improvement.

“I also think it just comes with experience, knowing where to be and stuff like that,” junior safety Jordan Fuller said. “This week I’ve seen a big improvement. A lot of it has to do with angles. So we worked on that and then we did a lot of tackling drills too, just a lot of tackling as well.”

Fuller also said that there was a noticeable difference in intensity at practice this week.

11 Responses

  1. Woody would have punched the blackboard and then Shiano and then fire him!

  2. I watched some portion from early in the season and came to the conclusion that this D was doomed when they lost the unnamed departed one. He wood single handily save the defense from huge run plays buy making a cut beating his man and slanting inside just in time to make the tackle. If the entire DL slanted to one wide-ranging on run plays they would protect the LBs and make their job much easier. Instead, we ask the young and not very good LBs to protect the DL by penetrating the gaps aggressively. The DL is supposed to be our strength. Since when do we use our weaknesses to cover up our strengths?Since we landed on the Schiano planet of the stupid.

    1. That slanting defense was first popularized at the University of Washington, and…..later Jim Heacock would finally get to Ohio State and put in those same techniques he had been teaching. Jim Tressel rode that slanting defense to a National Title win over the unbeatable Miami Hurricanes.

  3. No one has convinced me to drop $65 or more on a ticket, pay for parking and overpriced food, sit in the top of C deck in the cold in a black jersey worth $10 dollars that costs me another $50 to watch a bunch of over hyped under coached big shots play a piss poor Nebraska team when I could watch it on tv for free. Or just watch it on youtube later minus the commercials and go have some fun on Saturday.

    Now here’s my prediction for what it’s worth: the Bucks come out angry, build a lead, cool off and Nebraska comes back and makes a game out of it but we win in the end. Then next week we’re flat and we lose a heart breaker at East Lansing. Then we beat up on Maryland. Then Michigan kicks our ass. You heard it here first.

  4. Must…not…scoff. Of course you need to be able to tackle. Is this the first string? This is the Silver BB defense. I hate to think how many big plays and points they’re going to give up before Schiano is gone. They’re about as scary as Casper the Friendly Ghost. Here’s some advice. Try to get your teammates to stay around longer instead of bailing. Stay and graduate and in the long run you’ll make more money and the team will win more championships. I don’t want to think about Michigan. It’s too scary for Halloween. We’ll know by a few series with Nebraska whether anything has changed or if we need to think of more excuses and find some new coordinators while preparing for the Pinstripe Bowl. Otherwise, get it together. Can’t wait to host Nebraska and their fans. It should be interesting.

  5. That’s great, now will they be in position to do so? The D is also getting healthier and if the O can run the ball they won’t be so gassed. Btw, STOP THE STUPID PENALTIES! PUR’s first four TD’s came on 3rd and 4th down penalties and/or 4th down conversions.

  6. Tuf Borland’s biggest issue when it comes to tackling is his immobility. It keeps him in poor position to make tackles. Werner has the same problem only its compounded by his lack of size.

    What I find so odd is how rare it is for guys named starters to lose their starting position or snaps due to performance here at OSU. The contrast would be Alabama… Saban will sit a guy mid game if he is not playing up to standard. That fundamental principle is why Alabama is much better than OSU is right now. Case in point, how the hell can you not replace Isaiah Prince? Not even for a series or two? The back up can’t play any worse! Moreover, if he is that much better than the back up then we are in for a world of hurt in years to come.

    Right now, outside of D. Haskins and D. Jones everyone should be playing knowing they could be replaced if they fall off in their performance.

    1. Agree that Borland looks like he has lead in his pants and Werner is way too small. Combine that with constantly being out of position and then missing tackles when they are in position has been a disaster. Where is Dante Booker at the outside in place of Werner? More Baron Browning in the middle even though he is also constantly out of position at least he can run. Justin Hilliard or the three 4 star freshman LB’s recruited in this class (Gant, Pope, or Mitchell)? I’d stick with Harrison as he has both size and speed and replace the other two but the coaches keep praising both Borland and Werner. I’m just not seeing it. At any rate, Saturday will be interesting to see what the defensive brain trust has changed.

      1. Yep, Prince is a one man drive killer, and has more flags on him than are in front of the UN building. However, I would add a few more players to that list; like our WR’s, our Running backs and other Defenders.

    2. Christopher- I agree. It is evident Borland was rushed back from his Achilles (next to a permanent injury, NOTHING is worse for a FB player than an Achilles).

    3. We don’t need to look to Saban for guidance, just our own Buckeye tradition.
      WWWD – What Would Woody Do. I think we know and it wouldn’t be putting up with 20 missed tackles in one game.

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